(Bloomberg) -- Thailand is counting on 1 million more foreign tourist arrivals and faster government spending to help boost economic growth this year to the fastest pace in six years.

The country targets 36.7 million travelers this year, 1 million higher than the previous estimate to help boost gross domestic product growth to 3%, Finance Minister Pichai Chunhavajira told reporters after the meeting of economic ministers on Monday. The latest GDP projection was higher than forecasts by the planning agency and the central bank, and would be the fastest pace since 2018, if it materializes.

The government also vowed to more than double the disbursement rate of 850 billion baht ($23 billion) it had allocated for public investment in the fiscal year ending September 30, Pichai said. The target is to bring the rate up to at least 70% from the current pace of about 41%, he said.

“We can’t sit still,” with such low growth estimate, Pichai said. “If we want to survive, our growth needs to reach 5% over the long term. But we will need to start with boosting this year’s growth first.”

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is under pressure to revive Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy whose growth had lagged neighbors for much of the past decade. A recent opinion survey showed that more than half of the Thais polled were unhappy with Srettha’s performance. 

In the early days of his administration, the premier had aspired to ramp up economic expansion to 5% or even higher during his term, aided by a 500-billion baht ($13.5 billion) cash handout stimulus that has yet to be implemented. 

Thailand’s economy, which has grappled with an average of below 2% expansion in the past decade, grew only 1.5% in the first quarter.

Pichai said the Board of Investment will also push for as much as 40 billion baht worth of projects to start by the end of this year, coming from about 800 billion baht worth of approved investment applications.

As for helping improve access to credit especially for small companies and vulnerable sectors, Pichai said the Government Savings Bank is planning to lend 100 billion baht to commercial banks at 0.1%, so that the banks can re-lend to specific groups at an interest rate of 3.5%-5%, he said.

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