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Posts Tagged ‘Thailand Economy’

28th February 2014

As of the time of this writing, the “Shutdown Bangkok” campaign is scheduled to end on Monday, March 3rd. However, from initial reports it is not clear whether the movement will be fully dissolved in all locations. Apparently, leaders of the movement have scheduled an end to the blocking of key intersections throughout the city while consolidating the movement’s location at Lumpini Park. Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether the protest site at Chaeng Wattana will be closed as well.

Apparently, this decision was made as a result of concerns that the protest has had a dampening effect upon the Thai economy. As protests intensified many people from all sectors of the Thai business community raised concerns that the situation was causing losses in the tourism industry as well as possibly leading to decreases in future foreign direct investment.

The recent news will likely come as a welcome surprise to the Thai business community especially the tourism sector as it could be a portent of a future lasting compromise leading to a maintenance of stability in the country. Those living and working in Bangkok will likely also be glad to hear of the reopening of major intersections since doing so will undoubtedly lead to less traffic congestion in the city.

Hopefully, this announcement will encourage foreign governments around the world to lift their travel warnings and travel bans regarding Thailand. As a consequence, tourists will return to Thailand on a scale that is relatively commiserate with tourism numbers prior to the outset of protesting.

Notwithstanding recent political tension there are many who feel as though Thailand still represents one of the top tourism destinations in the world. Furthermore, Thailand is also considered a prime destination for foreign direct investment as the Kingdom remains one of the strongest economies in Southeast Asia. Couple this with the fact that as of January 2015 the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will come into being creating a wide range of business opportunities in Thailand and throughout the region, and there is good reason to believe that Thailand will remain strong economically. Should the AEC also herald the coming of a single unified ASEAN visa scheme Thailand as well as the rest of Southeast Asia could see an increase in the numbers of both business and leisure travelers. Only time will tell how all of these developments will play out, but cautious optimism is apparently called for under the present circumstances.

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5th November 2013

In recent postings throughout the internet, speculation regarding the future of Southeast Asian economics abound. Meanwhile, further analysis of the Thai economy in particular is rife. In a recent article on Forbes’ official website evidence has been cited which would appear to point to the possibility that Thailand may experience an economic bubble burst akin to the crash of 1997. Various Thai government officials as well as Thai businesspersons were quoted as saying that certain aspects of the Thai economy are troubling. Notably, inflows of foreign capital specifically targeting the Thai property market as well as signs that Thai people are engaged in what could be described as conspicuous consumption are leading some experts to believe that Thailand could be headed for a new economic downturn.

Concurrently, the article went on to note that Thailand, ever susceptible to negative economic consequences arising from nations which maintain significant trade relationships with the Kingdom, may see problems in export sectors resulting from decreased demand in both China and the other nations which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Should there be an economic problem in one of these countries then there could be a sort of negative ripple effect in the export sector in Thailand.

The points made in the article are compelling and certainly there may be cause for concern that the Thai economy may be placed in a difficult position in the future, especially if Thailand’s main export markets experience an economic downturn. However, the situation may not be as dire as some are predicting. Instead, this blogger would argue that Thailand’s economy may be simply in something of a state of flux due to changes in the ASEAN region and China. The dynamics of global economics are changing. American monetary policy along with economic problems in Europe have caused many to look toward Asia as a beacon of possible future growth.

In a recent article on the official website of Bloomberg it was noted that there appears to be a “boom” of sorts occurring in the Eastern province of Rayong and the region of Northeast Thailand known as Isan. As automobile manufacturing has increased in Rayong, so too has the purchasing power of residents of that province. Meanwhile, Isan is experiencing an upsurge economically as a result of increased domestic income and also concomitant demand for consumer goods from the local population. All of this news comes closely upon the heels of announcements that Thailand, Laos, and China will one day be connected via a high speed rail system. In fact, China has recently noted their commitment to that project and Thai officials have asked China to assist in the design of a rail system between Bangkok and Udon Thani (a city of 400,000 which sits close to the border and capital of Laos). There is an argument that should this rail system go into place the resulting economic boon to Thailand, particularly Northeast Thailand, could be tremendous as there could be a substantial increase in trade and tourism from China via this rail link. Moreover, Thailand could see itself becoming the entrepot for trade between South China and the rest of the ASEAN jurisdictions.

Presently, it is difficult to say whether Thailand will continue a trend of uninterrupted prosperity. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that increased economic integration with ASEAN as well as new, less logistically difficult, trade opportunities with China could usher in an era of prosperity and counter some of the negative factors currently worrying experts analyzing the current state of the Thai economy.

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11th September 2013

It was recently announced that the Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, believes that the Thai economy would improve notwithstanding economic slowdown around the world. In recent comments the Prime Minister noted that even though there have been signs of economic turmoil in more sophisticated economies such as the United States and the European Union, Asian nations have shown signs of growth. This growth is particularly noticeable, according to the Prime Minister, in those jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Thai premier went on to note that the so-called “quantitative easing” measures implemented in the United States (as well as other jurisdictions) had created a situation in which capital began flowing into the Thai markets. The challenge for Thailand’s government requires seeing to it that such inflows are converted into investment in the Kingdom with tangible results. Furthermore, Thailand’s economy has been undergoing a sort of metamorphosis in recent years as the Kingdom’s largest export markets have been dealing with economic problems, Thai businesses have had to rely increasingly upon domestic demand for Thai products and services. This transition has caused a degree of hardship for some Thai businesses, especially those dependent upon exports. The Government appears to be seeking a way in which to adjust the current relationship between domestic revenue and revenue derived from exports.

On the issue of exports, it appears that the government in Thailand is attempting to implement policies which would allow for more exports to nations which border Thailand, while encouraging further trade relationships with the other ASEAN members. The Prime Minister apparently believes that Thai exports in the last six months of 2013 will outpace those in the first six months of the year.

Foreign tourists appear to be arriving in increasing numbers and it is hoped that foreign tourists will reach a total of 22 million in the year 2013. Foreign nationals living and working in Thailand may be pleased to note that the Permanent Residence quotas for 2013 have been announced. As in previous years, in 2013 the Royal Thai Immigration Police will be accepting Thai Permanent Residence applications from one hundred (100) individual foreign nationals from each country outside of Thailand. Also, the recent announcement regarding permanent residence applications noted that fifty (50) stateless persons will be eligible to apply to become permanent residents of Thailand. The annual quota noted above is imposed by immigration officials and represents the maximum number of applications which will be considered. Generally, Thai permanent residence applications are submitted during December with a final deadline coming before the start of the new year.

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