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Fitch Ratings raises Thailand’s outlook to positive

Most countries’ ratings have been downgraded, while the agency sees that the Thai economy and its fiscal status remain strong as the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 40 to 42%

Boris Sullivan

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Industry Ministry discussed Thai Baht currency control measures with central bank

Investors who plan to establish a business in a foreign country usually examine its credit rating first. Fitch Ratings, an international credit rating agency, has recently raised Thailand’s outlook to positive amid the global economic slowdown.

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The positive outlook is attributed to Thailand’s strong economic fundamentals and the government’s efforts to firmly establish its 20-year national strategy.

Thailand’s Economy, Banks Resilient to Rising Global Risks

Mr. James McCormack, Managing Director, Global Head of Sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, said the revision of the rating Outlook on Thailand’s ‘BBB+’ sovereign to Positive in July 2019 was driven by Fitch’s increasing confidence that lingering political risks are unlikely to derail sound macroeconomic management.

The Managing Director and Global Head of Sovereign Ratings for Fitch Ratings, James McCormack, said today that Thai economic growth this year stood at 3%, which was a little lower than the 3.2% projection, due to the global economic volatility, but Thailand is still one of 12 only countries around the world with a positive outlook.

Thailand’s economic fundamentals will remain sound despite challenges from global trade tensions, while the Thai banking sector is less exposed to external risks, such as a slowdown in China, relative to other Fitch-rated banks in Asia, according to Fitch Ratings’ sovereign and banking analysts at its annual global risk conference in Bangkok.

Most countries’ ratings have been downgraded, while the agency sees that the Thai economy and its fiscal status remain strong.

The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 40 to 42%. Although the government plans to take out more loans to implement new infrastructure projects, it is not likely to exceed the debt ceiling, which is set at 60%. Furthermore, such investments will help improve the country’s competitiveness.

The Finance Minister, Uttama Savanayana, said today it is good news that Thailand’s rating has been upgraded to positive from stable because Fitch Ratings still has confidence in the country’s economic potential. If the government is able to work in line with its 20-year national strategy, investor confidence will increase.

Many renowned multinational corporations have also shown interest in expanding their businesses in Thailand. “It’s revised to positive. The adjustment was made in July. This is interesting because they said Thailand’s outlook has been adjusted up despite challenges from global events. That’s because Thailand in the long-term still has potential. If we can follow the socio-economic development strategy, Fitch Ratings believe that Thailand can still attract businesses on a global scale. They have noticed that many multinational corporations have shown interest to invest in Thailand because they see that a new government has been set up and a strategy.”

National News Bureau Of Thailand and Fitchratings

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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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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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