Thai PM calls on economic team to reboot economy after COVID-19 outbreak

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday that he had held meetings with his economic team to discuss the state of Thailand’s economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to find ways to reboot the country.

“We need to quickly seek measures in assisting the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and promote domestic tourism” said Prayut, noting that both factors are the backbones of Thai’s economy.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana also noted that his ministry will be working with the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation to develop a credit guarantee project to help small businesses.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on Thursday assigned the Revenue Department and the Fiscal Policy Office to come up with measures to encourage community-level tourism and woo big spenders.

“The measures should be ready by mid July,” said Somkid. “The Bank of Thailand will find measures for businesses to seek more loans from commercial banks.”

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking revised this year’s economic forecast, bringing it down from between minus 3 and minus 5 percent to between minus 5 and minus 8 percent.

The Bank of Thailand also said last week that the country’s economy this year will contract 8.1 percent, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Thailand and the global economy severely.

Despite the grim economic prospect from various sectors, Prayut said he has strong beliefs that the Thai economy will pick up very soon as the kingdom has witnessed more than 35 days of no local COVID-19 transmissions.

Thailand moved into Phase 5 lockdown restrictions relaxation on Wednesday, lifting nearly all measures previously imposed to stem COVID-19. The State of Emergency, however, remains until end of July.



Source: China – ASEAN Business Council