The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is optimistic that the country's economic growth could rise almost 2 percent this year if domestic consumption could be stimulated in the remaining two months.

PBS televison bulletin quoted FTI Vice Chairman Vallop Vitanakorn as saying that he was confident the economic growth of almost 2 percent remained possible this year.

Despite only about two months and a week left in this year, Thailand can probably expand between 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent if the government can find a new strategy and put its effort into the key areas that can spur consumption in a short period, he said.

He said another booming area that could quickly spur purchasing power is trade with neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar when domestic consumption is slow, Vallop said.

According to National Shippers’ Council President Nopporn Thepsithar, small and medium-sized enterprises should be given full support by the government as they represented more than 90 percent of business operators in Thailand and employed millions of workers. If the government left them struggling alone, it would mean a lot of people becoming unemployed as their own businesses failed to survive despite the sector’s high potential for growth, he said.

He also said the farm sector required proper measures from the government to tackle low crop prices, particularly for rubber and rice. If the government imposes the right measures to improve farmers’ incomes, that could translate into rising purchasing power.-VNA