Future Generator: Negative media sentiments continue for Thailand
The ‘Future Generator’ is a highly unique and cutting-edge approach to forecasting ‘media sentiment’, developed by a partnership between Global Risk Insights (GRI) and Ethnographic Edge (EE). The aim of the forecast is to determine how media sentiment towards a country’s political environment might develop in the future. Considering the impact of media sentiment on trading and investments, our forecasts will give readers more time and context to maximize on market opportunities.
The following is a Future Generator assessment for Thailand.
The EE signal suggests negative media sentiment towards Thailand’s political climate
EE’s data analytics platform projects that media sentiment towards Thailand will remain negative over the next two weeks. Considering the strong correlation between media sentiment and political events, EE concludes that the Thai political environment will destabilise in the month of January.
GRI assessment of the EE signal
Media sentiment towards Thailand will trend downwards for several reasons over the coming weeks. The first of these is the ongoing tensions between Thailand’s new king and the military government. Of particular concern is the monarch’s refusal to ratify the the military-written constitution, which has been in the works since 2014. This refusal forces the government to go back to the drawing board, delaying ratification and pushing the long-awaited elections, originally scheduled for 2017, into 2018.
There are concerns that there is a potential rivalry brewing between King Rama X and the junta government, as the military regime has proposed several measures limiting royal power. Among these is the key question of appointing a regent when the monarch is away, a potentially powerful position, given the new king’s intention to govern for most of the year from his estates in Germany. The death of the revered leader Rama IX has placed the nation in a prolonged state of mourning and has dropped a veil of uncertainty over the future of the monarchy, and the performance of the new monarch going forward.
Another risk factor fostering negative media sentiment is the ongoing flooding conditions in twelve southern Thai provinces, which have claimed the lives of over 40 people. With thousands of villages inundated, food and water shortages have the potential to create humanitarian and health crises. Moreover, a slow government response will engender discontent and instability, especially in rural rice-growing areas which support the Red Shirt movement and the ousted Shinawatra siblings.
This flooding impacts economic and tourism activity, with the showdown between the monarchy and the military also increases investor wariness. Thailand as a business destination will continue to receive negative coverage from the fallout of the Rolls-Royce global bribery scandal. Rolls-Royce agreed to pay ‘regional intermediaries’ some $18.8 million to curry favor for the company, including among airline staff of Thai Airways, in order to persuade the company to purchase T800 engines from Rolls Royce.
The Thailand expertise in this report was provided by Jeremy Luedi.
Jeremy is the Web Editor and frequent contributor at Global Risk Insights (GRI), and has worked for NGOs and political parties in Canada. Jeremy’s writing has been featured in Business Insider, Huffington Post, Nasdaq.com, The Japan Times, MSN Money, and Yahoo Finance. His work also has been quoted and recommended by Time Magazine, Politico, Transparency International, and Greenpeace, among others.