ABSTRACT

This chapter depicts the attention of international organizations and leading scholars to the coined term middle-income trap (MIT), the central theme of the book. It initially discusses the definition of the term in the literature and then considers the phenomenon of transition from East Asian Miracle to Innovative East Asia. 1 This ignited the argument involving the limitations of input-driven growth and the move towards the innovation era. It examines when Thailand was caught in the middle-income trap.Then, strategies to overcome the MIT will be addressed with the controversy over catching-up problems for countries in the MIT, leading to growth slowdown due to the product trap and lack of social capability to advance into high-tech manufacturing sectors. 2 After failing to upgrade manufacturing, they turn into service economies without having properly experienced industrialization. This phenomenon is known as unhealthy “premature deindustrialization.” The final section compares three nations: Malaysia, China, and Thailand.