Pakistan Thailand Trade and Economic relations

(Dr.Mehboob Syed, Karachi)

Pakistan and Thailand are two friendly countries enjoying good relations and pursuing the trajectory of further cementing these ties by cooperating in various sectors and endeavoring to enhance trade ties and joining hand to efforts towards peace, stability and mutual cooperation.

Thailand is a country at the center of the South Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 Sq. Km and over 68 million people, Thailand is world’s 50th largest country by total area and 21st most populous country. The capital and the largest city is Bangkok. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the South by Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia .It is a founding member of The Association of South East Asian Nations. It is considered a regional power in South East Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high human development, it is second largest economy in South East Asia, and 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as newly industrialized economy ; manufacturing , agriculture and tiourism are leading sectors of the economy.

Economy: Thailand is an emerging economy and is the second largest economy after Indonesia. Thai automotive Industry is the largest in Southeast Asia and the 9th largest in the world. Thailand automotive industry has an annual output of near 1.5 million vehicles mostly commercial vehicles. Thai car industry takes advantage of The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to find a market of many of its products. Thailand was the second largest consumer of pickup trucks in the world after USA.

The nation is recognized by the World Bank as "one of the great development success stories" in social and development indicators. Despite a low per capita gross national income (GNI) of US$6,610 and ranking 83th in the Human Development Index (HDI), the percentage of people below the national poverty line decreased from 65.26 percent in 1988 to 8.61 percent in 2016, according to the NESDB's new poverty baseline.

Thailand's one of countries with the lowest unemployment rate in the world, reported as 1 percent for the first quarter of 2014. This is due to a large proportion of the population working in subsistence agriculture..

Tourism in Thailand has bright prospects:
Tourism accounts about 6 % of Thailand’s economy. Thailand is the most visited country in South East Asia. According to the World Tourism Organization, estimates of tourism receipts directly contribute to GDP of Thailand about 15 trillion baht. Around 33 million tourists visit Thailand out of which around 7 million are from ASEAN countries.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand uses the slogan “ Amazing Thailand to promote Thailand internationally. Asian tourists primarily visit Thailand for Bangkok and the historical, natural, and cultural sights in its vicinity. Western tourists not only visit Bangkok and surroundings, but in addition many travel to the southern beaches and islands. The north is the chief destination for trekking and adventure travel with its diverse ethnic minority groups and forested mountains. Thailand's attractions include diving, sandy beaches, hundreds of tropical islands, nightlife, archaeological sites, museums, hill tribes, flora and bird life, palaces, Buddhist temples and several World Heritage sites. Many tourists follow courses during their stay in Thailand. Popular are classes in Thai cooking, Buddhism and traditional Thai massage. Thai national festivals range from Thai New Year Songkran to Loy Krathong. Many localities in Thailand also have their own festivals. Among the best-known are the "Elephant Round-up" in Surin, the "Rocket Festival" in Yasothon, Suwannaphum District, Phanom Phrai District both district are located in Roi Et Province .

Medical tourism
As of 2019, with 64 accredited hospitals, Thailand is currently among the top 10 medical tourism destinations in the world. In 2017, Thailand registered 3.3 million visits by foreigners seeking specialized medical treatment. In 2018, this number grew to 3.5 million. As of 2019 Thai medical centers are serving increasing numbers of Chinese medical tourists in tandem with increasing overall Chinese tourism.
Trade Statistics with Pakistan
Year Exports Million US$ Imports million US$
2014-15 107.3 552.3
2015-16 107.8 611.8
2016-17 119.3 634.1
2017-18 97.3 719.3
2018-19 120.5 730.2

There is enormous potential to boost ties with Thailand specially in sector of tourism , transport and textile. There is need to form Joint Chamber of Commerce to bring the business communities of both countries closer

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