Backgrounder: Key facts about the Kingdom of Thailand

21:50, November 10, 2010      

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Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo arrived in Bangkok Wednesday, kicking off his official visit to Thailand.

The following are some key facts about the country.

The Kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, with an area of 513,115 square kilometers. It is bordered to the northeast by Laos, and to the southeast by 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.

Bangkok is the capital and the largest city of the country.

Thailand has a population of 66.7 million and more than 30 nationalities. About 40 percent of its population are ethnically Thai. Its predominant religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by about 94 percent of the population.

Thailand's foreign trade policy is open and based on a free economy, which depends on the U.S., Japanese and European markets.

The country experienced continuous and rapid economic growth in the 1980s, expecially in the fields of electronics manufacturing. In 1996, it was listed as a "medium-income country."

Its economy plunged into recession following the 1997 Asian financial crisis and started to recover in 1999.

The current Abhisit government is making efforts to boost the economy under the "Strong Thailand" stimulus program.

Thailand is a resource rich country. It has the world's largest sylvinite reserve of 43.7 million tons and has 12 percent of the world's total reserves of stannum, or 1.2 million tons.

Agriculture is a traditional economic industry which contributed 8.9 percent of the country's gross domestic product in 2009.

It is one of the major fish product exporters in the world and the third largest marine fishing nation after Japan and China in Asia.

China and Thailand established diplomatic relations on July 1, 1975. The friendly and cooperative relations between two countries have developed smoothly in a variety of fields, with trade volume reaching 38.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2009.

Source: Xinhua


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