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7 May 2014
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Too far off to think about?
SomchaiAt a recent conference jointly hosted by the World Bank and the Thailand Development Research Institute, Somchai Jitsuchon, TDRI director of research into inclusive development, complained that while Malaysia had announced its vision to become a developed nation by 2020, we had not been hearing such a long-term vision from Thai politicians.

Somchai said Thailand needed to find innovative ways to avoid falling into a “middle-income trap” as its population ages. Already the country has seen its economic growth rates decelerate markedly: From growing by 6-7 per cent per annum during a previous 15-year period, gross domestic product has in recent years been growing by just 4 per cent per year or less, he said.

And this may the reason politicians dare not announce a vision for Thailand to achieve developed-nation status. Somchai said he once calculated that if the economy keeps growing at its current rate, it would take this country as long as 30-40 years to reach the same income levels as developed nations.


First published: The Nation, May 6, 2014


Somchai Jitsuchon, Ph.D.
Research Director, Inclusive Development