Ministers call for SET support of new economic drivers

Ministers call for SET support of new economic drivers
ERICH PARPART

DEPUTY Prime Minister for economic affairs Somkid Jatusripitak and Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong have urged the Stock Exchange of Thailand to provide more support for the country's new economic engines - the so-called s-curve.
Visiting the bourse yesterday, Apisak told the SET's board of governors that his ministry would propose to the Cabinet within a fortnight the setting up of a committee charged with developing the capital market. He will chair the committee.

On Tuesday the Cabinet supported the Industry Ministry's identification of 10 future industries that the ministry predicted would become the country's new economic drivers.

It has also been revealed that the Council of Economic Ministers will go on a road show next year in a bid to get foreign direct investment pumped into the targeted industries and the planned special economic zones in border areas.

"The aim of the committee is to make sure that the SET's future plan will follow the direction of the s-curve strategy to push Thailand towards a higher income country by providing more support for the small and medium enterprises that are in the targeted industries," said Somkid, who joined Apisak for the SET visit.

He said that would be done by helping SMEs enter capital markets to raise funds and meet standards.

Apisak said the stock market could support economic expansion in two ways - helping companies with potential and in targeted industries to get listed on the SET or the Market for Alternative Investment and set up venture capital funds for SMEs and start-ups.

Another strategy involves bolstering the connection between the SET and the Singapore Exchange in an effort to lift the standard of the SET.

That strategy also applies to the exchanges in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, with the aim of increasing the SET's market capitalisation by urging more CLMV companies to raise funds in Thai markets. The bond market is another key area to promote.

Kesara Manchusree, president of the SET, said that the exchange was willing to support the government's s-curve growth strategy.

The SETs new development plan should be completed next month, he said.

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