Thai economy predicted to be stronger in second half hinh anh 1A passenger pays a bus fare using a state welfare card. (Source:

Bangkok (VNA)
- Promoted investment by the new government is hoped to speed up Thailand’s economy and help its GDP grow at a faster pace in the second half of 2019, said Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

According to the Deputy PM, the new administration is expected to start its operation by August, while the fiscal 2020 budget is projected to be disbursed in December.

The fiscal 2020 budget is set at 3.2 trillion baht (over 104 billion USD), 200 billion baht (6.5 billion USD) higher than that of the fiscal 2019, which will end on September 30, with a projected budget deficit of 450 billion baht, same as in the previous fiscal year, according to local media.

The new government pledges to continue the national welfare card scheme, while the Budget Bureau of Thailand has already approved 100 billion baht to finance the scheme, Somkid was quoted by local media as saying.

The new finance minister will come up with a decision on measures to support low-income earners, he said.

The Deputy PM said the tourism sector is expected to remain strong, citing a Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) report that the number of foreign visitors in the first half of the year totalled 19.9 million, up 2 percent year-on-year, generating 1 trillion baht in revenue, up 3 percent.

The TAT forecasts the tourism sector to generate a total of 3.4 trillion baht in 2019, up 11.5 percent from 2018.

According to Somkid, foreign investment in Thailand, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor, will continue to increase with the anticipated influx of foreign investors from China and Japan relocating their production bases.

The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) predicted that Thailand’s GDP grows by 3 percent in the first half and may be a 4 percent rise in the latter half.-VNA