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Private sector blames political uncertainties for business opportunity loss

Private sector blames political uncertainties for business opportunity loss

Political uncertainties have deprived private companies of business competition opportunities and caused a slowdown in investment, according to top executives in the private sector.
Speaking in Bangkok Thursday at a seminar on “Political Vacuum and Waste of Economy,” Pramont Sutheewong, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC), said that most members of TCC and foreign chambers of commerce, as well as companies with foreign branches, shared a common view in a recent survey that the political impasse had made investors slow their investment because they want to wait and see the new government.
A delay in the implementation of mega-infrastructure projects had also caused foreign investors to turn their attention to other countries where investment projects are in place.
With the lack of an elected government, he said, state agencies are neither in a position to carry out tasks as originally planned, nor come up with new policies.
The private sector is deprived of business competition opportunities when the country experiences a political vacuum because some business negotiations need to count on the government’s help.
Santi Vilassakdanont, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said the private sector wants to see the October 15 general election take place.
Any postponement would further undermine foreign investor confidence unless there was proper clarification, he cautioned.
He said a recent survey made with operators in 35 industries showed that 90 percent view the political situation as impacting the Thai economy because it involves investor confidence.
Khunying Jada Wattanasiritham, chairperson of the Thai Bankers’ Association, said the country’s economic growth estimate of 4-5 percent for this year made by the Bank of Thailand (BOT) is considered an acceptable level.
However, the central bank’s projection of the actual export growth of only 5.6 percent seems to be too low, she noted.She conceded, however, that political uncertainties have caused applications for loans to expand at a slower pace, since customers are more reluctant to borrow. (TNA)