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Thailand Economy Will Grow 3.5% As Tourism Returns: Minister

Five million foreign tourists have arrived so far this year, expecting to rise to 10 million by the end of the year, finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said.


Thai
A queue forms as people wait to order food at a popular street stall in the Chinatown area of Bangkok. Tourists are flooding back into Thailand, much to the relief of citizens tired of the country's economic downturn during the Covid pandemic. Photo: AFP.

 

Thailand’s economy will grow between 3% to 3.5% next year due to increased exports and a pick up in its tourism sector following the pandemic, its finance minister said on Saturday.

Five million foreign tourists have arrived so far this year, expecting to rise to 10 million by the end of the year, finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told a Radio Thailand programme.

Thailand’s GDP is expected to rise further in 2024, between 3% to 4%, he added.

 

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Thailand’s Recovery Lag

Thailand’s economic recovery has lagged others in the region due to slow tourism business, which typically accounts for about 12% of gross domestic product.

Last year it had 428,000 visitors when the economy grew 1.5%, among the slowest in the region. In 2019 before COVID-19, there were nearly 40 million foreign tourists.

“Our economic recovery is slow but stable,” Arkhom said.

Exports should increase 10% this year, boosted by a weak baht, and continue to support the economy next year, alongside tourism and government investment, he said.

The government reported on Saturday the jobless rate dropped to 1.3% in July, its lowest since the start of the pandemic, from 1.4% in June.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon

 

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Alfie Habershon

Alfie is a Reporter at Asia Financial. He previously lived in Mumbai reporting on India's economy and healthcare for data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, as well as having worked for London based Tortoise Media.

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