Monday, November 18, 2019

GDP, export growth forecasts maintained for remainder of 2019

Nov 06. 2019
Kalin Sarasin
Kalin Sarasin
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By THE NATION

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The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking maintained its October forecast of Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year at between 2.7 per cent and 3 per cent at its meeting today (November 6).

Its forecast of export growth this year is also maintained at between a minus 2 per cent and a zero-per-cent growth.

Thailand’s GDP expanded 2.6 per cent in the first half of this year.

Looking forward, Thailand's economy is still considered at risk from the global decline, which has kept pressure on the country’s export sector and its global competitive advantage. If this situation lasts for a long time, it could affect the employment rate and domestic spending on a larger scale.

As part of the short-term measures, a working panel made up of committee members and representative of other state agencies and the central bank should be set up to jointly seek solutions to the impacts of the stronger baht, according to the committee chairman Kalin Sarasin. 

The meeting also discussed on the US decision on October 25 to suspend $1.3 billion in trade preferences for Thailand under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) based on its failure to adequately provide internationally recognised worker rights.

GSP eligibility will be revoked, effective six months from October 25, for approximately one-third of Thailand’s GSP trade, which totalled $4.4 billion in 2018.

The meeting is of the view that the government should rush to negotiate with the US to solve this problem. Moreover, it should set up an early warning system to alert producers of the other products that are at risk of facing the same GSP suspension.

 

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