Palawan As A Mini Thailand
Today, Thailand may have lost some of its economic lustre because of political and demographic problems. It has reverted to military rule and is already facing, very early in its development process, a demographic crisis. These challenges, however, do not take anything away from its outstanding success in tourism and agribusiness. More than twenty years ago, Thailand surpassed the Philippines in per capita income because of the way its leaders focused on building first class infrastructures for its countryside and agricultural sector. Already in the 1980s, there was not a single small farm in the remotest parts of Thailand that was not within one kilometer from a good road. The admirable focus on farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities and other rural infrastructures (including regional airports) killed two birds with one stone. It made the small farmers rich by helping them improve productivity and transport their produce to the markets cost effectively. At the same time, it opened up its tourism destinations to millions of tourists who used the same roads and other rural infrastructures as the farmers did. Furthermore, the rich farmers led to a boom in the domestic market for cars and other manufactured goods, enabling Thailand to develop its industries ahead of the Philippines.