Thailand is involving private health care companies in its COVID-19 vaccination drive after facing criticism for delays. But the decision risks creating major inequalities in vaccine pricing and accessibility.
The Thai military’s grip on political power has little to do with the actual fighting of wars. As the country’s pro-democracy movement presses on, the long-running insurgency in the deep south raises key questions.
Thailand is tentatively moving ahead with its long-anticipated plan to link the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea, making shipping between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean faster and cheaper.
Recent actions by Prime Minister Prayuth and the largest party in Thailand’s ruling coalition, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), indicate that they may be unwilling to cede any power to coalition partners like the Democrats. This will only cause further divisions within the ruling coalition and could lead to its collapse.
New research shows hydropower in the Mekong region will become far less sustainable as droughts force countries to rely on coal and gas power plants, driving up carbon emissions and electricity costs. The findings present a problem for Mekong countries’ dam building plans, as hydropower appears far less green and less reliable than other renewable sources.
Southeast Asia’s electric vehicle and battery industries are quickly gaining momentum, as manufacturers in Thailand and Vietnam scale up production and high-profile foreign investors like Tesla and Nissan show increasing interest.
The Mekong’s normal flow can be restored if large volumes of water are consistently and reliably released from Chinese dam reservoirs. However, China’s water policy shows Beijing is unlikely to change its behavior and the worst for the Mekong is yet to come.
Southeast Asian governments remain divided about how to regulate cryptocurrencies even as the popularity of digital assets surges. Regulators need to take concrete steps as cryptocurrencies increase the threat of online financial fraud and have been used to fund terrorism.
Asia’s drug syndicates are becoming increasingly sophisticated as the region’s narcotic trade continues to expand despite the pandemic, major arrests and record drug seizures.
Thai Beverage is preparing to take its brewery business public on the Singapore Exchange in an IPO that could raise over US$2 billion. The firm behind Chang Beer is one of Thailand’s largest conglomerates and the IPO represents a stark contrast as the country’s economy struggles with the impacts of the pandemic and rising wealth inequality.