Thailand is a country located in Southeast Asia with a population of 69 million people, according to 2017 estimates. Thailand has a diversified economy that is heavily reliant on exports such as rice, rubber, textiles and seafood. Other industries include tourism, manufacturing and services. The main exports are machinery and electronic products, cars and jewelry. Thailand’s foreign relations are mainly focused on regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It also has close ties with countries such as China, Japan and the United States. Politically, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy led by King Maha Vajiralongkorn since 2016. The country has a bicameral legislature called the National Assembly composed of two chambers: the House of Representatives (lower house) and Senate (upper house). See militarynous for Thailand military and defense.
Thailand. In January, southern Thailand suffered major flooding after unusually heavy and prolonged rains. At least 40 people were killed as a result of the floods, which affected over 1.5 million Thais. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Thailand.
At a televised ceremony in April, King Maha Vajiralongkorn wrote under the country’s new constitution. According to the military junta, which drafted the constitution, the king’s approval meant that democratic elections would be held at the end of 2018. However, according to critics, the new constitution meant major restrictions on democracy.
In the spring, southern Thailand was shaken by several serious attacks and bombings. According to Countryaah.com, over 500 shots were fired at a police booth and at least twelve police officers were injured in the province of Yala in April. In the city of Pattani, 60 people were injured in May when a car bomb exploded outside a grocery store, and in the capital Bangkok exploded in a military-owned hospital that month. In the explosion, which took place on the three-year anniversary of the military coup, 24 people were injured.
Authorities threatened to sue the US company Facebook in Thailand if Facebook did not remove 131 links that violated Thai laws – mainly the majors laws – before May 16. However, after the deadline expired, Facebook had not taken any action. Almost a week later, a police spokesman stated that not only those who have published insulting posts against the king would be chased by police, but also those who read.
According to media reports, since the 2014 military coup, the judgments for majestic crimes had increased from a handful to several hundred, at the same time as the punishment became more severe. For example, a lawyer arrested in April risked 150 years in prison for “ten cases of royal slander and three cases of incitement”. Among other things, the lawyer is said to have assisted members of a political opposition group with legal assistance. He must also have been a legal advisor in a case concerning royal insult.
Over the summer, more than 60 people were sentenced to long prison sentences in the country’s largest human trafficking trial. Among those convicted were a general in the Thai army as well as police and local politicians. The criminal investigation began in 2015 after abandoned refugee camps with over 30 dead were found near the border with Malaysia. According to the prosecution, refugees, most of whom were Rohingy, had been held hostage and pressed for ransom in the camps. The longest sentence of 94 years in prison received a Burmese who organized a camp in the jungle. At least 17 other people were sentenced to more than 70 years in prison. According to a statement to the Reuters news agency, the harsh punishment was for marking that human trafficking is prohibited in Thailand.
In September, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was sentenced in his absence to five years in prison for neglect in connection with a government program for rice subsidies during his time in power. According to critics, the program cost the equivalent of several billion SEK in losses. When the verdict fell, Shinawatra was on the run. In connection with the verdict, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that Shinawatra would be sought through diplomatic contacts and through Interpol.
In October, Thailand’s former king Bhumibol was buried, who passed away last October. Since his death, about 12 million people have visited the Royal Palace in Bangkok to honor him and say goodbye. During the five-day cremation ceremony, around 250,000 visitors were expected. Bhumibol Adulyadej was Thailand’s king for 70 years.
Area: 513,120 km2 (world rank: 50)
Population density: 135 per km2 (as of 2017, world rank: 20)
Capital: Krung Thep (Bangkok)
Official languages: Thai
Gross domestic product: 455.2 billion US $; Real growth: 3.9%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 5960 US$
Currency: 1 Baht (B) = 100 Satang
66, 12163 Berlin
Telephone 030 794810,
Fax 030 79481511 www.thaiembassy.de
Head of State: King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X.), Head of Government: General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Exterior: Don Pramudwinai
National holiday: 5.12. (Birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej)
State and form of government
Constitution of 2017
Parliament: House of Representatives with 500 members (350 directly, 150 elected via party lists), election every 4 years;. Senate with 250 Members Rank (200 appointed by electoral body 50 by the National Council for Peace and Order), elections every fifth J.
Voting age 18. J.
last 2010 census. 65,479,454 residents
about 80% of Thai people, especially Siamese, also Shan in the N and Lao in the NE; 12% Chinese, 4% Malay, 3% Khmer and many other minority
Cities (with population): (As of 2010) Krung Thep (Bangkok) 8,305,218 pop., Samut Prakan 681,000, Khon Kaen 416,475, Nonthaburi 415,138, Hat Yai 392,593, Chiang Mai 336,007, Chon Buri 321,149, Pattaya 320,262, Si Racha 277,395, Khlong Luang 275,362, Rayong 267,521, Phuket 258,480, Samut Sakhon 247,616, Phra Padaeng 246,347, Pak Kret 231,594, Thanya Buri 227,699, Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) 213,577, Udon Thani 200,705
Religions: 93% Buddhists, 5% Muslims (Malays); Minorities of Christians and others (status: 2006)
Languages: Thai (Siamese); Chinese, Malay and others; English
Workers by economic sector: agriculture. 33%, industry 23%, business 44% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of all economically active persons)
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 0.7%
Foreign trade: Import: 222.8 billion US $ (2017); Export: US $ 236.7 billion (2017)