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Thailand (2008)

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Thailand 2008 year

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: 21.6% (male 7,195,750/female 6,870,858)

15-64 years: 70.1% (male 22,547,238/female 23,092,881)

65 years and over: 8.2% (male 2,437,640/female 2,923,782) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
Airports 106 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 65

over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 11

1,524 to 2,437 m: 23

914 to 1,523 m: 17

under 914 m: 6 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 41

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 12

under 914 m: 28 (2007)
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 separatist violence in its southern ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces.
Birth rate 13.73 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $43.61 billion

expenditures: $48.18 billion (2007 est.)
Capital name: Bangkok

geographic coordinates: 13 45 N, 100 31 E

time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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 constitution signed by King PHUMIPHON (BHUMIBOL) on 24 August 2007
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand

conventional short form: Thailand

local long form: Ratcha Anachak Thai

local short form: Prathet Thai

former: Siam
Death rate 7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $58.6 billion (30 June 2007)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Eric G. JOHN

embassy: 120-122 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330

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: Ambassador KRIT Kanchanakunchon (KRIT Garnjana-Goonchorn)

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

telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600

FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, 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; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River; despite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities, and as of 2006, over 116,000 Karen, Hmong, and other refugees and asylum seekers from Burma; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of historic 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; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burma; in 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailand
Economic aid - recipient $171.1 million (2005)
Economy - overview With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and generally 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 from 2002-04. Boosted by strong export growth, the Thai economy grew 4.5% in 2007. Bangkok has pursued preferential trade agreements with a variety of partners in an effort to boost exports and to maintain high growth. By 2007, the tourism sector had largely recovered from the major 2004 tsunami. Following the military coup in September 2006, investment and consumer confidence stagnated due to the uncertain political climate that lasted through the December 2007 elections. Foreign investor sentiment was further tempered by a 30% reserve requirement on capital inflows instituted in December 2006, and discussion of amending Thailand's rules governing foreign-owned businesses. Economic growth in 2007 was due almost entirely to robust export performance - despite the pressure of an appreciating currency. Exports have performed at record levels, rising nearly 17% in 2006 and 12% in 2007. Export-oriented manufacturing - in particular automobile production - and farm output are driving these gains.
Electricity - consumption 117.7 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 642 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 4.419 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 124.6 billion kWh (2005)
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 - 33.599 (2007), 37.882 (2006), 40.22 (2005), 40.222 (2004), 41.485 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet (BHUMIBOL Adulyadej) (since 9 June 1946)

head of government: Prime Minister SAMAK Sundavavej (since 29 January 2008); Deputy Prime Minister MINGKWAN Saengsuwan (MINGKWAN Sangsuwan) (since 7 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister SAHAS Banditkun (SAHAS Banditkul) (since 7 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister SANAN Kachornprasat (ANA Kachornparsart) (since 7 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister SOMCHAI Wongsawat (since 7 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister SURAPONG Suebwonglee (since 7 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister SUWIT Khunkitti (since 7 February 2008)

cabinet: Council of Ministers

note: there is also a Privy Council

elections: none; monarch is hereditary; according to 2007 constitution, prime minister is 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; prime minister is limited to two 4-year terms
Exports 642 million kWh (2005)
Exports $143.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 225,700 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances
Exports - partners US 15%, Japan 12.6%, China 9%, Singapore 6.4%, Hong Kong 5.5%, Malaysia 5.1% (2006)
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: 10.8%

industry: 45.3%

services: 43.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4.5% (2007 est.)
Geographic coordinates 15 00 N, 100 00 E
Geography - note controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore
Heliports 3 (2007)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 33.4% (2002)
Illicit drugs a minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; transit point for illicit 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 despite a series of government crackdowns
Imports 4.419 billion kWh (2005)
Imports $121.9 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports 8.497 billion cu m (2005)
Imports 893,400 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels
Imports - partners Japan 19.9%, China 10.6%, US 7.5%, Malaysia 6.6%, UAE 5.5%, Singapore 4.4% (2006)
Independence 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
Industrial production growth rate 4.6% (2007 est.)
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 second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer
Infant mortality rate total: 18.85 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 20.13 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.2% (2007)
International organization participation ADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, BIS, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 49,860 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Sandika (judges appointed by the monarch)
Labor force 37.12 million (2007 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: 27.54%

permanent crops: 6.93%

other: 65.53% (2005)
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 consisted of the Senate or Wuthisapha (150 seats; 76 members elected by popular vote representing 76 provinces, 74 appointed by judges and independent government bodies; all serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon (480 seats; 400 members elected from 157 multi-seat constituencies and 80 elected on proportional party-list basis of 10 per eight zones or groupings of provinces; all serve four-year terms); after coup in September 2006, coup leaders appointed an interim National Assembly with 250 members to act as Senate and House of Representatives

elections: Senate - last held on 19 April 2006 (next to be held on 6 March 2008); House of Representatives - last election held on 23 December 2007 (next to be held in December 2011)

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 - PPP 233, DP 164, TNP 34, Motherland 24, Middle Way 11, Unity 9, Royalist People's 5
Life expectancy at birth total population: 72.55 years

male: 70.24 years

female: 74.98 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.6%

male: 94.9%

female: 90.5% (2000 census)
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: 405 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,640,857 GRT/4,043,938 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 53, cargo 140, chemical tanker 16, container 21, liquefied gas 30, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 101, refrigerated cargo 32, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 1

foreign-owned: 15 (China 1, Japan 4, Malaysia 3, Russia 1, Singapore 2, Taiwan 1, UK 3)

registered in other countries: 34 (Bahamas 1, Indonesia 1, Mongolia 1, Panama 10, Singapore 20, Tuvalu 1) (2007)
Military branches Royal Thai Army (RTA), Royal Thai Navy (RTN, includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force (Knogtap Agard Thai, RTAF) (2006)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.8% (2005 est.)
National holiday Birthday of King PHUMIPHON (BHUMIBOL), 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 (2007 est.)
Pipelines gas 4,381 km; refined products 320 km (2007)
Political parties and leaders Democrat Party or DP (Prachathipat Party) [ABHISIT Wetchachiwa] (ABHISIT Vejjajiva); Matchima Thippatai (Middle Way Party) [ANONGWAN Therpsuthin]; Motherland Party (Peua Pandin Party) [SUWIT Khunkitti]; People Power Party (Palang Prachachon Party) or PPP [SAMAK Sunthorawet] (SAMAK Sundaravej); Royalist People's Party (Pracharaj) [SANOH Thienthong]; Ruam Jai Thai Party (Thai Unity Party) [CHETTA Thanacharo]; Thai Nation Party or TNP (Chat Thai Party) [BARNHARN SILPA-ARCHA]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 65,068,149

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 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 10% (2004 est.)
Population growth rate 0.663% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 238, FM 351, shortwave 6 (2007)
Railways total: 4,071 km

narrow gauge: 4,071 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
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: 1.047 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.976 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.834 male(s)/female

total population: 0.979 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system general assessment: high quality system, especially in urban areas like Bangkok

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; connected to major submarine cable systems providing links throughout Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 7.073 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 40.816 million (2006)
Television broadcast stations 111 (2006)
Terrain central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere
Total fertility rate 1.64 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 1.7% (2007 est.)
Waterways 4,000 km

note: 3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m (2005)
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