FPO expects smooth sailing for Bt2.27tn investment
The Fiscal Policy Office is confident that the draft Bt2.27 trillion borrowing bill to be submitted to the Cabinet on February 5 will meet with growing acceptance after it is explained to the public in detail, including projects, repayment period and procedures."This is likely to create a better understanding of the act among people and that could lower resistance eventually," Somchai Sujjapongse, the FPO's director-general, said yesterday.
The government might have to borrow less if the private sector joins in investing, he told a seminar on "Growing Business for Thailand's Development", organised by the Association of Investment Management Companies.
The borrowings would finance much-needed transport infrastructure, which has seen low investment for a long time, partly because of the political instability resulting from the frequent changes in government.
"The borrowing act will likely be better as the transport infrastructure projects will be seen in seven years. That could narrow the budget deficit and a balanced budget might be seen in 2017," Somchai said.The country will be developed if the government sets medium-to-long-term financial, legal, social and transport plans. For the social plan, education and healthcare are particularly important, he said.
Thiraphong Chansiri, chairman of Thai Union Frozen Products, urged the government to draw up other national strategies including for education, not just transport, and to change its mindset that expects the private sector to take care of itself.
Thailand's food industry requires innovation to drive its products and competitiveness to gain global status. There is a lack of linkages among the private sector, government and educational institutions and that has become an obstacle to research and development for commercial purposes, he said.
In 2020, any company with business, environmental and labour sustainability will survive, he added.
Thanong Chotisorayuth, managing director of Se-education, said the nation would develop if it had quality human resources.
At present, Thai education faces difficulties such as English-language competency because of an unclear strategy and absence of procedures to reach desired results.
The five major deficiencies of the education system are a lack of certain targets, lack of a strategic plan, lack of structure and incentives for desired results, lack of agencies for building up competent staff, and lack of independent and powerful educational organisations that would make suggestions for and objections against the government's education measures or policies.
"The company has studied Thailand's education problems with systematic solutions. Thailand needs systematic thinking to solve its education problems, otherwise our people may not be able to compete with those of other countries," he said.