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Bomb explodes at Bangkok Bank’s Silom branch

A hand grenade exploded at the Bangkok Bank’s Silom branch on Saturday night while another grenade was found at the bank’s Rama II branch.

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Bangkok Bank

A hand grenade exploded at the Bangkok Bank’s Silom branch on Saturday night while another grenade was found at the bank’s Rama II branch.

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Bomb explodes at Bangkok Bank’s branch

Political unrest and the shutdown of the two airports in Bangkok in late November severely affected tourism and consumer confidence in Thailand. Real GDP is projected to contract by 2.7 percent in 2009, as the global outlook remains negative and external demand continues to contract. The fiscal stimulus and monetary expansion implemented by the authorities are likely to partially mitigate the impact of the slowdown, allowing growth to resume in the fourth quarter of 2009 assuming a better outlook for the global economy in 2010.

In 2008, public investment contracted by nearly 5 percent as a result of political uncertainties, which delayed investment decisions. Public investment is projected to grow at 7 percent in 2009 as the implementation of large infrastructure projects step up.

The contraction would be Thailand’s first since 1998, said Mathew A. Verghis, the World Bank’s Lead Economist in Bangkok. It would follow a decade of growth averaging nearly 5 percent each year.

“Countries like Thailand that have been dependent on manufacturing exports are most affected,” said Verghis, who covers Thailand and four other Southeast Asian countries. The World Bank released its latest forecasts for Thailand and other economies in East Asia and Pacific on Tuesday.

The global economic slump shut down what has been, for the past three decades, the main engine for Thailand’s economic growth: exports. As a result, the manufacturing sector has been badly hit. The Thai government estimated that one million or more workers would lose their jobs this year due to the slowdown. In January, the unemployment rate stood at 2.4 percent of the total workforce – a full percentage point higher than the 1.4 percent recorded in December 2008.

So far, the Thai government has enough capacity to finance the first economic stimulus package and the three-year public investment plan. In the face of shrinking revenues, the government estimates its budget deficit to be about 525 billion baht, or 6 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product, in the fiscal year ending September 2009. It is also seeking loans from domestic and external sources to shore up the budget and support planned investment.

However, the World Bank cautioned that, for public debt to remain manageable, budget deficits will need to be reduced over the next few years and growth needs to return its long-term average, highlighting the importance of using the crisis as an opportunity to enhance growth prospects.

On the demand side, private consumption and investment declined notably in the last quarter, despite falling inflation during the second half of the year in line with lower oil prices. Both export and import expanded satisfactorily during the first three quarters. However, during the last quarter, export contracted following trading partners’ economic slowdown while import decelerated markedly in line with export and domestic demand conditions.

Asean

ASEAN economies poised for robust recovery with 6% real GDP growth in 2021

The six largest ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) are expected to witness positive real GDP growth rates in 2021 according to Global Data

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Receding daily COVID-19 cases, rollout of vaccines, increased spending by the governments along with easing of monetary restrictions will help revive the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN*) economies in 2021 with their real GDP forecasted to rise by 6%, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

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Thailand new coronavirus cases -59- down to two digits

Of the new cases, 28 were exposed to the virus while visiting high-risk areas. The province with the highest number of infections is Bangkok (10), followed by Samut Sakhon (7).

Boris Sullivan

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Thailand confirmed 59 new coronavirus cases and one additional death on Wednesday, taking its total infections to 12,653 and fatalities to 71, the first day Covid infections are down to two digits since the beginning of the second Covid-19 outbreak in the country in December.

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Alibaba Initiates $3Bln Partnership with Thai Gov in Support of Thailand 4.0

This is probably the first major milestone for Thailand 4.0 economic plan to upgrade Thai economy : a major commitment of a big private investor

Olivier Languepin

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The e-commerce giant’s executive chairman, Jack Ma, was in Thailand this week and has become the first big name to join Thailand’s plan to upgrade its economy known as Thailand 4.0. (more…)

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