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Japanese chamber makes proposals to junta, based on 3 principles

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok has proposed to the National Council for Peace and Order three major principles - transparency of government procedures, respect for the market economy, and liberalisation of the economy in steps to improve competitiveness.

Hisamichi Koga, president and executive director of the JCC, last week met with Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong of the NCPO, who is in charge of the economy, to discuss how to drive the economy in the future.

After the discussion, the JCC proposed many issues for further effort:

l Steadily implementing the action plan based on the schedule to return to democracy with an election;

l Establishing a government that will issue economic policies that are handled and determined by economic and business experts;

l Limiting intervention in the economy and business to necessary measures to stabilise the economy and life of citizens;

l Introducing a well-designed system to promote transparency and efficiency of government procedures including customs and projects to help eliminate corruption, such as disclosing objective criteria for project approval or tendering as well as disclosing results of bidding on projects, and abolishing the reward system for customs officers;

l Promoting outward-looking trade policies to take a lead in the Asean Economic Community, RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership among Asean+6 countries, which will be negotiated by the end of next year) and Thai-European Union Free Trade Agreement;

l Developing hard infrastructure, such as roads, railroads, and East-West and Southern Economic Corridors to Myanmar, and soft infrastructure, such as the improvement of customs and transport agreements to upgrade connectivity with neighbouring countries after a necessary review of planning and financing;

l Steadily implementing water-management projects after a review of planning;

l Developing human resources to make Thailand a more advanced hub of this region through education, training, and innovation and research and development;

l Securing a stable energy supply at reasonable prices via efficient channels;

l Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises as important supporting industries in their access to finance, technology and information;

l Abolishing the restrictions on facilitating investment for the service sector;

l Opening up investment for those sectors step by step, in order to enhance the international competitiveness of the economy;

l Providing more incentives to establish regional headquarters or regional operating headquarters in Thailand.

Japanese companies have been good partners of Thailand for a long time and have made commitments in the development of the economy, Koga said.

"We hope that the NCPO will consider the following points in the process of policy decision-making: transparency in government procedures, importance of the market economy, and strength of the economy by opening it up through free-trade agreements," he said.

Prajin explained that the three-stage road map of the NCPO to return to democracy was going smoothly and now was at the first step, he said.

"The NCPO is well aware that we have to make efforts to realise economic development while maintaining peace and order. We will also try to restore confidence and invite more investment from abroad," he said.


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