Although the country’s growth rate is among the lowest in ASEAN, Thailand serves as a gateway to one of the world’s most dynamic markets.
In the 2019 World Bank Group report, Thailand garnered a score of 78.45 out of 100 in the ease of doing business.
It is ranked 27 out of 190 economies and second among its ASEAN neighbors, after Malaysia. Thailand is an upper-middle income country, with the lowest levels of extreme poverty as measured by the International Poverty Line (IPL).
Thailand’s economy is driven by strong domestic demand
While export growth has been affected by the US-China trade war, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the country to focus on policies for growth and shift from over-reliance on its electronic and automotive industry.
The tourism sector is a pillar of Thailand’s economy. Despite the Phuket boat tragedy which had an adverse effect on Chinese tourist inflows, tourism is still expected to sustain Thailand’s economic growth momentum.
It may be noted that Thailand’s motorcycle market has declined in recent years.
The service sector, including tourism and financial services, continues to grow and contribute to the country’s GDP.
Thailand’s current GDP growth is at 3.3 percent, according to Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).
Outlook for 2019
Thailand’s resilience amid the slowing down of the global economy is strengthened by private consumption and private investment.
The Thai Economic Board report for 2019 projects the country’s growth to range from 3.5 to 4.5 percent.
Private consumption will grow by 4.2 percent while total private investment will increase by 5.1 percent. The country is also expected to record a current account surplus of 5.8 percent of its GDP.
Thailand’s export market largely depends on the global market. In fact, China is the country’s largest export destination accounting for 11.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Therefore, export value will continue to be affected by the global economy as tensions between the US and China persist. Moreover, Thailand is to hold its first, long-awaited election in March since the 2014 military coup that overthrew the government of Yingluck Shinawatra. Any political instability due to the upcoming elections could also pose a risk to Thailand’s economic expansion.
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.
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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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension
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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