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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9152
JPY
USD
122.70
GBP
USD
0.6494
CAD
USD
1.2374
INR
USD
63.925

Rates may not be current.