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Sunday 29 November 2020

PM opens “Opportunity Thailand 2017”

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the opening of a seminar “Opportunity Thailand 2017”, and delivered a keynote address on "Thailand 4.0 means Opportunity Thailand" at Impact Convention Center, Muangthong Thani, Nonthaburi.

February 15, 2017, at 0900hrs, at the Impact Convention Center, Muangthong Thani, Nonthaburi, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the opening ceremony of a seminar “Opportunity Thailand 2017”, and delivered keynote address on "Thailand 4.0 means Opportunity Thailand". Participated in the event were Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, PM’s Office Minister Suvit Maesincee, executives of public and private sectors, Thai and foreign investors, the media, and over 2,700 participants. Gist of his keynote address is as follows:

With the dynamism and volatility of current world’s situation that has an impact on political and socio-economic affairs of countries all over the world, Thailand needs to be strengthened in all aspects in a sustainable manner. The Government has set its policy to undertake national reform in all dimensions to propel the country toward “Thailand 4.0” which is a value-based, innovation and technology-driven economy. This is in order to promote sustainable economic growth, enhance long-term national competitiveness, and to leap over the middle income trap, as well as to minimize economic disparity, and create balance and sustainability for all sectors in 4 dimensions: economic prosperity, environment conservation, happy and well-off society, and people’s wisdoms.

The Government has adopted His Majesty late King Bhumibol’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), which is in line with the “Thailand 4.0” economic model, as an approach for national development. Under SEP, sustainable development will be achieved through maintaining balances of both economic, social, and environmental prosperity, and empowering local communities and grassroots economy. The Government has planned for both economic, social, educational, legal, and security reform in a bid to propel Thailand toward genuine “security, prosperity, and sustainability”.

On economy, the key to achieve “Thailand 4.0”, which is valued-based and innovation-driven, is human resource development. To promote “Thais 4.0”, cooperation of all concerned sectors is needed, especially in enhancing capacity of Thai people and youths in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and foreign language communication.

The Government has put an effort to position Thailand as “Regional Trade and Investment Hub” through promoting startups, and 10 S-Curve and New S-Curve industries as new engines of growth. It also emphasizes area-based development policy to equally spread prosperity through “18 provincial clusters and 76 provinces” mechanism. Economic connectivity has been promoted for special economic development zones in 10 provinces adjacent to the neighboring countries. Local industry value chains are linked together by a cluster approach. Transport infrastructure development is also upgraded in order for Thailand to become a genuine hub of regional trade and investment.

The Government also placed priority on the development of Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in Rayong, Chonburi, and Chachoengsao provinces with an aim to promote EEC as the best and most modern economic zone of ASEAN. Development in public utilities, transport infrastructure and logistics, human resources, and One Stop Service has been expedited to facilitate investment in the area.

As for policy related to investment of the private sector, the Government will implement “investment-led transformation” which focuses on investment promotion in 5 dimensions: 1) Technology: to enhance capacity of core technologies that Thailand has potentials, such as biotechnology, and agricultural, food, energy, health-related and medical technologies; 2) Human resource development: to promote “Thais 4.0”, and attract talents from overseas; 3) Infrastructure: to develop both Physical Infrastructure, Connectivity Infrastructure, Intellectual Infrastructure, and Social Infrastructure; 4) Enterprises: to empower entrepreneurs and enterprises of all levels, promote startups, uplift SMEs from OEM to ODM and OBM, and encourage large-scale corporations to help develop local suppliers; and 5) Targeted industries: To promote investment in the 10 S-Curve and New S-Curve industries, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

Investment-led transformation will be in line with the 20-year national strategy (2017- 2036), and national reform plan. The Government has also pushed for amendment of the Investment Promotion Act, and development of draft National Competitiveness Enhancement for Targeted Industries Act to attract more high-value investments to Thailand. During the past 2 years, the Government has made effort to amend and draft a number of laws in a bid to eliminate hurdles, and improve public sector’s services for ease of doing business. It is also to ensure transparency, fairness, and good governance, and to promote investment-friendly atmosphere.

According to the Prime Minister, three missions that will be undertaken in parallel with the “Thailand 4.0” policy are: 1) reforming the nation; 2) implementing national strategy, and 3) creating reconciliation. The Government has set up the committee for national administration under the frameworks of national reform, national strategy, and reconciliation to undertake the tasks, under which there are 4 sub-committees: 1) sub-committee for preparation of national strategy; 2) sub-committee for preparation of national reform; 3) sub-committee for preparation of reconciliation; and 4) sub-committee for strategic national administration. The Prime Minister will oversee the committee and sub-committees, while PM’s Office Minister Suvit Maesincee is appointed Secretary of the committee for national administration under the frameworks of national reform, national strategy, and reconciliation.

With regard to the establishment of Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU), the Government will recruit experts from both public and private sectors to take part in propelling national development. PMDU has an integrative task to coordinate, follow up, and mobilize related policies, especially during the first 5 years, in a tangible manner. It reports directly to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister reiterated that Thailand 4.0 will lay solid foundation for Thai economy and society, and will promote the country as Gateway of ASEAN. Cooperation from all sectors under People Public Private Partnership (PPPP) approach would reduce disparity, and promote reconciliation atmosphere which ultimately bring about achievement of Thailand 4.0.

In closing, the Prime Minister thanked Thai and foreign businessmen for taking part in developing national economy. He called on everyone to promote investment-friendly atmosphere for the investors to be confident in Thailand 4.0 as an opportunity for the future.

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