FTI says Thailand’s economy this year likely to grow less than 3 per cent

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BANGKOK, Dec 13 – The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) predicted this year’s economy is likely to grow less than 3 per cent.

Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said foreign investors are concerned by the ongoing political situation and confused of the direction of Thailand’s politics.

A sharp drop in exports also reflected that future purchasing power has not recovered, while auto sales volume which did not reach the targeted 2.55 million units partly indicated why the economy would expand at less than 3 per cent.

Mr Payungsak said foreign investors have slowed their investments in the country since September. He is worried that the economic impact could last until next year’s first quarter. If the situation is prolonged, foreign investments could shift to other countries such as Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Asia Plus Securities CEO Kongkiat Opaswongkarn spoke at an economic seminar in Bangkok, saying that Thailand’s economy this year was predicted to grow at 2.9 per cent, while it will likely to expand at 4 per cent next year thanks to political instability.

He said foreign investors had brought Bt320 billion to invest in Thailand but the past year has seen foreign capital flow out of the country as high as Bt200 billion as a result of political problems, which Mr Kongkiat believed would affect the country’s economy until the first half of next year despite the Feb-2 general election.

PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) President/CEO Tewin Wongwanich told the forum that next year’s economy would lose speed due to the delay in the government’s infrastructure investment projects and delayed private investments awaiting political direction after the general election.