Circular economy measures chewed over

Circular economy measures chewed over

Mr Somkid says the focus is on both economic and social development.
Mr Somkid says the focus is on both economic and social development.

The government is pledging to offer tax incentives to attract companies to make better use of natural resources and promote the so-called circular economy.

Speaking at "SD Symposium 2018 Circular Economy: The Future We Create", Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said Monday the government has already tasked the Board of Investment (BoI) with studying investment privileges for projects that involve environmental protection and social development, complying with the 20-year national strategy (2018-2038).

Under the 20-year plan, the government aims to narrow the widening income disparity gap to 15 times, down from 20 times. The plan particularly focuses on the richest 10% and poorest 10% in Thailand.

A circular economy is a regenerative system where resource inputs and waste, emissions and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing and narrowing energy and material loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing and recycling. In contrast, a linear economy has a "take, make and dispose" model of production.

A circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. Such an economy entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and taking waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital. It is based on three principles: design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems.

Mr Somkid said the government has implemented reforms that focus not only on economic, but also social development.

"This year's economic growth is likely to be enough to pave the way for the government to focus more on a circular economy," he said. "The government, notably through the industry and interior ministries, as well as the private sector, needs to collaborate to promote and support the circular economy."

Mr Somkid said the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Chamber of Commerce are also being urged to help create awareness of the circular economy.

He also praised Siam Cement Group (SCG), the organiser of "SD Symposium 2018", which aims to promote the circular economy. He said Thailand is ready to follow the economic trend, initiated by European (particularly Scandinavian) countries and Japan.

Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and chief executive of SCG, said demand for natural resources is expected to triple by 2030, driven by growth in Asia.

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