Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Far East 1955

image of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Far East 1955

This latest edition of the Survey analyzes current economic and social developments in the region against the background of events in the world economy. It also focuses on the serios problems of growth and transformation of the area's least developed and Pacific Island developing economies.




Of Thailand’s total land area of 51.2 million hectares, forests occupy 29.9 million hectares while cultivated area accounts for 9.39 million. Area under rice is reported as constituting about 64 per cent of the total cultivated area. Over 50 per cent of the national income is derived from agriculture, forestry, fishery and livestock. As the country has been mainly dependent upon rice which accounts for 45-50 per cent of Thailand’s total export earnings, a fall in rice exports such as was experienced in 1953-54 greatly affects the economic situation of the country. The need for a diversification of the economy had been felt for some time, but only since the fall in world demand for rice and since the shortage of foreign exchange became more evident in 1953 has there been a strong move toward the encouragement of other export crops, and toward promotion of selected industries, to help alleviate the shortage of foreign exchange. The government has also directed its import-restriction policy toward protection of home industries. Industrial expansion, however, remains hampered by lack of capital, enterprise, managerial and technical skill and cheap fuel. Locally manufactured goods will not have an assured domestic market until they can compete in cost and quality with imported goods of similar type.


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