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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Thailand: Supporting Sustainable Development in Thailand: A Geographic Clusters Approach

Publication Year: 2006 Publisher: World Bank


Market forces and government policies, including the Tenth National Development Plan (2007-2012), are moving Thailand toward a more geographically specialized economy.

There is a growing consensus that Thailand’s comparative and competitive advantages lie in amenity services that have high reliance on the following: (i) fashion and design; for example, jewelry, garments, ceramics, advertising, media; (ii) human interaction in the application of technology, often high technology; for example, world-class medicine and spas; (iii) cuisine; for example, high-value processed foods and specialized restaurants; and (iv) high quality natural and built environments, in support of beach tourism, retirement communities (domestic and international), and second home and footloose knowledge worker lifestyles. Such an economy places a higher premium on the quality and accessibility of so-called place. Successful development in Thailand will require higher quality landscapes and better natural resource management.