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What Are the Economic Differences Between Indonesia and Thailand?

What Are the Economic Differences Between Indonesia and Thailand?

Indonesia and Thailand are two of the largest economies in Southeast Asia, with diverse natural resources and strategic geographic locations. While both countries have experienced economic growth and development over the past few decades, there are significant differences between the two economies.

Economic Structure and Diversification

One of the key differences between the two economies is the structure of their economies. Indonesia has a more diversified economy, with a mix of agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors. The agriculture sector accounts for around 13% of the country's GDP, while the manufacturing and services sectors account for around 20% and 60% of GDP, respectively.

In contrast, Thailand's economy is more focused on exports and manufacturing, with the manufacturing sector accounting for around 30% of the country's GDP. The country is a major exporter of electronic goods, automobiles, and machinery, with exports accounting for around 70% of Thailand's GDP. The services sector, which includes tourism, accounts for around 60% of Thailand's GDP.

Foreign Investment and Trade

Both countries have attracted significant foreign investment over the past few decades, but Indonesia has been slower to open up its economy to foreign investment compared to Thailand. However, Indonesia has made efforts to improve its business climate and attract more foreign investment in recent years.

In terms of trade, both countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and have been working to increase trade and economic cooperation within the region. Thailand is also a member of several other regional trade agreements, including the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). Indonesia is a member of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) and the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA).

Natural Resources

Both countries have significant natural resources, but Indonesia has a much larger resource base. Indonesia is the world's largest producer of palm oil and a major exporter of coal, while Thailand is a major exporter of rice and other agricultural products. Indonesia also has significant reserves of natural gas, oil, and minerals, which have contributed to the country's economic growth.


Both countries have made significant investments in infrastructure in recent years, with Thailand is still slightly ahead of Indonesia. Thailand has a more developed transportation system, including a modern highway network, a well-developed railway system, and several international airports. Indonesia has made significant efforts to improve its infrastructure in recent years to support economic growth and development. The government has implemented various infrastructure projects across the country, focusing on transportation, energy, water supply, and telecommunications. 


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