According to Danucha Pichayanan, Chief of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), global geopolitical tension amongst premier powers has evolved into a vigorous rivalry, no longer limited to military and safety concerns, but extending to the economic sphere. “The situation is ever-evolving, and Thailand must remain vigilant to these fluctuations,” said Danucha. She emphasized the importance of understanding the direction of these uncertainties and the potential implications for Thailand.
Delivering a keynote speech titled “Transitioning Thailand: Coping with the Future” at the yearly NESDC symposium, Danucha touched on several “irregularities” disturbing the international economy over the previous three years. These difficulties encompass the trade tension between the U.S. and China, the ongoing pandemic, the long-standing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and rampant inflation across numerous countries, each of which has detrimentally impacted the Thai market.
She highlighted that America is undergoing a recession in spite of a general reduction in inflation. However, inflation continues to run high in other parts of the world, especially in Europe, while China, globally the second-largest economy, is dealing with an economic downturn. “The full extent of China’s economic difficulties remains a mystery,” she noted.
Assessing the dangers to Thailand’s economy, the NESDC head underlined that an escalating frequency of environmental disasters triggered by climate change has seriously harmed Thailand’s biodiversity and agricultural sectors. “Due to the influence of El Nino, India has chosen to cease the export of agricultural goods. While Thailand has managed to maintain robust farming sales, precautions must be taken to safeguard the nation’s food security,” said Danucha.
Another significant mention was of the widening political schism among Thai people, which, according to her, is posing a threat to the national economy. She identified the role of false information disseminated through social media as a significant factor in exacerbating societal division. “The situation is escalating and becoming increasingly critical for the country,” Danucha stated. She urged the need for a framework to validate the authenticity of information, and for the youth should be educated on how to differentiate between factual and incorrect information.
The NESDC Secretary-General divulged that the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Risks Report outlined five vital dimensions of both short and long-term risks faced by the world, namely economic, social, environmental, geopolitical, and technological. These immediate risks span high living and inflation costs, climate-exacerbated natural catastrophes, geopolitical clashes, and extreme societal division.
She made it known that the WEF report also pinpointed worsening threats to worldwide economic and geopolitical stability over the next ten years. These fears sprout from multiple sources including biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, ubiquitous cybercrime and cyber insecurity, and mass involuntary migration.