Thailand’s economy at a turning point, financial experts warn

According to an expert panel debating economic revival, Thailand has fallen behind Asian rivals in its bid to escape the middle-income trap.

The Nation

The Nation



April 4, 2022

BANGKOK – To break free from the trap, the Kingdom must accelerate GDP growth and sustainable development across all of society amid global political conflict, digital transformation and energy industry revolution, said Banyong Pongpanich, chairman of Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group (KKP).

Banyong was speaking during Saturday’s virtual seminar “This is the end of the line: How to rebuild Thailand economy”, organised by KKP and The Standard.

He noted that Thailand’s GDP growth rate was slower than Asian countries with a similar beginning point, such as China and Singapore.

Meanwhile high-earners enjoyed on average eight times greater income than low-earners, proving the difference in access to education and resource across Thai society, he added.

“Thailand has strong economic fundamentals, but transitions in technology, politics and the environment will impact the country’s sustainability,” Banyong warned.

“Hence, troubleshooting in development sectors that have not reached their goals is the beginning of the solution.”

Thiraphong Wachiraphong, Kiatnakin Phatra Securities director of research, said Thailand’s economy was at a turning point as its economic growth and market share declines.

He added that global political conflict, the energy shortage and digital disruption meant Thailand could no longer depend on external factors to boost the country’s economy.

“Hence, relying on foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourists is not enough. Thailand must forge innovation fundamentals based on good education and corruption suppression,” he said.

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