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Thai economy to grow 3.5-4.5% in 2011

The Thai economy is set to expand 7 per cent this year and likely to continue growing by 3.5-4.5 per cent next year, according to a top Bangkok commercial banker.

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The Thai economy is set to expand 7 per cent this year and likely to continue growing by 3.5-4.5 per cent next year, according to a top Bangkok commercial banker.

Kasikornbank Executive Vice President Vasin Vanichvoranun said that state and private investment is expected to expand further while exports are forecast to grow slowly at 6-7 per cent compared with a 27 per cent surge this year.

Key risk factors to the economic growth next year include higher oil prices, which could fuel inflationary pressure, baht volatilities, impacts of inundations, and political uncertainties.

Industries expected to grow further include agriculture and foods boosted by higher product prices, vehicles and parts set to expand in terms of local sales and exports, and construction and building materials boosted by an implementation of state-supported investment projects.

Other industries with growth potential are machinery and equipment, alternative energy, industrial estate, and tourism.

The country’s gross domestic product in the first nine months of this year rose 9.3 per cent when compared to the same period of last year, thanks to continuous expansion in exports, investment and consumption.The NESDB expected the Thai economy in the fourth quarter to drop 0.3 per cent due to the heavy flooding in many areas of the country, but the GDP for the entire 2010 should increase 7.9 per cent.

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Ecommerce

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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