AMCHAM white paper responds to Government’s “New Normal” initiative

As governments and companies navigate through the new normal and ongoing transformations, The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM Thailand) offers long-term measures to support long term, sustainable economic growth in Thailand. 

AMCHAM President Greg Wong stated: “The Thai Government is to be applauded for managing the immediate response to COVID-19. “U.S. companies’ represent over 50 billion USD of cumulative investment in the Kingdom and employ 200,000 Thai people, we are part of the fabric of the Thai economy. Our white paper identifies strategic areas for U.S.– Thai partnership and offers recommendations to capture opportunities created by the “New Normal” to deliver long term economic growth.” 

In AMCHAM’white paper “Better than Before- – Creating Long Term Growth in Thailand Post-Covid-19”, AMCHAM has demonstrated its support to the Thai government’s vision of being a high-income country by 2037 and suggested cooperation on key areas such as trade relations, supply chain, digital economy, small and medium enterprises, tourism, healthcare, energy and skills to accelerate U.S. investment in the region.  

Post Covid-19, investors will be keenly courted in the South East Asia region. Key mechanisms to position Thailand as the premier destination for investment include regulatory predictability and transparency as well as competitive tax policies and regulations. Covid-19 has also revealed vulnerabilities of global supply chains and brought into sharp focus the need for stronger, more dependable supply chains. The paper captures suggestions for opportunities for the Thai government to improve cross border trade efficiency essential to reinstate Thailand’s position as a manufacturing powerhouse and key ASEAN logistics hub.  

Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation across Thailand. AMCHAM extends its support and expertise to the Thai government for building a safe, secure, and viable digital infrastructure essential to boost the country’s vibrant digital economy and to thrive in the future. The paper outlines steps, policies, emerging global standards and reforms in digital economy, cyber security, and e-commerce that the Thai government can consider for the government, enterprises, and society to invest more intensively in digital transformation. The paper also identifies an urgent need to strengthen government backed policies and programs for Small and Medium Enterprises to access capital in order to grow.  

The current pandemic has impacted Thailand’s travel and health tourism industry due to restrictions imposed on inbound travel by foreigners. It is recommended that, in addition to addressing safety concerns, the government needs to establish long-term goals that encourage innovative tourism models such as reciprocal protocols for access without quarantine, travel bubbles with countries that have successfully controlled the disease, tax incentives for domestic tourism, and developing quality experiential, health and wellness tourism to revitalize the travel economy.   

For the health tourism industry, AMCHAM encourages an ecosystem of value-based healthcare and market environment improvements for better patient access to innovative medicine and treatment to strengthen Thailand’s position as Asia’s medical hub of the future.  

The paper also suggests myriad ways to maximize Thailand’s energy potential as a regional hub, allow for wheeling, accelerate development of untapped energy resources, adopt open market policies on fuel products, and support development of alternative energy resources through innovation. 

As automation and adoption of digital technology will see massive job disruptions, the paper recommends involvement of the public and private sector, as well as foreign investors in crafting policies for education and skills-building programs to prepare the workforce for tomorrow. 

Read the full paper here…

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