Surin heads new think tank in Thailand

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Pitsuwan FITFormer ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan has been made head of a new institute in Thailand that aims to provide what it says are alternatives to the current government’s populist policies.

The “Future Innovative Thailand Institute”, or FIT, has been set up by the Democrat Party of which Pitsuwan is a member. The opposition party is beefing up for the next Thai general election in July 2015 in an aim to replace the current Pheu Thai party-led coalition under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Pitsuwan said the institute will initially look into three areas of development – economics, education and governance. The country has arrived “at a critical juncture and can no longer progress by simply following past practices,” he added.

The think tank, located in Bangkok, will seek public input in developing a new “blueprint” for the country and come up with a strategy to implement it.

In particular, FIT wants to address shortcomings in education and implement a system to produce a better skilled workforce. Despite 24 per cent of the budget allocated for education, Thailand still ranks far behind its neighbours, such as Singapore and Malaysia, which spend less on education.

As for corruption, the institute plans to develop a watchdog project called Ta Sapparot (pineapple eyes) that is meant to train residents to watch for and prevent corruption involving state projects.

With regard to the economy, the think tank plans to present “sustainable development strategies” up to 2020 in order to improve people’s livelihoods and competitiveness within ASEAN and beyond.

Pitsuwan said that Malaysia had implemented such a blueprint strategy 20 years ago which had helped the country increase annual per capita income to about $9,000. Thailand’s average per capita income is just $4,000.

The institute will hold regular “brainstorming camps,” drawing people from both Thailand and abroad to discuss development plans. It would take about three years to map the national development blueprint.

Pitsuwan is expected to play a major role in the Democrat’s campaign ahead of the 2015 election, with some observers believing that he might run for Thai prime minister.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Former ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan has been made head of a new institute in Thailand that aims to provide what it says are alternatives to the current government’s populist policies.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pitsuwan FITFormer ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan has been made head of a new institute in Thailand that aims to provide what it says are alternatives to the current government’s populist policies.

The “Future Innovative Thailand Institute”, or FIT, has been set up by the Democrat Party of which Pitsuwan is a member. The opposition party is beefing up for the next Thai general election in July 2015 in an aim to replace the current Pheu Thai party-led coalition under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Pitsuwan said the institute will initially look into three areas of development – economics, education and governance. The country has arrived “at a critical juncture and can no longer progress by simply following past practices,” he added.

The think tank, located in Bangkok, will seek public input in developing a new “blueprint” for the country and come up with a strategy to implement it.

In particular, FIT wants to address shortcomings in education and implement a system to produce a better skilled workforce. Despite 24 per cent of the budget allocated for education, Thailand still ranks far behind its neighbours, such as Singapore and Malaysia, which spend less on education.

As for corruption, the institute plans to develop a watchdog project called Ta Sapparot (pineapple eyes) that is meant to train residents to watch for and prevent corruption involving state projects.

With regard to the economy, the think tank plans to present “sustainable development strategies” up to 2020 in order to improve people’s livelihoods and competitiveness within ASEAN and beyond.

Pitsuwan said that Malaysia had implemented such a blueprint strategy 20 years ago which had helped the country increase annual per capita income to about $9,000. Thailand’s average per capita income is just $4,000.

The institute will hold regular “brainstorming camps,” drawing people from both Thailand and abroad to discuss development plans. It would take about three years to map the national development blueprint.

Pitsuwan is expected to play a major role in the Democrat’s campaign ahead of the 2015 election, with some observers believing that he might run for Thai prime minister.

 

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