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Thai Chamber of Commerce expects GDP to grow by 1.5% in 2021

With the relaxation of Covid restriction measures and the reopening of Thailand, 200,000 to 300,000 foreign tourists were now expected to visit Thailand this year and contribute to approximately 12 billion baht of income.



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The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s economic forecasting center now expects the Thai economy to expand by 1.5% this year, owing to various government measures to stimulate the economy.

University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce President Thanavath Phonvichai, who is the chief advisor to the university’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF), said the Thai economy had already moved on from its lowest point and was entering recovery. He said recovery is expected to be clearly observed in Quarter 2 of 2022.

200,000 to 300,000 foreign tourists now expected

Dr. Thanavath noted that there was no tendency for COVID-19 infection numbers to rise despite the relaxation of Covid restriction measures and the reopening of the country to international tourists. 200,000 to 300,000 foreign tourists were now expected to enter Thailand this year and contribute to approximately 12 billion baht of income.

He also took note of money circulation attributable to government measures to stimulate the economy, namely the Shop Dee Mee Khuen tax rebate program and the Co-pay subsidized purchase campaign. He explained that the aforementioned contributors, taken into consideration with income from the export sector, which was expected to grow by 16.5% this year, meant the Thai economy would expand by 1.5% in 2021.

Thailand’s GDP would expand by 4.2% in 2022

Dr. Thanavath forecast that GDP would expand by 4.2% in 2022, or within the range of 3.6-4.5%. Growth would become more apparent in the latter half of 2022 when the industrial sector would have recovered. About 5 million foreign tourists are expected to arrive in 2022, generating roughly 300 billion baht for the economy and benefitting employment in the manufacturing and service sectors. Meanwhile, exports are expected to grow by just 5.4% in 2022 because of the high base value in 2021.

The UTCC president suggested that the government continue to issue measures to stimulate the economy and use at least 500 billion baht of funds for this purpose in the first half of 2022. He singled out the Co-pay scheme, saying that another 1,500 baht in stipend should be provided to the program participants so as to stimulate the economy in the first quarter.

Information and Source
Reporter : Namo Vananupong
Rewriter : Thammarat Thadaphrom
National News Bureau & Public Relations :

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)



Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?

PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point. 

As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.

In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?

PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.


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