Hello all, I’ve just returned from a two week trip to Thailand. I took a group of students to participate in a regional cultural festival sponsored by the Thai government. The festival included many of the provinces and cities East of Bangkok. Since this was a high-exposure event, I had a chance to talk with many different government officials from regional countries regarding economic developments (Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and Phillipines). All the talk was about the recent ASEAN meetings that were happening this month.
These meetings will continue throughout the rest of the year and are for the purpose of nation building. Currently they are trying to come to a consensus on what industries each country should focus on to boost regional status in the world. For example, Thailand is known in the region as a main source of tourism dollars.
Power/utilities is of course central to the meeting as you can see here in the itinerary (first on the list).
This is my second trip to Thailand, my first being two years ago. Not much has changed on the street level. Prices are a little higher in general. In most of Thailand the infrastructure and technology lags twenty to thirty years behind the U.S. This could be a blessing for them since they are accustomed to living without these amenities. If they should be hit by a quick economic global meltdown, they have a rich local supply/network of the essentials, at least outside of Bangkok.
I couldn’t get a good read on the precious metals market, and it wasn’t a topic of conversation with officials.
Hope you are all well.