Natural rubber is produced by Hevea brasiliensis, a tree native to the Amazon region of South America. In
the late eighteenth century, rubber was introduced to the Far East, which is now the main rubber-producing
region of the world. Currently, the major producers of natural rubber are Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India,
China, Viet Nam and Sri Lanka. In 2005, the world’s production of natural rubber amounted to 8 682 million
tonnes whereby 7 466 million tonnes (approximately 86 percent) originated from these seven countries.