Since May 22, 2014, Thailand has been under the strict reign of a military junta. Many worried about the immediate effects of the ousting of the prime minister and the social upheaval it spawned. Two months later, Thailand remains under the same leadership with the detrimental effects to their economy to prove it.
Domestic demand and investment are the two hardest hit regions of Thailand’s delicate economy, as the growth continues to slow at a steady pace. Efforts are being made to improve the economy with little to show for it.
The junta ordered the price drop on diesel fuel and cooking oil for a six-month period, angering the local businesses that rely on that as income.
The Bank of Thailand originally believed in a 2.9 percent growth rate for the 2014 economy and has lowered that estimate to an extremely modest projected growth rate of 1.5 percent. This drop clearly depicts the failing changes being made by the junta.
In attempts to encourage the process of internal and external investment in Thailand, the junta has cleared 100 incentives in just two months, costing an estimated $6.3 billion to follow through with the pitches. Still, they managed to change the negative national deficit to surplus hundreds of millions of dollars with little announced plan of action for the money.
However, it appears that Thailand is finding moderate success in the international market, with increases in exported goods to the United States and Europe. For the first time in six months, Thailand increased shipments to China, one of their main buyers.
The economic effects appear to be undetermined with a range of positive and negative effects influencing the lives of millions. For instance, many rural dwellers are out of reach from the programs being kickstarted in major cities.
In the midst of the economic shift lies the ongoing ethnic conflict in isolated provinces. The non-existent work done by the junta in Thailand to address the attacks demonstrates the weakness and short-term mentality of the junta.
Thailand is incapable of success with a constant fear of violent outbreak looming in the forefront of their minds.
In light of this, four were killed due to a bombing in the southern Pattani province as an attack against the insurgence in the area.
Over 5,000 have fallen victim to the horrific violence and the junta appears to side step each outbreak of violence.
The stability of the military junta is questionably short-term, with the likelihood of a social-born revolt to take it down. The junta demonstrates efforts being made in the economic sector of the country while ignoring the human rights issues occurring throughout the country.
It’s unlikely that the junta will gain support if they continue to ignore the ethnic cleansing in southern Thailand.
– Elena Lopez