Thailand: Key Issues and Policies

image of Thailand: Key Issues and Policies

This book offers policy guidance to Thailand for fostering entrepreneurship and strengthening the performance of SMEs and their contribution to growth and development. It provides evidence-based analysis and policy recommendations on thematic issues such as access to finance for SMEs and entrepreneurs, SME participation in global markets, intellectual assets and innovation, high-growth SMEs and women’s entrepreneurship.


Executive Summary

Over the past 15 years, Thailand has recovered rapidly from two major crises: the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 and the global financial and economic crisis of 2007-09. The economy’s resilience has been associated with highly competitive goods and services markets, flexible labour markets and a vibrant entrepreneurial culture. In the intervening inter-crisis period, Thailand, a middle-income country, enjoyed robust economic growth, allowing real per capita GDP to reach nearly one-fourth the OECD average in 2008. Thanks to sound macroeconomic policies, integration into international goods and services markets accelerated, spurred by knowledge transfers from abroad. In a setting of rapidly expanding market opportunities, firm creation and economic growth were strong, leading to labour shortages and large-scale labour immigration. Overall, both the rate of unemployment (1.2% in 2010) and inflation (3.4% in 2010) stayed low, while the external position posted persistent surpluses.


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