Thailand’s Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) decided to slash the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for this year to 0 – 1.5%, from an earlier estimate of 0.5-2%.
Thai Bankers Association (TBA) chairman Payong Srivanich said the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak and spread of the virulent Delta variant have led to stringent measures being rolled out by the government to contain the outbreak. The stronger measures have impacted economic activity, employment and workers’ incomes. Moreover, travel restrictions and quarantine measures will significantly impact domestic tourism in the third quarter of this year.
FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said the government should speed up vaccine procurement and distribution. In particular, laborers in the manufacturing sector must be vaccinated to maintain the country’s export sector, which is a key engine for the Thai economy during the crisis.
Additionally, Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Sanan Angubolkul said the government should have a clear stance on alternative vaccines as a third booster dose. This will build the confidence of Thais, foreign tourists and offshore investors and support Thailand’s economic momentum. (NNT)