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Thailand Facts

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 THAI POLITICAL
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Background: A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict. Thailand is currently facing armed violence in its three Muslim-majority southernmost provinces.
 
 
Common Name: Thailand Local Official Name: Prathet Thai
Abbreviated Name: Kingdom of Thailand Official Name: Ratcha Anachak Thai
Official Script Name: Thailand Local Common Name: Thailand
Former Name: Siam Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet
 
Government Type: constitutional monarchy
 
Independence: 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
 
Constitution: constitution signed by King PHUMIPHON on 11 October 1997 abrogated on 19 September 2006 after coup; interim constitution promulgated on 1 October 2006; junta has promised new constitution by October 2007
 
National Holiday: Birthday of King PHUMIPHON, 5 December (1927)
 
International Organization Participation: APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, BIS, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
 
Administrative Divisions: 76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Buriram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep Mahanakhon (Bangkok), Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Lop Buri, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phrae, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sara Buri, Satun, Sing Buri, Sisaket, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, Yala, Yasothon
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
Legal System: based on civil law system, with influences of common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
 
Suffrage: 18 years
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive branch: chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet (since 9 June 1946) head of government: Interim Prime Minister SURAYUD Chulanon (since 1 October 2006); Interim Deputy Prime Ministers PRIDIYATHON Thewakun (since 9 October 2006); KHOSIT Panpiamrat (since 9 October 2006) note: Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat was overthrown on 19 September 2006 in a coup led by General SONTHI Boonyaratglin cabinet: Council of Ministers note: there is also a Privy Council elections: none; monarch is hereditary; according to 1997 constitution, prime minister was designated from among members of House of Representatives; following national elections for House of Representatives, leader of party that could organize a majority coalition usually was appointed prime minister by king Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Rathasapha consisted of the Senate or Wuthisapha (200 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon (500 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); after coup in September 2006, junta appointed an interim National Assembly with 250 members to act as Senate and House of Representatives; body has no vote on government matters elections: Senate - last held 19 April 2006; House of Representatives - last held 6 February 2005; junta scheduled next general election by October 2007 election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Representatives - (2005 election) percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TRT 376, DP 97, TNP 25, PP 2 Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Sandika (judges appointed by the monarch)
 
Party Leaders: Democrat Party or DP (Prachathipat Party) [ABHISIT Wetchachiwa]; People's Party or PP (Mahachon Party) [ANEK Laothamatas]; Thai Nation Party or TNP (Chat Thai Party) [BARNHARN SILPA-ARCHA]; Thai Rak Thai Party or TRT
 
International Disputes: separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem terrorist activities; southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Thailand but disputes remain over several areas along Mekong River and Thai squatters; despite continuing border committee talks, significant differences remain with Burma over boundary alignment and the handling of ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary with missing boundary markers; Cambodia claims Thai encroachments into Cambodian territory and obstructing access to Preah Vihear temple ruins awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962; ethnic Karens from Burma flee into Thailand - to escape fighting between Karen rebels and Burmese troops - resulting in Thailand sheltering about 120,000 Burmese refugees in 2005; Karens also protest Thai support for a Burmese hydroelectric dam construction on the Salween River near the border; environmentalists in Burma and Thailand remain concerned about China's construction of hydroelectric dams upstream on the Nujiang/Salween River in Yunnan Province
 
Illicit Drugs: a minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; illicit transit point for heroin en route to the international drug market from Burma and Laos; eradication efforts have reduced the area of cannabis cultivation and shifted some production to neighboring countries; opium poppy cultivation has been reduced by eradication efforts; also a drug money-laundering center; minor role in methamphetamine production for regional consumption; major consumer of methamphetamine since the 1990s 
 
 
 THAI GEOGRAPHY
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Location of Thailand: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
 
Continent: Asia Land Area Total: 514,000 sq km 
Region: South East Asia Land Area Land: 2,230 sq km
Capitol City: Bangkok Land Area Water: 511,770 sq km
      
Latitude: 015 00 N Border Boundary Land: 4,863 km
Longitude: 100 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 3,219 km 
  
Arable Land: 27.54 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 6.93 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 2,576 m Location: Doi Inthanon
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: Gulf of Thailand
  
Largest City in Thailand: Bangkok Bangkok Largest City Population: 7,133,000
  
Threatened Species: 213
 
Environmental Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting
 
Environmental Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
 
Irrigated Land: 49,860
 
Bordering Countries: Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km
 
Natural Resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land
 
Geographical Terrain: central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere
 
Comparative Area of Thailand: slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming
 
Thailand's Geography: controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore
 

 THAI CLIMATE
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General Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid
 
Natural Hazards: land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
 
 
 THAI ECONOMY
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Economic Overview: With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and pro-investment policies, Thailand appears to have fully recovered from the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis. The country was one of East Asia's best performers in 2002-04. Boosted by increased consumption and strong export growth, the Thai economy grew 6.9% in 2003 and 6.1% in 2004 despite a sluggish global economy. Bangkok has pursued preferential trade agreements with a variety of partners in an effort to boost exports and to maintain high growth. In 2004, Thailand and the US began negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took 8,500 lives in Thailand and caused massive destruction of property in the southern provinces of Krabi, Phangnga, and Phuket. Growth slowed to 4.4% in 2005. The downturn can be attributed to high oil prices, weaker demand from Western markets, severe drought in rural regions, tsunami-related declines in tourism, and lower consumer confidence. Moreover, the THAKSIN administration's expansionist economic policies, including plans for multi-billion-dollar mega-projects in infrastructure and social development, has raised concerns about fiscal discipline and the health of financial institutions. On the positive side, the Thai economy performed well beginning in the third quarter of 2005. Export-oriented manufacturing - in particular automobile production - and farm output are driving these gains. In 2006, the economy should benefit from an influx of investment and a revived tourism sector; however, a possible avian flu epidemic could significantly harm economic prospects throughout the region.
 
 
GDP: $560,700,000,000 USD Currency: baht
GDP per Capita: $8,300 USD Currency Code: THB
GDP Growth Rate: 4.50 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: baht per US dollar - 40.22 (2005), 40.222 (2004), 41.485 (2003), 42.96 (2002), 44.432 (2001)
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 9.90 % GDP of Industry: 44.10 %
GDP of Services: 46.00 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 4.50 % Population in Poverty: 12.50 %
Unemployment Rate: 1.80 % Tourism: 8,651,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 2.80 % Budget Revenue in USD: $30,640,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 32.40 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $31,760,000,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 114,700,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 315,000,000 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 107,300,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 980,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 92.26% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 6.33% Other Electricity Production: 1.41%
   
Oil Production: 230,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 22,280,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 851,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 29,150,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 5,200,000,000 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 583,000,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 377,700,000,000 cu m
   
External Debt: $52,460,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $720,000,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
   
Agricultural Products: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
 
Primary Industries: tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts; world's seco
 
Industrial Growth Rate: 9.10 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $107,000,000,000 USD - capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels
 
Import Partners: Japan 22%, China 9.4%, US 7.4%, Malaysia 6.8%, UAE 4.8%, Singapore 4.5% (2005)
 
Export Amount in USD: $105,800,000,000 USD - textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances
 
Export Partners: US 15.5%, Japan 13.7%, China 8.3%, Singapore 6.8%, Hong Kong 5.6%, Malaysia 5.2% (2005)
 
    
GINI Index: 51.10%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 35,360,000
 
Labor Force by Occupations: agriculture 49%, industry 14%, services 37%
 
  
 THAI COMMUNICATIONS
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Radio Broadcast Stations: 544 Number of People with Radios: 13,960,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 111 Number of People with Televisions: 15,190,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 6,797,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 27,379,000
 
Internet Service Providers: 786,226 Internet Users: 8,420,000
 
Internet Country Code: .th Newspapers: 63
Two Letter Country Code: TH Weights and Measures: Metric
Phone Country Code: 66 Electricity Voltage: 220 Volts
  
Telephone Systems: general assessment: high quality system, especially in urban areas like Bangkok; WTO requirement for privatization of telecom sector is planned to be complete by 2006 domestic: fixed line system provided by both a government owned and commercial provider; wireless service expanding rapidly and outpacing fixed lines international: country code - 66; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean); landing country for APCN submarine cable
 
  
 THAI TRANSPORTATION
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Highways: 56,542 km Railways: 4,071 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 3,377 km Waterways: 4,000 km
Airports: 66 Heliports: 3
 
Motor Vehicles: 110 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 208,822,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 3.50 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: total: 400 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,808,509 GRT/4,317,320 DWT by type: bulk carrier 60, cargo 145, chemical tanker 14, container 21, liquefied gas 29, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 91, refrigerated cargo 32, specialized tanker 1 foreign-owned: 45 (China 1, Egypt 1, Indonesia 1, Japan 4, Norway 30, Singapore 6, UK 2) registered in other countries: 34 (Bahamas 1, Mongolia 1, Panama 9, Singapore 22, Tuvalu 1)
 
Ports and Harbors: Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Prachuap Port, Si Racha
 
  
 THAI PEOPLE
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Population: 64,631,595 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 13.87 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 122.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 7.04 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.68% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.64 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 7,284,068 Population Female 0-14: 6,958,632
Population Male 15-64: 22,331,312 Population Female 15-64: 22,880,588
Population Male 65+: 2,355,190 Population Female 65+: 821,805
 
Population 0-14: 22.00% Literacy Rate: 92.60%
Population 15-64: 70.00% Literacy rate of Males: 94.90%
Population 65+: 8.00% Literacy rate of Females: 90.50%
 
Population that is Male: 49.00 % Population that is Female: 51.00%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 72.25 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 19.49 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 69.95 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 74.68 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 1.50% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 570,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 58,000
   
Disease Risk:
 
Diseases:
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.00
 
Nationality: THAI
 
Ethnic Groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11% 
 
  
Primary Language: Thai
 
Other Languages: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
 
 
Primary Religion: Buddhism
 
Other Religions: Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1%
 
  
 THAI MILITARY
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Branches: Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy (includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 18 years
 
Manpower Available: 30,169,709 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 21,883,722 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 1,040,672 People per year
 
Expenditures: $1,775,000,000 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 1.80
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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