Mr Abhisit said he was optimistic that his idea of using yuan as a major trading currency in the region could materialise as the issue was discussed during summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The just ended Group of 20 major economies meeting in South Korea failed to make headway as leaders set vague “indicative guidelines” for measuring imbalances and let details to be discussed in the first half of 2011.
Realising this, Mr Abhisit said he expected the APEC summit would discuss the issue of currency volatility, particularly regarding cooperation among countries in this region aimed at reducing effects from that volatility.
Mr Abhisit said another of his idea on setting up an ASEAN office to handle currency issues, arrived from the Chiang Mai Initiative, could probably “start operations soon.”
The office would be an important mechanism in working with the ADB in future, he added.
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Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand
During the protests this year and last, tourists in every part of Thailand, especially Phuket, Samui and Chiang Mai experienced no ill-treatment by Thai people, red shirt or yellow shirt – yet this was never publicised.
It is also important to understand that the recent political violence was most uncharacteristic of Thais. We all know Thai people to be warm, friendly, peace-loving and extremely welcoming to foreigners with genuine hospitality. I also know that Thais take great pride in the resilience and strength of their nation.
Citing the political unrest, S&P in April lowered Thailand’s long-term local currency debt rating to A minus from A. Fitch downgraded the long-term foreign currency rating to BBB from BBB+ that month, on the grounds that political strife undermined the ability of the Government to implement policies. The forecasts assume there are no disruptive changes in government in the forecast period and that fscal policy is implemented as planned. In addition to the frst fscal stimulus package, the Government has approved a second package that comprises public investment and that will cost B1.43 trillion ($42 billion) over 3 fscal years starting in October this year. This is equivalent to about 5% of GDP in each of the years.
Private consumption will benefit from a gradually firming labor market and forecast gains in prices of agricultural commodities. Strengthening economies abroad will raise demand for Thailand’s exports of automobiles, electronic and electrical goods, and agricultural products. Afer falling by a projected 18.0% in 2009, exports are forecast to recover by around 15% in 2010. Merchandise imports will rebound strongly if the public investment projects get under way as planned and if private investment rallies. A 28.0% bounce is forecast for imports in 2010. In services trade, tourism is expected to improve, with the pace of recovery depending in large part on the rebound in the international economy and on global eforts to contain the swine fu (H1N1) pandemic.
This is precisely the path on which Thailand’s government is embarked, and one in which the country will slowly move from being an attractive investment destination for its low cost high skilled manufacturing to a country that derives increasing prosperity from its innovative and creative economy.
The government in Thailand has implemented several measures in 2008 to mitigate the short run impact of rising inflation and falling incomes.In 2008, the government issued four sets of measures – three of them are aimed at mitigating the impact of the rise in food and oil prices on households and businesses and one in October aimed at mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis.
They include personal income and corporate tax reduction, tax deductions for investment, reduction in property sales transaction fees, subsidies on gasoline, water, electricity, and public buses and train services, direct transfers from the government to administrations at the grassroot level in Thailand, as well as loans by specialized state-owned financial institutions to SMEs and households. However, additional measures to assist affected workers and SMEs in improving their productivity and capacity would enable them to better cope and withstand future shocks in Thailand.
However, measures for the medium term that will enable Thailand to poise itself for higher and sustainable growth as the global economy recovers in the next few years are no less important. While coping and mitigating with the impact of the financial crisis in the short-run, it is equally important for all stake holders in Thailand to prepare for a recovery in global demand and ensure sustainable growth thereafter. The global economy is projected to recover over the next few years and, thereafter competition will intensify.
Clarity and continuity in policy directions and greater public infrastructure investments are needed not only to help stimulate growth in the short-run, but also improve productivity for the longer-term growth.Political stability would help to regain investors as well as assure them the clarity and continuity of policy directions.
BoI Plans More Efforts to Promote BCG Economy
BANGKOK (NNT) – The Board of Investment (BoI) is working with related agencies to rev up promotion of the bio-, circular and green (BCG) economy to help drive growth over the next 5 years.
BoI Secretary-General Duangjai Asawachintachit said the BoI is looking into more business categories for high technology as part of efforts to promote the BCG economy.
She said the government is focused on developing the bio-economy as Thailand has more than 30 million people working in the farm sector, yet most of them remain in poverty.
Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?
– Before the pandemic, medical tourism was a major growth area
– Dubai was a world leader among emerging market destinations
– Covid-19 travel bans and lockdowns seriously dented growth
– Increased emphasis on safety has enabled a gradual re-opening
Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.
The last decade saw a boom in medical tourism. By 2018 the global market was generating $58.6bn annually and in 2019 it was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% – reaching more than $142.2bn by 2026.
The segment’s growth was largely spurred by increased awareness – particularly among citizens of higher-income countries – of the quality and relatively affordable health care options on offer in many emerging economies. The appeal was further enhanced by the possibility of combining medical treatment with a holiday in an attractive location.
Asia has been a popular region for medical tourism for some time. In Thailand, for example, guided by the Ministry of Public Health’s 2016-25 strategic plan entitled ‘Thailand: A Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’, stakeholders have been working to cement the country’s position as a regional leader in medical tourism.
Elsewhere in Asia, in 2017 the Indian government began offering a medical visa aimed at bringing in more foreign patients.
Governments in other regions similarly moved to capitalise on this growing segment. In 2015, for example, Turkish Airlines announced a 50% discount on flights for people coming to Turkey for medical treatment.
Thai Government Promotes Circular Economy
BANGKOK (NNT) – The Industry Ministry aims to increase social awareness among 65 factories this year to promote environmentally friendly production under the circular economy model.
Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said the government is committed to safeguarding the environment and communities through a campaign for business sustainability.
He said factories that join the government’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) project will benefit from waste and cost reduction based on high technology.
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