General Surayud Chulanont’s speech (full text available) to the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand is essential reading. in his speech, Surayud calls 2007 “The Year of Great Reforms”.
I have taken the liberty of drawing New Mandala readers’ attention to slabs of the speech that spruik “sufficiency economy”. Regular readers will know that Andrew and I have a particular interest in trying to understand the deployment of this economic and social framework.
The General said:
Promoting the “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy” of His Majesty the King as a fundamental principle of development policy means that we will focus on stable growth, sound macro-economic discipline and the equitable sharing of economic benefits as we compete in the globalized world. Growth with quality means greater concerns for good governance and management of risk. But such concerns do not impact on the market mechanism, nor do they influence the openness of the Thai economy. In fact, the “Sufficiency Economy Philosophy” is a Thai model for sustainability, the importance of which is only now becoming recognized around the world. As an early adopter of a sustainable approach to development, Thailand should, I believe, be praised, for it is a path down which every country or company will have to travel sooner rather than later.
I hope that our foreign partners will join us in this great collective enterprise for us to prosper together. Indeed, we urge you to put forward recommendations for improving efficiency, transparency and productivity, not only in your businesses, but also in government. Join us in the fight to promote corporate and government responsibility. In so doing you will be renewing your commitment to the Kingdom of Thailand as we celebrate the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 80th Anniversary.
With regard to this auspicious event, I wish to take this opportunity to invite all foreign businesses operating in Thailand to join the Kingdom’s celebrations by launching your own “sufficiency economy” or sustainability projects under the theme of “From His Majesty’s wisdom, sufficiency for our children”.
You can launch such projects within your own organizations or in connection with the communities in which you operate. The sustainable use of resources means seeking greater efficiency in every area in which you operate which in the long term is, I believe, good for the bottom line.