Have already blogged (here and here) on the Supreme Administrative Court decision upholding an injunction against 65 projects at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, but Bloomberg has an interview with Abhisit on Map Ta Phut. Key excerpt:
“Now we have everything in place, and all the projects that are pending can now go through these procedures,” Abhisit said in a Jan. 30 interview in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum. “To go through the procedures would take about six to eight months.”
The Thai government has sought to limit economic damage from the court ruling to encourage investment as the country emerges from recession. Petrochemical, refinery and electricity projects in Map Ta Phut, Thailand’s largest industrial port, underpin manufacturing and exports that account for about 60 percent of economic output. The industry ministry last month said the stoppage may cause losses of 600 billion baht.
“We are also trying to find ways in which we might ask the court to lift the temporary order on the freeze of construction,” Abhisit said in the interview scheduled to run on Bloomberg Television today. “If that’s lifted, then a lot of projects will be able to manage without much damage.”
BP: This is assuming no delays, but as The Nation notes:
About one-third of the members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) are deeply concerned about the Map Ta Phut impasse, with many of those affected considering relocating their planned investments to other Asean countries if it is not resolved within six months as promised by the prime minister.
BP: Foreign investment will be key to a recovery as a drop in foreign investment could see unemployment rise or stay static. Politically, it would be bad for the government as it would signify a loss of confidence in Thailand and as the government in power, the Democrats will carry the “blame”.