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Thaksin Shinawatra in Private Discussion

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 5:00pm

As part of its Global Leader Briefing Series, and in association with the World Economic Roundtables, World Policy Institute presents a private discussion with Thaksin Shinawatra. In self-imposed exile since 2006 when he was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup,  the Southeast Asian tycoon and former prime minister of Thailand remains a divisive figure in Thai politics. 

About the Speaker

Telecom billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra was elected prime minister ofThailand in 2001, less than five years after the 1997 financial crisis gripped much of East Asia and raised fears of a global economic meltdown. Thaksin’s economic policies are credited with speeding Thailand’s recovery from the crisis—from his election in 2001 to his ouster in 2006, the country’s GDP almost doubled, nationwide poverty nearly halved, and Thailand repaid its debt to the IMF two years ahead of schedule.
Thaksin went on to institute a range of policies popular in rural Thailand, including agricultural microcredit loans, fuel subsidies, infrastructure investments, and universal health care. His popularity soared among the rural poor, who hailed him as a renegade leader prepared to counter the traditional power centers in Bangkok. He was the first elected Thai prime minister to serve a full term, and it surprised no one when he was re-elected by a landslide in a historic 2005 vote.

In 2006 though, following massive protests from his opposition and an election win for Thaksin’s party, the military staged a coup, setting the stage for a nearly decade long, sometimes bloody, back-and-forth power struggle (including a military-backed coup that ousted Thaksin’s sister Yingluck from her post as prime minister in 2014).

Today a military junta oversees a moribund economy and pervasive apprehension over the looming succession of a beloved but elderly monarch. While no longer “Teflon Thailand,” the country remains a regional and international player. In this private discussion, Thaksin Shinawatra offers his candid insights on the economic, regional, and global implications of Thailand’s complicated relationship with democracy.   

With special thanks to Invescore Limited for underwriting this event.

Please note this is a members-only event. If you’d like to attend, please consider enrolling in the World Policy Membership Program today. 

About the Series

The Global Leaders Briefing Series features business, government, and civil society leaders from around the world in private, invitation-only gatherings to address the world’s most pressing issues. The World Policy Institute Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and key supporters aim to build a collaborative network focused on developing constructive solutions to global policy challenges.

This event is held in association with the World Economic Roundtable, a joint venture of New America's Economic Growth Program and the Walter Eberstadt World Economic Policy Program at the World Policy Institute. It seeks to help the business, investment, and policy communities understand ongoing changes in the world economy and to promote a discussion of ideas that can advance the goal of a widely shared global prosperity.


About World Policy Institute

A center for global thought leadership, the World Policy Institute is uniquely focused on the crucial but neglected challenges and opportunities of an increasingly interconnected world. We stress innovative, transformative thinking; diversity of ideas; and a global perspective. World Policy Journal, fellows, events, and policy projects provide channels for supporters, thought leaders, decision makers, experts, and citizens to identify, debate, and develop constructive solutions.



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