The economy of Thailand is export dependent. Agricultural produce make up a significant part of the country’s G.D.P. with rice and fish being major factors. Thailand is the world’s leading rice producer. The country is relatively economically well developed and is second only to Indonesia in size in Southeast Asia. Other important exports are textiles, rubber, automobiles, electronic appliances, tin, tapioca, furniture and plastics. Bangkok is a major centre for the cutting and trading of gemstones, as well as the production of high quality gold and silver jewellery. In the last few years electronics, computers and integrated circuits, have become a major export earner and look set to play and increasing role in the future. Tourism is another major factor accounting for 9% of G.D.P. The country also boasts a relatively low unemployment rate.
Since its conception in 1967 ASEAN has grown from three to ten countries. The aims and purposes of the organization are to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region. In 2007 import duties started to be lowered for member nations until in 2015 the target of zero rated tariffs was reached making the region a free trade area. If ASEAN was counted as a single entity it would be the seventh largest economy in the world.
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