fbpx Thailand: Industrialization and Economic Catch-Up | Asian Development Bank

Thailand: Industrialization and Economic Catch-Up

Publication | December 2015
Thailand: Industrialization and Economic Catch-Up

This report identifies some of Thailand’s critical development constraints and discusses policy measures and economic reforms needed to accelerate economic transformation toward a more modern and service-oriented economy.

Thailand’s economic and social transformation of the last 50 years has placed it in the ranks of upper middle-income countries and made it an integral part of global value chains. It has also established itself as a regional hub for key transport and logistics, with a world-class airport.

To continue its rise, Thailand needs to move into the higher-value segments of economic activity and create high-quality jobs that are regionally broader based. This report identifies the major constraints to accomplishing these goals and analyzes the main challenges. Among them, the country must:

  • enhance research and development and international technology transfers;
  • elevate worker skills and their industrial relevance;
  • address structural impediments to competition, notably in services;
  • provide advanced transport and logistics infrastructure; and
  • improve access to finance and technology for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.


  • Thailand Fast Facts 
  • Highlights
  • Overview: Economic Transformation and Industrial Upgrade
  • Technological Progress: Limited International Technology Transfer
  • Challenges in the Transition to High-Income Status
  • Policy Recommendations: Addressing the Challenges