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Economy of Thailand

Thailand is a newly industrialized country. Its economy is heavily export-dependent, with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of its gross domestic product (GDP). In 2012, according to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Thailand had a GDP of 11.375 trillion baht (US$366 billion).The Thai economy grew by 6.5 percent, with a headline inflation rate of 3.02 percent and an account surplus of 0.7 percent of the country's GDP. In 2013, the Thai economy is expected to grow in the range of 3.8-4.3 percent. During the first half of 2013 (Q1-Q2/2013), the Thai economy grew by 4.1 percent (YoY). After seasonally adjustment, however, Thailand's GDP contracted by 1.7 percent and 0.3 percent in the first and the second quarters of 2013 respectively.

The industrial and service sectors are the main sectors in the Thai gross domestic product, with the former accounting for 39.2 percent of GDP. Thailand's agricultural sector produces 8.4 percent of GDP lower than the trade and logistics and communication sectors, which account for 13.4 percent and 9.8 percent of GDP respectively. The construction and mining sector adds 4.3 percent to the country's gross domestic product. Other service sectors (including the financial, education, and hotel and restaurant sectors) account for 24.9 percent of the country's GDP.[4] Telecommunications and trade in services are emerging as centers of industrial expansion and economic competitiveness.

Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia. Its per capita GDP (US$5,390) in 2012, however, ranks in the middle of Southeast Asian per capita GDP, after Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia. On 19 July 2013 Thailand held US$171.2 billion in international reserves, the second-largest in Southeast Asia (after Singapore). Thailand ranks second in Southeast Asia in external trade volume, after Singapore.

Industries

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

In 2008, agriculture, forestry and fishing contributed 8.4 percent to GDP; in rural areas, farm jobs supply half of employment. Rice is the most important crop in the country and Thailand had long been the world's number one exporter of rice, until recently falling behind both India and Vietnam. It is a major exporter of shrimp. Other crops include coconuts, corn, rubber, soybeans, sugarcane and tapioca.

Thailand is the world's third-largest seafood exporter. Overall fish exports were worth around US$3 billion in 2014, according to the Thai Frozen Foods Association.

Industry and manufacturing

In 2007 industry contributed 43.9 percent of GDP, employing 14 percent of the workforce. Industry expanded at an average annual rate of 3.4 percent from 1995 to 2005. The most important sub-sector of industry is manufacturing, which accounted for 34.5 percent of GDP in 2004.

Electronics

Electronics is Thailand's largest export sector, about 15 percent of total exports. In 2009 exports of electronics totalled US$33 billion. The country is the world's second-biggest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs) after China, with Western Digital and Seagate Technology among the biggest producers. In January 2015, the country's manufacturing index fell for the 22nd consecutive month, with production of goods like televisions and radios down 38 percent year-on-year.

Vehicles

Thailand is becoming a center for automobile manufacturing for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market. By 2004 automobile production reached 930,000 units, more than twice as much as in 2001. Toyota and Ford are active in Thailand, and the expansion of the automotive industry has increased domestic steel production.

Energy

Thailand's 2004 energy consumption was estimated at 3.4 quadrillion British thermal units, representing about 0.7 percent of total world energy consumption. Thailand is a net importer of oil and natural gas; however, the government is promoting ethanol to reduce imports of petroleum and the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether.

Services

In 2007 the service sector (which includes tourism, banking and finance), contributed 44.7 percent of GDP and employed 37 percent of the workforce. Thailand's service industry is competitive, contributing to its export growth.

Tourism

Tourism contributes significantly to the Thai economy, and the industry has benefited from the baht's depreciation and Thailand's stability. Tourist arrivals in 2002 (10.9 million) reflected a 7.3 percent increase from the previous year (10.1 million in 2001).

Tourism makes a larger contribution to Thailand's economy (about 8.5 percent of GDP) than that of any other Asian nation. Tourists come to Thailand for a variety of reasons, primarily for recreation on its beaches. With ongoing insurgency in the deep south, Bangkok has seen a large increase in tourism in recent years.

Banking and finance

In 2007 there were three state-owned commercial banks, five state-owned specialized banks, fifteen Thai commercial banks, and seventeen foreign banks in Thailand.

The Bank of Thailand sought to stem the flow of foreign funds into the country in December 2006, leading to the largest one-day drop in stock prices on the Stock Exchange of Thailand since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The sell-off by foreign investors amounted to more than US$708 million.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Thailand"

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