Some parties within the business sector have expressed the view that outbreaks of the Omicron variant of coronavirus will only impact the economy in the early part of this year, while full-year targets are still expected to be met.
Thai Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sanan Angubolkul, in his capacity as chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB), said the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant will put a damper on economic activities early this year.
Nonetheless, the joint standing committee is maintaining its growth projection for the Thai economy at 3-4.5% for 2022, and expects exports to grow by 3-5% and inflation by 1.2-2%. He said the government should issue short-term measures to mitigate the problem of expensive consumer goods and manage the spread of the Omicron variant effectively so lockdowns do not become necessary.
Mr. Sanan, who is also the chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand, said the tourism sector may become affected by the spread of Omicron in the short term as more restrictive measures are placed on international travel in the first quarter of 2022. Tourists are expected to arrive in greater numbers toward the end of the first quarter, while 5-6 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Thailand for the whole of 2022. Mr. Sanan added that Thai tourists have been adjusting to the outbreaks situation and still find domestic tourism attractive. (NNT)