thailand

The economy of Thailand is dependent on exports, which accounted in 2019 for about sixty per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia. Its per capita GDP (US$7,379) in 2020, However, ranks fourth in Southeast Asian per capita GDP after Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia. Its currency, the Thai Baht, ranked as the tenth most frequently used world payment currency in 2019.

The following tables and chart will tell the change details in last 5-10 years:

Thailand Distribution of workforce from the last 5 years:

Sector20152016201720182019
Agriculture32.28%31.16%31.46%32.14%31.62%
Industries23.68%23.68%22.85%22.81%22.63%
Services44.04%45.16%45.7%45.06%45.75%

Thailand Distribution of GDP across economic sectors:

Sector20152016201720182019
Agriculture8.87%8.48%8.4%8.13%8%
Industries36.18%35.59%35.05%34.79%33.4%
Services54.95%55.94%56.55%57.08%58.59%

Here attached the last 10 years chart of Thailand GDP: (amount in billion USD):

3 Sectors of the Economy – Agriculture, Industry and Services:

  • Agriculture:

Agriculture is an important part in the Thailand's economy. It employs almost 31.62% of the total workforce and contributed almost 8% in GDP.

Thailand's food exports average one trillion baht annually. Locally consumed foods earn two trillion baht annually in the domestic market. Thailand is a leading food exporter: rice is the chief export, accounting for about 17.5 percent of all food exports, followed by chicken, sugar , processed tuna, tapioca flour, and shrimp.

Thailand's largest export markets are Japan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Thailand's food exports accounted for 2.5 percent of the world food trade in 2019.

Major products in this Sector:

Rice: Thailand is the world's largest rice exporter and is also among the world's largest rice producer. One-third of its land area is cultivated for annual crops. In 2019, the value of all Thai rice traded was USD $4.27 billion, about 12.9% of all farm production. Of the 32% of Thais who work in agriculture, 16 million of them are rice farmers by one estimate.

Sea Food: In 2020, the export value of canned, processed seafood products from Thailand amounted to around eight billion Thai baht. In that year, Thailand exported approximately 1.38 million tons of fishery products. Major exported seafood in 2020 include canned tuna, shrimp processed/prawns, processed squid/cuttlefish, and canned sardines, which account for three-quarters of the total fishery exports.

Rubber: Thailand is the world's biggest producer of natural rubber, making 4.8 million tons last year, with exports accounting for up to 3.97 million tons. Thailand ranks fourth for exports of rubber products and processed rubber, trailing China, Germany and the US. Such exports totaled US$11.2 billion last year, up 2%.

Agriculture Subsidy in Thailand

The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has prepared a 20-year Agriculture and Co-operative Strategy (2017 to 2036) to secure the livelihood of Thai farmers, grow the agriculture sector, and sustain agricultural resources. The specific goals are as follows:

  • Specialization of farmers in their profession (Smart Farmers).
  • Institutions for farmers for efficient management (Smart Agricultural Group).
  • Quality of agricultural products to meet customers' needs (Smart Agricultural Products).
  • Increased potential of the agricultural sector (Smart Area/Agriculture).

Subsidies and other support for agriculture are included in the Smart Agricultural Group goal. Members of co-operatives and farmers' groups receive financial support for debts and expenses for certain cash crops. There are no overall subsidies for all crops.

  • Industries:

Industry is an important part in the Thailand's economy. It accounts for 33.4% of GDP and employed almost 22.63% of the workforce.

Major Industries in this Sector:

Automotive: Thailand is the ASEAN leader in automotive production and sales. It was the largest in Southeast Asia and the 12th largest in the world. The sector employed approximately 850,000 workers in 2019, representing 6.5 per cent of total employment across all manufacturing industries and accounting for roughly 10 percent of the country's GDP. In 2019, Thailand exported US$18 billion in automotive goods. Thailand is one of the world's biggest markets for pickup trucks with over 50 percent market share for one-ton trucks.

Electrical and electronics: Electrical and electronics (E&E) equipment is Thailand's largest export sector, amounting to about 15 percent of total exports. In 2020 Thailand's E&E exports totaled US$34.1 billion. The E&E sector employed approximately 780,000 workers in 2020, 12.2 per cent of the total employment in manufacturing. The main export items include hard disk drives (HDD) and parts, and integrated circuits (IC), which account for about 21 per cent and 20 per cent of total electronic exports, respectively. Thailand is the world's second major HDD producer (after Singapore).

Gems and Precious Metals: Gem and jewelry exports are Thailand's third-largest export category by value, trailing automotive and parts and computer components. In 2019, gem and jewelry exports, including gold, exceeded US$15.7 billion, up 30.3% from 2018 (486 billion baht, up 26.6%). Key export markets included ASEAN, India, the Middle East, and Hong Kong. The industry employs more than 700,000 workers in Thailand.

  • Services:

Service sector is an important part in the Thailand's economy. It contributes almost 58.59% in the GDP and employed almost 45.75% of the total Thailand's workforce.

Major Industries in this Sector:

Finance: This sector contributes almost 9% in Thailand's GDP. In 2020, the financial and insurance activities sector contributed approximately 1.3 trillion Thai baht to Thailand's GDP. In that same year, Thailand's total GDP amounted to around 15 trillion Thai baht. The top three Thai banks are Krung Thai Bank, Bangkok Bank, and Thai Farmers Bank. Many of Thailand's domestic banks are owned by a few wealthy Chinese families.

Tourism: The direct and indirect contribution of travel and tourism to Thailand's GDP in 2019 was about 20% and tourism sustained about 8 million jobs (21% of total employment), making it one of the most important drivers of growth for economy foreign tourist arrivals hit a record 39.8 million equivalent to more than half of Thailand's population after a rise of 7% to 38.2 million in 2019. Tourist revenue had risen 3% to 1.93 trillion baht in 2019. Visitors from China, Thailand's biggest source of tourists of, increased by 4.4% to 10.99 million in 2019.

Top Companies in Thailand

Company NameSectorMarket Cap (USD)
Airports of ThailandServices$29.67B
Siam CementConglomerate$17.75B
Cp AllRetail$17.50B
Thai BeverageBeverage$12.94B
Siam Commercial BankBanking$11.34B
Central PattanaProperty Development$7.96B
Indorma VenturesPetrochemical$7.72B
Charoen Pokphand FoodsAgriculture$6.98B
PTT PCLOil and Gas$6.35B
Bangkok AirwaysTransportation$0.55B

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