World Bank says Thailand will take 20 years before it can be considered a country with high earning.

According to the survey of poverty by the Poverty and Human Development, East Asia and Pacific Program with the World Bank, it said at present there are almost 7.1 million Thais who are extremely poor.

The survey was based on their earnings of less than US$ 6.2 minimum wage per day, per person which equates to 218 baht.

Of the 7.1 million poor, the survey found that 20% were living just above the poverty line.

It said with concern that this group, which comprises poor farmers from the northeast, north and three southern provinces, runs a high risk of falling back below the poverty line.

It said further that their situation is further complicated by the slowdown in the Thai economy, the drop in farm prices, low overall competitiveness and political instability which will undermine investor confidence.

As a consequence of this, it expects that it will take no less than 20 years before Thais are able to achieve a high earning status.

It then advises that the government adopt three possible solutions to solving these problems.

They include supporting measures to help increase the income of the poor, developing better farm production, and increase employment rates.

These could be achieved through intensive government investment in basic infrastructure and technology and innovation.

Also increased efforts must be made to preserve the environment such as water conservation which will lower the risk of natural disasters, it said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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