Overview website for Thailand


Thailand is one of the great development success stories. Due to smart economic policies it has become an upper middle income economy and is making …


The past year has been eventful for Thailand. A decisive election victory swept Yingluck Shinawatra to power as the country’s first woman prime minister.


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The past year has been eventful for Thailand. A decisive election victory swept Yingluck Shinawatra to power as the country’s first woman prime minister. Her government was then tested by the worst flooding in 50 years. Escalating violence in the Deep South underscored the fact that resolution of the protracted conflict remains elusive. We promote peaceful conflict mitigation, citizen engagement in public affairs, and responsive and transparent governance, supported by perception surveys that register the views and expectations of citizens with political leaders and lawmakers. Read country overview. Thailand office’s website.

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand is a country in South-East Asia with coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. It borders Myanmar (Burma) to the north-west, Laos to the north-east, Cambodia to the south-east and Malaysia to the south.

With great food, a tropical climate, fascinating culture and great beaches,

Thailand is the most popular tourist destination all over the world. You can find almost anything here: thick jungle as green as can be, crystal blue beaches that feel more like a warm bath than a swim in the ocean and food that can curl your nose hairs while tap dancing across your taste buds. Exotic, yet safe; cheap, yet equipped with every modern amenity you need, there is something for every interest and every price bracket, from beach front backpacker bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. And despite the heavy flow of tourism, Thailand retains its quintessential Thainess, with a culture and history all its own and a carefree people famed for their smiles and their fun-seeking sanuk lifestyle. Many travelers come to Thailand and extend their stay well beyond their original plans and others never find a reason to leave. Whatever your cup of tea is, they know how to make it in Thailand.

This is not to say that Thailand doesn’t have its downsides, including the considerable growing pains of an economy where an agricultural laborer is lucky to earn 100 baht per day while the nouveau riche cruise past in their BMWs, Bangkok, the capital, is notorious for its traffic jams and rampant development has wrecked much of once-beautiful Pattaya and Phuket. In heavily touristed areas, some lowlifes have made scamming tourists into an art form.

The World Bank has upgraded Thailand’s income categorization from a lower-middle income economy to an upper-middle income economy in July 2011. This is due to Thailand’s progress in social and economic development, despite facing a number of financial/economic and political challenges.

After recovering from the “Asian Crisis” of 1997-1998, the Thai economy took off again. From 2002-2006, Thailand’s growth averaged at 5.6%.

As such, Thailand has been one of the great development success stories, with sustained strong growth and impressive poverty reduction. In the decade that ended in 1995, the Thai economy was one of the world’s fastest growing at an average rate of 8-9% per year. After recovering from the Asian Crisis of 1997-1998, the Thai economy took off again, with growth averaging about 5% per year in the period 2002-2007. Primarily due to the high rates of economic growth, poverty has been falling steadily since the late 1980s. Over the last decade, poverty has been reduced from its recent peak of 21% (a result of the 1997 crisis) to about 8% in 2009. Poverty in Thailand is primarily a rural phenomenon, with 88% of the country’s 5.4 million poor living in rural areas.

However, benefits of Thailand’s economic success have not been shared equally, with some regions—particularly, the North and Northeast—lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of poverty reduction. Furthermore, in 2010, Thailand’s economic growth slowed because of global economic conditions and political uncertainty. However, Thailand’s economic activity is gradually returning to normal, with quarterly economic growth rates now closer to the levels often seen before the global financial crisis began in 2008. The GDP growth forecast for Thailand is at 4.5% in 2012 and 5.0% in 2013 (pdf).

As a result of sensible economic policies, Thailand continues to make progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is likely to meet most of the MDGs on an aggregate basis. The maternal mortality and under-five mortality rates have been greatly reduced and more than 97% of the population, both in the urban and rural areas, now have access to clean water and sanitation. Nevertheless, there continue to be spatial variations with some regions and ethnic groups lagging behind, and there are some concerns about the environmental sustainability goal.

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