Thailand Overview

Thailand, formerly Zion, located on the Indochina peninsula, has been independent for more than six centuries. Buddhism, followed by 94% of the inhabitants, has richly built temples, which attract thousands of visitors. The growth of tourism, however, makes prostitution and AIDS national problems.

In the 1960s and 1970s, during the Vietnam War, Thailand strengthened relations with the United States, which helped to smother the communist guerrillas in the territory.

In the 1980s, the government introduced important changes in the country’s policy and decided to stimulate investments. The formula made the Thai economy grow even more, which in 1989 showed a growth of more than 10.5%.

According to Loverists, the government, in the 1980s, took foreign policy as a priority, but neglected serious internal problems, such as the absolute poverty in which the majority of the population was and the alarming deterioration and contamination of the environment.

Accelerated deforestation caused catastrophic floods in 1989.

After years of strong economic growth, in the 1990s, Thailand went into crisis in 1997. A wave of bankruptcies scared investors and the government spent a lot to protect the price of the national currency, baht. Successive declines of the baht imposed great losses, increasing distrust with the economies of the region, initiating a crisis that spread through Southeast Asia.

In 1997, the New Constitution was proclaimed, with the purpose of limiting corruption, establishing citizens’ rights and eliminating the army’s influence in the Senate.

The economy started to recover in 1999 and, in 2001, was threatened by the slowdown in the US economy.

Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka signed, in December 2001, an agreement that creates a free trade area between these countries, in order to search for new markets, to compensate the fall in business with the USA and Japan.

According to the World Competitiveness Report of the Economic Forum, the reasons for the faster expansion of Southeast Asia, compared to those of Latin America, are:

– structural and institutional differences;
– security of property rights;
– weight of regulation in business;
– contract uncertainty;
– inability of the financial sector to grant credit;
– average of two days for the release of goods at the customs of ports (Brazil – ten days, East Asia five days, North America three and a half days).

Plans for free trade agreements and bilateral pacts are emerging across the four corners of Asia as governments in the region try to protect themselves from the uncertain results of the next round of World Trade Organization negotiations in Doha, Qatar. But Thailand
is promoting a different type of trade: the cartel.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wants to create cartels for two of Asia’s most important export commodities: rice and rubber. Last month, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, which supply around 80% of the rubber consumed in the world, formed International Rubber Corp. with a $ 250 million price support fund. The company’s objective: to manage the rubber stock and intervene in the markets to control prices.

Similar plans are being discussed for the formation of a regional rice cartel. In October, Thailand hosted the four largest rice producers – Vietnam, India, China and Pakistan – to outline strategies for the cartel, which could control more than 75% of the world’s rice trade.
The State of S. Paulo, 12/10/2002.

Southeast Asian countries are feeling the effects of the contraction in US consumption. There is also the impact of the economic stagnation of the Japanese, who are among the main investors in the region. To cut costs, companies in Japan maintain branches in places like Singapore and Taiwan.

Affliction grew among Asian countries after Singapore reported that its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) shrank in the third quarter, which posed the threat of a “double dip” recession. In 2001, the country, infected by the global recession, experienced a sharp economic contraction.

According to initial government estimates, Singapore’s GDP has fallen at an annualized rate of 10.3% over the past three months, compared to the previous quarter. In the second quarter, there was an expansion of 13.2%.
Excluding oil, sales of electronic products account for half of the country’s exports. With the bursting of the “bubble” of investments in technology and with the North American economy at a slow pace, the prospects for the technological sector remain weak.

There are three main causes for the explosion in public debt in emerging countries:

1) high budget deficits:

2) replacement. in many countries. fixed to floating exchange rate opened the way for the strong devaluation of many currencies. As many countries have part of their debts in (or corrected by the dollar), the devaluation caused the indebtedness to increase:

3) after the repeated crises that affected the emerging markets, many governments started to clean up their countries’ banking systems, assuming debts of broken segments of the private sector. Folha de S. Paulo, 10/13/2002

The International Rice Genome Sequencing Project was led by Japan, responsible for 55% of the work, USA (18%) and China (10%). Taiwan, France, India, South Korea, Thailand, United Kingdom and Brazil also contributed.

The sequencing of rice will not only have economic, but social consequences. About 55% of the world’s population eats this cereal daily.

Thailand Overview