ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
'Normal' growth for Thailand expected
Economic growth this year is expected to exceed earlier NESDB forecasts of 7 percent to 7.5 percent, due in part to low-base effects from last year's recession and a better-than-expected export rebound in exports.
The new secretary-general said that exports, which account for as much as 60-70 percent of the economy, would continue drive the economy in 2011.
While concerns exist over a possible "double-dip" recession in the so-called G3 - the United States, Europe and Japan - policymakers expect the impact is unlikely to be as severe as during the global crisis in 2008-09. Thai exporters have also proved highly resilient in diversifying to Asia and other emerging economies to offset the impact of weak growth in the G3.
Tourism, a major source of foreign exchange, is also expected to rebound in 2011 to 15.5 million arrivals. Visitors in the first eight months of 2010 totaled just 10 million, with a full-year target of 14.8 million, due in part to the negative impact of the Bangkok riots and political instability in the second quarter.
He said private investment would also be a key growth factor in 2011 as companies look to ramp up production capacity as utilisation already is high at 70-80%.
New investment, led by public-private partnerships for infrastructure, is also expected to rise in 2011. Mr Arkhom said public-private partnership (PPP) projects in 2011 would likely be small-scale projects to expand public health and education infrastructure.
Low interest rates and a robust farm sector are other factors that should support growth next year.
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