Thailand calls for regional countries’ modernization to increase competitiveness

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand (CLMVT) to embrace innovation or else risk losing their competitive edge.

In his speech delivered at the CLMVT forum in Bangkok on June 24, the PM said despite the CLMVT region becoming a main player in the global value chain, the region faces threats from rapid technological development and geopolitics.

These new technologies will render the existing production network, he said.

According to Prayut, contract manufacturing and production will slowly decline as new production networks in different regions, which embrace the modern value chain, take their place.

In terms of geopolitical threats, countries in the region must have effective risk management in place to cope with the changes in the global market, he added.

The sectors most vulnerable to disruption are agribusinesses, textiles, automobile, and electronics, all traditional strengths of the CLMVT region, he said, adding the service industry within the CLMVT region will also be affected by these trends.

He urged the governments to work together to support the sub-regional economy, while highlighting contributions to the shared prosperity within the CLMVT and initiatives of the private sector.

The CLMVT forum 2019 themed CLMVT as the New Value Chain Hub of Asia took place in Bangkok on June 23-24, drawing the participation of industry and trade officials from Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand as well as ambassadors, guests from related private sectors and academics.

In 2017, CLMVT's GDP grew by 5.1 percent. From 2013-2017, external trade grew at an annual average of 4.6 percent, while intra-CLMVT trade rose by 7.1 percent and investment went up by 15.7 percent.

Source: People's Army Newspaper