Thai policy makers were not concerned about the simmering trade conflict between the United States and China with confidence that impact on Thailand will only be minimal.
Instead it will constitute opportunity for business operators.
The consensus was rounded up at a meeting of the government’s economic advisory team led by Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, the deputy prime minister, to discuss possible repercussions of the conflict of two super power countries in trade.
The meeting was told that the effects on Thailand will be minimal and although the situation could pose a threat it also presents potential opportunities that can be exploited.
It viewed that the US – China trade conflict would not boil over into Thailand.
It was also generally agreed that being a small country with comparatively robust economic policies Thailand was well equipped to weather global turbulence much better than much larger nations.
It said the current situation should not derail the 4% projected growth this year.
Dr Somkid stated that the country had only recently gone through a major political and economic upheaval that was one of the lowest points in its history.
The lessons learned from that bitter experience would have given the Thai people a new found resilience and hardiness that will fortify them for global uncertainties, he said.
However he said he wanted the younger generation to play an active role in the growth and development of the country.
At the meeting, Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong said that the trade conflict between the US and China will require close monitoring.
He said what concerned the ministry most is the potential impact on Thailand’s steel and aluminum exports which is currently being negotiated with US officials.
However he felt that the US’s trade restrictions on China’s electronics sector could indirectly benefit Thailand’s computer components and hard-discs which can still be directly imported into the US.
The drawback however is that some goods that China cannot now export to the US could find its way into the local market which could threaten local suppliers.
In any event he stated that it was still too early to clearly gauge the actual impact on the country.