Thailand * Forward Looking

Thailand 2015:
Heading Back Towards
Meeting With NTCC Members
Royal Thai Embassy, The Hague
Wednesday 12 November 2014
A Democracy Now Temporarily
“under Maintenance”
1932 – Thailand adopted western style
democratic constitutional monarchy.
2014 – Political impasse with a dysfunctional
democracy. Time to pause and pose the
right questions about Thai “democracy”
and find the best way forward.
Where we are now
 Transition period to implement a 3-phase
Roadmap back to democracy: end of
confrontations, reform and elections.
 Now in 2nd phase: move the country forward
under provisional constitution while conducting
institutions, and getting the economy going.
 3rd phase: general elections under a truly
democratic system accepted by all sides expected
by the end of 2015
Provisional Constitution of the
Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2557
 Promulgated on 22 July 2014, containing 48 sections
 Five principal political institutions :
1. National Legislative Assembly (NLA)
2. Council of Ministers
3. National Reform Council (NRC)
4. Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC)
5. National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)
The National
Legislative Assembly (NLA)
Performs functions of National Parliament,
including passing legislations, approving
Emergency Decrees, and approving
220 members appointed by the NCPO
The National
Reform Council (NRC)
 250 members selected from a pool of 935
nominations from all social and professional sectors
and 77 representatives from each provinces based
on their professional merit and track record.
 To undertake a comprehensive reform of the
country in 11 areas and draw up recommendations
for the Constitution Drafting Committee.
11 Reform Agenda Groups
Public Administration
Law and judicial procedures
Local administration
Public health and environment
Mass communication
Social Affairs
Six Goals Of National Reform
 A democratic system which conforms with
Thai society and culture
 Transparent and fair elections
 An effective anti-corruption mechanism
 Social and economic equality
 Effective law enforcement
 Availability of public services to all on an
equal footing
The Constitutional
Drafting Committee (CDC)
- On 4 November 2014, 36 members of CDC have
been nominated by the National Reform
Council, the National Legislative Assembly, the
Cabinet and the NCPO, at the ratio of 20:5:5:6
- Consists of legal experts, academics, former
senators, judges, civil servants, representatives
from NGOs and the media
Key Issues For
Constitution Drafting
 Ensure a truly democratic constitutional monarchy.
 Set up an efficient mechanism to tackle corruption.
 Set up a legal framework to ensure accountable
spending of State budget.
 Set up a legal framework to prevent populist public
administration leading to long-term economic
 Incorporate inputs from the National Reform Council
and public opinions.
The National Council for
Peace and Order (NCPO)
To maintain peace and security in
the country.
To ensure a smooth reform process.
The Council of Ministers
 General Prayut Chan-o-cha, appointed Prime
Minister by Royal Command in August 2014
upon nomination by the National Legislative
 A 32-member Cabinet.
Political Priorities of the Government
 Strengthen the national administration system
and enhance and expedite decentralisation.
 Expeditiously resolve immediate problems
facing the nations.
 Modernize laws and regulations.
 Move forward the reform and reconciliation
 Tackle human trafficking and improve
management of foreign migrant workers.
 Fight against corruption through legal reform.
Economic Priorities of the Government
 Maintain financial and monetary discipline.
 Maintain public debt level at less than 60 % of GDP.
 Undertake tax and energy reform (e.g. new Power
Development Plan (PDP)).
 Restructure State enterprises.
 Invest in public infrastructure (e.g. 10-year Infrastructure
Development Plan (2016-2025)).
 Ensure development of value-added agricultural products.
 Enhance “digital economy” (a Digital Economy Act to be proposed
to the NLA by 2014).
 Formulate a comprehensive master plan for water management.
Concrete economic measures
 With a view to helping economy to recover towards a
growth rate of 4-5 per cent in 2015, a three-month
economic stimulus package (October-December 2014)
(worth USD 11.2 billion) has been announced, of which
USD 10 billion will be allocated to job creation and USD 1.2
billion for direct payments to farmers (in order to
stimulate the grassroots economy).
 Since the appointment of the new Board of Investment
(BOI) in June 2014, 603 projects of foreign direct
investment (worth USD 14.07 billion) have been approved
with investment incentives.
Regional Cooperation Priorities
Manage border areas and set up special
border economic zones.
Enhance Thailand’s participation and role
in ASEAN community for common peace
and prosperity.
Improve infrastructure for transport and
logistics connectivity to facilitate regional
economic integration, with Thailand as
Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
 Seven SEZs will be established along the borders. Five
areas have been designated for early implementation
in 2015.
 The aims of SEZs are to promote local economies,
strengthen the country’s regional supply chains and
provide opportunities for foreign investors to benefit
from Thailand’s market access in ASEAN.
 Foreign investors who decide to invest in SEZs will be
helped to expand their investments to Thailand’s
neighbours under the “Thai Plus One” investment
Latest Opinion Poll
“Dusit Poll” conducted on 26 October 2014 shows:
 86.6 % satisfied with the NCPO performance during the first 5
months in office as it did well to control situation and create
stability and discipline in society as well as its decisiveness and
effectiveness to solve problems
 13.4 % unsatisfied because of the NCPO’s dictatorial tendency
and obstruction of free expression
Where We Are In Some Figures
 GDP forecast for 2014: US$ 380 billion.
 GDP growth forecast for 2014: 1.4-1.5 % (3.5-4 % for
 Public Debt (5/2014): US$ 19.7 billion; ratio to GDP:
46.6 % (Q2/2014)
 Inflation forecast for 2014: 1.9-2.4 %
 Unemployment rate (6/2014): 1.2%
 Trade Balance Forecast for 2014: US$ +21.8 billion.
 Current Account Balance Forecast for 2014: US$
+9.9 billion.
 Official Foreign Reserves (8/2014): US$ 168.21
 Car production Jan-Aug 2014: 1.2 million units (2.5
million units in 2013).
Ties With the Netherlands As
Strong As Ever
 Thai export to the Netherlands (Jan-Aug 2014): US$ 3.02
 Thai import from the Netherlands (Jan-Aug 2014): US$ 703.21
 Dutch investment in Thailand through Thai Board of
Investment approval (2013): US$ +1 billion.
 Number of Dutch tourists visiting Thailand (2013 and 2014
forecast): +200,000.
 Thais living (happily) in the Netherlands (2014): around
We are optimistic
 Remains second-largest economy in Southeast Asia
(Oxford Business Group, The Report : Thailand
 Ranks 31st (world) and 8th (East Asia) in World
Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report
2014 – 2015.
 Ranks 8th in World Investment Report 2014.
 Ranks 18th (world) and 5th (East Asia) in World
Bank’s Doing Business 2014.
 Confidence has returned and growth restored.
We are realistic
Immediate challenges that must be addressed:
 Good governance: Thailand ranks only 102nd
in 2013 for corruption perception index (CPI).
 Quality of the education system.
How We See Things
 This “maintenance” period is only temporary.
 We remain committed to democracy and human
 We are trying to heal the Country “the Thai way”.
 We are on the road to a functioning and
sustainable democracy.
 In the mean time, it’s business (and fun) as usual.
 We need understanding and support from our

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