Building the modern state and economy

The Board of Investment in Thailand sits at the outskirts of Bangkok in a towering and pristine new building well-suited to its reputation as the powerful impresario of the country's industrial development. I had asked for an interview with the agency's head a week before, and had been quickly given an appointment by an efficient staff member. On the morning of the meeting, I was ushered into a modern, brightly lit conference room, obviously designed to receive CEOs and industry leaders. The secretary general came in promptly and, assisted by senior staff members, spent an hour answering my questions.1 He stressed Thailand's specific advantages as an investment site vis-à-vis its neighbors, discussing ...

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