Bangkok will be virtually devoid of any organised Songkran celebration this year after the Khao San Road merchants’ association cancelled its plans following the bloody clash nearby and the Tourism Authority of Thailand had pulled its own activities earlier.
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Foreign direct investment has decelerated markedly in Thailand, but inflows should continue in 2009 and 2010 due to the secular trend to move production away from advanced economies.
Key risks to the outlook are (i) political uncertainty and (ii) the timing of the withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus. Increased political tensions may have a long-lasting impact on investment, and withdrawal of stimulus (in Thailand and the advanced economies) must be precisely timed to avoid macroeconomic imbalances (including new asset bubbles) while also ensuring that the recovery is on a sufficiently solid footing.