In January, 2010, responding to a question posed by a reporter concerning King Rama IX’s theory, Thanathorn said:
“If you ask me, as a capitalist, do I like that theory [I would answer that] it is nationalism. You go on promoting the use of Thai products: If you manufacture cars, you must buy [parts] from Thais. I’m happy. But who benefits eventually? Domestic and international capital gain from that as before. The accumulation of capital is still concentrated among the upper class as before. If you ask what the difference is between domestic capital and international capital, the answer is there is no difference. It’s just a mirage. In the end, Sufficiency Economy is just another form of rhetoric.”
I beg to differ.
The Sufficiency Economy theory has been recognised by the international community – and earned high praise from the United Nations – as a unique and innovative approach for developing countries. It emphasises appropriateness of development, competitive advantage, low risk, and avoidance of over-investment. It involves keeping abreast of events elsewhere in the world, hedging investments, and reducing dependence on imports from other countries. It is totally different from what Thanathorn perceives it to be.