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Economy

Thailand counts the cost of three lost decades

The country must reverse course to resume political and economic progress

| Thailand
A business district in Bangkok (Reuters)

As it marks the 20th anniversary of being at the epicenter of the Asian financial crisis, Thailand and its notoriously squabbling elites have plenty to ponder. The country has had many chances to emerge as a vibrant democracy and a developed economy. But its political trajectory has deteriorated into a military dictatorship, while its growth story has lost luster.

This was not where many imagined Thailand would be when it was experiencing years of giddy growth and promising democratization. Unless it can find the will to achieve a new political compromise and consensus in the next several years, the cold reality is that the country may well enter long-term stagnation and decline, despite its favorable market size and geographical location.

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