A Strong Baht and Economic Uncertainty

A Strong Baht and Economic Uncertainty

On October 18 at the Holiday Inn Pattaya, AMCHAM along with GTCC, NTCC, AustCham, BCCT and Manufacturing Focus Group, hosted a panel discussion titled A Strong Baht and Economic Uncertainty: Outlook and Impact for Thailand and its Neighbors. The discussion was received by over 50 attendees and featured expert commentary from John Evans, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Tractus Asia, David Nardone, CEO of WHA Industrial Development Public Company Limited and respected member of the business community: Chris Bruton.

The panel discussion started with opening remarks from Chris Bruton, who showed attendees a small crystal ball that he received as a gift from friends, jokingly stating that he hoped it would help with his prediction of the outlook of the Thai economy. Chris went on to speak about his time in Thailand and how in the past 50 years, he has seen fluctuation but that it’s not a huge point of concern. He noted that climate change will have a huge impact on population density which will eventually reflect in the baht again, but that there seems to be little policy change associated with the coming issue. Through cost of living surveys, Chris surmised that people in Thailand are paying more for brand recognition; something that could be used to the Kingdom’s advantage should they use this quality setting standard for exports in the future. After closing his remarks, moderator David Nardone introduced John Evans to begin the panel discussion.

During the panel discussion, John raised many points regarding Chinese expansion into other territories of Asia and how that might impact the global economy and therefore, Thailand. David stated that Thailand’s GDP was good for the population and that he was seeing more people take on more risk because of the low interest rates. John stated that soft infrastructure changes, like relaxation on visa and work permit requirements, could further win investments for the Kingdom. Once the panel concluded their remarks, the floor was opened to questions from the audience. Attendees asked about policies affecting their specific manufacturing businesses, Thai intervention with baht inflation, and many other questions affecting their industry.

Some of the panel discussion was held off the record to encourage more sincere engagement with the audience and speakers. For more photos please visit AMCHAM’s Facebook.

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