Tuesday, February 13, 2007

White Boy in Asia: A Dire Future for Thailand?

White Boy in Asia

Recent events in Thailand have created a deep feeling of resentment, unease, and distrust among people. Not only foreigners, but Thais also are upset. The Thais are generally a happy-go-lucky people. They smile throughout adversity. They don’t worry too much about tomorrow. As long as they are happy now, they say Mai Pen Rai to the future.

But not these days. Many Thais have mentioned to me that they are unhappy. They have no reason to smile any more. They feel insecure. Even though the government has been concentrating their attention on the foreigners, Thais are feeling the effects anyway. The economy has slowed down so badly that it’s hard for them to make money. Many are returning to their homes upcountry as they lose their jobs. I doubt things are going to get better any time soon.

With the new changes to the Foreign Business Act (FBA) currently under consideration, a lot of companies with foreign directors are going to face severe problems when the act passes. Either they will have to restructure and lose their ability to manage their own business. Or they will have to close up shop and leave the country. There doesn’t seem to be any alternative. I can’t see too many foreign owners giving up their companies to Thais. That means a lot of small to medium sized companies will fold, leaving their Thai staff jobless.


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