Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittirat Na Ranong affirmed Thailand’s economy remained strong, despite the country facing a massive flood crisis late last year, and he was confident the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could expand more than 7 per cent this year.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday was absent from her weekly TV and radio programme, “Yingluck Government Meets the People,” but assigned Mr Kittirat, who also represented the premier as chair of the Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management, along with the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development chairman Virabongsa Ramangkura, to clarify the water management plan and Thailand’s economic prospects in 2012.

Investment and exports will be key economic drivers in 2012.

Mr Kittirat said that he believed that this year could be a golden year for Thailand despite the flood crisis because there would be investment and development to make up for the damages caused by the one of the worst floods in recent history.

Thailand's economy
Thailand's economy to bounce back in 2012

The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said investment and exports will be key economic drivers in 2012.

The NESDB forecast investment growth to reach more than 10 percent, from four percent in 2011. Household consumption is also set to rise. The government’s Fiscal Policy Office is pitching annual growth at 5.0 percent.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat na Ranong is confident growth could reach close to 7 percent, aided by government flood recovery spending that is set to exceed $11 billion. But Thai consumers are also fretting about inflation, with prices on the rise since the floods receded.

BOI optimistic about FDI despite flooding aftermath

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has revealed that investment projects applying for BOI promotion from January through 23 December of 2011 have reached Bt663.6 billion in value, exceeding the target investment value by 32 per cent. This figure reflects a strong investment situation in the country and confidence on the part of of both Thai and foreign investors. Japan still ranked at thetop as major investor country, with a 90 per cent increase in its investment.

Dr. Wannarat Channukul, the Minister of Industry, disclosed that 1,847 investment projects with a total value of Bt663.6 billion being applied for the BOI incentives fromJanuary until 23 December 2011. In terms of number of projects, this year’s total represented a growth of 21 per cent over the same period last year, when 1,524 projects applied. Total investment value on the other hand rose significantly from last year’s Bt412 billion, representing a 61 per cent increase.

 “Although investments may have been slowed down by the recent floods in the country, investors are still interested in doing business in Thailand. The overall investment situation in Thailand is still strong. The investment value now has surpassed the Bt500 billion target by 32 per cent. It is expected that in the year 2012 investments will continue to grow gradually.

U.N. economists also warn export dependent economies such as China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong, also face a threat of an export slow down because of the economic uncertainties in European markets.

But the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, in a December report, says trade within the Asia Pacific region should provide a key boost to the Thai economy.

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