JSCCIB optimistic about export growth

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was a no-show in court yesterday.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) expects to revise up its full-year forecast for export growth to 4% from the current 3.5-4.0%.

Kalin Sarasin, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC), described the lack of a violent confrontation after former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s no-show in court yesterday as a good sign that would hopefully let the country continue its recovery and capitalise on the growing global economy.

He said the joint committee is due to have a meeting over the next two weeks and is expected to revise up its Thai 2017 annual export forecast to 4.0%, due to rising demand amid the global economic recovery and the lack of violence at Ms Yingluck’s hearing.

His sentiments were in line with those of the Commerce Ministry, which is due to revise up its export target to 6.0%-6.5% from the previous view of 5.0% after export growth hit double digits for five straight months.

Exports in July climbed 10.5% to US$18.9 billion (630.5 billion baht), shrugging off the strengthening local currency as demand for Thai goods rose in line with the recovering global economy.

Exports for the first seven months totalled $132.4 billion baht, up 8.2% year-on-year, the highest rate in six years.

“In the view of the TCC and other foreign chambers, they have no concern at all about what the court would rule,” Mr Kalin said. “What they care about is whether it would be remain safe for them to operate their businesses here in Thailand.”

Police yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of Ms Yingluck after she failed to show up at court to hear the verdict on her role in the rice-pledging scheme, which is alleged to have caused billions of baht in losses to the country.

Mr Kalin yesterday met with more than 30 Japanese companies which expressed interest in keeping their investment base in Thailand.

“They said they are happy with their investment in Thailand, where their revenue and profit are rising with better cost control,” he said.

Mr Kalin said the TCC is about to gather comments and opinions from major investors, including Japanese investors, to see if there are any rules or regulations that could be improved to help facilitate them in doing business in Thailand.

But he said issues remain that businesses want tackled in order to help the economy continue its recovery.

One of the major concerns is government disbursement, which is still mostly benefiting central areas instead of being spread around nationwide.

As a result, the TCC plans to set up more meetings and events in order to help spur spending in more remote areas to help boost the economy, Mr Kalin said.

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