A leading joint business group stated that the growth rate of Thailand’s economy this year is anticipated to be between 2.5% to 3.0%, which is an unchanged prediction from the previous one.
According to the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking, which is composed of representatives from those industries, Thailand is only expected to receive 28 million foreign arrivals this year, down from an earlier forecast of 30 million. As a result, tourism revenue will be lower than expected. Next year, economic growth is predicted to range from 2.8% to 3.3%.
According to the group, if the government’s plan to distribute 500 billion baht (USD 14.23 billion) to Thais through a digital wallet is successful, GDP growth would increase by an additional 1.0% to 1.5%.
In the July-September quarter, the second-biggest economy in Southeast Asia grew by 0.5% from the same period last year, the lowest growth rate so far this year, as a result of falling government spending and exports.
Meanwhile, to revive the economy, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has pledged 10,000 baht (USD 275) to every Thai national over the age of 16. The one-time digital cash distribution can be used by recipients at nearby establishments up to four kilometres from their registered address.
According to government projections, the scheme is expected to increase economic cash flow by more than 2 trillion Thai baht, which is four times the policy’s cost. It has been noted that the COVID-19 pandemic severely damaged the Thai economy, as it did in many other nations.
In 2020, its GDP shrank by 6.11%, the most since the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997. There are now nearly half a million more people living in poverty, and economic predictions are bleak. However, it is still unclear if Thailand’s socio-economic problems can be resolved by the digital wallet programme.