Farm companies have vowed to raise its contribution to 16% of gross domestic product after the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan ends in 2016.
Its current contribution is only 10% of GDP.
This marks the first time the sector has shown a strong intention to support the national plan and meet a target, as the companies proposed several steps to assist the country's economy for the remaining four years of the plan.
The suggestions were made at a seminar yesterday for the National Economic and Social Development Board and business institutes aimed at strengthening sectors such as agriculture, industry, tourism, transport and logistics, promoting intra-regional trade, increasing investment abroad, as well as improving human resources.
Pornsil Patcharintanakul, vice-chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said with investments in raising food standards and increased productivity in crops and livestock over the next few years, he is certain the agricultural sector could contribute up to 16% of the GDP.
Meanwhile, the industrial sector must increase the value of its products, and improve quality to meet higher global demand with less impact to the environment, he said.
The automotive industry hopes to be able to manufacture about 3 million vehicles by 2017, while auto parts manufacturing aims to become a tier one producer in five years.
Tourism is another government priority, as this segment is slated to fetch 2 trillion baht in revenue by 2015 thanks to closer cooperation between the public and private sectors. The big question is how to attract higher-spending tourists.
Logistics operators will try to trim logistics costs to 14% of GDP in 2016 from 14.5% at present. Thailand needs to shift to rail transportation and reduce road transport to meet this goal.
Border trade has potential for more growth with the launching and upgrading of checkpoints with efficient customs procedures.
Companies also proposed improved tax measures to promote Thai investment abroad.
Narongchai Akrasanee, chairman to implement the plan, said these proposals will be tendered to the cabinet soon.
About the author
- Writer: Chatrudee Theparat
Position: Business Reporter