Thailand advances its bid for OECD membership to boost economy

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thailand is forging ahead with its application to become a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a move that is anticipated to significantly enhance the country’s economic growth.

The Thai Foreign Affairs Minister, Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, took a proactive step on Tuesday, April 16, by submitting an official letter of intent to Mathias Cormann, the secretary-general of the OECD, at the organisation’s French headquarters.

In a compelling speech, Minister Parnpree articulated Thailand’s readiness and resolute commitment to fast-track its OECD membership. He highlighted that Thailand aligns with the core values and objectives of the OECD, encompassing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, a free-market economy, sustainability, inclusivity, and a dedicated green transition.

Minister Parnpree brought attention to Thailand’s four-decade-long involvement with the OECD and its ambitious goal of achieving the status of an advanced economy by 2037. The desire for OECD membership was met with support from member nations, who encouraged an expedited process for Thailand’s accession.

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The OECD, a pivotal player in international governance, influences crucial sectors such as economy, trade, investment, anti-corruption measures, education, innovation, the environment, and climate change. With 38 member countries, the organization aims to assist in formulating effective public policies under the mission statement “Better policies for better lives.”

Reflecting on his address, Minister Parnpree noted that Thailand is the sole country within ASEAN that has maintained close relations with the OECD for a remarkable 42 years. This affiliation has helped to elevate Thailand’s business standards, governance, trade, environmental considerations, competitiveness, and green economy.

GDP increase

Pointing to a study conducted by the Thailand Development Research Institute, Minister Parnpree noted that OECD membership could potentially increase GDP by 1.6%, equating to an estimated economic value of around 270 billion baht. He argued that OECD membership could bolster Thailand’s economic security, given the developed status of its other member nations.

As Thailand aims to navigate beyond the middle-income trap and achieve developed nation status by 2037, Minister Parnpree believes OECD membership would attract increased foreign investment, thereby creating more jobs for Thai citizens. He also noted the potential benefits of OECD’s Green Growth Strategy for Thailand, particularly in human resources development in the environmental sector.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will lead a committee dedicated to accelerating Thailand’s efforts to secure OECD membership. The Green Growth Strategy, as Minister Parnpree explained, offers guidance and measurement tools to aid countries in pursuing sustainable, environmentally friendly economic growth, reported Bangkok Post.

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