Yesterday (November 16), the Thai Management Association (TMA) held a symposium entitled “Thailand Competitiveness Conference 2023” under the main theme “Building a Future-Proof Nation” with the participation of government, private and business agencies, and heard from more than 200 people.
Professor Kishore Mahbubani, a geopolitical expert from the Asia Research Institute National University of Singapore He said in the topic “What’s next in geopolitics” that in the past decade the world witnessed intense competition between the two economic powers No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, namely the United States. China has even turned into a trade war and a technology war. In general, the competition between the two countries will continue like a marathon, over the next ten to twenty years, with no country winning decisively, but it will become more violent through the imposition of measures. Including more stringent regulations
The American international coalition is retreating
It can be said that the current global trade and economic climate resembles the Cold War era, when competition was intense between the United States and the Soviet Union. But the difference today is that during the Cold War the United States had a wide range of allies because of its large role on the world stage. For example, during the Cold War almost every country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was allies of and traded with the United States. But at present, China has risen to play a greater role in the international economy than the United States, due to China’s continued policy of playing a role on the global stage in various fields, especially in the field of concluding agreements. “Belt and Road Initiative” or “Wild” There are currently more than 140 members from 190 countries around the world.
While the role of the United States on the global stage has diminished over the past decade, for example, during the presidency of Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership (CPTPP). Both countries created the agreement but China took over the role of leading the deal. It is an example of China’s growing importance in playing a role on the global stage.
“China has economic influence and is an important trade market for many countries. This makes it difficult for the United States to block or ban trade with China. Professor Kishore said that the policy of isolating China announced by US President Joe Biden three years ago has not succeeded despite the increasing protectionist measures in various fields.
However, the main strength of the US economy is its high economic dynamism. The United States is an open country that allows talented people from all over the world to work in the country. People of many nationalities become CEOs of large companies, such as Google, where the CEOs are Indian. This kind of openness makes the United States still a leader in technology. There are companies producing new innovations in the market, and China’s strengths in this regard prevent it from underestimating the United States.
Proposals to follow up on Indo-European positions
In the complex geopolitical dimension of the future, it is necessary to understand the ideas and positions of different countries that will affect the world in the future, such as how India and Europe stand on future changes. Australia has had conflicts with China and recently, the country’s leader also visited China. While the Middle East is one of the most complex and diverse regions in the world. Although China is currently playing a role in mediating the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the problem has not reached a satisfactory level in Israel. In the Gaza Strip, only the United States can play a role in this field.
For the ASEAN region, the good thing is that the conflict between the two superpowers has not yet directly affected the ASEAN region. Demonstrating ASEAN’s position will focus on neutrality. Its position was somewhat conciliatory and polite, except for Singapore, which had a clear position. As for Indonesia, it depends on the leaders that emerge in each period whether they attach more importance to China or the United States. The neutral role played by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is important in an environment where competition is becoming more intense. What ASEAN needs to do is send a clear signal that the ASEAN group wants to maintain a neutral position and does not want to ally with any major power. This role would help promote global peace and cooperation. Because at the present time there are many problems that are very big, such as the issue of climate change, which cannot be solved if the two superpowers continue the conflict and fierce competition in this way.
Today’s Thai economy is compared to Vietnam, as the Thai economy previously grew very quickly. But over the past few years, the Thai economy has slowed while the Vietnamese economy has grown rapidly. Currently, the size of the Thai economy is still larger than that of Vietnam. However, the question must be asked whether or not the Vietnamese economy will grow faster over the next 10 years than the Thai economy. It seems that Thailand should use this question as an incentive to invest in increasing the country’s competitiveness in order to escape Vietnam.
TDRI advises Thailand to increase the proportion of green electricity.
Mr. Somkiat Tangketuanit, President, Thai Development Research Institute (TDRI) In the theme “Building a Foundation for Accelerated Growth” it was said that the opportunity to build the Thai economy to grow significantly requires restructuring the economy. Reducing obstacles to doing business, such as abolishing and reducing outdated laws that represent obstacles and costs to doing business, along with increasing business potential, starting with improving the entire educational curriculum system to be completed within 3 years in order to provide Thai workers in The future will have the skills needed to support technological changes that will be more rapid. At the same time, it is necessary to increase R&D expenditure of GDP above the current level to encourage the creation of own technology in the country.
Opportunities for industries in Thailand to attract foreign investment, such as the green electricity industry. Or clean energy At present, the fuel structure for electricity production in Thailand consists of 51% natural gas, 16% coal, 14% renewable energy, and the rest is other fuels. We can also add more clean electricity fuels to support the investment of new industries that will come to invest, such as data centers. Smart Electronics Currently, this type of industry will require 100% clean energy electricity (RE100), which if Thailand has clean energy to support, will help attract investment more easily.
In the topic of discussion “Drive growth in the next decade” Leading private sectors in Thailand have raised their opinions on this topic regarding the future growth of the Thai economy. Dr Puranin Ratanasombat, Chief Operating Officer, New Business and Infrastructure Group, PTT Public Limited. He said that ASEAN is now considered an increasingly important market. With a population size of 700 to 800 million people, it is a much larger market than Thailand, so strengthening Thailand’s role in the Thai economy in ASEAN is an important part. If the economic structure is changed in an important matter that is considered the heart of the modern economy, which is the flow of information. The influx of capital has enabled Singapore to emerge as a regional leader and gain competitiveness.
PTT focuses on business in line with future trends.
In the commercial segment of PTT focuses on businesses that are essential to the country’s economy. In line with future changing trends such as logistics, medicines and medical equipment because Thai society has entered an aging society. Including companies related to artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics (robotics), it is a company where we aim to create new growth that will be overall beneficial to the country’s competitiveness.
Kasikorn Bank hopes that Thailand will become a financial center for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Ms. Khatia Inthawichai, CEO Kasikorn Bank Public Company Limited He said that over the past 10 years, the Thai economy has grown at a rate of only 3%, which can be considered a lost decade. If we look at the numbers, the source of economic growth comes mostly from the growth of the tourism sector. It is considered that there is a high concentration of economic sectors, and therefore the direction of development of the Thai economy in the coming period requires the development of other economic engines to be strong as well as the creation of additional economic champions. As for the guidelines for developing Thailand’s role in the international arena, they are absolutely necessary. Especially the role that leaders will play on the international scene. To attract investment to create growth in Thailand, in terms of financial business, Thailand must play a role as a financial hub (financial hub) for the region in the future.
Pearly Joker support Thailand to upgrade technology
sideMr. Asawin Taisagaronwickul CEO and President, Berli Jucker Public Company Limited and Big C Supercenter Public Company Limited He said that Thailand has many strengths, especially the country’s strategic location, which if developed continuously and properly, will be able to become a leader in the ASEAN region. However, there are important challenges to the future expansion of the Thai economy, including a declining population. Since it is still not possible to develop, modernize and develop its own technology as a solution to the first part of the population issue, it is necessary to develop policies that encourage tourism. Including attracting qualified citizens from other countries to work and live in Thailand.
Meanwhile, with regard to investment promotion, there are good examples in many places that provide great convenience to investors, such as Hong Kong, where a special team has been formed that includes various agencies involved in attracting investment. Also, requesting different permissions to meet and providing complete convenience to investors helps to invest quickly. This must be done in conjunction with human development. Foundation project and solve the problem of population decline in the country in order to increase Thailand’s competitiveness.
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