Poll: Economists balk at National Wealth Fund establishment

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BANGKOK, 12 September 2011  – Most economists disagree with the Government’s plan to set up the National Wealth Fund during this period on fears of income losses and corruption within Thai politics, according to the Bangkok Poll.

The survey was conducted during 6-9 September by Bangkok University among 67 economists from 29 leading economic research and analysis agencies for their views towards the Government’s policy to establish the National Wealth Fund. The majority of the respondents or 53.7 percent opposed the idea of having the fund for investment in energy sources, such as oil fields. On the other hand, 50.8 percent supported the use of the fund for infrastructural development in the country.

When asked whether they agreed with the plan to bring the fund into existence immediately, 50.7 percent said no, citing that the global economy was still volatile and there were high risks of investment losses. Another main reason is the persisting corruption problem within the Thai political system which could affect the efficiency of the fund.

However, 44.8 percent were confident that Thailand already had adequate personnel with the capability and readiness to manage the National Wealth Fund should it be set up.