The private sector has expressed support for the Pheu Thai Party to lead the formation of a new government, saying its economic policies will help turn the economy around.
Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, told the Bangkok Post that confidence in the economy will receive an immediate boost if Pheu Thai can form a government with their candidate as PM and seven coalition parties in agreement under the MoU they signed.
"Pheu Thai has experience in running the country, with several of its policies having been implemented successfully.
"The party also has the personnel with the capability and expertise to manage the economy,'' Mr Sanan said.
"The Thai Chamber of Commerce believes that if Pheu Thai leads the formation of the new government, its economic policies will propel the country forward, particularly those that stimulate growth and reduce inequality,'' he said.
The Move Forward Party has said it will be willing to let its coalition partner Pheu Thai have a go at forming the government if its own bid to get its leader Pita Limjaroenrat elected as PM fails.
Charoen: Shift focus from prices
Mr Sanan also urged the next government to address problems that require immediate action, especially bread-and-butter issues affecting people's daily lives, as well as assisting small-and-medium-sized entrepreneurs.
The government also should look to reduce living expenses and increase personal income so people have more money to spend, he said.
Furthermore, SMEs need easy access to sources of funding to rebuild their businesses after Covid-19, Mr Sanan said, adding the government should also pursue digital transformation to improve public services and ensure transparency.
The government must also come up with plans to deal with a possible drought due to the El Niño weather phenomenon that could affect the agricultural sector, he said.
"So far, farm produce has risen in price. Global demand for food has also increased, which presents a good opportunity for Thailand," he said.
The government and the private sector should integrate water management plans to ensure sufficient water supplies for the agricultural and industrial sectors, Mr Sanan said.
He also urged the government to step up disbursement of state funds that remain unspent as quickly as possible and roll out measures to inject cash into the economy to stimulate growth during the latter half of the year.
Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said the new government should prioritise the agroindustry by improving crop strains and planting methods, instead of just focussing on pricing.
"Several countries have attached importance to tackling global warming. We must ensure the planting methods will not produce methane which contributes to the problem,'' he said.
"Thailand must have a clear policy on the environment and global warming, otherwise Thai exports may face trade protectionism from other countries,'' he said.
Srettha Thavisin, one of Pheu Thai's three prime minister candidates, assured that Pheu Thai would deal with economic problems that affect people's daily life once it becomes the government.
"Pheu Thai will tackle the problem head-on regardless of whether it is the leader of a coalition or part of it. Easing people's hardship is the overriding priority,'' Mr Srettha said.
Pheu Thai's election pledges included a 10,000-baht "digital money" giveaway in which every Thai aged 16 and older will get a new savings account and a digital wallet connected to his or her ID.
The 10,000-baht giveaway is aimed at stimulating spending in local communities in the first six months, with the help of blockchain technology that will ensure the money is spent within a 4-kilometre radius of the recipients' registered address in an effort to spur the local economy.