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Thailand Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Thailand's economy recovered rapidly from the political unrest in May 1992 to post an impressive 7.5% growth rate for the year, 7.8% in 1993, and 8% in 1994. One of the more advanced developing countries in Asia, Thailand depends on exports of manufactures and the development of the service sector to fuel the country's rapid growth. Much of Thailand's recent imports have been for capital equipment, suggesting that the export sector is poised for further growth. With foreign investment slowing, Bangkok is working to increase the generation of domestic capital. Prime Minister CHUAN's government - Thailand's fifth government in less than three years - is pledged to continue Bangkok's probusiness policies, and the return of a democratically elected government has improved business confidence. Even so, CHUAN must overcome divisions within his ruling coalition to complete much needed infrastructure development programs if Thailand is to remain an attractive place for business investment. Over the longer-term, Bangkok must produce more college graduates with technical training and upgrade workers' skills to continue its rapid economic development.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $355.2 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      8% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $5,970 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      5% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      3.2% (1993 est.)

    • Budget:

        $28.4 billion

        $28.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $9.6 billion (FY94/95 est.)

    • Exports:
      $46 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

        machinery and manufactures 83%, agricultural products and fisheries 16%, others 1% (1994 est.)

        US 22%, Japan 17%, Singapore 12%, Hong Kong 5%, Germany 4% (1993)

    • Imports:
      $52.6 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)

        capital goods 44%, intermediate goods and raw materials 37%, consumer goods 16%, other 3% (1994 est.)

        Japan 30%, US 12%, Singapore 6%, Germany 5%, Taiwan 5% (1993)

    • External debt:
      $64.3 billion (1994 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 11.5% (1993 est.); accounts for about 26% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        12,810,000 kW

        56.8 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        909 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      tourism is the largest source of foreign exchange; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing, such as jewelry; electric appliances and components, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 11% of GDP and 62% of labor force; leading producer and exporter of rice and cassava (tapioca); other crops - rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans; except for wheat, self-sufficient in food

    • Illicit drugs:
      a minor producer of opium and marijuana; major illicit transit point for heroin, particularly from Burma and Laos, for the international drug market; eradication efforts have reduced the area of cannabis cultivation and shifted some production to neighboring countries; opium poppy cultivation has been reduced by eradication efforts; also a major drug money laundering center; rapidly growing role in amphetamine production for regional consumption; increasing indigenous abuse of heroin and cocaine

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $870 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $8.6 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $19 million

    • Currency:
      1 baht (B) = 100 satang

    • Exchange rates:
      baht (B) per US$1 - 25.074 (January 1995), 25.150 (1994), 25.319 (1993), 25.400 (1992), 25.517 (1991), 25.585 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      1 October - 30 September

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