Thailand back in business: PM

Thailand back in business: PM

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) CEO Summit in San Francisco, California on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) CEO Summit in San Francisco, California on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has expressed Thailand's readiness to return to business amid a stable political climate. The government aims to elevate Thailand's status to become a prominent destination for trade and investment.

Mr Srettha, who also serves as finance minister, made the statement during a keynote address at the Apec CEO Summit 2023 in San Francisco earlier this week.

"With a stable political climate, the Thai government is pushing full steam ahead with various economic policies now taking centre stage and being vigorously implemented," he said. "The priorities are to amplify growth, boost competitiveness and elevate Thailand's position as a prominent destination for trade and investment."

He emphasised creating a conducive and enabling environment that attracts investment and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship while fostering collaborations for sustainable growth and development.

"Now is the time to invest in Thailand," Mr Srettha said. "The country is ready to work with all partners from around the world; be they old or new, public or private."

He said Apec member countries have been a powerful force as they are home to over one-third of the world's population and contribute to almost half of global trade.

Over the years, Apec has successfully lifted millions of people out of poverty through open trade and investment, he said, adding such a remarkable achievement would not have been possible without partnerships with the business community.

This strong relationship between the public and private sectors is truly unique and serves as a foundation for Apec's collective success today, he said.

The prime minister also highlighted the importance of sustainability.

Thailand is proud of its ongoing efforts for sustainability, he said. This year, the country ranked 43rd on the SDG Index, and the first in Southeast Asia, he said.

The country is committed to building on this momentum by further advancing the green economy and energy transition while redoubling efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero by 2065, he noted.

He said Thailand is actively promoting green finance through the issuance of sustainability-linked bonds to stimulate the growth of the green bond market. The country plans to reduce the use of fossil energy and invest in renewable energy.

Thailand also has a goal to establish a comprehensive EV supply chain that includes all kinds of electric vehicles, including cars, bikes and buses, and their parts and components. The government offers investment privileges in the special economic zones, building centres for battery testing, offering labour development courses and expanding charging station infrastructure.

For technologies and innovation, Apec members need close cooperation and exchange of relevant knowledge and technologies, he said.

He said the Thai government will use blockchain technology to implement its digital wallet scheme to boost the domestic economy and elevate digital awareness and skills.

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