by Surasak Tumcharoen
BANGKOK, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's economy will remarkably begin to prosper and expand in 2013, forecast Thai business tycoon Dhanin Chearavanont.
The chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, known in China as Chia Tai Group, recently made his comments in CP e-news website that Thailand's economy will notably grow up and increase in earnings, primarily from tourist industry, farm goods exports and automobile industry, among others.
For instance, Dhanin predicted, tourism will continue to flourish with the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand rising throughout this year, compared to an estimated 2.5 million last year.
"If only one per cent of the Chinese population (13 million) visited Thailand as deep-pocketed tourists in a year, we would certainly make a lot more incomes from tourism and become a very prosperous country,'' said the optimistic Dhanin.
In addition, many more foreign tourists from around the globe will also come to Thailand, which has speculated to receive as many as 23 million throughout this year.
Currently being Asia's biggest automobile manufacturing country, Thailand might probably become the world's fourth biggest in foreseeable future, Dhanin predicted, adding that several major automobile manufacturers had already relocated their assembly plants to Thailand and many more are expected to follow.
Meanwhile, Thailand's major agricultural goods exports such as rice, rubber, tapioca, sugarcanes and oil palm will make an increase in values, though their volumes might be reduced. In particular, he said, the Thai rice is selling at a considerably higher price than the Indian or Vietnamese rice, according to the business tycoon.
Given an increase in export earnings, Thai farmers and others will certainly have more purchasing powers which will terminally spur up domestic consumption and sustainable economic growth, Dhanin remarked.
Investments by Thailand's private sector will be expanded to all regions and and provinces of the country, given this year's corporate tax cut from 23 per cent to 20 per cent pledged by the Yingluck government, he said.
"If the government made a further cut in the corporate tax to 17 per cent as in Singapore and Hong Kong, foreign investors would probably relocate their businesses to Thailand or increase their investments in this country. Consequently, Thailand would collect more revenues from foreign as well as domestic investors and become a very prosperous economy."
However, Dhanin commented without elaborating that his predictions about Thailand's economy would never come true only if the country's politics remained in perplexing and unconstructive environment.
CP Group, which has launched a co-investment project in automobile industry with China, currently operates agro-industry and food-making business, retail and distribution, automobile industry and telecommunications in Thailand and 15 other countries around the globe.
The Thai conglomerate currently employs an estimated 280,000 people worldwide and reported 30 billion U.S. dollars in combined earnings in 2010.