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