Thailand is at “high risk” of more civil unrest that would disrupt business and factory operations, a global forecasting company said in a worldwide survey released Wednesday (Thailand time).
England-based Maplecroft said its Civil Unrest Index placed 11 countries at “extreme risk” of unrest in the near future.
Thailand was ranked 16th overall, and placed in a second tier of 69 countries where the risk of civil unrest was high.
The Maplecroft introduction to the report did not say exactly why it considered Thailand at such high risk of unrest. It reviewed the prolonged protests in Bangkok earlier this year, which led to the May 22 coup and orders from the military that halted all protests nationwide.
“The (Thai) protests not only disrupted business operations in Bangkok,” the report continued, but also “caused the IMF to lower the 2014 projected GDP growth rate to 2.5%, down from 5.2%, which could cost the country an estimated US$9.8 billion.”
Maplecroft reportedly analyses a number of data points in assigning risk ratings to each country. Among them are governance, political and civil rights, abuses by state security forces, the economic situation and the frequency and severity of recent incidents.
“Tracking the trajectory of countries with rising levels of unrest should be a top priority for business continuity planners and risk managers,” according to Maplecroft’s principal analyst, Charlotte Ingham, quoted in the index introduction. “Civil unrest can create significant risks to operations and supply chains and impact the safety of employees and company property.”
Maplecroft said that despite the massive disruptions in the worst 11 countries, the most troubling problem was Hong Kong, the scene of recent pro-democracy demonstrations.
“The scale of the protests, which has cost retailers upwards of $283m, has seen Hong Kong move from the medium-risk category to high risk” on Maplecroft’s index.
“Beijing’s response will be key to determining whether the situation deteriorates further,” it said.
Asean neighbours Indonesia (23rd), Vietnam (24th), Cambodia (32nd) and the Philippines (35th) were all given the “high risk” label of No.16 Thailand.
Only 8th-ranked Bangladesh is among the extreme-risk nations at the bottom of Maplecroft’s ranking. The other 10 are, in order, Syria, Central African Republic, Pakistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Anti-government protests were the reason for Thailand’s low rank at No.16. The index specifically cited Vietnam’s anti-Chinese protests last May.
The outbreak of Ebola infections has raised the risk in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.