Thailand Country profile

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Country risk in Thailand is low to moderate. The OECD has a country credit grade of 3; comparable with the Philippines, India and Indonesia. This indicates a relatively low to moderate likelihood that Thailand will be unable and/or unwilling to meet its external debt obligations. That said, individual private and sub-sovereign debtors can and do default.

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The World Bank’s ease of doing business gauge—which attempts to measure regulation and current barriers associated with small to medium firms—ranks Thailand 21st out of a possible 190 economies. That is significantly better than the average emerging and developing Asian rating of 95. But Thailand remains less competitive than neighbours Malaysia (ranked 12th) and Singapore (2nd).

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Risk of expropriation in Thailand has increased in recent years. Examples include the Thai Government’s ordered eight-month closure of the Australian owned Kingsgate Gold mine in Northern Thailand.  The Australian miner has filed for international arbitration to resolve the issue.

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Thailand’s medium to long term political risk is moderate. Risk of political violence is higher because of Thailand’s long history of military coups. The new, elected, administration in 2019 aims to maintain a broad focus on policies that support infrastructure investment and economic growth and reduce social disparities and income inequality while maintaining fiscal discipline. But some political uncertainties remain, given a large and diverse mix of political parties in the ruling coalition and lingering tensions between the government and opposition parties.

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