FTI highlights a range of potential challenges
Organized by the Small Business Development Bureau in 2020, the Small Business Market Fair aimed to support small businesses and stimulate consumption. Sanchai said SMEs have a better chance of growing if the new government pushes forward with its mandate to ensure equitable economic growth. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Major business groups have welcomed the Forward Party’s campaign promise to tackle economic inequality, but wondered if it could solve a problem that has plagued the country for years.
Eight political parties signed a memorandum of understanding on May 22 outlining 23 points they plan to focus on in governing Thailand, including a unified mission to reduce inequality and ensure equitable economic growth.
The Forward Party is known for its anti-monopoly stance aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“The party has some good policies, but the question is whether they can put them into action,” said Kriengklai Thiennekul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
He said the Progressive Party and its allies face a difficult challenge over a problem that has long been entrenched in the country’s economy.
“It will not be easy for the new government to deal with the monopoly, not to mention the obstacles it will face in the country’s bureaucracy,” said Kleankryi.
Despite these difficulties, the stance has gained the support of the Thai Small and Medium Enterprise Federation, which has approved government legislative changes and new drafts to prevent companies from unfairly dominating the market.
Sanchai Theerakrwanich, chairman of the Federation of Thai Small and Medium Enterprises, said this attitude could pave the way for growth as SMEs currently have limited access to funding and loans.
“We expect to see better revenue sharing among entrepreneurs, including small businesses,” he said.
“We hope to operate the business to its full potential.”
However, like Kriengklai, Sanchai said it was a difficult task to implement policies to achieve equitable economic growth for all stakeholders.
If the new government wants to enact new legislation, it needs parliamentary approval, which is usually a slow process, he said.
Kleankly said the new government should work on reforming monopoly rules, as it would be a first step that could ultimately lead to the birth of new businesses and entrepreneurs.