Thailand's economic growth will rise up to 5.2 percent throughout this year, given a speculated rebound in global economies and a continual increase in domestic consumption, according to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Delivering the 2014 budget bill totaling 87 billion U.S. dollars at the parliament on Wednesday, Yingluck assured that the country's economic growth will continue to expand and rise due to the speculated gradual recovery in world economies, less dependence on export incomes and more domestic consumption.
Given foreign cash inflows and baht strengths, plus the expansion and improvement of the global and Asian economies, the country's economic growth will rise by 4.2 percent to 5.2 percent while inflation will rise by 2.3 percent to 3.3 percent this year.
"Besides, the national economy will continue to rise due in part to a gradual improvement in export industry, an increase in the private sector's productivity and a supportive loan plan of the government," said the lady premier about the budget bill, which is widely speculated to sail through the first hurdle in both upper and lower houses over the weekend.
She was referring to the 73 billion U.S. dollars loan which the Pheu Thai Party-led government is seeking to finance the planned expansion and modernization of the country's rail and logistical systems throughout the country.
Of that huge sum of money, more than 80 percent will be invested in the reconstruction of the country's rail systems, including the introduction of high-speed trains to transport province-to-province commuters and export-bound food cargoes daily.
According to the lady prime minister, the 87 billion U.S. dollars budget will incur 8.6 billion U.S. dollars in deficit, include 15 billion U.S. dollars in investment funds and 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in debt repayments for the next fiscal year, beginning on the first of October.
Nevertheless, she said, the government currently has 10 billion U.S. dollars in the coffer and speculated to collect 82 billion U. S. dollars in incomes against 75 billion U.S. dollars in expenditures throughout the next fiscal year.
She said a 5 billion U.S. dollars fund has been earmarked, accounting for 5.7 percent of the 87 billion U.S. dollars budget, to finance the government's plans to get the country and people prepared for the ASEAN Economic Community, scheduled to be set up in 2015.
The Yingluck government is currently promoting the teaching of foreign languages, especially English and Chinese, to the young generation to better communicate with their AEC neighbors.
The government is pushing for the advancement of labor skills and tourist industry to lure foreign visitors, particularly those from the AEC states, and turn Thailand into a regional medical hub, according to the prime minister.
Besides, the goods made by indigenous manufacturing industry, known as OTOP (One Tambon/ One Product), and small- and medium- sized enterprises will be as well promoted primarily for export markets.
The government will not only help with the marketing for such products but also provide financial support for them, she said.