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Thai economy to grow 3.8% in 2021 says EIC

The Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has forecast that the Thai economy will grow 3.8 percent next year.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – With the government’s stimulus measures being the main driver of economic recovery, the Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has forecast that the Thai economy will grow 3.8 percent next year.

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The EIC First Executive Vice President, Dr. Yanyong Thaicharoen, said today that more money is being injected into the economy in the final quarter of the year due to additional long weekends and stimulus measures, including the half-half co-payment, Shop Dee Mee Kuen and We Travel Together campaigns, as well as a measure to strengthen the purchasing power of welfare card holders. These factors are expected to boost economic growth by 0.53 percent.

However, the country’s economy may experience slow growth because of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in many countries at this time. It may affect the exporters, many of whom are dealing with the appreciation of the Thai baht.

As for the current COVID-19 situation in Thailand, it may affect spending and the confidence of tourists in the short term. The Thai economy is expected to contract 6.5 percent this year, an improvement from the previous forecast of a negative 7.8 percent.

In 2021, the Thai economy is expected to grow 3.8 percent, despite many risk factors. Measures to stimulate the economy and investment are still necessary. They include an extension of the co-pay scheme and the We Travel Together campaign, as well as increasing the purchasing power of welfare card holders. These measures are a sign that the government is ready to use fiscal mechanisms to support the economy and encourage public spending.

As COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and authorized for use in some countries, the situation will help the tourism industry recover in the second half of 2021. Some 8 million international arrivals are expected next year.

GDP to expand 2.6% in 2021 says Kasikorn Bank

The Executive Chairman of Kasikorn Research Center (KRC), Dr. Charl Kengchon, said that the Thai economy is expected to expand 2.6 percent in 2021, driven by government spending, consumption and investment.

The government’s co-pay, Shop Dee Mee Kuen and We Travel Together projects, aimed at stimulating spending, have shown clear results in the short term. People have more purchasing power, and there is more money injected into the economy, particularly the local economy.

However, the growth rate is not significantly high due to some uncertainties. The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to shape the future direction of the world economy.

Despite the COVID-19 vaccine development, its availability and accessibility remain an issue. As a result, the plan to reopen Thailand to international visitors will be slowly implemented in the second half of the year. Other factors include the appreciation of Thai baht and the political situation.

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.

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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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Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

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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