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I don't have to come back politically, but I would like to do something that will help the people of Thailand. There must be a process under which I can come back. I want to come back to clear the chaos in Thailand, the civil war in Thailand.
Thaksin Shinawatra, former Prime Minister of Thailand
As a monarchy Thailand is something of an anachronism (Cambodia is the only other monarchy in the Association of South East Asian Nations – ASEAN) in modern South East Asia. In 1782 the current monarchy established itself in a new capital, then known as ‘Krung Thep’ (‘City of Angels’) which soon became known outside Thailand as ‘Bangkok.’ The Chakri Dynasty’s founder was Rama 1 (the current monarch is Rama 9th) ; however, the architect of Thailand’s first foreign policy was King Mongkut (aka Rama 4th), who achieved the delicate balance of expanding trade with the West while holding the colonialist ambitions of the same Western nations at bay. Thailand, uniquely, became a neutral buffer state between British and French claims in Burma, Malaya and Indochina.
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- Political structure
- Main cities
- Languages spoken
- Industry and manufacturing
- Financial markets
- Banking and insurance
- Dress codes
- Entry requirements
- Health (for visitors)
- Credit cards
- Public holidays
- Working hours
- Social customs and useful tips
- Getting there
- Getting about
To purchase your copy of the World of Information Profile and Overview of Thailand: CLICK HERE
Official name: Prathet Thai; Ratcha Anachak Thai (Kingdom of Thailand)
Head of State: King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) (since 1946)
Head of government: Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (since 25 August 2014) after launching a military coup against the government and then assuming control of the country.
Ruling party: Following Gen. Prayut Chan-o cha’s coup, he issued an interim constitution granting himself sweeping powers and giving himself amnesty for staging the coup. In August 2014, a military dominated national legislature, whose members were handpicked by Prayut, elected him as the new prime minister.
Area: 514,000 square km
Population: 68.66 million (2014) (65,479,453; 2010 census figure)
Official language: Thai
Currency: Baht (B) = 100 satang
Exchange rate: B36.17 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$8,445 (2014)
GDP real growth: 0.71% (2014)
GDP: US$373.80 billion (2014)
Labour force: 385.82 million (2014)*
Unemployment: 0.84% (2014)
Inflation: 1.90% (2014)
Oil production: 453,000 bpd (2014)
Natural gas production: 42.10 billion cum (2014)
Balance of trade: US$24.56 billion (2014)
Annual FDI: US$7.78 billion (2011)
* estimated figure