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Somkid Jatusripitak: Research institute, not politics

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Bridging the gap between universities & business, the best way he can help his country, decides former economics tsar Somkid Jatusripitak.



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Institute, not politics, now Somkid's focus

30/07/2012
Post Reporters

Unlike many members of the so-called 111 group, whose five-year ban from politics expired about two months ago, Thaksin Shinawatra's former economic tsar Somkid Jatusripitak has decided not to return to government. 

Instead, he persuaded a group of corporations and respected academics to form an academic institute, called the Thailand Future Study Institute.

The intention of the institute is to analyse issues and policies to benefit the public.

"We should accept that our private sector is very strong and the country's economy has been driven by the private sector," Mr Somkid said. "Many of them are also very responsible towards the public. They have launched corporate social responsibility programmes to help people.

However, instead of doing this individually, why don't they pool resources to achieve greater results.

The idea to form the institute was sparked by Prawase Wasi, a senior citizen, during a recent conversation

Mr Somkid, who is respected in business circles, embraced the idea and persuaded a group of private business corporations and academics to work together to push the country forward

The business corporations, including Mitr Phol Group, True Corporation, the Central Group, Saha Union, Bangkok Bank and Thai Union Frozen Products Plc, have contributed 30 million baht to form the Thailand Future Foundation, which runs the institute

Mr Somkid chairs the institute's board, which comprises prominent economists such as former finance minister Thanong Bidaya and former central bank governor Chaiyawat Vibulswasdi

Sethaput Suthiwart-narueput serves as the executive chairman and Nithinai Sirisamathakarn is its president

The institute will study and analyse the government's key policies, but without taking a stand. "We will not criticise those policies. We will study them in a broader perspective and point out their pros and cons, and the weaknesses that need to be addressed," Mr Somkid said

He said he does not want the institute to be interpreted as a platform for him to re-enter politics.

"This is purely an academic institute, with nothing to do with politics," he said. "For me, I've had enough.

The institute will be a source of information and funding for academics.

"If they want to research and study issues which will benefit the public and the country, the institute will provide funds to them," he said

The institute also will act as an agency or bridge between private business firms and innovators.

He said Thailand should put more money into research and development activities.

If our technology is behind other countries, say 10 years, it may take us generations to catch up with them. So, in my point of view, we must be serious about research and development.

The institute will be officially launched tomorrow with [at] the Thailand Future Forum. The key topic of the forum will be "Thailand at the Crossroads."

A panel will discuss the theme - "What are the big decisions that will shape our future." 

Panellists will include Mr Thanong, Isara Wongkusolkit, chairman of Mitr Phol Group, Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of True Corporation, Dhos Chirathivat, CEO of the Central Retail Corporation, and Thirapong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union Frozen Products Plc, while Utama Sawanayon will act as moderator

Dr Chaiyawat will be the keynote speaker on "What Thailand really needs?" while Dr Prawase will be the post-panel speaker on "Social Enterprises". Mr Somkid's address will conclude the forum.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Institute, not politics, now Somkid's focus, 30/07/2012, Post Reporters, link


Innovation Vocabulary


innovation - the invention of new and useful ideas, methods or equipment สิ่งใหม่,วิธีการใหม่,นวัตกรรม,การนำสิ่งใหม่หรือวิธีการใหม่เข้ามา (See Wikipedia)

innovators - people who introduce new ideas and improvements ผู้ประดิษฐ์คิดค้น

Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) - actions and programs by a company to "take responsibility for the company's effects on the environment and impact on social welfare. The term generally applies to company efforts that go beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups", also: "a company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship (1) through their waste and pollution reduction processes, (2) by contributing educational and social programs, and (3) by earning adequate returns on the employed resources" (See Wikipedia and definitions: #1 and #2 and diagram)

corporate social
responsibility programmes

social enterprises
- "an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximising profits for external shareholders" (See Wikipedia)

research and development - business activities to create new products and services or improve the production and delivery of existing ones (See Wikipedia)

focus - the main thing it is concerned with ให้ความสำคัญ
institute - Same as "academic institute"

academics - professors and lecturers at universities and colleges นักวิชาการ
academic institute - an organization that does research

Institute
, not politics, now Somkid's focus

ban - officially not allowed to do something ห้าม ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
ban from politics

expired - ended, finished, no longer valid หมดอายุ สิ้นสุด
expired two months ago
expired about two months ago

economic tsar - the person who oversees and looks after all economic issues and activities in the government (also: auto tsar, healthcare policy tsar, etc)

Unlike many members of the so-called 111 group, whose five-year ban from politics expired about two months ago, Thaksin Shinawatra's former economic tsar Somkid Jatusripitak has decided not to return to government. 

persuaded - to change what people think by giving them reasons; try to make people believe what you believe, try to change the way they think about an issue

corporations - a large company (registered with the government as separate legal entity, owned by many shareholders) (See Wikipedia)

respected - admired by many people for your qualities or achievements ที่เคารพ
respected academics

Instead, he persuaded a group of corporations and respected academics to form an academic institute, called the Thailand Future Study Institute.

intention - a goal you want to achieve, a reason for acting; a plan for what you are going to do in the future  ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ

issues - an important subect that people are discussing and debating about; subjects that need to be considered ประเด็น
analyse issues

benefit - to help someone มีประโยชน์ต่อ to get help or an advantage from something ผลประโยชน์
benefit the public

The intention of the institute is to analyse issues and policies to benefit the public.

sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
private sector - all the companies in the economy (not owned by the government)

responsibility - 1. being blamed for something that goes wrong, 2. having to take care of some task as part of your job
responsible towards the public

launched - started เริ่มต้นดำเนินการ เริ่ม
launched corporate social responsibility programmes

"We should accept that our private sector is very strong and the country's economy has been driven by the private sector," Mr Somkid said. "Many of them are also very responsible towards the public. They have launched corporate social responsibility programmes to help people.

resources - things such as money, workers and equipment that can be used to help achieve something ทรัพยากร  ทรัพยากรที่มีอยู่  the materials, money, and other things needed for a person or organisation to function properly; things needed for proper functioning, to get a job done

pool -
when a group of people gather together the things they have so everyone in the group can use them
pool resources

results
- what is produced in the end by an activity or task
achieve greater results

However, instead of doing this individually, why don't they pool resources to achieve greater results.

idea sparked by - idea created suddenly by (suddenly like a "spark" of electricity or fire)

senior citizen - an older person of retirement age over 60 or 65
citizen - someone who has the right to live permanently in a particular country พลเมือง a person who is legally accepted as belonging to a country, and therefore has legal rights and responsibilities (See Wikipedia)

The idea to form the institute was sparked by Prawase Wasi, a senior citizen, during a recent conversation

business circles - groups of business people who know each other, socialize together and share ideas
respected in business circles

embraced the idea -
accept an idea and start using it

Mr Somkid, who is respected in business circles, embraced the idea and persuaded a group of private business corporations and academics to work together to push the country forward. The business corporations, including Mitr Phol Group, True Corporation, the Central Group, Saha Union, Bangkok Bank and Thai Union Frozen Products Plc, have contributed 30 million baht to form the Thailand Future Foundation, which runs the institute

chair - be the leader or head of a meeting
board - the top high-level decision-making group in an organization
chairs the institute's board

prominent - important and well-known (the public is watching everything they do) ที่สำคัญ ที่มีชื่อเสียง, เด่น
prominent economists

comprises ... -
consists of ..., the member or parts of are ....
comprises prominent economists

Mr Somkid chairs the institute's board, which comprises prominent economists such as former finance minister Thanong Bidaya and former central bank governor Chaiyawat Vibulswasdi. Sethaput Suthiwart-narueput serves as the executive chairman and Nithinai Sirisamathakarn is its president

finance - to provide money for something จัดหาเงินทุนให้

key - important คนสำคัญ
key policies
government's key policies

take a stand -
have an opinion about an issue (about the right decision to make in an important issue)
without taking a stand

criticise -
find fault for something; talk about problems, errors or things that can be improved (opposite of praise)
criticise those policies


perspective - a way of thinking things (influenced by experience and beliefs) ทัศนคติ opinion, view on an issue มุมมอง ทัศนะ
study them in a broader perspective

cons
- disadvantages ข้อเสีย
pros - advantages
point out their pros and cons

address - to deal with a problem จัดการปัญหา

address weaknesses -
take action to remove weaknesses (make more strong)
weaknesses that need to be addressed

The institute will study and analyse the government's key policies, but without taking a stand. "We will not criticise those policies. We will study them in a broader perspective and point out their pros and cons, and the weaknesses that need to be addressed," Mr Somkid said

interpreted
- understood in a particular way
platform - policy platform, the policies and ideas that a politician or political party uses to get votes and get elected
interpreted as a platform for him to re-enter politics

purely - only อย่างเดียว
purely an academic institute

funding - money given for a particular purpose; money given to a program so it can operate การให้เงินสนับสนุน
source - the place or person something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
source of information and funding for academics

funds - an amount of money kept for a special purpose เงินทุน
provide - to give someone something that they want or need
provide funds

He said he does not want the institute to be interpreted as a platform for him to re-enter politics. "This is purely an academic institute, with nothing to do with politics," he said. "For me, I've had enough. The institute will be a source of information and funding for academics. "If they want to research and study issues which will benefit the public and the country, the institute will provide funds to them," he said

agency - an organization or business that acts as a go between or broker between two groups of people or businesses (examples: travel agency, modelling agency)

bridge between private business firms and innovators

catch up
- to reach the person who is in front in a race, when you are behind
it may take us generations to catch up with them

The institute also will act as an agency or bridge between private business firms and innovators. He said Thailand should put more money into research and development activities. If our technology is behind other countries, say 10 years, it may take us generations to catch up with them. So, in my point of view, we must be serious about research and development.

launch - start some activity
officially launched

forum - a place where people discuss and debate issues; a place where people can express their ideas and opinions การประชุมแสดงความคิดเห็น
the key topic of the forum

crossroads -
1. an important time at which important decisions will be made that affect the future; 2. a place in the road where two roads cross (must decide which of the two roads to take)

Thailand at the Crossroads

panel - a group of experts discussing a problem or trying to solve a problem; brought together to discuss, investigate, and give advice on a subject
panellists - the people on the panel

theme - the main subject of something ใจความสำคัญ, ประเด็นหลัก
a panel will discuss the theme

The institute will be officially launched tomorrow with the Thailand Future Forum. The key topic of the forum will be "Thailand at the Crossroads." A panel will discuss the theme - "What are the big decisions that will shape our future."  Panellists will include Mr Thanong, Isara Wongkusolkit, chairman of Mitr Phol Group, Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of True Corporation, Dhos Chirathivat, CEO of the Central Retail Corporation, and Thirapong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union Frozen Products Plc, while Utama Sawanayon will act as moderator

keynote speaker - the important speech that begins a large meeting, conference or seminar

address - a formal speech คำปราศรัย ปราศรัย
Mr Somkid's address

conclude - to finish; to complete an official agreement or task, or arrange a business deal จบ
conclude the forum

Dr Chaiyawat will be the keynote speaker on "What Thailand really needs?" while Dr Prawase will be the post-panel speaker on "Social Enterprises". Mr Somkid's address will conclude the forum.

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