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Public and Private Sectors Urged to Adjust for New Opportunities Brought by ASEAN Integration

September 20, 2013 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

The public and private sectors in Thailand have been urged to adjust themselves and seek new opportunities from the upcoming ASEAN integration.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gave a keynote address at the annual meeting of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board on 16 September 2013. The meeting on Thailand’s progress toward the ASEAN Community took place at IMPACT, Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi province.

The Prime Minister said that ASEAN integration as a single community in 2015 would bring challenges, but it would also bring greater opportunities. If all sectors of society are well-prepared for changes, they will benefit from new opportunities.

She said that the Government had announced the ASEAN issue in its policy, so that all sides would be able to prepare themselves. At the same time, they should work together in setting long-term goals to achieve when the ASEAN Community is in place.

The Prime Minister said that Thailand, as part of the ASEAN Community, would no longer be a market of 65 million people but 600 million people. However, she said, Thailand needed to revise certain rules and regulations, so that they would not be raised as non-tariff barriers.

In preparation for the ASEAN Community, she said that the Government has worked out four major strategies. In the first strategy, the Government will focus on enhancing Thailand’s competitiveness and developing it into a higher-income nation. In this regard, land zoning will be introduced to reduce production costs in agricultural production. The Government will invest in transport infrastructure and develop further small and medium-sized enterprises and the “One Tambon, One Product” program.

The second strategy seeks to promote social equality by developing the quality of Thai people, reducing disparities between low-income and high-income earners in the country, providing greater opportunities for the people, and introducing education reform.

The third strategy emphasizes “green growth” by promoting a way of life that is environmentally friendly, such as the use of solar energy and the reduction of green-house effects. In the fourth strategy, the Government will create a balance in national development and improve public sector management to order to enhance the efficiency of national administration.

As for the private sector, the Prime Minister said that it should seek business partnerships to create regional production networks, while upgrading the standards and quality of products in response to the demands of consumers in ASEAN and beyond.

Members of the public must improve their language skills and prepare for the free flow of products, services, and labor. She said that people must nonetheless preserve their culture within the diversity of ASEAN and that they should learn new things and new alternatives brought about by ASEAN integration, as well.

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