Somkid concerned about exports amid global unease

Somkid concerned about exports amid global unease

Momentum and reforms targeted

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak's top concerns for next year are exports and confidence amid global economic uncertainties.

"We are unsure what next year will hold, so we need to strengthen ourselves," he said.

Boosting economic momentum is a key issue this year, so the government needs to take care of the economy to prevent it from cooling down too much, while economic reform must be done simultaneously, Mr Somkid said.

He rushed to soothe worries, saying the country managed to maintain economic momentum in the third quarter, given that the growth of 2.4% year-on-year was higher than the second quarter's 2.3%.

Mr Somkid said he is not taking charge of exports, but no one party is to blame amid the faltering global economy.

"When every country is exporting less, that also lowers imports," he said. "We need to fight and everyone must help each other. The Finance Ministry already knows what it must do. We need to think about what the measures should be."

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana recently said fresh economic stimulus measures were likely to be unveiled later this year in a last-ditch effort to boost full-year economic growth after third-quarter results underwhelmed.

The economic growth reading of 2.4% year-on-year in the third quarter prompted the National Economic and Social Development Council to slash its 2019 GDP forecast again to 2.6% -- from an earlier projection of 2.7%-3.2% -- while Mr Uttama said full-year growth was unlikely to reach 2.8% as predicted by the Finance Ministry.

A source in government circles said confidence is the key factor that has affected the economy.

The coalition government is a stumbling block for harmony in the government and turning policies into practices, the source said.

By nature, a coalition government does not allow a particular person to oversee economic issues, unlike in the previous government, the source said.

There are questions about who will take control of the situation as the economic storm intensifies, according to the source.

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