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Thailand Economic Forecast in 2015

February 11, 2015 | Sharon Cheong

Since the mid 80's, Thailand has been a major exporter of goods from clothing, rice and rubber to electronics. The country has annually experienced higher-than-average economic growth rates due to its ability to produce quality goods at reasonable prices. In fact, exports account for about two-thirds of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) and these trends are expected to continue and increase for the year 2015. 

Among the over $100 billion dollars' worth of goods and services predicted to be exported during 2015, experts believe that the major items will include: 

  • Computers and computer components
  • Rubber and latex
  • Textiles
  • Electric appliances
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Shoes and clothing
  • Rice and fish 

Tourism 

Tourism is slated to continue to be strong, making up nearly 8% of the economy. Bangkok, the country's capital, remains one of the most visited and photographed cities in the world. Thailand offers beautiful sandy beaches, pristine waters, tropical islands and a highly diverse flora and fauna. There are important archeological sites there, along with several designated World Heritage sites. Visitors come each year to view the ornate Buddhist Temples and sample the world-famous Thai cuisine. Bangkok has a number of modern shopping malls with excellent transportation by Sky Train and underground rail. Several of the shopping malls have been rated higher than Times Square in New York City. 

Agriculture 

Agriculture remains a strong force in the Thai economy for 2015 and almost 50% of the labor force is employed in this area. Each year, the agricultural sector utilizes better industrialized methods making it more competitive with the world's agricultural community.  Rice is still one of the main crops grown and exported.  Other important agricultural commodities include sugar, fish, grains and tapioca. In recent years, Thailand has increased its export of commercially processed foods like tuna, black tiger prawns, chicken and pineapple. 

Automotive Industry 

For 2015, Thailand will continue to produce quality commercial vehicles for global export. With over 1.5 million vehicles manufactured, the automotive industry is today ranked as the ninth largest worldwide and the largest in Southeast Asia. Advanced technology has made vehicle production cost-effective resulting in more competitive prices on the world market. A lessening of laws and regulations has also led to manufacturers being able to more freely trade vehicle parts. Today, the Thai government offers some incentive programs to encourage larger brand name manufacturers to move a portion of their operations to Thailand. 

Though the Thai economy was affected somewhat in 2008 along with most other world economies, it rebounded quickly. Today there are numerous windows of opportunity for growth throughout the region with markets accelerating due to the far-reaching sustainability of growth. Experts believe that Thailand will continue to grow at a faster pace than many other developed markets during 2015. 

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