Sixteen countries issue travel warnings for Thailand

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Thai protest marchAs much as 16 countries have issued warnings that their citizens visiting Thailand should avoid areas near the anti-government rallies in Bangkok. The latest was the British government, saying on November 19 that it was warning of the security risks of traveling to Thailand because of the possibility of large protests. The other countries are France, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Hungary.

There have been a number of political demonstrations in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand since the beginning of November. Opposition groups staged a rally in Bangkok on November 16 and 17. Demonstrators called for the impeachment of all members of parliament for supporting a general amnesty petition, viewed as a path for the return of the former government.

The New York Times also wrote in an editorial on November 17 that Thailand was “on the verge of political turmoil”.

The Board of Trade of Thailand issued a statement on November 19, calling for an end to the ongoing anti-government protests and said that peace talks should be held to settle political disputes as confrontation and violence that could damage the economy, trade, investment, investors’ confidence and the country’s image in the long-term.

Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that if the protests continue into the first quarter of 2014 it could cost the tourism sector up to $1.5 billion in lost revenue in 2013. It would also trim GDP growth for 2013 to only 3.3 to 3.5 per cent, he said.

In 2014, the protests could cost the tourism sector more than $6 billion in lost income, and GDP would grow by only 4 to 4.8 per cent, from a previous forecast of 5 to 5.1 per cent. If there is a violent clash between police and demonstrators, GDP growth figure for this year would be only 3 to 3.2 per cent, he said.

He added that if there were a political change, such as a dissolution of the House of Representatives and a general election, seed money would flow into the economic system. But if the Pheu Thai Party were defeated at an election, that would affect the planned $64 billion in infrastructure development projects, which is a key factor in mobilising the economy in 2014, so the economy would recover only slowly.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As much as 16 countries have issued warnings that their citizens visiting Thailand should avoid areas near the anti-government rallies in Bangkok. The latest was the British government, saying on November 19 that it was warning of the security risks of traveling to Thailand because of the possibility of large protests. The other countries are France, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Hungary.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thai protest marchAs much as 16 countries have issued warnings that their citizens visiting Thailand should avoid areas near the anti-government rallies in Bangkok. The latest was the British government, saying on November 19 that it was warning of the security risks of traveling to Thailand because of the possibility of large protests. The other countries are France, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Hungary.

There have been a number of political demonstrations in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand since the beginning of November. Opposition groups staged a rally in Bangkok on November 16 and 17. Demonstrators called for the impeachment of all members of parliament for supporting a general amnesty petition, viewed as a path for the return of the former government.

The New York Times also wrote in an editorial on November 17 that Thailand was “on the verge of political turmoil”.

The Board of Trade of Thailand issued a statement on November 19, calling for an end to the ongoing anti-government protests and said that peace talks should be held to settle political disputes as confrontation and violence that could damage the economy, trade, investment, investors’ confidence and the country’s image in the long-term.

Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that if the protests continue into the first quarter of 2014 it could cost the tourism sector up to $1.5 billion in lost revenue in 2013. It would also trim GDP growth for 2013 to only 3.3 to 3.5 per cent, he said.

In 2014, the protests could cost the tourism sector more than $6 billion in lost income, and GDP would grow by only 4 to 4.8 per cent, from a previous forecast of 5 to 5.1 per cent. If there is a violent clash between police and demonstrators, GDP growth figure for this year would be only 3 to 3.2 per cent, he said.

He added that if there were a political change, such as a dissolution of the House of Representatives and a general election, seed money would flow into the economic system. But if the Pheu Thai Party were defeated at an election, that would affect the planned $64 billion in infrastructure development projects, which is a key factor in mobilising the economy in 2014, so the economy would recover only slowly.

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