Mr Virot Ali, a political, economic and development lecturer at Thammasat University, notes that southern Thailand lacks the large investments and industrial estates seen in other parts of the country, partly due to the unrest in the region. 

“I think the most important thing is, we have unrest which is quite clear. It also has an effect on the way policies are implemented. 

“I don’t think anyone would want to invest if there’s some unrest going on in a particular part of a country,” he said.

Mr Virot also pointed out that investors would want ease of connectivity when doing business, something which southern Thailand still lacks. 

“And what really is missing is the infrastructure. There are no proper ports, and they really need that. The high-speed train has been delayed for so long, large ports, and so on,” he said. 

He added that moving forward, there needs to be “fresh ideas and fresh thinking” to propel the economy forward.

“I think in the past eight years, we have lost tremendously … So, we need another government that has the ability to readjust at least to what we call the basis of the structure of the economy.

“And make sure that other strategies that have been implemented actually lead to what we call growth and development,” said Mr Virot. 

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