Mr. Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, Governor of the Bank of Thailand (BOT) revealed in his first meeting with the press, that the public health crisis brought about by COVID-19 has severely impacted global economic activities, including Thailand.
The lockdown in Thailand has significantly affected SMEs and households. Foreign tourist arrival is expected at only 6.7 million person in 2020, from around 40 million person last year, accounting for the loss in tourism revenue of 10 percent of GDP.
A patient in intensive care unit
Meanwhile, second quarter export hit the largest contraction in 11 years. The analogy can be drawn to that of a patient in intensive care unit.
To this end, five big challenges for the BOT going forward are to
1) Sustainably solve the debt crisis which will enable households and businesses to weather the COVID-19 crisis,
2) Maintain financial stability to support economic recovery,
3) Maintain macroeconomic stability to ensure that the Thai economic structure can withstand any volatility during the pandemic and beyond,
4) Build public trust and make the BOT to be one of the most trusted public agencies and
5) Improve the efficiency of the BOT’s operation as an outcome-oriented organization and create the sustainability of the Thai economy and society.
The BOT firmly believes that the Thai economy is strong enough to withstand this crisis due to the fact that we have been successful in containing the pandemic of COVID-19.
Moreover, financial stability of the country is sound while external stability remains strong, with low and manageable level of public debt, and flexible labor market.
Move from blanket measures to targeted responses
As Thailand’s contexts have changed, the BOT assessed that the approach to resolving this crisis would need to move from blanket measures that were quickly rolled out to tackle the problems, to measures that are more targeted, comprehensive, and flexible with consideration to possible side effects.
Due to limited resources, the authorities must allocate resources appropriately to fully assist those who are in need.
One example that the BOT has already implemented is the adjustment in the debt moratorium policy launched during lockdown when businesses closed down, and employees worked from home or workers and firms became cash strapped because of declining working hours, to promoting more targeted approach where financial institutions apply debt restructuring appropriately based on debtors’ repayment abilities, analogous to the situation where the doctor choose the treatment for his patients according to their symptoms.
Source : Bank of Thailand
Thailand’s economic growth expected to return to 2019 levels in mid-2023
Although the economy would recover next year, the recovery is still substantially below potential level resulting in a large output loss and could affect Thailand’s potential economic growth in the future with the economy expected to return to 2019 levels in mid-2023.
The Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), one of Thailand’s largest commercial banks, said in its latest economic outlook report that the country’s economy may wait until the second semester of 2023 to return to 2019 growth levels.(more…)
S&P maintains Thailand’s credit rating at BBB+ with stable outlook
Standard and Poor’s (S&P) maintained Thailand’s credit rating at BBB+ . The global rating firm expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 1.1% this year, with a more optimistic growth at 3.6% per year from 2022 to 2024.
Standard and Poor’s (S&P) maintained Thailand’s credit rating at BBB+ . The global rating firm expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 1.1% this year, with a more optimistic growth at 3.6% per year from 2022 to 2024.(more…)
China’s economy stumbles on power crunch
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s economy hit its slowest pace of growth in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages, supply chain bottlenecks...
Quarantine-Free Thailand Reopens for Vaccinated Tourists From 1 November 2021
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to confirm that Thailand is all set to welcome fully vaccinated foreign...
The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement
The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (the “Agreement”) is a trade deal between the ten member states of ASEAN and...
Bangkok lifts more COVID-19 restrictions
In response to the Royal Thai Government’s announcement to relax more COVID-19 controls in the dark-red zone provinces, which include...
Can border reopening revive tourism in South-East Asia?
In Thailand, where pre-pandemic tourism accounted for 11-12% of GDP, the country lost an estimated $50bn last year as Covid-19...