BANGKOK – Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula said in his keynote speech at the Thai-Chinese Exim Association on Thursday that Thailand has adopted four key strategies to drive the economy and foster its competitiveness in the global landscape.
The second policy is tapping natural resources such as potash and steel to establish new industries such as fertilizer and upstream steel industries.
The other two policies are establishing transport and logistical connectivity with neighbors and developing special economic zones in border areas.
According to the PM Office Deputy Spokesperson, Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd, agencies in charge of solving the problem, such as Ministries of Justice, Finance and Agriculture and Cooperatives have been told to focus their efforts on heavily-indebted farmers who are being sued by their creditors and risk losing their property as a result of the legal proceedings.
PM Prayut has voiced his concern for this group of debtors. One of his suggestions is to conduct a feasibility study on a possible bailout for farmers. A survey by the Ministry of Interior has found that 140,000 farmers owed state financial institutions to the tune of 3.6 billion baht, while another 149,000 incurred 2.1 billion baht in debt with non-formal lenders.
Meanwhile, a recent report by the Bank of Thailand (BOT) indicated that household debts in the fourth quarter of the year 2014 represented 85.9 percent of the gross domestic products, a sharp rise from 54.6 percent in 2007. Most of the problems were attributed to the previous government’s economy-boosting plans, including the first house and the first car projects, and the special loans for the 2012 flood-victims.