BANGKOK – The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is pressing the government to address impact on liquidity from the COVID-19 situation in the business sector, arguing it will speed up economic recovery.
Senior Director of Macro Economics at the BoT Chayawadee Chai-Anant pointed out that measures focused on triggering spending, lowering taxes and providing soft loans to SMEs resulted in significant improvement in the economy in February but admitted the tourism and service sectors are still lagging.
The central bank believes service businesses such as airlines, hotels, restaurants and food and beverage producers will take some time to return to pre-pandemic performance, possibly requiring until the third quarter of next year to fully recover depending on the trajectory of the new wave of infection, the effectiveness of the vaccine and tourism confidence along with the national financial situation.
The bank has recommended commercial banks help SMEs regain liquidity both by restructuring their debt to maintain employment and fuel rehabilitation and by alleviating debt pressure, suggesting that banks provide an option for debtors to buy back seized collateral assets in the future. The BoT is confident assistance for the business sector will support the labor market and drive the nation’s economy. (NNT)