The Thai economy in 2013 will continue to grow, but all sectors need to manage risks effectively and cope with many challenges.
Governor of the Bank of Thailand Prasarn Trairatvorakul stated that since many risks and challenges are lying ahead, the public and private sectors, as well as individuals, in Thai society should build “self-immunization” from external threats, for the sake of the country’s healthy economic growth.
In his address “Managing Risks and Rising to the Challenges of 2013,” Mr. Prasarn said that Thai exports had been adversely affected by the economic slowdown in major economies. However, private sector spending and increased income from tourism would contribute to the growth of the Thai economy in late 2012. He believed that the Thai economy in 2012 would grow by 5.7 percent.
Mr. Prasarn said that the Thai economy would still depend mainly on domestic drive during the global economic slump. More investment is likely to be seen, as investors remain confident in the country’s overall economy.
Thailand also needs to be prepared for the ASEAN Economic Community in the near future, when more capital would flow in for investment in the Government’s mega projects. This would create a favorable investment atmosphere for the private sector. For this reason, the central bank governor believed that the Thai economy in 2013 would expand by 4.6 percent.
He pointed out that the implementation of the 300-baht daily minimum wage across the country would become a domestic challenge for the business sector, especially small entrepreneurs who must shoulder higher production costs.
If the business sector is able to adjust to the new situation by reducing production costs and increasing production efficiency, it will be ready for greater competition in the soon-to-be ASEAN Economic Community.
In order to deal with tougher competition, Mr. Prasarn suggested that the business sector improve its risk management and enhance the quality of products. Now that labor shortages have become a problem, the country would no longer gain advantage by selling low-priced products, because of higher labor costs. So the business sector needs to seek ways to add value to various products.
As for individuals, the Governor of the Bank of Thailand suggested that the general public plan to manage risks and be prepared for the changing situation, as well. He urged the people to focus on staying disciplined with their savings and enhancing their potential.
He said that efficient spending by the public sector would help drive the economy and cope with short-term risks. The Government’s investment through major infrastructure projects would also play a key role in stimulating the country’s economy. In the overall picture, government agencies, as public service providers, would also help the country deal with risk management through various measures, such as price stability and appropriate economic stimulation.