Effects On Economy: Political Crises vs Lack of Economic Vision
Written By - Patra Manas.16-10-2020.
From the 1930’s to present day, Thailand has been embroiled in a long cycle of political crises and military coups. What we are witnessing today is not a one-off incident, Thailand has been here before, many times.
This is a reality that has been accepted by Thais and foreigners alike, which ironically is the only saving grace in all of this. Political crises is part of our culture now.
Any activity on repeat over a period of almost 90 years naturally becomes part of the country’s fabric and culture.
Today, domestic business owners and foreign investors operating in our country know exactly how to prepare themselves and their businesses in tense political climate or situations.
Take the scene of the student protestors’ occupation of the Ratchaprasong’s intersection area, on the afternoon of 15th October. The rally was announced by protest leaders in the morning after the emergency decree came into effect. By afternoon, big malls in the area initiated protest security procedures and measures were put into place like clockwork. Fences went up around the buildings, security guards were enforced, closing times were brought up and staff were allowed to leave early.
Foreign investors reacted by the same calmness as reflected in The Nation’s headline, Foreign Investors “Confused By Emergency Rule”. Not “Worried” not even “Concerned” just “Confused”. They just wanted to know whether they could still hold seminars and meetings in Thailand so they could adapt their plans accordingly.
Their confusion is understandable, the new “severe” emergency rule came into effect while the old emergency decree was still in place to control Covid-19 transmissions.
A quick survey at how the world sees and analyses Thailand, even in pre-pandemic times, as a potential investment destination, reveals that “political turmoil” is always one of the reasons listed under cons.
From last century to this century, Thailand has had this weakness and it is not a secret. Yet Thailand has been able to move forward, earning it’s nickname as ‘Teflon Thailand’ or ‘Resilient Thailand’.
However, as the post pandemic world moves towards us fast to become our present reality soon, will we greet it prepared, retaining our “Teflon Thailand” image or will we flounder?
Paradigms are shifting fast in the global economy with new priorities, deglobalization and realigned geopolitics, with countries rushing to revise their domestic and global strategies to compete in a post-covid world. Read More Below ...
Are we ready to review our tired and worn out economic policies? Are we prepared to charter a new course? Do we have the vision of what new pillars should be built to support a sustainable economy and for the country to remain competitive and relevant ? And most importantly, do we have a captain that can steer our ship through the turbulent economic waters of a post-covid world?
If we do not have the answers to these questions now, the lack of vision will do what almost a century of political turmoils couldn’t do - bring Thailand to its knees, economically.