Democrats reveal economic team
The Democrat Party yesterday unveiled its economic team and boasted about its ability to cope with the changing economic landscape and tackle poverty.
Led by party deputy leader Korn Chatikavanij, the team also consists of two outsiders who are well-known figures in business circles, Prinn Panitchpakdi and Karndee Leopairote.
Mr Prinn is a leading businessman with expertise in stock exchange trades and business startups, while Ms Karndee is a businesswoman and academic serving as an adviser to small- and medium-sized businesses.
According to Mr Korn, when party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was prime minister in 2010, Thailand's economy gained global recognition after the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index hit a record high.
He said that was a result of the party’s decision to listen to what the people around the country had to say, and subsequently submit a report to the government with a summary of their opinions and requests.
The government’s policy on guaranteeing a minimum income for farmers, issuing title deeds on land designated as community land and bringing non-bank debts into the state bank debt management system were among the Abhisit-led government’s achievements, he said.
New challenges facing Thailand’s economic development now include dwindling natural resources, an ageing society and worsening pollution, which required novel approaches and ideas if such problems are to be tackled well, he said.
Mr Prinn said that many people share the misconception that having more laws will correlate with a better chance of justice for everyone.
With a large number of laws created, law enforcement would inevitably lead to corruption, which is a key factor contributing to poor wealth distribution, he said.
People in the provinces don't have proper shares in profits taken mainly by rich businessmen, and neither do they have proper access to sources of funding, he said.
To change the people’s mindset about the way they operate their businesses may take time, but the Democrat Party aims to do so because it strongly believes in empowering people as part of its policies, he said.
In Ms Karndee’s view, a good economy means that everyone earns enough money to cover their living costs and contribute to a growing gross domestic product (GDP).
As a part of the global community, Thailand needs global recognition, she said.
Thailand used to have a leader who played an important role in the global community and it now needs to regain that reputation, Ms Karndee added.
From her perspective as a business operator, no other candidate is better than Mr Abhisit because of his ability to win trust from the global community.