The Finance Ministry plans to expand the government’s co-payment economic stimulus scheme while foreseeing a 4% economic growth next year.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said that the Thai economy was bottoming out from its most serious 12% yearly decline in the second quarter of this year and there were clear signs of recovery afterwards.
The economic contraction in the third quarter slowed down to 6% while the foreign exchange reserves stood at US$241 billion or four times as much as short-term debts. Besides, public debts were equivalent to 49.4% of the gross domestic product while the financial discipline capped public debts’ proportion at 60% of GDP, Mr Arkhom said.
He predicted that GDP would grow by 4% next year and 3-5% yearly in the next five years.
The finance minister said that the government would be introducing measures to stimulate local purchasing power and that would include the second phase of the co-payment scheme next year as well as continuing and increasing the domestic tourism discount campaigns.
Thailand was financially strong and the status was reflected by Standard & Poor’s BBB+ credit rating for the country.
In response to S&P’s call for Thailand to increase local investment, Mr Arkhom said that the government would be investing in infrastructure projects and supporting potential projects.
He said the government did not plan to borrow a foreign loan next year in addition to the US$1.5-billion loan sought from the Asian Development Bank. (TNA)