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Thailand plans One trillion baht state budget to stimulate economy

Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, said that about 1 trillion baht of the government’s budget will be spent to stimulate the Thai economy.

Boris Sullivan

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Thai premier holds meeting on 2020 Budget

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.

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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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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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