Thailand came from a 7% to 5% to 3% growth economy (give or take a few) and now is the most aging economy in the ASEAN (next to Russia and China, the only emerging economy). Instead of uplifting productivity and developing the workforce or investing into people and smart automation (which would lead to more value added products and services, many (not all though) companies have opted for cheap labor from neighboring markets. The other issue is that, by not improving the workforce, the salaries may not be massively increased. This will prevent lower income groups from paying back massive consumer debt, meaning that tax breaks for consumption won’t help uplifting the economy.
Strategically, it is crucial for the country to refocus and given incentives to corporations and entrepreneurs to educate the workforce. Equally, the government must introduce more programs to train and develop workers in factories and offices, while giving tax breaks to companies doing it by their own merits.
By the way, this is also true in newer job groups like Technology related. Thai corporations are still too careful in investing into technology and modernizing technology skills. Many CVs I receive appear to have solid IT skills from people working for local and regional companies. However, many of these tech skills are 3+ years behind what I would consider “modern” technology platforms.
This is probably one of the top 3 topics for the nation to get right! I hope all of you will help to share the message and influence corporations and government to act!