Three-month strategy unveiled to revive economy
The Commerce Ministry said on Monday it would speed up four policies to revive the economy over the next three months. The policies cover the income guarantee for farmers, export stimulus, cost-of-living supervision, and talks on trade accords such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Thai-EU agreement.
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, speaking at the Bangkok Post Forum 2019, said a top priority was to secure income guarantees for the vast majority of farmers who cultivate rice, tapioca, rubber, oil palm and corn.
Oil palm farmers would be the first beneficiaries, with an initial guaranteed price of 4 baht per kilogramme.
The Commerce Ministry will meet representatives of the government, the private sector and farmers to discuss the move tomorrow.
Price-guarantee measures for other crops would follow, said Mr Jurin.
Another urgent policy, overseeing the cost of living, involves both price controls and ensuring fair practices.
Meanwhile, to revive the slump in export growth amid the US-China trade war, the Commerce Ministry will focus on supporting the private sector by facilitating trade and lowering barriers, he said.
To drive export growth and border trade volume, the commerce minister will on Aug 14 chair the inaugural Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee on Commerce, attended by representatives of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Bankers Association, the Thai National Shippers' Council and related government agencies, he said.
The ministry will also hold talks soon with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to boost crucial border trade, he added.
Mr Jurin also vowed to push for pending trade deals, targeting the signing of the RCEP by 2020.
The RCEP is set to be the world's largest free-trade deal, with a market of 3.5 billion people and 32.3% of global GDP. Clinching it would bring opportunities for Thailand to expand its export markets, he said.
Also, an urgent priority is the resumption of talks on the Thai-EU free trade agreement. The ministry will prepare the agreement's framework before submitting it to the cabinet.