Thailand is planning to launch a stimulus package worth USD 10 billion. The package will consist of three main groups of measures: assistance for people affected by the drought crisis, efforts to mitigate the impact of the global slowdown on the Thai economy, and help for low-income earners and the elderly with the high cost of living.
The government will provide cash handouts of THB 10 billion (USD 328 million) for 10 million people in addition to tax breaks on domestic tourism spending. It is also expected that the government will offer visa exemptions for visitors from China and India, which is projected to draw around 200,000-300,000 additional foreign tourists and inject another THB 15-20 billion (USD 492-656 million) into the economy. The government hopes to attract 39.8 million tourists during 2019 and 41.8 million during 2020. Around 38.3 million tourists visited Thailand during 2018. Foreign tourists contribute around 12% of Thailand’s annual GDP.
The government is targeting GDP growth of at least 3% in 2019 and 3.5% in 2020. The export-oriented economy expanded by 4.1% during 2018 but it is currently pressurized by external factors such as the US-China trade war and Brexit. The economy grew by 2.3% y-o-y during the second quarter of 2019, the slowest rate in 19 quarters. The slowdown is attributed to a drop in exports of both goods and services and agricultural contraction due to the impact of drought.
(Source: Reuters; Bangkok Post; Thailand Business News)