Economy March 05, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

Thai growth to lag Asean nations: UTCC

The Thai economy is expected to pick up only 2-3 per cent this year, the laggard among Asean countries, given the prolonged political situation, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Aat Pisanwanich, dean of economics, said yesterday that growth in gross domestic product was expected to be less than 3 per cent against the projected Asean average of 6-7 per cent, mainly because of the country’s political situation and its sagging competitiveness. 
If the political situation continues into next quarter, about Bt200 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) may be postponed or shifted to Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, he said. 
Foreign tourists are expected to decline by about 800,000, resulting in a loss of Bt50 billion in revenue. Export growth is now projected at 3.9 per cent this year instead of 5 per cent, he added.
Bimstec endorses greater cooperation 
Leaders of Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member countries have agreed to deepen cooperation in the 14 priority areas to boost intra-regional trade, investment and tourism. 
Each member state is designated to lead certain areas of cooperation. Myanmar is the lead country for energy and agriculture.
Myanmar President Thein Sein told a press briefing yesterday during the third Bimstec summit that the 14 areas in focus are technology, energy, transport and communication, tourism, fisheries, agriculture, cultural cooperation, environment and disaster management, public health, people-to-people contact, poverty alleviation, counterterrorism and transnational crime, and climate change.
Free Wi-Fi at 6 airports
True Corp, in collaboration with Airports of Thailand, has launched a free Wi-Fi service at six airports managed by AOT under the service brand “AOT Free Wi-Fi by True Move H”.
They are including Suvarnabhumi Airport, Phuket International Airport, Hat Yai International Airport, Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport.