BANGKOK, 19 June 2012 – Academics have warned Thai exporters to beware of a serious fallout from the crisis in Europe, which may cost the country’s major money-maker hundreds of billions of baht.
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC)’s International Trade Studies Center director Aat Pisanwanich said that the economic crisis in Portugal, Iceland, Italy, Greece and Spain is still to be closely monitored.
He said that if the situation worsens, Thai exports may lose as much as 150 billion baht, or 17 percent of this country’s total goods and services shipped to these countries.
Under such circumstances, Mr. Aat stated that Thai export growth may end up at 7-8 percent in 2012, with rubber, electrical appliance, jewelry, garment and travel sectors to be significantly hit.
He also predicted that the problems in Europe will likely take 3-5 years to resolve, while the situation there, if prolonged and spread to Thailand, will hurt the nation’s GDP by 0.5 percent.
In spite of that, the UTCC director stated that Thai economy will still be able to register the growth rate of 5 percent, partly due to increased state spending and investment in basic infrastructure projects.
On a more positive note, Mr. Aat expects the export industry to grow 12 percent this year, if problems in Europe becomes under control.