Is Thailand's Economy Due for a Makeover? ; the New Leadership Has Raised Eyebrows with Its Unconventional Economic-Policy Ideas

By Daniel Ten Kate Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 13, 2006 | Go to article overview

Is Thailand's Economy Due for a Makeover? ; the New Leadership Has Raised Eyebrows with Its Unconventional Economic-Policy Ideas


Daniel Ten Kate Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In some ways, it looks as if the generals that deposed elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup last month want to institute a completely new economic doctrine.

Retired General Surayud Chulanont, the junta-appointed premier, initially worried the business community when he told reporters his one-year government would focus on "sufficiency economy" and "indicators of happiness" instead of economic growth.

But while foreign investors have reason to fear that some parts of Thailand's open economy may start to close up, local business leaders expect the changes in economic policy to be largely rhetorical.

"Maybe in the short term we'll see some overreaction in dealing with Mr. Thaksin's policies, but as time goes on people will see the positive side of being more moderate," said Twatchai Yongkittikul, secretary-general of the Thai Bankers' Association. "Most of the old economic policies will continue. The interim government should focus on political reforms, so it's unlikely they will implement new economic policy."

Thai economy surprisingly stable

For all the political chaos Thailand has seen over the past year, the economy has proved refreshingly stable. Inflation is under control, the current account is running a surplus, and stronger than expected growth in both exports and tourism has helped offset a decline in domestic demand. Economists expect that a more stable government - regardless of whether the military installed it - should unleash a torrent of pent-up consumer spending and investment.

"All in all, things look good. The economy should bottom out in the fourth quarter and then start recovering next year," said Ussara Wiraipitch, a senior economist at Standard Chartered. The London- based bank is forecasting Thailand's GDP to grow 5.2 percent next year, much higher than the expected 4.1 percent growth this year.

The government's new economic team, led by respected former central bank chief and new finance minister Pridiyathorn Devakula, has already taken measures to reassure investors. It quickly approved a budget for the next fiscal year and said public investment projects would go forward as planned.

"The government will immediately start with [infrastructure projects] that are economically viable," Mr. Pridiyathorn told reporters. "We will invest prudently."

The measured tone of the military-appointed government contrasts sharply with the relentless marketing that characterized Thaksin's administration. Under the self-styled CEO prime minister, the government aggressively pursued privatization, free-trade deals, and cheap lending programs - and gave every new project a brand name.

Government spending programs became "megaprojects." A plan to develop top clothing designers turned into "Bangkok Fashion City." An initiative to promote more Thai restaurants overseas made Thailand the "Kitchen of the World. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Is Thailand's Economy Due for a Makeover? ; the New Leadership Has Raised Eyebrows with Its Unconventional Economic-Policy Ideas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.