Thaksinomics: A New Asian Paradigm?
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT
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Prior to the Asian Economic Crisis sparked by the collapse of the Thai baht in 1997, Southeast Asia looked like a sure bet for a long period of high sustained economic growth. Its membership in the elite group of industrialized countries seemed assured. The crisis came as a complete surprise to many area experts, and brought an end to the era of the Asian Miracle. While growth rates are gradually edging upwards, the region has not been able to restore the pre-crisis mechanisms that propelled many of its countries out of poverty and into near affluence. As a region, Southeast Asias economies are the most open to international trade. While such openness spurred their growth for several decades, in the post 1997 period it has left them increasingly vulnerable to adverse economic and political shocks. The region suffered a tremendous blow to its technology exports when the 2001-02 recession spread to the region following the collapse in Americas information technology investment. Increasing competition with China for foreign investment and export markets is also making it harder for Southeast Asian economies to sustain growth rates approaching those attained in the pre-1997 period. Greatly compounding the regions economic woes was the powerful Bali terrorist attack and its impact on tourism. U.S. and other Western intelligence sources have confirmed the presence of powerful terrorist networks throughout the region--Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines. The openness of these economies makes them especially vulnerable to terrorist acts. Despite these challenges, the Thai economy began accelerating from a growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2001 the year Dr. Thaksin was elected Prime Minister to 5.3 percent in 2002, to a projected 6.5 percent in 2003, with forecasts of even higher rates in the next several years.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science