Hugh Young, managing director of Aberdeen Asset Management Asia, said that while he was optimistic about the prospects for Asia's economies in 2007, he criticized the "economic nationalism" present in Thailand after the military coup last September. Young said the central authorities' actions on capital controls and foreign ownership of Thai companies were not well thought-out. "If it persists, [people won't] put money in the country, and there's potential for long-term decline," he said. "This is an example for the rest of the region of how not to do things."
The Scotsman
Thailand is a country dealing with many of the problems Southeast Asian leaders at the recent Asean meeting should be stepping up efforts to fix - but aren't, according to Bloomberg writer William Pesek. Risks remain for foreign investors in Thailand, Pesek said, due to the inconsistent handling of the economy by the military junta. "As [foreign investment] returns, Asia must stand and deliver," Pesek said. "That means steady and transparent policy making, sound financial systems and making sure globalization raises living standards for all, not just the well connected."
Thailand's government on Tuesday went ahead with new rules on business ownership and voting rights for foreign companies operating in the country. The revised rules allow foreign firms two years to reduce their controlling voting rights in Thai-registered companies to less than 50 percent. The move comes as a second blow to foreign investors, who are still reeling from the central bank's decision last month to introduce some controversial capital controls on the baht.