Wednesday, August 21, 2019

PM tells ministries to compile economic impacts for discussion by new ‘economic cabinet’

Aug 12. 2019
Professor Narumon Pinyosinwat
Professor Narumon Pinyosinwat
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By THE NATION

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged all economic ministries to follow closely the world economic situation and the dispute between China and the US, which may have impacts on the Thai economy, according to Government Spokesperson Professor Narumon Pinyosinwat.

She said that Prayut, who is also the Minister of Defence, had expressed his concerned about the global economy and the trade dispute, and had reiterate that all economic authorities are to report information regarding the impacts related to those economic challenges so that they could be discussed by the newly created “economic cabinet” in the near future.

Narumon said that Thai exports had experienced significant impacts from the slowdown of the world economy, as well as from the trade war that has been building between China and the US since the beginning of last year and has caused a 2.7 per cent decline of export value in the first five months of this year.

However, the plunge in Thailand’s export is lower than that experienced by other markets in the region, such as Indonesia and South Korea, which suffered export declines of 8.7 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively in the first five months of 2019.

"We however expect the economic impact of the trade dispute between China and the US will be limited. It will have both positive and negative sides. The negative one is on products being affected by the rise of import duties, which have been imposed by the US on all countries around the world, such as on electronic circuits, computers and its parts and accessories. For the positive side, Thailand can take [advantage of ] a replacement opportunity in the Chinese markets, including in agricultural goods, agricultural industry products, foods and beverages, rubber and plastic products and chemical goods," she said.

“In addition, the trade tension is also leading to the relocation of investments from China to Thailand. China is one of major foreign capital sources of Thailand, ranking the 7th highest, with US$5.012 billion (Bt154.17 billion) in outstanding value last year. However, China has raised its ranking to the second in the first quarter of this year, having US$9.072 billion (Bt279.05 billion)in total outstanding value, and with 30 investment projects from China asking for the Board of Investment’s promotional privileges.”

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