NXPO Recovery Forum was held on 24 September 2020 with a guest speaker Mr. Suwit Sappavitthayasiri, Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy Research Institute. The topic of this forum focused economic recovery strategy.
Mr. Suwit shared the outlook of world economy that IMF has estimated the global economy to be contracted by 4.9% in 2020 and the 2021 economic growth is expected to be 5.4%, less than a 6.5% growth predicted before the pandemic.
As for Thailand, the Fiscal Policy Research Institute expects that the economy will start to recover in the 2nd quarter of 2021, with the number of inbound tourists at 30 million and 1 trillion-THB fiscal deficit. The government and private sector will focus on short-term solutions to fix unemployment and business restructuring. In 2022, Thai economy will be affected by the emerging factors: modification on the government’s economic management, an early warning system for economic and financial crisis, the increasing role of big data in government administration, the effect of digital currency on international finance and trade, the expansion of cashless society and the opening of the China–Thailand high-speed rail link, several new lines of Metropolitan Rapid Transit, and the High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports. With these new developments, Thailand will need to reform the education and innovation systems in order to respond to the national and global challenges such as aging population, limited government fund and the pressure of welfare state on economic growth.
However, the COVID-19 is not the only problem Thailand is facing. The country has been trapped in the middle-income situation and the key to escape this situation lies in the development of people and technology in order to expand the economy.
Mr. Suwit also discussed the need to prepare workforce for the new normal conditions. He proposed a study to develop the future job landscape in order to design upskilling program accordingly and a pilot job mapping for EEC.
NXPO President Dr. Kitipong Promwong added his comment that the COVID-19 has caused a paradigm shift in the priority from the economic growth to human security in four aspects: food, healthcare, energy and job, as well as the redistribution of wealth and opportunity. To enable the sustainable growth, the government will need to focus on developing local economy as well as balancing local economy and foreign-dependent economy which includes tourism and export.