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Thailand Plans Huge Trade Show

January 18, 2000

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Hoping to again market Thailand as a place to make big money, the country’s Board of Investment is planning a huge trade show next month it predicts will draw up to 3 million visitors.

Exhibits will include everything from pavilions by auto giants Toyota, General Motors and Ford, who have turned Thailand into the car assembly line of Southeast Asia, to the world’s biggest condom, an ad for the country’s large rubber industry.

For the Board of Investment, which came up with the idea during the depths of the economic crisis in January 1998, the exhibition shows off Thailand’s emergence from the worst recession since World War II.

After shrinking 10 percent in 1998, the economy grew about 4 percent in 1999. Experts expect similar growth this year.

The show opens Feb. 3 and runs two weeks, coinciding with Chinese New Year _ a time when many of Bangkok’s large ethnic Chinese population can be expected to visit _ and with the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development.

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