Friday, May 20, 2011

thailand economic

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Economic Analysis


Introduction


Thailands economy is beginning to recover from the global economic slowdown of the past two years, which led to reduced demand for Thai exports. The countrys real gross domestic product (GDP) grew only 1.0% in 001, and is projected to grow 1.8% in 00, resuming a growth rate of over 4% in 00. Longer-term annual growth rates beyond 00 are projected in the range of 4%-5%.


Still, the risks confronting Thailands economic recovery are serious. The Thai economy is burdened by a relatively weak banking sector with a high proportion of non-performing loans. Delays in the restructuring of corporate debt also have been worrisome enough to prompt warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international credit rating analysts. Any worldwide economic downturn could affect Thailand rapidly due to these structural weaknesses.


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Thailands energy sector is undergoing a period of restructuring and privatization. The Thai electric utility and petroleum industries, which have historically been state-controlled monopolies, are currently being restructured.


Population


Currently about 75 percent of the population is Thai and 14 percent is Chinese. The rest of the population is made up of other ethnic groups including Khmer and Vietnamese, some of whom are refugees living in border regions. In 000 there were about 6 million people living in Thailand. A little less than one-third of the population is under age 15, and only 4 percent is over 65, with a life expectance of 71 years. Three-quarters of the population live in rural areas. For all that, Thailands capital Bangkok is one of the worlds most populous cities with an estimated population of 6-7 million.


Economic Status and Activity


Traditionally an agrarian nation, today Thailand boasts a complex, multi-faceted economy embracing industries employing the latest and most sophisticated technology.


Several important factors have contributed to the countrys enviable growth. Its principal comparative advantage has been the abundance and diversity of its natural resources. Blessed with large expanses of fertile land and ideal growing conditions, Thailand not only enjoys agricultural self-sufficiency but is also the only net food exporter in Asia and one of the largest food exporters in the world.


Growth and diversification into new industrial areas have to a large extent been initiated by the dynamic private sector. Innovative private enterprise broadened the nations agrarian base by exploiting the value-added potential of basic staple crops, and at the same time expanded into new product areas in response to world demand. With the government providing infrastructural support and exerting relatively limited control over private industry, a free enterprise system has emerged which has allowed development to take place at a rapid rate consistent with the needs and resources available.


With its agrarian base as the bedrock, the economy has experienced steady growth. The introduction of improved technology and marketing expertise has made Thailand a world leader in the sales of staple commodities. It has also transformed the country into a fast-rising manufacturer of sophisticated products built to international standards which find ready acceptance in world markets.


Developments in science and Technology


Thai people have realized the benefits of science and techonlogy for many centuries. In the ancient capital of Sukhothai. Artisans possessed the technological skillss necessary to produce fine glazed ceramics as well as superb bronze images of the Buddha. Moreover, engineers of the period constructed a number of sophisticates dikes to control water and prevent floods and also built an aqueduct to bring water from the mountains for the people of the city.


At present, science and technology are playing a vital role in various industrialization processes. Since Thailand possesses a limited number of natural resources, some of which have deteriorated because of poorly conceived exploitation, productivity improvement is essential. To enhance such efforts, and thereby ensure stable, long-term growth of the Thai economy and steady improvement of science and technology be promoted.


The Ministry of Science, Technology and Energy [MOSTE] was established on March 4, 17 with the responsibility of undertaking the development of the countrys science and technology. Before the establishmint of this ministry, activities in these fields were carried out independently by many agencies without proper coordination, resulting in overlapping in functions,operations,and plans. Moreover,there were no effective plans or policies for the development of science and technology. All of these gave rise to many problems such as a lack of continuity of activities and a waste of human resources.


Media


-Print Media


There are 50 Thai-language dailies, and two English ones--the Bangkok Post and The Nation. Leading national Thai-language dailies, including Matichon and Siam Rath, are popular among well-educated Thais. The more popular Thai Rath and Daily News have broader appeal to the general public. Sin Sian Yit Pao is Thailands leading Chinese-language newspaper. Outside of Bangkok, provincial newspapers are published every 15 days, and Bangkok-based newspapers are available across the country. In addition to domestic dailies, Thais have access to foreign newspapers that are sold in bookstores.


The Thai press is among the freest in Asia. Freedom of speech is guaranteed under the Constitution and there are no special regulations controlling the press. So free is the Thai press that only laws on libel and invasion of privacy restrict its reports. Thai newspapers use their freedom to the fullest, and they are widely recognized for their in-depth reporting.


Thailand has a thriving publishing business with hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and paperback titles. Certain foreign best sellers appear in Thai shortly after publication abroad. International magazines with popular appeal, like Elle and Readers Digest, are also proving popular in Thai.


-Radio


Thailand has 5 radio stations nationwide, 1 of them are on AM (Bangkok-8, provinces-174) while 11 are on FM (Bangkok-40, provinces -71). The biggest operators are The Public Relations Department with 145 radio stations, followed by the Royal Thai Army with 18 stations and the Mass Communication Organization of Thailand with 6 stations. AM radio tends to appeal to popular tastes, especially with rural listeners, while FM radio offers more popular music, as well as jazz and classical music, English-language newscasts, and original soundtracks of certain foreign films shown on local television.


All radio stations with the exception of a small number of specialist stations, such as those dedicated to traffic reports, hook up with Radio Thailand, the national radio under the Public Relations Department, for official newscasts which are transmitted daily at 07.00 and 1.00 hrs. Outside these hours, all radio stations enjoy the freedom to produce their own news programs for independent broadcasting.


-The National Broadcasting Services of Thailand


The National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT), operating under the supervision of The Public Relations Department, has served as an official channel of communication between the Government and the public. News and information on government policies and administration are disseminated by means of the NBTs television and AM/FM radio stations, which are located in every region of Thailand. Everyday, NBTs official half-an-hour radio newscast is mandatorily transmitted on all stations nationwide at 0700 and 100 hours. Apart from newscasts, the other broadcast programs are designed to impart information, general education and entertainment, as well as provide vocational guidelines to the public.


In addition to the domestic service, the NBT operates an external service, offering overseas listeners news, current affairs, and entertainment programs.


-Television


In 155, a government enterprise put Thailands first TV station into operation in Bangkok. Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to begin regular TV transmissions. There are now six national color television stations in Bangkok, namely Channels , 5, 7, , 11 and ITV. All of them are government-owned with their own affiliated stations in the provinces. However, the Government permits the private sector to run Channels ,7 and ITV.


The Public Relations Department handles the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand, which operates TV Channel 11 with its broadcast programs emphasizing education and public services. Channel 11 serves as the parent station of eight TV station networks in the provinces across the country.





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