The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has increased Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) performance this year to 7 per cent, up from its April projection of 4 per cent, thanks to healthy private demand, ongoing investment and lingering effects of monetary policy measures, it was disclosed Tuesday.
Doing business in Thailand
The major factor weighing down growth next year is the sharp slow down in the global economy, particularly the contraction of the economies that are Thailand’s major export markets – US, EU, and Japan. This will have a large negative impact on Thailand’s exports of both goods and services which has been the major source of income and the driver of the output growth in the past few years. The US dollar value of exports of goods is expected to expand by only 8 percent in 2009, compared to around 20 percent this year.
This is precisely the path on which Thailand’s government is embarked, and one in which the country will slowly move from being an attractive investment destination for its low cost high skilled manufacturing to a country that derives increasing prosperity from its innovative and creative economy.
At the heart of productivity improvement is the quality of the country’s human resource.Examples from Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore above have shown that improving the skills and knowledge of their human resource has enabled them to move towards a knowledge economy, which has in turn raised and sustain their productivity and competitiveness. However, these were possible through the collaborative efforts of the government, private sector, and academic institutions.
Political stability would help to regain investors as well as assure them the clarity and continuity of policy directions.
These could help promote investments in Thailand by the private sector amidst the unfavorable external environment.Greater public investments in infrastructure will also boost investor confidence and investments. Public investments would not only inject funds directly into the economy, but better infrastructure services will stimulate further investments and productivity of firms. Firms in the 2007 survey indicated that inadequate infrastructure services have led to increased costs, such as logistics costs, which have discouraged them from investing.
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