Firms want hand in forming policies

Firms want hand in forming policies

Executives of Thai listed companies want the government to refrain from increasing the country's fiscal burden and distorting markets, while seeking private sector participation in formulating policies, according to a survey by the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

The recent survey, entitled "Economic Outlook 2023-2024", was published by the SET's research department and its partners. The survey found most chief executives expect the economy to expand at a lower rate than their previous forecast of 2.3% this year, improving to 3.4% in 2024.

Conducted from Aug 16 to Sept 30, respondents included executives from 68 companies in 21 business categories, accounting for 26.2% of the SET's market capitalisation as of Oct 31.

"The survey results indicate tourism, fiscal policy, government spending and domestic political stability will be factors driving Thailand's economy this year and in 2024, while domestic political stability, purchasing power and exports are the risk factors," noted the SET.

Executives predict business revenue in 2023 will improve, with 53% expecting revenue to grow 10% or more, with continued expansion in 2024. They also predict net profit in 2023 and 2024 will improve, according to the release.

Investment is expected to increase this year and next year, with 56% of respondents expecting additional investment in 2023 and 73% expecting more investment in 2024.

"For this year, respondents are highly concerned about fuel inputs, raw material costs and consumer purchasing power. They believe opening the country to stimulate the economy and prioritising sustainable development will be positive factors for their companies," said the SET.

Executives advised the government to issue economic development policies that account for sustainability, while accelerating the creation of a new engine to drive the economy.

They also want the administration to strengthen the current economic engines and competitiveness of the private sector, while promoting fair competition in each industry.

"They want policies that do not distort the market and are consistent with the economic environment," noted the survey.

"Moreover, the private sector should be encouraged to participate in proposing policies as well as expediting reforming outdated laws and regulations, promoting the potential and competitiveness of the country."

The government should strive to maintain political stability to bolster foreign investor confidence and help attract foreign investment, promoting the country as a regional hub, according to the SET.

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