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Thailand (2005)

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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
Age structure 0-14 years: 23.9% (male 7,988,529/female 7,633,405)

15-64 years: 68.6% (male 22,195,625/female 22,731,767)

65 years and over: 7.5% (male 2,251,112/female 2,643,933) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
Airports 109 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 65

over 3,047 m: 7

2,438 to 3,047 m: 10

1,524 to 2,437 m: 23

914 to 1,523 m: 19

under 914 m: 6 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 44

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 15

under 914 m: 28 (2004 est.)
Area total: 514,000 sq km

land: 511,770 sq km

water: 2,230 sq km
Area - comparative slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming
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.
Birth rate 15.7 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $30.86 billion

expenditures: $31.94 billion, including capital expenditures of $5 billion (2004 est.)
Capital Bangkok
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
Coastline 3,219 km
Constitution new constitution signed by King PHUMIPHON on 11 October 1997
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand

conventional short form: Thailand

former: Siam
Death rate 7.02 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $50.59 billion (2004 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Ralph L. BOYCE

embassy: 120/22 Wireless Road, Bangkok

mailing address: APO AP 96546

telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000

FAX: [66] (2) 254-2990, 205-4131

consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: KASIT Piromya

chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20007-3681

telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600

FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
Disputes - international 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; Laos and Thailand pledge to complete demarcation of their boundary in 2005; 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 118,000 Burmese refugees in 2004; 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
Economic aid - recipient $72 million (2002)
Economy - overview Thailand has a well developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and welcomes foreign investment. Thailand has fully recovered from the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis and was one of East Asia's best performers in 2002-04. Increased consumption and investment spending and strong export growth pushed GDP growth up to 6.9% in 2003 and 6.1% in 2004 despite a sluggish global economy. The highly popular government's expansionist policy, including major support of village economic development, has raised concerns about fiscal discipline and the health of financial institutions. Bangkok has pursued preferential trade agreements with a variety of partners in an effort to boost exports and maintain high growth, and in 2004 began negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the US. 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.
Electricity - consumption 106.1 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports 188 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 600 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 118.9 billion kWh (2003)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m

highest point: Doi Inthanon 2,576 m
Environment - current issues air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting
Environment - international 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
Ethnic groups Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Exchange rates baht per US dollar - 40.222 (2004), 41.485 (2003), 42.96 (2002), 44.432 (2001), 40.112 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet (since 9 June 1946)

head of government: Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat (since 9 February 2001) and Deputy Prime Ministers CHITCHAI Wannasathi (since 11 March 2005), PHINIT Charusombat (since 6 October 2004), SOMKHIT Chatusiphithak (since 11 March 2005), SURAKIAT Sathianthai (since 11 March 2005); SURIYA Chungrungruankit (since 3 August 2005), SUWAT Liptapanlop (since 3 August 2005), WISANU Kruangam (since 8 November 2003)

cabinet: Council of Ministers

note: there is also a Privy Council

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister is designated from among the members of the House of Representatives; following national elections for the House of Representatives, the leader of the party that can organize a majority coalition usually is appointed prime minister by the king
Exports 188 million kWh (2002)
Exports $87.91 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances
Exports - partners US 15.9%, Japan 13.9%, China 7.3%, Singapore 7.2%, Malaysia 5.4%, Hong Kong 5.1% (2004)
Fiscal year 1 October - 30 September
Flag description five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 9%

industry: 44.3%

services: 46.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $8,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 6.1% (2004 est.)
Geographic coordinates 15 00 N, 100 00 E
Geography - note controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore
Heliports 3 (2004 est.)
Highways total: 57,403 km

paved: 56,542 km

unpaved: 861 km (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)
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 amphetamine production for regional consumption; increasing indigenous abuse of methamphetamine
Imports 600 million kWh (2002)
Imports $80.84 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports 5.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels
Imports - partners Japan 23.6%, China 8.6%, US 7.6%, Malaysia 5.8%, Singapore 4.4%, Taiwan 4.1% (2004)
Independence 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
Industrial production growth rate 8.5% (2004 est.)
Industries tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry, electric appliances and components, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, world's second-largest tungsten producer, and third-largest tin producer
Infant mortality rate total: 20.48 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 21.83 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 19.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.8% (2004 est.)
International organization participation APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, BIS, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Irrigated land 47,490 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Sandika (judges appointed by the monarch)
Labor force 36.43 million (November 2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 49%, industry 14%, services 37% (2000 est.)
Land boundaries total: 4,863 km

border countries: Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km
Land use arable land: 29.36%

permanent crops: 6.46%

other: 64.18% (2001)
Languages Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Legal system based on civil law system, with influences of common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch bicameral National Assembly or Rathasapha consists 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)

elections: Senate - last held 4 March, 29 April, 4 June, 9 July, and 22 July 2000 (next to be held by March 2006); House of Representatives - last held 6 February 2005 (next to be held in February 2009)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TRT 376, DP 97, TNP 25, PP 2
Life expectancy at birth total population: 71.95 years

male: 69.65 years

female: 74.37 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.6%

male: 94.9%

female: 90.5% (2002)
Location Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
Map references Southeast Asia
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Merchant marine total: 386 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 2,038,597 GRT/3,104,712 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 57, cargo 142, chemical tanker 12, combination ore/oil 1, container 21, liquefied gas 25, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 89, refrigerated cargo 30, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 55 (Indonesia 1, Japan 3, Norway 45, Singapore 6)

registered in other countries: 35 (2005)
Military branches Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy (includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $1.775 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.8% (2003)
National holiday Birthday of King PHUMIPHON, 5 December (1927)
Nationality noun: Thai (singular and plural)

adjective: Thai
Natural hazards land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
Natural resources tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Pipelines gas 3,112 km; refined products 265 km (2004)
Political parties and 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 [THAKSIN Chinnawat]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 65,444,371

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 10% (2004 est.)
Population growth rate 0.87% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Prachuap Port, Si Racha
Radio broadcast stations AM 204, FM 334, shortwave 6 (1999)
Railways total: 4,071 km

narrow gauge: 4,071 km 1.000-m gauge (2004)
Religions Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1% (2000 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system 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
Telephones - main lines in use 6,617,400 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 26.5 million (2005)
Television broadcast stations 5 (all in Bangkok; plus 131 repeaters) (1997)
Terrain central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere
Total fertility rate 1.88 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 1.5% (November 2004 est.)
Waterways 4,000 km

note: 3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m (2003)
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