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Build roads, not arsenals, Supachai says


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Build roads, not arsenals, Supachai says
By The Nation

 

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Former World Trade Organisation chief Supachai Panitchpakdi

 

BANGKOK: -- Former World Trade Organisation chief Supachai Panitchpakdi said on Tuesday he is concerned about an escalating global arms race, with many countries including Thailand spending vast amounts of money on weaponry and military hardware.

 

He made the remarks in a speech at a seminar hosted by the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA). 

 

“Not just Thailand, but the richer countries are buying more arms,” he said. Thailand is in the process of purchasing submarines from China, a costly move that has sparked controversy, although Supachai made no direct reference to that deal.

 

Supachai said he strongly supported NEDA projects in Laos, Cambodia , Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Timor-Leste. Development projects such as the building of roads benefit many people, he said.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30315468

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-05-17
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2 hours ago, PBScott said:

With the whole world arming itself, Thailand needs to keep up. The purchases the Thai Military have been making recently seem completely logical to me.

The whole world is arming itself against what?  A cyber attack?  A so-called lone-wolf attack?  All the arms, tanks and submarines can not protect you from that.  The junta is arming itself against the threat of Thais demanding that they go.

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Supachai raps govt on economy, weapons purchases
By WICHIT CHAITRONG
THE NATION

 

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Supachai

 

IN A RARE MOVE, former World Trade Organisation chief Supachai Panitchpakdi yesterday criticised the Thai government on many big issues ranging from falling private investment to a potential bubble in the property market, and hinted that he frowned on the submarine-purchase deal.

 

He also urged caution on China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.

 

In an interview to a group of reporters on the sidelines of a seminar hosted by the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA), Supachai urged the government to tell the Thai public the truth about the current state of the economy.

 

“Politically the government wants to project good news in order to win the people’s confidence, but the government needs to tell the truth,” said Supachai, who was director-general of the WTO from 2002 to 2005. He was also secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) from 2005 to 2013.

 

He said he was concerned about declining private investment in Thailand. He said listed companies were paying high dividends to shareholders but were not investing in building up their research and development capacity.

 

His comments came after the National Economic and Social Development Board revealed that private investment had contracted by 1.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year. 

 

Foreign direct investment in Thailand has also been declining for several years, Supachai said.

 

He also expressed concern about a potential bubble in the property sector. 

 

When the private sector invests too much in only one sector there could be the risk of an oversupply of residential units, he warned.

 

Lower interest rates may be a major cause of over-investment in the property sector while at the same time household debt remains high against less saving, he said.

 

‘Build roads, not arsenals’

 

Supachai also said he was concerned about an escalating global arms race, with many countries including Thailand spending vast amounts of money on weaponry and military hardware.

 

“Not just Thailand, but the richer countries are buying more arms,” he told an audience at NEDA’s seminar. Thailand is in the process of purchasing submarines from China, a costly move that has sparked controversy, although Supachai made no direct reference to that deal.

 

Supachai said he strongly supported NEDA projects in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and East Timor. Development projects such as the building of roads benefit many people, he said.

 

One Belt, One Road caution

 

As the Thai government is upbeat about China’s New Silk Road project, Supachai said Thailand and other Asean countries were likely to benefit from the initiative but should not just stand back and let Beijing set the agenda.

 

“I don’t like ‘big brothers’, whether they are Chinese or American, in the region,” he said. He suggested that the Thai government strengthen cooperation under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which comprises Asean and many other countries including Australia, Japan, India, New Zealand and South Korea. Where RCEP and China have common interests, then cooperation with Beijing should go ahead, he said.

 

He noted that the old Silk Road was not only about trade but also had cultural dimensions, so countries should also emphasise cultural cooperation under OBOR, which could lessen the tensions in the South China Sea.

 

China has been promoting the Belt and Road Initiative as a way to connect many countries via trade and investment. It held a summit on the project recently.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/business/EconomyAndTourism/30315533

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-05-18
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Build roads, not arsenals, Supachai says

Make more and better waterways and drainage systems for your community, educate the people to use alternativ transport and increase and upgrade the existent public transport options.

 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

He also expressed concern about a potential bubble in the property sector. 

Supaman.  You've only to check out the thousands of empty condos/houses for sale in Pattaya/Jomtien to see he's right about this.

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

He said listed companies were paying high dividends to shareholders but were not investing in building up their research and development capacity.

The America companies are doing the same its world wide to keep the stock markets on cloud 9

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Impressed this guy is a mover and a shaker unusual for Thailand. I have followed the Chinese belt one road roadshow and it is nothing but domination of the countries they deal with. How refreshing to hear someone tell the truth here for a change. Quote Lower interest rates may be a major cause of over-investment in the property sector while at the same time household debt remains high against less saving, he said.unquote another truth but new cars must be a close second as the roads are jammed with new vehicles. To speak like this he must owe no allegiance to anyone how refreshing. I hope he starts a political movement for the next election.

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Glad to see he is starting off with his priorities straight. Paris 2024 Olympics. More than likely like all Olympic games of the past a money loosing proposition. Cue blow your horn. Brace yourselves workers the rapier is coming you know where. This guy and 99% of most politicians worldwide is not on YOUR side. He pulled a DT on you. I am sure you will not suffer in silence. When looking at the voting results here it seems that workers are now in the voting minority. Granted the alternative was not much better. 

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1 hour ago, elgordo38 said:

Impressed this guy is a mover and a shaker unusual for Thailand. I have followed the Chinese belt one road roadshow and it is nothing but domination of the countries they deal with. How refreshing to hear someone tell the truth here for a change. Quote Lower interest rates may be a major cause of over-investment in the property sector while at the same time household debt remains high against less saving, he said.unquote another truth but new cars must be a close second as the roads are jammed with new vehicles. To speak like this he must owe no allegiance to anyone how refreshing. I hope he starts a political movement for the next election.

 

There is a considerable number of houses in our Mobaan that have been possessed by Banks, presumably for non payment of mortgage, or empty because owners have moved to cheaper accommodation and are trying to sell (hard with such a low market for second hand property here) or rent out. Trying to rent out is becoming popular.

The banks offer the houses at high prices. Many have been empty for years and would require a large amount spending on them. But the banks don't budge on price. Banks may well have large stocks of houses a condos which they have possessed from payment defaulters but I wonder what value they show on their assets balance sheets? Never seen one here re-sold in 10 years.

 

Lots of new red plate cars round here too. Big BMW SUV's, Porsche Cayennes, Lexus SUV's and Mercedes of all shapes and sizes. All very expensive. Wifey says most people have them on monthly payments, or are suspected of being some kind of "mafia" type. I guess (and hope) most are the former!

 

This gentleman and his views have to be respected. He's got the pedigree and talks sense. Politicians of all hues would do well to listen to him.

 

We're looking for a condo in BKK at the moment. Amazing the amount of new projects on the go or just starting. Many at "London" prices. And many, many empty ones already built but where the builders won't reduce prices. The old logic of if you don't have enough customers then put prices up or keep them high!

 

Some big bubbles and big bubbles gonna pop sooner or later!

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