Thai Junta Focuses on Economy
In a step aimed at winning public support and bolstering the economy, the military government this week moved quickly to pay some
The money is from a controversial scheme by the former
"We need both consumer confidence and investor confidence. At least paying of obligation to rice farmers is a good sign that this administration is honoring all the obligations of the previous government. And when farmers receive income it helps their multiplying (spending) effects into consumption. So that is good for the economy," said
The Thai economy has slipped into recession in recent months as the political conflict drained confidence amid ongoing street protests and growing fears among investors and tourists that violence could escalate.
The military government says it is banking on political and economic reforms to stabilize the country before elections return the country to democratic rule. No time table for a new poll has been set.
But major industry groups this week set out plans to reform the economy reduce economic inequalities and address corruption and regulatory reforms.
Supavud Saicheua, an economist and director of
"Medium term I think you do still have to find political stability that comes from reconciliation. And we still don't know how that reconciliation process will proceed and how successful it will be. Foreign investors are cautious, given
"To foreigners they are still looking at it as a drill. We'll go the motions; year, year and a half and things will look good, slightly better than they are today. [But] I don't think anyone is expecting the elected or non-elected government - to make any radical changes to the entire process," he said.
Under the changes announced this week by the military government included a new policy advisory body of technocrats and bankers to oversee security, the economy and the law.
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