BANGKOK (NNT) – The ongoing trade war between the United States and China and a delay in state spending have added uncertainty to the country’s economic outlook.

Due to delays in both public and private investments, the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, insisted that about 1 trillion baht of the government’s budget be spent to stimulate the Thai economy.

At a seminar titled “2020 – Year of Investment : Solution for Thailand”, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid said the Thai economy has to be well-managed because it is facing three risk factors.

The trade war between the US and China caused Thai exports to contract 7.7% in November last year and affected 70% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The slow disbursement of state funds has affected many investment projects and only 50 billion baht in investment funds were injected into the economy in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Thai exporters have been hit by the strengthening of the Thai baht, while some potential investors have postponed their investment plans for Thailand. Following parliament’s approval, the government’s 3.2-trillion-baht budget is expected to be fully disbursed in September this year. The government is also promoting investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The Deputy Prime Minister said the government has already laid out the infrastructure to support investment, such as the high-speed train route linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports, along with U-Tapao airport and Map Ta Phut and Laem Chabang ports.

The government will soon hold a 5G spectrum licence auction, as the 5G technology is an important mechanism to drive the new economy. The investment structure is now focusing on low-cost industries that produce high-value goods and services, particularly the tourism sector along with the food and agriculture sectors. They will support the grassroots economy, promote a creative economy and drive the the Bio-Economy, Circular Economy and Green Economy (BCG) model.

Dr. Somkid went on to express confidence that the global economic situation will ease and the Thai economy will grow further.

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