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PRESS RELEASE April 9, 2018

Thailand Expected to Post 4.1% Growth in 2018 - Best Economic Performance Since 2012

Breakthrough innovation can expand new industries, create jobs, and raise incomes

BANGKOK, April 9, 2018 –  Thailand’s economy is expected to grow by 4.1 percent in 2018, the fastest pace since 2012, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Thailand Economic Monitor.   Thailand’s economic recovery is broadening in 2018.  While rapid export growth continues fueling the economy, an increase in capacity utilization and acceleration in capital goods imports suggest a nascent domestic demand recovery as well. Regulatory reforms and overall policy stability are contributing to continuing improvements in business sentiment.

"Thailand cannot attain advanced country status if it cannot meet the challenges of innovation,” said Dr. Kobsak Pootrakool, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office.

“With economic growth exceeding 4 percent this year, for the first time since 2012, Thailand has the potential, with intensifying structural reforms, to raise productivity and grow even faster over the medium term,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Director for Thailand, Malaysia and Regional Partnerships.  “In addition to education and skills reform and strong implementation of quality infrastructure investments, increasing competition, especially in services, will be key for boosting innovation and lifting Thailand onto a new path of higher, long-term growth.

The new report highlights the importance of innovation for productivity and long-term growth.  Thailand ranked 52 out of 128 in the Global Innovation Index in 2017 has the opportunity, with innovation friendly policies, to attract and foster high-quality entrepreneurs and innovative investments, both within Thailand and from abroad.    

To create an environment promoting innovation, the report highlights priority areas for action for Thailand, including strengthening competition policy, opening and liberalizing services, establishing a national data strategy, and improving intellectual property rights, all while continuing pursuing skills reforms.  As Thailand seeks to attain high-income status as set out in the 20-year National Strategy, research and development for both technological catch-up and innovation will play important roles. 

The Thailand Economic Monitor, published twice a year, is the World Bank Thailand office’s flagship report, analyzing the country’s economic performance and outlook.  The April 2018 edition also focuses on the Innovation Paradox.


Leonora Aquino Gonzales
+66 02-686-8341