Keywords: science and technology, Southeast Asia, Thailand, competitiveness, sustainability
The future of science and technology in Southeast Asia
The economic turmoil in Southeast Asia, occurring just before the dawning of the new millennium, highlights the lack of sustainability of the development paths of many countries in this region. While much of the blame can be laid on the weak financial infrastructure and poor corporate governance, one of the root causes for development unsustainability is the lack of competitiveness of their economies, in turn resulting from lack of innovative capability based on science and technology. This is required in order for these countries to make economic transitions necessary for advanced developing economies. The future of these countries is therefore intimately linked with the future of their science and technology. A balanced development is required, with emphasis placed on niche areas where these countries have strategic advantages.