Government looks to BCG initiatives to drive growth

Government looks to BCG initiatives to drive growth

The government vows to rev up promotion of the bio, circular and green (BCG) economy to help drive economic growth over the next five years.

The first meeting of a management committee to drive the BCG economy chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday approved a five-year strategic plan to promote BCG between 2021 and 2026.

According to Gen Prayut, the government agreed to place BCG on the national agenda to speed up development because the sectors can increase the value of farm products and BCG is part of a global development trend.

The BCG strategic plan covers four sectors: farm and food; healthcare and medical services; energy and biochemicals; and tourism and the creative economy.

He said the government first plans to develop the bio-economy, as Thailand has more than 30 million people working in the farm sector, yet most of them remain in poverty, said Gen Prayut.

The development plan calls for the government to increase the value of farm products and generate more income for the farm sector. In 2019 the farm sector contributed 1.35 trillion baht to GDP, or 8%.

He said the committee established seven working committees to drive the development, improve regulations and attract real investment.

The five-year BCG strategic plan aims to generate 4.4 trillion baht worth of income, or 24% of GDP, and create 16.5 million jobs by 2022, up from 3.5 trillion baht in 2019.

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said Thailand needs to speed up BCG development because it can generate income.

He said the government is considering various measures to promote the industry as well as privileges from the Board of Investment (BoI). Last June the BoI approved adjusting investment privileges and conditions for agriculture categories, such as a new agriculture category that applies high technology in plant factories.

A plant factory is a closed growing system that uses artificial control of light, temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide and minerals as well as the biological environment such as contamination of diseases and insects from water, air and plants.

Such products must be high quality, safe and of a sufficient quantity to allow both domestic consumption and exports.

This new category will be entitled to a corporate income tax exemption for five years.

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