BANGKOK: Thai stock market, the overall economy and other national interests, Thailand’s national security agency said yesterday that the country was on alert to prevent other, unexpected consequences.
The United States and its French and British allies launched one-off strikes at three alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria early on Saturday, after which President Donald Trump announced “mission accomplished” without any civilian casualties.
The western strikes, however, have created a rift among the superpowers with Russia, a long-time backer of the Assad regime, expressing its unreserved anger. As the one superpower directly involved in the situation, there are likely to be widespread implications on the region and, indeed, the world, said Wanlop Raksanoh, secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC).
The NSC is optimistic that the situation will not escalate, he said, other than exerting some pressure on the oil price. While Thailand disagreed with the use of chemical weapons, the government wants all parties involved in the dispute to exercise restraint, Wanlop said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has not yet announced any special measures following the escalation of hostilities, he said, but he noted that Thailand would consider the matter in accordance with international law as a member of the UN.
Regarding the economy, experts said yesterday that the air strike on Syria would have a limited impact on the stock market and the Thai economy, which is estimated to grow slightly over 4 per cent this year, but that oil prices may rise in the short term.
Kobsak Pootrakool, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, expected a minimal impact on Thailand’s financial markets. Bourses around the world will reopen after the weekend today but the Stock Exchange of Thailand remains closed for Songkran.