Thailand’s economy set for 3.3% growth amid global uncertainties

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Thailand’s economy is projected to grow by 3.3% this year, despite vulnerabilities from international politics, foreign wars, and unrest in neighbouring countries. These factors pose risks to the nation’s export sector.

Tawee Piyapatana, the Senior Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries, expressed concerns after representing the chair at a Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) meeting. The JSCCIB has maintained its GDP growth forecast for 2023 at 2.8-3.3%, excluding the impact of the digital wallet measures. Exports are expected to increase by 2-3%, with inflation predicted to be between 0.7-2%, said Tawee.

“The Thai economy is recovering but remains fragile. The tourism sector is bolstering the economy, yet the contraction in manufacturing leads to an uneven recovery. The persistent negative inflation rate signals economic weakness domestically, which is a concerning trend to monitor, especially given Thailand’s structural issues that could slow down the economy.”

He further noted that while the global economy is expected to grow by around 3% this year, slightly better than earlier estimates, Thai exports still face geopolitical risks, including multiple elections abroad, the potential expansion of wars, and instability in neighbouring countries, reported KhaoSod.

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Tawee also raised concerns about the influx of cheap goods flooding the Thai and ASEAN markets, from online products to those taking advantage of the Free Trade Zone, including smuggling through customs with false declarations to evade taxes.

This situation adversely affects the sales of Thai businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As a result, the JSCCIB urges the government to reconsider the VAT exemption for online purchases under 1,500 baht (US$42) to ensure fairness for Thai entrepreneurs, review policies and conditions for using Free Trade Zone benefits, and implement protective measures against market dumping and subsidies for domestic businesses.

In related news, an investigation into the surge of illegal imports of Thai elephant pants led to collaboration between DIP and customs officials to curb counterfeit products, preserving Thai intellectual property rights.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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