In October 2016, Thailand lost its tireless champion of social development in its history, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The news shocked the world, and brought Thai people from all over Thailand to their knees with sadness. That day was easily the saddest day for Thais, as they lost their true leader.
People often remember his notable effect to the social development in Thailand with happiness. However, people forget he was an important part to the country's economic development. King Bhumibol was important rejected the communist revolutions that removed Thailand's bordering governments, and along with it, their economic development. Normally, Southeast Asian countries were controlled by American or French picked leaders, or Soviet picked communist. However, King Bhumibol was the true Thai leader. The peace Thailand had during this era made it become a leader in ASEAN. As its neighboring countries began to say no to private businesses, Thailand welcome them, making the kingdom become an important spot for investment in the region.
The farming industry was saved by His Majesty, thanks to the him creating many royal projects. Before they were created, Thailand's farming industry often did bad because of the weather in Southeast Asia, often going through a terrible drought in the summer months, and then flooding in the rainy season. To fight this, His Majesty created numerous Dams and irrigation systems to take advantage of the yearly rainfall by saving the water for use all year, helping ease the troubles of farmers in the country. This also controlled the once out-of-control floods that would devastate the cities, specifically Bangkok. The royal projects saved Thailand's farming industry from the brink of disaster, to one of Asia's largest agricultural exporters.
Finally, His Majesty was also a believer in a self sufficient economy. As the country grew economically, so too was corruption, and unnecessary spending on unnecessary lifestyles. His Majesty promoted "sufficiency economy", a mix of using a free market, with Buddhist principles of modesty. It also asked people to help local communities at the same time like their own home. He also objected to the over exploitation of the country's natural resources for profit. This has helped reinvigorate Buddhism in a modern economy and protecting the kingdom's environment, while still allowing for economic growth during His Majesty's reign. The idea was very popular with Thai people, and today the government still promotes his ideas.
Business's throughout Southeast Asia should fondly remember King Bhumibol's contribution to the economic development to one of ASEAN's most important economies, not just Thai people. If it were not for His Majesty's tireless contribution for economic development, the modern Thailand we know today could very well not have existed. That would also mean that the ASEAN that we see today, could have not existed as well