While former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, may be one of the most polarizing politicians in Thai history, there is little doubt of his business acumen, having amassed a fortune of billions of dollars from their companies on telecommunications, satellites, property and the Football League, including the prime minister.
He recently spoke with CNS-KRAN LOAHAVILAI, editor of our sister paper message today, and journalist Wissanu NUNTONG in Brunei to discuss their ideas about the Thai economy and its advice to the Party Pheu Thai.
What is Thai Pheu approach now when he gets on the formation of a government?
Yingluck Shinawatra, meets every day, they are moving quickly to address problems in the short term, namely the high cost of living. Measures be established to help reduce the cost of living.
In the medium term, the income of individuals and the country’s economic fundamentals need to be strengthened.
A long-term mega-projects must be implemented to help support economic growth in the next, say, 10 years.
These projects, including the city of new construction of the dam project of the ocean, water resource development, new transit routes in Bangkok and the national high speed rail program. Considering the issues, including the search for experts to help establish a plan with the government.
How these policies are enacted? They say the plan to raise the minimum wage to 300 baht a day, or starting salaries for new graduates and 15,000 baht per month?
Tax exemptions are offered to help pay for salary increases. What could be done in two stages, beginning with the civil service. Wage increases in public administration, in turn market forces to adjust.
At this point, people just look at the numbers _ figures of economic growth, consumption figures, the growth in profitability. Our weakness is that only look at the numbers, rather than the underlying factors, or changes in the market.
Anyone who believes they can evade [the policy of increasing wages] by recruiting students from vocational training instead of college graduates focus only on numbers, rather than the changes that are happening in the world.
What about small and medium-sized businesses?
We have a financing plan in mind. As money is injected into the market, purchasing power will increase. Anyone who says that public spending will be wasted just think one-dimensional. You have to think that these funds will return in the form of value added tax.
It is like water. Some might think that the government should open its deposits only in times of drought. But why not consider the entire water cycle? Think long term. The deposit can not be complete today, but it has created a new model.
If people have more money, the government can collect more taxes.
What about the plan for minimum wage?
300 baht per day minimum wage, or plans for new graduates to pay 15,000 baht a month, the two will be based on tax cuts.
He who fears to be the only one who pays has to change their thinking.
The minimum wage of 300 baht applies only to Bangkok. In other areas, minimum wages will be lower.
Can you explain the proposed new city?
In the Gulf of Thailand, the water level is relatively low for about 15 kilometers from the coast. Let’s build a dam 10 km out. Beyond the dam, the land will be reclaimed for another five miles to help deepen the water, which in turn help clean the ocean.
Behind the dam, the land will be called for the creation of 200,000 rai or 300 square kilometers of new land. This will be the basis of a new city.
What it lacks in Bangkok now, we can build there. For example, we can build a modern Asian financial center or a global software development, or development center of the film similar to India’s Bollywood. We can build new ports. Power will come from new wind farms. It will be a modern, green.
The investment cost will be small, for example € 12,500 per square wah. If we claim 300,000 rai, 200. 000 will be for public use and sell the rest. Assuming a gain of 20 million baht per rai, which is 2000 billion baht in revenue.
These benefits in turn will help fund other projects such as water management.
What about the other mega-projects?
We want high-speed trains on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok-Hua Hin route.
Another new route stretching from China through the province of Nong Khai, and to the border with Malaysia.
New dual gauge tracks also have to be established, since our existing rail is obsolete and has only a limited load capacity.
Regarding water management, we need to develop our assets to take more water. Flood control systems must be improved, and the rivers will be linked to improve the flow of water.
It might take seven years to complete this project.
What about funding?
For mass transit projects, you can pay with the profits of our agricultural products _ rubber, rice, sugar and tapioca. These are all products that are needed in the international market.
So those who want to sell their products to us, in turn also become our customers.
We also need to develop the land around mass transit routes in small communities that can help generate revenue to help offset the costs of investment.