Bangkok is the economic hub of Thailand and forms one of the major economic centers in the map of Southeast Asia. The city is the financial mainstay of the country and harbors the headquarters of many commercial banks and financial institutions of Thailand. More than a third of all the banks in Thailand are located in Bangkok. The city is also home to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, with over 536 listed companies and combined market capitalization amounting to THB 6 trillion or USD 200 billion (January 31, 2007).
Moreover, various international companies have their regional headquarters in Bangkok, owing to the fact that the operational cost in the city is favorable as compared to other cities in Asia. In addition, the Thai bank, Bangkok Bank, PTT and 10 other Bangkok-based companies today find a place in the Forbes 2000 list. In the year 2005, the GDP (PPP) of Bangkok was recorded at about USD 220 billions. Besides, its GDP (PPP) per capita is more than USD 20,000, which is one of the highest in the entire Southeast Asia.
The tourism industry of Bangkok is another major revenue-earner for Thailand, providing approximately 5 percent of GDP. Moreover, the easy accessibility of Bangkok by air, train, road and boat, burgeons its trade and businesses. In addition, it also indirectly bolsters Bangkok’s tourism. Another important thing to consider, while discussing Bangkok’s economy, is the striking income inequality among the people. Economic disparity is striking. Besides, approximately 7% of the total population falls below the poverty line, excluding the illegal migrants.