1. Market Research
Country Report Thailand October 2017

Country Report Thailand October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 325941
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2018-22

  • Criticism of the junta by political parties will continue, although the risk of major clashes between Thailand's rival political camps has faded following public approval of a new constitution in a referendum held in August 2016.
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the next general election to be held in 2019 at the earliest. The timing of the vote will be partly contingent on when the junta completes the drafting of "organic laws" for the new charter.
  • The government's top policy priority will be to strengthen economic growth by boosting public investment (especially in large infrastructure projects), expediting foreign-investment approvals and stimulating consumer demand.
  • The Bank of Thailand (BOT, the central bank) will maintain its accom-modative monetary policy stance for most of the forecast period despite a rapidly narrowing interest-rate differential with the US.
  • Real GDP growth will average 2.9% a year in 2018-22. Despite diminished political uncertainty, private investment will be below par as prospects for both domestic and external demand remain underwhelming.
  • The current-account balance will remain in the black in the forecast period, aided by tourism revenue, but the size of the surplus will trend downwards as a percentage of GDP, mainly owing to stronger growth in imports.


  • On September 27th the Supreme Court found the former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, guilty of criminal negligence in the management of a rice-pledging scheme when she was in office. She has been sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.
  • The prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, met the US president, Donald Trump, during a state visit to Washington, DC, on October 2nd. The meeting focused on trade and security.
  • At a press conference in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, on September 7th Prayuth and the Cambodian prime minister, Hun Sen, announced their intention to open more border checkpoints and restart a railway project, as well as enhance co-operation on trade and tourism.
  • Malaysia signed an Energy Purchase Wheeling Agreement with Laos and Thailand on September 28th. The deal will enable Laos to export electricity produced by hydropower stations on the Mekong Delta to Malaysia, via Thailand's transmission lines.
  • On September 27th the BOT's monetary policy committee decided to keep its benchmark policy rate, the one-day repurchase rate, unchanged at 1.5%. The policy rate has stayed at this level since April 2015.

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