Over several decades, Thailand has progressed through three economic development phases. In the first phase, Thailand 1.0 emphasis was placed on the agricultural sector. Then came Thailand 2.0 with the focus on light industries, enabling the nation to upgrade from a low-income to middle-income economy. In the third phase, Thailand 3.0, the focus was shifted to heavy industries to sustain economic growth. During this period, however, Thailand’s economic growth became stagnant, facing the situation of “middle-income-trap” syndrome, while the country was also confronted with disparities and imbalanced development.
To cope with these challenges, Thailand 4.0 policy was introduced. Thailand 4.0 aims to transform the current economy to one that is much more innovation-driven – shifting from traditional farming to smart farming, from SMEs to startups, from labor to knowledge workforce and from importing technologies to inventing innovative solutions.