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The CRC is worried about electricity bills, interest rates, and a strong baht. affect production costs | RYT9

The Joint Committee of 3 Private Sector Organizations (KorKor.) continues to assess Thailand’s economic situation in 2023, the same as the previous estimate in January. The economic growth rate (GDP) is expected to be 3.0-3.5%, exports will grow 1-2% and headline inflation will be 2.7-3.2%.

They are of the opinion that the Thai economy is supported by the tourism sector, but there are risks from the export sector. The number of foreign tourists this year may exceed the previous estimate of 22.5 million. from tourists from Europe and the United States tend to improve better than expected while Chinese tourists improve significantly in the second quarter

However, the CRC is still concerned about production costs which remain at a high level. especially the electricity bill Including the tendency to continuously increase the policy rate. in the midst of a baht appreciation situation This may affect the competitiveness of entrepreneurs. including passing on costs to consumers by increasing the prices of goods and services

Mr Kriengkrai Thiennukul, president of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), as chairman of the CRC meeting, said of discussions with the secretary general of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as well as agencies in the States sector concerned. in energy yesterday (31 January) to find a common way to solve the problem of electricity bills. which in the past The private sector has helped to reduce the use of natural gas. by using other fuels instead of part of it to make the calculation of the Ft value in the next cycle getting a reduced rate

However, the CRC meeting proposed to lower the Ft rate for the second installment for May-August 2023 due to the supporting factor in the increase in natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand. and the price of natural gas from abroad which tends to fall

In addition, at the NRC meeting Approve the guidelines for establishing the Department of Energy and order the Office of the Department of Energy to prepare a working structure. Proposal to the relevant agencies for approval for further establishment. And during the establishment of the Energy Department, there was a request for a Task Force on Energy (ad hoc) to integrate cooperation in solving problems. and create an understanding of energy Including discussing short, medium-long measures with representatives of 3 parties, namely the Ministry of Energy’s Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Private Sector Joint Committee (ERP) ).

for the general economic situation of the relaxation of COVID control measures Begin to cause China’s economy to have a clear sign of recovery. according to China’s economic index in the manufacturing sector and in the service sector resumed expansion in January Especially in the service sector, which reflects the travel of Chinese people during the Chinese New Year. This is in line with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest estimate that China’s economy is expected to grow by 5.2 percent in 2023, which is higher than the previous estimate of 4.49.

Although the global economy in 2023 is expected to grow by 2.9%, higher than the previous estimate of 2.7%, and such factors are expected to benefit Thailand’s tourism sector. together with production activities tending to improve will help support the export sector in the coming period amid the slowing global economy

Regarding the rapidly appreciating baht and more than regional currencies Although the appreciation of the baht is supported by fundamental factors such as the current account balance which returned to surplus in the fourth quarter of 2022, the views of investors who positively towards the opening of China. and the depreciation of the dollar After the market eased concerns about the Fed accelerating interest rates. But the baht has appreciated around 15% since October 2022. and appreciated up to 5% during January ’23 Appreciating significantly faster than other currencies in the region. This is a factor that puts pressure on the competitiveness of Thai exports amid the slowdown in demand for products.

Mr Kriengkrai said that Thai exports are likely to slow down in early 2023 and that affecting factors must be closely monitored. be it an appreciation of the global economic slowdown baht which, although China can recover quickly But it may not be enough to replace the demand for goods from other major countries.

In addition, there is the problem of labor shortages in the service sector. It is another issue that the government must have measures to support. In order to prepare enough labor to support the expansion of the tourism sector, which the CRC will discuss with the Ministry of Labor to accelerate procurement in the services sector In the second quarter, there should be many tourists coming in. especially Chinese tourists


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