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Flag of Thailand General Information about Thailand

Map of Thailand

Geography

Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area:
total area: 514,000 sq km
land area: 511,770 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming

Land boundaries: total 4,863 km, Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km

Coastline: 3,219 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: boundary dispute with Laos; unresolved maritime boundary with Vietnam; parts of border with Thailand in dispute; maritime boundary with Thailand not clearly defined

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

Terrain: central plain; Khorat plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere

Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite

Land use:
arable land: 34%
permanent crops: 4%
meadows and pastures: 1%
forest and woodland: 30%
other: 31%

Irrigated land: 42,300 sq km (1989 est.)

Environment:
current issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting
natural hazards: land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
international agreements: party to - Climate Change, Endangered Species, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea

Note: controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore


People

Population: 60,271,300 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 29% (female 8,545,362; male 8,866,271)
15-64 years: 66% (female 19,733,773; male 20,185,392)
65 years and over: 5% (female 1,636,426; male 1,304,076) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.24% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 18.87 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.48 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 35.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.42 years
male: 64.94 years
female: 72.08 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.04 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Thai (singular and plural)
adjective: Thai

Ethnic divisions: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%

Religions: Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other 0.6% (1991)

Languages: Thai, English the secondary language of the elite, ethnic and regional dialects

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990)
total population: 93%
male: 96%
female: 91%

Labor force: 30.87 million
by occupation: agriculture 62%, industry 13%, commerce 11%, services (including government) 14% (1989 est.)


Government

Names:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
conventional short form: Thailand

Digraph: TH

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Bangkok

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, 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

Independence: 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)

National holiday: Birthday of His Majesty the King, 5 December (1927)

Constitution: new constitution approved 7 December 1991; amended 10 June 1992

Legal system: based on civil law system, with influences of common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; martial law in effect since 23 February 1991 military coup

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet (since 9 June 1946); Heir Apparent Crown Prince WACHIRALONGKON (born 28 July 1952)
head of government: Prime Minister CHUAN Likphai (since 23 September 1992)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
Privy Council: NA

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly (Rathasatha)
Senate (Vuthisatha): consists of a 270-member appointed body
House of Representatives (Saphaphoothan-Rajsadhorn): elections last held 13 September 1992 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (360 total) DP 79, TNP 77, NDP 60, NAP 51, Phalang Tham 47, SAP 22, LDP 8, SP 8, Mass Party 4, Thai Citizen's Party 3, People's Party 1, People's Force Party 0

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Sarndika)

Political parties and leaders: Democrat Party (DP), CHUAN Likphai; Thai Nation Party (TNP or Chat Thai Party), Banhan SINLAPA-ACHA; National Development Party (NDP or Chat Phattana), Chatchai CHUNHAWAN; New Aspiration Party (NAP), Gen. Chawalit YONGCHAIYUT; Phalang Tham (Palang Dharma), CHAMLONG Simuang; Social Action Party (SAP), Montri PHONGPHANIT; Liberal Democratic Party (LDP or Seri Tham), Athit URAIRAT; Solidarity Party (SP), Uthai PHIMCHAICHON; Mass Party (Muanchon), Pol. Cpt. Choem YUBAMRUNG; Thai Citizen's Party (Prachakon Thai), Samak SUNTHONWET; People's Party (Ratsadon), Chaiphak SIRIWAT; People's Force Party (Phalang Prachachon), Col. Sophon HANCHAREON

Member of: APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador MANATPHAT Chuto
chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador David F. LAMBERTSON
embassy: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok
mailing address: APO AP 96546
telephone: [66] (2) 252-5040
FAX: [66] (2) 254-2990
consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
consulate(s): Udorn (Udon Thani)

Flag: five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red


Economy

Overview: Thailand's economy recovered rapidly from the political unrest in May 1992 to post an impressive 7.5% growth rate for the year, 7.8% in 1993, and 8% in 1994. One of the more advanced developing countries in Asia, Thailand depends on exports of manufactures and the development of the service sector to fuel the country's rapid growth. Much of Thailand's recent imports have been for capital equipment, suggesting that the export sector is poised for further growth. With foreign investment slowing, Bangkok is working to increase the generation of domestic capital. Prime Minister CHUAN's government - Thailand's fifth government in less than three years - is pledged to continue Bangkok's probusiness policies, and the return of a democratically elected government has improved business confidence. Even so, CHUAN must overcome divisions within his ruling coalition to complete much needed infrastructure development programs if Thailand is to remain an attractive place for business investment. Over the longer-term, Bangkok must produce more college graduates with technical training and upgrade workers' skills to continue its rapid economic development.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $355.2 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 8% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $5,970 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 3.2% (1993 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $28.4 billion
expenditures: $28.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $9.6 billion (FY94/95 est.)

Exports: $46 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: machinery and manufactures 83%, agricultural products and fisheries 16%, others 1% (1994 est.)
partners: US 22%, Japan 17%, Singapore 12%, Hong Kong 5%, Germany 4% (1993)

Imports: $52.6 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: capital goods 44%, intermediate goods and raw materials 37%, consumer goods 16%, other 3% (1994 est.)
partners: Japan 30%, US 12%, Singapore 6%, Germany 5%, Taiwan 5% (1993)

External debt: $64.3 billion (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 11.5% (1993 est.); accounts for about 26% of GDP

Electricity:
capacity: 12,810,000 kW
production: 56.8 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 909 kWh (1993)

Industries: tourism is the largest source of foreign exchange; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing, such as jewelry; electric appliances and components, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Agriculture: accounts for 11% of GDP and 62% of labor force; leading producer and exporter of rice and cassava (tapioca); other crops - rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans; except for wheat, self-sufficient in food

Illicit drugs: a minor producer of opium and marijuana; major illicit transit point for heroin, particularly from Burma and Laos, for the international drug market; 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 major drug money laundering center; rapidly growing role in amphetamine production for regional consumption; increasing indigenous abuse of heroin and cocaine

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $870 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $8.6 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $19 million

Currency: 1 baht (B) = 100 satang

Exchange rates: baht (B) per US$1 - 25.074 (January 1995), 25.150 (1994), 25.319 (1993), 25.400 (1992), 25.517 (1991), 25.585 (1990)

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September


Transportation

Railroads:
total: 3,940 km
narrow gauge: 3,940 km 1.000-m gauge (99 km double track)

Highways:
total: 77,697 km
paved: 35,855 km (including 88 km of expressways)
unpaved: gravel, other stabilization 14,092 km; earth 27,750 km (1988)

Inland waterways: 3,999 km principal waterways; 3,701 km with navigable depths of 0.9 m or more throughout the year; numerous minor waterways navigable by shallow-draft native craft

Pipelines: petroleum products 67 km; natural gas 350 km

Ports: Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Pattani, Phuket, Sattahip, Si Racha, Songkhla

Merchant marine:
total: 229 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,231,172 GRT/1,931,117 DWT
ships by type: bulk 22, cargo 122, chemical tanker 3, combination bulk 1, container 15, liquefied gas tanker 9, oil tanker 45, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 7, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 1

Airports:
total: 105
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 6
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 23
with paved runways under 914 m: 42
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 14


Communications

Telephone system: 739,500 telephones (1987); service to general public inadequate; bulk of service to government activities provided by multichannel cable and microwave radio relay network
local: NA
intercity: microwave radio relay and multichannel cable; domestic satellite system being developed
international: 2 INTELSAT (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) earth stations

Radio:
broadcast stations: AM 200 (in government-controlled network), FM 100 (in government-controlled network), shortwave 0
radios: NA

Television:
broadcast stations: 11 (in government-controlled network)
televisions: NA


Defense Forces

Branches: Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy (includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force, Paramilitary Forces

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 17,297,854; males fit for military service 10,489,564; males reach military age (18) annually 585,009 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $4.0 billion, 2.5% of GNP (FY94/95)


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