Australian Embassy Updates

Daily Updates on COVID-19

Headlines summary as of 2 August 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
17,970 (175 from prisons)633,284 (last seven days: 120,606)4,769/ 1,028419,241 (+13,919)604,42113,955,087 (+152,171)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
17,784 [13,567 (get tested in hospital) + 4,217 (active case finding)]11 (in SQ)208,875 [133,170 in field hospital]158,165 (+3,144)5,168 (+178) (last seven days: 1,022)17,866,526 (+180,552)3,911,439 (+28,381)
  • This morning, the PM presided over the handover of vaccines donated by foreign countries:
  • The US chargé d’affaires met with the PM and Public Health Minister handing over 1,503,450 doses of Pfizer vaccines to be used in the Kingdom. The vaccines arrived on 31 July.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The UK chargé d’affaires met with the PM and Public Health Minister handing over 415,040 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Kingdom and expected to arrive on 3 August.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Thai Rath has found a 30,000 doses discrepancy between the formerly announced 1.54 million doses of Pfizer vaccines received by the government and the CCSA announcement of 1,503,450 doses yesterday. The reporter reached out to the government spokesperson who then referred the reporter to the Director-general of the Disease Control Department. The DG was on the ride and was not convenient to take the call. The CCSA spokesperson and the permanent-secretary of the Public Health Ministry did not pick up the call.—Thai Rath
  • The fifth-one million dose-batch of Sinopharm has arrived the Kingdom. The Chulabhorn Royal Academy has so far ordered 10 million doses of the Chinese vaccines as ‘alternative vaccines’ to that of main Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines.—The Nation Thailand
  • Yesterday, the PM presided over the CCSA meeting and has made the following resolutions which later last night have been gazetted—TAT News
  • The new classifications of the provinces in Thailand starting from August 3 to 18 August and subject to extension until 31 August considering the severity of the pandemic situation.
  • The new restriction allows the delivery service for restaurants within the department stores for dark red zones.
  • The classifications are as followed:
AreaProvinces
Strict and highly controlled- Dark Red (29 from 13)Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chonburi, Chachoengsao, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Narathiwat, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Prachinburi, Pattani, Ayutthaya, Phetchaburi, Phetchabun, Yala, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Lopburi, Songkhla, Singburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, Saraburi, Suphanburi and Ang Thong.
Highly controlled-Red (37)Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Khon Kaen, Chanthaburi, Chainat, Chaiyaphum, Chumphon, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Trang, Trat, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Sawan, Buri Ram, Phatthalung, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Maha Sarakham, Yasothon, Ranong, Roi Et, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Si Sa Ket, Sakon Nakhon, Satun, Sa Kaew, Sukhothai, Surin, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu, Uttaradit, Uthai Thani, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen.
Controlled-Orange (11)Krabi, Nakhon Phanom, Nan, Bueng Kan, Phayao, Phang Nga, Phrae, Phuket, Mukdahan, Mae Hong Son and Surat Thani

Politics

  • The government latest front on fake news have seen several developments:
  • The PM as the head of the CCSA has rearranged the CCSA structure and appoint the secretary-general of the National Broadcasting Telecommunication Committee (NBTC) to head the Operation Centre on resolving emergency situation in relation to online communication. Earlier, the PM issued an order authorising the NBTC to close down any IP address which spread fake news, misinformation and information which stir fears, in relation to the pandemic.–Matichon
  • The civil court agreed to make an emergency inquiry as per requested by online news outlets against the PM order under the Emergency Decree to close down IP address in relation to misinformation. The online outlets, including The Reporters, Voice, The Standard, The Standard, and Prachatai, filed a case to the court asking for the removal of the term ‘information which stir fear’ for its obscurity. The outlets also point out that the order to close down IP address is beyond the authority allowed by the Emergency Decree.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Yesterday witnessed greater violence from both sides during the anti-government protest to the PM House in Northern Bangkok:
  • Apart from Bangkok, there were protestors in 24 provinces participating in the ‘car mob’.—Prachachat Turakij
  •  There was use of rubber bullets and tear gas later in the evening after the protest was nearly over as many protestors decided not to go back home after the protest leaders announced the end of the protest.
  • And the Free Youth Movement is calling for a revenge on their next gathering on 7 August.
  • The call for the PM is stepping up as some alumni of the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University is sending an open letter to the PM daughter who also study in the same batch asking to pass the suffering of the people to her then to her father. The letter is calling for the PM to step down.–Matichon
  • A financial elite Banyong Pongpanich has called for the PM to resign saying that the opposition from the people is evident that the PM cannot keep on governing. The former Thai Airways Board is offering the PM three solutions for the PM to honourably step down: 1. To amend the constitution stripping the Senate power to vote for the PM within 2 weeks; 2. Dissolve the Parliament once no.1 is done or it is clear that it cannot be done and 3. Vow not to be the caretaker PM in the caretaker government. Banyong said that this is the only way for the PM to defend his dignity.—Siam Rath
  • Ousted and self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra gave an exclusive interview with Thai Rath on his ‘road map’ to return to the Kingdom. The former PM said that the current crisis is way beyond the capabilities of the military to handle and that there must be major reforms within economic and bureaucratic sectors. On questions related to returning to Thailand, the fugitive said he is ready to return to the Kingdom anytime now, even that would mean to serve his jail terms.—Thai Rath
  • Chinese state-controlled Xin Hua got an exclusive interview with the Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin on the Sino-Thai cooperation in fighting COVID-19. Thai top health official has expressed his gratitude to Beijing saying that “the Chinese government has always supported our country to the most extent, and we have received lots of contributions.” Considering Chinese Sinovac vaccines are the first to enter the Kingdom for its inoculation program, the Deputy PM said “I could say loudly that Thai people always feel the wonderful brotherhood between the Chinese and the Thais.” He pledged that Thailand will open its doors to fully-vaccinated international tourist within this year.–XinHua

Economic:

  • Covid-19 outbreaks have hit 518 factories in 49 provinces and infected 36,861 workers since April 1.  Factories have had to implement Bubble and Seal regimen for workers as well as slow down their production or postponed the delivery of their goods in the last 2 months.  The Shipping Council of Thailand said the impacts will be most evident in Q3 on 4 groups of exports, namely chicken, automotive and parts, electronics and garment, which will be aggravated by the slow vaccination rollout among factory workers.  Economists enthused that the manufacturing sector needs protection from COVID-19 as it is Thailand’s sole economic driver, with Kasikornbank and Krungsri Bank both forecasting that the infection will peak in August.  CIMB Bank identified August as the turning point.  If the outbreak cannot be curbed within the month, it could lower Thailand’s economic growth to be below 1 percent and export to be below 10 percent.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 2 August 2021
  • Bank of Thailand expressed concerns about the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the domestic manufacturing sector since it may disrupt the supply chains and activities of factories, thereby inevitably affecting export.  Other issues include shipping container and semi-conductor shortages, which have compelled some operators to consider relocating their manufacturing facilities to other trading partners of Thailand.  Sources:  Post Today  Thansettakij
  • Thai National Shippers Council (TNSC) and Federation of Thai Industries do not expect the shipping container shortage and the ensuing steep freight costs to have much impact on Thai export on the short run.  TNSC reasoned that most Thai exporters are selling products with prices at the port in mind and do not bear the brunt of freight costs.  Rather, it is importers who are mostly being held responsible for the freight and transport costs.  The depreciating Baht would also cushion the impact for Thai exporters.  More worrisome is the domestic COVID-19 outbreak, which is spreading among factories and could lead to setbacks in export capacity. Source:  Bangkok Post
  • In June 2021, the Thai economy continued to be affected by the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, said the Bank of Thailand (BOT). Private consumption and tourism sector remained weak, however, public spending supported the economy, as did merchandise export, which in turn bolstered manufacturing production and private investment.  Source:  Bank of Thailand Press Release
  • Thailand’s Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) in June rose for the fourth consecutive month by +17.58 percent YoY; buoyed by higher production of automotive, electronic parts and steel.  According to the Industry Ministry, COVID-19 outbreak has little impacts on factories, with most having to only temporarily suspended their production line.   The reading, coming off a low base last year, fell short of May’s 25.73 percent increase.  To this end, Industry Ministry has revised MPI 2021 forecast to expand by 4-5 percent from 2-3 percent, while industrial GDP is set to grow by 3-4 percent from 2.5-3.5 percent as the economies of Thailand’s trading partners improve.  Sources:  Matichon Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Ministry credited the surge in Thailand’s export in the first 6 months of 2021 totalling 441 billion Baht to its suite of activities that helped to boost the confidence of other countries in Thai exports.  For instance, since September 2020, the government has issued COVID-19 Prevention Best Practice certificate to 237 factories that manufacture canned, chilled and frozen seafood for export.  The Commerce Ministry offices worldwide are also proactive in boosting exports at their respective countries. Source:  Prachachart Turakij  Ban Muang
  • The 1-month closure of construction worker camps to curb the spread of Covid-19 has dampened domestic demand for cement and building materials by 20 percent, said Siam Cement Group (SCG).  SCG also added that its cement, building materials and packaging businesses overseas were similarly affected by lockdown measures.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Restaurant chains are renting cloud kitchens to cope with the shortfall in production capacity because authorities have closed department stores and community malls as part of the measures to curb COVID-19 outbreak. Temporary cloud kitchens are meant to serve delivery demand, which has become the sole sales channel for these eateries.  In fact, many of them do not want to go back to operating at locations inside shopping malls and are looking to focus on deliveries.  They anticipate that the restaurant landscape is going to completely change because the pandemic is likely to be prolonged for another 1-2 years.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Pattaya considers delay its reopening date beyond September, given that Thailand may not be able to control the COVID-19 infections and provide sufficient vaccinations until Q4.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Headlines summary as of 29 July 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
17,669 (261 from prisons)561,0304,511/ 1,001370,492 (+9,798)532,16712,858,570 (+144,258)19.42% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
17,391 [14,782 (get tested in hospital) + 2,609 (active case finding)]17 (in SQ)185,976 [116,824 in field hospital]145,223 (+3,963)3,811 (+114)16,591,329(+164,270)25.31% of the population3,732,759 (+20,012)5.63% of the population
  • More foreign countries have extended their assistances to the Kingdom in dealing with the pandemic:
  • The UK ambassador-designate has announced that the British government will deliver 415,000 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccines to Thailand as part of the bilateral arrangements next month.—Gov.UK
  • The Thai-American US Senator Ladda Tammy Duckworth announced in the East-West Centre’s webinar that the US will donate 2.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccines to Thailand. Speaking at the opening remarks of ‘U.S. and Thailand Perspectives on Geostrategic Landscape and Regional Architecture’, the US senator said that the prior announcement of 1.5 million doses was just the first batch.—VOA Thai
  • Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin received the Swiss-donated oxygen ventilator and COVID rapid antigen test kits worth 328 million THB. Swiss Ambassador to Thailand said the donated kits aim at helping Thai people and hospitals.—Prachachat Turakij
  • On Wednesday, the PM discussed with governors from 12 strict and highly controlled provinces on how to curb the spread of the pandemic. The PM said, however, that the situation might be better in four to six weeks.—Matichon
  • The House Speaker has made a call to the Deputy PM and FM Don that the foreign ministry should make a call to the US asking for more Pfizer vaccines.—Thai Rath

Politics

  • The PM stepped in the conflicts between the Bangkok Governor and the Director-General of the Department of Disease Control where the former said that the Public Health Ministry has not provided enough vaccines to the capital administration. The head of DDC said that they delivered the vaccines according to the BMA requests.—Prachachat Turakij
  • In his FB post, the PM has ordered all agencies to look after the fake news situation. The PM said that the agencies should look to prosecute influencers and media outlets, not just only ordinary citizens. The PM said that the Thai agencies should swiftly prosecute the violators of Emergency Decree.—Prachachat Turakij
  • Anti-establishment Free Youth Movement is calling for the other demonstration on 7 August to call for mRNA vaccines and the resignation of the PM.—Matichon

Australia

  • Ambassador McKinnon interview on the National Thai Language Day is published on Krungthep Turakij. The HOM’s inspiration and interests in studying Thai language is also covered.—Krungthep Turakij  

Economic

  • Thailand’s export in June 2021 reported the highest growth in 11 years, by +48.8 percent YoY (value: 23.7 billion USD), while real export (excluding gold, oil-related products and weaponry) soared by 41.6 percent.  The growth is due to the rise in the export of agricultural and food products (vegetables, fruits, rubber, pet food, seasoning); work from home products and home appliances (computers, A/C, furniture and parts), COVID-19 related products (PPE, rubber gloves), manufacturing products (steel, plastic beads) and durable and luxury items (automobile and parts, jewellery).  Import in June 2021 grew by 53.8 percent (value: 22.7 million USD), hence a trade surplus of 945 million USD.  Commerce Ministry said its continuous implementation of export promotion plans with trading partners had fuelled the growth.  In the first half of 2021, export grew by 15.53 percent (value: 132.3 billion USD), import by 26.1 billion USD (129.9 billion USD), with a trade surplus of 2.4 billion USD.  Source:  Ministry of Commerce Press Release Krungthep Turakij  Bangkok Post
  • The cabinet had approved an additional budget to provide education-related assistance.   The budget is likely to be from the 500 billion Baht loan, with the detailed plans to be submitted for the cabinet’s consideration.
  • For students attending primary and secondary school in the Thai education system, the government will provide the parents with 2,000 Baht per child.  State subsidies will also be granted to schools.  The total budget for this scheme is 23 billion Baht and is allocated to the Education Ministry.
  • For state-run universities, a tuition fee discount is implemented in 3 steps: a reduction of 50 percent for the first 50,000 Baht; 30 percent for the next 50,000 Baht and 10 percent for more than 100,000 Baht. The government will subsidise 60 percent of the discounts and the rest will be covered by the universities. For private universities, the government will pay 5,000 Baht for the tuition fee per student.  The total budget for this scheme is 10 billion Baht and is allocated to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.  Source:  Thansettakij  Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Ministry had rolled out 7 measures to facilitate export-import in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.  Among these initiatives include encouraging operators to use electronic certificate of origin (e-Form D) or to use the ASEAN Wide Self Certification (AWSC) for export to ASEAN countries.  The government will also resort to the issuance of electronic import/export documents.  The Paperless initiative is also promoted, with Customs Department promoting the use a centralised database through the National Single Window System.  The government has also allowed for the renewal of import/export license via postal mail service and following up to be done through an online system.  Source:  Commerce Ministry Press Release  Thansettakij
  • President of Krabi Tourism Association (KTA) said the island’s tourism operators are ready to accept 500 tourists from the Phuket sandbox scheme from 10-30 August as part of the “7+7 sandbox’ island extension scheme.  KTA expects this to generate a revenue of 30 million Baht, however, the proposal is still pending CESA’s approval.  Following a 7-day stay in Phuket, foreign guests can travel by boat to spend at least 7 days on Krabi province’s Koh Phi, Railay Bay and Koh Ngai.  KTA also forecasts 70,000 foreigners to visit Phuket by October, of which 10 percent (7,000 visitors) are anticipated to travel to Krabi.  The province is also looking to expand its airport terminal to allow tourists to directly fly to Krabi airport.  Source:  Khao SodBangkok Post
  • Phuket will persevere with its Phuket Sandbox tourism reopening scheme, despite escalating challenges associated with the rise in new Covid-19 infections, mostly infected locals who transferred from other provinces to receive treatment.  Koh Samui recorded 20 Covid-19 cases, the highest 1-day jump since it reopened to tourism on 15 July, although local authorities insisted this will not derail the island’s sandbox programme.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Bangkok Post
  • Kobsak Pootrakool, senior executive vice-president of Bangkok Bank and chairman of a subcommittee on business regulation reform set up by PM Prayut, is urging the government to expedite the regulatory guillotine project.  He suggested that the government eliminate obsolete laws and regulations within 6 months to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness and restore GDP’s annual growth of 4-5 percent.  His subcommittee had recommended the government expand property leasehold rights for foreigners from 30 years to 50 years to attract longer stays in Thailand.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The IMF had maintained its 6 percent global GDP growth forecast for 2021, upgrading its outlook for the United States and other wealthy economies but cutting estimates for developing countries struggling with surging COVID-19 infections. The IMF had lowered forecast for emerging Asia to 7.5 percent this year, down 1.1 percent from the April forecast.  Source:  Reuters

Headlines summary as of 23 July 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
14,575 (1,072 from prisons)467,707 [last seven days: 80,917]3,984/ 900320,152 (+7,775)438,84411,805,180 (+266,314)17.83% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
13,490 [9,889 (get tested in hospital) + 3,601 (active case finding)]13 (in SQ)143,744 [61,9361 in field hospital]126,610 (+3,104)3,811 (+114) [last seven days: 665]15,388,939 (+279,576)23.25% of the population3,583,759 (+37,929)5.41% of the population
  • The PM yesterday approved the plan for tourists who entered Phuket Sandbox for seven days can travel to nearby resort areas in Surat Thani, Krabi and Pang Ngha for seven more days, beginning from 1 August.—Thai Rath
  1. National Health Security Office (NHSO) said that about 10% of over 50,000 people in Bangkok checked using antigen test kits (ATK) since July 12, under an active screening campaign, have tested positive for COVID-19. In the next step, the NHSO will distribute ATKs, free of charge, to some high-risk groups, so they can take the tests themselves, adding that the office will announce from where the kits can be obtained.—ThaiPBS World
  2. There has been online backlash, soon after the government passed a new regulation which categorises tampons as a cosmetic product, causing the widespread belief that the product, which is a necessity for many menstrual women, would be subject to 30% tax. Later it turned out that the tampons are exempted from the luxury taxes.—all media outlet
  3. The Chulabhorn Royal Academy announced that the academy plans to procure 9 million doses of Sinophram vaccines between July and August 2021. The academy under the patronage of Princess Chulabhorn has imported 3 million doses of Sinopharm and within the next two weeks, the Kingdom will get 2 more million doses.—Krungthep Turakij

Politics

  • Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) said a total of 154 pro-democracy demonstrators from eight protest groups were prosecuted between July 2 and 18 for charges regarding the violation of emergency decree and disease control acts. The police is seeking to ask the Criminal Court to revoke temporary release granted to pro-democracy leaders who broke bail conditions by joining protests.—Nation Thailand
  • The Army is under the other round of criticism as there was a circulation of a request letter from Protocol Division of the Army asking the Red Cross to allocate the Modern vaccine to the division personnels and their families.—Matichon
    • Wassana Nanuam, Army reporter, said last night that the letter was ‘neither fake nor official’ and that the Supreme Command of the Thai Armed Force has launched a committee to probe this document.—Matichon
  1. Political activist Sombat Bunngamanong is calling for the other ‘Car Mob’ on 1 August on every street in Thailand in defiance against the mismanagement of the pandemic by the government.—Matichon
  • Despite the dense reports thatInterior Ministry Permanent Secretary will set up a new political party, the twin party of the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party, the most recent report is that the head of the ministry has not decided to set up the party but will wait until retirement in October. The permanent-secretary said that after retirement he might return to politics if he still finds himself beneficial to the nation.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Deputy ruling Democrat Party leader has requested the PM and Defence Minister to use military premises around the country, especially in Bangkok as field hospitals or hospitalisation waiting areas.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The House Speaker came out to warn the government of the overuse of legal actions against influencers who came out to criticise the government. The head of Legislative defended the freedom of expression, but should not be excessive.—Krungthep Turakij

Analysis/ opinion

  • Thai Rath regarded that despite ruling Bhumjaithai and Democrat parties having serious talks on leaving the coalition, the PM had signalled that he can work with minority government and will choose to reshuffle the cabinet, instead of dissolving the Parliament. Leaving the coalition will give the two parties short-term popularity, but the PM can lead the minority government only by issuing Decree. The government will keep on working together for the time-being.—Thai Rath
  • Wassana Nanuam, army reporter, cited sources close to Deputy PM Prawit said that Prime Minister Prayut will not run in the next election as he has fatigued serving.—Ring Side การเมือง

Economic News Summary

Tourism

  • CESA has approved for foreign visitors participating in Phuket sandbox scheme to visit other tourist spots through sealed routes starting from 1 August, including Surat Thani’s Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao; Krabi’s Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai and Railay Bay; and Pnangnga’s Khao Lak, Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi.  Phuket is envisaged as a hub for distributing foreign tourists to other destinations in Thailand. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) noted the Phuket Sandbox Scheme recorded 9,358 foreign tourists and has generated 534 million Baht.  The Samui Plus program welcomed 17 tourists to Koh Samui in the first 15 days of its reopening. 
  • Ministry of Tourism and Sports said Buriram province will not reopen this year as it has postponed hosting the Moto GP race.  The reopening of Hua Hin and Cha-am will most likely take place in October, while the reopening Bangkok and Pattaya dates might be re-assessed due to the severe outbreaks.   Source:  Bangkok Post, Thansettakij newspaper 22-24 July 2021,  Bangkok Post

Others

  • On 4 June, CESA approved DPM Supattanapong’s scheme to offer long-stay visas to 4 groups of foreigners: rich global citizens, wealthy retirees and rich professionals as well as highly-skilled professionals working in Thailand.  They are entitled to a 10-year visa years and can own land and property.  However, Finance Ministry voiced opposition to the scheme’s proposal for a 17 percent personal income tax on local earnings for foreign investors – a point of contention which CESA has ordered relevant agencies to urgently resolve.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Federation of Thai Industries proposed that the government secure another 1 trillion Baht loan on top of the existing 5 billion Baht loan to spur the economy.   Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) advised the government to use the existing 5 billion Baht loan immediately for relief measures, noting that the recently-approved relief measures of 42 billion Baht is insufficient to offset the 90 – 120 billion Baht of monthly economic loss stemming from the lockdown of 13 provinces.  The additional 1 trillion Baht loan should be used to stimulate the economy when 30-40 percent of the population is vaccinated. The fiscal injection should accelerate further after 50 percent of the population is inoculated to prepare the economy for a take-off.
  • TCC asked the government to relax the regulations to enable financial institutions to give out loans to more SMEs.  Of the 250 billion Baht soft loan offered by Bank of Thailand, only 72.4 billion Baht is disbursed as of 12 July.  Of the 100 billion Baht asset warehousing scheme, only 958 billion Baht is disbursed, bringing the total amount of loans disbursed from these 2 schemes to 73.3 billion Baht.
  • The Restaurant Association of Thailand called for the government to allow restaurants located inside shopping malls to reopen their kitchens and resume delivery service, considering that the government’s relief measures are not enough to help them survive.  In the past year, restaurants have lost over 100 billion Baht, and are expected to lose another 100 billion Baht in 45 days should the lockdown intensify.  Source: Thansettakij
  • The Federation of Thai Capital Market Organization advised the government to temporarily raise the public debt ceiling to 70-75 percent of GDP, or borrow another 800 billion – 1 trillion Baht to boost the economy.  The Thai economy is at high risk off slipping back into a recession, for which Thailand will become one of the few countries in the world where the economy will be in a slump while others recover.  This would also mark the first time since the 1997 Tom Yum Kung financial crisis that the Thai economy is in a recession for 2 consecutive years.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • In the best-case-scenario, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) expects that the lockdown will chip away only 0.8 percent of Thailand’s GDP growth if the outbreak is contained in August and the restrictions are relaxed by mid-August.  In the worst-case-scenario, GDP will fall by 2 percent should the outbreak not come under control and the lockdown is extended until year-end.   Economic activities under the current lockdown have dropped to almost the same level as last year’s lockdown restrictions in April.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Airport Authority of Thailand and Aeronautical radio of Thailand (Aerothai) said they have been assisting the airlines that are affected by COVID-19 by waiving or offering discounts on various fees.  In fact, these measures have affected Aerothai’s liquidity such that it is now in need of loans.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij
  • Federation of Thai Industries raised Thailand’s total car production target for 2021 to 1.55 – 1.6 million units, fuelled by good export prospect despite the pandemic dealing a blow on domestic demand.  Of this figure, car export is anticipated to reach 800,000 – 850,000 units, up from 750,000 units.  On the contrary, FTI had lowered its car production target for the domestic market to below 750,000; declining from last year’s 790,000.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Thansettakij

Headlines summary as of 22 July 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
13,655 (545 from prisons)453,132 [last seven days: 80,917]3,856/ 889312,377 (+7,921)424,26911,538,866 (+246,287)16.39% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
13,099 [9,254 (get tested in hospital) + 3,845 (active case finding)]11 (in SQ)137,058 [58,861 in field hospital]123,506 (+2,893)3,697(+87) [last seven days: 665]15,084,696 (+279,576)21.58% of the population3,545,830 (+33,289)5.21% of the population
  • The head of Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute apologized Wednesday for the country’s slow and inadequate rollout of coronavirus vaccines, promising it will join the U.N.-backed COVAX program to receive supplies from its pool of donated vaccines next year. He said Thailand is in the process of joining COVAX, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization. Nakorn said he expects Thailand will be able to receive vaccines from COVAX by the first quarter of next year.—AP
  • The Director-general of the Disease Control Department has submitted a letter to request a purchase of 10.9 million doses of Sinovac vaccine to help curb the spread of the Delta variant.—Prachachat Turakij
  • The deputy spokesperson said that the government has approved the plan for field hospital at Suvarnnabhumi international airport, capable of taking care 4,500 patients. The plan will allow the use of the field hospital in August and that the Thai Aviation Authority is going to prepare a building in Don Meung Airport to become the other field hospital able to host 2,000 patients.—Thai Rath
  • The CCSA spokesperson made several points in the daily press summary:
    • In the future, foreigners with residency status in Thailand, including spouse can register to get vaccine at SCG headquarter in Bang Sue.
    • The PM who also heads the CCSA underlined that there must be no more image or footage of people die in their home while waiting for hospitalisation again.—Prachachat Turakij

Politics

  • After the PM spoke in the weekly cabinet meeting warning the Democrat and Bhumjaithai Parties of deserting the coalition, the two main coalition parties came out to affirm their commitment to the coalition:
    • Bhumjaithai leader and secretary-general said that Bhumjaithai has never thought of deserting the PM nor the coalition. The Deputy PM and Public Health Minister said that the party will stick to the coalition under the end of the Parliament tenure.—Prachachat Turakij
    • Democrat leader and Deputy PM also said that he felt sorry for the PM who has been working very hard during the pandemic. He said that despite the Democrat party did not have the direct responsibility in curbing the pandemic, the Democrat ministers have excelled in their tasks.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The Royal Office website which opened for citizen to write their message to HM the King was hacked and replaced the royal portrait with that of manga character from Japanese series Black Butler. The link has now been suspended.—Catdumb
  • After influencers and people in entertainment complex started to publicly grill the government mismanagement of the pandemic, the Digital Economy Minister came out to warn actors and actresses of sharing fake information which is illegal.
    • The Minister said he did not threaten the influencers, just asking for cooperation from stars not to distort information against the government.—Thai Rath
    • A vocal MP from Opposition Pheu Thai Party said that he will use his parliamentarian status to bail any influencers who got charges from ‘calling out’ against the government.—Matichon
    • A member of main ruling PPRP party said that has pressed charges against more than 20 influencers on charges related to Computer Crime Act with the Metropolitan Police. At noon on Thursday, PPRP Party issued a press release saying that the party does not involve with this legal action and does not involve with the member action against the influencer.—Krungthep Turakij
    • The secretary-general of PPRP Captain Thammanat said that the person who press charges ‘was’ the party member and that he is no longer part of the PPRP.—Matichon
  • This morning an 18-year-old Thai rapper ‘Milli’ reported to a police station for profanation charge against the Prime Minister. The singer pledged guilty and was charged with 2,000 THB fine. The lawyer to the PM press charges against the rapper for her tweets grilling the PM.—
    • Other singers and influencers posted in support of the rapper, saying this is unprecedented in any democratic country.—Matichon
  • Leader of the now defunct PDRC Suthep Thuagsuban made a rare communication in support of the government amid the high tide of pandemic. He shared a status by the Silapakorn University Rector saying that Thailand is the best country in the world and that there are many Thai citizens who would like to undermine the Kingdom. The University rector has called for anyone who hates the country to leave the Kingdom soon. Suthep said his view resonate with the status.—Prachachat Turakij
  • Ousted and self-exiled former PM Yingluck Shinawatra posted on her FB saying she feel sorry for the deceased and Gove moral support for the Thai people to excel through the pandemic.—Krungthep Turakij

Economic:

  • PM Prayut convened a virtual meeting with the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) and 40 CEOs yesterday to discuss plans to boost the economy.  The CEOs reiterated the need for the government to speed up vaccination rollout, provide more generous relief measures for the affected and invest in digital infrastructure.  Specifically, TCC made 4 proposals, such as for the government address the migrant labour shortage, revive the Shop Dee Mee Kheun tax rebate program to stimulate domestic spending and aggressively lure foreign investments.  TCC also proposed that a joint committee between the public and private sector be established to kick off activities that enhance digital transformation, ie: smart agriculture.  Sources:  Bangkok Post, Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 22 July 2021
  • The Airlines Association of Thailand (AAT) launched a petition for the government to urgently help the aviation sector, which will collapse if the ban on domestic flights is prolonged to 3 months.  The AAT noted over 20,000 employees will lose their jobs as the 7 airlines are facing serious liquidity issues, having grounded 170 aircrafts and suffering over 15 billion Baht of loss in the last 17 months.  Most importantly, it requested a loan worth 5 billion Baht from the government to help retain employment, in addition to collateral-free loan with low interest.  AAT had originally requested for a 24 billion Baht soft loan from the government, but it was not granted.  AAT expects international flights to resume by 40-50 percent in Q1 of 2022.  Source:  Bangkok PostKrungthep Turakij
  • The Bank of Thailand had discussed with relevant authorities to seek ways to lower household debt, starting from co-operatives and student loans and potentially to cover farmer loans next year.  This is in response to Thailand’s escalating household debts, which amounted to 90.5 percent of GDP in Q1 2021 and is expected to worsen due to the current lockdown measures  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Ministry of Industry announced that Thailand is poised to become the leader in robotic and automation technology in 2026.  With the pandemic outbreak, Thailand is emphasising robotics, automation and system integration (SI) development in a move to produce technologies of its own.  Thailand is currently in a middle-term development plan from 2018 to 2021, and in 2020, it has spent 116 billion Baht on robotic system.  The BOI is also offering tax incentives to promote investment in technology upgrades.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Naew Na
  • Commerce Ministry aims to rev up export promotion for products related to global megatrends, particularly in the BCG economy category to would raise income for farmers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs.   Popular BCG products include future food that are in high demands in Australia, US, China and Japan.  Other potential products are lifestyle items developed from agricultural waste or high-quality industrial waste; processed agricultural products and non-food products with environmentally-friendly packaging.  Sources:  Bangkok Post
  • The Eastern Economic Corridor Office said the government’s flagship EEC project alone is not enough to upgrade Thailand to become a developed country.  It is unlikely to attract sufficient investment or boost the country’s GDP by 4-5 percent yearly as planned after Covid-19.  Additional special development zones are needed, such as the Southern Economic Corridor, the Northeastern Economic Corridor and Northern Economic Corridor. Private investment in EEC this year and for 2022 are forecast at 300 billion Baht a year.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Krungsri Research has downgraded Thailand’s GDP growth by 0.8 percent, from +2 percent to +1.2 percent for 2021.  The impact of the current and worst COVID-19 outbreak will outweigh the windfall from rising export and the government’s additional relief measures, which Krungsri expects will total 100 billion Baht this year.  Given the daily infection cases that has reached 10,000 since early July, the worst-case-scenario in Krungsri’s previous forecast has become the baseline scenario for its current forecast.  The recent lockdown is anticipated to be only 70 percent as effective compared to April 2020.  For this reason, the number of new daily cases are forecasted to peak at 15,000 in August, before dropping in September and down to below 1,000 in November.  In the worst-case-scenario, the lockdown may be prolonged if the vaccines do not work against new virus variants and the current lockdown proves ineffective.  Sources:  Krungsri Research Press Release[Krungthep%20Turakij]Krungthep TurakijThansettakij

Headlines summary as of 21 July 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
13,002 (1,049 from prisons)439,477 [last seven days: 72,763]3,786/ 879304,456 (+8,248)410,61411,292,579 (+225,061)16.39% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
11,922 [9,012 (get tested in hospital) + 2,910(active case finding)]31 (in SQ)131,411 [57,243  in field hospital]120,613 (+2,921)3,610 (+108) [last seven days: 655]14,805,120 (+257,876)21.58% of the population3,512,541 (+32,815)5.21% of the population
  • In a bid to curb the pandemic, the CCSA has additionally recommended the provincial authorities to close down 10 more types of business in 13 provinces of the Dark Red Zone: stadiums, swimming pools, sports fields, exhibition centres or convention halls, public libraries or art centres, museums and historical sites, child care centres, barbers, beauty salons, public parks and botanical gardens.
  • The director of the National Vaccine Institute came out to apologise to the people for their mismanagement of the vaccine procurement, saying that the spread of the Defat variants is unexpected. The DG of the institute said that Thailand ‘is in the process of joining COVAX, but has not signed the agreement on procurement.’ The institute has begun to negotiate to join COVAX with the aim to get vaccines from the multilateral scheme in 2022. When there is an initial conclusion on this matter, the relevant task force will elaborate more in details.—The Standard
  • Yesterday, the US Embassy announced that their donation of 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccines will arrive in Thailand. The Embassy stressed that the safer Thailand is, the safer the region will be. The Director-General of the Disease Control Department expected that the mRNA doses will be in the kingdom in late July and could begin to administer in August for four main groups of people: frontline health workers, elders, people in risk area and foreigners, especially who are older than 60 years old.—Prachachat Turakij
  • Yesterday, the Public Health Ministry signed a contract procuring 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccines which will be sent to the Kingdom in the fourth quarter. The contract, however, did not indicate the exact prices nor schedules.—Thai Rath
  • The public opinion has turned gloomy as yesterday there were four homeless men found dead on Bangkok streets, suspected to be virus victims. The four men body were found left without any official attending for more than half day. They were on a street near Wat Bowonniwet Temple, on Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue, next to Lotus Rama IV in Thong Lor district and the other on the sidewalk on Hathairat Road in Khlong Toei district.—Nation Thailand

Politics

  • The PM spoke in the weekly cabinet meeting warning the Democrat and Bhumjaithai Parties of deserting the coalition. It is reported that the PM replied media questions on coalition parties revoking there support that “This is not the time for political games. If you are going leave me, that’s up to you. I will continue working on my own. I will not desert you, but if you are going to leave me, that’s fine.”—all media outlet Krungthep Turakij
  • After influencers and people in entertainment complex started to publicly grill the government mismanagement of the pandemic, the Digital Economy Minister came out to warn actors and actresses of sharing fake information which is illegal. The Minister said the government has done better than other neighbouring countries and has called for the influencers to be more well-rounded.—Krungthep Turakij
  • After reports that one of the three figures of the inner circle of the government (PM, Deputy PM Prawit, and Interior Minister Anupong) has just got Covid and being hospitalised. The spokesperson of DPM Prawit said that the senior minister is well and healthy. The spokesperson said that the minister has got two doses of AstraZeneca.—Nation ThailandMatichon
  • Coup rumours within political and business circles have reached a crescendo this past week with many claiming that a putsch was imminent due to the worsening economic and Covid-19 situation. Despite denials from the sources in the Army, Opposition politicians have asked people to be vigilant on the possible putsch.—Thai Enquirer

Australia

  • The Thai cabinet has proposed the Operation Centre of the CCSA to look into lockdown case studies aboard, including Sydney lockdown. The cabinet ordered CCSA to see how the strict movement in and out of the city and Stay Home measures could be adapted for Thai context. The cabinet also raised the German model where authority allows people to leave for grocery with the mandatory Rapid Antigen Test before entering the market.—Naew Na

Economic:

Cabinet’s Decisions, 20 July 2021

  • Reduced the budget for Ying Chai Ying Dai e-voucher cashback scheme from 28 billion Baht to 9.8 billion Baht due to low participation rate.   At the same time, the cabinet extended the validity of the scheme from Sept to the Nov, while also raising the maximum spending limit for cashback to 10,000 Baht per person.  The number of target user is also slahsed from 4 million to 1.4 million people.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Agreed to broaden relief assistance packages to cover 3 additional provinces (Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Ayutthaya) that became subjected to lockdown restrictions after they became categorized as dark red zones on Sunday.  Funding for the relief packages for the 3 provinces was raised to 13.5 billion Baht from 2.51 billion Baht.  The packages are the same as those rolled out in 10 previously-announced dark red zone provinces and will run for 1 month.  They are applicable to those registered  with the Social Security System in 9 business groups :

Total Budget:  to be finalised at next week’s cabinet meeting

·         Employees registered with section 33 of the Social Security Act (SSA) will be paid 50 percent of their monthly income (with 7,500 Baht ceiling per person).  Thai employees will be paid an additional 2,500 Baht per person (with 10,000 Baht ceiling per person).

·         Section 33 employers will receive a maximum of 3,000 Baht for each employee that they employ, with the maximum of 200 employees

·         Self-insured people under Section 39 and Section 40 of the SSA will be paid 5,000 Baht per person.  Therefore, unregistered workers and freelancers must first enroll in the SSA’s section 40 to receive the payment. Employers with no employees must also register with SSA’s Section 40 within July to receive 5,000 Baht payment

·         Business operators using the government’s Thung Ngoen app as part of the Khon La Khrueng and Rao Chana stimulus schemes with employees must register with SSA’s Section 33 within July to receive financial assistance. 

·         Business operators using the Thung Ngoen app but has no employees must register with SSA’s Section 40 within July to receive financial assistance.  Sources:  Thansettakij   Komchadluek   Thai Publica  Bangkok Post 

Others

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) has trimmed its forecast for Thailand’s 2021 GDP growth at +2 percent instead of +3 percent as projected in April.  The third COVID-19 outbreak has depressed tourism, private consumption and investment, notably in machinery and equipment.  In 2022, Thailand’s GDP is expected to rebound to a +4.9 percent growth, up from its forecast of +4.5 percent.  Overall, ADB believes that the GDP of developing Asian economies will expand by 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent due to COVID-19 outbreaks across the region.  Source:  Matichon  efinance Thai  Reuters
  • Today PM Prayut will meet with 40 leading CEOs as well as executives of PTT and King Power group to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 situation on Thai economy.   Previously, PM Prayut had convened meetings with 70 leading business operators on 3 September 2020 and 40 CEOs on 8 July this year to brainstorm on the government’s course of action as a lockdown was imminent.  Back then, the 40 CEOs advised PM Prayut to impose partial lockdowns in specific areas where the infection is widespread and to simultaneously speed up inoculation.  The CEOs advised against a full blanket lockdown because the government seemed unlikely to procure sufficient vaccine doses to bring down the number of COVID-19 cases.  In this case, a full lockdown would cause businesses to suffer unnecessarily as infection rate also does not go down.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Prachachart Turakij
  • Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will submit to CESA the proposal to launch the Andaman Sandbox scheme that will reopen the provinces along the Andaman coastline (Phangnga and Krabi) on 1 August.  If approved, tourists who have spent 7 days in Phuket, followed by 7 days in Phangnga or Krabi, will be allowed visit attractions along designated routes in Koh Yao, Koh Panyee and Khao Lak.  Source:  Bangkok Post 
  • Thai gold prices hit a three-month high at 28,200 baht per one-baht weight on Tuesday, spurred by the depreciating baht which hit a 13-month low and the continued decline of Thai shares amid surging COVID infections.  The key factors in determining the local gold price are the US’s Federal Reserve and its decision to extend its monetary policy and the ensuing weakening of the Baht.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Headlines summary as of 20 July 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
11,305 (595 from prisons)426,475 [last seven days: 72,763]3,711/ 855296,208 (+6,557)397,61211,067,518 (+217,419)16.39% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
11,674 [8,997 (get tested in hospital) + 2,677 (active case finding)]14 (in SQ)126,765 [53,174 in field hospital]117,962 (+2,764)3,502 (+80) [last seven days: 655]14,547,244 (+248,648)21.58% of the population3,479,726 (+31,229)5.21% of the population
  • Pfizer and Biontech issued a press release that the company will send 20 million doses of its mRNA vaccines to Thailand in the 4th Quarter. The company signed its contract with the Department of Disease Control, Public Health Ministry.—Than Settakij
  • Please find the English infographic of the newest restriction by CCSA attached.
  • Yesterday, the CCSA spokesperson cited the Krungsri Research forecast of the COVID new cases saying that in the worst case scenario the number of the daily new cases could be as high as 31,000 cases per day, providing that the public did not comply with the public health measures.—Khao SodReuters
  • In regards to the Deputy PM and Public Health Minister announcement to impose export quota of the locally-sourced Astra Zeneca vaccines, the head of the CCSA Operation Centre said that the Health Minister had met and consulted with the PM on this matter and the Health Minister will bring to proposal back to reconsider before informing the PM again.—Krungthep Turakij

Politics

  • The PM announced that he is going to start completely working from home from 20 July onwards to comply with the Public Health measures.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The House Speaker has ordered the Parliament to halt the Parliament session for one more week compiling with the CCSA health regulations.–Matichon
    • A main figure in the main Opposition Pheu Thai Party gave an interview that the Opposition will submit their censure debate motion in August
  • After there was an online campaign to ban ‘Food Panda’ as the official account of the food delivery said that a Food Panda employee who joined the protest on Sunday is a terrorist, the employee was apprehended by police on royal defamation charge.–Matichon
  • The Deputy Army Spokesperson dismissed the online circulation of the draft of the martial law imposed on Bangkok to curb the pandemic as fake. The Army has asked people cooperation not to distribute or circulate the documents.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The Digital Economy Minister said that he has ordered an espionage mission of the Ministry’s staff to get into the communication of the protestors and is going to prosecute any user who broke the laws.–Matichon

Economic:

  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) expects the economic loss stemming from extended lockdown measures will increase to 3 – 4 billion Baht daily from its earlier projection of 2 -3 billion Baht daily.  In 1 month, the loss will reach 90-120 billion Baht, for which the TCC will discuss with its members nationwide to devise plans to cope with the lockdown, such as bubble and seal routes for workers.  TCC urges the government to provide immediate assistance to affected businesses and to expedite vaccination for workers to protect the export sector.  Source:  Matichon  INN News  Daily News
  • According to SME Federation of Thailand, the current lockdown is imposed on 13 provinces that generate economic value of 9.8 trillion Baht; equivalent to 60 percent of Thai GDP which total GDP of 16.8 trillion Baht.  As such, the current lockdown will cause GDP to decline by 160 billion Baht monthly.  When combined with the government’s previous 3-month semi-lockdown measures, which affected GDP by 150 billion Baht (50 billion Baht monthly), the total loss will amount to 300 billion Baht.  This could cause 2021 GDP to expand below 1 percent.  Within this week, the SME Federation of Thailand will join forces with 30 members to submit 5 proposals to PM Prayut to assist SMEs from all business sectors.  Source:  TNN Thailand
  • Asia Plus Securities noted that Thailand’s GDP this year could fall into the negative territory as the current lockdown is expected to be as strict as back in 2020, which caused GDP to contract by -6.2 percent.  Thailand’s number of daily infection, which exceeds 10,000 cases per day, is ranked second Southeast Asia.   An APS studies indicated that the latest restrictions will affect 73 percent of listed firms’ profits, of which 14 percent are highly impacted.  Some 6 business segments such as retail, hotel, aviation, media and restaurants will be most affected.  The 5 sectors that are least affected are energy, petrochemical, refinery and oil.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Real Estate Information Center (REIC) expects the housing market to experience severe contraction in 2021.  The extended lockdown is worsening the woes of the market which is already hard hit by the impact of the 30-day closure of construction sites and workers’ camps in Greater Bangkok since earlier this month.  Homebuyers are expected to continue delaying home purchases, wherein nationwide resident transfers will plunge by 19.7 percent to 288,045 units in the worst-case-scenario.  From the supply side, the worst case scenario translates into the number of construction permits nationwide dropping by 15.6 percent to 275,079.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The extended lockdown measures are jeopardising Thai AirAsia’s financial status as it is in the midst of preparing a business restructuring plan that will see an injection of 3.5 billion Baht loan through new investors.  However, the airline had to halt domestic flights since 12 July to comply with lockdown measures.  Thai AirAsia bemoans the government’s lack of assistance for the aviation sector that employs up to 15,000 people and reprimanded the government for not responding to the aviation industry’s request for a soft loan since last year. Should the airlines collapse, the government might not be able to meet tax revenue collection target, while shouldering the burden of repaying the 3.3 trillion Baht loan.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The PTT Group, through its power generation arm Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC), yesterday opened the first semi-solid battery production facility in Southeast Asia.  Located in Rayong province’s Map Tha Phut area, the 1.1-billion-Baht factory will produce ‘G Cell’ batteries are lighter, have lower production cost and can be recycled.  This is in line with the Thai government’s Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emission policy and the promotion of renewable technology to support the S-Curve industries, such as Electric Vehicles and Smart City.  GPSC is a licensee of US-based 24M Technologies Inc, which also developed the semi-solid battery technology.  Sources:  TNN Thailand Bangkok Post

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