Saturday, October 31, 2020

Why Thaksin’s economic miracle was no such thing

Nov 21. 2017
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Re: “Junta has nothing much to crow about”, Have Your Say, November 20.

I agree with Somsak Pola that the 2014 coup has had a negative effect on Thailand’s ranking in terms of investments, but not that it cost our country a place in the list of the 50 most attractive economies in the world for overseas investment.

Being attractive for investments is one thing, but national leaders’ honesty and integrity in managing the country’s economy is another.

About a decade ago, the government boasted of having raised the country’s GDP to 5-6 per cent a year – which Thailand had not experienced in quite a while – as a result of the exemplary genius of its leader at the time.

But closer scrutiny revealed that the country’s rural household debt had jumped two-fold to more than Bt200,000 per annum, after hovering at around Bt100,000 for many years.

As things turned out, the high GDP growth at that time was a result of a poorly thought-out economic policy that did not reflect reality. The country’s economy hit a difficult period after a short time.

Hence, honesty and selfless aims play a big part in our leaders’ economic decision-making.

Sometimes, it is worth looking at things from a different perspective.

Chavalit Wannawijitr

Chiang Mai

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