Clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops near the disputed Preah Vihear temple have affected trade and tourism businesses in the area, as about Bt50 million ($1.67 million) in revenue would be lost during the first few weeks, said Thanawat Palavichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecast Centre at the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

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About US$1.67 million lost in border trade with Cambodia

Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand

Recent crashes in Thailand’s GDP and export markets, plus the drop in tourism fuelled by recession and last year’s domestic political turmoil, have dispelled illusions that the country is insulated from the effects of the global downturn. Numerous indicators of economic health are hitting the red, foreign investment is evaporating, unemployment is surging, and credit lines are freezing up. Thailand’s government still says there is a possibility of positive growth this year, despite facing a rougher ride than in the 1997 Asian financial crisis as conditions infest the real economy on a broader scale.

Rapid industrial expansion and population growth have outpaced environmental management, resulting in sharply increased pollution levels (e.g. solid and hazardous waste, air, noise, and water). For example, fine particles in Bangkok’s air exceed WHO standards by 2.5 times, and other air pollutants are also causing major health impacts. Overall, it is estimated that air and water pollution costs the country 1.6 – 2.6 percent of GDP per year.

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