DEPUTY Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said today (8.5.2020) that with the overall picture of the Thai economy in the first quarter not being good and the second quarter still worrying as exports are in a poor shape while tourism is in a crisis there remains only one functioning economic engine and that is the domestic economy, PostToday reported.
Mr Somkid also said that a budget of 55 billion baht has been set aside to push the local economy over the next two to three month so that this in turn drives the national economy with the three key areas to focus on being as follows:
- Strengthening the local economy so that it is in balance with the external economy by linking the entire production, marketing and tourism sectors plus the environment together.
- Building digital channels in developing the country.
- Pushing Thailand to be the regional commercial centre.
Mr Somkid added that the project being introduced includes training of workers returning to their provincial homes on farming and what they could actually do because if not those who do not know how to farm would not be able to take up.
The training would have to be in steps with the first being where each province is going to arrange these sessions, work out how many people are to be trained and hire people to train them as this is a way to increase their income.
The training need not be just in agriculture and could include community economy and technology. Once trained the returning workers could start farming and get a loan from Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to do so.
Mr Apirom Sukprasert, BAAC’s manager, said data from the Thai Chamber of Commerce indicates that 7.1 million people will lose their jobs and around 4 million of them would return to rural areas.
It was found that over the next one to two years 800,000 of these workers would not be able to return to the cities.
BAAC has to study in detail what the returning workers want to do but they would mostly want take up ordinary or organic farming.
It was for this reason that a budget of 55 billion baht was requested with the main goal being to develop the new generation of workers who are returning to the countryside so as to lay down a sustainable foundation for the economy.
Mr Apirom added that this is an opportunity to undertake tangible reform of the agricultural sector. Also with the cooperation of the public and private sectors create new jobs, work and income for both short and long term duration for those affected by this economic downturn through the promotion of marketing, community product development and provincial tourism nationwide.
Top: Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. Photo: PostToday