As massive floods have deluged more than one third of the country, the Thai commerce department announced yesterday the total cost to Thailand of the flooding is likely to be close to $5 billion. Industries affected include the food industry, tourism, farming and manufacturing. With more than 10 industrial estates now shut, due to flooding, and an expected loss of production for weeks to come, Thailand also dropped its expected growth yesterday to 3.7% for 2011 from the previous 4%.
Japanese companies in Thailand have been some of the hardest hit. On the Navanakorn industrial estate in Pathum Thani, more than two thirds of the companies are Japanese, producing such things as electronics and cars. Honda and Toyota have plants at industrial estates in Thailand, and have both been forced to suspend production due to the floods.
Even when the rains stop and there isn’t any more danger of flooding, water is likely to still hang around for several weeks before completely draining off, making it difficult for work to begin again, as well as for people to move back into their now flooded homes.
Thailand’s economy takes a hit year after year with, in the past, a military coup, a tsunami, yellow shirt protesters shutdown of all Thailand’s airports, red shirt protests, bird flu, and shootings and killings by soldiers in a government crackdown against anti-government protesters. Yet Thailand always manages to bounce back, and it will bounce back from this too.