2020 OECD Economic Surveys: Thailand 2020

Economic Assessment

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Thailand 2020

Thailand has made impressive economic and social progress over several decades. However, the COVID-19 crisis has interrupted this progress. Thanks to its sound macroeconomic policy framework, Thailand was well placed to respond rapidly to the sharp economic downturn. Nevertheless, achieving high-income country status will require, in addition to a strong recovery programme, a set of policy reforms focused on productivity growth and human capital accumulation. Thailand has made remarkable progress in expanding access to education, and the share of highly educated workers has increased significantly. Nevertheless, because of skills mismatches, substantial labour shortages have prevailed in a range of occupations and industries, which makes it important to improve vocational education and adult training programmes. As the demand for services has become important globally, Thailand has an opportunity to boost its exports of services, diversify its economic activity, and therefore become more resilient in the face of unexpected shocks. This would involve a focus on digital services and business-to-business services, which represent a large share of the value of manufacturing products. Focus on human capital, skills, digital technology, and high-value services would help Thailand resume strong economic growth and social progress after the COVID-19 crisis.



Basic statistics of Thailand, 2019

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the OECD average)**

This Assessment is published on the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD. The draft report was discussed at a meeting of the Economic and Development Review Committee on 10 July 2020, with participation of representatives of the Thai authorities. The 2020 OECD Economic Assessment of Thailand was prepared by Kosuke Suzuki, Marieke Vandeweyer, Ricardo Espinoza, Miso Lee, Laura Reznikova, and Tan Kay Kiang, under the supervision of Patrick Lenain. It benefitted from contributions at various stages by Alvaro Pereira, Isabell Koske, Frank Van Tongeren, Christine Arriola, Inese Rozensteine, Andrew Bell, Alessandro Goglio, Michele Cimino, Andrea Cornejo, Norihiko Yamano, Peter Horvát, Manasit Choomsai Na Ayudhaya, and Thanit Herabat. Isabelle Luong provided statistical assistance and Stephanie Henry provided editorial support. Support from the governments of Japan, Thailand and Malaysia is gratefully acknowledged.This is the first Economic Assessment of Thailand.Information about the latest as well as previous Surveys and more information about how Surveys are prepared is available at http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys.


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