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Political crisis in Thailand offers lessons in chain of command leadership

At the time of this writing, Bangkok is still under siege by the red-shirt protesters, who have tenaciously managed to parry every attempt by the government to disperse them.

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At the time of this writing, Bangkok is still under siege by the red-shirt protesters, who have tenaciously managed to parry every attempt by the government to disperse them.

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Hi! Managers: Political crisis offers lessons in chain of command leadership

Successful execution often depends on quickly mobilising resources at moving targets. For example, finicky consumers, shifting technologies, volatile commodity prices and yes, even political turmoil.Sure, there still has to be collaboration and empowerment so that everyone is committed to a core game plan. But once a decision is reached, the team must march together according to plan. Often, the weakest link breaks the chain. Execution is not the time to play the role of the maverick. Even the best-laid plans can fall flat if one person fails to perform his duty. The advantage in the private sector is that when this happens, there are consequences.

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.

The approved Financial Institution Business Act (FIBA) facilitates increase in foreign ownership in Thai foreign institutions. The Financial Institution Business Act (FIBA) became effective on 3 August 2008 as planned. The FIBA allows financial institutions to raise the foreign limit from 25 percent to 49 percent with permission from the BOT and foreign investors may own more than 49 percent equity stake in Thai banks with permission from the Ministry of Finance and recommendation by the BOT. The increase in foreign limit would encourage Thai banks to seek foreign strategic partners to strengthen the capital base, improve core banking business, IT platform, know-how and add inorganic growth to Thai banks.

The market’s views on export performance in 2010 of Thailand have improved

Despite the rebound, Thailand’s export recovery is still subject to several downside risks. A recent export pickup in East Asia benefits mainly from coordinated and massive policy responses in G-3 economies and China that have boosted their demand for imports, and inventory re-stocking worldwide that followed a swift and large de-stocking in early-2009 as orders fell less than production. These two factors are temporary, as governments have to unwind injections to maintain fiscal discipline and companies resume their normal stocking levels. In fact, data shows that US inventory-to-shipment ratios for computers, electronic products, and electronic appliances started to rise again in August and September, thus leading to weaker new orders . This likely adds pressure on Thailand’s electronic shipments to the US in the coming months.

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