A question about microfinance in Thailand was posted in a comment here on the blog, so here are a couple of inputs on that issue, which I found when I looked into the matter before going to Bangkok in March 2007. I am not an expert on this issue, so these are just a couple of thoughts.
Brett Coleman wrote a nice paper on Microfinance in Northeast Thailand, where he finds evidence of poverty reduction but also great inequalities in who benefits. He deals with the MFI called “Small Enterprise Development (SED)”, which seems to be one of the more important, apart from the government supported savings banks. Details are: Coleman, Brett E. (2006), “Microfinance in Northeast Thailand: Who benefits and how much?” in World Development, vol. 34, iss. 9, pp. 1612-1638.
Furthermore, some organizations held a conference in 2002, and actually signed a Declaration on Microfinance, “laying out a road map for regional cooperation and development of microfinance as an important and powerful development tool.”
Finally, former prime minister Thaksin launced some programs with inclusive finance components, some of which became known as thaksinomics. This included subsidized credit to farmers and product promotion through the OTOP-program (One Town One Product). The latter is highly visible around Thailand today.