Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has projected that Thailand’s economy will grow by 3.8% in 2023, with the rebound of the vital tourism sector contributing to the growth.
Speaking on a Radio Thailand program, Minister Arkhom said the increase in domestic spending and acceleration in investment in large projects would further boost growth.
According to the finance minister, tourism in particular is expected to play a crucial role in the country’s economic recovery. The country is now projected to receive 27.5 million foreign visitors this year, following the arrival of 11.15 million visitors last year. This figure, while promising, is still below the nearly 40 million foreign visitors the country had in 2019 before the pandemic.
The minister earlier said the nation’s economic growth could exceed the current forecast with the expected return of Chinese tourists. However, he cautioned against aggressive interest rate hikes, which could lead to increased business costs and household debt.
The country’s headline inflation is further expected to fall within the central bank’s target range of 1% to 3% this year, owing to government measures and lower food prices. He noted, however, that despite the fall in export volumes, an exchange rate of 34 to 35 Thai baht per US dollar, as recorded last week, would be beneficial for export prices. (NNT)