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Located amidst a booming region, Thailand boasts one of the fastest growing

Economies in Southeast Asia. Known as the "Land of Smiles," Thailand has

Enjoyed an abundance of good fortune as both domestic and foreign businesses

rush to invest. From 1988 to 1994, Thailand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

grew at an average rate of 10%, and Thailand hopes to maintain a similar

level of growth into the twenty-first century. Thailand has transformed from

a traditionally agrarian economy to one focused on capital-intensive

manufacturing, with an emphasis on promotion of advanced technology.

The volume of tourists coming to Thailand may not compare to the 27 to 50

million people travelling to France, Italy or Spain every year. Yet, when

compared to other high-volume tourist destinations around the world, the

growth and development of the tourism industry in Thailand is impressive.

Egypt receives approximately 2.6 million tourists per year, while India

annually draws in approximately 1.8

million tourists. By comparision,

Thailand now accommodates approximately 5 million tourists per year, one of

the highest figures for Southeast Asia.



The formal economy now rests on a mix of agriculture, heavy and light industry, tourism, and services. Thailand also has a large illegal and informal economy; prostitution is a major element of this world. The informal sector possibly comprises over five million workers.

With a population of roughly 63 million, Thailand has 13.9 million agricultural workers and 17.4 non-agricultural workers. About 1.2 million are unemployed, and 13.1 million persons older than 15 are not attached to the labour force. In addition, many Thai have moved abroad to seek employment in other East Asian countries. Contributing to the poor employment prospects of many Thai is the fact that many companies in Thailand have begun to rely on illegal immigrants, who are willing...