New government urged to tackle living costs, support steel industry

Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

The incoming government, led by the Move Forward Party, has been urged to address the high cost of living and expensive electricity bills while continuing to support the domestic steel industry, according to Somsak Leeswadtrakul, a prominent steel magnate and philanthropist.

Tackling the rising cost of living, particularly for low-income earners, should be among the top priorities for the new government. “Now everyone is pinning their hopes on the new government to deal with this issue,” stated Somsak, who also serves as the executive director of the Iron and Steel Institute of Thailand.

Business owners in the manufacturing sector are grappling with high energy costs, particularly monthly electricity bills. Despite the government’s efforts to reduce power tariffs, energy bills remain high.

Somsak expressed concern over the increasing electricity prices in Thailand, which have become more expensive than those in neighbouring countries, potentially impacting the nation’s competitiveness.

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He urged the new government to seriously and carefully address electricity issues, as this would not only benefit businesses but also prevent passing the financial burden onto customers.

In the steel industry, Somsak emphasised the importance of the new government providing better support for local steel manufacturers. At present, capacity utilisation in the steel industry is very low.

Somsak called for the strict implementation of an anti-dumping policy to prevent the influx of cheap and low-quality steel into the country. He argued that steel entrepreneurs, who have invested billions of baht, and over 200,000 workers in the steel industry, require better protection from the government.

Additionally, Somsak wants the new government to promote locally-made products to enable domestic industries to grow further. Many companies have invested heavily in selling their products and services, and all of them want their businesses to remain healthy.

If the government can address these issues in the steel industry and other sectors, Somsak believes Thailand will become an industry leader in the ASEAN region, reports Bangkok Post.

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