Raising Export Competitiveness and Improving Education Quality Are Key Priorities
BANGKOK, June 3, 2015— The Thai economy grew by 0.9 percent in 2014, as domestic demand was dampened by political turmoil in the first half of the year and exports fell amid lower demand from China and other large Southeast Asian countries, according to the Thailand Economic Monitor 2015, released today by the World Bank Group.
The country’s real GDP is expected to increase by up to 3.5 percent in 2015, primarily due to lower oil prices, increased tourism receipts, and higher public spending. Thai exports are expected to continue growing slowly.
The report traces slowing export growth since 2012 in part to an erosion in Thailand’s competitiveness. Exports on average grew 13 percent per year from 2006 – 2011, before slowing to less than 1 percent from 2012-2014. Thailand’s market share in world exports has declined correspondingly in this same period.
“Thailand has seen high growth in the past. Further improvements in competitiveness will be important for sustained economic growth and rising incomes for the Thai people,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Country Director for Southeast Asia. “Helping ensure that all Thais can enjoy a high quality education and acquire strong skills for the modern economy will be the key for increasing productivity and competitiveness. Organizing school networks so as to place good teachers in all class rooms throughout Thailand can make a big difference for Thai children and families, especially outside Bangkok," he added.