Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thailand - problems continue to mount

Not surprisingly after the furore in the last couple of days with regard to Thaksin Shinawatras visit to Singapore but according to the Bangkok Post the Singapore government has stated that the diplomatic row between the two cuntries has added to the business uncertainty already created when Thailand proposed changes to the foreign ownership laws. The government went on to state that Singapore investors were looking to their options and were delaying plans for investment because they believed that there is uncertainty in Thailand that would hurt the Thai economy.

Even worse news for the government (although hardly surprising) was the announcement that Thailand joined Congo as the two newly not-free countries this year in a major survey of global freedom which was released today.

Freedom in the World 2007 is a survey of worldwide political rights and civil liberties done in New York. It found that 45 countries are not free, representing 23 percent of the world's inhabitants. About one-half of those living in Not Free conditions inhabit one country: China.

According to the survey, the number of countries judged by Freedom in the World as free in 2006 stood at 90, representing 47 percent of the global population. Fifty-eight countries qualified as partly free, with 30 percent of the world's population. Sadly Thailand moved from partly free to not free.

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