Despite global challenges, business growth in Thailand will be positive next year, Dhanin Chearavanont, senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, said on Thursday.
The reason for this, Mr Dhanin said, is that many countries will be interested in investing in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, which can become a regional trade and business hub.
Speaking to reporters at the CP Leadership Institute in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district, Mr Dhanin said he's quite confident about Thailand's future.
He said the country should be able to gain from global crises, whether it is the Covid-19 situation or even global unrest such as the Ukraine-Russia war that has created an energy crisis.
"Those crises lead to strong interest from many countries to invest in Thailand. It might be a great opportunity, the type you get in a thousand years," Mr Dhanin said. "The economic overview for next year is very much better than this year, but it depends on the government and the people -- on how they can grab such an opportunity."
Mr Dhanin has said the end of the Covid-19 pandemic would immediately bring with it economic growth to Thailand as the country's fundamentals -- such as infrastructure -- remain strong.
He said the pandemic lasted over two years, and now there is the war in Europe that has worsened the global economic situation. Amid such a crisis, many countries have turned attention to the Asean region, which is quite peaceful, especially Thailand.
Mr Dhanin said Thailand could be a trade and investment hub if the government has policies able to attract foreign investors.
One magnet is offering qualified foreigners the right to buy land. He said the government should go ahead with the policy of allowing foreigners who have long-term resident (LTR) visas to buy up to one rai of land because it would help build up permanent investment. It would also create jobs and more income for local people, he said.
This policy is much better than luring greater numbers of tourists to the country, Mr Dhanin said.
He added that the country has a total of about 105 million rai of land for agricultural purposes, and such land will not be impacted by the policy. He suggested the government can start implementing the policy in the Eastern Economic Corridor project to promote more investment.
Mr Dhanin further added that many foreign start-up entrepreneurs would like to work in Thailand, but the lucrative benefits don't match their requirements, so the government should learn from them to know the things that they want.
The government can even copy policies from other countries that have succeeded in implementing policies that have attracted skilled and wealthy foreigners, he said, adding that the government should not draft the policy on its own but should weigh in on the real needs of its targeted foreigners.
Regarding the uncertainty of the world situation, Mr Dhanin warned that the government should balance economic relations and stay away from political conflicts.
"Thailand is very good at making a balance. Thanks to the monarchy, we were saved from being colonised. We should learn from history," he said.
"From my perspective, I believe that the next leader should be a person who is brave enough to make the right decision for the country's utmost benefit. That person needs to be able to work fast with high-quality results. He or she should have gratitude to the homeland and the monarchy," he added.