News / Economy

Thailand's Military Considering Long-Term Reforms for Economy

FILE - Construction laborers work at a building site in Bangkok, June 18, 2014.FILE - Construction laborers work at a building site in Bangkok, June 18, 2014.
x
FILE - Construction laborers work at a building site in Bangkok, June 18, 2014.
FILE - Construction laborers work at a building site in Bangkok, June 18, 2014.
Ron Corben

The Thai military government is pushing for information technology improvements and stronger economic ties across southeast Asia as part of a series of economic reforms.  Analysts say the plans mark a shift from the country's traditional manufacturing and export driven growth, a foundation of development over recent decades.
 
The push to boost Thailand's standing in global information and digital technology is a key recommendation by senior economic advisors to the military government.
 
Central bank monetary policy committee member and government advisor Narongchai Akrasanee said efforts to promote digital technology are needed to lift economic efficiencies.
 
"We want to see the knowledge [based] economy taking place in Thailand.  A crucial factor affecting the knowledge-based economy is the digitalization of the society.  And when you look at our digital management system, which is in place at the moment, it in a mess,"  said Akrasanee.
 
World Economic Forum reports on global competitiveness rank Thailand poorly in the extent governments, businesses and consumers use connectivity technologies aimed at boosting social and economic prosperity.
 
In the region, Thailand ranks slightly ahead of China and the Philippines, but well below Malaysia, Singapore and Korea.
 
Narongchai said the government is basing its economic program largely on the latest four year plan that had been adopted by the former civilian government under then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whose administration was ousted in the May 22 military coup.
 
The plan by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) called for boosting economic and trading connections across Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan Province in Southern China.
 
Narongchai said promoting these economic links is a priority.  "The new engine of growth would be regional development, in connection with the neighboring countries with the Greater Mekong Subregion development.  If you look at the 11th [NESDB] plan, connectivity is the top priority.  That is why you see that economic zone being set up, that is why you see committees on ASEAN, this is a prelude to things the government will be doing," he said.    
 
The Board recently forecast the Thai economy to grow by at least two percent this year, after falling into recession in the first quarter amid political instability and conflict.  The central bank said it expects growth of more than five percent in 2015.
 
But Phatra Securities Director Supavud Saicheau said the country needs a cohesive economic plan as it faces political uncertainties and an expected general election in 2015.
 
"Things have been done a little bit more fragmented, rather than totally orchestrated in a particular direction.  It seems that there is not an economic road map which in my mind is simply, 'How does Thailand make a living in the next 10 years?'  We have been making a living by exploiting the Eastern Seaboard [industrial area] as a basis for manufacturing," Saicheau said. "But are we going to continue on that path going forward?"
 
The military said the goal is to transform the economy, promoting more value-added production and service industries. Thailand already faces labor shortages relying on migrant workers in many export industries. Planned reforms also include the taxation system, an overhaul of state run enterprises and improving governance.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8050
JPY
USD
117.90
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.1259
INR
USD
61.655

Rates may not be current.