For the name of the country see. below: History. The government decided in 1943 to transfer the capital to Saraburi, a town located about 120 kilometers NE of Bangkok. This city, which in turn had replaced itself in the 18th century as the capital of Ayudhya, will be able to increase its industrial and commercial activities further. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the expansion of its port works, concerning the construction of an upper and a lower river pier, equipped with warehouses and silos, connected to the road and railway network, as well as two port basins parallel to the river.. The new port is already open to maritime traffic.
Territorial variations. – For the Franco-Thai agreement of May 9, 1941 (see below), a territory formerly belonging to Indochina (about 70,000 sq km and 800,000 residents) Was annexed to Siam, comprising: the district of Pak-lay, with the the Luangprabang region located on the right of the Mekong River; the part of the province of Laos located on the right bank of the Mekong; in Cambodia, the region north of the border line between the provinces of Battambang and Pursat, and an area, on the right bank of the Mekong, approximately north of an ideal line joining the extreme northern tip of the Great Lake or Tonlé Sap with Stung-treng (excluding, however, the province of Siem-reap, the center of Angkor and a small stretch to the right of the Mekong near Stung-treng).
Subsequently, in 1943, following an agreement concluded with the Japanese government, the four Malaysian sultanates of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Trengganu were annexed to Siam, covering an area of 39,299 sq km. and with a population estimated in 1921 at just over a million residents. In addition, the two provinces of Kong-tung and Mong-pan, formerly belonging to the Shan States, were annexed to Siam. At the end of the Second World War, however, Siam had to return the aforementioned territories, returning to the pre-war borders.
Demographic conditions. – From the general census carried out on 23 May 1937 the present population was 14,464,105 residents (95.6% Siamese, 3.6% Chinese) with an average annual increase compared to the 1929 census of 2.9%, which is largely attributed to the surplus of births over deaths. Of the 70 provinces into which the state divides, Nakhon Sawan and Phichit have the largest average annual percentage increase (4.8%) and Thonburi the least (1.4%). The average population density is 28 residents per sq. km. The population, however, is unevenly distributed: from a minimum density of 4 residents per sq. km. (Maehongson province) rises to a maximum density of 770 (Phra-Naklon province). 95.0% of the population is Buddhist.
Out of an active population of 6,823,559 individuals, only 357,339 are employed in commerce and 129,954 in industries, compared to 6,049,202 employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing. The remaining 287,067 individuals are employed in public and private administration, housework, worship, etc.
Economic conditions. – The 1937 census found 83.3 % of the population employed in agriculture and fishing, and 1.9% in industrial establishments. The main product remains rice, the crop of which was further expanded in the pre-war period (1941: 3.806.980 ha. And 4.923.350 t.). After the war there was an inflection (1945: 2.956.520 ha. And 3.458.000 t.). Even the hevea plantationsare under development, but the figures of its overall production are not of public reason: it is only known – among the most recent data – the quantity of elastic rubber loaded in Bangkok in 1946: it amounted to 14,650 t. Even the breeding had continued, before the war, in its progress: but during the Japanese occupation it was really decimated. The elephants, which had increased from 10,200 to 10,970 between 1934 and 1938, then decreased to 3580 in 1945. Thus between 1938 and 1945 there was a decrease in the number of oxen from 5,711,720 to 3,148,660; buffaloes from 5,551,230 to 3,981,450; horses from 385,565 to 64,720. The industry now has some textile plants, two sugar refineries (one in Lampang) and a paper factory in Kanburi. For Thailand economics and business, please check businesscarriers.com.
Finances. – The state budget varied as follows until 1944:
Currently, the official exchange rate is around 10 baht per US dollar. Authorized banks can freely carry out foreign exchange transactions, except those relating to exports prior to January 21, 1947 or connected with the export of certain products subject to special controls. 10% of the foreign exchange earnings from rice exports and 50% of that from tin, rubber and teak exports are allocated by the Bank of Siam to the exporters themselves for the import of goods.
Monetary circulation, which amounted to 316 million at the end of 1941, had risen in December 1946 to 2,090 million baht. In May 1947 the gold reserves of the Bank of Siam amounted to 76.9 million dollars.