BANGKOK (NNT) – The Thai economy has been showing signs of recovery, thanks to the government’s many stimulus measures.

The Minister of Finance is expecting the economy will grow 4-4.5% next year, however it may take up to 4 years for visitor numbers to recover.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith predicts that Thailand’s tourism sector will start to recover after the successful development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, with the number of visitors next year expected to be at least 8 million.

He said, however, that by how much the country will reopen to tourists will depend on the public health conditions, adding that it may take until 2024 for tourist numbers to return to 40 million per year.

With this prospect, the Finance Minister said the government still finds it necessary to continue stimulating domestic purchasing via co-pay campaigns, tourism subsidy campaigns and living allowances for holders of welfare cards.

The government is now considering the extension of these campaigns, however there are still no definite timeframes set for by how long these campaigns will be extended.

The Minister of Finance said the government also needs to provide capital support for SMEs, so they have the liquidity they need to continue their businesses.

On public sector investments, Minister Arkhom said the government will be accelerating digital infrastructure investment and promoting investments in its s-curve industries, particularly the technology and digital industries, eco-friendly, healthcare and medical services industries.

The government is also to consider imposing tariffs on online purchases of goods and services, especially for orders from foreign merchants.

The Minister of Finance said the Thai economy in 2021 is expected to return to 4-4.5% growth.

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