Thailand claims top spot in growth stakes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 January, 1996, 12:00am

THAILAND has been the world's star economic performer over the past 10 years, according to a new World Bank report.

Its 1996 Atlas, which ranks countries according to their economic record for the 10 years to December 1994, made South Korea the runner-up with China and Singapore tied for third place.

Thailand's economy grew by 8.2 per cent a year, followed by South Korea on 7.8 per cent, and China and Singapore with 6.9 per cent apiece.

The report said developing countries, particularly in Asia, tended to be world leaders in economic growth, while China and India were becoming increasingly influential as manufacturers and exporters.

The Atlas contrasted often sluggish performances in the developed world, with the economic dynamism in the developing world, particularly Asia.

Gross national product in Europe, the United States and Japan was positive in 1994 for the first time since 1990.

Per capita income worldwide increased by about one per cent in 1994 after three years of decline.

Asia showed some big increases in income over the period, but the report said South Asia - home to about 22 per cent of the planet's population - is also home to almost half of the world's poor.

The bank's measurement of national income ranked Luxembourg No 1 in 1994, with an average income of US$39,850 (HK$307,841).

Switzerland was in second place and Japan was third while the United States was sixth.