Great op-ed by K. Voranai in the Bangkok Post the other day, a few snippets which caught my attention…
- Perhaps the truth is a mixture of both, but the numbers tell a most convincing story. According to the report, economic growth in Isan climbed 40% from 2007 to 2011, against 23% for the country and just 17% for greater Bangkok.
- Isan is the fastest growing region in Thailand. And it’s worth remembering that in the same period examined in the report the region also enjoyed benefits from populist policies, including virtually free health care and low-interest loans for the rural poor (from Thai Rak Thai), as well as Pheu Thai’s 300 baht minimum wage increase, which produced a 35% wage rise in some Isan provinces.
- Isan also holds more seats in parliament than any other region, 126, followed by the Central Region at 82. In the 2011 election, Pheu Thai took 104 seats and the Democrats took four from Isan, the rest going to smaller parties. That’s not a landslide – it’s an avalanche.
It just goes to show the importance of growth across an entire country versus just in 1 city, and without the grow of the upcountry regions Thailand’s economy and financial markets wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is today.
Source: Bangkok Post