The economic effects are starting to show, as Japanese companies plan to pull up stakes and invest in factories in Indonesia and Vietnam instead.
“Executives recognize the concentration risk after the floods,” said Takahiro Sekido, chief Japan economist at Credit Agricole CIB in Tokyo. “The recent trend of accelerating investment into Thailand will cool despite the fact that Thailand was such an ideal destination.”
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has proposed spending 130 billion baht ($4.2 billion) on reconstruction and steps to prevent future floods. She seeks to reassure investors that Thailand remains a safe place for business, as companies including Pioneer Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. scrapped profit forecasts after the floods shut factories.
The disaster has rippled through the supply chains of Japanese auto and electronics makers, as parts shortages affected operations across the globe.
Meanwhile, UNICEF and the World Health Organization are bracing for outbreaks of disease, as the streets and miles-long pools of water are full of garbage, rotting animal carcases, and feces.
And after the jump, an update from our friend in Bangkok.
* * *
Thanks for passing the info on. It is too weird of a story to really get play. A slow-motion disaster does not fit in any news cycle.
As to your question about diseases, my sources in the WHO are freaked out, but everyone else is just trying to prevent the poor and middle-class neighborhoods from starving. We have hundreds of thousands of people trapped in the 2nd and 3rd stories of their houses, waiting for supply trucks which are often blocked by wreckage/garbage/parked cars from arriving.
It's hard to imagine any other country (Japan, maybe?) where people would really, mostly refrain from looting—although there has been some guerilla knocking-over of the 120 cm high and 15.5 km long wall, which is keeping Central Bangkok and ritzy neighborhoods dry.
Things are improving, but just not fast enough. A big worry is that the water will not recede appreciably when the February rains come.