Prime Minister’s address on “Supporting a Competitive Economy in Thailand” for Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) on 3 December 2014
PM’s key messages to foreign businesses:
The government still follows its three-phase roadmap. In the past six months, it has addressed many problems and undertaken reforms on major issues with the necessary modification of legislation. Democracy has not been a precondition in implementing the roadmap and martial law is in place for the country’s safety.
- Thailand needs your cooperation and contribution to be more competitive in the international arena.
- The Foreign Business Act (FBA) will not be amended unless it helps improve the business environment and facilitates foreign businesses.
- The government invites “Thailand+1” investment in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Dawei deep-sea port and special economic zone to strengthen the regional economy. The first phase covers five SEZs bordering Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Malaysia with seven more in the next phase.
- The government welcomes investment that comes with R&D, technology transfer and skills training. Potential areas include agriculture and alternative energy, keeping environmental protection in mind.
- Thailand is a strategic partner of all countries, not a competitor.
Positive Economic Statistics:
- Estimated GDP in Q4: 1 per cent and in 2015: 2-3 per cent;
- Estimated investment volume approved by BOI in 2014: BHT 280 bn (approx. USD 8.48 bn) and in 2015: BHT 380 bn (approx. USD 11.51 bn);
- Increasing consumer and private sector confidence; and
- Budget of Government and state enterprises: BHT 4.9 trillion (approx. USD 148.5 bn).
Highlighted Economic Policies:
PM highlighted policies that already appeared largely in the media coverage and emphasized that they coincide with the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan:
- Three-month stimulus package;
- Tourism promotion measures including improving facilities to ensure tourists’ safety, tax refund, 2-million-Baht tourist insurance fund;
- Infrastructure upgrades;
- Incentives for establishing International Headquarters (IHQ) and International Trade Centers (ITC);
- Legalizing foreign labor; and,
- Digital Economy.
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