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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8916
JPY
USD
121.32
GBP
USD
0.6487
CAD
USD
1.3252
INR
USD
66.401

Rates may not be current.