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Thai finance ministry sees 3.8-pct GDP growth in 2023

BANGKOK, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Ministry of Finance on Friday lowered its growth forecast for 2022 but maintained its projection for 2023 at 3.8 percent, helped by improving tourism sector and domestic demand.

The country's economy is expected to expand 3 percent year on year in 2022, down from the ministry's previous projection of 3.2 percent, dragged by a slowdown in private consumption, public investment and exports, Pornchai Thiraveja, director general of the ministry's Fiscal Policy Office, told a news conference.

The gross domestic product (GDP) data for 2022 is due in February.

The ministry expected the country to welcome 27.5 million foreign tourist arrivals this year, up from a previous forecast of 21.5 million, thanks to increasing tourists from the Asian region, Pornchai said.

The country's tourism sector is picking up, receiving 11.15 million international tourist arrivals in 2022, up from only 428,000 in 2021.

China's optimization of its COVID-19 strategy is considered a tailwind to Thailand's economic growth, while the global economic slowdown, monetary policy tightening in major economies and geopolitical tensions are among the risk factors, he said.

However, he said exports are expected to increase just 0.4 percent this year due to declining demand from key trading partners. Previously, the ministry expected the country's exports to rise 2.5 percent in 2023.