11 July 2024

Economic growth rate for the third quarter was registered at 3.3 percent – down from 4.6 percent during the second quarter, but the growth rate for the fourth quarter is expected to pick up, said Tossaporn Sirisamphan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, on Monday.

He attributed the GDP contraction for the third quarter to global economic slowdown resulting to international trade fluctuations affecting Thai exports, especially for September which saw minus growth.

For the first three quarters of the year, he said Thailand’s GDP grew 4.3 percent and he expected 4.2 percent growth rate for the entire year which was well within the projection ranges between 4.2 and 4.7 percent with exports expected to grow by 7.2 percent for the whole year.

The NESDB has projected growth rate for next year at 3.5-4.5 percent and 4.6 percent of export growth.

Warning of continuing global economic slowdown next year, Mr Tossaporn said that Thailand would have to rely on domestic economy as the growth engine with focus on expansion of tourism business which, unfortunately, is experiencing confidence problem.

However, he said the government’s efforts to woo tourist arrivals through the introduction of free visa fee for visas upon arrivals for tourists from 21 countries would hopefully increase tourist arrivals to meet its projection of 38.05 tourist arrivals.

As for next year, he noted that the ongoing trade war between China and the US remains an issue of concern as he urged Thai exports to explore new markets for Thai products and acceleration of investments by the public sector.