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Bank Expert Predicts Thailand’s Economy to Contract by 8.9 % in 2020

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A Bank economist has predicted that Thailand’s economy is projected to contract by 8.9 percent this year despite the easing of COVID-19 measures.

Amonthep Chawla, Head of the Research Office at CIMB THAI Bank (CIMBT), said that although Thailand was heading towards the fourth phase of lockdown easing, with more businesses to be reopened, the Thai economy was still far from showing signs of recovery.

“Productivity, confidence and consumer spending will remain low in the period ahead”, he said.

He noted that the impacts of the COVID-19 on Thailand’s economy would be most evident in the second quarter. With an expected 14-percent GDP contraction. Thailand’s economic outlook for the second half of the year was brighter but the GDP could contract by 10 percent.

Key factors for the Thai economy were the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infection and oil prices, he added.

Lifting of all business lockdowns

Meanwhile, Thailand’s government has set July 1st for the lifting of all business lockdowns. Also the re-opening of international travel. Security officials say all businesses and activities will be allowed to resume fully in July.

The lifting will also include interprovincial and international travel, as well as the end of emergency decree.

NSC secretary-general Gen Somsak Rungsita said the lift of restrictions would be a complete reopening of the country. Officials would next month prepare measures for the reopening.

People’s cooperation is important. This concerns the use of face masks, social distancing, hand wash and limited activities. As long as the disease is spreading worldwide, we will have to fight against it for a while” he said.

The executive decree on public administration in emergency situations will end in June and the ban on international travel would continue until July 1st. The full reopening will come after the third phase of the relaxation to take place in June.

International travel to commence in July

The government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is finalizing details on what businesses could resume and on what conditions under the third phase of relaxation this month.

His committee on business easing did not reach a conclusion on high-risk activities. Such activities that were suspended and seriously affected Thailand’s economy.

Curfew hours have ended and more restrictions on inter-provincial travel would be lifted. More activities at malls have resume and athletes’ practicing grounds have reopen.

Business operators and customers will still be required to use Thai Chana mobile application.  The app is for checking in and out of their business to help prevent covid-19 transmission.


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