Thai Finance Minister Eyes 3.8% Economic Growth in 2023 as Chinese Tourists Return

In November, Thailand’s economy was supported by tourism, while private consumption remained stable, but exports were weakened as a result of a slowdown in trading partners’ economies, Thailand’s Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Thursday.

Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia that has slowest growth compared to regional peers.

The finance minister said that China reopening their borders could drive the tourism sector, Thailand’s key economic growth contributor. Currently, the sector has nearly a third of roughly 40 million of foreign arrivals compared to pre-covid level in 2019.

The minister noted that the Thai economy could accelerate to 3.8% next year if Chinese tourists return, which would offset its weak exports amid slowing demand internationally.

In addition, he expected 3.1-3.2% growth this year, an increase from 1.5% increase last year.