One of the serious concerns of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha is the US-China trade war that has the potential to undermine global businesses. A greater balance must be created so that tensions can be alleviated. In a speech at the Bloomberg ASEAN Business Summit in Bangkok, PM Prayuth said a trade dispute can lead to more uncertainty in the global economic situation and competition.
Even if the economy of Thailand appears to be slowing down, there are still good fundamentals for future growth. Thailand is now in the process of expediting the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement. The government continues to prioritize infrastructure projects, investments in major industrial zones and support for the agricultural sector.
Prayuth won his 2nd term in office during the March 24 election. Lawmakers have supported Prayuth’s return as premier through a parliamentary vote. His return is a victory for the military and the royalist elite in Bangkok that have used legal means and coups to change election results for more than a decade. They wanted to prevent exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies from retaining power.
The incoming administration is faced with the weakest economic growth since 2014. Export, investments and tourism are down and some major projects were affected by the formation of a new government. However, PM Prayuth’s priority is infrastructure and technological upgrades. He also wants red tape to be eliminated to boost the outlook for Thailand. Meanwhile, Prayuth’s key choices for Cabinet members have to be endorsed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn so that new polices can be expected by July.
Thailand is the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year and the government will take advantage of the position as ASEAN chair to push for the finalization of the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact with the backing of China before the end of this year.
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