Since March, Thailand’s gross domestic product shrank 2.2% compared to the previous quarter, and analysts have estimated it will continue to shrink through the next several quarters in the year.
The prolonged political crisis is increasing the risk that the nation will be the only one of Southeast Asia’s largest economies to slide into a recession, which could affect other Asian countries.
Said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist in Singapore at Mizuho Bank, “Thailand may be the outlier in terms of one that could fall into a technical recession…For a long time regionally, the way Thailand was looked at was that the economy ran on a separate track from its politics, but I think that assumption cannot be taken for granted anymore.
Also running a risk of a backlash is Vietnam, spurred by riots by anti-China groups sparked by an oil rig that was placed in disputed waters, injuring workers and causing damages to factories.
In China, Hong Kong’s economy actually grew within the first quarter, however at its slowest pace since 2012. Reports state this is due to a weakness in exports.
Sean King, Senior Vice President of Park Strategies and an expert on Southeast Asian affairs says countries are wary of doing business with China, due to such reasons as its cultural turmoil, which makes some nations apprehensive.
“Until China is a country that’s run by its people for its people, America has every right ― in fact, every obligation ― to more closely scrutinize its enterprises’ attempts to invest in our country than we would such attempts from countries whose governments share our values and alliances.”