Thai Finance Chief Brushes Off Foreign Investment Plunge

Thai finance chief brushes off foreign investment plunge

BANGKOK,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th Augst,2016) : Thailand's finance minister on Thursday brushed off concerns about plunging foreign investment under junta rule, saying "there is light ahead" now that voters have approved a military-crafted constitution. Generals seized power in 2014 vowing to end years of political instability and kickstart the lacklustre economy. They have largely succeeded in bringing calm to the politically turbulent nation by stamping out dissent and banning political rallies.

But the economy remains the junta's weak point. High household debt, weakening exports and low consumer confidence have cramped growth for the last few years in what was Southeast Asia's flagship economy. Foreign investment has fallen off a cliff since the military takeover. The latest figures from Thailand's board of Investment (BOI) show no let up in that fall. Approved foreign investment applications plunged in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. Investment from Japan, Thailand's largest overseas investor, dropped from $2.7 billion to $810m. North American investment plunged tenfold, from $660 million to $67 million while the European Union fell from $1 billion to $260 million. Less pronounced falls were seen across South East Asia.