Thailand’s total investments are expected to grow by 8-9 per cent next year, compared to 2-3 per cent on average during the past several years.
Speaking at the seminar on “Thailand Economic Outlook 2016”, Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang said that investment grew by 9 per cent annually on average between 1994 to 2003, which helped drive GDP growth by more than 5 per cent. She added that after a slowdown in investment expansion, the country’s gross domestic production (GDP) grew only 3.4 per cent a year. Slowdown in investment meant lower income for labourers and the public sector, which led to Thailand being trapped as a middle-income country for too long.
“Strong investment promotion by the government and cooperation of private enterprises should drive investments both from foreigners and domestic to grow by 8-9 per cent in 2016,” said Atchaka. She said the government would accelerate investment stimulation, especially in the high-technology sector and in the supercluster sector to ensure stronger growth of Thai industries in the long run.
TMB chief executive officer Boontuck Wungcharoen, said Thailand’s economic growth in 2016 is expected to be better than this year amid positive signs of recovery in exports and consumption. “One of the key economic driving engines next year will be the government’s investment, which will help promote more public investment and increase employment.
The infrastructure investment plan and logistics development in cross-border provinces for dual-track and motorways, and the special economic zones will also help project Thailand as a connectivity centre for the Asean region,” he said. Thongma Vijitpongpun, chairman of the executive committee and CEO of Pruksa Real Estate, said the government’s investment, especially on infrastructure development, would help drive the real estate and property development sector to grow by 5-10 per cent next year.
Jit Siratranont, deputy secretary-general of the Board of Trade of Thailand, said since investment is one of the key economic driving engines, Thailand needs to increase its competitiveness to facilitate more investment. Jit suggested reducing duplicate laws and regulations, reducing some processes in setting up or expanding businesses, as well as supporting SMEs in accessing funds.