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Introduction Thailand
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.

Geography Thailand
Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the
Andaman Sea and the Gulf of
Thailand, southeast of Burma
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 100 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 514,000 sq km
water: 2,230 sq km
land: 511,770 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of
Land boundaries: total: 4,863 km
border countries: 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
Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy
southwest monsoon (mid-May to
September); dry, cool northeast
monsoon (November to mid-March);
southern isthmus always hot and
Terrain: central plain; Khorat Plateau in the
east; mountains elsewhere
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Doi Inthanon 2,576 m
Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten,
tantalum, timber, lead, fish,
gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable
Land use: arable land: 32.88%
permanent crops: 7%
other: 60.12% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 47,490 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: land subsidence in Bangkok area
resulting from the depletion of the
water table; droughts
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 party to: Climate Change,
agreements: Desertification, Endangered Species,
Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life
Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban,
Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical
Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
signed, but not ratified:
Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Law of the Sea
Geography - note: controls only land route from Asia
to Malaysia and Singapore

People Thailand
Population: 62,354,402
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 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 23.3% (male 7,404,227;
female 7,121,083)
15-64 years: 69.9% (male 21,469,186;
female 22,090,520)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male
1,868,632; female 2,400,754) (2002
Population growth rate: 0.88% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 16.39 births/1,000 population (2002
Death rate: 7.55 deaths/1,000 population (2002
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/
total population: 0.97 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 29.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.18 years
female: 72.51 years (2002 est.)
male: 66 years
Total fertility rate: 1.86 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.15% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 755,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 66,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Thai (singular and plural)
adjective: Thai
Ethnic groups: 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 (secondary language of
the elite), ethnic and regional
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
and write
total population: 93.8%
male: 96%
female: 91.6% (1995 est.)

Government Thailand
Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of
conventional short form: Thailand
former: Siam
Government 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 (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
Independence: 1238 (traditional founding date;
never colonized)
National holiday: Birthday of King PHUMIPHON, 5
December (1927)
Constitution: new constitution signed by King
PHUMIPHON on 11 October 1997
Legal system: based on civil law system, with
influences of common law; has not
accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and
Executive branch: chief of state: King PHUMIPHON
Adunyadet (since 9 June 1946)
note: there is also a Privy Council
head of government: Prime Minister
THAKSIN Chinnawat (since NA January
2001) and Deputy Prime Ministers
Gen. (Ret.) CHAWALIT Yongchaiyut
(since NA), DET Bunlong (since NA),
PHITHAK Intharawithayanan (since
NA), PONGPHON Adireksan (since NA),
and SOMKHIT Chatusiphithak (since
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: none; the monarch is
hereditary; prime minister
designated from among the members of
the House of Representatives;
following a national election for
the House of Representatives, the
leader of the party that can
organize a majority coalition
usually becomes prime minister
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or
Rathasapha consists of the Senate or
Wuthisapha (200 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve
four-year terms) and the House of
Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen
Ratsadon (500 seats; members elected
by popular vote to serve four-year
elections: Senate - last held 4
March, 29 April, 4 June, 9 July, and
22 July 2000 (next to be held NA
March 2004); House of
Representatives - last held 6
January 2001 (next to be held NA
January 2005)
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 248, DP 128,
TNP 41, NAP 36, NDP 29, other 18
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Sandika (judges
appointed by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party or DP (Prachathipat
Party) [CHUAN Likphai]; Mass Party
or MP [CHALERM Yoobamrung, SOPHON
Petchsavang]; National Development
Party or NDP (Chat Phattana) [KORN
Dabbaransi]; Phalang Dharma Party or
PDP (Phalang Tham) [CHAIWAT
Sinsuwong]; Solidarity Party or SP
(Ekkaphap Party) [CHAIYOT Sasomsap];
Thai Citizen's Party or TCP
(Prachakon Thai) [SAMAK Sunthonwet];
Thai Nation Party or TNP (Chat Thai
Party) [BANHAN Sinlapa-acha]; Thai
Rak Thai Party or TRT [THAKSIN
note: the Liberal Democratic Party
or LDP (Seri Tham) and the New
Aspiration Party or NAP (Khwamwang
Mai) no longer exist as separate
parties; elements of the two parties
joined the Thai Rak Thai Party or
Political pressure groups and NA
International organization APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, BIS, CCC,
participation: CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM,
OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW
(signatory), OSCE (partner), PCA,
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador SAKTHIP
chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20007
FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los
Angeles, and New York
telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Darryl
embassy: 120/22 Wireless Road,
mailing address: APO AP 96546
telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000
FAX: [66] (2) 254-1171
consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
Flag description: five horizontal bands of red (top),
white, blue (double width), white,
and red

Economy Thailand
Economy - overview: After enjoying the world's highest
growth rate from 1985 to 1995 -
averaging almost 9% annually -
increased speculative pressure on
Thailand's currency in 1997 led to a
crisis that uncovered financial
sector weaknesses and forced the
government to float the baht. Long
pegged at 25 to the dollar, the baht
reached its lowest point of 56 to
the dollar in January 1998 and the
economy contracted by 10.2% that
same year. Thailand entered a
recovery stage in 1999, expanding
4.2% and grew 4.4% in 2000, largely
due to strong exports - which
increased about 20% in 2000. An
ailing financial sector and the slow
pace of corporate debt
restructuring, combined with a
softening of global demand, however,
slowed growth in 2001 to 1.4%.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $410
billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,600
(2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 11%
industry: 40%
services: 49% (2001)
Population below poverty line: 12.5% (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2.8%
percentage share: highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini 41.4 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.6% (2001)
Labor force: 33.4 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 54%, industry 15%,
services 31% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.9% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $19 billion
expenditures: $21 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000
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
Industrial production growth rate: 3% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 94.314 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 92.26%
hydro: 6.33%
other: 1.41% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption: 90.261 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 151 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 2.7 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber,
corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
Exports: $65.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: computers, transistors, seafood,
clothing, rice
Exports - partners: US 23%, Japan 14%, Singapore 8%,
China 6%, Hong Kong 5%, Malaysia 4%
Imports: $62.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital goods, intermediate goods
and raw materials, consumer goods,
Imports - partners: Japan 24%, US 11%, Singapore 10%,
Malaysia 6%, China 4%, Taiwan 4%
Debt - external: $69.4 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $131.5 million (1998 est.)
Currency: baht (THB)
Currency code: THB
Exchange rates: baht per US dollar - 43.982 (January
2002), 43.432 (2001), 40.112 (2000),
37.814 (1999), 41.359 (1998), 31.364
Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September

Communications Thailand
Telephones - main lines in use: 5.6 million (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 3.1 million (2002)
Telephone system: general assessment: service to
general public adequate, but
investment in technological upgrades
reduced by recession; bulk of
service to government activities
provided by multichannel cable and
microwave radio relay network
domestic: microwave radio relay and
multichannel cable; domestic
satellite system being developed
international: satellite earth
stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian
Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 204, FM 334, shortwave 6 (1999)
Radios: 13.96 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 5 (all in Bangkok; plus 131
repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 15.19 million (1997)
Internet country code: .th
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 15 (2000)
Internet users: 2.3 million (2000)

Transportation Thailand
Railways: total: 4,071 km
narrow gauge: 4,071 km 1.000-m gauge
Highways: total: 64,600 km
paved: 62,985 km
unpaved: 1,615 km (1996)
Waterways: 4,000 km
note: 3,701 km are navigable
throughout the year by boats with
drafts up to 0.9 meters; numerous
minor waterways serve shallow-draft
native craft
Pipelines: petroleum products 67 km; natural
gas 350 km
Ports and harbors: Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Pattani,
Phuket, Sattahip, Si Racha, Songkhla
Merchant marine: total: 297 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
totaling 1,661,314 GRT/2,564,820 DWT

note: includes some foreign-owned
ships registered here as a flag of
convenience: Germany 1, Greece 1,
Indonesia 1, Japan 1, Norway 24,
Panama 1, Singapore 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 34, cargo 133,
chemical tanker 3, combination bulk
1, container 14, liquefied gas 20,
multi-functional large-load carrier
2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 65,
refrigerated cargo 16, roll on/roll
off 2, short-sea passenger 2,
specialized tanker 4
Airports: 110 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 59
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 4 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 51
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 19
under 914 m: 31 (2001)
Heliports: 2 (2001)

Military Thailand
Military branches: Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy
(includes Royal Thai Marine Corps),
Royal Thai Air Force, paramilitary
forces (includes the Border Patrol
Police [including Police Aerial
Reinforcement Unit], Thahan Phran,
Special Action Forces, Police
Aviation Division, Thai Marine
Police, and the Volunteer Defense
Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 17,766,501 (2002
Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 10,660,530 (2002
service: est.)
Military manpower - reaching military males: 567,659 (2002 est.)
age annually:
Military expenditures - dollar $1.775 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of 1.4% (FY00)

Transnational Issues Thailand
Disputes - international: a one km stretch of Malaysia-
Thailand territory at the mouth of
the Kolok river remains in dispute,
despite overall success in boundary
redemarcation; Cambodia accuses
Thailand of moving or destroying
boundary markers and encroachment,
of not respecting its claims, and of
sealing off access to the Preah
Vihear temple ruin awarded to
Cambodia by the ICJ in 1962;
demarcation of boundary with Laos is
nearing completion, but Mekong River
islets remain in dispute; Laos also
protests Thai squatters; despite
renewed border committee talks,
significant differences remain with
Burma over boundary alignment and
the handling of ethnic guerrilla
rebels, refugees, smuggling, and
drug trafficking in cross-border
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
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