WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2024

Minister forecasts 4% growth for Thai economy this year

Minister forecasts 4% growth for Thai economy this year

The Thai economy is expected to expand by 4% a year under the leadership of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said on Thursday.

He made the forecast during a talk with Top News on "Thailand's future under Prayut's guidance".

The Covid-19 crisis curbed the economy’s growth for three years as revenue plunged due to the dramatic decline in foreign tourists – from 40 million people per year before the pandemic.

Thailand attracted 11.81 million foreign visitors last year, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

"The government focused on propping up the economy amid the Covid-19 crisis," he said.

The economy will be better this year despite the impact of the trade war between the US and China, the minister said,

The economy will return to normal soon and the number of foreign visitors this year could exceed 20 million people, he said.

Supattanapong said that because Thailand was able to maintain financial discipline during the pandemic, rating agencies had not downgraded the country.

He also said the government would drive growth by developing infrastructure, increasing access to digital technology, promoting new industries, and expanding trade.

He said the fact that demand for electric vehicles in Thailand exceeded 30,000 last year was a signal that the country accepts environmentally friendly technology.

Thailand’s reengagement with Saudi Arabia resulted in cooperation worth more than 100 billion baht, the minister said.

Saudi Arabia restored its relationship with Thailand this year after 32 years of frostiness following the so-called Blue Diamond Affair in 1989, which was sparked by the theft of jewels from a Saudi prince by a Thai worker.

The minister expects the value of investment in Thailand to hit 1 trillion baht this year, up from 700 billion baht last year.

"We would like to ask people to be confident," he said. The Thai economy will be better this year and the lingering effects of the pandemic will be gone within two years, he said.

Related stories:

Finance Ministry raises 2023 growth forecast to 3.8%

Thailand hikes key interest rate by 25 basis points

2023 Thailand’s Economic Outlook