Study gives government growth tips
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Study gives government growth tips

Agency backs digital future for success

The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AmCham Thailand) has presented a white paper in responding to the government's "New Normal" initiative, offering advice about long-term measures to support sustainable economic growth in Thailand.

In the white paper "Better than Before -- Creating Long Term Growth in Thailand Post-Covid-19", AmCham demonstrates its support for the Thai government's vision of making the nation a high-income country by 2037 and suggests cooperation in key areas such as trade relations, global supply chains, digital economy, small and medium enterprises, tourism, healthcare, and energy to accelerate US investment in the region.

Post Covid-19, investors will be keenly courted in the Southeast Asian region. Key mechanisms to position Thailand as the premier destination for investment include regulatory predictability and transparency as well as competitive tax policies and regulations. The Covid-19 pandemic has also revealed vulnerabilities of global supply chains and brought into focus the need for stronger more dependable logistics. The paper also provides suggestions about opportunities the Thai government has to improve cross border trade efficiency, which is essential to reinstate the country's position as a manufacturing powerhouse and key Asean logistics hub.

"Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation across Thailand. AmCham extends its expertise to the Thai government for building a safe, secure, and viable digital infrastructure essential to boosting the country's vibrant digital economy and for a bright future," the agency said.

The paper outlines steps, policies, emerging global standards and reforms in the digital economy, cybersecurity, and e-commerce for the government, enterprises, and society to consider and invest intensively in digital transformation. The paper also identifies a need to strengthen government-backed policies for Small and Medium Enterprises to access capital in order to grow.

Moreover, "The Simple and Smart Licence project ("Guillotine Project") to eliminate redundant laws and regulations should also be prioritised and quickly implemented. Many regulations are no longer relevant and actually impede the adoption of modern business models which are an integral part of the Digital Economy. These changes require directives from the highest levels of government in order to succeed," the white paper said.

The current pandemic has impacted Thailand's travel and health tourism industry due to restrictions imposed on inbound travel of foreigners. It is recommended that, in addition to addressing safety concerns, the government establish long-term goals that encourage innovative tourism models such as reciprocal protocols for access without quarantine, travel bubbles with countries that have successfully controlled the disease, tax incentives for domestic tourism, and developing quality health and wellness tourism.

Regarding the health tourism industry, AmCham hopes to encourage an ecosystem of value-based healthcare and market environment improvements for better patient access to medicine and treatment to strengthen Thailand's position as Asia's medical hub of the future.

The paper also suggests a myriad of ways to maximise Thailand's energy potential as a regional hub to accelerate the development of untapped energy resources, adopt open market policies on fuel products, and support the development of alternative energy resources through innovation.

As adoption of digital technology will see massive disruption, the paper recommends the involvement of the public and private sector as well as foreign investors.

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