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A country of old people – Dealing with ageing societies in Asia

Date: 23 February 2016
Venue: Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand


A country of old people
Dealing with ageing societies in Asia

A panel discussion

It is one of the region’s most serious and unstoppable trends. South East Asia, once known for its post-war youthfulness, is ageing.

In the biggest economy on the mainland – Thailand – 10 per cent of the population is 65 years old or older. By 2040, 17 million people – a full quarter of the population – will be above 65.

Contributing to this trend is a fall in the birth rate. Thailand’s nation fertility rate is 1.5 per cent; the rate in the capital Bangkok is just 0.8 per cent.

Already, households headed by the elderly are twice as likely to be poor as those headed by people in their 30s and 40s.

The reality of an ageing society with fewer young people in the work force comes as Thailand experiences a phase of economic stagnation, falling foreign direct investment and soaring household debt.

Thailand can learn from other countries – principally Japan. Yet unlike Japan, Thailand will get older before becoming richer – and may be ill equipped to deal with the problem of a much older population.

Join the event to hear experts explore the options for Thailand and other countries facing this tectonic demographic shift that will affect every one of us.

Dr Kirida Bhaopichitr: Since August 2015, Dr Kirida has been Research Director for International Research & Advisory Service at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), a top think tank. Prior to that Dr Kirida was a Senior Economist in Macroeconomics and Fiscal Policy Management Global Practice, and Country Economist for Thailand, at the World Bank. Dr Kirida has significant regional experience, having worked on Lao PDR, Cambodia, and South Asia, and regularly contributed to the World Bank’s bi-annual East Asia and the Pacific Update. In 2010, Dr Kirida spent a year at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC, where she worked on regional issues in East Asia and authored a paper on remittance trends in South Asia. Dr. Kirida earned her Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.

Eduardo Klien: Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific at HelpAge International, Mr Klien has worked for more than 25 years in social and economic development. He graduated in International Management and Political Science from the University of Oregon, and has a MSc in Economics from El Colegio de México. In 1997 he was appointed Visiting Research Fellow in the Oxford Department of International Development (Queen Elizabeth House) of the University of Oxford. In 2007 he was appointed Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. Eduardo has worked as Senior Adviser in the Ministry of Planning in Nicaragua, and for Oxfam as Regional Manager for the Horn of Africa and Regional Director for Mexico/Central America. For the last 12 years Eduardo has been living and working in Asia, holding different directive positions in Laos, Vietnam and regionally.

Admission fee:

  • Free for members
  • 450 bath for non-members



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