Speaking on “Challenges and opportunities in a globalised world”, Mr Blair was one of many international and Thai leaders invited to speak at the forum hosted by the BOI, the Ministry of Industry, and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in Bangkok.
Mr Blair said that Thailand, despite suffering through severe flood crisis and other difficulties, still has great potential for business and growth in the fast-changing global environment.
He said countries need to work together if they are to play a greater role in the world. Thailand should maintain its strong ties with other ASEAN members if it wants to play a major part in the bloc’s development.
He also dropped hint, however, that the country needs to address problems with social justice, citing examples such
as minimum wages, the welfare system and “the relationship between public and private sectors”.
But Thailand should be proud of its past, present and future, he added, suggesting that despite problems the country should “unite and aim for greater opportunities”.
Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, spoke on “Global Sustainable Foreign Direct Investment and Opportunities for Thailand” while ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan examined Thailand’s potential role in the ASEAN Economic Community, which comes into being in three years’ time.
Other speakers at the forum included Deputy Prime Minister and new Minister of Finance Kittiratt Na-Ranong, who outlined the country’s economic stimulation plans, and the Chairman of the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development, Veerapong Ramangkul, who spoke about flood prevention plans.