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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid