Southeast Asia: Thailand

About Thailand

A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century; it was 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.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Bangkok
Population: 61,797,751
Percent below poverty: 12.5% (1998 est.)
Language: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Date of independence: 1238 (traditional founding date; ne
Form of government: constitutional monarchy
Title of Leader: King
Natural Resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land
Environmental Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting
Agricultural Products: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
Imports: capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels
Exports: computers and parts, textiles, integrated circuits, rice
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Japan 26%, US 14%, Singapore 6%, China 5%, Malaysia 5%, Taiwan 5% (1999)
EXPORTS: US 22%, Japan 14%, Singapore 9%, Hong Kong 5%, Netherlands 4%, Malaysia 4%, UK 4% (1999)


Thailand Headlines


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