Friday, December 04, 2020

Deputy PM outlines govt strategies to revive Thai economy in wake of Covid-19 outbreak

Oct 26. 2020
Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow outlines strategies of reviving the flagging economy.
Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow outlines strategies of reviving the flagging economy.
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By Nakarin Srilert

The Nation

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who is also energy minister, has outlined strategies to boost national revenue next year in a bid to reinvigorate the economy in the fallout of Covid-19.

He said the government will continue wooing targeted foreign investors to the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The EEC has already made progress in launching mega infrastructure projects, including the development of a high-speed railway linking the country’s three main international airports and the development of the U-Tapao International Airport and the Eastern Airport City.

The government will also soon clarify the criteria of reopening the country to foreign tourists and foreign investors.

He added that the authorities should come up with clear cut answers within this month on whether the quarantine period for new arrivals will be reduced from 14 days. The reduction should be applied to travellers from low-risk countries, he said, adding that this will be one way of wooing more foreigners to visit Thailand.

The Public Health Ministry will come up with a list on countries with high, medium and low risk of infection for the government to consider if the quarantine period should be reduced.

The minister added that the government will also devise measures to encourage foreigners to spend at least Bt100,000 per person from the current average of Bt50,000.

Thailand welcomes some 40 million tourists per year on average, generating a revenue of Bt3 trillion. However, these numbers have plunged after entry was restricted as part of efforts to curb the outbreak.

He said the Board of Investment and related agencies are also working on measures to woo foreigners to buy properties in Thailand via special measures.

Last month, the government’s Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) approved in principle amendments to the criteria of granting permanent residence and smart visa to foreigners in a bid to lure more investment.

The centre is considering the option of granting permanent residence to buyers of condominium units, provided applicants do not mortgage, sell or transfer this asset for five years after purchase.

The Prayut Chan-o-cha administration is continuing to launch stimulus measures to boost the subdued economy.

Recently it launched tourism promotion and personal income tax deduction measures to boost people purchasing power, which are estimated to generate Bt200 billion in the last three months of this year.

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