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Overview

There has been a dramatic turn around in Thailand since the South East Asian economic crisis hit in 1997.

Thailand has won many plaudits from Western observers for the way it has handled its economy in the last three years, which have seen major steps taken towards recovery. From GDP growth of -10% in 1998, the economy recovered to 4% growth in 1999, 4.3% in 2000 and 1.8% in 2001. In 2002, GDP growth was calculated at 5.2%. The consensus forecast for GDP growth in 2003 is 4.2%.

The welcoming approach of the Thai Government to foreign investors since 1997 has meant significant improvements in the climate for investment. Thailand is also well placed as a potential gateway to South East Asia, for exports and particularly for investment. Its position provides ready access to Indo-China, Malaysia and Indonesia, the benefits of which will increase further in the next few years as ASEAN members move towards tariff free borders.

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