The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking, which summarized the outcomes of APEC 2022 and benefits to be gained by Thailand, indicated that APEC 2022 was a good start of new economic opportunities that could bring a new path of economic growth to Thailand.
The committee comprises the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries, and the Thai Banking Association. It stated that APEC 2022, recently hosted by Thailand, would bring great benefits to the Thai economy and society over the next 3-5 years, with an estimated economic value of about 500-600 billion baht.
With regard to short-term benefits (3-6 months), the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting has amplified Thailand’s “soft power.” Information about the meeting, as well as food, performances, and Thai culture showcased during the gala dinner, were communicated through the media and the social networks of participating countries.
Income from activities generated by tourism and related industries is expected to increase by 10 billion baht in this short period. Investors clearly see Thailand as an investment destination for BCG, energy, EV, digital, and service industries, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). This will enable Thailand to easily attract foreign direct investment in the future.
As for long-term benefits (3-5 years), Thailand is likely to attract 600 billion baht in foreign direct investment. For instance, Thailand and China agreed to optimize benefits gained from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and enhance infrastructure connections, especially the rail service and the Thailand-China high-speed train development. It is expected that trade and investment between the two countries will expand by 100-200 billion baht.
Bright prospects are also seen in trade and investment between Thailand and Saudi Arabia and the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE. In this regard, investments are likely to increase in Thailand’s 12 targeted industries, especially in the fields of energy, petrochemical industry, agriculture, green technology, healthcare, and services in the EEC. These investments are expected to reach 100-300 billion baht.
Investments in BCG, EV, and alternative energy industries from other countries, apart from China and Saudi Arabia, are expected to amount to 50-100 billion baht; in the digital economy, e-commerce, and robot industry 50-100 billion baht; and in other service businesses, such as tourism, health and beauty, and logistics, also 50-100 billion baht.
The private sector also sees new opportunities for Thailand, in terms of employment generation, skill development, high-technology transfer, and tourism expansion. It pointed out that the Thai people should capture these opportunities to strengthen the nation’s economy and enhance sustainability over the whole. (PRD)