Report: Thai floods to downgrade country’s economic growth by 1.2 percent

November 26th, 2011 - 11:43 pm ICT by BNO News  

BANGKOK, THAILAND (BNO NEWS) — The devastating rainfall and subsequent flooding in Thailand this year is expected to decrease the country’s economic growth to 2.4 percent, the Bangkok Post reported on Saturday.

The year’s flooding, which has already caused 1.4 trillion baht ($44.6 billion) in damage, is forecast to slash Thailand’s economy by around 1.2 percent, as it was initially projected to reach 3.6 percent, World Bank director Annette Dixon told the Bangkok Post.

The bank’s assessment was based on a survey covering public infrastructure such as transport and telecoms; manufacturing such as farming, tourism and industry; social development such as education and public health; and the environment.

While the government continues to carry out relief measures and assistance, Dixon noted that the flooding would also trigger spending, helping Thailand’s economic growth into the next year with the resulting rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts. Nonetheless, the survey stressed the importance of helping the affected and the poor with the proper measures to fight the swirling economy.

High quality seeds, farm equipment repair, and infrastructure improvements are among important measures which will be needed. In addition, the bank also made suggestions regarding measures against floods such as disaster management, including construction of flood barriers around industrial estates, implementation of the royally initiated water management projects and application of the flood control plan for the Mekong region by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Thailand has been hit by unusually heavy monsoon rains in the past months, killing more than 600 people in flood-related incidents and affecting thousands of villages. Currently, about one-third of Thailand’s provinces are affected.

In April and May, Thailand was also hit by flooding in the country’s southern region, causing billions in damages to their fishing industry, industrial sector, tourism, and business and trade, among other areas.

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