Thailand needs another 30 billion USD to aid virus-hit economy hinh anh 1An empty shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand as restrictions are imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand needs a further 1 trillion THB (29.9 billion USD) to ensure jobs and incomes for residents, the country’s central bank governor said on August 16, as the Southeast Asian nation struggles with its most severe COVID-19 outbreak to date.

Thailand’s has seen a spike in cases and deaths, prompting tougher containment measures to be extended this month and expanded to areas which account for around 80 percent of gross domestic product.

The projected 1 trillion THB in fiscal support, or 7 percent of GDP is reasonable given the problems the economy is facing, Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput told a news conference.

The problems were worse than the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, he said, adding the government’s fiscal position is strong and is able to borrow more to help the economy.

The outbreak created a huge “income hole” in the Thai economy, with income losses are expected at 2.6 trillion THB - 1.8 trillion THB in 2020-2021 and 800 billion THB in 2022, Sethaput said.

The number of jobless people is expected at 3.4 million at the end of 2021, up from 3 million in the second quarter, he said.

The central bank maintained its 0.7 percent GDP growth outlook this year despite a better-than-expected second quarter, he said.

The BOT will ensure the baht will not impede the economy, Sethaput said, as it had depreciated by 10 percent this year, making it Asia’s worst performing currency./.