Assessment of economic progres

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ASSESSMENT OF ECONOMIC PROGRESS IN THAILAND, 1985-95 Here is a list of the main measurable indicators of economic growth and structural change for Thailand to be observed by World Bank staff members who are visiting there.

To ensure a successful tour of business meeting between the World Bank representatives and the Thai government and their business executives, I feel that a thorough understanding of the Southeast Asia's (although the main focus will be Thailand's) economic growth is necessary. Economic growth is simply a long-term increase in real output per capita and measuring it often involves an unbiased and theoretical assessment of national performance. The following are the key signs of economic growth: 1) Agricultural Modernization and Agricultural Diversification 2) Industrial Transformation 3) Growth of Service Industry 4) Improvement in Quality of Life (including social, environmental, and economic variables) 5) Growth of Trade and Foreign Investment 6) Improvement in Technology and Infrastructure Note that in comparison to other Southeast Asian countries (except Singapore), Thailand has a relatively better performance in agriculture and service industries during the mid and late 80s.

For example, the cultivation, processing, and export of agricultural products, especially rice, was traditionally the mainstay of the Thai economy. Although Thailand has long been among the most prosperous of the Asian nations, its dependence on a single crop made it extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in the world price of rice and to variations in the harvest. The government has diminished this vulnerability by instituting a number of development programs aimed at diversifying the economy and by promoting scientific methods of farming, particularly controlled flooding of the rice fields, so that the rice harvest might remain stable even in years of few rainfalls. In the early 1990s, Thailand annually produced approximately 18.5 million metric tons of rice, up from about 11.3...