Thai gross domestic product (GDP) this year will reach a growth of 3.5 percent with the recovered signs from tourism as well as private and public spending despite of exports falling in recent.

According to a joint committee comprising the country's commerce, industry and banking (JSCCIB), the rebound of tourism and the expected increase in private and public spending in the second half should be able to compensate for the slump in exports.

In the first two months of this year, Thai exports shrank by more than 4.8 percent from the same period last year, with the value of 17 billion USD in February only and decrease of over 6 percent. The country's exporter council promptly changed its export growth target this year to zero expansion.

With the context of poor export outlook, tourism and public spending would be the key stimulant driving the country's economy. Tourism was expected to increase by over 20 percent in the first quarter whilst government spending on mega projects in the third and fourth quarter and private investment would be expanded.

These factors will compensate for the slowdown in merchandise exports. The Thai Board of Investment approved 700 billion THB worth of projects and companies should begin construction this quarter. This should become more apparent next quarter.-VNA