Numerous companies have expressed their backing for the government’s 10,000-baht digital wallet giveaway, highlighting that the initiative is set to benefit as many as 50 million individuals and provide substantial support to small and medium-sized businesses in the retail, service, and tourism industries.
Yol Phokasub, president of the Thai Retailers Association, anticipates that this scheme will create job opportunities and directly benefit over 2.4 million SMEs, accounting for 80% of small businesses nationwide. The campaign is believed to drive short-term economic growth by supporting local businesses at various levels.
The implementation of the digital wallet scheme has been advised to begin in April, ahead of the Songkran festival, to maximize its impact. The Thai Retailers Association also advocates for the rapid approval of the e-refund scheme, aimed at stimulating high-spending customers.
Thanavath Phonvichai, president of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, predicts that the digital wallet policy could stimulate Thai economic growth by 1.5 to 2 percentage points, potentially reaching 5% growth. This projection is significantly higher than the Finance Ministry’s previous forecast of 3.2% GDP growth in 2024.
He added that the re-introduced e-refund project, a shopping tax incentive, is expected to increase spending in the first quarter of 2024. Coupled with holiday expenditures during Songkran, spending from digital wallets could total 130-140 billion baht, providing a substantial boost to the economy.
Further economic stimulation is expected in June with an injection of 100 billion baht from the competitiveness development fund. Additional spending, especially in the tourism sector, is also anticipated in the fourth quarter of the year. (NNT)