Thailand’s former finance minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Wednesday warned that the current economic slowdown would last for a few years so the government needs to come up with plans to cushion the impacts of such recession.
Dr.Somkid, who was also the former deputy prime minister during the government led by Thaksin Shinawatra, urged the government to prepare a contingency plan to ease the impact of the global economic slowdown on the Thai economy, particularly on the country’s export sector.
During his key-note address on “Look at the Future of Thailand,” Dr.Somkid was quoted by the Thai News Agency (TNA) as saying that the government must put concrete efforts to assist the export sector, such as by finding new markets, asking financial institutions to help retail exporters and making Thai export products more competitive in terms of prices.
He said the export sector should not face the global economic slowdown without any assistance since it would send a repercussion on the industrial sector and the labour sector.
In addition, he also suggested the government pay much attention to the national budget because it would be a key drive for the economic growth and that the government realise a need to have over 400-500 billion baht of budget deficit in the next fiscal year so there would be vital to mobilise funds to prevent any fiscal woe.
“The government must step up efforts to restore confidence both locally and overseas. It is the main and direct duty of the government to boost public confidence in consumption and investment. Simultaneously, the government and all Thais must cooperate to convince foreigners that Thai laws are enforced in a fair and impartial manner,” he said.
Dr.Somkid also urged the government to try to add value to agricultural products for the farmers or help them increase crop yields before giving them any land plot as planned by the government, saying if the farmers were still poor they would sell their land within the next few years.
Regarding the government’s stimulus measures, he said all measures should be spent carefully and at the right timing, favourably the budget should be spent in accordance with the strategies instead of allocating the budget to the ministries.