The Kasikorn Research Centre estimates that Thailand’s economy will grow 3.7% this year, down from a previously estimated 4.0%, in part due to things beyond the country’s control, chiefly economic tensions between the US and China. Thailand’s export-focused business and the manufacturing sector are showing signs of slowing. A smart coping strategy, according to a local World Bank analyst, is staying committed to the development and ongoing construction of various infrastructure works, to stimulate domestic spending and help keep medium-term growth on track.
Alternate paths to growth
At Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain stations, iconic symbols of so much that’s changed during the country’s fast-moving development in recent decades, passengers waiting for the next train will find a variety of colourful ads digitally vying for their attention, sending messages from state-of-the-art digital displays of various sizes.
The other Talat Phlu Station
Beneath a flyover for cars, and the construction site that will eventually link a new MRT to the Talat Phlu BTS Station, on terra firma and closer to the original Phlu Market where betel was once widely sold, lies a Talat Phlu Station on a State Railway of Thailand commuter line. Customers who pay 10 baht can go all the way to the terminus of Mahachai Station, and a hub of activity at a pier teeming with the coming and going of fishing boats, adding their tasty contributions to a major sector of the national economy.
Kasikorn also reports that private consumption grew 4.3% year on year and that this was good news for farmers and the agriculture sector, while continually increasing tourist arrivals is also good for the economy. While digital-age commuting and connectivity promises increasingly innovative marketing opportunities, and whole Skytrain cars can be colored up into rolling ad campaigns, when glitches in the global system arise, it’s good to know that there are still plenty of down-to-earth solutions at hand.
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