Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy (currently administered by a military junta)
Area: 513 139 sq km
Population: 67 656 900 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 131.85 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 20° - 5° N; long. 97° - 105° E
Capital: Bangkok=Krung Thep (capital) 5 692 284 inhab. (2015); Bangkok=Krung Thep 8 750 600 inhab. (2017), urban agglomeration
Currency: baht (100 satang)
Human development index: 0.74 (rank: 87)
Sovereign: King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X), since 1 December 2016
Prime Minister: Prayuth Chan-ocha, since 25 August 2014
Internet: web.nso.go.th (National Statistical Office)
Member of APEC, ASEAN, OAS observer, OIC observer, UN, WTO

Thailand

Prathet Thai, Ratcha Anachak Thai
Useful information

International license plate code THA
International dialling code 0066
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission, including travelers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side left
Internet code .th

GMT  +7
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Bangkok 28.3
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Bangkok 26.5/28.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Bangkok 5/9
Annual average precipitation (mm) Bangkok 1547
Days of rainfall (annual average) Bangkok 136

Politics and current affairs

On 27 February 2018, Prayuth Chan-ocha, leader of the military junta, announced that the elections scheduled for November will be postponed to 2019.

Geography.
Thailand is bordered to the NE by Laos, to the SE by Cambodia, to the S by Malaysia and to the W and NW by Myanmar. To the S it has a coast on the Gulf of Siam and to the SW on the Andaman Sea. In the W and the NW there are highlands with peaks of over 2500 m covered by vast forests. Towards the E, the flood plains of the River Chao Phraya are separated from a series of mountain ranges by the large plain of the Mekong delta. To the SW the country is connected by the Isthmus of Kra to the Malay peninsula. The climate is warm and humid, with monsoon rainfall in the summer.

Government


Thailand (which was known as Siam until 1939) has been a parliamentary monarchy since 1932. The armed forces, closely linked to the monarchy, have always exercised control over the democracy in order to maintain it and to intervene frequently in moments of national crisis that have marked the country’s recent political history. The current period of instability dates to the military coup in September 2006, when the populist government of Thaksin Shinawatra’s People’s Power Party (PPP) was toppled. Having won the elections (23 December 2007) again, Thaksin formed a new government, but he was accused of abuse of office and fled overseas (October 2008). After the PPP was dissolved on the orders of the judicial authorities, a government was formed, led by the Democratic Party, which had to deal with a series of demonstrations staged by Thaksin’s supporters. These erupted into violent clashes with police in May 2010, during which dozens of people were killed. In the early elections of 3 July 2011, the Party for Thai, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of Thaksin, obtained the majority, but in December 2013 the parliament was dissolved after new protests broke out against the government.
The elections of 2 February 2014 were boycotted by the opposition, which interrupted the elections in certain regions. On 21 March the Constitutional Court nullified the results and on 7 May it ordered Y. Shinawatra and other members of the government to step down for having illegally transferred the head of national security to another position. On 22 May the army responded with a coup d’état, suspending the Constitution. On 22 July a temporary constitutional law was approved, which allowed for the formation of a legislative assembly (for not more than 220 members chosen by the military junta). The military junta drafted a new constitution, approved through a referendum on 7 August 2016 and ratified by the King on 6 April 2017, which establishes a House of Representatives with 500 elected members holding a term of 4 years and a Senate with 250 members from military positions holding a term of 5 years. In the southern provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, where there is a Muslim majority and the Malay language is dominant, numerous Islamic extremist guerrilla groups are present, including the Malayan Revolutionary Front.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force12.7%2015
Army67.9%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes222.3per 100 000 pop.2006
Homicides3.5per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Bangkok=Krung Thep5 692 284inhab.2015
Samut Prakan378 694inhab.2000
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Bangkok=Krung Thep8 750 600inhab.2017
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2017)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate10.32016
Death rate7.92016
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Thai95.9%2010
Burmese2%2010


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Buddhist93.6%2010
Muslim4.9%2010


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Thai
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years16.9%2017
15-29 years21.4%2017


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Economy


Economic situation.
In 2017-18, the positive trend of the growth rate continued, already in progress since 2015, supported also by government investments in public works and interest cuts by the central bank.
The country is highly reliant on exports from the manufacturing sector. Rapid development and the low unemployment rate attract many foreign workers.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)118.3index2016
Balance of trade13 931M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population39 136 448units2017
Active population, Females45.7%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate1.1%2017
Unemployment rate, Females47.9%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses2 707 363M LCU2016
Revenues2 686 483M LCU2016
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture32.8%2017
industry22.6%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture8.3%2016
industry35.8%2016
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation1 734.1BN LCU2017
International reserves202 538.3M US$2017
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture.
The country is among the largest exporters of rice, which is the national staple and is mostly grown in the floodplain of the Menam. Maize and cassava are also important crops. There are also plantations for sugar cane, pineapples, bananas and other tropical fruits, as well as oil palm.
Forests.
The forests provide rubber, of which the country is the largest exporter, and various valuable timbers, such as teak, yang, sandalwood, sapan and ebony. In the north-western part of the country and near the border with Laos, there are opium poppy plantations.
Livestock.
There are many different animal species in Thailand and livestock includes buffaloes, cattle and pigs.
Elephants are also widely used for transporting timber.
Fishing.
Sea fishing is quite well developed (herring, anchovy and mackerel), even if fishing reserves in the Gulf of Siam are depleting. Thailand is also one of the world’s largest producers of prawns. Freshwater fish is fundamental for meeting food demand in the country. Contribution from aquaculture is also relevant.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land41.71%2015
forests32.1%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley17.31000 t2016
cereals, total30 420.7581000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava31 1611000 t2016
potatoes140.9771000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asparagus25.1431000 t2016
cabbages286.2761000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry75.5011000 t2016
beans, green314.6251000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes80.8371000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
castor oil seed0.6971000 t2016
groundnuts32.0461000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruits12 081.8551000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts815.4061000 t2016
copra651000 t2007
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa0.1171000 t2016
coffee32.8011000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane87 468.4961000 t2016
tobacco60.8261000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton4.1921000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
jute3.6641000 t2014
sisal0.0161000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fruits, total10 814.91000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts21.9331000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits984.6791000 t2016
citrus fruits, nes14.0451000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bananas1 075.2511000 t2016
mangoes3 432.1291000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.961000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley101000 ha2016
maize1 138.0951000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava1 461.8271000 ha2016
potatoes8.6051000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages12.491000 ha2016
cauliflowers1.4211000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry96.631000 ha2016
beans, green165.1741000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape4.741000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
castor oil seed0.7431000 ha2016
groundnuts19.3351000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruit650.6251000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coconuts177.0631000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa0.0391000 ha2016
coffee44.6131000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane1 336.5751000 ha2016
tobacco16.8421000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton19.2971000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
jute2.5951000 ha2014
sisal0.0411000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cashew nuts15.6991000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits75.9961000 ha2016
citrus fruits, nes3.2171000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bananas48.7391000 ha2016
mangoes410.6941000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural rubber4 476 636t2016
timber33 302 7652016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle5 466.8391000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes6 353.6351000 heads2016
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes886.7961000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs7 940.8431000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep40.2741000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats470.9051000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses0.0331000 heads2016
asses and mules0.0831000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds286 1311000 heads2016
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey8.7361000 t2014
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw1.61000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cheese4.681000 t2014
condensed milk101 075t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs752 524t2016
freshwater fishes584 697t2016
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
For several decades tin has been the main mineral resource. The country is still one of the world’s main tin producers of foundry tin. Other important minerals include tungsten, lead and zinc, gypsum and feldspar. The country also has deposits of salt, manganese, lignite, fluorspar, phosphates, gold, silver and iron ore. Amongst the precious stones worthy of note are yellow and green sapphires (Chanthaburi) and blue sapphires (Kanchanaburi). There are also natural gas deposits (in the Gulf of Thailand) and crude oil (at Mae Sot, Nang Nuan and Sirikit) which supply the refineries at Bangkok and Ban Si Racha.
Energy and industry.
The most developed industries are textiles (at Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonnabot, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon and Lampang), food-processing (sugar refineries at Lampang and Chon Buri; distilleries at Ayutthaya and tobacco manufacturing plants), cement works (especially near Saraburi), tin works and the petrochemical industry (refineries in Bangkok, Rayong, Si Racha and Laem Chabang). Other relevant industries include iron and steel, rubber manufacture, car assembly, the production of integrated circuits, and electronic appliances.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal, total16 258.61000 t2017
lignite16 258.61000 t2017
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
antimony0.031000 t2013
iron ore16.51000 t2015
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite1501000 t2017
feldspar1 3001000 t2017
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
diatomite81000 t2013
dolomite2 302.61000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold3 305kg2015
precious stones301000 ct2011
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal152 827.08M kWh2015
- other renew.10 442M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal31 4271000 kW2015
- other renew.4 875.31000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation167 961.08M kWh2015
total installed capacity40 973.31000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
antimony0.71000 t2015
copper0.2291000 t2014
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars818 440no.2017
commercial vehicles1 170 383no.2017
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners17 874 500no.2015
fridges6 521 200no.2015
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen1 4201000 t2015
petrol13 0121000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nitrogen fertilizers108.81000 t2016
synth. rubber1851000 t2008
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cotton fabrics - m84.2M m2015
cotton yarn0.0021000 t2008
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley2 237.91000 t2014
coconut oil29.31000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes27 867M units2009
cigars and cigarettes27 867M units2009
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp1 0281000 t2016
chemi-mechanical pulp1 0281000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement42 371.51000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production6 104.2M US$2011
food, beverages and tobacco production21 571.3M US$2011
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
The country mainly imports fuel and raw materials, semi-finished products and consumer goods.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) electric and electronic equipment 21 584, machinery and home appliances 20 639, vehicles and parts thereof 17 624, computers and accessories 14 769, plastics 12 710, cars 10 874, electronic integrated circuits 8 252, jewels and precious stones 7 113, chemicals 6 361, petroleum products 6 241, natural rubber 6 024


Finance and banking.
The central bank is the Bank of Thailand. There is a stock exchange in Bangkok.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures78.240% of goods exports2016
food products13.892% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China29 365M US$2017
United States26 547M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China44 708M US$2017
Japan32 377M US$2017
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2017236 694.19M US$ -
2016215 387.53M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2017222 763.45M US$ -
2016194 198.03M US$ -
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Tourism


Tourism.
It is an important source of revenue, the main destinations being the coasts of the Malay peninsula, some areas in the centre-north (Chiang Mai) and the capital, Bangkok.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures11 267M US$2016
Number of arrivals32 530 000units2016
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown223 100 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried71 191.51000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers118.891per 1000 pop.2017
Computers66.8per 1000 pop.2005
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Social and welfare


Education and health.
Primary education (6 years) is compulsory as well as at least three years of secondary education (6 years).

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling15.5years2015
Graduates371 412units2015
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level300 968units2015
Teachers, secondary level240 005units2015
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending13.6% of total expenses2016
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds2.1per 1000 pop.2010
Physicians0.5per 1000 pop.2015
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV1.1% of adults2016
HIV, total1.4%2005
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.62% of GDP2015
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking74.43%2016
Access to electricity100%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear2.7%2014
education1.9%2014
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