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Finance Minister says vaccination rollout will drive economic recovery

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PHOTO: Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz on Unsplash

Thailand’s Finance Minister is pinning his hopes on the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to kick-start the decimated economy. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith says the economy should begin to recover in the last quarter of the year, saying the government’s vaccination drive will boost the public’s confidence, leading to more domestic travel. The minister adds that he experienced no problems after receiving the AstraZeneca jab yesterday.

“After the shot, I still feel well with no side effects and my arm is not sore. It is similar to other vaccinations. Vaccine availability and distribution will benefit the overall economy and should increase people’s confidence.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, Arkhom says exports should be ramped up to help offset the effects of the dormant tourism sector. He adds that the US$1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package introduced by President Joe Biden should also help Thailand’s exports.

“What’s more important is the export sector has to rev up, taking advantage of the recovering economy to increase shipments as much as possible to help offset tourism income, which remains weak. The export sector has no virus restrictions, unlike tourism activities.”

He adds that if international travel restrictions are eased, it will boost Thailand’s economy in the last quarter of the year. In relation to domestic travel, he says airlines are reporting fully booked flights for the forthcoming Songkran holiday, a sign that more people will visit different provinces over the holiday, thereby giving local economies a much needed boost.

In discussing the latest cluster of new infections in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district, the minister says the government is likely to manage it in the same way the Samut Sakhon outbreak was handled, with similar restrictions being introduced. He adds that he’s confident the outbreak will be brought under control.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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