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n ciuda victoriei convingatoare in alegeri a lui Yingluck Shinawatra din 3 iulie anul curent, tensiunile pe strazile Thailandei au continuat.

Acest lucru creaza premiza ca este doar o chestiune de timp inainte de a izbucni din nou diferente serioase intre partidul si sustinatorii sai, pe de o parte si elita tarii, de cealalta parte.

Turismul Sexual Thailanda este cunoscuta ca destinatie predilecta pentruturismul sexual. Cu toate ca prostitutia nu este acceptata legal, nimic nu oimpiedica sa infloreasca si estimari recente aratau ca circa 2,8 milioane depersoane (dintre care doar doua milioane de maturi) practica aceasta meserie indiferite locuri si sub diverse forme: in saloane de masaj, in baruri care au si camereamenajate pentru intalniri rapide, in hoteluri si in multe alte parti. Din acest motivdar nu in exclusivitate viata de noapte este tumultoasa. Capitala rii are cele maidiversificate oferte n materie de sex i erotism. De la deja celebrul masaj tailandez, la orice tipde plcere, legal sau mai puin legal. Bangkokul devine tot mai cutat datorit barurilor ilocalurilor cu specific sexual. Asta nu inseamna alte statiuni ale Thailandei si mai ales cele cuplaje si viata de noapte activa, nu se bucura de aceleasi oferte. Un exemplu il constituie faimoasastrada din Pucket: Bangala Road care pe unele harti e insemnata cu rosu. Nu e lung - o strbaila pas n maxim 5 minute - ns noaptea s-ar putea s-i ia cteva ore bune ca s ajungi dintr-oparte n cealalt, captul dinspre vest terminndu-se chiar pe plaj. Fetele stau pe margineadrumului, singure sau n grupuri de cte dou-trei i te mbie din priviri. Majoritatea zmbesc.Cele care se afl n micare apeleaz i la alte instrumente de marketing
The World Bank has upgraded Thailands income catego rization from a lower-middle income economy to an upper-middle income economy in July 2011. This is due to Thailands progress in social and economic development, despite facing a number of financial/economic and political challenges. After recovering from the "Asian Crisis" of 1997-1998, the Thai economy took off again. From 2002-2006, Thailand's growth averaged at 5.6%.

As such, Thailand has been one of the great development success stories, with sustained strong growth and impressive poverty reduction. In the decade that ended in 1995, the Thai economy was one of the world's fastest growing at an average rate of 8-9% per year. After recovering from the Asian Crisis of 1997-1998, the Thai economy took off again, with growth averaging about 5% per year in the period 2002-2007. Primarily due to the high rates of economic growth, poverty has been falling steadily since the late 1980s. Over the last decade, poverty has been reduced from its recent peak of 21% (a result of the 1997 crisis) to about 8% in 2009. Poverty in Thailand is primarily a rural phenomenon, with 88% of the country's 5.4 million poor living in rural areas.

However, benefits of Thailand's economic success have not been shared equally, with some regionsparticularly, the North and Northeastlagging behind the rest of the country in terms of poverty reduction. Furthermore, in 2010, Thailand's economic growth slowed because of global economic

conditions and political uncertainty. However, Thailand's economic activity is gradually returning to normal, with quarterly economic growth rates now closer to the levels often seen before the global financial crisis began in 2008. The GDP growth forecast for Thailand is at 4.5% in 2012 and 5.0% in 2013 (pdf). As a result of sensible economic policies, Thailand continues to make progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is likely to meet most of the MDGs on an aggregate basis. The maternal mortality and under-five mortality rates have been greatly reduced and more than 97% of the population, both in the urban and rural areas, now have access to clean water and sanitation. Nevertheless, there continue to be spatial variations with some regions and ethnic groups lagging behind, and there are some concerns about the environmental sustainability goal.

ver the past decade, the relationship between Thailand and the World Bank Group has changed from borrower-lender to primarily knowledge partners. Building on this approach, the 2002 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) focused on diagnostic and monitoring work and a limited amount of implementation support for selected critical development issues. The current strategy for Thailandexpressed in an Interim Strategy Note (ISN)was discussed by the Bank's Board of Directors in November 2010. The overall objective of the strategy is to assist Thailand in its continued recovery from the recent global economic crisis, as well as to help the country achieve a more inclusive, broad-based and sustainable growth that is supportive of political reconciliation. During the last CPS period, the Bank provided a limited amount of financial support to Thailand with currently only one IBRD investment project the Highways Management Projectunder implementation. Originally approved in 2003 for US$82.4 million, additional financing (US$79.3 million) was approved for this project in 2010 to support Thailand's continuing efforts to expand highway maintenance and upgrading activities. In 2010, IBRD also approved a US$1 billion Public Sector Reform Policy Loan, which is assisting Thailand in its recovery from the global financial crisis, as well as supporting institutional development in the public sector by: (i) improving the effectiveness of the public financial management framework through better governance and accountability; (ii) enhancing the skills and performance of the civil service; and (iii) improving the quality and timing of service delivery. The Bank's core work in Thailand will continue to primarily consist of knowledge products and advisory services. The program will focus on two flagship reports that will tackle cross-cutting issues of strategic importance, specifically:

The Public Financial Management Report that will focus on central-local fiscal relations and will assist the authorities to improve service delivery and the effectiveness of decentralization; and

The Country Economic Memorandum that will help to assess potential different growth strategies for Thailand. When appropriate, the Bank will provide financing in various forms, but it is envisaged that Thailand's demand for financial assistance from the Bank will be modest.

IFC PROGRAM
The IFC has a diversified portfolio in Thailand of approximately US$160 million, mainly in infrastructure, financial markets, and chemicals. As Thailand faces the challenges of becoming a middle-income country and as the authorities attempt to address the economic imbalances that underpin stability in the country, IFC's program is expected to increase.

The IFC program in Thailand rests on providing investments and advisory services that include:

1.

Supporting Thailand's efforts to broaden its economic competitiveness to move beyond middle income country status. It will do this by supporting the transition to a high skills-based and service-oriented economy; strengthening and broadening the country's infrastructure; and increasing private sector participation in the banking sector to increase efficiency and competitiveness.

2.

Promoting inclusive economic growth through activities that promote agricultural links between rural communities in the Northeast and Southern provinces to the market; expand infrastructure to rural areas; and increase access to formalized finance to rural and micro-borrowers.

3.

Supporting environmentally and socially sustainable growth with emphasis on energy efficiency; cleaner production technologies; and development and commercialization of renewable energy.

he Bank's technical support and analytical work on the public financial management (PFM) frameworki.e., budget formulation, budget execution and revenue managementand service delivery and public sector administration has helped to shape Thailand's public sector reform program and helped to develop one of the strongest budget systems in the region. The Bank is also working with the National Anti-Corruption Commission to help strengthen their operational effectiveness.

Bank support to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to issue new international internet licenses has greatly helped to increase market competition and reduce user costs.

Grant funding and other technical assistance support has been provided to help Thailand in the process of phasing out of Ozone Depletion Substances (ODS) as well as replacing chloroflourocarbons (CFC) chillers, therefore helping to mitigate not only ozone depletion but also greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In education, the Bank is providing analysis to address a number of priorities in the sector, including to better understand the stagnation and decline in test scores in Thailand, and to improve the quality and relevance ofhigher education. In the health sector, the Bank is providing assistance to the authorities in various areas, including in improving the effectiveness of public expenditures, implementing the health system reform agenda and helping to revitalize HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. Numerous Bank studies have had impacts on policy, and have been incorporated into various strategic plans documents, like the National Economic and Social Development Plan. Two recent examples"Thailand Investment Climate, Firm Competitiveness and Growth" and "Toward a Knowledge Economy in Thailand"conducted jointly with the National Economic and Social Development Board, examined the country's investment climate, as well as the performance of key Thai industries, providing policy recommendations on how to strengthen Thailand's competitiveness.

ey Findings

After a roller coaster ride in 2010, Thailands economic activity is gradually returning to normal. Quarterly economic growth rates are now closer to the levels often seen before the global financial crisis began in 2008. For 2011 as a whole, the World Bank now predicts that the Thai economy will grow 3.7 percent, a slightly upward revision from its earlier estimate of 3.2 percent.

Domestic consumption has been driven by rising farm income on the back of higher agricultural prices, which helped to boost overall wages. Favorable interest rates also encouraged more purchases of new vehicles and houses.

A strong recovery of tourism and a surge in external demand for autos and agricultural products helped boost Thai exports in the fourth quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, the impact of rising food and international fuel prices on the Thai economy has been cushioned by domestic price controls and robust export growth.

The main downside risks to the outlook are external. In particular, the Thai economy remains exposed to further oil price shocks both directly and through the follow-on impact on Europes debt crisis and the United States fragile economic recovery. Uncertainty regarding the extent of disruption to the auto and electronics industries supply chains caused by Japans recent earthquake is another key risk.

Crop prices are likely to remain high in 2011 due to the link to high oil prices, demand from fast-growing developing economies and frequent supply disruptions caused by unpredictable weather conditions. Spiraling food prices will hurt the poorest population in Thailand. The rising cost of living as well as fertilizer prices may also offset income gains Thai farmers have been enjoying, especially if oil prices increase further.

Replacing oil price subsidies with targeted assistance programs could help re-direct government support toward the neediest households in the short term. Central Bank increases of interest rates should also be done gradually to avoid causing any damage to the economy which is still not on a firm footing.

In the long term, improving energy efficiency and reducing dependence on imported energy would help Thailand manage the risk of another oil price shock.

As the world population continues to grow and the impact of climate change threatens global food security, investing to improve the reliability of food production could help Thailand respond to another food crisis more effectively.