pm says thailand will advance based on achievements of last year despite slowdown in tourist arrivals - PM says Thailand will advance based on achievements of last year, despite slowdown in tourist arrivals

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he is confident that 2022 will be a year of the “sustainable extension” of his government’s achievements during the previous year, despite the crises and challenges confronted by the country.

In his Facebook post today (Sunday), the prime minister elaborated on what he considers to be his government’s achievements, ranging from the procurement of sufficient COVID-19 vaccines, economic recovery, the rice price guarantee for farmers, the 50:50 co-payment stimulus scheme and access to funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

He claimed that the government’s success in administering more than 100 million doses of vaccines has controlled the spread of COVID-19, to the extent that Thailand has reopened its borders and many businesses have been able to resume operations, albeit under strict safety measures.

He claimed that the confidence indices in all sectors, from agriculture and industry to services and investment, are on the rise, which will help boost economic expansion. He said the government is ready to roll out promotional incentives for trade and investment, from international investment to local investment.

Citing the outstanding success of the 50:50 co-payment scheme, which has helped boost consumer purchasing power, with combined total spending of over 200 billion baht in just the third phase, he promised that the fourth phase will be rolled out for the months of March and April.

He claimed that the government’s credit guarantee scheme has enabled the SMEs to access about 240 billion baht in fresh funding, generating more than 2.6 million jobs.

The prime minister said that the government’s 80 billion baht fund to support the revenue guarantee scheme for rice farmers has helped about 4.7 million farming households.

On household debt, he said that the government has developed measures in the past year to solve the problems, including in the student loan program, car and motorcycle leasing, refinancing for credit card loans and personal loans, debt problems among government officials and a reduction of interest rates and fees.

Despite all the challenges and obstacles facing many countries worldwide in the past year, the prime minister claimed they have made Thailand stronger, with an increased capacity in various areas, including health care and tourism.

Nonetheless, arrivals of foreign travellers are slowing after the government suspended the “Test and Go” program, which exempted fully-inoculated arrivals from mandatory quarantine.

Issuance of the “Thailand Pass” for new applicants has also been suspended until further notice over Omicron variant concerns and Omicron cases in Thailand are on the rise, notably through local transmission, whereas daily new COVID-19 cases are hovering above 3,000 a day with no clear sign of reducing in the near future.