The Thai government is working hard to promote “Thailand 4.0,” a new economic model, aimed at pulling Thailand out of the middle-income trap, and developing it as a high-income country.
If you don’t know what is “Thailand 4.0”, don’t blame yourself. A survey by the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting showed that slightly more than half of the businesses knew little about Thailand 4.0.
Why Thailand 4.0?
In the first model, “Thailand 1.0,” emphasis was placed on the agricultural sector. The second model, “Thailand 2.0,” focused on light industries, which helped upgrade the country’s economy from the lowincome to middle-income status. In the third model, “Thailand 3.0,” the country is currently emphasising heavy industries for continued economic growth. During this period, Thailand has become stuck in the middle-income trap and faces disparities and imbalanced development.
What is the middle-income trap ?
The “middle-income trap,” is a situation in which a country’s growth slows after having reached the middle-income levels.
Middle-income countries like Thailand are squeezed between their low-wage competitors that dominate the mature industries on one side and the rich-country innovators that dominate industries of rapid technological change on the other side. In other words, Thailand is moving on from a country with abundant cheap, unskilled labour to an innovation “value-based economy” to climb to the next step of the ladder.
Thailand 4.0, towards a value-based economy
Thailand 4.0 focuses on a “value-based economy,” as the country needs to deal effectively with disparities and the imbalance between the environment and society. Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha explained that Thailand 4.0 has three elements, which mark a significant change in the country’s economy and production.
1. Become a high-income nation
The first element aims to enhance the country’s standing to become a highincome nation through developing it as a knowledge-based economy with an emphasis on research and development, science and technology, creative thinking, and innovation.
2. Move toward an inclusive society
In the second element, Thailand will move toward an “inclusive society” with equitable
access to the fruits of prosperity and development.
3. Focus on a sustainable growth and development
The third element focuses on “sustainable growth and development,” in order to achieve economic growth and sustainable development without destroying the environment. Thailand Business News