South Thailand / Economy

Processing coconuts to copra

Photo: Processing coconuts to copra, the base of many cooking oils and soaps


The South is rich in a number of important mineral resources including tin (the most important one), monazite (a phosphate of cerium and lanthanum, the principal ore of thorium), barite, lignite (brown coal) and gypsum.

Fishing is a major occupation of the South because of the close proximity to the sea on both sides. Fish farming along the seashore, particularly shrimp farming, has grown rapidly in recent years and offers good prospects for long-term development.

The economic structure of the South is mainly based on the agricultural sector, whose production depends on fishing and a few important economic crops such as rubber, rice, coconuts, coffee, and palm oil.

As the southern region is also extremely well-endowed with beautiful natural attractions, tourism related industries are a major activity.

According to the Thai Board of Investments, existing infrastructure facilities to cater for industrial and urban development are adequate and well maintained. As far as air transport is concerned, there are two international airports at Phuket and Hat Yai and two deep sea ports at Songkhla and Phuket.

The government has launched the Southern Seaboard Development Program which will essentially involve the construction of a land bridge joining the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea between Khanom and Krabi. The land bridge south of Surat Thani that will connect the two ports will consist of a highway, a railway, and a crude oil pipeline, cutting some 800km (500mi) of the route for cargoes at present shipped through the crowded Straits of Malacca.

The plan calls for the construction of oil refineries and storage facilities at Krabi and a natural gas petrochemical complex and container repacking facilities at Khanom. Tankers from the Middle East will be able to unload crude oil at Krabi for refining, or piping overland to the Gulf of Thailand for further shipment on connecting vessels to the Far East.

Essentially, the program is an infrastructure-led development based on the provision of key facilities and the utilization of key resources such as agricultural raw materials and minerals, combined with the concurrent development of natural gas-related upstream and downstream industries.

Carrefour in Hatyai


Periodontitis and gingivitis start with the plaque that forms mostly at the base of the visible part of the teeth.

Jan Garanoz
Juhu Tara Road, Juhu,
Mumbai - 400049 India
Last updated: June 23, 2010