Thailand must get out of comfort zone amid global polycrises, CEOs warn


Focusing on learning new skills, prioritising green technology, and smartly employing artificial intelligence (AI) would be critical for Thailand to ride out the wave of current global polycrises, two CEOs of leading companies said.

Supachai Parchariyanon, CEO and co-founder of consulting and investment firm RISE, said that the world was currently experiencing polycrises, with many severe issues such as economic slowdown, high inflation, geopolitical tensions, decoupling relations, and climate change emerging at the same time.

He was speaking at a panel discussion hosted by MCFIVA on Tuesday titled "How would Thailand move forward during polycrises: Lessons learned from the World Economic Forum”.

He pointed out that the old school solution would no longer be effective, and countries around the world were struggling to find the right solutions that would benefit both themselves and the planet.

"What I observed while attending the World Economic Forum was that the topic 'How to tackle and handle this polycrises?' was one of the topics that countries and business leaders at the forum discussed the most, realising that the impact of the polycrises needs partnership and collaboration for all to overcome," he said.

He added that at the global level, the forum agreed to rebuild trust so that each country could work together to address the crises, including sharing technologies and experiences.

(from left) Supachai Parchariyanon, Pradit Mahasaksiri and MC

In terms of country level, he noted that each country has its own context to deal with, but they all share the same key foundations for thriving, which are skilled workers, green technology, and AI.

And Thailand is no exception in its efforts to strengthen these foundations, he said.

"We need to get out of our comfort zone, learn and practise new skills, and be wisely exposed to AI and other technologies," he said, emphasising that rather than being fearful, AI should be implemented properly under human leadership.

Meanwhile, Pradit Mahasaksiri, head of New Business Innovation at Denso International Asia, agreed with Supachai. However, as a manufacturing-related company, he advocates reinventing human capital skills.

He explained that Thailand's manufacturing sector currently accounts for 70% of the country's gross domestic product. However, this will not be the case in the next 50 years. To advance in the AI-influenced era, the country requires new infrastructure as well as new skilled talent, he said.

"Fostering one skilled person takes time and commitment. And each company has to figure out what kind of workforce they really want and how to train them," he said.

Furthermore, as the world faces more unpredictable crises as a result of the growing seriousness of climate change, businesses of all sizes must be alert and prepared using risk management and risk assessment tools.

Thailand must get out of comfort zone amid global polycrises, CEOs warn

"Every crisis has its own opportunities if we are well-prepared, and AI technology will help us work more productively and smarter," he said.

Meanwhile, they agreed that in order to transform the entire country, the government must implement strong, practical, and consistent policies, along with full collaboration from the private sector and proactive people who are tech and AI literate.

The panel discussion was part of a press conference announcing the organisation of the annual Southeast Asia Technology Conference. This year's invited-only event will be held on March 20-21, at The Crystal Box - Gaysorn Urban Resort in Bangkok, on the theme “Future of Everything”.

Thailand must get out of comfort zone amid global polycrises, CEOs warn

The event, organised by MCFIVA, a marketing consulting firm, and its partners, aims to establish Thailand as Southeast Asia's tech ecosystem hub while elevating and highlighting the potential in areas such as martech, venture capital, climatetech, fintech, healthtech, foodtech, IoT & hardware, and others.

conference also allows executives to network and match businesses for future growth, as well as learn from more than 30 world-class speakers from all over the world who deliver insights on cutting-edge topics.