Random Thoughts: Are things really that bad?

  • The media shifts very quickly in its headlines from Thailand booming to Thailand being in a recession to a potential repeat of 1997. This is nonsense as Thailand’s as well as most Emerging economies, have:

1. Increased their economic importance in the Global Economy

2. Foreign reserves in the late 90’s were only enough to withstand a few weeks of drawdowns as opposed to now Thailand, for example, has enough Foreign Reserves to survive 9-12 months of current account deficits before the alarms start sounding. I do wonder when the media will start to be accountable for their part in creating boom and busts…

  • Is 2013 such a bad year? Sure when compared YoY to 2012, you talk to any businessman, any entrepreneur in Thailand they will all say that 2012 was an exceptional year and this is purely a function of the floods at the end of 2011 which resulted in pent up demand being spilled over into the 1H12, so no matter what 1H13 was going to look rubbish on a YoY basis. Now if you talk to the same businessmen their viewpoint is “Hey things are returning to normal, we’re still doing well, and as long as people continue to have jobs we are going to be just fine”
  • I’ve been running around Phitsanulok the past few days, looking at the local business scene and understanding how important this city is to trade in Thailand and how important it could be in the future with the infrastructure spending and my goodness how land prices have appreciated here. Within a year land prices have increased 10x in certain areas with brokers (not necessarily the best type of people to ask) quoting some key plots of land for THB 20mn/rai. Whats driven this increase? Well Central opened a mall, BIGC is here, Tesco is coming, Robinson’s is coming, Bumrumgrad Hospital is coming and the train lines are going to intersect in this city. I already see small/local condominium companies, small housing developments springing up everywhere and one important thing that I’ve noticed is the average person here has a car, not a motorbike like most of Thailand, but a normal salon car. This city is going to change a lot within the next few years…
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