BANGKOK, 11 June 2012 – The government has declared the country’s preparation to integrate into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) as a national agenda, while calling for the cooperation of all sides.
Speaking at a seminar titled “Modern Thai Economy in the ASEAN Economic Community”, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that the AEC will bring about a free flow of trade and investment within the region. The negotiation power of the ASEAN market will also be increased after the ten member countries unite into a single market and production base. She pointed out that with its strategic geographical position as well as being the gateway to the Southeast Asian region, Thailand holds an edge over its ASEAN companions.
As a preparation for the upcoming AEC formation in 2015, the PM took the opportunity of the seminar to announce the government’s strategy in developing trade and investment as an urgent national agenda.
The government will join hands with the Interior Ministry to set up a general assembly nationwide to educate Thai entrepreneurs before the country fully integrates into the AEC in three year’s time. Meanwhile, the public sector should rush to strengthen the domestic economy so that it is immune to negative factors. At the same time, PM Yingluck urged the government to invest in public utilities, especially roads, dual-track railways and high-speed railways, in order to reduce entrepreneurs’ initial cost.
Moreover, the government will adjust the corporate income tax structure down to 20% as an incentive to draw in foreign investors to Thailand, while encouraging Thai investors to invest in other ASEAN countries.