Thailand, a newly industrialized economy, is regarded as one of the fasting growing economies in Asia. In 2010, it is the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia with a GDP growth rate of 7.8 percent. With a GDP (PPP) of US$586.88 billion, Thailand comes after Indonesia as the second biggest economy in Southeast Asia.
Thailand has a well-diversified economy which is driven by its industry and services. The country also has rich deposits of natural resources such as gypsum, lead, natural gas, rubber, tin and tungsten.
Thailand's Industry Sectors
Agriculture plays an important role in Thailand's transition to an industrialized economy. In 2010, agriculture contributes 10.4 percent to the overall GDP, but employs 42.4 percent of the overall workforce. Although agriculture's contribution to the nation's GDP decreases over the years, it still plays a major role to drive the Thai economy. Thailand is one of the world's largest exporter of rice and shrimp.
In 2010, industry contributes 45.6 percent to the country's GDP and employs 19.7 percent of the total workforce. One of its most important industries is the automobile, which grew by 64 percent in 2010, with 1.6 million cars produced. This made Thailand the 13th largest motor vehicle manufacturing countries in the world. At its current growth rate, the country is estimated to be one of the top 10 motor vehicle manufacturing countries in the world by 2015.
Electronics is also one of the largest industries in Thailand. An increasing global demand for high-technology consumer electronics such as wireless devices, mobile phones and computers, Thailand has become the favorable place for electronics industry investment. However, its lucrative industry faces competition from neighboring Malaysia and Singapore.
Services contributes 44 percent to Thailand's GDP and employs 37.9 percent of the total workforce in 2010. Tourism is one of the most important industry that to the country's services.
Tourism in Thailand contributes a larger share of GDP than any other country in Asia. Thailand's capital city, Bangkok attracted large number of visitors every year. In 2011, Bangkok is named by influential US travel magazine Travel + Leisure as the world's best city. According to Thailand's Department of Tourism, the country welcomed 10.35 million visitors, and collected a total of US$19.76 billion in international tourism receipts.