Risks outlined by WEF are 'controllable', Commerce Ministry says

Risks outlined by WEF are 'controllable', Commerce Ministry says

The government has brushed aside concerns about a Thai asset bubble and cyber-attacks in the World Economic Forum's "Regional Risks for Doing Business 2019" report, saying such risks are controllable with prepared measures.

Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office under the Commerce Ministry, said the property market in Thailand is not in a bubble, but she warned that continuous low interest rates could lead to oversupply.

"Our study found that the Thai government has been aware of this issue for some time, as indicated by the Bank of Thailand's recent loan-to-value measures to curb speculation," Ms Pimchanok said.

Political instability is no longer a concern because Thailand has an elected government in place that has announced economic growth policies, she said.

As for cyber-attacks, both the public and private sector are well aware of the issue and are striving to tackle cyberthreats constantly, Ms Pimchanok said.

The government has also worked to lower the use of plastics and rehabilitate the environment, she said.

The state has made commitments to promote alternative energy and installation of solar cells at residences.

Plans call for beefing up cooperation with other countries in the region to curb risks, Ms Pimchanok said.

As for social risk, she said the government has prioritised care and treatment quality for at-risk groups such as the elderly, low-income earners and farmers.

"Several policies that focus on those groups of people were introduced under the previous government, be it higher allowances given to the elderly, the welfare smart card programme or the recent cash giveaway and cash rebate scheme to promote spending and tourism," Ms Pimchanok said.

The WEF's report "offers a business perspective on the impact of global risks and contrasts them by region", according to the forum.

"In today's fraught geopolitical context, regional coordination is increasingly important," the WEF said. "We hope the report will help shape each region's agenda vis-a-vis the global risks landscape, moving the needle for regions aiming to play an increasingly pivotal role in the years ahead."

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