Economic & Competitive Condition

The 2007 Thai economy grew modestly, mostly due to growth of export and the public spending. The 2007 Gross Domestic Production (GDP) projected to grow by 4.5% compared to 5.1% in 2006.

In 2007, the Private Consumption Index expanded only by 1.5% while Manufacturing production continued to grow by 8.2% and the capacity utilization rate increased to 76.1%. For the year 2007, the Private Investment Index grew only by 0.2%. Export volumes for Thailand were increased to US$ 151 billion, an 18.1% increase due to export growth of computer, vehicles, chemical, and petrochemical products. Imports increased by 9.6% to US$ 139 billion. Service, income and transfer account remained surplus with US$ 2.9 billion. Current account ended the year with a surplus of US$ 14.9 billion due to the trade balance surplus. The balance of payments was US$ 17.1 billion significantly increased from last year’s surplus of US$ 12.7 billion.

Condominium and industrial sectors were the best performers for Thai property market in 2007. The industrial property market sector increased by 61%, from 2,865 rai in 2006 to 4,617 in 2007 as a result of the significant increased in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The Board of Investment (BOI) project approval significantly increased to Baht 744 billion compared with Baht 373 billion in 2006, or 99% increase. The number of projects approved was 1,342 projects, a 10% increase from 2006.

Thailand remained a growing regional production hub in the ASEAN automotive industry, particularly for one-ton pickups and small passenger cars, with the production has reached 1.29 million vehicles in 2007. Domestic vehicle sale in 2007 was 631,250 vehicles and 690,100 vehicles for export.