News / Asia

Despite Floods, Thai Central Banker Remains Upbeat on Recovery

A Thai man on a mattress paddles along the Chao Phraya River which runs through Bangkok, Thailand, Nov 03, 2011.
A Thai man on a mattress paddles along the Chao Phraya River which runs through Bangkok, Thailand, Nov 03, 2011.
Ron Corben

Thailand's central bank governor says he is optimistic the country's economy will recover in early 2012 from the floods still threatening Bangkok.  The governor's upbeat outlook comes as government authorities discuss multi-billion-dollar recovery and reconstruction plans.

Thailand's most severe floods in 50 years have now claimed 437 lives, affected more than three million households across three quarters of the country's provinces. The estimated financial damage is already in the billions of dollars. The waters have so far inundated almost 10,000 factories, including several industrial estates, north of the city with loss of 660,000 jobs.

While the pace of the inundation has slowed in Bangkok, millions of cubic meters of often fetid water is still advancing to the financial and business districts.

Despite the damage and ongoing concern in Bangkok, Thai central bank governor Prasarn Trulratvorakul says economic recovery is possible if the waters recede by early December and domestic spending is revived.

Speaking to journalists, Prasarn expects private consumption to lead the rebound in early 2012.

"We still believe there will be recovery next year provided that the flood situation starts to improve by early December," said Prasarn.  "We should see Thailand staging a respectable comeback on the back of domestic demand revival. I would like to stress again that Thailand's fate will depend upon her success in reviving domestic demand."

The floods have led the central bank to slash Thailand's expected annual growth rate by half to 2.6 percent.  The World Bank expects the Thai economy to contract in the final quarter by close to two percent.

Hard-hit factories outside Bangkok account for almost 20 percent of national industrial production.

Vikas Kawatra, head of institutional broking at Kim Eng Securities, says reviving the industrial sector should be a government priority.

"Broadly speaking the priorities should be first to fix the industrial sector so factories can start resumption of work and then comes the next step of making sure that this doesn't repeat, doesn't happen," said Kawatra.  "It's a long term process."

Agriculture production in the country's central plains has also been affected. The Rice Exporters Association expects rice exports to fall because of logistical problems in flooded areas. There are also concerns that as much as a quarter of the rice crop could be affected.

For now, tens of thousands of people are already dependent on food and water handouts.

Aid workers and politicians visiting flood-hit areas are met by crowds of anxious people.

This week local businessman Somchai Pattanont traveled by boat along the Chao Phraya River to deliver aid to monks at a temple. Somchai fears it may take two years to recover.

"The country is in for trouble for a long, long time, about one or two years," said Pattanont.  "Many factories of the foreign factory [owners] are destroyed, [the floods] destroyed many factories. So [in] one or two years everything will be better. [But] the people upcountry, upcountry [everything] is destroyed. No money, no food, no rice, trouble. The government will have to pay a lot of money, a lot."

For now, Thai authorities are still focused on the short term challenge of draining the enormous pool of water north of Bangkok into the Gulf of Thailand.

You May Like

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Unlikely Before Monday

Tension builds over possible indictment of white police officer in shooting death of black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current Russian-backed rebels’ fight in east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid