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Thailand

Capital City: Bangkok
%T:%M %A in Bangkok
Thailand has been experiencing a sustained growth since 2002 but the activity slackened in 2005. Annual GDP growth rate was 6.9% in 2003, 6.1% in 2004 and 3.5% in 2005. Growth is mainly driven by the manufacturing sector. However, Thailand's competitiveness is threatened by emerging neighbouring economies, especially such as China. The financial sector is still fragile due to 1997 Asian financial crisis and its consequences.

The agriculture sector accounts for 10% of the GDP and employs 60% of the active population. The main crop is rice, for which Thailand is the world's leading exporter. Sugar, corn, cotton and pineapples are also other important crops. The country is the leading producer of rubber in the world. Mining sector is limited with 1% of the GDP. The manufacturing industry amounts to 30% of the GDP and is very diversified: electronics, automotive and steel industries are growth's driving forces. Thailand has specialised in car assembly subcontracting for world-wide big brands. Textile employs almost 25% of the active population but is no longer a buoyant sector, as opposed to tourism which has become the first source of foreign currencies. The tourist sector may deeply suffer in 2005 from December 2004 Tsunami's consequences.

The Thai economy is open to external trade: exports account for over half the GDP.
Its three largest clients are the United States, Japan and Singapore.
Thailand's three largest suppliers are Japan, the United States and China. The country mainly imports electrical and electronic equipment, machinery and hydrocarbons.

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