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World Bank raises Thai growth forecast to 4.1 per cent

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

Boris Sullivan

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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

Economics

Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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