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ASEAN-ROK Summit Features: S. Korea, Thailand relations Updated: 2019-11-27 07:47:54 KST


The Kingdom of Thailand is well known for its natural beauty, from the sandy beaches of Phuket to the grassy plains and rolling hills of the Golden Triangle.
The nation of nearly 70 million people is also known for its tourist-friendly policy.
With a GDP of around 500 billion U.S. dollars, Thailand is the second-largest economy in the ASEAN region and the world's 25th largest.
Embracing a free market economy and home to a growing middle class, Thailand's GDP grew 4.1 percent last year, and its per capita income has risen to around 7-thousand 2-hundred dollars.
Thailand has a strong industrial base and a competitive services sector, especially in tourism and finance.
But Thailand's economy is heavily reliant on exports with outbound shipments accounting for over 70 percent of the kingdom’s GDP, highlighting its vulnerability to external factors.
It is feeling the direct impact of a global economic slowdown and uncertainties regarding trade tensions between the U.S. and China, as well as South Korea and Japan.
South Korea and Thailand established diplomatic ties in 1958 and have become key economic partners since then, with their trade volume reaching 14.1 billion dollars last year.
Thai exports to South Korea amounted to roughly 5.6 billion dollars last year, including timber, food products, aluminum and PC components.
On the other side of the ledger, South Korea shipped about 8.5 billion dollars worth of goods to Thailand last year, mainly steel products, semiconductors and synthetic resin.
Seoul and Bangkok have vowed to jointly promote free trade and signed an MOU to strengthen bilateral cooperation to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the emergence of new industries such as bio-health and robotics.
During his visit to Bangkok in September at the South Korea-Thailand business forum, President Moon Jae-in said Thailand's culture and tourism industry in combination with the Korean Wave, or 'Hallyu', could serve mutual benefits for both countries.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.
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