June 26, 2020 / 7:33 AM / 20 days ago

Thailand plans $2.6 bln projects for reviving virus-hit economy

BANGKOK, June 26 (Reuters) - Thailand plans projects worth about 80 billion baht ($2.59 billion) for restoring an economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the state planning agency said on Friday.

The projects are aimed largely at helping to boost the farm sector, tourism and consumption and would provide more than 400,000 jobs, Thosaporn Sirisumphand, head of the National Economic and Social Development Council, told a briefing.

The plans are expected to be put to cabinet for approval on Tuesday.

They will be financed by some of the government’s 1 trillion baht of borrowing as it attempts to mitigate the impact of the outbreak on businesses and jobs.

Though Thailand has so far reported only 3,162 infections and 58 deaths from COVID-19 and has lifted most restrictions, its economy has been badly hit by the global pandemic.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy could shrink 8.1% this year, the biggest contraction on record, according to the central bank. ($1 = 30.92 baht) (Reporting by Kitphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)

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