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Legal Update

Shielding Thailand from the Global Financial Turmoil

30 October 2008
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update

In response to the world financial crisis, the Cabinet has approved six economic stimulus measures proposed by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board ("ONESDB").

Full Update

On 14 October 2008, the Thai Cabinet endorsed six measures presented by the ONESDB to strengthen the economy and protect Thailand from the current global financial turmoil. The measures are aimed at enhancing the capital market, improving cash flow liquidity, promoting exports and tourism, injecting funds into the domestic economy, speeding up mega-projects and building an Asian financial community.

To achieve these aims, a team has been set up to coordinate and implement the following six measures:

  • The 2009 state budget, set at THB 180 billion more than in the last fiscal year, will be prematurely disbursed as an injection into the economy’s cash flow.
  • Mega-project investments will be accelerated by increasing the investment budget by at least THB 100 billion, with THB 60 billion going into the mass electrical transportation system, THB 10 billion into the general transportation system and THB 30 billion into the energy investment project of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand.
  • The Stock Exchange of Thailand will initiate Matching Funds with finance and securities companies to cushion the effects of foreign investors’ sell-out. In addition, tax privileges for Retirement Mutual Fund and Long Term Fund investments will be extended from THB 500,000 to THB 700,000.
  • To ensure sustained liquidity, the Bank of Thailand will encourage loan approvals by financial institutions to a wider range of business enterprises. The minimum target for loan approvals by commercial banks is THB 400 billion and THB 50 billion by government-owned financial institutions.
  • The Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Tourism and Sports will team up to organise road shows aimed at developing export markets in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Africa and Latin-America and promoting travel to Thailand. Together, the export and tourism industries are expected to bring in around THB 360 billion to the country.
  • Finally, a financial alliance will be built between members of ASEAN and other countries such as Australia, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Japan and South Korea. This collaboration is expected to boost Thailand’s economic growth rate 5.1% this year and 4% in 2009.

The measures, hopefully, will guide Thailand along in a secure direction during these hard times and bolster confidence that Thailand is a safe place worth investing in.

For further information, please contact:

Sathaporn Jumsuk (
Gun Vasharakorn (

Learn more about our Bangkok office, Finance practice and Global Financial Markets Initiative.

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