Thai Chamber of Commerce championed the Connect the Dots approach, fostering collaboration across all sectors

281 Views  | 

Thai Chamber of Commerce championed the Connect the Dots approach, fostering collaboration across all sectors

In the past, the Thai Chamber of Commerce championed the Connect the Dots approach, fostering collaboration across all sectors, including the government, private sector, and citizens, to revitalize the country's economy. Over the past two years, the Thai Chamber of Commerce has assumed a more significant role in society, leading to an increase in membership to 140,000 at present. Upon my reappointment as Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors for a second term, I immediately pursued initiatives to advance the country's economy across three key areas:In the past, the Thai Chamber of Commerce championed the Connect the Dots approach, fostering collaboration across all sectors, including the government, private sector, and citizens, to revitalize the country's economy. Over the past two years, the Thai Chamber of Commerce has assumed a more significant role in society, leading to an increase in membership to 140,000 at present. Upon my reappointment as Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors for a second term, I immediately pursued initiatives to advance the country's economy across three key areas:
Connect: Facilitating networks both domestically and internationally, the Thai Chamber of Commerce aims to increase its membership from 140,000 to 200,000 by 2025. Integrating SMEs into the system will enable them to receive support and development opportunities across various sectors. Additionally, we will gather insights and opinions from chamber members nationwide to drive regional economic growth at the provincial, group of provinces, and regional levels.
Competitive: Enhancing the country's competitiveness across all fronts, we will expedite the expansion of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with foreign nations. We are prepared to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) alongside the Board of Investment (BOI) and Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) through roadshows showcasing the country's potential. We will focus on facilitating investment from target strategic countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and India, while maintaining relationships with existing investor groups such as Japan and the United States. Furthermore, we are collaborating with the Civil Service Commission to streamline the Ease of Doing Business by introducing the "Sampaonavathong Award" to recognize government agencies that improve efficiency in engaging with the private sector. We are committed to supporting the establishment of a comprehensive e-Government system.
Sustainable: Building a future filled with opportunities for the next generation, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and its networks nationwide will expand the outcomes of the BCG Model to address inequality in the country. Leveraging the Institute for Circular Economy Science for Entrepreneurs and Consumers, established in partnership with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, we aim to create knowledge and understanding. Collaborating with chambers of commerce in every province, we will drive the BCG initiative to achieve tangible results.
However, it is essential to acknowledge the various challenges Thailand has faced in the past year, including fluctuations in the global economy, slow government transitions impacting the national budget, household debt crises, high interest rates, and ongoing production capacity contractions. For the year 2024, the Chamber of Commerce is prepared to implement four proactive plans to fortify the government sector and collectively support Thai entrepreneurs in enhancing competitiveness. These actions are as follows:
Interest Rate Management and Funding Support: The Chamber of Commerce advocates for the government and relevant agencies to address the currently high interest rates. This action aims to alleviate the financial burden on the public and reduce operational costs for businesses. Additionally, new measures should be proposed to facilitate SMEs' access to funding sources, particularly at the regional level. Many branches of financial institutions lack decision-making authority, leading to uncertainty in loan approvals and high-risk interest rates. Provincial chambers of commerce, being closer to entrepreneurs, can serve as coordinating intermediaries. They can screen potential entrepreneurs, instilling confidence in financial institutions to grant loans.
Support for High-Quality Tourism: Anticipating substantial growth in the tourism sector in 2024, with an expected 35 million foreign tourists, the Chamber of Commerce emphasizes supporting high-quality tourism initiatives. This support includes government measures to stimulate tourism, such as increasing flights and adjusting prices to reasonable levels. Moreover, funding will be provided to entrepreneurs to enhance quality and increase support capacity. The expansion of high-quality tourism initiatives, including the "Happy Model," will focus on promoting new tourist attractions in secondary cities with untapped potential. This complements the Soft Power plan in collaboration with the government, aiming to distribute income more evenly across the country.
Transformation of Provinces into Strong Urban Centers: The Chamber of Commerce and the government are collaborating to advance the development of secondary cities in ten pilot provinces. These provinces, namely Nakhon Phanom, Sisaket, Phrae, Lampang, Nakhon Sawan, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Chanthaburi, Trang, and Nakhon Si Thammarat, represent a significant project. Both entities will work together to accelerate economic growth in these provinces, focusing on tourism, investment, and infrastructure development. The private sector is poised to stimulate local investment earnestly, setting a model for expansion to other provinces in the future.
Promotion of International Trade and Investment: Efforts to expand trade and investment markets with high potential and growth opportunities, such as Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and India, will be accelerated through expedited Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Additionally, FDI policies, particularly targeting the tech sector, will be prioritized to attract new investment funds into the country. The Thai Chamber of Commerce and private sector networks stand ready to collaborate with the government sector in expanding the trade market. For example, organizing the ThaiFEX exhibition in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, which is recognized as one of the premier food exhibitions globally.

In addition, the Chamber of Commerce identifies that Thailand is facing 4 significant changes, requiring both the government and private sectors to be prepared to address them, solve problems, and work closely together. These changes include:
Geopolitical Change: The uncertainty surrounding geopolitical conflicts in various regions, China's economic slowdown, concerns and expectations regarding the Federal Reserve's policy interest rate cuts, and the outcomes of leadership elections in the United States and other countries this year. These factors contribute to the volatility of global economic policies, directly impacting the Thai economy. Historically, thanks to the government sector, Thailand has maintained neutrality. Notably, the Prime Minister has demonstrated adept negotiation skills, creating opportunities for Thailand. Additionally, measures to promote and instill confidence among investors and foreign tourists have been implemented. In this regard, the private sector is prepared to support the government as Team Thailand Plus, unlocking and promoting the trade, investment, and tourism sectors to build confidence and foster opportunities for the growth of the Thai economy.
Technology Change: Currently, AI Technology plays a pivotal role in driving every facet of the country's economy. Thailand must prioritize Digital Transformation by leveraging Digital Technology to transcend traditional working methods characterized by cumbersome processes. This transition can significantly enhance work efficiency. While the government's declaration of Thailand as a Digital Economy Hub is promising, there is still a need to bolster innovation and digital capabilities, areas where Thailand currently lags. Therefore, it is proposed that the government upgrade measures for Talent Immigration Policy to attract skilled foreigners to work and reside in Thailand, thereby creating job opportunities and facilitating the transfer of modern technology and skills. Appropriate incentive measures such as visa and work permit facilitation, tax incentives, and suitable residence policies should be implemented. Additionally, the Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission and the Ministry of Commerce, is working to enhance the Ease of Doing Business by streamlining regulations and reducing bureaucratic processes. The aim is to simplify document requests and signings, which will be completed within the year to alleviate time and cost burdens for operators.
Population Change: Thailand is grappling with demographic challenges stemming from a significant decline in birth rates, which is anticipated to lead to labor shortages in the near future. Thus, the government should devise policies to bolster the population and cultivate its quality. This entails supporting Thai citizens in becoming globally competitive through continuous upskilling and reskilling efforts. Collaboration between government sectors is imperative in this endeavor. Historically, the Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Harbor Space, a novel Startup University, to enhance new skillsets. By aligning education with the demands of the evolving world, talented individuals from around the globe are brought in to teach students in Thailand, thereby nurturing young IT talent to enhance competitiveness on the global stage. Moreover, the Thai Chamber of Commerce facilitates opportunities for promising young generations to contribute to and drive provincial economies through initiatives like the Young Entrepreneur Club (YEC). Furthermore, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has transitioned into an AI University, employing AI as an instructional aid and incorporating language development via apps like Duolingo.
Climate Change: Thailand has been directly impacted by climate change, necessitating urgent water management measures and comprehensive solutions to address dust and smog issues. Concerns persist this year regarding drought conditions resulting from El Niño, which could adversely affect agricultural production, as well as PM2.5 pollution, potentially impacting the tourism sector. It is imperative for the government to formulate short-term strategies to address these challenges and implement long-term measures to mitigate their broader impacts on agriculture, tourism, and service industries—vital components of the Thai economy. The private sector acknowledges existing government water management plans and suggests their enhancement and expansion nationwide to stabilize the agricultural sector. Additionally, in the second quarter of this year, the Chamber of Commerce plans to lead a delegation to the Netherlands—one of the world's leading agricultural exporters—to exchange knowledge and modernize techniques, thereby enhancing productivity and income for Thai farmers. Concurrently, with the government's announcement of Net Zero Carbon guidelines, the private sector stands ready to assist entrepreneurs in transitioning to environmentally conscious trade practices through incentive programs promoting a nature-friendly economy (Nature Positive Economy).

This website uses cookies for best user experience, to find out more you can go to our Privacy Policy  and  Cookies Policy