BGA Senior Adviser Thitinan Pongsudhirak wrote an update to clients on Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s first 100 days in office. 


  • The first 100 days of Thailand’s newly elected government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin have heralded an uneasy political settlement between the civilian-led majority forces that represent the Thai electorate and the royalist-conservative minority guardians of the established centers of power anchored around the monarchy, military, judiciary and bureaucracy. 
  • Two decades in the making that were characterized by recurrent military coups, judicial interventions and street protests, this new civil-military power-sharing arrangement has yielded a stable semi-democracy up to a point. Notwithstanding the constant destabilizing noises of Thai politics, this fragile political stability provides Srettha with a window to regain and remake the economic opportunities that were lost under the nearly decade-long coup regime of Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha. 
  • As long as the Srettha government has palace backing and military participation, it could stay in office for the foreseeable future. But if his performance proves unpopular, Srettha could be replaced, perhaps by Thaksin’s youngest daughter, Paetongtarn, who was chosen as Pheu Thai’s new leader. Such a Pheu Thai premiership substitution will be easier to pull off after May 11, when the appointed Senate’s term expires and the upper house will no longer have the authority to vote for the prime minister in Parliament. Yet at 37, Paetongtarn may bide her time if Srettha gains traction and produces results. 


  • Srettha has been omni-directional in his pursuit of foreign relations and courting foreign investment. He has invited world leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden to visit Thailand and approached Big Tech firms and major multinationals to make their plans in Thailand under his leadership. Hard-working and sure-footed, despite not having a significant base in Pheu Thai and being reliant on former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s support, Srettha has grown into the job. 
  • The Srettha government’s growth strategy appears twofold. One side is low-hanging, including a major tourism boost by exempting visas for Chinese, Russian and other visitors. To boost domestic consumption, Pheu Thai’s signature pledge is a THB 10,000 ($280) digital wallet for some 50 million Thais, although its intended multiplier effects seem limited due to high household debt and oligopolistic retail conglomerates. More structural are the soft power campaign to market Thailand’s cultural capital and culinary attributes, a planned “land bridge” in the southern region linking the Pacific and Indian oceans to attract commerce and bilateral free-trade agreements (FTAs), expanding the Thai-EU FTA negotiations that are underway. These growth strategies are mixed and still need buy-in from local vested interests, particularly the FTAs, but they are better than going day to day without a long-term plan like under the previous Prayut government. 


  • With the Cabinet portfolios fragmented along party lines, Srettha’s hand will be limited. He cannot really tell other ministers outside of Pheu Thai how to run their portfolios. The grand bargain can also break down, leading to renewed political instability. 
  • For businesses on a medium-term horizon, Thailand is broadly back and worth betting on. The balance to watch for firms and multinationals is the autocratic prerogatives of established centers of power combined with the preferences of the vast majority of the electorate. These two sides appear to be in a tentative compromise and sharing agreement at this time. As the second-largest winning party with 141 members of Parliament, Pheu Thai is allowed to form a civilian-led government with military acknowledgement and a palace green light, while the reformist and opposition Move Forward Party is snookered and kept at bay by judicial maneuvering. This outcome has translated into a limited stable semi-democratic government that has given Srettha a window of opportunity to get the Thai economy moving again.  

We will continue to keep you updated on developments in Thailand as they occur. If you have comments or questions, please contact BGA Senior Adviser Thitinan Pongsudhirak at and BGA Thailand Managing Director Teerasak “Art” Siripant at

Best regards, 

BGA Thailand Team