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Key business bodies keen to meet new Govt

Two influential bodies, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) and the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand, will together meet members of the new Cabinet to propose their ideas for boosting the economy.

– Challenges for New Government” to brainstorm ideas focusing on trade and investment obstacles that could affect foreign investment here. Moreover, they also want to see the new government raise as a priority the issue of reducing the income gap.

Both the private organisations plan to meet the new government soon after it is formed. In addition, it will be supported by their business development strategies.

The two organisations hosted a seminar yesterday titled “Thailand Investment Environment: Looking Forward

Dusit Nontanakorn, chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand, said the private proposals are drawn up to help the new government, particularly on the main issues.

“The government should consider our proposals and put them into its policy implementation, which will also allow the private sector to work more closely with them to for a win-win situation,” said Dusit.

The most serious issue for the private sector is corruption, tackling of which should be a priority to boost trade and investment, he said.

Chatsiri Sophonpanich, chairman of JSCCIB, said the government should improve regulation and procedures related to business operations by cutting out unnecessary processes. The strategy would help reduce companies’ costs.

According to the World Bank’s recent annual report on “Ease of Doing Business”, Thailand was downgraded from 16th last year to 19th this year. This was because in many supporting factors such as starting a business, registering property, access to credit and paying tax, the rankings had dropped from last year.

Moreover, Thailand’s competitiveness rank released by the World Economic Forum also showed the Kingdom’s status had dropped from 36th last year to 38th this year.

“Those reports show how foreign direct investment into Thailand has been affected. This needs to be solved jointly by the private sector and the government,” Chartsiri said.

Payungsak Chartsutipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the new government should focus on the important Joint Public and Private Committee to formulate the country’s economic policy. It should be the venue for the economic ministers, concerned government agencies and the private sector to brainstorm for the country’s future. The prime minister should chair this committee, he said.

Kobsak Pootrakool, executive vice president of Bangkok Bank, said the government should concentrate on education revolution, focusing on quality through a free-education programme and compulsory education.

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