PM Srettha scrambles to address economic woes

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has called an urgent meeting with his economic ministers next Monday in a bid to tackle Thailand’s sluggish economic growth.

This move comes after a dismal first-quarter GDP report, which has sent shockwaves through the government and the public alike.

In a Twitter post last night, the 62 year old Thai prime minister announced that he will chair an unofficial meeting of economic ministers next Monday upon his return to Bangkok. This emergency session was prompted by the National Economic and Development Council’s (NESDC) report that the economy grew by only 1.5% year-on-year in the first quarter.

The NESDC has also revised the annual growth forecast down to 2.5% from the previously projected 2.7%, citing escalating trade tensions between the United States and China as significant factors. This sluggish growth places Thailand behind six other ASEAN members. The Philippines and Vietnam are leading with impressive growth rates of 5.7%, followed by Indonesia at 5.1%, Malaysia at 4.2%, and Singapore at 2.7%.

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The Bangkok-born Srettha is currently in Italy, wrapping up a three-country tour that included visits to France and Japan, reported Bangkok Post.

He is expected to arrive in Japan tomorrow, where he will stay until Friday before heading back to Bangkok.

In related news, the Thai PM met with Intesa Sanpaolo, a leading international financial institution in Milan to discuss funding for Thailand’s Land Bridge project. The bank is aware of the Thai government’s plans to expand Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, and Chiang Mai airports and showed keen interest, hinting at future detailed discussions.

The prime minister also revealed that Intesa Sanpaolo is enthusiastic about green bonds, aligning with Thailand’s policy to issue bonds worth US$1 billion (approximately 36 billion baht) in July.

In other news, Srettha remains resolute amid an ethics complaint that could see him suspended. While on an official visit to Italy on Sunday, PM Srettha addressed the brewing controversy. A group of acting senators filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, accusing him of violating the code of ethics in his recent appointment of PM’s Office Minister Pichit Chuenban.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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