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Thailand rolls new stimulus package to boost economy

The Thai government rolled out another economic stimulus package to stimulate economic growth, recently forecasted as low as 2.5% for 2015.

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The Thai government rolled out another economic stimulus package to stimulate economic growth, recently forecasted as low as 2.5% for 2015.

One stimulus plan include some 10 billion baht worth of housing loans for low income earners people that will enable them to buy houses and as a consequence will help boost the real estate sector.

The 10 billion baht housing loans are for low-income people and those whose application for mortgage lending with financial institutions have earlier been turned down by banks.

The government Housing Bank is tasked to oversee the plan which will be implemented between October 19, 2015 and December 31, 2016.

The government expected some 5,000-6,000 people will apply for the loans.

The loan period is capped at 30 years. The measure also aims to help people with monthly net income of less than 30,000 baht to own a house.

Amid economic uncertainty and swelling household debt, banks have tightened loan approvals and mortgage rejection rates at some banks have jumped to 30-35%, 5% higher than under normal conditions.

Tax cuts for first home buyer

In addition to home loans, the government also approved a cut of fee for home loan transfer from 2 percent to 0.01 percent for the period of six months, starting from now.

In addition, mortgage registration fee will be reduced from 1 percent to 0.01 percent of the mortgage.

In addition to the proposed cut in transfer and mortgage fees, Aliwassa Pathnadabutr, managing director of property consultant CBRE Thailand, proposed waiving the special business tax.

This is a 3.3% levy on property owners who resell their property within five years of it being transferred to them.

People who buy a house worth no more than 3 million baht will also be entitled to apply for a personal income tax deduction worth 20 percent of the house cost. But this measure only applies to first home buyer.

According to survey by Kasikorn Research Centre, householders’ economic expectations and income expectations are at their highest point in the last six months, due to the previous stimulus measures announced.

Private sector approval

The private sector says the government’s economic stimulus packages rolled out recently is a right decision although it may not see immediate result.

Sahapat Group president Boonyasit Chokewattana said he believed that the government is heading in the right direction in solving the country’s economic problems, though the results will not be seen right away.

However he foresaw that the people’s purchasing powers could be revived in the coming year.

During a recent press conference, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Somkid painted a brighter economic outlook for the country this year and next, saying domestic consumer confidence had improved after his new team introduced the stimulus package.

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Economics

BoI Plans More Efforts to Promote BCG Economy

National News Bureau of Thailand

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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.

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Ecommerce

Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?

Oxford Business Group

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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.

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Economics

Thai Government Promotes Circular Economy

National News Bureau of Thailand

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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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