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Workshop Series on Micro-entrepreneurship: Input from the Social Market Economy

Input from the Social Market Economy and Exchange with Local Officials

Forward Foundation with the support of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organized three workshops in the series of “Micro-entrepreneurship Input from the Social Market Economy and Exchange with Local Officials” on June 28 at Nakhon Pathom Province, July 13 at Loei Province, and on July 18 of 2023 at Mae Sot District in Tak Province respectively. During the workshops, participants who belong to the groups of officials from district/sub-district administrative organizations, community leaders, and village volunteers had an opportunity to learn the principles of Germany's Social Market Economy and Dual Education system as well as climate change solutions. The workshops aimed at building capacity and encouraging administrative officials to launch local regulations and policy recommendations to provide sustainable vocational training programmes and social safety net to local residents.

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Workshop in Tak Province
  • Workshop1: June 28, 2023 at Sampran District, Nakhon Pathom Province
  • Workshop2: July 13, 2023 at Loei Municipality Office, Loei Province
  • Workshop3: July 18, 2023 at Mae Sot District, Tak Province
     

During the first session, Dr. Boonsom Namsomboon, Chairperson of Forward Foundation, introduced Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and its missions, as well as the Forward Foundation’s missions that focus on six main aspects: personnel development, children and youth development, environment preservation, income generation, cultural promotion, and health promotion. She also presented the concept of ‘Sufficiency Economy’ and how the concept shares its similarity to ‘Social Market Economy’, in which both of them are oriented to social equity and sustainability. To adopt social market economy into policies, policy makers should take quality of life, social cohesion, and sustainability into account.

Then, Ms. Thasuthida Thetthong, Project manager of KAS-Thailand presented the concept of Social Market Economy and Germany’s Regulatory Policy to the participants, as they become sources of inspiration for Thailand. She emphasized that the regulatory policy means legislation and regulation are functioned to promote fair competition in the German society.  She also shared about the dual educational system in Germany, which students spend most of their time practice their vocational skills in companies and business sector, while national and local governments play as facilitators in connecting educational and business sectors together. Dual education served market needs, thus, this system could solve unemployment and make people live with dignity. After the presentation, for better understanding about ‘Social Market Economy’, Forward Foundation team had arranged group dynamic simulation game for the participants.

Mr. Pollapat Toncharoen (President of Meabaanyoddoi Community Enterprise) then explained about climate change mitigation to raise awareness and encourage participants to pay more attention on environment care since the crisis causes many layers of insecurity and brings negative effects to the whole world, including job insecurity. 

Since COVID-19 pandemic caused negative impacts on some participants’ economic status, the workshop also proposed a method to increase their incomes. This last session was an occupational training that all participants may adopt and apply to their own local development projects. Ms. Boonsai Teeranusont – social worker, introduced the production of organic washing liquid to the participants. Which is one of many alternative ways for generating income in small-scaled businesses in local communities.

The workshop evaluation results show that the participants gained more understanding on Social Market Economy principles and their input towards job creation. They were also very satisfied with the activity contents, learning approach, training tools, and workshop facilities. In addition, they agreed that they gained more life benefits and were very satisfied with the occupational training session.

 

Policy Recommendation

The district office,  the Local Administrative Office, including the Subdistrict Administrative Office, and all stakeholders should:

  1. include the task of providing knowledge about the principles of Social Market Economy to the people and the officials in their yearly plan.
  2. enact local regulations to promote and support residents in running businesses according to the principles of sustainability, social justice, and anti-monopoly measures.
  3. support sustainable vocational training and provide welfare services on education, healthcare, and access to knowledge and capital, to ensure citizens' work opportunity and enhance their quality of life.
  4. advocate for "anti-monopoly" policies and push for their enactment into law.

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Contact

Thasuthida Thetthong

Thasuthida Thetthong

Project Manager

Thasuthida.Thetthong@kas.de +66 (0) 2 714 1207

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