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National interests and economic downturn: Thailand

Hewison, K. (1987) National interests and economic downturn: Thailand. In: Robison, R., Hewison, K. and Higgott, R., (eds.) South East Asia in the 1980s: The Politics of Economic Crisis. Allen and Unwin, Sydney NSW, pp. 52-79.


Not so long ago Thailand was described as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' 'dark horse' in the economic stakes (Bowring, 1982: 85). Its potential, according to this interpretation, tended to be underrated because its high and sustained rates of economic growth since the early 1960s were overshadowed by the more spectacular growth rates achieved by newly industrialised countries (NICs) such as Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Thailand's average annual growth rate was in excess of 8 per cent throughout the 1960s, more than 7 per cent during the 1970s and ranged between 4 and 6 per cent for the first years of the 1980s. Even in per capita terms the rate of growth in the gross national product (GNP) for the whole 1960-82 period has been 4.5 per cent (Mackie, 1985: 42). Such growth has brought considerable change to the economic structure of Thailand and to the daily life of the people.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Copyright: The Editors
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