Thailand’s economy shows some muscles

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Thailand’s expanding southeastern industrial zone is seen as a draw for future investors © Arno Maierbrugger

Investment drawn to Thailand’s proposed Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) could push the country’s economic growth rate above five per cent by 2021, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)’s Economic Intelligence Center said.

This assessment comes after repeated upticks in Thailand’s economy in 2017, with exports having risen for a tenth straight month in December and the government having raised its economic growth forecast for this year to 4.2 per cent from 3.8 per cent. Economic growth for 2017 has now been put at an estimated four per cent – which would be the fastest pace since 2012 – compared with the 3.8 per cent the ministry projected three months ago, mainly due to stronger exports and tourism.

SCB’s research center said that if the government’s flagship economic zone proceeds as planned, a GDP growth rate of more than five per cent would be enabled by a boost in foreign direct investment (FDI) and the EEC’s attraction for private and public investment in Thailand.

In recent years, FDI inflows declined in Thailand, relative to those in other ASEAN countries, mainly due to concerns about fiscal and political stability. Thailand’s annual GDP growth also was in the range of 2.9 to four per cent over the past three years

“The EEC could play a part in attracting more FDI to a level that can see Thailand compete with other countries in the region. In the initial phase, no less than 10 billion baht ($312 million) of FDI will likely move into the country,” the research said.

Public investment is expected to rise 8.7 per cent this year, compared with last year’s public-investment growth figure of 1.5 per cent. Private investment is forecast to increase 3 per cent from the previous year’s 1.7 per cent, due partly to the government’s EEC policy.

However, the center said that the government to ensure that attention will be given to upgrading skills of the workforce, so that there will be sufficient workers able to cope with the labour requirements of the targeted industries that are at the heart of the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy, which include aviation, logistics, digital businesses, robotics and automation.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s expanding southeastern industrial zone is seen as a draw for future investors © Arno Maierbrugger

Investment drawn to Thailand’s proposed Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) could push the country’s economic growth rate above five per cent by 2021, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)’s Economic Intelligence Center said.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s expanding southeastern industrial zone is seen as a draw for future investors © Arno Maierbrugger

Investment drawn to Thailand’s proposed Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) could push the country’s economic growth rate above five per cent by 2021, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)’s Economic Intelligence Center said.

This assessment comes after repeated upticks in Thailand’s economy in 2017, with exports having risen for a tenth straight month in December and the government having raised its economic growth forecast for this year to 4.2 per cent from 3.8 per cent. Economic growth for 2017 has now been put at an estimated four per cent – which would be the fastest pace since 2012 – compared with the 3.8 per cent the ministry projected three months ago, mainly due to stronger exports and tourism.

SCB’s research center said that if the government’s flagship economic zone proceeds as planned, a GDP growth rate of more than five per cent would be enabled by a boost in foreign direct investment (FDI) and the EEC’s attraction for private and public investment in Thailand.

In recent years, FDI inflows declined in Thailand, relative to those in other ASEAN countries, mainly due to concerns about fiscal and political stability. Thailand’s annual GDP growth also was in the range of 2.9 to four per cent over the past three years

“The EEC could play a part in attracting more FDI to a level that can see Thailand compete with other countries in the region. In the initial phase, no less than 10 billion baht ($312 million) of FDI will likely move into the country,” the research said.

Public investment is expected to rise 8.7 per cent this year, compared with last year’s public-investment growth figure of 1.5 per cent. Private investment is forecast to increase 3 per cent from the previous year’s 1.7 per cent, due partly to the government’s EEC policy.

However, the center said that the government to ensure that attention will be given to upgrading skills of the workforce, so that there will be sufficient workers able to cope with the labour requirements of the targeted industries that are at the heart of the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy, which include aviation, logistics, digital businesses, robotics and automation.

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