Thailand's former deputy prime minister pinpoints six concerns for country's economic recovery


Thai economic tsar and former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, May 16 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Economic tsar and former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak listed six points of concern for Thailand while speaking at the “Livelihoods: A key to drive Thailand” event on Sunday (May 15).

The event was held by the Right Livelihood Foundation.

Somkid, who was also finance minister in Thaksin Shinawatra’s government, said many things have changed over the past two years and the only way to overcome these problems is to work together.

Of the six points of concern, he said the first and biggest one is the global uncertainty triggered by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the Covid-19 crisis.

“Both these factors have had a severe impact on the global economy, including economic slowdown, inflation and a surge in prices. Nobody knows when these crises will end,” he said.

He added that the poor are the worst hit by these negative factors, which in turn have had an impact on society and politics, as evidenced by what is going on in Brazil, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

“Hence, people who are responsible for the country’s management should be careful and think one step ahead,” he said.

The second concern, he said is the uncertain and hard to control situation in Thailand.

He said in the two years since Covid-19 first emerged in Thailand, the government has spent a lot of cash to take care of people and stimulate the economy.

“If we cannot see a clear solution, we should check how we can use resources effectively, how we can free Thailand from its traps and how businesses can be helped to move forward, especially small businesses that are unable to seek funding,” he said.

He advised the government to spend cash to mitigate the impact on consumers along with boosting their confidence that the economy will expand despite the country’s limited sources.

He also said the government should diversify the management of the country’s finances and work on stimulating the local economy.

For the third concern, he said, the Interior Ministry should change its perspective and management style by working hand in hand with people to eradicate poverty.

“If we don’t eliminate this obstacle, the grassroots economy will not get stronger,” he said.

Thailand’s weakening competitiveness in the industrial sector, especially the electric vehicle industry, is the fourth factor of concern.

“If new industry is not developed fast enough, other countries will gain an advantage,” he warned.

The fifth concern is that Thailand has lost its standing on the global stage, which is making many supply chains diversify to other countries nearby.

“If we don’t pay attention to this issue, many countries will forget Thailand, so we must improve our role,” he said, adding that every Thai should take responsibility for this.

The sixth point of concern, he said, is that the power in Thailand is disintegrating, as misinformation has sparked conflicts.

To tackle this issue, the government has to gain the public’s trust and confidence, he said.

“The government will face difficulties if it doesn’t have these elements,” he said.

Somkid Jatusripitak, Finance, Economy, Expert, Thailand, Concern

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