World Bank: Thailand Expected to See Fastest Economic Growth Since 2012

Thailand’s economy is expected to grow by 4.1%in 2018, the fastest pace since 2012, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s report titled Thailand Economic Monitor.  

While rapid export growth continues fueling the economy, an increase in capacity utilization and acceleration in capital goods imports suggest a nascent domestic demand recovery as well, said World Bank, adding that regulatory reforms and overall policy stability are contributing to continuing improvements in business sentiment.

“With economic growth exceeding 4% this year, for the first time since 2012, Thailand has the potential, with intensifying structural reforms, to raise productivity and grow even faster over the medium term,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Director for Thailand, Malaysia and Regional Partnerships.  “In addition to education and skills reform and strong implementation of quality infrastructure investments, increasing competition, especially in services, will be key for boosting innovation and lifting Thailand onto a new path of higher, long-term growth.

In addition,  Thailand ranked 52 out of 128 in the Global Innovation Index in 2017 has the opportunity, with innovation friendly policies, to attract and foster high-quality entrepreneurs and innovative investments, both within Thailand and from abroad, the report says .   

To create an environment promoting innovation, the report highlights priority areas for action for Thailand, including strengthening competition policy, opening and liberalizing services, establishing a national data strategy, and improving intellectual property rights, all while continuing pursuing skills reforms. 

As Thailand seeks to attain high-income status as set out in the 20-year National Strategy, research and development for both technological catch-up and innovation will play important roles, World Bank noted.