Two-Year Performance of The Royal Thai Government
Greetings the media and all Thai citizens,
Today, I am pleased to see the smiles returning to Thai people’s faces. In the past decade, Thailand has faced with a number of problems which decelerated national development, be it, social disorder, lack of economic reform, social inequalities, low incomes, limited development of human resources and R&D, unequal access to judicial process, imbalanced foreign policy, redundancy in budget spending, poverty, leniency of law enforcement, failure to adopt His Majesty the King’s Royal Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy, etc. All these problems, which had led to political conflicts, negative image of Thailand in the eyes of foreigners, and worst of all, corruption, had plagued the country for over a decade and were not tangibly addressed. Thailand was in need of reform in all sectors in order not to be left behind and undeveloped.
The Government commits to undertake national administration through a people-centered approach, while adhering to national interests, integrity, morality, and transparency with a goal to lay foundation for successive governments and to prevent the country from regressing to the same situation. The Government’s policy planning is based on an effort to minimize development obstacles, to promote strengths and equality, and to attain national stability, prosperity, and sustainability.
The Government’s policy planning composes short, medium, and long-term measures in all dimensions with primary and support activities, as well as set achievement timeframe, through an integrative approach.
This Government took over state administration amidst internal and external tensions in all dimensions. On security: national conflicts and factionalisation / terrorism. On economy: declining agricultural product prices / stagnated trade and investment activities / global economic recession / economic deceleration among powerful countries. On social affairs: social inequalities, concentration of prosperity and opportunities / irregular migrations / refugees / starvation / natural disasters. On foreign affairs: lack of understanding on Thailand’s local context / emerging international obligations, etc.
Despite the above internal and external factors, the Government has made a number of achievements which have evidently been recognized by various organizations:
National security and stability
– Moved up 7 ranks in terms of risk of political instability (58th in 2014 to 51st in 2016), and up 22 ranks for transparency in state administrations (57th in 2014 to 25st in 2016)
– Numbers of unrest in the three southern border provinces declined by over 50%, as well as the number of drug-related cases which is down from 400,000 cases in 2014 to 200,000 cases in 2015.
– Constantly moved up on Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) during 2013-2015 (rank 102 in 2013, and 76 in 2015). International and domestic organizations have rated Thailand’s corruption situation as “most improved” in 6 years, and “most transparent” in 10 years.
Socio-economic strengths and competitiveness
– Constant growth of GDP (from 0.8% in 2014 to 3.2% in 2016), as well as proportion of SMEs’ GDP (39.6% in 2014 to 42.3% in 2016.)
– Competitiveness in land transport moved up 22 ranks from 48th in 2013 to 26th in 2016, and in air transport, up 3 ranks from 23rd in 2013 to 20th in 2016.
– International investment friendly index moved up 3 ranks from 31st in 2013 to 28th in 2016
– Moved up 25 ranks in UN’s e-Government index from 102nd in 2014 to 77th in 2016, while according to Japan’s Waseda University’s eGovernment ranking, Thailand is at 21st, moving up 2 ranks from 23rd in 2014
– Moved up 2 ranks from 30th in 2015 to 28th in 2016 in IMD business school’s world competitive ranking
– In 2015 there were about 30 million incoming tourists (11th largest number in the world), creating total revenues of 1.44 trillion Baht (6th in the world).
– Average years of schooling is constantly increasing from 8% in 2013 to 8.5% in 2015.
– Rank 1st in Bloomberg’s World’s Least Miserable and Happiest Economies (out of 74 countries)
– Ranks 21st in News and World Report Magazine’s 2016 best countries ranking, the highest rank among ASEAN countries
Judicial and foreign affairs
– Enacted the largest number of significant laws
– Resolved illegal ivory trade according to CITES
– Addressed human trafficking issue (a ‘national agenda’) which resulted in better rank in 2016 TIP Report, and might be advantageous to Thailand’s effort in addressing IUU fishing with EU
I would like to give you an overview of achievements in the following areas:
Security affairs: Easing confrontations and factionalisation, while promoting solidarity, peace, and reconciliation / addressing southern border problems through peaceful means, putting priority on local prosperity and people’s better livelihood / promoting R&D and innovation to enhance national stability, capacity, and competitiveness / reforming police and militaries / conserving natural resources
Economic affairs: Developing national infrastructure in transport and ICT / promoting transport connectivity with the CLMV, ASEAN, and other countries / implementing special economic zones in all regions / providing financial and innovative supports to startups, SMEs, OTOPs / undertaking agricultural reform by using knowhow and technology to reduce production costs / developing water management system nationwide / amending related laws for ease of doing business / mobilizing Thailand to become a digital economy.
Social affairs: Suppressing influential people, grafts and corruptions at all levels / undertaking social reorder / addressing encroachment of public space and waterways / implementing social welfare schemes for low income earners and underprivileged / implementing 15-Year Free Education Policy / revising laws to reduce social inequalities while building opportunities for the underprivileged.
Foreign Affairs: The cabinet and I have worked hard at the international stage to create confidence and restore the country’s image through proactive, constructive, and balanced foreign policy. The country has also been entrusted with the Chairmanship of G77, and has been cooperative in addressing IUU fishing, national civil aviation problem, trafficking in persons, and illegal ivory trade in compliance with the international principles.
Legal and judicial affairs: The Government attaches priority in creating social justice through strict law enforcement and update of laws. Government’s undertakings are in accordance with the new Constitution. Roadmap will be laid out in all primary activities.
In summary, Thailand has gone through the 1st phase of the Roadmap to address urgent issues. The Government would like to thank all sectors for their continual cooperation and support.
We are now at the 2nd phase of the Roadmap which is to undetake structural reforms and lay out plans to mobilize Thailand into the future based on the vision “Stability, Prosperity, and Sustainability”. The country has been undergoing major transition, and needs to be resilient in facing global changes, be it, climate change / fiercer economic competitiveness / emerging obligations Thailand has to abide by / BREXIT / declining agricultural products / natural disasters / narcotics problem / terrorism / trans-national crimes / plagues / irregular migration. If the country does not seek preparatory measures against these changes, we may be regressed to the same situation.
Aside from maintaining momentum in the above dimensions of national administration, the Government has striven to lay foundation into the future based on “Thailand 4.0” model. The 10 key missions of the Government are: 1) to prepare “Thai People 4.0” for the First World; 2) to develop technology and new innovations in order to enhance national competitiveness; 3) to prepare Thailand for future industrial transition; 4) to strengthen Thai enterprises; 5) to upgrade intellectual infrastructure; 6) to promote growth and spread prosperity to the regions through provincial administrations and provincial clusters; 7) to strengthen domestic economy; 8) to promote society of opportunities and sharing; 9) to integrate and connect Thailand with ASEAN and global community; and 10) to mobilize Thailand through “People Public Private Partnership (PPPP)” mechanism.
In the 2nd phase of the Roadmap, the Government will also undertake development of human resources through life-long education / reinforcement of basic welfares / promotion of domestic investment through construction and improvement of facilities and infrastructure / logistics system development / mobilization of 10 targeted industries (S-Curve and New S-Curve) / agricultural reform / development of labor skills. We need to create agricultural innovative products to replace low-valued upstream agricultural products. The country’s primary industries need improvement to enhance competitiveness. The Government will continue to build opportunities for and uplift quality of lives of the underprivileged and low income earners in all dimensions. It also strives to work in an integrative and people-oriented manner, engaging all concerned agencies through PPPP mechanism in order for the country to get out of the middle-income trap, and be free of conflicts, inequalities, and injustice.
The Government would like to call on fellow Thai citizens to open up and have confidence in the Government’s undertakings. Special law will only be enforced to maintain national order and protect the monarchy, as well as to expedite government operations.
However, no matter how much effort the Government and National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) have put in addressing problems, reforming, and raising awareness among the public, there are still dissidents with malicious intent to mislead the public with false information and to separate Thai society into groups and factions by citing democracy and human rights. I would like to urge fellow Thai citizens to disregard and not to support those people.
The Government’s mission in the coming year is to steer the country into the 3rd phase of the Roadmap, which is to hand over its duty to a successive government after a general election. If the transition is successful, Thailand stands a chance to be uplifted to the “First World” country, which means higher incomes / complete security system / better quality of life / less social problems and more safety / peacefulness and political stability / government with good governance / strengthened economy and widespread prosperity.
In closing, I would like to thank fellow Thai citizens again for entrusting and having confidence in this Government. I trust that we can make achievements as stated above if everyone joins forces in undertaking national reform to move Thailand forward. The success will be ours. Thank you.