The King Prajadhipok’s Institute held its 22nd Congress with the theme of the new image of decentralised Thailand to reduce inequality: lessons learned from COVID-19, with former Director General of the World Trade Organisation Supachai Panitchpakdi delivering the speech on Thailand’s new image post-crisis.
Mr. Supachai has referred to the Future of Democracy study from Cambridge University, where a higher unemployment rate, corruption and inequality are identified as common factors which undermine democracy, based on research in more than 100 countries.
The former WTO chief said the solving of the COVID-19 pandemic must be done first, as success will allow the economy to recover without much intervention.
He suggested, however, that social inequality and unemployment need to be urgently addressed, along with the enhancement of the grassroots economy, through the implementation of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, as a guideline for communities to become self-sufficient.
Mr. Supachai has also urged the promotion of social participation, to improve negotiating powers, as both Thailand and the ASEAN are large markets that receive much interest from the global community.