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“Protests could affect the economy” – Bank of Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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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

    Wednesday, 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

    Wednesday, 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

    Wednesday, 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

      Thursday, 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

      Sunday, 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

        Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 11:59 am

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

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, 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

    Wednesday, 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

    Wednesday, 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

    Saturday, 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.

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