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Problems for Thailand as people age

Policy makers should start planning now to deal with the social and economic impact of Thailand’s ageing population, economists say.

The state and private sectors must develop new facilities, products and services to suit the needs of the elderly, said Worawet Suwanrada, an economics lecturer from Chulalongkorn University, at a seminar yesterday organised by the Thailand Research Fund.

Thailand’s elderly population is expected to increase from 11.8% of the total population this year to 17.2%, or about 17 million people, in the next 10 years.

The government also needs to pay attention to related policy issues such as improving education to ensure a quality workforce and extending the retirement age to prevent worker shortages, Mr Worawet said.

A study by Somprawin Manprasert of Chulalongkorn University’s economics faculty projected that in the next 20 years, Thailand’s ageing society would consume less food and drink, but spend more on transport, furniture, housing, as well as religious and social expenditure and recreation.

Bangkok Post

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