Thailand’s business leaders are voicing concerns about the ongoing political instability in the country. The general election held in May has yet to produce a new government, leading to uncertainty and apprehension among investors. The business community is urging for swift action and political stability. They fear that the prolonged impasse may erode the confidence of foreign investors in Thailand.
The 30th prime minister’s identity remains unknown two months after the election due to the bicameral parliament’s system. The system allows senators to participate in the prime ministerial vote. This political turmoil is adversely affecting foreign investors’ decisions to invest further in Thailand. Stanley Kang, the former Chairman of the Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce, stressed the urgency of having a clear and decisive outcome as soon as possible.
Kang emphasized that the interests of Thailand and its citizens should take precedence over party interests. The private sector is eager to see the formation of the next government within a month, as pressing economic and geopolitical issues need prompt solutions. Regardless of the ruling party, the private sector is willing to collaborate with the government to address these challenges.
Foreign investors seek a smooth and rapid transition of power. Mook Pibuldham, President of the American Chamber of Commerce, highlighted that a strong government is vital for ensuring political stability over the next four years. Investors also expect the new government to tackle various issues. These include high household debt and exorbitant electricity costs, which hinder competitiveness in the international market.
Farid Bidgoli, President of the European Association for Business and Commerce, emphasized that political stability is crucial for maintaining sustainable cooperation between the EU and Thailand. He subsequently expressed hope for the formation of a stable and elected government to avoid delays in free trade negotiations.
Still no PM for Thailand
Amid the ongoing political chaos, the Bank of Thailand has published its GDP growth forecast for the year. It has projected Thailand’s GDP growth to be between 3.6% and 3.8%. However, Associate Professor Dr. Thanawat Pholvichai, rector of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, warned of severe consequences if Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat and his party were disqualified and disbanded. He predicted a substantial drop in tourist numbers, leading to a significant loss in tourism revenue, and a potential 1% contraction in the GDP.
In conclusion, Thailand’s business community is urging for swift political resolution to maintain investor confidence and foster economic growth. The uncertainty surrounding the formation of the government has put foreign investors on edge, impacting investment decisions and economic prospects. Timely action and stability are crucial for Thailand’s progress in the global market and its cooperation with international partners.