Thailand must ‘break out’ and become a trading nation

Boonwara Sumano I n 2012, Ruchir Sharma wrote in his famous book called Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles about the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which had affected economies worldwide. In this book, he predicted that not many countries would be able to maintain economic growth at the desirable rate […]

TDRI upbeat about job market after integration

 NOP TEPHAVAL The free movement of migrant labour after the integration of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) later this year is expected to bring more benefits than drawbacks for the Thai economy. A rising workforce would stimulate economic activities, which in turn would boost consumption, according to the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). Yongyuth Chalamwong, […]


As Thailand’s population ages and shrinks, policymakers need to speed up efforts to adapt on many fronts.  By Nareerat Wiriyapong Thailand has a 20-year population development plan that contains many measures to deal with a growing ageing population and a shrinking labour force. However, the country’s long record of political volatility suggests that turning plans into […]

Risk looms for local tourism workers

Many locals working in the tourism industry are likely to lose their jobs to foreigners when the Asean Economic Community sweeps into the country next year. “The less skilled or those poor in foreign languages will come under much more pressure from work and may leave their jobs,” Pornthip Hirunkate, vice president for marketing at […]

Tackle worker deficit now, foster growth

Yongyuth Chalamwong We Thais are fun loving yet hard working even in the industrial sector – the country’s current highest growth achiever among all economic sectors. We have been performing relatively well since the 1960s and became regarded as a newly industrialised country in the mid-80s. As a newly industrialised nation, we are planning to […]

FDI needs state support

Darana Chudasri Foreign direct investments into Thailand still require government support measures for long-term competitiveness, especially in the service and agricultural sectors, says Deunden Nikomborirak, research director for Thailand Development Research Institute. Ms Deunden said Thailand is Asean’s second-largest economy, contributing 20% of Asean’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, the FDI into Thailand was only […]

Panel urges opening of Thailand’s service sector

Nanchanok Wongsamuth Despite the huge economic benefit to be gained, a think tank is warning that Thailand’s hesitance to liberalise its service sector fully will cause economic growth to stall. The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) said the share of industrial products in Thailand’s GDP is the highest in Asia, while the proportion of the […]

SMEs must change

Nop Tephaval Darana Chudasri Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must find ways to integrate both academic and practical knowledge through partnerships with educational institutes to survive growing competition when the Asean Economic Community (AEC) is established late next year, says one think tank. Kosit Panpitmras, chairman of the Thailand Development Research Institute’s council of […]