Competitiveness: Should government change policy; stop pushing Thai restaurant globally?

  • By Pooky, Thai Intel’s economics journalist

I swear, I nearly cried, from feeling so much hurt.

  • Thailand Promotes Thai Restaurant Globally:

My former life partner, went to the Thai government, for the past five years, and got loan to start a Thai restaurant in St Peterberg, Florida. The restaurant was a huge success. Floridians, it seems, just can not have enough of Thai food. Then more loan for a second restaurant and then a third restaurant.

From being just a struggling middle class in Thailand, my former life partner through very hard work for about 10 years in Florida-joined the rich and well to do crowd in Florida-sporting a very expensive home and expensive cars.

All of that, was made possible through a Thai government program “Thailand, Kitchen to the World” where the Thai government promoted Thai restaurants overseas. “No” is not unusual, for a few of the millions of Thais working globally, to take a trip back to Thailand, and borrowed money from banks under the government program, and went out into the globe, and start a Thai food restaurant.

  • Global Economic Environment:

But because of the economic crisis in the states, resulting less eating out by American consumers, my former life partner, had to file bankruptcy. Again, I was devastated and nearly cried. I wanted to help so much, but I am out of a job in Thailand, having seen the publishing house I worked for folded because of the Thai political mess-hurting advertisement spending for so many years.

  • The Program Re-engineering:

But back to this report, the Thai government has not scrapped the “Thailand: Kitchen of the World” program, but is pumping in about US$60 million to re-engineer the program to target global super-markets, with ready to eat Thai food.

Under the former strategy of pushing Thai restaurant, globally, Thai restaurant increased in numbers from about 5,000 to about 14,000 restaurants.

  • A New Success:

For a bit of analysis, it makes sense. The Americans and the European, hurt by poor economy, are eating more at home and spending less on eating out. As a person who has lived in California as a student and working for a long time, I know the consumers, well Californian at least, love to buy ready-made meals to save money and the trouble of having to cook.

Brother, I feel like crying again.

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