I’d be interested in hearing from New Mandala readers about reactions in the region to Barack Obama’s victory. From my very quick perusal of the Thai press (with some help from my friends) there seem to be a few common points being made:

  • Obama’s election is unlikely to have a substantial impact on Thailand or on Thai-American relations. There has been long-standing cooperation between the two countries and this is not going to change.
  • Obama’s more collaborative approach on international relations may enhance American links with southeast Asian nations and extend cooperation with regional organisations such as ASEAN.
  • If Obama can successfully manage the financial crisis there will be flow-on benefits for the Thai economy.
  • There is some concern that Obama and his party may adopt a more protectionist approach on international trade, given their concerns about job losses in America. There may also be greater American attention to labour and environmental standards in trade partner countries. Some commentators think this could have an impact on Thai exports, and that some adjustments by Thai exporters may be required. Others think that the impacts are likely to be very limited.

Nothing particularly surprising here. If any readers have more interesting details to add from Thailand, or insights from other countries in the region, please post your comments here.