The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has recommended that Thailand develop 10 areas to improve it position in ASEAN, after several factors in the country and its economy have turned worse due to political failures and other shortcomings.
According to Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of UNCTAD, who recently gave a speech at a business seminar in Bangkok, Thailand needs to move forward in 10 specific sectors:
1. Thailand has the potential to link the regional value chain. It should promote more value-addition in various industries such as automobile, medical and retail sectors, which can add value to all ASEAN countries.
2. There needs to be better cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion area and its economic corridors. Every country in the sub-region, including Thailand, needs to rectify and amend their own law accordingly.
3. Thailand needs a change in its educational system. The current curriculum is insufficient to produce the necessary labour force forASEANjob markets. Vocational courses should be strengthened.
4. Thailand has to work towards a unification of the customs systems in ASEAN.
5. Thailand should promote the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, an ASEAN-centred proposal for a regional free trade area, and additionally set up a fund for labour development.
6. Thailand should open up for skilled labour mobility. The competition will promote the development and increase the standard of Thai labour.
7. The mission of the Thai Board of Investment (BOI) should be to promote investment inflow and outflow.
8. Detailed regulations for the Trade Competition Act, launched by Thailand, have not yet been issued. Thailand will be at a disadvantage in trading competition.
9. The Chiang Mai Initiative for regional financial safety nets needs to be realised.
10. Of the many free trade agreements of the World Trade Organisation, only a few are efficient and effective. ASEAN is one of them but Thailand should look into other agreements as well.