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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 treaty ally in 1954 after sending troops to Korea and fighting alongside the US in Vietnam. A military coup in September 2006 ousted then Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat. December 2007 elections saw the pro-THAKSIN People's Power Party (PPP) emerge at the head of a coalition government that took office in February 2008. The anti-THAKSIN People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD, aka yellow-shirts) in May 2008 began street demonstrations against the new government, eventually occupying the prime minister's office in August and Bangkok's two international airports in November. After an early December 2008 court ruling that dissolved the ruling PPP and two other coalition parties for election violations, the Democrat Party formed a new coalition government and ABHISIT Wetchachiwa became prime minister. In October 2008 THAKSIN fled abroad in advance of an abuse of power conviction and has agitated his followers from abroad since then. THAKSIN supporters under the banner of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD, aka red-shirts) rioted in April 2009, shutting down an ASEAN meeting in Pattaya. Following a February 2010 court verdict confiscating half of THAKSIN's frozen assets, the UDD staged large protests between March and May 2010, and occupied several blocks of downtown Bangkok. Clashes between security forces and protesters, elements of which were armed, resulted in at least 92 deaths and an estimated $1.5 billion in arson-related property losses. These protests exposed major cleavages in the Thai body politic that hampered the government and led to a general election in July 2011. THAKSIN's youngest sister, YINGLAK, led the Puea Thai party to an electoral win and assumed control of the government in August. YINGLAK's leadership was almost immediately challenged by historic flooding in late 2011 that had large swathes of the country underwater and threatened to inundate Bangkok itself. At the beginning of 2012 the Puea Thai-led government began fulfilling one of its main election promises, the pursuit of constitutional reform, which could lead to the nation's 19th Constitution since 1932. Since January 2004, thousands have been killed and wounded as separatists in Thailand's southern ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces continued the campaign of violence associated with their cause.


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Economy

Economy - overview
With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, generally pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand enjoyed solid growth from 2000 to 2007 - averaging more than 4% per year - as it recovered from the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Thai exports - mostly machinery and electronic components, agricultural commodities, and jewelry - continue to drive the economy, accounting for more than half of GDP. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 severely cut Thailand's exports, with most sectors experiencing double-digit drops. In 2009, the economy contracted 2.3%. In 2010, Thailand's economy expanded 7.8%, its fastest pace since 1995, as exports rebounded from their depressed 2009 level. Steady economic growth at just below 4% during the first three quarters of 2011 was interrupted by historic flooding in October and November in the industrial areas north of Bangkok, crippling the manufacturing sector and leading to a revised growth rate of only 0.1% for the year. The industrial sector is poised to recover from the second quarter of 2012 onward, however, and the government anticipates the economy will probably grow between 5.5 and 6.5% for 2012, while private sector forecasts range between 3.8% and 5.7%.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 25
$609.8 billion (2011 est.)
$609.4 billion (2010 est.)
$565.4 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$345.6 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 194
0.1% (2011 est.)
7.8% (2010 est.)
-2.3% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 114
$9,500 (2011 est.)
$9,500 (2010 est.)
$8,900 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 13.3%
Industry 34%
Services 52.7% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 16
39.62 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 40.7%
Industry 13.2%
Services 46.1% (2011 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 3
0.7% (2011 est.)
0.5% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
8.1% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.8%
Highest 10% 31.5% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 12
53.6 (2009)
42 (2002)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 35
26.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $66.21 billion
Expenditures $70.3 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 170
19.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 64
-1.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 80
40.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
43.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
Note
Data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment. Debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions.

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 92
3.8% (2011 est.)
3.3% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 112
3.25% (31 December 2011 est.)
2% (31 December 2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 137
6.91% (31 December 2011 est.)
6.31% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 49
$43.18 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$44.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 23
$426.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$371.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 29
$418.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$365.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 29
$268.5 billion (31 December 2011)
$277.7 billion (31 December 2010)
$138.2 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Rice, cassava (manioc), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans

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; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 165
-9.3% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 24
139 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 25
131.6 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
1.979 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
2.313 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 33
406,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 22
988,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 43
269,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 17
807,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 52
435 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 26
30.88 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 24
39.17 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 193
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 28
8.29 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 38
312.2 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 25
$11.9 billion (2011 est.)
$13.1 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 26
$221.6 billion (2011 est.)
$193.6 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances

Exports - partners
China 12%, Japan 10.5%, US 9.6%, Hong Kong 7.2%, Malaysia 5.4%, Singapore 5%, Indonesia 4.4% (2009 est.)

Imports World Ranking: 25
$196.3 billion (2011 est.)
$161.9 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels

Imports - partners
Japan 18.5%, China 13.4%, UAE 6.3%, US 5.9%, Malaysia 5.4%, South Korea 4% (2009 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 15
$175.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$172.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 42
$115.6 billion (30 September 2011 est.)
$100.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 28
$140.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$137.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 40
$30.51 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$24.17 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Baht per US dollar -
30.492 (2011 est.)
31.686 (2010 est.)
34.286 (2009)
33.37 (2008)
34.52 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 October - 30 September


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  Thailand (Bangkok):


  GPS points from Thailand (Bangkok)

Ko Chuang Chon Buri

Huai Sai Changwat Chiang Mai

Phu Sang Om Changwat Amnat Charoen

Huai Dan Hang Changwat Ubon Ratchathani

Huai Sai Changwat Phetchaburi

Ban Khok Lo Changwat Kamphaeng Phet

Ban Nong Bung Changwat Nakhon Phanom

Ban Pha Yoe Tai Changwat Mae Hong Son




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