Thailand’s boom: To the northeast, the spoils

Thailand’s boom: To the northeast, the spoils – Reuters, June 15, 2013
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…Economic growth in the region [Isan] reached 40 percent from 2007 to 2011, against 23 percent for the country and just 17 percent for greater Bangkok.
…Politics explains part of what is going on. Yingluck’s government brought in a nationwide minimum wage of 300 baht ($10) a day in January. In some Isaan provinces, that was an increase of 35 percent, among the biggest gains in the country, on top of a nationwide 40 percent rise in April 2012.
…The poverty rate in Thailand fell to 13 percent of the population in 2011 from 58 percent in 1990, according to the World Bank, but per capita gross domestic product in Isaan in 2011 was still less than an eighth of that of Bangkok at $1,600 a year, according to the state planning agency, the NESDB…

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