Bank of Thailand sees economy recovering quickly, in 2010
Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Tarisa Watanagase on
Thursday voiced confidence that the Thai economy in 2010 would recover more
quickly than that in 2009 due to the forecast by the United States Federal
Reserve that the US economy will accomplish a turn-around late this year.
Mrs. Tarisa views the Thai economy in the first quarter this year as being
better than its performance in the last quarter of 2008, and states that she
believes the economy will not be in recession because state spending and
investment has begun to accelerate.
She said the economy in the first quarter would contract definitely when
compared with the same quarter last year, which saw economic growth of 6
percent, but if compared with the last quarter of 2008, the first-quarter
economy is expected to be an improvement.
The BoT chief conceded the economy for 2009 is likely to shrink in the same
direction with that forecast by the National Economic and Social Development
Also, Tarisa said she doubted the accuracy of the rating agency Moody’s
Investors Service’s forecast that the Thai economy would grow worse than any
other country in Asia. She said she did not know what information the agency
had used to make the projection. (TNA)
Finance minister sees exports dropping 10% this year
Finance Minister Korn Jatikavanich last Friday predicted
the country’s exports would drop by10 percent, or some Bt 500-700 billion in
value this year in the wake of repercussions of the global financial crisis.
Speaking in a panel discussion on “Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis”,
he said all countries had been affected by this crisis, although by
Thailand had experienced heavy losses in terms of exports. It is expected
that export values this year would fall by 10 percent or Bt500-700 billion
or so from around Bt7 trillion last year.
He said the government is worried most about imminent mass layoffs. For this
reason it had ran a budget deficit and set aside a funds to boost employment
and stimulate the economy.
Korn said a proposed reduction in raw materials import would be raised for
consideration at the discussion as part of Thailand’s efforts to ease the
impacts of the financial crisis.
Former finance minister Chalongphob Sussangkarn said the ongoing global
economic crisis is considered the worst in history.
The economic slowdown Thailand is facing now is just a beginning of the
crisis. The impacts of the crisis are expected to be prolonged, for as long
as three to four years.
He said the crisis would be more difficult to address than that in 1997
because it had adversely affected both exports and private-sector
Finance minister still worried about economic woes
Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanich on Friday conceded he
is still worried about Thailand’s economic woes even though the government
is about to issue new economic stimulus packages.
At present, he said, many of the world’s leading financial institutions
remain unable to address their financial problems.
A number of major commercial banks are expected to seek state assistance.
Should they receive the help, they will become state-owned banks, which
could face difficulty in setting aside money to invest overseas or in
placing purchase orders for products.
However, the government has prepared measures to prevent future problems, he
said, adding that it would soon issue a second and third set of economic
Simultaneously, the mid-year budget is scheduled to be disbursed by the end
of this month.
Korn said executives of two giant foreign automakers called on him Friday
morning and expressed an attention to expand their investment in Thailand
Some foreign companies, aware that they had only a limited amount of cash
available, chose to invest solely in Thailand.
The finance minister believed that more foreign companies in many industries
would shift their investment to Thailand from neighboring countries in the
near future. (TNA)
Laos, Vietnam, Thailand to jointly
open road transport for trucks in June
Three neighboring Southeast Asian countries will jointly
open highway routes for truck transportation aimed at facilitating
lower-cost freight transport beginning June 19, a senior Thai transport
ministry official said Saturday.
Land Transport Department Director-General Chairat Sa-nguansue said Laos,
Vietnam and Thailand, using the terms of the East-West Economic Corridor
(EWEC) accord agreed in Vietnam last month, will open a route linking
Thailand’s northeastern province of Mukdahan with Savannakhet City and the
Dansavan border trade zone in Xepon district of the Lao PDR’s Savannakhet
province, and continuing to Laobao in Vietnam.
The total distance of the route from Mukdahan to Laobao is about 500
kilometres and takes about 10.5 hours to travel.
Under the agreement, about 400 trucks from each country will transport goods
along this route, Chairat said.
In order to facilitate transportation, including customs procedures, health
inspection and required guarantees, Thai officials will cooperate with both
the Lao and Asian Development Bank (ADB) authorities in providing training
on left- and right-hand driving as the three countries do not follow the
same driving system, he said.
The special driver training sessions will be held in late April in Mukdahan
and in Savannakhet. (TNA)