Business coalition discusses H2 direction

Economy July 15, 2014 00:00

By Erich Parpart
The Nation

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Joint standing committee will forward proposals on economy to junta

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking yesterday discussed where the economy is headed in the second half of the year and will forward it proposals to the military’s ruling National Council for Peace and Order tomorrow.
The committee – which consists of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and the Thai Bankers’ Association – focused on exports and investment but also considered what impact Washington’s recent decision to downgrade Thailand to the lowest human-trafficking category would have on the economy.
Each association will formulate proposals and recommendations and pass them onto the NCPO.
FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said his organisation would propose tangible measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises after NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that promoting and developing SMEs was on the national agenda. 
Sakchai Unchittikul, deputy secretary-general of FTI and president of the Small and Medium Industrial Institute, said the institute had come up with a framework to help SMEs short-, medium- and long-term.
Sakchai said the target was to increase the income of SMEs so that the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product was 50 per cent.
He said the plan included measures to assist new and upcoming businesses as well as operators who needed immediate help so as to strengthen the sector, which could be an important engine stimulating recovery.
The road map to develop and strengthen SMEs that will be presented to the NCPO tomorrow is a short-term plan and the FTI has already proposed that the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion should no longer be managed by the Ministry of Industry. It should be controlled by the Office of the Prime Minister to increase its efficiency in helping and promoting SMEs, Sakchai said, adding that the proposal was well received by Prayuth.
The US State Department has named the Kingdom a Tier 3 country in its annual “Trafficking in Persons” report.