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PM outlines guidelines for Thailand’s economy

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today announced a package of national strategies to move the country forward for sustainable growth and readiness to be integrated into the Southeast Asian economic region.




Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today announced a package of national strategies to move the country forward for sustainable growth and readiness to be integrated into the Southeast Asian economic region.

She met with provincial governors and senior officials to confer the government’s policy and work on budget allocations for the 2014 fiscal year.

In a four-point strategy to herald Thailand’s arrival at a new era, Ms Yingluck urged the public sector to strengthen Thailand’s competitive edge to lift the country from low-income to middle-income levels, and minimise disparity in society to create equal opportunity.

Yingluck Shinawatra 2013

Public debt is at 43.9 per cent which is much better than the situation in many countries in the region, said Mrs Shinawatra


She said the government emphasises growth on the quality-of-life and environmentally-friendly basis, as well as development of state administrative system.

The strategies will sustainably move the country in accord with His Majesty the King’s sufficient economy initiatives, she said.

The premier said taking the helm of Thailand in over a year has been challenging given internal and external factors, including volatile economy and international relations particularly with Europe which signifies democracy and equality.

“The country’s economy has been imbalance and society lacked management. Cooperative and integrated management in the public sector has quickly revitalised the economy, contributing to a national reserve of 48 per cent which is higher than earlier predicted while this year’s GDP is forecast at 5.5 per cent,”

said Ms Yingluck.

She added that inflation is back to normal at 3 per cent while the government successfully alleviated the deficit which was recorded at Bt400 billion in the past.

Public debt is at 43.9 per cent which is much better than the situation in many countries in the region, she said. (MCOT online news)

via PM outlines directives for Thailand’s prosperity |

Ms. Yingluck pointed out that Thailand was lacking behind in competitiveness as previous governments did not encourage large scale investments in the country’s infrastructure. In the past, she said, infrastructural investments were launched following a year-by-year budget planning, not on a sustainable basis. In addition, Ms. Yingluck said, her 16-point urgent policy, funded by the budgets allocated during the 2012 to 2013 fiscal years, has progressed as planned.

The Premier boasted the flood relief program, the minimum wage rise, tourism growth and the first car policy among other projects that her government has succeeded in.

She also claimed that investor confidence rose during the period mentioned as tax collections exceeded the target. The number of foreign direct investments in Thailand rose by 2,500 last year compared to the year earlier.

Ms. Yingluck said she is confident that the government will achieve a better economic growth rate within the first 6 months of this year. According to her, there is also sufficient capital reserve to sustain economic expansion.

She speculated Thailand’s GDP to reach 5.5% this year while the inflation rate will rise to no more than 3% of the GDP. The Ministries of Commerce and Finance have been tasked with keeping the inflation rate under control.

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)



Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?

PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point. 

As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.

In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?

PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.


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