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FTI Elections Break Records in Thailand: Kriengkrai Poised to Shape Economic Future

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On a day that shimmered with the anticipation of democracy in motion, the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok was abuzz with activity. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) – an esteemed beacon of Thailand’s economic ambition – was poised to usher in a new era. Some 2,700 members, a kaleidoscope of the country’s industrial elite, converged to cast their votes for the FTI committee members for the 2024-2026 term. This wasn’t just any ordinary Monday; it was a day that smashed previous voter turnout records, a testament to the fervor and commitment of Thailand’s business community.

The FTI, with its sprawling network of 366 committee members, stood at a pivotal juncture. Of these, 244 positions were thrown open for election, while the remaining 122 were appointed, weaving a rich tapestry of expertise and vision that promised to drive Thailand’s economic engine into the future.

While the echoes of the democratic process resonated through the convention center’s halls, the actual vote count remained a whisper among the corridors of power. Yet, whispers strong enough to sail through the grapevine suggested that Kriengkrai, a figure synonymous with vision and enterprise, had garnered more nods than his esteemed contender, Somphote Ahunai. Ahunai, no stranger to the spheres of influence as FTI’s deputy chairperson and the helmsman of Energy Absolute Plc, displayed commendable fortitude in the face of this electoral ballet.

The real spectacle, however, is poised to unfold in 30 to 45 days post-election. The committee members, riding high on the democratic wave, will convene to elect the chairperson. This decision, penned for April 23, is not merely procedural but a harbinger of the direction FTI’s ship will steer towards over the next two years.

In a ritualistic dance that has become the hallmark of FTI’s succession planning, there’s a penchant for continuity. The re-election of a chairperson for a consecutive term, thereby allowing them a four-year reign, is not just tradition but a strategic maneuver. It is a period deemed by the industrial sages as crucial for shepherding policies from blueprint to reality.

Kriengkrai, assuming the mantle, brings to the fore a visionary agenda. At its heart lies the promotion of S-curve industries coupled with a steadfast commitment to the bio, circular, green (BCG) economy. His is a mission to catapult Thailand into the stratosphere of global manufacturing, ensuring its seamless integration with the global supply chain – a focus sharply on electric vehicles among other key industries.

In a coup de maître that earmarked 2023, Kriengkrai steered the launch of the Innovation One project. This ambitious endeavor, designed as a lifeline for startups and small and medium enterprises nestled within targeted industries, saw the FTI pool together a colossal 1 billion baht. In a display of unparalleled synergy, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation matched this generosity, setting the stage for a revolution that promises to redefine Thailand’s industrial landscape.

As the FTI stands on the cusp of change, its members, and indeed the whole of Thailand, wait with bated breath. For within the outcomes of these elections lie the seeds of tomorrow, the potential to craft an economic narrative that is not only sustainable but also inclusive. The journey from the bustling halls of the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre to the annals of Thailand’s industrial revolution begins here. And what a thrilling journey it promises to be.


  1. TechSavvy101 March 26, 2024

    The focus on S-curve industries and BCG economy under Kriengkrai’s leadership could be exactly what Thailand needs to boost its global manufacturing presence. Countries need to adapt to the changing global economic landscape to remain competitive.

    • GreenRevolution March 26, 2024

      Agree completely, but I hope this doesn’t come at the cost of the environment. A lot of times, industrial growth means more pollution. They need to ensure that the ‘green’ part of BCG isn’t just for show.

      • TechSavvy101 March 26, 2024

        That’s a fair point. The article does imply that there’s a strong commitment to the circular and green economy, so hopefully, environmental preservation will be a priority.

    • OldSchool March 26, 2024

      This whole ‘innovation and future industries’ talk is just a way to ignore the current issues facing traditional sectors. Not all industries can or should move at this so-called S-curve speed.

      • TechSavvy101 March 26, 2024

        While it’s important to support traditional industries, focusing on future-ready sectors is essential for long-term growth. It’s about finding the right balance.

  2. BangkokNative March 26, 2024

    Kriengkrai certainly seems like the kind of visionary leader the FTI needs. But, I wonder how his policies will impact local businesses, especially SMEs and startups in less trendy sectors.

  3. FinancialGuru March 26, 2024

    It’s interesting to note the strategic maneuver of allowing a chairperson a four-year reign. This could foster continuity but might also centralize power too much, potentially stifling new ideas and approaches.

    • PolicyWatcher March 26, 2024

      Exactly my thoughts. While continuity is important, so is diversity in leadership. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of policy direction and implementation.

  4. SkepticalCitizen March 26, 2024

    Record-breaking voter turnout sounds great, but I’m curious about the percentage of members who actually voted. High turnout is often celebrated, but the real question is whether it’s truly representative.

    • OptimistPrime March 26, 2024

      The article mentions that 2,700 members voted. Given the FTI’s large membership, this could be seen as a significant participation rate, reflecting active engagement within the community.

  5. EconNerd March 26, 2024

    Promoting S-curve industries is smart but challenging. These industries are highly competitive globally and require substantial investment. Thailand needs to not only invest in these industries but also in education and training to nurture the requisite talent.

    • TechFanatic March 26, 2024

      Absolutely. The human capital aspect cannot be overstated. For Thailand to truly integrate into the global supply chain, especially in cutting-edge sectors like EVs, it must build a skilled workforce ready for these challenges.

      • EconNerd March 26, 2024

        Right, and that’s why partnerships with the Ministry of Higher Education and other entities are key. It’s not just about the money; it’s about creating ecosystems that support innovation and skill development.

  6. HistorianBuff March 26, 2024

    While it’s promising to see emphasis on new economic directions, one must wonder how these shifts align with Thailand’s historical economic strengths. Reinvention should not lead to abandonment of sectors that have been the backbone of the economy.

  7. InTheKnow March 26, 2024

    Kriengkrai’s victory wasn’t surprising for those following FTI’s recent directions. What will be interesting is how he plans to navigate the challenges that come with transitioning Thailand’s heavily traditional industries to embrace more sustainable practices.

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