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ราชอาณาจักรไทย
Ratcha Anachak Thai

Kingdom of Thailand

Flag of Thailand Emblem of Thailand
Anthem
Phleng Chat Thai
Map of Thailand
CapitalBangkok
Government Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
King
- From 1946Bhumibol Adulyadej
Prime minister
- From 2008Abhisit Vejjajiva
Legislature National Assembly
- Upper houseSenate
- Lower houseHouse of Representatives
History
June 23, 1939Established
December 8, 1941Japanese occupation
August 15, 1945Occupation ends
Area513,120 km²
Population
- 201063,878,267
 Density124.4/km²
GDP2010 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 552 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 8,643
CurrencyBaht (฿)
Flag of None Kingdom of Siam
v

The Kingdom of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia.


Background

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 continue to hamper the current government. The ABHISIT administration has announced a plan for a general election some time in 2011 ahead of its full term by the year-end. Since January 2004, thousands have been killed as separatists in Thailand's southern ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces increased the violence associated with their cause.[1]

Economy

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 2.2%. In 2010, Thailand's economy expanded 7.6%, its fastest pace since 1995, as exports rebounded from their depressed 2009 level. Antigovernment protests during March-May and the country's polarized political situation had - at most - a temporary impact on business and consumer confidence. Although tourism was hit hard during the protests, its quick recovery helped boost consumer confidence to new highs. Moreover, business and investor sentiment remained buoyant as Thailand's stock market grew almost 5% during the three-month period. The economy probably will continue to experience high grow well into 2011.[2]

King

  • Bhumibol Adulyadej () (June 9, 1946 - )


Prime minister

  • Abhisit Vejjajiva () (December 15, 2008 - )

Nation

Thai Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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