Thailand’s shadow economy among biggest worldwide


It’s no surprise to those of us who live here that Thailand has a huge black market economy that doesn’t show up on official statistics, here are some intriguing facts:

  • Thailand’s informal economy, the non-regulated, non-taxed part of its overall economy, made up 40.9% of the country’s GDP in 2014.
  • Taking Schneider’s number, in money terms, the shadow economy in Thailand would have generated more than $155bn of illicit revenue last year. ”If this revenue was just taxed by the general 7% value-added tax, the Thai government could have brought in almost $11bn for state coffers, 12 times more than it has earmarked for desperately needed water management projects for 2015 and 2016 to cope with droughts and floods that alternately batter the country,”
  • Bloomberg Business ranks Thailand seventh-biggest shadow economy in the world as per the share of illicit revenue of a country’s GDP. On the list, the “Land of Smiles” appears alongside Peru, Bolivia, Ukraine, Belarus, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Guatemala and the likes, and within Southeast Asia, it comes along with Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines.
  • In an earlier World Bank ranking, Thailand is even prominently listed at a 50+-percentage its informal sector is contributing to GDP.
Source: Gulf Times
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