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Economy of Thailand



Mekong Subregion. About 55% of the arable land area is used for rice production.

Substantial industries include electric appliances, components, computer parts and cars, while tourism in Thailand makes up about 6% of the economy. Prostitution in Thailand and sex tourism also form a de facto part of the economy. Cultural milieu combined with poverty and the lure of money have caused prostitution and sex tourism in particular to flourish in Thailand. One estimate published in 2003 placed the trade at US$4.3 billion per year or about 3% of the Thai economy. According to research by Chulalongkorn University on the Thai illegal economy, prostitution in Thailand in the period between 1993 and 1995, made up around 2.7% of the GDP. It is believed that at least 10% of tourist dollars are spent on the sex trade.

The economy of Thailand is an emerging economy which is heavily export-dependent, with exports accounting for more than two thirds of gross domestic product (GDP) The exchange rate is Baht 30.90/USD as of 26 April 2012.

Thailand has a GDP worth US$602 billion (on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis). This classifies Thailand as the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Despite this, Thailand ranks midway in the wealth spread in Southeast Asia as it is the 4th richest nation according to GDP per capita, after Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.

It functions as an anchor economy for the neighboring developing economies of Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. Thailand's recovery from the 1997–1998 Asian financial crisis depended mainly on exports, among various other factors. Thailand ranks high among the world's automotive export industries along with manufacturing of electronic goods.

Between 1997 and 2010, 4,306 mergers & acquisitions with a total known value of USD$81 billion with the involvement of Thai firms have been announced. The year 2010 was a new record in terms of value with USD$12 billion of transactions. The