Thailand's sufficiency economy and Agenda 2030

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Thailand's sufficiency economy and Agenda 2030

Summary

Economic development based on moderation and sustainability could alleviate some of the discontent brewing in the world, Thailand’s most prominent international trade expert said.

“Nationalistic trends are increasing and have been exacerbated around the world,” said Supachai Panitchpakdi, who was formerly Director General of the World Trade Organization, Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development and a Thai deputy prime minister. “But there is positive lining to some of these difficulties – if they lead to an effort to find a new moral compass.”

One such guide could be Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy concept – the subject of a Friends of Europe Policymakers’ Lunch on 8 December 2016. The Sufficiency Economy emphasises moderation and development from within, and applies to a range of fields, including finance and trade. But its most notable successes have been in rural development, where it encourages a focus on small-scale agriculture, appropriate farming technologies and sustainable use of water.

The ideas behind the Sufficiency Economy are strongly linked to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October 2016. They were then developed by actors in Thai society, ranging from academics to businesses and government agencies. Fundamental to the Sufficiency Economy is a measured economic development that improves the welfare of the majority of the population.

“One of the King’s enduring legacies will be the concept of the Sufficiency Economy,” said moderator Shada Islam, Director for Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe. “We have to change the way we live and consume.”

Thailand's sufficiency economy and agenda 2030

About

About

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development urgently calls for new development models that can find a balance between people, planet and prosperity. Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy concept, which emphasises moderation and development from within, could prove to be such a model. Its application to rural development, with a focus on small-scale agriculture, appropriate farming technologies and sustainable use of water resources, has helped rural farmers with limited resources to find innovative sources of income and heavily contributed to reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets in Asia. But its applications go beyond agriculture, including in finance and trade.

  • Is the Sufficiency Economy concept applicable to other developing and developed countries?
  • Are new indicators of growth and development needed, encompassing more than Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
  • With world trade in crisis, can any lessons be drawn from the Sufficiency Economy concept?

IMAGE CREDIT: CC / FLICKR – Dennis Jarvis

Schedule

Schedule

Welcome lunch and registration
Showing the way forward for sustainable development
Expand Showing the way forward for sustainable development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development urgently calls for new development models that can find a balance between people, planet and prosperity. Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy concept, which emphasises moderation and development from within, could prove to be such a model. Its application to rural development, with a focus on small-scale agriculture, appropriate farming technologies and sustainable use of water resources, has helped rural farmers with limited resources to find innovative sources of income and heavily contributed to reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets in Asia. But its applications go beyond agriculture, including in finance and trade.

  • Is the Sufficiency Economy concept applicable to other developing and developed countries?
  • Are new indicators of growth and development needed, encompassing more than Gross Domestic Product?
  • With world trade in crisis, can any lessons be drawn from the Sufficiency Economy concept?
  • Can business strike the right balance between short=term profits and social responsibility?

Introductory remarks

Supachai Panitchpakdi

Former Director General of the World Trade Organization and former Secretary General of the UN conference on Trade and Development

Moderator

Shada Islam

Managing Director at New Horizons Project

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