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.

 

 

Capital: Bangkok

Area: 513,120 km2 (water: 2,230 km2)

Population: 67,976,405 (July 2015 est.)

Currency: Thai Baht

Languages: Thai (official), Burmese)

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, generally pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand achieved steady growth due largely to industrial and agriculture exports – mostly electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods. Unemployment, at less than 1% of the labor force, stands as one of the lowest levels in the world, which puts upward pressure on wages in some industries.

Thailand also attracts nearly 2.5 million migrant workers from neighboring countries. The Thai government in 2013 implemented a nation-wide 300 baht ($10) per day minimum wage policy and deployed new tax reforms designed to lower rates on middle-income earners. The Thai economy has weathered internal and external economic shocks in recent years. The global economic recession severely cut Thailand’s exports, with most sectors experiencing double-digit drops. In late 2011 Thailand’s recovery was interrupted by historic flooding in the industrial areas in Bangkok and its five surrounding provinces, crippling the manufacturing sector.

The government approved flood mitigation projects worth $11.7 billion, which were started in 2012, to prevent similar economic damage, and an additional $75 billion for infrastructure over the following seven years. This was expected to lead to an economic upsurge but growth has remained slow, in part due to ongoing political unrest and resulting uncertainties. Spending on infrastructure will require re-approval once a new government is seated.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$674.3 billion (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

$654 billion (2012 est.)

$614.2 billion (2011 est.)

note: data are in 2013 US dollars


GDP (official exchange rate):

$400.9 billion (2013 est.)


GDP – real growth rate:

3.1% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111

6.5% (2012 est.)

0.1% (2011 est.)


GDP – per capita (PPP):

$9,900 (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118

$9,600 (2012 est.)

$9,100 (2011 est.)

note: data are in 2013 US dollars


Gross national saving:

28.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

30.5% of GDP (2012 est.)

28.3% of GDP (2011 est.)


GDP – composition, by end use:

household consumption: 53.5%

government consumption: 13.3%

investment in fixed capital: 28.2%

investment in inventories: 0.9%

exports of goods and services: 70.6%

imports of goods and services: -66.6%

(2013 est.)


GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 12.1%

industry: 43.6%

services: 44.2% (2013 est.)


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:

4% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74


Labor force:

39.64 million (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 17


Labor force – by occupation:

agriculture: 38.2%

industry: 13.6%

services: 48.2% (2011 est.)


Unemployment rate:

0.8% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

0.7% (2012 est.)


Population below poverty line:

7.8% (2010 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 31.5% (2009 est.)


Distribution of family income – Gini index:

53.6 (2009)

country comparison to the world: 12

42 (2002)


Budget:

revenues: $80.91 billion

expenditures: $92.9 billion (2013 est.)


Taxes and other revenues:

20.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164


Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-3% of GDP (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123


Public debt:

47.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 73

45.7% of GDP (2012 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


Fiscal year:

1 October – 30 September


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.2% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

3% (2012 est.)


Central bank discount rate:

2.75% (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 102

3.25% (31 December 2011 est.)


Commercial bank prime lending rate:

7% (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 122

7.1% (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of narrow money:

$50.18 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

$52.18 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of broad money:

$516.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

$488.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of domestic credit:

$511.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

$480.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:

$383 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

$268.5 billion (31 December 2011)

$277.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)


Current account balance:

-$1.117 billion (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 121

$2.759 billion (2012 est.)


Exports:

$229.1 billion (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

$226.1 billion (2012 est.)


Exports – commodities:

electronics, computer parts, automobiles and parts, electrical appliances, machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber


Exports – partners:

China 11.7%, Japan 10.2%, US 9.9%, Hong Kong 5.7%, Malaysia 5.4%, Indonesia 4.9%, Singapore 4.7%, Australia 4.3% (2012)


Imports:

$223 billion (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

$217.8 billion (2012 est.)


Imports – commodities:

capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels


Imports – partners:

Japan 20%, China 14.9%, UAE 6.3%, Malaysia 5.3%, US 5.3% (2012)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$167.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 17

$181.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Debt – external:

$86.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

$133.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:

$193.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

$185.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:

$65.14 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

$56.14 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Exchange rates:

baht per US dollar –

30.59 (2013 est.)

31.083 (2012 est.)

31.686 (2010 est.)

34.286 (2009)

33.37 (2008)

AGENCIES & ORGANIZATIONS


Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME BANK)

Tower 310 Phaholyothin Road, Samsen-Nai Phayathai, Bangkok 10400
Tel: (+66) 2265 3000 Fax: (+66) 2265 4000
Call Centre: 1357
Website: http://www.smebank.co.th

Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG)
Head Office: Charn Issara Tower II (17th-18th Floor)
2922/243 New Petchburi Road, Bangkok 10310 Tel: (+66) 2890 9988 Mobile: (+66) 8 1889 2235
Fax: (+66) 2890 9900, 2890 9800
E-Mail: info@tcg.or.th
Website: http://www.tcg.or.th/

Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP)
Ministry of Commerce
44/100 Nonthaburi 1 Road, Bang Kra Sor, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 2507 7999
Fax: (+66) 2547 5656
Website:http://www.ditp.go.th
http://www.thaitrade.com

Department of Business Development (DBD)
Ministry of Commerce
44/100 Nonthaburi 1 Road, Bang Kra Sor, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 2547 5155
Fax: (+66) 2547 5153
Website:http://www.dbd.go.th

Office of the Board of Investment (BOI)
Head Office: 555 Vibhavadi-Rangsit Rd.,
Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Tel. (+66) 2553 8111, Fax: (+66) 2553 8222,
Website: http://www.boi.go.th, E-Mail: head@boi.go.th

 

BANKING


Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand SME BANK

Tower 310 Phaholyothin Road, Samsen-Nai Phayathai, Bangkok 10400
Tel: (+66) 2265 3000
Fax: (+66) 2265 4000
Call Centre: 1357
Website: http://www.smebank.co.th