Thailand’s economic growth on track
A train carrying passengers from Thailand into Laos at Nong Khai-Tha Na Laeng. Tourism and cross-border trade are key areas for both economies
The Thai economy grew 3% in the first quarter of 2011, and is likely to meet expectations for 2011, according to government figures.
Higher exports, a big boost in farm income and increased tourism were among the factors contributing to growth early this year, found a report by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board.
The economy is expected to grow between 3.5% and 4.5% in 2011, much in line with earlier predictions. In 2010 growth was 7.8%.
Some key statistics:
- Exports: up 27.4% year on year.
- Farm income: up 41%.
- Tourist numbers: up 15%.
- Household consumption: up 3.4%.
- Current account to GDP surplus: 7.6%.
Unemployment remained roughly level at 0.8% and inflation stood at 3%, but is expected to rise later in the year following increases to interest rates.
The report makes four main recommendations:
- Boost productivity, especially in agriculture, to meet increased domestic demand.
- Monitor fluctuations in commodity prices and provide better information about these trends to consumers and producers.
- Increase competitiveness by:
- Furthering logistics and infrastructure projects;
- Promoting renewable energy; promoting research and development in science and tech;
- Reforming environmental tax;
- Addressing labour shortages, especially in the manufacturing sector, by “investing in human capital”.
- Respond to the growing importance of trade with Thailand’s Asean neighbours by facilitating cross-border trade and transportation, and by helping domestic bodies and companies to take advantage of this.
• Thai Economic Performance in First Quarter and Economic Outlook for 2011 (English)
• ภาวะเศรษฐกิจไทยไตรมาสที่ 1/2554 และแนวโน้มปี 2554 (ไทย).
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