IMF: THAI ECONOMY SHOULD GROW 3.5 PCT IN 2017

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the Thai economy should grow by 3.5 per cent year-on-year on average this year, which is much higher than its 1.5 per cent expansion on average over the past six to seven years, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

Speaking at a public forum on the direction of the Thai economy in the second half of this year at Chulalongkorn University here on Wednesday, Banyong Pongpanich, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kiatnakin Bank, said that to be in accordance with the IMF's forecast, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has also adjusted upward its projection of the national economic growth in 2017 to 3.5 per cent year-on-year, from 3.4 per cent it reported earlier.

He said IMF had forecast the entire economy of the 10-member ASEAN Community (AC) should grow by 4.8 per cent year-on-year on average this year.

He pointed out, however, that Thailand's per capita income stood at about US$6,000 per annum, which is a low level among emerging economies in the region, noting that a slowdown in the national economic growth over the past decade was caused by structural problems that took times to be resolved.

Meanwhile, Porametee Vimolsiri, Secretary-General of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), told the forum that the Thai economy has kept growing over the past three years of the present administration, from about 0.9 per cent year-on-year to about 3.3 per cent so far this year, which is a promising prospect with expanding Thai exports, domestic consumption and public investment, as well as tourism-related businesses.

He acknowledged that his office has also projected that the Thai economy should grow by 3.5 per cent year-on-year on average in 2017.

He said the Thai government has, however, had a long-term policy on raising the country's status to become a high income nation, from a middle income nation currently, where the national economy needs to grow five per cent annually on average in the future.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK