Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thailand's Virabongsa : No recovery in near term:

Published on July 23, 2009

Former Finance Minister Virabongsa Ramangkura bluntly announced on Thursday that there is no sign of recovery in Thai economy, due to a number of risk factors.

Against general optimism that the economy would return to the positive territory in the fourth quarter, Virabongsa said despite some improvements, economic indicators could fall again. Meanwhile, there is no hope from private investment, as their capacity utilisation is only 50 per cent of total.

He commented on the lack of clarity of the second economic-stimulus package. While it is known that Bt200 billion would be used to replenish fiscal deficits, there is no clarity on how the remaining Bt600 billion fund would be used to stimulate the economy. As such, he had no idea how this package would boost the economy later this year.

"The government needs to look forward, what needs to be done for the next 4-5 days," he said at the Fiscal Policy Office's seminar on "Thailand's Economic Survival amid Global Pressure".

He expressed concerns over the government's lack of measures to tame the influenza A (N1N1) pandemic, to restore foreign tourist confidence particularly those from China.

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