BANGKOK, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Global credit rating agency Moody's on Tuesday maintained Thailand's credit rating at Baa1 with stable outlook, saying that the country still has sufficient economic activity to balance the current challenges of COVID-19.
According to Patricia Mongkolvanich, director of the Public Debt Management Office of the Ministry of Finance, the rating decision was strongly influenced by solid industry activities, especially in the automotive and electronic sector, and the country's well-known role as a leading hub for agriculture and tourism.
The rating has further been supported by the country's strong public and external finances, which helped Thailand respond to the economic shock and market volatility brought by the pandemic.
The credit rating agency forecasted the economy to expand by 2.0 percent this year, a more positive projection compared to the 0.7 to 1.2 percent prediction by the National Economic and Social Development Council earlier this month.
Patricia revealed that the required factors that will allow Moody's to upgrade its credit rating for Thailand in the future are the country's ability to increase its competitiveness by tackling deep-rooted structural problems such as aging population and skilled labor shortage.
Meanwhile, Moody's reiterated in its report that the reemergence of political turmoil in Thailand could potentially dim its attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment, undermining the outlook and the pace of economic recovery.
Thailand's public debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 56.09 percent as of June, with the value of 8.8 trillion baht (about 267.6 billion U.S. dollars), according to the Ministry of Finance. The sum is considered the highest public debt threshold since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Enditem