Thailand’s economic challenges expected to persist regardless of election outcome

While the preliminary results of Thailand’s national elections released on March 26 may have yielded more questions than answers, there is no doubt that tackling the country’s many economic challenges will be the incoming administration’s top priority — regardless of which party wins the election.

According to analysts interviewed by Reuters and Bloomberg, the new administration will first need to move quickly to outline its economic policies in order to maintain economic stability. Secondly, continuity must be seen in key infrastructure commitments such as the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as well as in areas outside key economic hubs in order to maintain investment momentum (Thailand currently lags behind regional peers in terms of investment as a share of GDP). Thirdly, there needs to be greater investment in improving the quality of education and healthcare to improve the Thai people’s quality of life.

By addressing these challenges, the government would not only help breathe life into the US$515 billion economy but also encourage greater investments in the country. Thailand's economic growth in 2018 was the strongest in six years at 4.1% but still lagged behind the Philippines (6.2%), Indonesia (5.2%) and Malaysia (4.7%).

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