Thailand’s economy in 2012 will rebound from the severe flooding last year, with a robust 7-percent growth rate “very much seeable,” Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said.
Kittiratt, who doubles as finance minister, told The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo on May 11 that a recovery in exports and demand for rebuilding the stricken regions of the country will put the Thai economy in good shape this year.
Thailand’s economy was flat in real terms in 2011 after flooding in the country’s industrial centers and elsewhere forced production to halt at many factories, including those of Japanese and other foreign companies. The initial economic forecast was for 4-percent growth in 2011, Kittiratt said.
He said almost all of the affected companies will be back in operation by the end of June, and that the number of factories pulling out of production would be “extremely small.”
Thailand, he said, will spend $11 billion (880 billion yen) on anti-flooding measures over two years and $70 billion on infrastructure projects, including express highways, over a five- to seven-year period.
Kittiratt said the Thai government will ensure that economic activities in the nation will not be jeopardized in the future.
“Thailand will be very responsible to prevent any interruption and disruption of economic activity,” he said. “To work closely with Japan and other countries is very important to provide confidence and also to prevent a situation of repeated suffering again.”
The flooding in autumn last year seriously affected Japan because many Japanese carmakers and other manufacturers have set up production bases in Thailand.
Kittiratt has been visiting Japan for events commemorating the 125th anniversary of bilateral ties and to meet with Jun Azumi, Japanese finance minister, and other officials.
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