Traditionally an agrarian nation, today Thailand boasts a complex, multi-faceted economy embracing industries employing the latest and most sophisticated
Several important factors have contributed to the country's enviable growth. Its principal comparative advantage has been the abundance and diversity of its
natural resources. Blessed with large expanses of fertile land and ideal growing conditions, Thailand not only enjoys agricultural self-sufficiency but is also
the only food exporter in Asia.
Growth and diversification into new industrial areas have to a large extent been initiated by the dynamic private sector. Innovative private enterprise has
broadened the nation's agrarian base by exploiting the value-added potential of basic staple crops, and at the same time expanded into new product areas
in response to world demand. With the government providing infrastructure support and exerting relatively limited control over private industry, a free
enterprise system has emerged which has allowed development to take place at a rapid rate, consistent with the needs and resources available.
The kingdom is also known for its textile products, computers and related parts, plastic products, footwear, and processed seafood. Some of the world's
leading producers of cement, ceramic tiles, sanitaryware, bearings, printed circuit board assemblies and computer peripherals, hard-disk drives and
varied agro-industrial products, are in Thailand. The kingdom is one of the world's largest exporters of canned tuna, canned pineapple and frozen prawns.
Thailand's economic strength is complemented by regional alliances and relationships, the most important of which is the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) which is dedicated to economic development among member countries.