Former economic ministers say Thailand unprepared for AEC


BANGKOK, 9 April 2012  – Former economic ministers have expressed their worries over the Thailand’s economic future, saying the nation is unprepared for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which is set to be established in 2015.

Former Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Somkid Jatusripitak and Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya said that compared to its neighbors, Thailand has many weaknesses, especially tax structure, investment promotion rules, customs system, and out-of-date civil service system.

According to Mr Somkid, these issues will limit Thailand’s competitiveness, adding that most ASEAN nations no longer have import-export tax. He stated further that Thai entrepreneurs lacked innovation and suggested that the government encourage innovations in business development.

Meanwhile, Mr Thanong has also expressed his worries over the investment in Thailand, given many foreign investors have reportedly expressed concerns over the possible flood crisis. He said many investors have shifted their interests to Thailand’s neighbors, especially Myanmar; which could progress quickly if the US government lifts the sanctions imposed on the country decades ago.