BY DAVID MALONEY, CHIEF EDITOR
It may be a mid-tier economy
right now, but Thailand is
aiming for the big leagues.
To make that happen, it’s
embarking on an ambitious
growth plan that includes
$50 billion in infrastructure
THAILAND IS READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP ECONOMICALLY.
Sitting among the world’s mid-tier economies, Thailand plans to invest heavily
in infrastructure to raise its profile among foreign investors and position itself as
one of Southeast Asia’s primary gateways for commerce.
This nation of 68 million people already has a lot going for it. Its manufacturing sector is strong, particularly in the automotive and technology areas. It is the
world’s number-two producer of hard disk drives. It ranks 12th in automotive
manufacturing and sixth in the production of rubber tires. It is also the sev-enth-largest maker of computer devices. On top of that, Thailand boasts a fairly
robust growth rate of 3. 2 percent, a low cost of living, and a business-friendly
environment—the World Bank ranks it the fifth-best nation in Eastern Asia
when it comes to ease of doing business.
Part of its economic success is a result of its location. Thailand is surrounded
by many of the globe’s fastest-growing economies. Its neighbors include the
powerhouse markets of China and India, and it’s situated within a short journey
of half the world’s population. It’s easy to see why Thailand aims to position itself
as the gateway to these substantial markets.
But location and past success are not enough to assure a solid future for a mid-range economy. Many nations languish for years in the middle of the econom-