Dhanin Chearavanont, Thailand’s richest man and chairman of the agriculture and retail conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group, said in a recent media interview that Thailand needs to admit at least five million highly-skilled and talented foreigners into the country in order to create an economy that can deal with the challenges of the 21st century.
Chearavanont said that, “Thailand needs around five million world-class talents to teach and lead Thais.” His statements were made in interviews at the end of May on how he thinks Thailand’s economic can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chearavanont said that since its logical for the government to open the doors to foreigners who have business expertise and skills in economic areas where Thai companies are out of date and incapable of launching enough new innovative businesses to restart the pandemic-hit economy.
He also suggested that the government should attract “great brains,” by giving them various incentives that can reduce the red tape for work permits, visas and do away with the 90-day reporting regulations for foreigners.
Chearavanont said that, “Smart people from abroad” should do work in areas Thai people can’t do, so to not give the impression they would take away jobs from Thai people. He gave an example using his own company and said that if it only relied on Thais, that it would not be able to expand to foreign countries.
He added that Thailand also needed more innovative companies in the green energy sector and more people writing “intelligent software. “If Thailand wants to become an economic center, we need talented people to work here. When they come and teach Thais, businesses and investors will follow. But the law must be ready to allow smart people to live here. Thais should not be selfish but open-minded.”
Chearavanont also said that after the Covid-19 crisis, the world would change “enormously” and that online education and online shopping will become much more common, while the use of paper money will be reduced.
He added that the government should focus on key sectors to revive the economy that include agricultural, healthcare and tourism and that companies in these sectors should be provided with low-interest loans to support their working capital so that they can restart their operations and bring employees who have been laid off, back to work.