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Thailand Essay

1413 words - 6 pages

IntroductionLocated amidst a booming region, Thailand boasts one of the fastest growingEconomies in Southeast Asia. Known as the "Land of Smiles," Thailand hasEnjoyed an abundance of good fortune as both domestic and foreign businessesrush to invest. From 1988 to 1994, Thailand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)grew at an average rate of 10%, and Thailand hopes to maintain a similarlevel of growth into the twenty-first century. Thailand has transformed froma traditionally agrarian economy to one focused on capital-intensivemanufacturing, with an emphasis on promotion of advanced technology.The volume of tourists coming to Thailand may not compare to the 27 to 50million people travelling to France, Italy or Spain every year. Yet, whencompared to other high-volume tourist destinations around the world, thegrowth and development of the tourism industry in Thailand is impressive.Egypt receives approximately 2.6 million tourists per year, while Indiaannually draws in approximately 1.8 million tourists. By comparision,Thailand now accommodates approximately 5 million tourists per year, one ofthe highest figures for Southeast Asia.( COMPOSITIONThe formal economy now rests on a mix of agriculture, heavy and light industry, tourism, and services. Thailand also has a large illegal and informal economy; prostitution is a major element of this world. The informal sector possibly comprises over five million workers.With a population of roughly 63 million, Thailand has 13.9 million agricultural workers and 17.4 non-agricultural workers. About 1.2 million are unemployed, and 13.1 million persons older than 15 are not attached to the labour force. In addition, many Thai have moved abroad to seek employment in other East Asian countries. Contributing to the poor employment prospects of many Thai is the fact that many companies in Thailand have begun to rely on illegal immigrants, who are willing to accept less than minimum wage. Thailand currently employs more than one million such immigrants, 90% of them Burmese. There are about three million illegal workers in Thailand, 10 percent of the labour force. ( ISSUESLike many other Asian societies, Thais are accustomed to a paternalistic hierarchical system. They have great respect for age and authority, preferring obedience and tolerance to conflict. This respect is expressed through face, or haikiat. At home, work, and school, they avoid correcting their superiors for fear of insulting them. Thais expect face to be given to subordinates as well. Direct criticism, visible loss of temper, and refusal to compromise are all considered rude to a much greater degree than in the West. Superiors are expected to be considerate and polite, even when reprimanding an employee. Although this is the ideal, Thai managers traditionally have an authoritarian attitude, and show little respect for their employees' ideas or opinions. Thai business culture is vastly different from...

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