Local development prioritised

Local development prioritised

Somkid wants focus on domestic economy

Somkid Jatusripitak: 'We expect the international trade turmoil to continue for 2-3 years if US President Donald Trump stays in office until the next US presidential elections in 2020.' (Photo courtesy Government House)
Somkid Jatusripitak: 'We expect the international trade turmoil to continue for 2-3 years if US President Donald Trump stays in office until the next US presidential elections in 2020.' (Photo courtesy Government House)

Thailand needs to stay focused on local economic development in the years to come because the trade row between the two largest economies is likely to be prolonged and harmful to the global economy, warns Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

The trade war between China and the US has already hit China hard and will continue to affect the global economy next year, Mr Somkid said.

"We expect the international trade turmoil to continue for 2-3 years if US President Donald Trump stays in office until the next US presidential elections in 2020," he said.

The US has already introduced a raft of tax measures against China's exports, he said, and more measures are likely in store for next year, which will surely affect the global economy.

Mr Somkid said related agencies and the business sector should stay alert and prepare ahead to boost local economic growth, which will help offset the Thai economy once exports fall because of the trade row.

"The Thai economy should not be dependent on only exports," Mr Somkid said. "And the government has implemented a raft of measures during the past three years to boost the domestic economy and strike a balance between exports and the local economy.

"Related agencies should continue promoting local economic development next year, while exporters and businesses should prepare measures in advance to offset the impact from the trade war."

Mr Somkid said China has already eased its monetary policy to create a better balance between external and internal factors. The government's economy czar said rising oil prices are another area of concern as production costs for businesses rise.

Mr Somkid is scheduled to visit PTT Plc on Oct 11 to follow up on PTT's investment in energy, petrochemical and bioeconomy.

"The bioeconomy project, in particular, has made a little progress, as many related parties got involved," he said. "This should be accelerated and launched before the general election because the project plays a vital role in supporting farmers and the value of farm products."

Thailand's first-ever bioeconomy development plan aimed at promoting more private investment in biotech-related businesses and adding value to farm products is still far from being completed.

The plan was expected to be submitted for cabinet approval earlier this year.

A bio-based economy or bioeconomy refers to all economic activities derived from scientific and research activity focused on biotechnology.

Twenty-three organisations spanning state agencies, the private sector, universities and research centres signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year to drive bioeconomy development.

The bioeconomy includes five sectors: bioenergy, biochemicals, food, animal feed and biopharmaceuticals.

The first development will focus on tapioca and sugar cane, the raw materials for many products such as ethanol, bioplastics, food, bioenergy and biopharmaceuticals.


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