Agency urges reworking

The government is being advised to speed up developing infrastructure for science, technology and digital as well as promote private investment in R&D next year to spur the economy and upgrade Thailand's competitiveness.

The government also needs to rev up rehabilitating the farm sector after the pandemic is controlled, focusing on supporting technology and R&D upgrades to add value to products, says the government’s planning unit, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).

Wanchat Suwankitti, the NESDC deputy secretary-general, said infrastructure development needs to be accelerated. Thailand’s infrastructure ranking improved from 45th to 44th in IMD’s 2020 world competitiveness review, but the country’s overall ranking fell four places to 29th, weighed down by a decline in economic performance and government efficiency, attributed to sluggish GDP and employment growth.

“Thailand needs to speed up infrastructure development in 2022 if the country wants to help the economy and upgrade its competitiveness ranking, said Mr Wanchat.

He said the government is maintaining its development targets under the 20-year national strategic plan (2018-37) despite the drastic impact on social and economic development caused by the spread of Covid-19.

The strategy comprises 23 master plans, of which 15 are deemed urgent flagship projects that must be implemented during 2019-23. The 15 projects are split into several groups: social and economic restructuring in an effort to increase competitiveness; upgrading Thais’ skills; projects that can create a balance between social and economic growth; infrastructure projects that can drive long-term economic growth; and projects that can generate income to create sustainable growth.

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