Thailand, economic policy, liberalization, free trade, standard trade theory, tariffs


While Thailand is often considered a bastion of free trade, the Southeast Asian country has deployed a multitude of different policies that has led to Thailand’s current economic success. Thailand has generally always sought to be a modern, liberal country. Before the Asian Financial Crisis of the 1990’s Thailand saw unprecedented economic growth before the crisis and has since focused on even more liberalization measures. The paper aims to explore some of the different parts of economic theory that Thailand has implemented (both liberal and protectionist), in order to explain some of Thailand’s economic success and some possible shortcomings. The first section of the paper explores various parts of economic theory such as different obstructions to free trade and Standard Trade theory. The next part of the paper applies these concepts to Thailand to see how the country implements these theories and policies. Major protectionist policies that Thailand follows are tariffs and resistance to international IPRs. Another critical aspect that is discussed for Thailand’s economic success is the gravity model. The research concludes that while some protectionist policies have certainly helped Thailand in the short term, their desire to continue liberalizing will help the country in the long run.