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Thailand likely to grow 6-7% in 2010, says Siam Commercial Bank chief economist

Thailand’s economy is expected to grow around 6-7 per cent this year, given improvements in many economic indicators, according to a leading economist.

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The Thai economy is expected to grow around 6-7 per cent this year, given improvements in many economic indicators in April and May, according to a leading economist.

Siam Commercial Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Economist Dr Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput predicted the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter would expand at least 7 per cent since many economic indicators in April and May picked up and exports in June surged by 40 per cent from the same month last year.

Given these factors, he sees the GDP during the first half of this year growing around 10 per cent year-on-year.

Dr Sethaput said production in the industrial sector is considered a key drive for Thai economic growth at present. The country’s main exports, which are growing satisfactorily now, are industrial products such as vehicles, electronics, electrical appliances, and machinery.

Only will the industrial sector growth contribute to the GDP growth of almost 6 per cent in second quarter of this year, he said.

He allowed some segments of the service sector including hotels and restaurants would be negatively affected by the decreased number of tourists. But other segments including transport and trade would continue expanding due to the recovery of exports and domestic consumption.

Since economic recovery in the first half of this year had been driven by improved industrial production and increased exports, he said, economic growth is likely to ease in the second half of the year in tandem with an expected slowdown of the global economy due to economic fragility in the United States, the  debt crisis in Europe, and Beijing’s efforts to reduce China’s economic heating.

via Thai economy likely to grow 6-7% this year, says SCB chief economist.

The government’s second phase economic stimulus measures under “Thai Khem Khang” or “Stronger Thai 2012” project will help boost the country’s annual economic growth of 1-2.5 per cent during 2010-2012, according to a leading securities analyst.

However, implementation of the measures will raise the public debt to 60 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, according to Sukit Udomsiri, first executive vice president of Siam City Research Institute, at a special panel discussion on the economic and financial situation

He predicted the planned issuance of the government bonds to absorb the market liquidity would not adversely affect the overall liquidity in the system.

But liquidity is quite likely to tighten next year as the demand for investment funds by the private sector is set to increase as a result of recover in the global economy.

Under the circumstances, he said, the interest rate might to increase next year.

Mr. Sukit believed the Thai economy next year would not be worse than this year as the global economy is forecast to is forecast to enjoy the V-shape turnaround in 2011.

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN PEETATHAWATCHAI:

PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point. 

As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.

In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?

PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
 

 

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Economics

Youth unemployment hits new highs in Thailand due to COVID-19 restrictions

BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO news) – Joblessness among young men and women in Thailand has reached a level unseen in recent years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new brief from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) WHO Thailand Situation Report - 22 February 2021

The Thailand labour market update  found that youth employment fell by 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 (from the fourth quarter 2019). The youth unemployment rate increased by 3 percentage points for both men and women, reaching a high of 6 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.

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