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TUESDAY, June 06, 2023
How nine major political parties intend to empower Thai industries

How nine major political parties intend to empower Thai industries

TUESDAY, March 28, 2023

The representatives of nine Thai political parties on Tuesday shared their vision and strategies for improving the country's industrial sector in order to sustain economic growth and maintain Thailand's leadership in the region.

They spoke at an annual conference of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) on “Empowering Thai Industries for a Powerful Thailand”, attended by over 500 FTI members.

FTI chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul praised the political representatives for attending the event and challenged them to convince national entrepreneurs and manufacturers of both small and large firms that their parties' strategies could help them move forward.

He pointed out that Thailand's industrial sector is currently on the verge of falling behind in global competitiveness. More collaboration, including great understanding and support from the government side, is required to deal with any challenges and uncertainties, he said.

Representatives from the Move Forward Party, Chartthaipattana Party, Chart Pattana Kla Party, Thai Sang Thai Party, Democratic Party, Palang Pracharath Party, Pheu Thai Party, Bhumjaithai Party, and Ruam Thai Sang Chart spoke at the conference. They are all members of their respective parties’ economic teams and some of them even work as manufacturers.

Apart from sharing their party's industrial strategies, the nine representatives were put on the spot as the FTI attendees wanted to see how each individual handled hot topics, such as minimum wage, electricity bills, and the cost of sustainability.

Pita Limjaroenrat

Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party, emphasised three key factors for transforming the country's industry: incorporating more design and innovation; shifting from area-based manufacturing to supply chain-based manufacturing; and, combining the strengths of man and machine to improve efficiency and productivity.


He called for clear regulations, a concise minimum tax, and equal access to education, particularly vocational education, in order to strengthen the country's competitiveness.

Suchart Chomklin

Suchart Chomklin of Ruam Thai Sang Chart spoke of the government's current projects, which had successfully helped avoid large-scale layoffs during the Covid-19 pandemic, while also driving the country's export growth to 17%.

He said the key was to collaborate closely and carefully and listen to what the manufacturers desired.

Their businesses are all aware of where they are going and what they should do. As a result, the government could act as a facilitator, by avoiding any conditions that impeded their progress.

He also mentioned the need to upskill approximately 1 million unskilled minimum-wage labourers across the country in order to improve their living standards. Before raising the minimum wage, he advised considering the type of jobs, the cost of living in the area, and the working conditions of the manufacturers.

Prommin Lertsuridej

Prommin Lertsuridej of the Pheu Thai Party highlighted the importance of changing the government's mindset to see itself as a facilitator and the private sector as a partner. This will aid in the decentralisation and reduction of redundant business permissions or certification operations.

He promised to transform the government into an active negotiator in order to promote the country's trade and investment on a global scale.

In addition, he noted the importance of collaborating with schools and universities across the country to develop skilled talent that can contribute to Thailand's innovation and technology, which would lead the country to a new economy.

Suwat Liptapanlop

Suwat Liptapanlop of the Chart Pattana Kla Party proposed using Thailand's strong point — tourism — as a springboard to generate more revenue and stabilise the economy before spreading the positive impact to other industries.

He spoke of the need for flexible regulations to promote ease of doing business in the country while exploring new markets worldwide to increase the possibility of exports, open channels for people to participate, and urged the use of technologies to improve efficiency.

Uttama Savanayon

Uttama Savanayon of the Palang Pracharath Party pointed out practical actions and tangible policies to address three pressing issues: household debt and financial source access, workforce upskilling and reskilling, and improving living quality standards.

In terms of geopolitical tensions, he stated that the scenario would be an opportunity for Thailand, as the country must carefully balance its position while maintaining mutual benefits such as security, stability, trade, and investment.

Kiat Sittheeamorn

Kiat Sittheeamorn of the Democratic Party suggested that the industrial sector should be improved with focus on three key areas: jobs, people, and nation.

He said the country needed to look for new opportunities to increase job possibilities, improve the education system to produce skilled workers, and restructure the system for long-term growth.

He emphasised the critical need to address the country's competitiveness by lowering energy costs.

Suphan Mongkolsuthree

As an insider from the industrial sector, Supant Mongkolsuthree of the Thai Sang Thai Party and former chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said Thailand should modify all 1,400 sections of the current active laws, many of which discourage businesses and encourage corruption.

He advocated easy access to financial resources, as well as the creation of advantages for Thai industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), so that they can grow their own businesses at a reasonable cost. 

This should include supportive measures to follow the Bio-Circular-Green economy.

 Santi Kiranand

The Chartthaipattana Party's Santi Kiranand called for equal access to resources, finances, technology, and energy.

He highlighted the importance of integrating education, the private and public sectors so that the country can move forward in harmony with no one left behind.

He also suggested that in order to boost the competitiveness of SMEs, the government must invest in research and development and provide assistance to SMEs.

Pada Worakanon

Pada Worakanon of the Bhumjaithai Party highlighted Thailand's potential in bio industry, citing the country's abundant biodiversity.

This move would help improve Thailand's agriculture, which is the country's foundation, she said.

She also stressed the government's role as a brand creator in promoting the country's goods and services.

Her party has laid out a strategy to promote Thailand as a world herb city while also increasing the economic value of marijuana and hemp.

How nine major political parties intend to empower Thai industries

The panellists were also challenged to explain how they plan to combat corruption, a long-standing issue in Thai society.

Although they advocated different actions, the principle was very similar. They emphasised the importance of changing and simplifying the law, as well as eliminating outdated provisions and redundancies.

Meanwhile, the laws must be strictly enforced and implemented.

The parties supported the formation of an independent organisation that would examine the government's schemes and projects, while the private sector's participation was required to completely prevent any violation of laws.