March 28, 2023
BANGKOK – Srettha, 60, is expected to be nominated as a PM candidate by the Pheu Thai Party next week. He is currently chief adviser to former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s youngest daughter, Paetongtarn, who leads the “Pheu Thai Family”. Paetongtarn has topped most public (rather than business) opinion polls as people’s choice of next prime minister.
She is also tipped to be named as one of three Pheu Thai PM candidates.
Sunday’s survey, titled “Thailand’s future after the election”, was conducted from March 21 to 25 on 200 CEOs in the manufacturing, agriculture, energy, property, export, finance, retail, tourism, service and digital sectors.
Asked who they wanted as the next PM:
- 24.2% said Srettha
- 15.2% said Pita Limjaroenrat (Move Forward leader)
- 14.1% said Prayut Chan-o-cha (incumbent PM)
- 11.6% said Paetongtarn
- 9.1% said Korn Chatikavanij (Chart Pattana Kla leader)
Asked which political party should form the next government:
- 44.3% said Pheu Thai
- 17% said United Thai Nation
- 16% said Move Forward
- 5.2% said Palang Pracharath
- 4.1% said Bhumjaithai
Asked which issues the new government must tackle (more than one answer accepted for the following questions):
- 82% said economic issues
- 46.5 said economic law amendments
- 43% said poverty and inequality
- 42.5% said attracting foreign investment
- 37.5% said infrastructure development
Asked which economic issues the government should tackle urgently:
- 62.4% said economic inequality
- 56.3% said household debt and non-performing loans
- 44.7% said attracting foreign investment
- 44.2% said stimulating domestic investment
Asked which social issues the government should tackle urgently:
- 71.5% said narcotics
- 65.5% said cybercrimes and online gambling
- 61% said PM2.5 air pollution
- 50% said cost of living
- 49.5% said transnational criminal gangs in Thailand
Asked which policies were not suitable for the current economic situation:
- 53.8% said the National Credit Bureau blacklist when considering loan applications.
- 41.1% said raising the minimum wage
- 38.6% said debt moratoriums
Some 37.7% of CEOs expect Thailand’s GDP to rise by 4-5% this year, while others expected a 2-3% increase.
CEOs urged political parties to pay attention to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups since they play a crucial role in stimulating the economy.
They also wanted political parties to reduce the number of subsidies they are offering and focus instead on tackling issues in a sustainable way, such as improving water irrigation for farmers and reducing unnecessary expenses of government agencies.
In addition, parties who win power must speed up investment in digital infrastructure to facilitate government, private and public sector transactions, CEOs said.
They also wanted parties in power to do more to attract foreign investment for Thailand’s development.