ABSTRACT

This chapter examines Thai business groups throughout the transition from upper middle income to high income, which was divided into two intervals: economic revitalization during the 2000s and 2010s and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), followed by economic reform in the 2020s to develop a Thai model for high-income nation identity. The Thai government and business groups made extensive attempts to rebound from the failure to rank alongside the Four Asian Tigers of developed East Asian economies. After 1997, the low-cost advantage that had spurred growth began to erode. Upper-middle-income nations had to design new pathways to high-income status.It also discusses Thailand’s economic policies aimed at escaping the middle-income trap, beginning with a creative economy based on Thai firm competitive advantages and Thainess. The policy evolved into the digital economy, Thailand 4.0, and s-curve industries, integrating Thai company capabilities with those of multinational corporations (MNCs) to help the country escape its current status.