Introduction for Key Aspects of Thai Economy
Thailand is located in the southern-central of Indochina, an area of 513,000 square kilometers, and population of 62.5 million. It belonged to the middle-income economies of developing countries. The way of Thailand’s economic development concerned by lots of developed countries. It was not very rich in mineral resources, but it could take full advantage of rich tropical crops and other agricultural resources in the early stages of development, further development of processed agricultural products, and take the road of industrialization of agriculture. And then gradually introduce foreign investment, acceptance of foreign technology and equipment transfer, and use abroad raw materials, to produce high value household appliances, such as televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. To be the major home appliances production base in abroad for Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other countries’ investors. Coupled with its play to tourism resources and vigorously develop tourism, so that Thailand rapidly developed its economy, people’s living standards rapidly increased.
Thailand was originally an agricultural country. Agriculture is the traditional main part of Thailand’s economy. As the development of the industry other than agriculture, the current agriculture is still the major economic sectors, but gradually decreased. The proportion of agriculture added in GDP in 2000 was only 9.02%. In order to quickly get into the ranks of industrialized countries, since 1961, Thai government has developed a series of principles and policies and in accordance with its national conditions and different stages of economic development in developed six five-year economic and social development plans, as the stage of economic development strategies and guiding principles. Encourage industrial development in phases, “import substitution” and “export-oriented” strategy, the economy has developed rapidly.
In 1990s, Thai government started to strengthen the agricultural infrastructure investment, and actively promote the development of manufacturing and service industries. From 1990 to 1995, Thailand’s average GDP growth rate was about 8% and per capita income over $2,500 U.S. dollars in 1995, so the World Bank listed Thailand to the middle-income countries. In 1996, Thailand’s average GDP growth rate decreased dramatically, only 5.9%, the lowest level over the past 13 years. Serious decline of foreign trade in particular, plummeted to less than 1% increase per year. Current account deficit accounted for 8.3% of GDP and inflation rate rose to 6.2%. In July 1997, Thailand outbreak the financial crisis, so the Thai economy had a badly punch and negative growth in GDP growth rate of -1.37%. In 1998, further economic decline, GDP growth rate dropped to -10.5%. After 1999, Thailand’s economy gradually took the road to recovery. In 1999 and 2000, GDP growth rates increased to 4.4% and 4.7%. Due to...