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Thailand - Country Profile

Thailand has a well developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and welcomes foreign investment. Thailand has fully recovered from the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis and was one of East Asia's best performers in 2002-04. Increased consumption and investment spending and strong export growth pushed GDP growth up to 6.9% in 2003 and 6.1% in 2004 despite a sluggish global economy. The highly popular government's expansionist policy, including major support of village economic development, has raised concerns about fiscal discipline and the health of financial institutions. Bangkok has pursued preferential trade agreements with a variety of partners in an effort to boost exports and maintain high growth, and in 2004 began negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the US. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took 8,500 lives in Thailand and caused massive destruction of property in the southern provinces of Krabi, Phangnga, and Phuket.

Economic Statistics
Exports : $87.91 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Commodities :
textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances
US 15.9%, Japan 13.9%, China 7.3%, Singapore 7.2%, Malaysia 5.4%, Hong Kong 5.1% (2004)
Imports $80.84 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Commodities :
capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels
Partners :
Japan 23.6%, China 8.6%, US 7.6%, Malaysia 5.8%, Singapore 4.4%, Taiwan 4.1% (2004)