With lower than expected growth in the third-quarter, Prime Minister General of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, ensured that the government will be looking into more options regarding stimulus packages to reinvigorate the country’s economy. This was said during the meeting of the Council of the Economic Ministers on 1 November.
The Bank of Thailand recently projected economic growth in the third-quarter at 2.9 per cent after seeing gains of 2.8 per cent in the second quarter and 2.3 per cent in the first quarter. The minimal amount of growth was well below the central bank’s expectations.
The prime minister assured that Thailand and Asean’s economies were not in a state of recession. Rather, they will just have to expect slower growth in the coming year. As a result, the prime minister stated that Thailand needs to come up with more stimulus measures to uplift the economy.
He added that Thailand’s monetary and fiscal policies must also facilitate domestic spending and business investment. The meeting also gave the nod in principle to the guidelines to solve the problems of SMEs.
The guidelines cover several areas and 13 measures as proposed by the Office of the Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion. They also aimed to help SMEs get easier access to capital, know-how and market access.
The measures include the launch of new types of SME loan guarantee, the promotion of software use by SMEs to draw accounts, to the launch of an SMEs festival.
In the meantime, both the central bank and Fiscal Policy Office have downgraded their growth outlook this year to 2.8 per cent, thought the government hopes that stimulus measures implemented will boost growth to 3 per cent.
“The economic cabinet authorised related agencies to prepare in advance for additional stimulus measures in case they are needed,” said Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs. “The package will be ready at the next economic cabinet meeting.”