Regarding Thailand

Overview of Thailand

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 colonized by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US treaty ally in 1954 after sending troops to Korea and later fighting alongside the US in Vietnam. Thailand since 2005 has experienced several rounds of political turmoil including a military coup in 2006 that ousted then Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat, followed by large-scale street protests by competing political factions in 2008, 2009, and 2010. THAKSIN’s youngest sister, YINGLAK Chinnawat, in 2011 led the Puea Thai Party to an electoral win and assumed control of the government. A blanket amnesty bill for individuals involved in street protests, altered at the last minute to include all political crimes – including all convictions against THAKSIN – triggered months of large-scale anti-government protests in Bangkok beginning in November 2013. In early May 2014 YINGLAK was removed from office by the Constitutional Court and in late May 2014 the Royal Thai Army staged a coup against the caretaker government. The head of the Royal Thai Army, Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha, was appointed prime minister in August 2014. The interim military government created several interim institutions to promote reform and draft a new constitution. Elections are tentatively set for mid-2017. Thailand has also experienced violence associated with the ethno-nationalist insurgency in its southern Malay-Muslim majority provinces. Since January 2004, thousands have been killed and wounded in the insurgency.

Economy of Thailand

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and generally pro-investment policies, Thailand historically has had a strong economy, but it experienced slow growth in 2013-15 as a result of domestic political turmoil and sluggish global demand, which curbed Thailand’s traditionally strong exports – mostly electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods. Following the May 2014 coup d’etat, tourism decreased 6-7% but is beginning to recover. The Thai baht depreciated more than 8% during 2015.
Thailand faces labor shortages, and has attracted an estimated 2-4 million migrant workers from neighboring countries. The Thai Government in 2013 implemented a nationwide 300 baht (roughly $10) per day minimum wage policy and deployed new tax reforms designed to lower rates on middle-income earners. The household debt to GDP ratio is over 80%.

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

  • Agriculture: 10.4%
  • Industry: 37.7%
  • Services: 51.9% (2015 est.)

Agriculture products:

rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, palm oil, pineapple, livestock, fish products

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, agricultural machinery, air conditioning and refrigeration, ceramics, aluminum, chemical, environmental management, glass, granite and marble, leather, machinery and metal work, petrochemical, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, printing, pulp and paper, rubber, sugar, rice, fishing, cassava, world’s second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Industrial production growth rate:

4% (2015 est.)

Useful Links

Foreign Trade Statistics of Thailand

Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo

 Thailand National Flag

Thailand National Flag

Thailand Map And Locator

Thailand MapAnd Locator