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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7718
JPY
USD
107.32
GBP
USD
0.6125
CAD
USD
1.0974
INR
USD
60.919

Rates may not be current.