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King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Legacy & Impact on the Thai Economy

Tuesday , 09 October 2018 ARTICLES

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A respected and competent leader often drives a country’s economy forward by instilling confidence and elevating the nation’s profile on a national and international level. Among the ranks of heads of state that have gone down in history as both capable and deserving of respect was Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the 9th monarch that was also bestowed the title of Rama (IX) the Great. He was beloved by his subjects and the general public – often referred to as the Father for the way he took care of Thai society at large and also for his benevolence and caring nature. We take a look at the life and many accolades that His Majesty King Bhumibol had to his name during the course of his 70-year reign, being pivotal to the many successes that Thailand has enjoyed over the last several decades.


 

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Economic Initiatives under Rama IX

When it comes to Thailand rising in status as an economic powerhouse within the Southeast Asian region, none have been as instrumental to the nation’s success as King Bhumibol. The diligent multi-talented king devoted himself to ensuring that his citizens secured a better life, through aiding his monarchy to emerge from trying times.

 

He did this chiefly by promoting development in the rural areas. There are many instances documented where he travelled on foot over rough terrain, visiting remote communities to ensure that he was fully aware of the hardships faced by the common man. The King’s main achievements centred on over 4,000 development projects nationwide that ranged from irrigation, farming, conservation, flood and drought mitigation, to drug control, public health and distance learning. On the infrastructural front, he introduced the Rama VIII Bridge and Pa Sak Jolasid Dam Project, two projects that improved traffic congestion, water preservation and flood control for the general public in Bangkok.

 

The King was also heavily involved in improving the livelihood of the country’s farmers. His artificial rainmaking initiatives resulted in Royal Rainmaking Technology, which aided the lives of a large number of farmers in areas stricken by drought. He was also responsible for the introduction of new theories on managing agricultural land and the use of the vetiver plant to prevent soil erosion.

 

Always one to study the the long-term impact of advancements, the King was actively involved in the research towards the resource potential of locally made palm oil. His participation in this area was a catalyst for biodiesel to become a standard additive in the nation’s fuel, with its local sourcing an inspiration for ongoing research. One major area that made an impact and had direct involvement from him was in his inception of the Pak Phanang Project, where he successfully reduced harmful environmental practices, greatly improving the quality of life of the people living in the surrounding areas.

 

 

A host of awards and accolades

The King received many honours throughout his 70-year reign, and received recognition in 2006 as being the “Father of Thai Innovation”. He was also the world's first and only monarch to hold a patent, being the owner of 19 patents and 20 trademarks, including one granted in 1993 for a wastewater aerator named “Chai Pattana”. By 1998, he had already owned more honorary academic degrees and anyone in the world at the time – a total of 136 of them. Along with receiving over 30 international awards, King Bhumibol was also formally presented with the United Nations’ first Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts in human development to improve the lives of his people in Thailand.

 

It is no doubt that the well respected King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be remembered as a ruler that led a country with a humane approach, constantly sympathetic towards the plights of his people. His legacy will carry on for decades to come, with Thailand emerging as a regional  and international giant, both economically and culturally.

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