A Bank economist has predicted that Thailand’s economy is expected to contract 8.9% this year despite the easing of COVID-19 measures.
Amonthep Chawla, head of the research bureau at CIMB THAI Bank (CIMBT), said that although Thailand was heading towards the fourth phase of easing the lockdown, with more businesses to reopen, the Thai economy was still far from showing signs of recovery.
“Productivity, confidence and consumer spending will remain low in the coming period,” he said.
He noted that the impacts of COVID-19 on the Thai economy would be more evident in the second quarter. With an expected contraction of GDP of 14%. Thailand’s economic outlook for the second half of the year was better, but GDP could contract by 10%.
Key factors for the Thai economy were the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infection and oil prices, he added.
Lifting of all commercial bottlenecks
Meanwhile, the Thai government has set July 1 as the lifting of all business closures. Also the reopening of international travel. Security officials said all businesses and activities would be allowed to fully resume in July.
The lifting will also include interprovincial and international travel, as well as the end of the emergency decree.
NSC General Secretary General Somsak Rungsita said lifting the restrictions would be a complete reopening of the country. Authorities are reportedly preparing measures for the reopening next month.
People’s cooperation is important. This relates to the use of face masks, social distancing, hand washing, and limited activities. As long as the disease spreads around the world, we will have to fight it for a while, ”he said.
The executive decree on public administration in emergencies will end in June and the ban on international travel will continue until July 1. The full reopening will come after the third phase of the easing which will take place in June.
International travel will start in July
The government’s Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is finalizing details on which companies could take over and on what terms as part of the third phase of easing this month.
Its committee on business easing did not come to a conclusion on high-risk activities. These activities were suspended and severely affected the Thai economy.
Curfew hours have ended and more restrictions on interprovincial travel would be lifted. Other activities in shopping centers have resumed and athlete training grounds have reopened.
Business operators and customers will still need to use the Thai Chana mobile app. The app is for registration and exit from their business in order to prevent transmission of covid-19.