We live and work in diverse communities throughout the world, and we contribute significantly to the economic vitality of those communities. As we grow our operations, we provide jobs with good wages and benefits to our own, ever-increasing employee population. In addition, we help create and encourage other businesses that provide materials and services to us. It is a symbiotic relationship whose primary beneficiaries are the men and women who find expanded economic and educational opportunities in the communities in which we operate.
This is particularly the case in the nations of Thailand and Malaysia. While WD is truly a global company, we produce a lot of our products in these two countries. In our plants in Thailand, we employ more than 29,000 people, making WD the single largest U.S. employer in the country.
We employ local people which enlarges the nation's tax base. We also pay local suppliers for raw materials, finished goods, services and capital equipment. Our business' demand for these goods and services leads to the creation and growth of local companies who, in turn, create additional jobs filled by local residents. In fact, more than 300 businesses based in Thailand work with WD in some capacity. All of this economic activity has a meaningful impact. In fiscal year 2006, our direct and indirect contributions to Thailand's economy totaled well over 170 billion Thai baht, or 2.2% of the nation's gross domestic product.
The impact of our operations is not merely economic. We are generating an increasing number of highly-skilled technical and managerial positions in Thailand. Rather than simply import this talent from abroad, we are hiring the talent to fill these positions from within. The result is greater local investment in education, and unique partnerships between WD and local educational institutions designed to train the next generation of engineers and managers who will help lead our development and manufacturing efforts in the future. For instance, WD partnered with Thailand's National Electronics and Computer Technology Center to create the HDD Technology Training Institute which brings together researchers, academics and business and technology leaders to train and educate engineers to work for hard drive manufacturers and other companies in their supply chain. WD has also worked closely with the Asian Institute of Technology and other Thai universities to develop college courses and graduate level degree programs focused on different elements of hard drive technology.
The story is similar in Malaysia, where we have had a significant presence for more than 30 years. We employ more than 16,000 people in our Malaysian facilities, making us one of the largest U.S. employers in the country.
As is true with Thailand, our operations in Malaysia result in significant direct investment in the form of thousands of high wage jobs, as well as substantial indirect investment manifested in the creation and growth of local companies who provide us various goods and services. Close to 600 businesses based in Malaysia work with WD to provide goods and services to our operations and employee population. In fiscal year 2006, our direct and indirect contributions to the Malaysian economy totaled well over 12 billion Malaysian ringgit, or more than 3.4% of Malaysia's gross domestic product.
Our presence in communities throughout Malaysia and Thailand also helps create and sustain public infrastructure, which is developed to enhance the lives of the people we employ and those employed by our business partners. The communities we live and work in invest in roads and bridges, telecommunications and electricity networks, and schools and public safety organizations, all of which are essential to serve and protect the thriving communities that spring up around our operations.
Finally, we provide funding and other assistance to schools, orphanages, homes for the aged and other institutions in and around the areas where we live and work.