News / Asia

Thai Economy Shows Signs of Improvement After Coup

Soldiers check rice stocks at a warehouse in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, July 3, 2014.
Soldiers check rice stocks at a warehouse in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, July 3, 2014.
Ron Corben

As Thailand’s military presses on with economic reforms, the country’s economy is showing signs of recovery following months of political turmoil that led to the military coup in May.

Thailand's central bank said it expects to see signs of economic growth by the second half of 2014, as the military government presses on with reforms and restructuring.

The central bank forecast a 5.5 percent rate of growth in 2015.

During the first three months of the year, when government decision making was largely paralyzed by political turmoil, the economy contracted by 2.1 percent, compared to the previous three months.

But since ousting the civilian government May 22, surveys have indicated business and consumer confidence has revived, and the stock market is ahead.

Recovery seen

Narongchai Akrasanee, an adviser to the ruling National Committee for Peace and Order (NCPO) and a member of the central bank's monetary authority, said the economy is recovering as the government sets in place a new budget and investments.

"Many of the policies which were implemented by the last government were not able to be carried out or some of them were carried out in a very bad way so this new administration is just trying to unblock many of these things," Narongchai said.

"We're coming back. We've been in a difficult position for many years. In the eyes of lots of foreigner investors - the message I want to say is we are coming back," he added.

Business analysts said the military appears to have learned lessons from the 2006 coup, when its reform proposals stall.

The current government has moved quickly on a range of issues, including meeting outstanding payments to rice farmers, and starting massive new transportation and water management infrastructure projects.

Angus Kent, managing director of Macquarie Securities in Thailand, said the military's initial moves have been seen as positive by business, including foreign investors.

"It comes down to the reforms on a structural basis. I think the engagement from the NCPO with the chambers of commerce and other agencies have been a big positive," Kent said. "There also seems a sense of urgency to get things done, which I think from many people's experience in the room - urgency in the past is not something we're accustomed to."

Reform bureaucracy

The military has also moved to reform the bureaucracy and to reduce the influence of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who has lived abroad since 2008 to avoid a jail sentence for corruption.

Pavida Pananond, an associate professor at Thammasat University's business school, said the military has moved to combat corruption as well as restructure boards of state-owned enterprises.

"Another area is the intention to clean up corruption. It's a welcome move," Pavida said. "We can see now a lot of things have been addressed for example the boards of the state-owned enterprises have seen many resigned and some of the senior technocrats have also been moved to inactive posts in the office of the prime minister."

The government has set out a $75 billion infrastructure spending program on new rail links and highways. But it also put a halt to projects of the previous government that they claim may have been tainted by corruption.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid