PM leads committee on two-year emergency plan

PM leads committee on two-year emergency plan

The national strategy committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday approved a two-year emergency plan under the 20-year national strategy (2018-37) to keep abreast of changing social and economic trends caused by the global economic slowdown and the pandemic.

Sanit Aksornkaew, chairman of the National Economic and Social Development Council, said the emergency plan will be implemented between 2021-22, and all public agencies are required to formulate their 2022 fiscal budget to comply with the emergency plan.

The 20-year national strategy, which came into force on Oct 13, 2018, has 23 master plans. Under those plans, there were 15 urgent flagship projects that must be implemented during 2019-23.

The 15 projects are split into several groups: social and economic restructuring in an effort to increase competitiveness; upgrading Thais' skills; projects that can create a balance between social and economic growth; infrastructure projects that can drive long-term economic growth; and projects that can generate income to create sustainable growth.

The first five years (2019-23) of development were based on requirements set under the national strategic plan. Gross national income per person was targeted to increase by an average of 70,000 baht a year to reach 360,000 baht in 2023, up from 290,000 baht in 2019.

According to Mr Sanit, the two-year emergency plan has lowered the contribution of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to GDP to less than 42% in 2021-22 from 45% in the previous plan.

The government during the two plans also pledged to help SMEs gain easy access to liquidity, upgrade the export capability of SMEs in the global market and promote community businesses.

Labour is to be upgraded, shifting to high-productivity industries to generate more income.

The committee agreed to maintain GDP per person at 236,000 baht per head in 2020 and 245,000 baht per head in 2022.

Investment growth in target industries is maintained at 10% in 2021 and 2022, while the proportion of investment in R&D is maintained at 10% growth a year in 2021 and 2022.

The government also maintains targeted industries, but will stress the development of agriculture, food, smart automobiles and medical industry.

The tourism and wellness industry will be put on the two-year radar to increase spending per trip from foreign visitors, up from average spending of 50,000 baht per trip. Investment in R&D is maintained at a minimum of 1.4% of GDP in 2021 and 1.5% in 2022.

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