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Multi-dimensional Review of Thailand (Volume 1)

Initial Assessment

image of Multi-dimensional Review of Thailand (Volume 1)

Thailand has made impressive progress over the past several decades, both in economic and social terms. Sustained strong growth and a rapidly modernising economy have turned Thailand into an upper middle-income country with a strong urban centre. Economic success has brought impressive social advancement. Poverty has plummeted, while education and health services have considerably expanded and improved. These achievements have brought Thailand to a new stage and a new set of challenges.

Rising prosperity has not been shared equally across the country and economic transformation needs a boost. The share of those in precarious employment still exceeds half of the working population. The creation of new activities replacing low-productivity ones has slowed while rural migrants and urban poor lack the skills required for modern urban jobs. While Bangkok’s success as a metropolis has been key to Thailand’s transformation, thriving secondary cities are needed that can develop new sources of growth.

Experience shows that development is not about getting everything right, but about getting right what matters most. The Initial Assessment of this Multi-Dimensional Review endeavors to identify the challenges and key constraints that must be overcome for Thailand to succeed. It offers recommendations related to informality, productivity and the management of natural resources, particularly water. The next volumes will provide further suggestions for action to address these challenges.

English

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People: Towards better lives for all

OECD Development Centre

The People pillar of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focuses on quality of life in all its dimensions, and emphasises the international community’s commitment to ensuring all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity, equality and good health.Thailand’s path from a low-income to an upper-middle-income country over recent decades is widely hailed as a development success story. Poverty has fallen impressively and inequality is on a downwards trend, but more efforts are needed to reduce still widespread informality and persistent, substantial regional inequalities, and to further improve living standards, especially for those who currently work informally. To achieve these objectives, the government needs to: (i) consider tax and regulatory measures to encourage formalisation; (ii) boost the participation rates of informal workers in social protection schemes; (iii) expand adequate social safety nets for poor households and the elderly; (iv) prepare the healthcare system for an ageing and modernising society; and (v) improve the education system, particularly in rural areas. Gaps also remain in ensuring women’s political participation and reducing gender-based violence.

English

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