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Multi-dimensional Review of Thailand

Volume 3: From Analysis to Action

image of Multi-dimensional Review of Thailand

Thailand is a fast emerging country that aspires to become a high-income economy by 2037. Strong growth has enabled the country to join the group of upper-middle-income economies in the early 2010s and to perform well in many areas. At the same time, the benefits of prosperity have not been shared evenly nationwide and the economic development has taken a toll on the environment. Moving forward, Thailand needs to master three transitions to build capabilities and sustain faster but also more inclusive economic growth: enabling further growth by unlocking the full potential of all Thailand’s regions; developing more effective methods of organisation and collaboration between actors and levels of government; managing water security and disaster risk. Based on the previous volume’s in-depth analysis and policy recommendations, this report suggests a set of actions to support these transitions. The actions focus on the North of Thailand, one of the most diverse and yet poorest regions of the country.

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Developing the potential of Thailand’s North: An action plan

In spite of remarkable growth rates, the North of Thailand remains one of the less developed and most unequal regions of the country. Certain provinces and areas are transforming into thriving hubs for manufacturing, logistics (connectivity with the Greater Mekong Subregion) and tourism services, while others lag behind and rely on rural activities with low productivity. To achieve long-term sustainable and inclusive growth, the North needs to identify and develop new sources of innovation and entrepreneurship. Based on workshops in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, this chapter proposes a process for creating an effective strategy for developing the region and key actions to strengthen local governments so they can be active partners in implementing the strategy. The chapter also discusses selected urban policies to transform Northern urban areas into liveable and productive cities, such as the creation of metropolitan authorities. Finally, the chapter focuses on actions that Northern provinces could take to leverage their rich network of universities and science parks and thereby nurture local entrepreneurial spirit.

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