State 'in dire need' of a paradigm shift

State 'in dire need' of a paradigm shift

Thailand is in dire need of a paradigm shift in development in order to survive the current economic crisis, according to the chairman of the Sang Anakhot Thai Party (SATP), Somkid Jatusripitak, on Thursday.

"As more hardship lies ahead of us, there's no room for complacency. We have to be well prepared to embrace these challenges, said the country's former economic tsar, who was speaking at a seminar at Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University on Thursday.

"The country's development mode needs to change, in order to balance our internal dynamics with our reliance on external factors in economic development," he said.

In order to do so, he said, first Thailand will have to revamp its budgeting system, which is now highly centralised and largely controlled by ministries, ministers and certain political parties.

"The control of the state budget will need to be decentralised as much as possible," he said.

Second, the former deputy prime minister said, the government's economic policies must also be reoriented towards microeconomic conditions, as opposed to macroeconomic factors.

This means the government will have to focus more on economic development at the local level, set clear targets for local economic growth, and work hard to accomplish it, he said.

A factor that will play a key role is access to sources of funding for local economic development. It is the government's responsibility to expand access to these funding sources, Mr Somkid said.

Lastly, he said, it is time for the country's education system to fully go online in order to better reach and serve everyone in every community.

The internet should be fully utilised to support all forms of learning, which must include training on new work skills and initiating a new business, he said.

"The education system has already changed. Everyone can now learn from sources available on the internet, not only in a classroom setting in a university as in the past," he said.

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