Thailand and ADB

ADB helps Thailand maintain prosperity and sustainability through knowledge support, policy advice, finance solutions, and technical assistance to achieve the country’s national strategic objectives.

Economic forecasts for Thailand

Figures are based on the latest edition of ADB's Asian Development Outlook, which analyzes economic and development issues in Asia and the Pacific. This includes forecasting the inflation and gross domestic product growth rates of economies throughout the region.


 

Comparative economic forecasts

The latest available economic data for Thailand compared to countries in Southeast Asia.


 

Policy Challenge—Developing the Ecosystem for a Green Transition

Thailand is at a crossroads in its climate strategy, urgently needing tangible action plans to revolutionize and green its economy. A transition is already underway. Thailand is in the process of enacting its first Climate Change Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance capacity for climate change adaptation in every sector. It revised the National Adaptation Plan, aiming to build adaptive capacity and enhance climate resilience in six priority sectors, including water resource management, agriculture and food security, tourism, public health, natural resources management, and human settlements and security. Thailand is also implementing several emission reduction policies across the economy, such as tax incentives for renewable energy investments, the Environmentally Sustainable Transport System Plan, and a Waste Management Roadmap. On financing, the first phase of Thailand Taxonomy was launched last year as a crucial step toward a sustainable finance landscape. It provides guidance, frameworks, and standards for investors and stakeholders to define “green” projects and avoid “greenwashing.”

New institutions are being created. To improve climate change management, Thailand established a new department within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to coordinate efforts to address climate change issues. In late 2023, Thailand launched the Thai Climate Initiative Fund (ThaiCI) as a financial mechanism to support climate change operations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change, and achieving the goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050 and Net Zero by 2065.

Carbon pricing is an essential mechanism for businesses to achieve carbon neutrality and net zero targets. A carbon tax will come into force in the next few years. A voluntary carbon credits market already operates, but market size remains small. There is no stringent emission cap and carbon prices are relatively low under the emissions trading system. However, they fluctuate significantly as the various carbon standards are not yet fixed. The market is not determined by demand and supply, implying that prices under this system are ineffective in reducing greenhouse gases. The initial costs of some projects are high and have long repayment horizons, which create a significant financial burden for businesses that want to develop their own carbon credit projects. Also, carbon credits may not suit small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the majority of businesses in Thailand. Moreover, SMEs usually face constraints in accessing credit and financial products, making them vulnerable in the transition toward a green economy. Thus, scaling up the carbon pricing market and addressing SME financial issues is crucial for policymakers to pursue a strong and inclusive green transition.

Strengthening capacity-building in green skills is also required to support new technologies and green initiatives. As brown industries that emit high levels of greenhouse gases are set to decline, it could cause significant job losses, especially for low-skilled workers. According to a Thailand Development Research Institute study, at least 8 million low-skilled workers in brown industries will have to shift to green jobs that require higher professional skillsets, Also, Thailand lacks qualified workers for green jobs, such as environmental engineers and renewable energy technicians. Thus, the government should invest more in education and green skill training programs for a smooth transition.

More resources

Asian Development Bank and Thailand: Fact Sheet

Asian Development Bank and Thailand: Fact Sheet

The Fact Sheets summarize ADB's partnerships with member economies, providing key facts and figures and an overview of activities and future directions.

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) April 2024

Asian Development Outlook

The Asian Development Outlook analyzes economic and development issues in developing countries in Asia.

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2023

Key Indicators

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific publication presents data regarding the economic, financial, social, and environmental situations in a broad range of countries across the region.

Basic Statistics 2024

Basic Statistics

The Basic Statistics brochure presents data on selected social, economic, and SDG indicators such as population, poverty, annual growth rate of gross domestic product, inflation, and government finance for economies in Asia and the Pacific.