Circular model going to cabinet
The Industry Ministry is set to propose a circular economy framework to the cabinet next month as part of the government's S-curve policy, expected to enable sustainable growth.
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, recycling, and upcycling.
A circular economy is in contrast to a linear economy, which has a "take, make, dispose" model of production.
Uttama Savanayana, the industry minister, said this economic concept can solve natural resource problems, improving the environment and social sustainability.
Under the S-curve policy, the circular economy will be applied to the 11 targeted industries as the ministry believes the model can bring about economic sustainability in the long run, in a line with the global movement.
"The government is concerned that industrial development will impact the society and the environment, so the circular economy has to be promoted," he said. "All related agencies are working on the circular economy and expect it will be in an attraction for private companies."
Mr Uttama said the circular economy will include framework, regulation and incentives for all companies.
Nattapol Rangsitpol, director-general of the Office of Industrial Economics, said the circular economy will increase efficiency, competitiveness and add value to Thailand's industrial sector.
The circular economy for Thailand will focus on reducing raw materials, durability at operational plants, upgrading technology and create innovations for higher efficiency.
"With the way of reused and recycled products, instead of using new resources, every industrial operators should comply with the government's circular economy due to benefits to the society and environment," said Mr Nattapol.
Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said it will join a new committee with the government for the circular economy and FTI will set up its new internal unit as well.
"The FTI believes a circular economy will create benefits for the country's business sector in the long run and is willing to cooperate with the government in the future," he said.
"The FTI will talk to other business operators for the circular economy design and development centre to provide new knowledge and business networking to support local small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs]."
Mr Supant said the circular economy is being applied to many developed countries and will become a new trade barrier measure, for which the FTI is concerned about Thailand's compliance with this trend, as the industrial sector may be harmed.
Separately, Mr Uttama added the ministry will propose the new measures to the cabinet for acknowledgment and approval in November after a few months of delays to develop these measures.
"The new measures and packages for local SMEs will include financial and training coupon programmes, mainly for technology and innovation experience," said Mr Uttama.