National Broadcast by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister – November 20, 2015

Good evening, dear Thai citizens.

 

First of all, on behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the Thai people, I would like to express my deepest condolences and sympathies regarding the attacks in Paris last week. Thailand stands with the international community in condemning these horrific attacks on innocent citizens.

 

The global situation holds a number of risk situations and Thailand also has to take extra precautions. I would like to ask my fellow citizens to be extra vigilant while peacefully coexisting, and to take care of one another as well as our foreign visitors. Please report to the officials if you see anything irregular or unusual. I have already instructed all security units to be attentive and ready for any situation, as well as raise awareness among the public. We have several agreements with the international community in terms of mutual cooperation on security measures.

 

Currently, I am taking part in the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting which is being held between Nov 18 and Nov 19 at Manila, the Philippines. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Building inclusive economies, building a better world”. The meeting has focused on 4 issues including 1) promoting economic partnership, 2) encouraging SMEs to participate in regional and global economic expansion, 3) improving human resources, and 4) building strong and sustainable communities.

 

Furthermore, member countries exchanged views on how to ensure sustainable economic development and open doors for all sides to be a part of this process. We all need to grow in a way that our communities have equal access to development with societies that uphold ethics and good governance. This complements the policy direction of our government, which seeks to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as a balanced and participatory social development that leaves no one behind. This also includes advancing our infrastructure and promoting economic development through innovation and a digital economy.

 

The 27th ASEAN Summit will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from November 21-22, 2015. The summit will discuss and review ASEAN’s progress and achievements for the past 4 decades leading up to the ASEAN Community on 31 December 2015. Member states will voice their views on post-ASEAN Community formation and a development plan for ASEAN for the next decade. We will also draw up a 10-year working plan on political and security affairs, economic development, and social and cultural development. It will be focused on people centered cooperation among the ASEAN Community.

 

There have been some positive developments for the economy and investments recently.  There have been a number of investors expressing their confidence in making additional investments in Thailand such as Honda. The company has been investing 1.7 billion baht in the construction of a vehicle testing course in Prachinburi, the second vehicle testing course outside Japan. In addition, the government is looking to make Thailand hub for car production and other industries. Thailand will improve its infrastructure to be fully ready for new investments, some of which are under negotiations now. The government is also making investments of its own, in railways, electric trains, motorways and roads. The government welcomes all interested parties to join these projects under the public-private partnership (PPP). Significant progress of these projects should be seen in mid-2016.

 

The followings are projects implemented under the supervision of the Transport Ministry.

  1. 32-kilometer Pattaya- Map Ta Phut motorway. Bidding is now underway. The contract is expected to be completed in January and the construction will be finished by 2019. The next project is a 196-kilometer route linking Bang Pa-In and Nakhon Ratchasima. The environmental impact assessment is being conducted. Tenders will be accepted in December while the construction should begin in April and will be finished in 2019. The next route runs from Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi, with a distance of 96 kilometers. It is now under the EIA process. The bidding process will begin in February. The construction will begin in June and the route will be open for service in 2019. As for the Bang Pa-in to Bang Yai project, the construction will be implemented under the PPP Fast Track system.

 

2) Regarding rail projects under cooperative programmes with foreign governments, there are currently 2 projects. For the first project, we will work with China on the route between Bangkok- Kaeng Khoi and another route from Kaeng Khoi to Nakhon Ratchasima. If planning goes ahead without glitches, construction of these 2 routes should begin by December. Another route between Kaeng Khoi- Map Ta Phut is now underway. As for the 2nd group of projects, we will be working with Japan on two rail routes. The first one runs Kanchanaburi-Bangkok-Aranyaprathet and the second one runs Kanchanaburi-Bangkok- Laem Chabang. An agreement should be reached soon. For the planned Bangkok-Chaing Mai route, Japanese experts will be sent here to conduct studies. The project should be proposed to the cabinet in June, 2016.

 

Overall, the Thai economy is recovering, with increasing levels on confidence and thus improving numbers. According to the NESDB, the country’s GDP is expected to grow by 2.9%. However, it could go beyond this estimation, given that stimulus packages are underway with results expected in the fourth quarter. Tourism has also been improving.

 

For our country to develop, the government, the private sector and the public have to work together. Whether it is for trade or investment, being a ‘state of the people’ is crucial to sustainable development.  For instance, even SME assistance through improving product quality depends on us working together to build resilience. We need new innovation and exchange of knowledge. We need to understand market demand and come up with new products. We need to use materials that our customers demand. We cannot keep making the same products. The government and the private sector should join hands in creating strength in this sector. The implementation of this policy has seen positive results.

 

As for politics, I understand well that everyone has good intentions, be they the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) or the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA). As the charter is now being drafted, I would like all citizens to analyse the pros and cons of the charter and to understand that we are now in the period of transition. There are a lot of problems we need to face together and we need to accomplish our reforms. The government and the NCPO are willing to listen to all sides. The question is whether the people will accept this constitution. If the provisions in the constitution do not make our country more secure, then things may go back to the way were, with conflict, underdevelopment, poverty, and other problems. So it’s important that we all look into the pros and cons of the new charter. I have been explaining to you about the challenges and problems that the government has faced, and how patience is required to understand what problems needed to be addressed. So we need to see what rules or regulations are needed and what best suits the current situation and the future. Once we’re ready, changes will be gradually made in line with the circumstances at the time. We also need to know how we can resolve problems in a short period of time. The ultimate goal is to protect the best interests of the people, so a priority has been to make the people aware of what is going on. People need to have all the information. The fact that there are some groups still giving out distorted information to create misunderstanding remains a problem.

 

As for the duties of the CDC, the NRSA and the NLA – every task these bodies perform must be based on good governance and effective public administration. The government has already been putting in place a strong system for this, allowing reforms to take place in the state enterprise sector as well as in the eradication of corruption. Corruption should be addressed at its roots. Every sector – government, private sector, and the public – has to work together on this. We all need to agree to use this pivotal period to cooperate and develop sustainable solutions on this matter. This will allow for real progress.

 

As for the work of civil servants, it is necessary that I am able to monitor their work as they are a key driving force for our country. Civil servants need to implement state’s policies for the good of the people. It would be a waste if civil servants don’t understand these policies. No matter how well the policies are incorporated, if civil servants cannot make use of them, people’s lives will not improve. Civil servants have to understand these policies and be able to explain them to the people. These policies need to be presented in a way that does not create more conflict. If civil servants cannot help people understand these policies, then any changes or adjustments may lead to further disputes in society. As a result, cooperation will be difficult to foster. So it is essential for people to be able to understand the cause of our problems and how they can be resolved. It is common to encounter obstacles in the implementation of policies. This is why people need to be informed of the elements of transition and change. When people don’t understand, then they will usually denounce the work and policies of the administration. If this continues and escalates, then real change will be difficult to achieve. Therefore I will follow up on the work of civil servants in all levels. Another important key is public participation. Corruption must be suppressed throughout.

 

As for cooperation in the form of a “state of the people”, this is our aspiration. If we don’t understand, lack vision, and don’t deploy proactive measures, it means that we as civil servants are not performing our duties. We have to be resourceful and vigorous when implementing policies, so that we are able to resolve problems. We need effective procedures that lead to better results. This is why we need to look back at our problems, how they started and how they evolved. Civil servants, therefore, need to be able to put forth policies and necessary measures to implement them. When I visit people, I see many problems even though everyone has been working hard. But because the same system and the same rules are being employed despite the government’s policy changes, I maintain my concern that that everything may go back to the way it was. It is good that we all cooperate, but we only have a limited amount of time. If we don’t work together now, if you don’t improve your abilities, if you don’t learn, you will not be able to serve the people. We need to adhere to the example set by HM the King when working for the people. Civil servants have to focus on creating real understanding among the people and to be mindful of the common good.  We cannot take only care of particular groups, but need to focus on the whole population which is about 70 million people, up to 40 million of which are in agriculture. What can they do when they don’t have enough money to live? This is a responsibility of every government. Because it is one of the most difficult tasks, we will not give up. The government and the NCPO will do our very best. We have the responsibility to mobilize and administer this nation. Meanwhile the government has a limited budget and it would be difficult to increase the country’s revenue without restructuring the tax system, without changes in trade approaches, without new innovation and technology. Unless all these happen, Thailand will not earn additional income. So things have to be worked on now. If everything is done transparently and effectively, our problems will be alleviated. If you have a problem you cannot fix, please come forward. Provincial governors have a vital role to play. I would like district chiefs to be more involved as well. People in your areas need your help. You need to be concerned about all low-income earners such as traders. Some traders have been accustomed to breaking the law, but if we don’t help them, if we don’t adjust the structure, then things will continue to be a mess. The question is how we can enforce laws without these traders being adversely affected. This is what you need to do. But it has to start with everyone respecting the law because the law can create a just society. Everyone has the same rights. You need to know what you can or cannot do. To help the poor, to take care of them, we all need to improve our own abilities and so, I shall be assessing your performance, at all levels, from the permanent secretaries downwards.

 

The next topic is about national development. On November 12th, as you all know, I went to Ubon Ratchathani Province to follow up on the implementation of government’s economic policies. We have a number of projects. Progress has been seen according to plan. However, there remain some questions, as I mentioned before. These projects are to help people and their families earn more income, but have their businesses been expanded? I want economies in all communities to be stimulated and improved through cost reduction, creating connectivity, and marketing. You don’t need to produce the same products in the same area. For example, if everyone in the area makes the same clothes, you may not be able to sell them at a higher quantity. But if you adapt and change it into something else, such as decorative items or bags and add leather to the products, you may be able to increase sales accordingly. I want civil servants and related authorities to look into this matter. I hope to see improvements the next time I visit your area. If you want to form a cluster, you can, but you need to be specific and stay in your cluster. This will help buyers differentiate you from other producers. They will be able to see the difference. We want uniqueness in our products. Please, reconsider producing similar products within the same areas. For instance, one area could be used for agriculture. One area could be material supplier. One area could focus on processed products in order to create added-value. You may form a cluster and create your own market. Assistance will be given by industry related authorities. We have already increased your budget as requested. I wish to see the economy improve as quickly as possible. If we keep the same concept or same practices, more of the same products will be overflowing the market. This is a concept we all should understand and learn from.

 

I have talked to a lot of people, including representatives from all sectors. I could tell that they have hope and I hope everything will get better. Every sector has now expressed encouragement for the government. They are more than willing to cooperate and move past conflicts and other obstacles to achieve national reform. The reform process should start today and be continuous. We can all start now. If we can achieve the first phase of the reform plan, we will be able achieve other phases. The next government can also do this. We will have a 20-year strategic plan.

 

If we want to improve the country for the common good, it must start at the community level. It must be in the form of a “state of the people”. Community members should cooperate in formulating plans, creating clusters, and working together towards development. Right now, what they lack is useful suggestions. How can this improve? The answer lies within community members themselves. They need to improve their abilities as we will not always be here to help them. There will be new faces in regular the civil services rotations and there will be new politicians. So what communities need is sustainability. Every sector in a community must be enhanced.

 

In the past, there was a lack of productivity. Therefore more active participation from community members is very important. The government will support you in terms of funds and facilitation of businesses. The government, the private sector, NGOs, funds, public organizations, and village funds must get together and figure things out together. All need to understand how important it is to build resilience.

 

We also need to be know what can be done that does not cause distress for communities. There will be various projects including road construction, canal dredging, groundwater projects, and reservoir building. Risks have to be taken into account and minimized in the agricultural sector. We have to understand that the amount of stored water is decreasing day by day. Problems even exist on the banks of Chao Phraya River and Mae Klong River where rice is planted. This is why farmers need additional professions they can rely on. Normally, Thai farmers only focus on one farming activity such as ranching or planting. Once a farming season ends, they go out and search for jobs.

 

I think this has to change, and we need new ideas. Farmers have to be able to plant crops, raise cattle, trade goods, create value to products, and build their own industrial circle. We can call it agricultural industry or an industry that does not pollute the environment. This is called a green industry. Communities should apply this concept.

 

You can tell that all the major powers are industrialized countries. But we also don’t want to be an industrialized country that creates pollution. Therefore heavy industries can only exist in certain parts of the country, but small industries must exist in all corners. We also need to use more domestic material such as rice, rubber, and cassava. Prices of these crops are lowering on a year-to-year basis.

 

Then we need to look into the readiness of our people. If they can only grow rice without other skills, nothing will improve. Farmers need to understand the whole process from downstream to upstream. They need to know how to add quality to their rice. Without standards, prices of rice will be pegged or lowered. You will not be able to sell at the price you want because your rice lacks quality. This is the problem the government has to address. Civil servants need to help the farmers in this area.

 

From now on I will try to visit local regions more frequently in order to meet with the public and provide them with encouragement. I am genuinely concerned for the well being of those with low income and shall continue to monitor the progress of government projects in various areas.

 

As for the other policies of the government, I will ensure that these projects cover all regions of the country. As this administration did not come from politics, I aim to serve all 70 million Thai’s. I encourage all of us to follow His Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy. If you have low income then you should prudently. We will work to make sure that those with low income can earn more and ensure that the tax system brings adequate income to the state, which will then be used to benefit the public and the country. The government will implement policies that take into consideration real life conditions. There are currently many prob lems that haven’t been solved for a long time, such as our inefficient taxation system. We must thoroughly and fairly collect taxes. Whoever is due to pay taxes must do so. I would like every taxpayer to pay their taxes with a sense of pride that they have contributed to their country and not avoid taxes or find ways to pay as little as possible. Therefore all businessman and all wealthy people must think about how you can contribute to your country and pay your taxes.

 

As for those who earn too little to have to pay taxes, we must figure a way to increase their income so that one day they will be eligible to pay taxes fairly. If this is so we will be able to collect taxes from tens of millions of citizens. However not all of taxpayer money can be used towards welfare. It is important to take care of those with low income, pay for education, public health and public services. However, the government must use also funds in accordance to current situations while preparing for the future. The matter of tax reform is about efficient collection and valuation in accordance to current markets. The system has not been adjusted for a long time. Tax form has not been achieved through previous governments because it is an unpopular political matter.

 

Those who we are unable to tax we must empower them to be stronger. It’s not possible to tax every individual; however we must register everyone whether they are of high or low income. In the future we need to know about the number of farmers, traders, employees in order for the government to allocate its budget appropriately. Otherwise problems will persist because our budget is limited. When the government becomes wealthier, then everyone will be more prosperous. However this depends on a good government.

 

To date, I have not approved any tax increase. I do not want anyone to distort this information. I merely want to explain to the public how the taxation system works and how there have not been any changes in a long time. I’m also explaining how the tax system should be in the future as well as educating the public about the issue in general. For 2016, the tax for all businesses will be according to the stipulated rate. So I urge everyone not to avoid this obligation and refrain from corruption. I urged all to pay their taxes accordingly, otherwise I will need to call for an audit of anyone or a company with any irregularities. That is the law.

I assure you that all of the money collected will be utilized for the development of the country. All of the government’s programs must be implemented with transparency and ethical conduct. I urge any government official who may have had the habit of not being transparent to change your ways. Otherwise you will be sabotaging your own future as you hinder your own country’s progress.

As for the 1800 Mhz frequency concessions, I must thank the NBTC, the ICT Ministry, the private sector, academics and all parties involved for a fair and competitive option that has generated significant amounts of income. So far there has been no sign of any irregularities. I would like this to serve as a good example for other government projects. I would like to remind all parties involved that this government’s policies are aimed at ensuring maximum benefit for the public. But the financial burden must not rest on the public. In fact I’ve announced that the service fees must be even less than the current price. Though there are those who are distorting information and claiming that fees will rise because of the high auction price; I affirm that I have ordered that there must not be a fee hike. The rules of the auction have already stipulated that there will be no rise. On the contrary the fees must drop. The President of the NBTC has already assured me that that would be the case. Therefore I would like to thank him and let us move forward with such reforms, in particular regarding the country’s development as a digital economy. I urge all state enterprises to think of the benefit of the public and dedicate their income for the development of the country.

 

As for various tax breaks as investments incentives, I would like to point out that this is something that all countries do in order to promote investments and connectivity. If there are no new investments, there will be no additional tax revenues. We need to compete with other countries and offer investors with incentives. The ASEAN market is increasingly a competitive frontier. We need to adjust to this. If we do not, investors will not be interested which will mean no additional revenue from tax. We are not doing this to cater to the demands from big businesses. This is not true.

 

These are policies that will mobilize the country. If new and additional revenue from taxes comes back to the state, the production and materials industry of the country will improve, farmers will earn more. Therefore, we’re mobilizing the economy for the growth of large as well as small-to-medium (SME) businesses. These SME’s can consist of various distribution shops. If you register yourselves, we will know how many shops there are and assist you on the taxation system and accounting. Some people are apprehensive because they’ve never done taxes before. However, everyone wants money to expand their operations. If there are certain types of businesses that can’t expand, then adapt the business and come and register your business. The government then can assist you. Have you seen what the government has organized at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem?  This is a form of business matching between distributors, producers and designers. We’ve had education sessions and created new business networks which has resulted in increased product value. It’s not about the government is losing money over this or that. This is a time of reform and change. These efforts are for our future.

 

The next matter is regarding investment policies. I’ve held a meeting with the Board of Investment last week on educating the private sector and investors on the word “special economics.” This refers to economic zones along the border. There are 6 this year and 5 next year. Regardless of where these zones are, they must be connected to a border. In these cluster zones, there are approximately 6-7 business activities varying between each zone. When I say “special economic zones,” we actually mean special economic zones along the border. This must not be confused with border trade as that is something we already do through channels and checkpoints whether they be temporary or permanent. We want to support activities that we have potential and expand growth in the region or province. Therefore the first thing will be special economic zones in the form of clusters. There may also be super clusters in some zones including special economic zones or in places with good infrastructure with access to electricity or plumbing. Should any of the investors want to conduct business in the area, they must contact the government and we’ll help make that happen. For example, we plan to have an education city, rubber city or research city. We need to create incentives for this. So this is what we call special economic zones, whether they by clusters or super clusters. The other matter is border trade. These two things are separate matters. The Board of Investment will facilitate the investment of industrial complexes. There are many industrial complexes today. Each industry differs in its various benefits and tax breaks. Investments in 2015-16 have started construction. Any products that have been out since 2007 we will give special support. If we can start this we will be successful. We need to help each other. The private sector must join in as well.

 

As for the other policies of the government, I will ensure that these projects cover all regions of the country. As this administration did not come from politics, I aim to serve all 70 million Thai’s. I encourage all of us to follow His Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy. If you have low income then you should prudently. We will work to make sure that those with low income can earn more and ensure that the tax system brings adequate income to the state, which will then be used to benefit the public and the country. The government will implement policies that take into consideration real life conditions. There are currently many problems that haven’t been solved for a long time, such as our inefficient taxation system. We must thoroughly and fairly collect taxes. Whoever is due to pay taxes must do so. I would like every taxpayer to pay their taxes with a sense of pride that they have contributed to their country and not avoid taxes or find ways to pay as little as possible. Therefore all businessman and all wealthy people must think about how you can contribute to your country and pay your taxes.

 

As for those who earn too little to have to pay taxes, we must figure a way to increase their income so that one day they will be eligible to pay taxes fairly. If this is so we will be able to collect taxes from tens of millions of citizens. However not all of taxpayer money can be used towards welfare. It is important to take care of those with low income, pay for education, public health and public services. However, the government must use also funds in accordance to current situations while preparing for the future. The matter of tax reform is about efficient collection and valuation in accordance to current markets. The system has not been adjusted for a long time. Tax form has not been achieved through previous governments because it is an unpopular political matter.

 

Those who we are unable to tax we must empower them to be stronger. It’s not possible to tax every individual; however we must register everyone whether they are of high or low income. In the future we need to know about the number of farmers, traders, employees in order for the government to allocate its budget appropriately. Otherwise problems will persist because our budget is limited. When the government becomes wealthier, then everyone will be more prosperous. However this depends on a good government.

 

To date, I have not approved any tax increase. I do not want anyone to distort this information. I merely want to explain to the public how the taxation system works and how there have not been any changes in a long time. I’m also explaining how the tax system should be in the future as well as educating the public about the issue in general. For 2016, the tax for all businesses will be according to the stipulated rate. So I urge everyone not to avoid this obligation and refrain from corruption. I urged all to pay their taxes accordingly, otherwise I will need to call for an audit of anyone or a company with any irregularities. That is the law.

 

I assure you that all of the money collected will be utilized for the development of the country. All of the government’s programs must be implemented with transparency and ethical conduct. I urge any government official who may have had the habit of not being transparent to change your ways. Otherwise you will be sabotaging your own future as you hinder your own country’s progress.

 

As for the 1800 Mhz frequency concessions, I must thank the NBTC, the ICT Ministry, the private sector, academics and all parties involved for a fair and competitive option that has generated significant amounts of income. So far there has been no sign of any irregularities. I would like this to serve as a good example for other government projects. I would like to remind all parties involved that this government’s policies are aimed at ensuring maximum benefit for the public. But the financial burden must not rest on the public. In fact I’ve announced that the service fees must be even less than the current price. Though there are those who are distorting information and claiming that fees will rise because of the high auction price; I affirm that I have ordered that there must not be a fee hike. The rules of the auction have already stipulated that there will be no rise. On the contrary the fees must drop. The President of the NBTC has already assured me that that would be the case. Therefore I would like to thank him and let us move forward with such reforms, in particular regarding the country’s development as a digital economy. I urge all state enterprises to think of the benefit of the public and dedicate their income for the development of the country.

 

As for various tax breaks as investments incentives, I would like to point out that this is something that all countries do in order to promote investments and connectivity. If there are no new investments, there will be no additional tax revenues. We need to compete with other countries and offer investors with incentives. The ASEAN market is increasingly a competitive frontier. We need to adjust to this. If we do not, investors will not be interested which will mean no additional revenue from tax. We are not doing this to cater to the demands from big businesses. This is not true.

 

These are policies that will mobilize the country. If new and additional revenue from taxes comes back to the state, the production and materials industry of the country will improve, farmers will earn more. Therefore, we’re mobilizing the economy for the growth of large as well as small-to-medium (SME) businesses. These SME’s can consist of various distribution shops. If you register yourselves, we will know how many shops there are and assist you on the taxation system and accounting. Some people are apprehensive because they’ve never done taxes before. However, everyone wants money to expand their operations. If there are certain types of businesses that can’t expand, then adapt the business and come and register your business. The government then can assist you. Have you seen what the government has organized at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem?  This is a form of business matching between distributors, producers and designers. We’ve had education sessions and created new business networks which has resulted in          increased product value. It’s not about the government is losing money over this or that. This is a time of reform and change. These efforts are for our    future.

 

The next matter is regarding investment policies. I’ve held a meeting with the Board of Investment last week on educating the private sector and investors on the word “special economics.” This refers to economic zones along the border. There are 6 this year and 5 next year. Regardless of where these zones are, they must be connected to a border. In these cluster zones, there are approximately 6-7 business activities varying between each zone. When I say “special economic zones,” we actually mean special economic zones along the border. This must not be confused with border trade as that is something we already do through channels and checkpoints whether they be temporary or permanent. We want to support activities that we have potential and expand growth in the region or province. Therefore the first thing will be special economic zones in the form of clusters. There may also be super clusters in some zones including special economic zones or in places with good infrastructure with access to electricity or plumbing. Should any of the investors want to conduct business in the area, they must contact the government and we’ll help make that happen. For example, we plan to have an education city, rubber city or research city. We need to create incentives for this. So this is what we call special economic zones, whether they by clusters or super clusters. The other matter is border trade. These two things are separate matters. The Board of Investment will facilitate the investment of industrial complexes. There are many industrial complexes today. Each industry differs in its various benefits and tax breaks. Investments in 2015-16 have started construction. Any products that have been out since 2007 we will give special support. If we can start this we will be successful. We need to help each other. The private sector must join in as well.

 

We also need to ask if our old industries are sufficient. In the past 20 to 30 years, the Board of Investment has had to facilitate the change of equipment or production methods in order to stay competitive and innovative. Some old industries are still good and still create jobs but will need to be updated and given new equipment. The government will look into the matter of machinery tax. However, new industries that we’ve supported in the past 10 years need changing. We need to look into new industries. Investments in the past 10 years in these old industries have lessened because they’ve moved operations to our neighboring countries. Therefore Thailand must develop and enhance its competitiveness in order to lead to new production methods and thus meet global demands and connect ASEAN. I think if ASEAN can join forces, there is enormous potential. We will be a source of global production and a market in itself. Therefore, I’ve laid out policies that will serve as a framework for future growth and stability in the industrial sector as well as human resources, environment, technology, so as to reduce social inequalities and disperse wealth throughout the region.

 

The government also plans to build on the industries it already has such as new automobiles, smart electronics and tourism. This includes health tourism, agriculture, biotechnology and food processing. We will facilitate new industries such as robotics for the industrial sector or comprehensive healthcare, transportation and aviation, fuel as well as the biochemical and digital sectors. If we can build on what we have and reach these goals, I think this will help us gain a lot more investments and income for the future. This may not happen all during my administration, but definitely in the next administrations. If this really happens, the next government will have more money to develop the country. If principled politicians come in and form a government based on good governance, the country will not fall back to its previous problems. We’re reforming our way of facilitating incentives such as amending laws to suit international conditions and develop a strong financial sector. The Board of Investment overseas not only special economic zones and super clusters, but also local economies and SMEs that will be the offshoots of these large clusters. If we can develop all of these we will generate a lot of income for our country and the public will all benefit, not just investors or the wealthy like what has happened in the past. We need to spread the word of this new approach. Government officials must keep up to date with this information; otherwise you won’t be able to explain these things to the public. I’ve asked some people about this and they still don’t know what’s going on. These plans have been put into action for a year now. Policies have been implemented and laws have been amended but some people still lack understanding. Therefore officials must publicize information to the public as well as foreign countries. Everyone must update their work process.

 

Another important matter that I think is necessary, and have called for long ago, is that I’m proud to announce the project called “Gov Channel – a centralized service center for the public” This service will be a center for resources and electronic services from various government agencies. This is aimed at elevating the quality of life of the public and for these services to reach all people in all regions. The functions of the services are designed to be user friendly and are also available through phones and booths. I urge all to look this up. The aim of this service is to consolidate the work and services of government officials across various Ministries and agencies. The work from one agency will also affect and be shared with other agencies. This reduces complexity and duplicate work. As for the public, it is important to provide you with information about these things, about trade and investment, about what farmers need to know about water, land and success stories. I urged you all to check this service out. If you have any feedback, please notify myself or the Prime Minister’s Office or the Damrongdhama center. I want you all to try it out at the link below (www.govchannel.go.th)

 

Next week on November 25 is King Vajiravudh Day. I invited all Thai citizens to reflect on the deeds of HM King Rama VI by donating to the Phramongkutklao Hospital Foundation under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The funds will be used to procure modern medical equipment for the new building in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit that is currently under construction. The building will service emergency medical sciences and comprehensive emergency care. The building will have facilities to immediately accommodate emergency patients and effectively reduce the rate of fatalities. Those who want to participate can donate their funds to the Phramongkutklao Hospital Foundation.

 

Donations to the Phramongkutklao Hospital Foundation under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn can be done everyday including government holidays. Please call 02 354 3699 and 02 354 3914 or the featured broadcast on the Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Channel 5 on Thursday November 26, 2015 from 22:20 – 00:15, call 02 270 2233

 

Furthermore, the United Nations has announced November 25 of every year to be “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.” Thailand itself has made the month of November as “The Month to Stop Violence Against Women and Children,” with the attachment of white ribbons, which is the international symbol of zero tolerance and zero indifference to violent actions against women and children as well as domestic violence. I want this to also include the elderly and the disabled. All children must not be abused. Today this is still happening. We must address this quickly.

 

I would like everyone and all agencies in Thai society to acknowledge the issue of violence. Some may have been desensitized to this because our country has been in conflict for long. This will stand as an obstacle to our further development and to building confidence from foreign countries. Children are the future of the country. Although it has been said that men are more physically robust, I consider men that like to abuse women and children not real men. What can we do to reduce violence, harassment as well as physical and mental abuse? People can report cases to the One Stop Crisis Center of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security at the hotline 1300 – 24 hours. You can also contact the Government Contact Center at 1111 or the Damrongdhama center at 1567.

 

Finally, regarding the outbreak of dengue fever, I have instructed the Ministry of Public Health and provincial health agencies to urge the public to destroy mosquito breeding grounds every 7 days in homes, work places, schools, child care centers and public places. I want all hospitals to be thorough in diagnosing dengue fever and provide correct remedies. Sometimes people who haven’t been treated properly can become worse. I’ve instructed the Minister of Public Health to improve the diagnostics procedures in various hospitals. Sometimes detecting sicknesses is hard and depends on the patient as well. If the patient is knowledgeable about symptoms, they can notify the medical practitioners. Most people think they are strong enough and exercise enough and will buy medicine themselves when they’re sick. This is sometimes hazardous and can lead to unnecessary fatalities. Government officials must know how to address this problem. The public must take prevent measures from getting bitten and go see doctors if they’re sick. This is not limited to just dengue fever. Sometimes we can get careless and illnesses pile up and eventually reach more critical stages. We all should know what the first stage of sicknesses are and go see doctors. You can go see doctors or health care agencies that provide care 24 hours. I urge you all to take care of your health.

 

Thank you and goodbye. I am thinking about you all and send you best  wishes, on behalf of the government and NCPO as well.

 

Source: www.thaigov.go.th