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Introduction National Flag and Symbol Political Analysis Economical Analysis Socio-Cultural Analysis Technological Analysis Environmental Analysis Legal Analysis Bibliography

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Country Capital Entire land boundary

Thailand Bangkok 5,326 kilometers

Maritime boundary on 1,878 km the Gulf On the Andaman Sea Neighboring countries 937 km The Union of Myanmar The Lao Peoples Democratic Republic The Kingdom of Cambodia Malaysia



Thailand has several symbols that clearly represent the Thai nation, which, apart from the national tricolor flag and the national emblem, are the national flower, national animal, and Thai architecture.

The Thai national flag, or the Trairong tricolor flag is composed of five horizontal bands of red, white, and blue. The outer red bands represent the nation, built and maintained with the ancestors blood, enclosing the inner white bands representing the purity of religion, and the central blue band, which occupies one third of the total area, representing the monarchy. The flag is of the proportion 9:6. It was introduced by King Vajiravudh as the national flag in 1917.

The national emblem features the Garuda, known as Khrut Pha, or the Garuda as the vehicle of the god Vishnu. It represents the authority of the monarch.


The bright yellow flower of the Cassia fistula tree known in Thai as ratchaphruek, the royal flower, or Khun has been decreed the national flower of Thailand. The flowers, in thick clusters of showy yellow blooms at various stages of development, are so profuse that they almost cover the branches. The plant is considered auspicious, due to its delightful appearance and numerous uses, medical and ritual. It also yields a strong, solid heartwood that may serve as a building pole or even the city pillar, or the main pole of a royal residence, and it is used for the top of the royal baton of the supreme commander and on the top of royally granted regimental standards. The pods are components of traditional herbal medicines from ancient times. Moreover, the yellow flowers signify Buddhism, and yellow is regarded as the royal color, as well. The national flower is featured as a thick cluster of the golden blooms, with green leaves.



The Thai elephant, or Asian elephant, has long been linked to the Thai Kingdom. Elephants with auspicious features were selected as royal carriers and fought in royal battles throughout history, playing a part in the restoration of the Kingdoms independence in the Ayutthaya period. White elephants, in particular, were deemed sacred, in accordance with Brahmin and Buddhist beliefs. The appearance of a white elephant is believed to bring prosperity to the Kingdom. Before 1917, the national flag featured a white elephant on a red background. The Thai elephant, when it features specifically as the national symbol, is a white elephant in the middle of a red circle, with specific characteristics in the legend, particularly a solid body, large head, full cheeks, broad forehead, clear eyes, muscular legs, long parallel tusks, undamaged ears, and drops of sweat between its toenails; it is standing gracefully, with head held up. The sacred white elephant has seven auspicious characteristics: white spots in the eyes, a white soft palate, white toenails, white hair, white or pink skin, white tail hair, and white testicles.


The traditional pavilion, known as the sala, reflects the local wisdom of Thai craftspeople, who created the sala as a graceful and distinctive structure different from those of other countries; it also reflects the style of accommodation of the Thais from ancient times. The sala used as the national symbol is a simple wooden Thai pavilion framed by a circle. The structure is distinctive with its gabled roof and the hornlike finials with graceful lines, standing proudly against the blue background, signifying the brightness of Thailand, a tropical country, and situated on a green ground, representing the fertility of the country, a prosperous agricultural land.



Thailand has adopted a parliamentary, democratic form of government, with the King as Head of State under the Constitution, exercising the sovereign power in the administration, as Thailand is a sovereign state free to conduct her internal and external affairs without pressure, control, or intervention from other countries. The sovereign power comprises three branches:

1. Legislative power, or the legislature, the institution empowered to pass laws, namely the National Assembly, in the form of a bicameral assembly, made up of a House of Representatives and a Senate. All members of the former are publicly elected, while in the latter, out of 150 senators, one senator is elected from each province, making 76, and the rest are appointed; 2. Administrative power, or the administration, the institution that administers public policy and enforces the laws, which is the administration or the government, comprising political officials who are publicly elected to serve as the prime minister and cabinet members to administer the country, and permanent officials, the civil service personnel in the public sector, who implement policies and enforce the laws; 3. Judicial power, or the judiciary, exercised by the courts and judges in the name of the state, or the monarch. The power in the trial and adjudication of cases is in line with the provisions in the laws. The courts are divided into the Constitutional Court, Administrative Courts, and Courts of Justice.

The government, or the administration, is the national authority established to administer the country and to plan for national development in various aspects. Its main powers and duties are as follows: 1. Powers and duties in public administration

Setting policies for public administration and carrying out the tasks in accordance with the policies; Maintaining law and order, enabling people to enjoy safety in their lives and property, and to lead their lives in peace; Supervising permanent officials to ensure that they effectively implement policies; Issuing resolutions for various government units to observe in their implementation.


2. Powers and duties in administering state affairs

Central administration, comprising ministries, departments, and other government units; Regional administration, comprising 75 provinces, with the exception of Bangkok Metropolis, and divided into amphoe (districts) and king amphoe (minor districts), tambon (subdistricts), and mu ban (villages), with a provincial governor as the chief at the provincial level, and a district chief at district level; Local administration, for populous communities, in the form of provincial administrative organizations, tambon administrative organizations, municipalities, and two special local administrations: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Pattaya City.

Political parties and leaders:

1. Chat Pattana Party or CPN (Nation Development Party [WANNARAT Channukun]; 2. Chat Thai Phattana Party or CTP (Thai Nation Development Party) [CHUMPON Silpa-archa]; 3. Phalang Chon Party (Chonburi Power Party) [CHAO Manivong]; Phumjai (Bhumjai) Thai Party or PJT (Thai Pride) [CHAWARAT Chanvirakun]; 4. Prachathipat Party or DP (Democrat Party) [ABHISIT Wechachiwa, also spelled ABHISIT Vejjajiva]; 5. Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [YONGYUTH Wichaidit]; 6. Rak Prathet Thai Party (Love Thailand Party) [YONGYUTH Wichaidit]


Besides its strong fiscal and financial system, Thailand also has a suitable structure and foundation contributing to economic development. Moreover, Thailand has always embraced the free trade system and promoted international trade and investment, all factors that helped the country recover from the 1997 and 2008 economic crises in a short time. Since the export-oriented Thai economy largely depends on the stability of the world economy, the Thai government focuses on developing infrastructure within the country and stimulating all aspects of the economy in a variety of ways. The main driving factors in the Thai economy, apart from exports, are agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and the service industry. Thailands economy at present can be termed as a mixed capitalist and socialist system, open to free competition and foreign trade. Moreover, the country is open to foreign direct investment, which contributes to its fast and steady economic growth.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,700 (2010 est.) $8,200 (2009 est.) $8,400 (2008 est.) 1$ = 30.72 THAI BAHT

Currency Coins
One Thai baht equals 100 satang. Thai coins in circulation now are in six denominations: 25 satang, 50 satang, 1 baht, 2 baht, 5 baht, and 10 baht. Currency Baht Currency code Fiscal year Exchange rate regime Monetary policy target THB 1 October September Managed-float Core inflation within the range of 0-3.5% 30

Currency Notes
Banknotes in current use in Thailand are in five denominations: 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 baht.


Financial System
The Bank of Thailand is mandated by the Bank of Thailand Act to implement monetary policies and to operate as the central bank, taking into consideration monetary value and monetary system stability, as the Monetary Policy Committee is empowered to determine the standard interest rate and to trade debt instruments and foreign exchange, as well as to provide collateralized loans to financial institutions. The monetary policy under the operation of the Bank of Thailand is setting the framework for a flexible inflation target, using core inflation as the target in implementing the policy, which is set in the range of 0-3.5 percent. The Bank of Thailand believes that maintaining a low and nonvolatile inflation rate gives the economic system price stability, and contributes to improved planning and decisions involving consumption, production, savings, and investment in the private sector. As for the exchange rate, the Bank of Thailand follows the policy of the managed-float exchange rate regime, allowing the baht value to move in accordance with the market condition, which reflects the demand and supply of the baht currency in comparison with foreign currencies. The supervision of the exchange rate must not be in conflict with the monetary policy under the framework of a flexible inflation target, so as to prevent exchange rate movement caused by or leading to speculation for profit, with a condition that the volatility of the baht value must be kept at a level acceptable by the economy; another condition is that the countrys competitiveness is maintained, by considering mainly the Nominal Effective Exchange Rate, which must not move against economic trends and thus lead to the accumulation of imbalances.

International Trade
The Thai economic system places high priority on economic expansion, resulting in the countrys dependence on international trade, as a means to accelerate investment and production in Thailand. International trade thus plays an important role in the Thai economic system. The heavy dependence on exports is evident, as the export industry makes up about 60% of Thailands GDP and is also the source of foreign currency used in importing merchandise into Thailand.


As a traditional agrarian country with rich natural resources, and with almost 50% of the population engaged in agriculture, Thailand has emerged as the largest rice exporter in the world. Moreover, other agricultural products, both from farming and fisheries, including processed agricultural products, are important to Thai exports. At present, however, both the workforce numbers and production quantities have decreased in the agricultural sector, while industry and tourism have become more significant to Thailands GDP. Structure of Thai export items, classified by product type Industrial goods Agricultural (cultivation, livestock, fishing) Minerals and fuels Agro-industrial goods Raw materials and semi-processed goods Capital goods Fuels Consumer goods Vehicles and transport equipment Other products Major export destinations for Thai products ASEAN European Union United States Japan Other countries Major import sources for Thailand Japan ASEAN European Union United States Other countries 18.72% 16.81% 8.00% 6.38% 50.09% 22.55% 13.16% 11.41% 11.31% 41.57% 75.30% 11.32% 6.79% 6.59% 43.44% 24.29% 20.77% 8.36% 3.07% 0.07%

Structure of Thailands import items, classified by product type


Investment in Thailand
Net foreign direct investment in Thailand in 2008, classified by source Net value Singapore Japan United States Hong Kong United Kingdom Others 330,002.17 million THB 26.55% 25.85% 10.63% 4.05% 2.95% 29.96%

Net foreign direct investment in Thailand in 2008, classified by investment field Net value Industries Financial institutions Real property Trading Services Others 330,002.17 million THB 45.30% 20.09% 13.49% 10.29% 7.86% 2.97%


The Thai population is diverse in ethnicity and race, comprising citizens of Thai, Chinese, Mon, Khmer, Lao, and Indian descent. Moreover, residents in each region of the country tend to have specific characteristics and appearance, due to differences in the environment and geographical features. Population 63,525,062 Male 31,293,096 Female 32,231,966

Buddhism 93.6% Islam 5.4% Christianity 0.9% Others 0.1% Ethnic groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11% Languages Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects Birth rate 12.81 births/1,000 population (2012 est.) country comparison to the world:153 Sex ratio: Total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2012 est.) Health expenditures: 4.3% of GDP (2009) Country comparison to the world : 153


Education expenditures: 4.1% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 102 Literacy: Definition: age 15 and over can read and write Total population: 92.6% Male: 94.9% Female: 90.5% (2000 census) Unemployment: Total: 4.3% country comparison to the world: 125 Male: 3.7% Female: 5.1% (2009)

The Thai language is comprised of 44 consonants, 32 vowels and five tones in Thai pronunciation, along with a script that has Indian origins. The Thai language, belonging to the Tai family, is the main language in Thailand although there are several regional dialects as well. Other languages spoken in Thailand are Chinese, Lao, Malay and Mon-Khmer, while English use is becoming more prevalent in government and commerce. English is also being taught as a second language in secondary school and universities, which enables the English speaking visitor in Thailand to have little trouble conversing.

The Wai
The wai is the common form of greeting and adheres to strict rules of protocol. Raising both hands, palms joined with the fingers pointing upwards as if in prayer, lightly touching the body somewhere between the chest and the forehead, is the standard form. The wai is both a sign of respect as well as a greeting. Respect and courtesy are demonstrated by the height at which the hands are held and how low the head comes down to meet the thumbs of both hands. The wai may be made while sitting, walking, or standing. The person who is junior in age or status is the first one to offer the wai. The senior person returns the wai, generally with their hands raised to somewhere around their chest. If a junior person is standing and wants to wai a senior person who is seated, the junior person will stoop or bow their head while making the wai. If there is a great social distance between two people, the wai will not be returned.


Buddhism in Thailand
Thailand is a stronghold of Buddhism. Buddhists believe that selfishness and craving result in suffering and that compassion and love bring happiness and well-being. The true path to peace is to eliminate all desire, a condition which Buddhists define as 'nirvana', an indescribable state free of desire, suffering, or further rebirth, in which a person simply is, and is completely at one with his surroundings. Buddhism is practised in Thailand by over 90% of the population.

Hierarchical Society
Thais respect hierarchical relationships. Social relationships are defined as one person being superior to the other. Parents are superior to their children, teachers to their students, and bosses to their subordinates. When Thais meet a stranger, they will immediately try to place you within a hierarchy so they know how you should be treated. This is often done by asking what might be seen as very personal questions in other cultures. Status can be determined by clothing and general appearance, age, job, education, family name, and social connections.

Thai Family Values

The family is the cornerstone of Thai society. Family life is often more closely knit than in western cultures. The Thai family is a form of hierarchy with the parents at the top. Children are taught to honour their parents.

Business Etiquette and Protocol

Relationships & Communication
Thais prefer doing business with people they respect. Relationships develop slowly and do not flourish after one meeting; it may take several meetings. Always be respectful and courteous when dealing with others as this leads to the harmonious relationships necessary within business.

Business Meeting Etiquette

Appointments are necessary and should be made one month in advance. It is good idea to send a list of who will be attending the meeting and their credentials so that Thais know the relative status of the people attending the meeting and can plan properly.

Dress Etiquette
Business attire is conservative. Men should wear dark coloured conservative business suits. Women should wear conservative business suits or dresses. Women need not wear hosiery. Since Thai's judge you on your clothing and accessories, ensure that your shoes are always highly polished.


Thai Food

5. Tom Yam Gai (Spicy Chicken Soup)

4. Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Milk Soup)

3. Kang Keaw Wan Gai (Green Chicken Curry)

2. Pad Thai (Fried Noodle)

1. Tom Yam Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)

Even though it is commonly known that Thai food utilizes many health herbs and spices, there have always been debates whether Thai food is really good for health since they tend to be somewhat spicey and oily. Sure some can be highly caloric but many dishes are recogized as being very nutritious and healthy. Garlic, for example, is widely used in Thai food and very good healthwise because it can prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cancer.


Festivals in THAILAND National holiday

Birthday of King PHUMIPHON (BHUMIBOL), 5 December (1927)

New Years Day Jan 1st Phra BuddhaBahtFair Pattaya Festival

o 31st January to 1st February

Held during the second week of April in Pattaya on Thailand's Eastern Seaboard. It features processions, floral displays, and other special events plus a spectacular fireworks display.


Thailand has constantly been making scientific and technological advances. The main goals of development are to create valuable knowledge bases that can be adapted and that can extend Thai local wisdom into commercial benefits, and to raise the level of research and development activities as mechanisms to drive forward economic and social development, through an efficient use of resources and research networks.

Personnel in research and development, classified by research field Research field Agriculture Social science Engineering and technology Medical science Natural science Humanities Percentage 26.17% 22.14% 12.92% 10.76% 7.94% 2.50%

The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) is an agency established to rally scientific and technological expertise and capability in Thailand Set up in 1991, NSTDA has developed into an organization that emphasizes modern scientific and technological research, through research studies, development, design, and engineering, with the goal of making Thailand a leader in the world economy. NSTDA recognizes that Thailand is rich in natural resources, particularly since agriculture is the main occupation of the Thai people, while industry is a significant contributor to the countrys income. NSTDA therefore has set itself the goal of making operations in agriculture and industry more effective and efficient by the use of modern technologies. This goal will be accomplished through the joint operations of various centers:

National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), emphasizing the development of biotechnology; National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC), with a focus on developing technology related to various materials;


National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), emphasizing the development of electronics and computer technology; National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), focusing on the development of nanotechnology; Technology Management Center (TMC), with an emphasis on assisting researchers and various companies wanting to transform their research results and the technologies they have devised into commercial applications. NSTDA has built the Science Park as the countrys first research community, which NSTDA is determined to support, so that innovation and research in the private sector can be fostered. One of the most famous innovations from Thailand is the invention of an ingenious wastewater aerator, known as the Chaipattana Aerator. The Chaipattana Aerator was patented in the name of His Majesty the King, with a patent granted by the Department of Intellectual Property in the year 1995, the first patent in the name of the King in Thailand and in the world. The aerator treats wastewater by rotating paddles through the water in order to oxygenate the water; it is also widely used for adding oxygen to aquaculture breeding pools. Another innovation that is of great benefit to agricultural practices is the Kaset Pattana Rice Thresher, a farm tool that saves both labor and expense in rice harvesting. Patent registration, by types of products invented Type of invention Chemistry Engineering Physics Percentage 41.92% 32.61% 25.47%

Apart from NSTDA, the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) has also been set up as the coordinating point between research entities and educational institutions. STI has launched the Technology, Engineering, and Innovation Promotion Project as a means to raise the competency of the nations production and service sectors, with the objective of expanding production capacity through linkages between research and the commercial application of research, as well as the application of industrial technologies.


Situated in the middle of mainland Southeast Asia, Thailands topographical features include high mountains, valleys, an upland plateau, and a vast central plain, embellished with forests, rivers, seacoasts, and numerous islands, making Thailand a resource- rich country. In length, Thailand measures about 1,260 km, from the northernmost point at Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province to the southernmost point at Betong district, Yala province. In width, from the westernmost point at Sangkhla Buri district in Kanchanaburi province to the easternmost point at Sirindhorn district in Ubon Ratchathani province, about 780 km. Thailand comprises 76 provinces, each subdivided for administrative purposes into amphoe, tambon, and mu ban or village. (In late 2010, the Government was considering the creation of a 77th province from Bueng Kan district in the northeastern province of Nong Khai.) The nations capital is Bangkok, which is the center of the political and administrative system, trade, industry, education, and art and culture.

Most of Thailand has a tropical or savanna climate, influenced by tropical monsoons most of the year. The southwestern monsoon results in the rainy season, and the northeastern monsoon from the South China Sea brings chilly days. The temperature in Thailand averages from 18 to 34 Celsius, with rainfall totaling around 1,500 millimeters a year; humidity is about 75% in summer with an average temperature of 34 Celsius, 87% in the rainy season with 29 Celsius, and in winter a low relative humidity and 20 Celsius on average.


The overall climate of Thailand is divided into winter (November to February), summer (March to May), and rainy season (June to October). However, region by region, the seasons differ, as shown in the table. Region Seasons Periods Summer February to April Rainy May to October Winter November to January Summer March to April Rainy May to October Winter November to February Summer February to April Rainy May to October Winter November to January

Central and 3 eastern region Northern region 3 Northeastern region 3

Southern region 2 (Summer is East coast: Summer May to September the tourism Rainy October to June Andaman coast: season) Summer November to April Rainy May to October

Four Regions of Thailand

Each region has its specific natural features. Thailand is divided into four regions: The Central region The North region The Northeast or Isan region The South region

The Central region

Central Thailand is the heartland, made up of a vast flatland around the Chao Phraya River, a fertile basin perfect for wet-rice agriculture and crop cultivation, so much so that it is often referred to as the Rice Bowl of Asia and the food basket of the country.

The North
The North is mostly mountainous, making the region the origin of streams and rivers in Thailand, including the Chao Phraya River, formed at the convergence of four rivers: the Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan. With its natural features of high mountains, steep river valleys, and upland areas, summer storms occur quite often. The winter months can be cool enough for the cultivation of temperate-zone fruits and plants such as strawberries.


The Northeast or Isan region

Geographical features of the northeastern region comprise the flatland in the center, with rugged hills to the west and the south. The soil is mostly sandy and can hardly store water, resulting in generally dry conditions unfavorable for cultivation. Livestock raising is therefore the main occupation of the people.

The South region

The region is influenced by the sea on both sides, which means that it is heavily rained on for most of the year. Most areas are flat, with rolling and mountainous terrain made up of major mountains. The region is rich in minerals, such as tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land. Fishing and tourism are the mainstays of the Souths economy. The South, with two great seas on both sides, is resplendent with isles and islets, diverse seascapes, and important natural resources, such as minerals, natural rubber, and coconuts.

Irrigated land:
64,150 sq km (2008)

Total renewable water resources:

409.9 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

Total: 82.75 cu km/yr (2%/2%/95%) Per capita: 1,288 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:
Land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts


Deforestation Efforts to convert forested land for agriculture have reduced forest cover drastically from 53% in 1961 to 25% in 1998.

Overfishing Excessive fishing has reduced fish catches by as much as 90%.

Pollution Thailands rapid industrial expansion and population growth have caused increased pollution levels. Overall, it was estimated in 2004 that air and water pollution costs the country 1.6% - 2.6% of GDP per year.


Taxpayers are classified into resident and non-resident. Resident means any person residing in Thailand for a period or periods aggregating more than 180 days in any tax (calendar) year. A non-resident is, however, subject to tax only on income from sources in Thailand.


Taxable Income (baht) 0 - 150,000 (2008 onwards) 150,001 - 500,000 500,001 - 1,000,000 1,000,001 - 4,000,000 4,000,001 and over

Marginal Taxable income (baht) 150,000 350,000 500,000 3,000,000 Tax Rate (%) Exempt 10 20 30 37


Types of income 1. Employment income 2. Rents and prizes 3. Ship rental charges 4. Service and professional fees 5. Public entertainer remuneration - Thai resident - non-resident 6. Advertising fees

Withholding tax rate 5 - 37 % 5% 1% 3%

5% 5 - 37 % 2%

Trade Regulation
Thailand's government holds a very liberal attitude towards international business and trade. Membership in World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) organizations commits Thailand to the reduction and eventual removal of tariffs, duties, and non-tariff barriers to trade in an agreed upon timeframe. The Export-Import Bank of Thailand is active in assisting exporters by providing them with financing options and the liquidity needed to expand and develop their markets. The government grants certain privileges to foreign and domestic companies operating and exporting from its designated industrial zones, which range from reductions in taxation, lowered import duties to exemption from certain labor laws.


Judicial System
Three types of courts operate in the country At the lowest level is the Court of First Instance, of which there are more than eighty throughout the Kingdom. The second level of the court system is regional Courts of Appeal (Uthorn Court) which hear civil and criminal cases brought from all parts of the country and either reaffirms or revises the decision of the lower courts. At least two judges preside at each hearing. The third level is the Dika or Supreme Court, which is also located in Bangkok. This court only hears appeals on points of fact, which are based on important material arguments. At least three judges must preside at each hearing.


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