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Thailand Diary - The Economics

Thailand has been classified as a “middle-income developing country” and a “relatively economically developed nation.” The World Bank currently labels it as “upper middle income.” Thailand is Southeast Asia’s 2nd largest economy after Indonesia, a position it has held for some time. The Thai economy is considerably smaller than the economies of China and Japan. It is one 56th the size of the economy in Japan. The economic situation in Thailand has improved greatly in recent decades. In 2011 it had the third lowest unemployment rate in the world. In terms of economic growth, Thailand's average income per household in 2011 rose about 30 percent from five years before. Less than 10 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

The tale of 2 Third world Countries


Thailand is a newly industrialized country. Its economy is heavily export-dependent, with exports accounting for more than two-thirds of its gross domestic product.

Currency: Thai baht

Gross domestic product: 406.8 billion USD (2016) World Bank

GDP per capita: 5,907.91 USD (2016) World Bank

GDP growth rate: 3.2% annual change (2016) World Bank

GNI per capita: 16,070 PPP dollars (2016) World Bank

Gross national income: 1.107 trillion PPP dollars (2016) World Bank

Internet users: 23.7% of the population (2011) World Bank


South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.

Currency: South African rand

Gross domestic product: 294.8 billion USD (2016) World Bank

GDP per capita: 5,273.59 USD (2016) World Bank

Unemployment rate: 26.6% (2016)

GDP growth rate: 0.3% annual change (2016) World Bank

GNI per capita: 12,860 PPP dollars (2016) World Bank

Gross national income: 718.9 billion PPP dollars (2016) World Bank


What stands out for me like a sore thumb is that every Thai person creates their own income, whilst South Africans look to the government for jobs. Thai people do small and Micro business and live on their premises where they do business from. Whilst mom and dad are cooking Thai Food or mom doing a massage the children are evident in the business doing their homework or keeping themselves busy helping mom and dad in the business. In my view, what better on the job training can you get! and more what better example are parents setting for their kids?

The percentage of people that beg for money is almost zero. A very small percentage. That tells you that the Thai are not lazy people. They dont like hand outs! Something us South Africans can learn from the Thai. I have seen how Mom trains the son doing foot massages. They prepare their business early in the mornings and works sometimes until 1am into the morning. How productive is that! They live very simple lives. They live in very modest homes built mostly by themselves.

The other thing is that the place is always clean from rubbish! They do not litter and they clean up. I watched at night after trade their rubbish is put in black bags for the rubbish collection trucks to take away. I have great respect for the Thai!

So what can we take away from this?

1. Be industrious and create your own income.

2. Take pride in your country and do not depend on hand outs and teach your children the same by living it!

3. Be productive and live simple lives. We are caught up by the material world and enslaved by this.

4. Stop expecting handouts, it diminishes who you are and creates a pride-less community and people.

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