Thailand: Economic and Political Update
By Louise Mao, Asia Society Australia
SYDNEY, 9 February 2016
At a Boardroom Briefing Lunch on the second day of his tour to Australia, Mr Anutin Charnvirakul, Leader of the Bhumjaithai Party and Chairman of the Board, STP&I Company Ltd (Thailand), provided Asia Society guests and members with an update on Thailand’s economic and political environment.
Mr Anutin stated that poor economic forecasts have largely exaggerated deteriorating conditions for foreign businesses. Thai government is committed to providing a stable base for investors and maintaining Thailand's reputation as South-East Asia's economic hub. His message was that basic industries were sound despite recent upheavals. Foreign investors should also be heartened by the Thai government’s commitment to economic reform, with initiatives such as reducing the cost and procedural difficulties of doing business foremost on the agenda.
In terms of Thailand’s political situation, Mr Anutin alluded to the potential revival of Thaksin Shinawatra-led political forces in this year’s general election. The discussion also covered Thailand’s regional aspirations and the need for careful consideration of the implications for Thailand and its economy if it joins the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The event was generously sponsored by PwC and co-hosted by Andrew Parker, Partner & Asia Practice Leader, PwC and Asia Society Advisory Councillor and David Epstein, Asia Society Board Member and Vice-President, Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, Singtel Optus Pty Limited.