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2019 06 11 Publish

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has reportedly agreed to keep the ministerial post quotas the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) had promised to the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, a military source said on Monday. The source said that after making the decision, Gen Prayut invited all coalition parties to attend the bestowal of the royal command for him to become the next premier, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday at Government House

PPRP leader Uttama Savanayana on Monday also played down reports about the ongoing wrangling over cabinet posts among PPRP’s coalition partners, saying they are on the same team. ‘Negotiations are normal. Some talks have been finalised, while others are ongoing,’ he said

Mr Jurin Laksanavisit said that while the new prime minister has the right to reconsider the cabinet line-up before it is submitted for royal approval, but customarily the prime minister would not make changes at this stage. Confusion over the numbers and cabinet positions set aside for the Democrat Party arose on Sunday, when PPRP deputy spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the allocations have not been agreed by all members. Bhumjaithai spokesman Setthapong Malisuwan said Mr Thanakorn should leave the business of allocating cabinet posts to senior party members

2019 09 03 Publish: KCCI - Korea poised for Thai FDI rise

Trade and investment between Thailand and South Korea are expected to reach a new era of economic cooperation, especially under the government’s scheme for Thailand 4.0 and plans to build up the 12 targeted industries, says Park Yongmaan, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI)

Yesterday, 500 companies from South Korea participated in a seminar titled ‘Thailand-Korea Business Forum’, organised by the Board of Investment (BoI), KCCI and the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in agreed to increase trade between the two countries to US$20 million in 2020, up from $14.1 in 2018

2019 10 07 Publish: Scaling the high-income ladder

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s speech at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York was chock-full of talking points, but the one that stood out was his declaration that Thailand would become a rich country by 2036

‘Thailand will become a high-income country with fairness, respect for basic human rights and participation in all sectors of society,’ Gen Prayut said, according to the US-Asean Business Council. The remark bears no relation to the current reality, and analysts question whether Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy can vault from a middle-income trap to the high-income segment within 17 years

Thosaporn Sirisamphand, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the prime minister’s remark came as no surprise, as the lofty goal is stipulated in the country’s 20-year national strategy (2017-37). The government’s 20-year plan calls for closing the widening income gap in the country to 15 times within 20 years, down from 20 times. Particularly, the plan focuses on the richest 10% and the poorest 10%. To reduce the income gap, the state will focus on income distribution, economic development and legislative reform to give low-income groups access to education, economic opportunity and justice

Nonetheless, the government may need to revise the master plan to suit the changing situation. The country’s economy may grow by just 3% this year, and the US-China trade war is manifesting as a key threat to global trade

Mr Thosaporn noted that several developed countries, including the US, still have poor people. The agency hopes that by the end of the national strategy plan no Thais will be left below the poverty line. There were 7.87 million Thais living below the poverty line, defined as an income of 2,686 baht a month, in 2017, down from 34.1 million in 1991

According to the World Bank’s definition, Thailand needs to almost double gross national income per capita from $6,610 in 2018 to $12,376, which is the current threshold for high-income country (HIC) status.

Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said the government initiated the Thailand 4.0 policy with the aim of unshackling the country from several economic challenges that were compounded by previous development models, namely agriculture-focused (Thailand 1.0), light industry promotion (Thailand 2.0) and advanced industry (Thailand 3.0)

Thailand’s industrial sector accounts for 30% of GDP. The government is developing a new growth hub, starting with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong provinces. The EEC is expected to beef up Thailand’s GDP to expand by an extra 2% a year. If Thailand wants to overcome the middle-income trap, the country’s GDP should grow by 6.4% on average for the next 10 years, Mr Suriya said

Mr Montri said Thailand should work on raising the bar for skilled workers to serve the new targeted industries, but the country has been suffering from a skilled labour shortage. Thailand has 38.1 million labourers and an unemployment rate of 1%.