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Economy
Economy Overview
The Thai economy displayed a strong recovery despite facing several negative factors throughout the year, including uncertainties in the global economic recovery, domestic political unrest, exchange rate volatility and occurrences of natural disaster. Strong economic fundamentals, together with accommodative fiscal and monetary policies entailed an economic expansion of 7.8 %, characterized by robust growth rates in export, tourism and domestic demand.

Global economic recovery, together with accommodative monetary and fiscal policies, has restored domestic spending, production, and investment to the normal levels. The global economic recovery and accommodative public policies had positive impacts on restoring employment growth and working hours. In addition, higher farm income, together with a revival of consumer confidence, helped restore the domestic spending to 6.1 % growth from 2.3 % contraction last year. Strong domestic spending was mirrored by a robust depository corporations’ private credits growth, which accelerated to 12.6% from a 3.1 % growth last year.

The fiscal sector remained supportive as indicated by the amount in the ordinary budget, additional finance under the Strong Thailand Project, as well as the living cost reduction measures such as subsidies in the energy and utility sectors.

Inflation rates, from a negative territory last year, turned positive as a result of the continued economic expansion and rising costs in both raw material and wages. This caused producers to gradually increase their prices.

The Thai baht appreciated in line with the regional currencies due to large capital inflows, as a result of different growth prospects between major industrialized countries, having weak economic conditions and accommodative monetary policies, while regional countries including Thailand having strong economic fundamentals. Despite exchange rate appreciation, Thailand’s export values grew robustly by 28.5 %, reflecting resiliency of the export sector.
GDP
Purchasing power parity: $565.8056 billion (2010 est.)
GDP-real growth rate: 7.81% (2010 est.)
GDP-per capita: purchasing power parity: $8,190 (2010 est.)
GDP-composition by sector:
Agriculture: 12%
Industry: 39%
Services: 49%
Population below poverty line
0.5% (2010 est.)
Communications
The total reserves of 400 million telephone numbers.
Telephone system
Service to general public adequate, but investments 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 (in government-controlled network), FM 334 (in government-controlled network), shortwave 6.
Television broadcast stations
There are a total of six free-to-air television channels in Thailand, which are:
Geography
Location
Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma.
Geographic coordinates
15000 N, 100000 E
Map references
Southeast Asia
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
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
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (370.4 Km.)
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 humid.
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
Land use
Arable land: 34%
Permanent crops: 6%
Permanent pastures: 2%
Forests and woodland: 25.28%
Other: 32% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land
44,000 sq km (1993 est.)
Government
Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
Conventional short form: Thailand
Data code, 2 and 3 Digit
TH, THA
Government type
Constitutional monarchy
Capital
Bangkok
Administrative divisions
77 provinces (changwat , singular and plural)
1 Amnat Charoen 21 Lop Buri 41 Phetchabun 61 Sing Buri
2 Ang Thong 22 Mae Hong Son 42 Phetchaburi 62 Sisaket
3 Buriram 23 Maha Sarakham 43 Phichit 63 Samut Songkhram
4 Chachoengsao 24 Mukdahan 44 Phitsanulok 64 Sukhothai
5 Chai Nat 25 Nakhon Nayok 45 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 65 Suphan Buri
6 Chaiyaphum 26 Nakhon Pathom 46 Phrae 66 Surat Thani
7 Chanthaburi 27 Nakhon Phanom 47 Phuket 67 Surin
8 Chiang Mai 28 Nakhon Ratchasima 48 Prachin Buri 68 Tak
9 Chiang Rai 29 Nakhon Sawan 49 Prachuap Khiri Khan 69 Trang
10 Chon Buri 30 Nakhon Si Thammarat 50 Ranong 70 Trat
11 Chumphon 31 Nan 51 Ratchaburi 71 Ubon Ratchathani
12 Kalasin 32 Narathiwat 52 Rayong 72 Udon Thani
13 Kamphaeng Phet 33 Nong Bua Lamphu 53 Roi Et 73 Uthai Thani
14 Kanchanaburi 34 Nong Khai 54 Sa Kaeo 74 Uttaradit
15 Khon Kaen 35 Nonthaburi 55 Sakon Nakhon 75 Yala
16 Krabi 36 Pathum Thani 56 Samut Prakan 76 Yasothon
17 Bangkok 37 Pattani 57 Samut Sakhon 77 Bueng Kan
18 Lampang 38 Phangnga 58 Samut Songkhram    
19 Lamphun 39 Phatthalung 59 Sara Buri    
20 Loei 40 Phayao 60 Satun    
Independence
1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
Constitution
New constitution signed by King PHUMIPHON on 24 August 2007
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 compulsory
Executive branch
Chief of state: King Bhumibol Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946)
Head of government: Yingluck Shinawatra (since 5 August 2011)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers
Note: there is also a Privy Council 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 and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon

The Senate : The upper house of the legislative branch was first established in 1946. However for most of its history the Senate has been the stronghold of the military and the elite. The current Senate has 150 members; The Senate sits for a set six years non renewable term.

The House of Representatives : The lower house of the legislative branch has been in existence in some form since 1932. The House of Representatives is the primary legislative house of the government of Thailand. The House comprises 500 members.400 of the MPs are elected directly from single-seat constituencies around the country. The other 100 members are selected using 'proportional representation' through party-lists. There are 8 electoral areas from which the proportionally representative votes are taken and 375 constituencies. This system is called the ‘Mixed Member Majoritarian’ in which a voter has two votes one for the constituency MP and the other for a party in the voter’s electoral area.
Judicial branch
Supreme Court (Sandika), judges appointed by the monarch
International organization participation
APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Flag description
Five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red
Military
Military branches
Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force, Paramilitary Forces
People
Population
Total : 63,878,267
Male : 31,451,801
Female : 32,426,466 (December 2011 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 20.7%
15-64 years: 67.4%
65 years and over: 11.9% (December 2011 est.)
Population growth rate
0.60% (2010 est.)
Birth rate
12.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate
6.90 deaths/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Net migration rate
56.80 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio
Under 15 years: 13,010,000 male(s)/female
Labor force 15-59 years: 43,091,000 male(s)/female
Elderly (60 years and over): 7,790,000 male(s)/female
Elderly (65 years and over): 5,212,000 male(s)/female
School ages (6 - 21 years): 15,192,000 male(s)/female
Women of reproductive ages (15 - 49 years): 17,711,000 male(s)/female
Nationality
Noun: Thai (singular and plural) Adjective: Thai
Ethnic groups
Thai 80%, Chinese 15%, other 5%
Religions
Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other 0.6% (2011 est.)
Languages
Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Literacy
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 96 %
Male: 90 - 97%
Female: 90 - 97% (2011 est.)
Transportation
Railways
Total: 4,623 km
Narrow gauge: 4,623 km 1.000-m gauge (99 km double track)
Metro systems
Bangkok is the only city in Thailand with a metro and Tour bus service system:
Highways
Total: 64,600 km
Paved: 62,985 km
Unpaved: 1,615 km (1996 est.)
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 and harbors
Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Pattani, Phuket, Sattahip, Si Racha, Songkhla
Merchant marine
Total: 299 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,848,626 GRT/2,989,382 DWT
1 Bulk 39 6 Liquefied gas tanker19 11 Roll-on/roll-off 2
2 Cargo 135 7 Multi-functional large load carrier 3 12 Short-sea passenger 2
3 Chemical tanker 3 8 Passenger 1 13 Specialized tanker 5
4 Combination bulk 1 9 Oil tanker 63    
5 Container13 10 Refrigerated cargo13    
Airports
Total: 106 (1999 est.)
Suvarnbhumi Airport is an international airport serving Bangkok, Thailand. The airport is currently the main hub. It also serves as regional gateway and connecting point for various foreign carriers. Airport is located in Racha Thewa in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan Province, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) east of downtown Bangkok.

Airports - Paved runways total: 56 Airports - Unpaved runways total: 50