Whenever I think of Thailand, I can only imagine the sight of beaches and green paddy fields as shown in movies. Though, Thailand is more popular as a tourist destination, it is also the second largest economy and one of the biggest exporters of South East Asia. As exports form the major part of its GDP, Thailand has established trade relations with many developed and developing nations of the world. Its most significant trade partners are United States of America, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Thailand’s exports fall in a number of categories; major of which are agricultural products, textiles, gems and minerals, electronics, automobiles and wooden articles.
Agriculture and fishery are the main occupations of Thailand. Thailand is the world’s leading exporter in rice. It is also the biggest exporter of shrimp in the international market. In addition to the agricultural products, Thailand also leads as a supplier and research and development center for rubber and its products. Whether it is the cushion on pool tables, gloves or vehicle tires, you can find an imprint of Thai rubber technology everywhere.
Thailand has a strong manufacturing sector and competes with many of the ASEAN countries in the areas of textiles, electronics and automobile manufacturing. Thailand enjoys a special relationship with Japan that has helped it maintain growing exports in the automobile and textile sectors. Thailand has a free trade agreement with Japan and provides for high quality textile to design carpets, curtains, foto canvas etc. for its interior decoration industry.
In addition, Thailand is considered a hub of the electronic circuits, computer accessories like hard disk drives, circuit boards etc. It shouldn’t surprise you if someone tells that the PC or Mac you are using to play temple run online has been assembled from the parts made in some distant factory of Thailand.
Thailand’s craftsmanship is also world renowned. It is widely in demand for its gems and jewelry, silk clothing, ceramics and wooden furniture. Thailand has a history in crafting and designing jewelry and ceramics. It is this rarity that makes Thai products famous with collectors. In spite of the fact that Thai people do not usually have as furnished houses as the serviced apartments London and other western cities have, they are known for their artistic, simple and green wooden furniture which, is highly sought in European markets.
The export market of Thailand saw a decline in 2012 but has been forecasted to regain its growth in the coming year. Thailand’s natural resources, manufacturing prowess and craftsmanship have the ability to make Thailand the export capital of not only South Asia but of the entire world.
Despite Thailand’s economic success some people still worry about their health and safety while visiting Thailand. One of my friends, an accident lawyer by profession, even said that you might get locked up for years if not careful in Thailand. Surely, Thailand has strict laws for the safety of its citizens and visitors but most of such concerns are unwarranted and spread by some unwary travelers. Thailand is bound to become a major economic success and only trend one needs to look for is its development.