Thailand
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Basic Data
Population: 66,720,153 (2011 estimate)
Life expectancy: 74.1
Years of school: 6.6
GNI per capita: 7,694 (2005 PPP$)
HDI index rank: 103 (‘medium’)
(Human Development Report, 2011)
GDP (nominal): 345.649 billion
GDP (nominal) per capita: 5,394 billion




Introduction (development level)
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy located at the center of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast China.
As a newly industrialized country and a major exporter together with well-developed tourism, it is one of the
most potential developing countries in Asia. Though its unstable political situation for example the 2008-2010
Thai political crisis of the struggle between the Yellow Shirts and Red Shirts restrains its development in a certain
extent.

Economic development
Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia now, though Thailand experienced rapid economic
growth between 1985 and 1996 (12.4% annually in average), while has been heavily destroyed in 1997’s Asian
financial crisis with a growth rate of 1.9% on that year. After 1999, Thailand’s economic started to recover and
now the growth rate maintains 4-5%.

The economic structure in Thailand is heavily export-dependent with exports accounting for more than two thirds
of GDP. Thailand is the biggest exporter of rice in the world and it also has other major exports including textiles
and footwear, fishery products, rubber, jewelry, cars, computers and electrical appliances.

In addition to export, agriculture, tourism, and substantial industries including electric appliances, components,
computer parts and cars are also important in Thailand’s economic development structure.

Social development
Thailand has been a kingdom under absolute monarchy after 1932, though the politics has a high degree of
political instability and becomes the arena of fighting factions among old and new elites, bureaucrats, and generals.
Coups happen from time to time and often bringing the country under the rule of yet another junta. And negotiation
among politicians, men of influence and generals has become the prime factor for restoration of temporary political
stability.

Thailand education is provided by a well-organized school system of kindergartens, primary, lower secondary and
upper secondary schools, numerous vocational colleges, and universities. The compulsory education is up to the
age of 14 and the government provides free education up to the age of 17.

In the survey of Transparency International, Thailand ranks 80 out of 179 in the perspective of Corruption Perceptions
Index. And Thailand ranks 34 out of 134 in the Global Competitiveness Report done by the World Economic Forum (2008).