Thailand

Asia

Thailand

Thailand officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. Thai nationals make up the majority of Thailand's population, 9. The remaining 4.1% of the population are Burmese (2.0%), others 1.3%, and unspecified 0.9%. Thai, or more specifically, Siamese Thai, is the lone official language of Thailand, spoken by over eighty percent of the country’s sixty million people. The role of the English language in Thailand is growing in both scope and importance, much as it is in other developing nations. New technologies, along with the adoption of, and growing access to the Internet have resulted in a major transition in terms of business, education, science, and technological progress, all of which demand a high proficiency in English. At 513,120 km2 and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship. Its official currency is the Baht. It is subdivided into 100 satang. According to SWIFT, as of February 2017, the Thai baht is ranked as the 10th most frequently used world payment currency.With a relatively well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and generally pro-investment policies, Thailand is highly dependent on international trade, with exports accounting for about two-thirds of GDP. Thailand’s exports include electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods. The industry and service sectors produce about 90% of GDP. The agricultural sector, comprised mostly of small-scale farms, contributes only 10% of GDP but employs about one-third of the labor force. Thailand has attracted an estimated 3.0-4.5 million migrant workers, mostly from neighboring countries. Over the last few decades, Thailand has sustained strong growth and has reduced poverty substantially. In 2013, the Thai Government implemented a nationwide 300 baht (roughly $10) per day minimum wage policy and deployed new tax reforms designed to lower rates on middle-income earners. Growth has slowed in the last few years, however, due to domestic political turmoil and sluggish global demand. Nevertheless, Thailand’s economic fundamentals are sound, with low inflation, low unemployment, and reasonable public and external debt levels. Tourism and government spending - mostly on infrastructure and short-term stimulus measures – have helped to boost the economy, and The Bank of Thailand has been supportive, with several interest rate reductions.

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