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Is Thailand Becoming a Financial Hub?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing: "Is Thailand becoming a financial hub?" I thought of this when I was reading a recent article. This is from, the article is titled: EXCLUSIVE - IMF, 10 countries simulate cyber-attack on global financial system.

This is actually a rather interesting article. I urge those who are watching this video to go check this out but the reason for the video is a rather small excerpt. I am going to go ahead and quote directly. Quoting: "Participants in the initiative called "Collective Strength" included treasury officials from Israel, the United States, the UK, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Thailand as well as representatives from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Bank of International Settlements.” So these are some pretty heavy hitters here. I mean Bank for International Settlements, IMF, World Bank, obviously those are major International financially. But again Israel, the United States, UK, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, I mean all of these are places we generally think of when we are thinking financial services, and Thailand. I have always thought Thailand had a pretty substantial, well it has got a substantial economy to begin with especially here in Southeast Asia, but the banking sector here is rather substantial and probably I think you can make a strong argument, is a major component of the overall banking system throughout this whole region. In many ways and I think it is often overlooked, Bangkok in a very real sense is sort of the spoke in the wheel that is southeast Asia if you look at it in a certain way. 

Now at first glance, I think folks would say well Singapore and yeah it has always been a major financial center, but Thailand is much more in and of if you will the region. Singapore I have always kind of looked at it as sort of a doorway in a sense for western or foreign funds traveling into the region whereas Thailand, especially on mainland Southeast Asia, not to get too deep into this, but kind of is again it is sort of the spoke in the wheel, that is how I have always looked at it. But I thought that was really interesting that Thailand, apparently the only Asian country that was involved in this exercise, and it included a lot of countries that you immediately think of when you think of financial hubs not least of which the IMF, the World Bank, the BIS. 

So it got me thinking and to me it would make some sense if Thailand didn't sort of increase its cache as a financial hub especially in light of the fact that I don't think it is unfair to say that in many ways Hong Kong is somewhat diminishing in terms of its clout if you will, the punch that it packs with respect to financial services as well as acting again as sort of one of these windows on the region. Hong Kong is just not quite what it once was. I recently saw Hong Kong in an article sort of compared to Monaco insofar as yeah in a sense it will always kind of have a unique niche, and I am not denigrating Hong Kong that is not my point of this video, but it will always have a sort of niche as a financial sector because of its jurisdictional status. It has got kind of a novel jurisdictional status. Macau is the same way in many ways but Hong Kong much more so in terms of financial hub. I definitely we have seen sort of Hong Kong become less and less a major force to be reckoned with in finances especially out here in East Asia and Southeast Asia specifically. I don't think it is completely outside the realm of possibility that we see Thailand begin to rise at least relative to some other jurisdictions, with respect to being a financial center here in in Asia, Southeast Asia specifically and I think that this recent article and the inclusion of Thailand in this simulation, I think it sort of denotes perhaps a shift in the way things are here in Asia at this time.