If Thailand wants to become a developed economy by 2030, it must undertake all efforts to attract tech-related investments because it cannot just rely on traditional ways of doing business. According to Prayuth Chan-ocha, conventional trading is restricting economic growth which means the need for reforms and adding value to what the country currently has.
Thailand has always been popular among investors because of its cheap labour but it is about time to become a developed nation. Since foreign manufacturers are seeking for low wages, once the economy develops and wages increase, Thailand may lose its competitiveness in the global market. However, in spite of its aspirations to become a developed nation within the coming years, there are concerns that the country may just get stuck in what is called as the “middle-income trap” where it will languish in a space between countries that offer cheap labour and those that boast of tech-driven economies.
An ambitious project is underway on the eastern seaboard where a large-scale special economic zone will be developed. The economic zone will have a budget amounting to 1.5 trillion baht ($42.8 billion) and will span 3 provinces. The Prime Minister of Thailand is very active in this undertaking because it is expected to attract foreign investments. The planned Eastern Economic Corridor zone that will be encompass the three provinces of Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Rayong will be the most advanced industrial zone with the Southeast Asian region.
Thailand is also launching “Thailand 4.0” which will promote investments for 10 high-tech sectors that include robotics and medicine. The government of Thailand is keen on attracting investments for research and development centres including educational institutions that were formed from the partnerships among industries, academia and the government. A committee headed by Prayuth will be creating new legislations for investment benefits like foreign land ownership. Hopefully, the measure will take effect by the second quarter of 2017.
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