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At a national level, the government and business sectors need to pay attention to transparency and corruption indicators
Vietnam and has begun plans for a second. Other industrialists are likewise developing large-scale projects across the region.
But the property boom is not for everyone. “It may be too late for newcomers, either private companies or governments, to enter the real estate market because land and investment costs have risen,” Mr Boonkiet said.
Tourism remains an important sector, but Thailand should not get complacent or overconfident. “Thais love travelling. Foreign countries also see Thailand as a major tourist destination with high-quality ser- vices,” he said. “Our prices are higher compared to our neighbours, though. Local labour in the tourism and service
industries also lacks discipline. Neigh- bouring countries can provide quality and offer lower prices. We’ re losing our advantage.”
The issues of skilled and unskilled labour in Thailand have been a concern for years. Thai labourers are seeing jobs taken away by Cambodian and Myanmar workers who work harder for less money.
Mr Boonkiet believes Thai labour needs to adjust to remain competitive. In the AEC, Singapore has the highest proportion of skilled labour, given their structured work style and good management skills. Thai labour structure, however, is better than in countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia. Labour practices in the
Philippines also get positive reviews. “We might not be able to compete with Singapore in terms of organiza- tion and management, but our system is better than some countries. We need to strengthen our labour structure and management skills. At the same time, our workers need to work harder, be less choosy and more eager to learn
new things.”
Mr Boonkiet also thinks Thai
labour needs to be trained in critical thinking and be more inquisitive. “Thai workers are told to follow orders, so they don’t learn how to develop critical thinking.”
Cost-cutting strategies should not be the focal point for companies, he added, since it will become harder to
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