Thailand’s military-led government faces several challenges in its struggle to reinstate a democratic process while maintaining political stability and supporting the economy. The country finds itself struggling to escape the middle income trap and adjust to changing trade structures in a dynamic region. Amid a combination of both tough scrutiny and encouragement from Washington and Tokyo, can Thailand overcome these challenges successfully? 

Akira Suehiro from the University of Tokyo assessed the economic situation in Thailand and explored its prospects for addressing looming economic and social problems. John Brandon of the Asia Foundation and Luis Breuer of International Monetary Fund offered comments. Carnegie’s James L. Schoff moderated.    

Akira Suehiro

Akira Suehiro is a professor at the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo and one of the leading Japanese scholars on the Thai political economy. 

John J. Brandon

John J. Brandon is the director of the Asia Foundation’s Regional Cooperation programs, as well as the associate director of the Washington, DC, office.

Luis Breuer

Luis Breuer is division chief at the Asia and Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund and mission chief to Thailand. 

James L. Schoff

James L. Schoff is a senior associate in Carnegie’s Asia Program. His research focuses on U.S.-Japanese relations and regional engagement, Japanese politics and security, and the private sector’s role in Japanese policymaking.