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Thailand still hope for 4.5 % in Annual GDP Growth

Boris Sullivan

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Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Thai GDP grew by 12 percent in the first quarter of this year, one of the strongest growth rates in the world.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said during his Sunday weekly program that the Thai GDP grew by 12 percent in the first quarter of this year, one of the strongest increases in the world.

However, in the wake of the political turmoil, the Thai economy during the second half of this year will plummet.

However, his administration will work hard at alleviating the effects of the unrest and continue to stimulate the economy, in order to reach the GDP growth target range of 3.5 to 4.5 percent this year.

The target range of annual GDP growth has been lowered from previous estimates which were set in the range of 6 to 7 percent.

The biggest instrument in stimulating the Thai economy is expenditure budget worth 2.07 trillion baht for the year 2011, which has been endorsed in principle by the Lower House. The said the expenditure budget will result in a 400-billion-baht deficit.

The budget will be spent on funding many public welfare programs the coalition government has introduced, to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, and to fund infrastructure projects.

The premier gave assurances that the level of public debt is still manageable. Financial markets have so far been accommodative of the Thai government’s borrowing plans. The burst of the commodity bubble of mid-2008 coupled with subdued levels of economic activity have led to price deflation for most of 2009.  Thailand’s real GDP is projected to grow by 3 to 3.5% next year (2010).

via Thai-ASEAN News Network.

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, generally pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand enjoyed solid growth from 2000 to 2008. In 2009, Thailand’s economy contracted about 2.7% . Implementation of the Thai Kem Kaeng program could have important long-term implications if it sets an example for greater efficiency and transparency in government investments. Future tranches of Thai Kem Kaeng program should put a greater emphasis on investments in economic “software” (skills, regulations), in addition to economic “hardware” (infrastructure).

Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, BOI Secretary General, noted that businesses have resumed normal operations since the political rally ended.

“Thailand has strong economic fundamentals keeping it on track for continued growth. All economic indicators are positive and point to excellent long-term investment potential,”

she said.

Dr. Sibunruang reported that Thailand’s GDP in the first three months this year expanded by 12 per cent, the highest record in 15 years. Exports in the first quarter grew by 32 per cent. The number of investment applications submitted to the BOI during the first 4 months of this year grew by 53.5 per cent to 413 projects with a combined investment value of Bt135.8 billion. Foreign direct investment (FDI) also expanded by over 140 per cent year-on-year to Bt53 billion, compared to Bt22 billion in 2009, reflecting continued confidence in business opportunities in Thailand.

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Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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