The World Bank has revised up Thailand’s economy growth this year to 4.1 per cent from its previous estimate of 3.6 per cent given the country’s robust performance.
The bank has also revised up its forecast of Thailand’s economy in the year 2019 and 2020 to 3.8 per cent for both years, up from its previous estimate of 3.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, the World Bank forecasts global economic growth will remain robust at 3.1 per cent in 2018 before slowing gradually over the next two years as advanced-economy growth decelerates and the recovery in major commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies levels off.
“If it can be sustained, the robust economic growth that we have seen this year could help lift millions out of poverty, particularly in the fast-growing economies of South Asia,” World Bank group president Jim Yong Kim said.
“But growth alone won’t be enough to address pockets of extreme poverty in other parts of the world. Policymakers need to focus on ways to support growth over the longer run — by boosting productivity and labour force participation — in order to accelerate progress toward ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.”
Thailand’s economy is expected to grow by 4.1 percent in 2018, the fastest pace since 2012, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Thailand Economic Monitor. Thailand’s economic recovery is broadening in 2018. While rapid export growth continues fueling the economy, an increase in capacity utilization and acceleration in capital goods imports suggest a nascent domestic demand recovery as well. Regulatory reforms and overall policy stability are contributing to continuing improvements in business sentiment.
“Thailand cannot attain advanced country status if it cannot meet the challenges of innovation,” said Dr. Kobsak Pootrakool, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“With economic growth exceeding 4 percent this year, for the first time since 2012, Thailand has the potential, with intensifying structural reforms, to raise productivity and grow even faster over the medium term,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Director for Thailand, Malaysia and Regional Partnerships. “In addition to education and skills reform and strong implementation of quality infrastructure investments, increasing competition, especially in services, will be key for boosting innovation and lifting Thailand onto a new path of higher, long-term growth.
The new report highlights the importance of innovation for productivity and long-term growth. Thailand ranked 52 out of 128 in the Global Innovation Index in 2017 has the opportunity, with innovation friendly policies, to attract and foster high-quality entrepreneurs and innovative investments, both within Thailand and from abroad.
Activity in advanced economies is expected to grow 2.2 per cent in 2018 before easing to a 2 per cent rate of expansion next year, as central banks gradually remove monetary stimulus, the June 2018 Global Economic Prospects says. WB raises Thai growth forecast to 4.1 per cent
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Boris Sullivan is a business news editor based in Hong Kong. He has over 15 years of experience in covering the latest trends and developments in the Asian markets, as well as the global economy.