Political parties ruled the stage at a forum where they agreed that cooperation and partnerships hold the key to strengthening the country's industries and sharpening their competitive edge.
Representatives from various parties joined the discussion "Empowering Thai Industries for Powerful Thailand" at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld Hotel yesterday.
Pita Limjaroenrat, Move Forward Party (MFP) leader, said investment in industry to create "Made in Thailand" products should change to embrace the "Make with Thailand" concept. It is done by encouraging the cooperation of humans and Artificial Intelligence to increase the value of production.
Mr Pita gave the example of Taiwan which appears to be involved with every industry, so Thailand must become a supply chain base by concentrating on both product and process.
He said the Thai economy is driven by low technology and needs modernising to incorporate digital design. The old thinking and practices that rely on labour and machines should be phased out to make room for robots, which can work alongside humans to manufacture products with heightened value for exports.
The "Make with Thailand" should borrow the production model adopted in Taiwan, where products and production process go hand in hand.
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, a member of the United Thai Nation Party's political strategy committee, said the government has backed industries and businesses in every aspect to help them get through tough times during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also provided remedial assistance to businesses on condition they retain their workers so they stood ready for the reopening of the border.
Homing in on the daily wage, Mr Suchart said it was imperative that the tripartite committee system of the state, employers and employees be allowed to work and function effectively without the government's manipulation of the daily wage issue.
Dr Prommin Lertsuridej, head of Pheu Thai's economic team, said the government must work with the private sector and support the business and industrial sectors in a bid to drive the economy.
Pheu Thai, if elected, will seek more foreign investment. It will also support the production sector, find new energy sources, use tax mechanisms to adjust production, lower transport costs and boost border trade, particularly in the northern province of Nong Khai.