JSCCIB: GDP expansion of 3.5% likely in 2015 as economy continues sluggish recovery


BANGKOK, 8 April 2015 (NNT) The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB) indicated on Tuesday the tourism sector was driving the slow recovery of the Thai economy and that GDP expansion would likely be 3.5% for this year.

During its meeting on Tuesday, the standing committee, composed of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC), the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and Thai Bankers’ Association deemed that tourism will be the main driver of economic progress in 2015 and that foreign tourist arrivals are expected to reach at least 28 million visits.

The JSCCIB indicated that although as much as 43% of the annual budget has been disbursed, it would like the government to expedite budget disbursement in order to further stimulate the economy. The committee expects state sector investment projects to start generating cash flow in the third and fourth quarters, whereas private sector investments into special economic zones and BOI-endorsed investments should generate cash flow by the middle of the year. These driving factors, combined with the strength of the tourism sector, are expected to enable the Thai economy to expand by 3.5% in 2015.

Meanwhile, the standing committee has slashed its export growth projection to just 1% from the earlier figure of 3.5%. Exports to the United States grew roughly 2% but this expansion was offset by the negative growth of exports to Europe and Japan. For the first two months of 2015, exports growth was a negative 4.82%. As a means to address this shortfall, the committee disclosed it would discuss new markets penetration and products development with the Ministry of Commerce, especially for Thai food products.