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Counting the Cost
Is Thailand an economic success story?
Thailand's prime minister talks about a country in recovery after last year's deadly floods.
Last Modified: 19 May 2012 07:24

Thailand saw some dark days last year, when the worst floods in 50 years killed 600 people and devastated large sectors of industry.

But with $11bn set aside to help prevent a repeat and improved water management, things are looking better for the future.

And there are numbers to back up these signs of recovery. The IMF is forecasting growth of 5.5 per cent for Thailand's economy in 2012 and 7.5 per cent in 2013.

All that is good news for Yingluck Shinawatra, the country's prime minister, who has been in power for a little over nine months.

She is Thailand's first female prime minister, its youngest in 60 years and the sister of former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

In this exclusive interview, she talks to Al Jazeera about the promise of investment and sure signs of recovery at a time of change in the neighbourhood.

Also, on this week's Counting the Cost: How South Korea's burgeoning defence industry could owe some of its growth to North Korea's military threats.

South Korea's defence industry has been growing at more than 10 per cent a year since 2006 - fuelled by a government defence budget of some $30bn.

Manufacturers have been developing home-grown weapons and now they are selling their technology abroad too.

A key reason for all that spending: North Korea.

As Kim Chul-Soo of the Defence Acquisition Programme explains: "There is a constant need to address North Korea's threats. If we relied entirely on overseas purchasing it would be difficult to meet the demands in an emergency situation. So South Korea has made efforts to manufacture defence materials domestically, improve quality and reduce the costs."

And, finally, when an energy giant starts talking about water and food conservation, it may be time to start paying attention. We look at why there could be a shortage of fresh water and what Shell is doing about it.

 
Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630. Click here for more Counting the Cost.

Follow Kamahl Santamaria @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali @abidoliverali
Source:
Al Jazeera
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