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Thai Government to Borrow $2b to Tide Over Crunch
Thailand has been hit by both shrinking demand for its exports in the wake of the global slowdown and political unrest.

Thailand plans to borrow $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion) from international agencies such as the World Bank to help its economy through the financial crisis, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said on Jan. 31.

The Finance Ministry would seek approval for the loans from cabinet next week, and most of the money would be used for state financial institutions, such as Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Korn told reporters at a sidelines of a seminar.

"Some money will be used to raise fund for the government's financial institutions, guarantee exports or give loans to companies."

The government plans discuss the loans with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, he said.

In another attempt to stimulate the economy, the Finance Ministry would also seek cabinet approval for a loans worth up to 200 billion baht ($5.7 billion) to be used as funding for state enterprises, Korn said.

Thailand has been hit by both shrinking demand for its exports in the wake of the global slowdown, sagging confidence at home after months of political turmoil, and a week-long siege of Bangkok's airports late last year, which hit tourism and trade.

Last week, the Bank of Thailand cut its 2009 economic growth forecast to a decade low of zero to two percent from 3.8-5.0 percent seen in October, and against 3.6 percent growth in 2008.

Exports generate more than 60 percent of gross domestic product, or the value of all goods and services produced in the country, and are projected to fall 5.5-8.5 percent this year.






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