Siam (Thailand) Economic Sectors

By | December 17, 2021

Forests. РExcept for the central lowlands, the rest of the country is largely covered by forests, which are thought to occupy 50-60% of the total area. The most important are those of teak, the timber of which is in third place, by value, in Siamese exports, after rice and tin. Teak is found abundantly north of the 17th parallel, in some specific areas which have particularly favorable soil and climate conditions and which would cover about 30,000 of the 107,000 sq km. of forests of northern Siam, where, in addition to the teak forest, the forest of laterite soils and the evergreen forest, dense, impenetrable, with dense undergrowth of bamboo, reeds, lianas, epiphytes and arborescent ferns stand out. Laos chiefs were the first to exploit the teak forests, the trade of which was once in the hands of Burmese, Shan and Chinese traders. European traders took over at the end of the 19th century. Since considerable damage had been done to the forests at the beginning of exploitation, the Siamese government decided to regulate and control the traffic of this great natural resource. After cutting, the teak is left to dry for about two years and then transported by the elephants to the nearest watercourse, where it is made to flow (if it is not seasoned it does not float) to the main centers of the country; or it is transported by 8-10 pairs of buffaloes or 10-15 pairs of oxen. Mechanical transport (railways, tramways, tractors) is becoming more and more widespread. Exports have decreased considerably in these years of crisis, from 108.8 million cubic meters. baht. Many other fine woods are exported in small quantities. For Thailand 2008, please check

Fishing. – Rice and fish are the main nourishment of the Siamese population. Fishing therefore has a prominent place among the various economic activities of the country. The Gulf of Siam, with its shallow waters, is full of fish and is frequented by the most popular species of fish from tropical seas. Among these, a sardine is of great importance, which is found in immense shoals. The inland waters are also very rich in fish, especially of species of the large family of Cyprinids. The introduction of modern catching and conservation systems can be expected to give an ever greater increase to fishing. The export of salted fish, in fact, which was 238.783 q. in 1928-29, it had already risen to 292,254 q. in 1932-33.

Industries. – Although the mining industry is still underdeveloped, in second place among the goods exported from Siam is tin, which also abounds in the Siamese part of the Malacca Peninsula (British Malacca ranks 1st among all countries in the world) and of which traces have been found here and there throughout the western mountainous area, on the border with Burma. The most important mines are those of Bhuket Island, from which two thirds of the ore comes, which on average contains 72% metal. Production went up until 1930-31 (167,700 tons of ore) and then decreased due to the crisis and decreased production of the Bhuket mines (148,662 tons in 1933-34, of which 107,880 from Bhuket). Since there are no foundries in the country,

In small quantities, but in many parts of the country, Siamese and Chinese extract gold from the sands of rivers. Lead is found in the mines of Jala (Malay Peninsula) associated with tin, also found in the form of galena in Kanchanaburi. In the Siam of SE. significant quantities of molybdenum were extracted during the world war. Rubies and sapphires are made from the Kanchanaburi region.

Apart from the industries connected with rice cultivation and forest exploitation, all the others are of little importance. The lack of iron and coal and other negative factors prevent the rise of modern large industry. The milling industry is without comparison the most remarkable; the major rice mills are centralized in Bangkok, which has about seventy, mostly steam and some electric. Another 500 mills are scattered throughout the other centers. Most of the mills are owned by Chinese, and almost all the workers who work there are Chinese. The largest timber sawmills are also located in Bangkok and belong to Europeans or Chinese.

Small local industries are in decline due to competition from goods imported at very low prices from the major industrial states of Asia and Europe. Small cotton and silk weaving mills continue to operate in some locations in northern and eastern Siam. The colors of aniline, which penetrated even the most remote areas due to their low cost, greatly reduced the use of vegetable colors, which were drawn from numerous essences. Even today from Diospyros mollis a beautiful black dye is obtained, widely used in northern and central Siam and in some silk factories in Bangkok; and from a species of Cudrania a brilliant orange color is obtained, exported to Java for the manufacture of batik. In each village elegant baskets and baskets of bamboo are intertwined, and valuable lacquer objects are made above all in Chiengmai. In this regard, it should be noted that, after India, Siam is the largest producer of lacquer in the world, and lacquer still enters to a large extent in its exports, despite the recent fall in prices; it comes from northern and eastern Siam (the best is Chiengmai) and the main market is Bangkok.

Siam (Thailand) Fishing