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“Protests could affect the economy” – Bank of Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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“Protests could affect the economy” – Bank of Thailand | The Thaiger
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The ongoing political protests could have a negative impact on Thailand’s already crippled economy by weakening domestic consumption and tourism even more, according to the Bank of Thailand. The bank’s newly appointed governor Settaput Suthiwart-Narueput, who started this month, says they need to keep a close watch on the situation.

“Basically, the political factor is one of the uncertainties… It could affect the economy, particularly consumer confidence and tourism. The central bank has been monitoring the situation closely especially how all the parties concerned handle the protests.”

The halt of foreign tourist arrivals over the past 7 months have heavily impacted the economy. Thailand lost 1.6 trillion baht, or 10% of the GDP. Around 40 million foreign tourists visited Thailand last year while this year is only expected to have a total of 6.7 million. The bank’s governor says it’s going to take some time for the economy to recover.

“It will take at least 2 years for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels… From now on, the economy is likely to see a continuous contraction on a quarterly basis. It is expected to begin to show a positive growth rate in the second rate in the second quarter of 2021 and be back to normal growth in the third quarter of 2022.”

President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Chairat Tirrattanajarasporn also says the continuing pro-democracy protests could negatively impact the tourism industry and is urging government officials to engage in dialogue with the protesters. He also says that people tend to save their money during protest movements rather than spending it on trips.

Those interested in travelling to Thailand on the Special Tourist Visa are not concerned with the political climate and ongoing protests, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

“It is too early to assess the impact on tourism as mass gatherings have occurred recently and there has been no violence.”

While monitoring the protests and the potential effect they have on the economy, the governor says the Bank of Thailand will also tackle the debt crisis. Debt relief measures, put in place by the bank to aid businesses battered by the pandemic, are lifting this month. The bank is now working on debt solutions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    patty

    October 21, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    The BOT should be blaming Prayut and not the protests. The economy has been bad since he became PM

  2. Avatar

    Bernd

    October 21, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Global economy is affected anyways. Protests are happening everywhere in the world right now, not only in Thailand. Just read news around the globe. 2021 will be funny.

  3. Avatar

    Leon

    October 21, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Since this hasn’t garnered much international attention it is too early to say if it will have an impact. I would however add that military people are not trained in diplomacy and placating the masses or meeting people half-way. If they were like that then they would not be in the military. There is only win and lose in military strategy and if that is the way you think…it will end through violence which means the people of Thailand will pay the price for the damage the military will do to the countries image internationally. Which it most certainly will. Do not presume to tell me the it will however end differently, because it has always been so in history the majority of the times a military government has seized power. It is fortunate that the people protesting don’t have leaders…maybe it’ll be different because of that…but I doubt it won’t end until some violent event and then we will all pay the price for that violence wether we participate in it by doing something or doing nothing, we will all pay for it. I sincerely hope that a dialogue is opened instead.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 22, 2020 at 12:46 am

      “….. this hasn’t garnered much international attention …..”

      Really?

      Have you watched any news media? It’s a feature on the BBC, DW and France 24 amongst others.

    • Avatar

      Luke

      October 25, 2020 at 11:06 am

      BBC News – How many people does it take to oust a political leader?

      • The Thaiger & The Nation

        The Thaiger & The Nation

        October 25, 2020 at 11:59 am

        Please don’t post links, as per our guidelines.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Of course it will.
    Do these bankers get paid good money to state what is perfectly obvious.

  5. Avatar

    Ted

    October 21, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    “….and there has been no violence.” isn’t blasting water cannons on peaceful demonstrators an act of violence???? I guess we all see what, what we choose to see…

  6. Avatar

    wayno

    October 21, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Still talking about 6.7 million visitors in 2020, take a couple of zero’s off and you will be closer

  7. Avatar

    Noneya Bidnizz

    October 24, 2020 at 1:49 am

    6.7 million TOURISTS ??? —- 555 !!!—

    If things dont change A LOT and SOON , It will be more like — ZERO — actual Tourists—

    Only people who will do and put up with anything to return to their homes and families and prayut`s good buddies , the chinese “business men“ who will come to buy ( more like STEAL ! ) assets / properties and businesses from the Hardworking and Honest Thai people who are or soon will be starving !

    I Pray For Thailand !!!

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Tourism

Former WTO director cautions against re-opening Thailand too quickly

Maya Taylor

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Former WTO director cautions against re-opening Thailand too quickly | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bao Menglong on Unsplash

The former director general of the World Trade Organisation has issued a caution against Thailand throwing open its borders too early. Supachai Panitchpakdi says Covid-19 is still very much a threat, pointing to other countries that appear trapped in a cycle of easing restrictions, followed by renewed lockdowns. His comments come as England emerges from a national lockdown, only for many areas to find themselves subject to even tougher measures, at least until Christmas.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Supachai says the cycle of lockdown/open up/lockdown that’s being seen in many Western countries is not just damaging their economies, it’s also leading to more infections and deaths. He warns that re-opening Thailand’s borders too quickly could have long-term negative impacts for the Kingdom.

“Thailand should gradually open the country, because human resources are the most important factor. It takes about 20 to 30 years for human development, and if those people die, it will be very difficult to restore the lost human resources.”

Within Thailand there is a polarised view as to whether Thailand should be broadly re-opening its borders or not. Successive polls show that the Thai population is, generally, suspicious about re-opening too soon, especially whilst parts of the rest of the world are still trying to contain their infection rates. On the other hand Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industry has been decimated with millions unemployed.

Supachai’s comments come as the government has tentatively opened the borders to foreign tourists, albeit at a significant cost and inconvenience to those who might want to visit. There is both a long term STV, special tourist visa, and a modified general tourist visa for up to 60 days. In both cases there is currently a 14 day mandatory quarantine to be served and a number of other paperwork hurdles to overcome.

Supachai says Thailand’s economy is likely to shrink by 5 or 6% this year, a change from the previous forecast of 7 or 8%. He adds that he’s hopeful the economy and exports will recover next year, pointing out that if a quick recovery is seen in China and ASEAN nations, it will help Thai exports. He warns that an appreciating baht could threaten Thailand’s exports and that exporters will need to look at ways of increasing their competitive edge.

He has also called for a hike in interest rates, pointing out that the low rate of 0.5% is having a detrimental effect on people’s savings. Another fallout from the pandemic is an increase in household debt, with Supachai expressing concern that Thai people are getting into debt at a much younger age compared to the trend in other countries.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Finance Minister says Thailand’s GDP will take 2 years to recover

The Thaiger

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Finance Minister says Thailand’s GDP will take 2 years to recover | The Thaiger

Thailand’s finance minister says the countrys GDP will take 2 years to recover the 9% it has lost since the Covid pandemic ravaged the economy. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the Finance Minister, says the economy would have expanded by 3% this year if it weren’t for the pandemic.

“The pandemic crisis will make the economy contract by around 6% in 2020, therefore there is a 9% gap that needs to be recuperated. If Thailand’s GDP growth could arrive at 4% in 2021 and 2022, this would propel the country’s economic growth momentum to return to a normal ratio.”

The National Economic and Social Development says Thailand’s GDP contracted by 6.4% year-on-year in the 3rd quarter, with a yearly economic contraction projected to be 6%. Previously, it was predicted to contract by 7.5%, however, since the global economy is projected to contract by 3.5% and the global trade is expected to decline by 11%, the number has been updated.

The seasonal adjustment saw the economy expand by 6.5% quarter on quarter from the 2nd quarter, with it contracting by 6.7% in the first 9 months. However, the NESDC’s projection doesn’t account for the impact from political conflicts or a 2nd wave of outbreaks.

Such political conflicts as the protests against the monarchy have seen some authorities, such as the Chief ASEAN economist, saying it won’t help Thailand’s weak economic recovery. But Krisada says the Thai economy is expected to recover gradually, with a possibility of vaccine use and the global economic recovery helping to push forward the recovery next year.

Arkhom says the government reportedly has 30% fiscal space left in its 2021 budget, to help cushion the economic crisis. That percentage is about 980 billion baht worth of capital, which excludes the remaining sum of the 1 trillion baht loan decree.

As for the 2022 budget, he says it is still being designed to support economic growth through public investments in infrastructure and energy, with some projects relying more heavily on help from the private sector.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Bank of Thailand takes action to curb Thai baht’s strength

The Thaiger

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Bank of Thailand takes action to curb Thai baht’s strength | The Thaiger

The Bank of Thailand has moved forward measures, originally meant to begin early 2021, but most of which will now take effect from end of this month. The end result is that the new rules will make it easier for Thais to shuffle money overseas and invest in foreign assets. It will also make is easier for Thai citizens to hold foreign currency in local banks. The new rules will also require the registration of local and overseas bond investors.

“Following the U.S. elections and positive news on Covid-19 vaccine development, investors have turned toward investing in emerging markets, including Thailand. The situation has resulted in strengthening the baht quickly and can impact economic recovery.”

“The registration of bond investors will allow close monitoring of investor’s behaviours and thereby enable the implementation of targeted measures in a timely manner.”

Last week the Bank of Thailand assessed that the Thai baht’s recent rapid gains could affect the country’s “fragile” economic recovery. The Thai government has called on the central bank to do its best to use what tools it has at its disposal to restrain the baht to protect exports.

Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group, says that he central bank also will continue to resort to direct intervention in foreign-exchange markets.

“The issue here is that local investors have a very strong home bias. Making it easier to invest overseas may not actually encourage them to do so.”

The Thai baht has been the 2nd best performer in Asia this month after foreign investors turned net buyers of almost $2.4 billion of bonds and stocks as appetite returns for riskier emerging-market assets amid a weak dollar, according to Bloomberg.

The Thai baht had recently rallied 8.8% from this year’s low in April, hitting a 10 month high last week.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

This morning, Thai time…

Bank of Thailand takes action to curb Thai baht's strength | News by The Thaiger

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