Economic growth this year is expected to rise 3.3-4%

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking says the country’s economic growth this year is expected to rise 3.3-4%.

It also believes this will improve slightly by 3.5-4% next year.

After yesterday’s meeting of the joint standing committee, Mr Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Board of Trade, and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said economic growth projections for 2016 has been pegged at 3.3 � 3.5%.

But for exports, he said it was expected to stand at between 0-2% contraction.

But outlook for 2017, he said it would improve slightly with economic growth expected to be between 3.5 to 4% while exports should grow by at least 2 %.

With regards to the current low market prices for rice, the consensus is that this is due to the high intensity of rains during the period which has result in a rise in moisture content.

The joint standing committee agreed with the government’s attempt to bolster rice prices by employing rice barn pledging schemes.

The private sector on the other hand will help with medium-term and long-term price control measures by placing higher priority on quality and crop yield.

Furthermore, the government’s policy to have farmers plant substitute crops such as peanuts will help farmers significantly as at present, these have to be imported from China, the meeting concluded.

Federation of Thai Industries president Jaen Numchaisri, meanwhile, stated that the current slump in rice prices will not have a significant effect on the economy as it was only a temporary occurrence.

Furthermore, he stated that prices for other agricultural crops such as rubber have risen significantly.

With regards to the national mourning period for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej which many predicted will have a direct influence on the economy, experts now believe that the effects will only last for around 1 month as the government has recognized the importance of the matter and has employed measures to ensure that economy recovers as soon as possible.

The Thai National Shippers’ Council meanwhile has adjusted 2016’s export projections from a previous 2% contraction to 0.8%.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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