Arkhom sees full Thai recovery in 2023
The Thai economy is expected to fully rebound in 2023, according to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
He said 2022 would mark the start of the recovery, with the economy predicted to expand by 4% next year.
In 2023, the economic growth momentum would gain impetus from the tourism sector, which would support the full economic recovery.
Mr Arkhom said Thailand's economic recovery will take at least three years from the outbreak of the pandemic.
He said the economic expansion in 2022 will be mainly driven by the continuing trend of strong export growth and the injection of 1 trillion baht of state funds into the economic system.
Of the 1 trillion baht, 600 billion baht is from the state investment budget and 300 billion from state enterprise investment.
The other 100 billion baht will come from the remaining 250 billion baht in borrowing under the second emergency loan decree, said Mr Arkhom.
Private investment and domestic consumption should also help to revive the economy. The government will boost consumers' confidence to encourage their spending, he said.
The government is scheduled to open a new round of registration for state welfare cards in 2022. The government's electric vehicle promotion policy will also become clearer next year, Mr Arkhom said.
On Thursday, Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the country's economy could return to pre-pandemic levels by the first quarter of 2023.
Mr Sethaput said Thailand must ensure its economic recovery remains intact, and fiscal and monetary policies stay accommodative to support the national recuperation.
The pandemic severely hurt the economy, especially the tourism sector, which accounts for 12% of GDP, he said.
Also on Thursday, Siam Commercial Bank Economic Intelligence Center (SCB EIC) downgraded its 2022 economic growth forecast from 3.4% to 3.2%, as the Covid-19 Omicron variant is expected to take a toll on the global economy and delay Thailand's tourism recovery until at least the beginning of next year.
However, the economic effects are expected to be milder than those for the Delta variant, according to SCB's research house.
SCB EIC expects the Thai economy to return to its pre-pandemic 2019 size by mid-2023.