Advance Blog

April 27, 2020
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Headline summary as of 27th April 2020

News

  • Over the weekend, the US and Chinese Embassies in Bangkok were on an Facebook online spat when the Chinese Embassy posted about cooperation in Mekong river; the US Embassy counteracted with an Op-ed by the Ambassador and some more information from the US  perspective, published in Krungthep Turakij
  • The legal office of North-eastern Nakhon Ratchasima has been instructed to track down a man for legal action after he pasted an image of his own face over a picture of the monument to Thao Suranari, the province’s heroine. The monument is considered a sacred site amongst the locals.—Bangkok Post, Post Today
  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • The Secretary-general of ‘Foundation for Consumers’ revealed that the President of Thai Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Energy Minister asking to extend the ban of Paraquate and Chlorpyrifos agricultural chemicals from 1st June to 31st December 2020 or until the COVID-19 crisis ended.—Than Settakij, Thai Rath, The Standard
    • Yesterday, Thailand reported 15 newly confirmed cases, total number of 2,922 cases. Out of the total number, 2,594 have been cured, 277 are hospitalised, and 51 were dead.

Politics

  • A report from the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party said that the rumour on changing the Party’s leader from Uttama, the Finance Minister under Deputy PM Sonkid’s clique to be Deputy PM Prawit; and to replace the Energy Minister Sonthirat with Santi Promphat as the new Party Secretary-general is dominant. The report said this movement is from PM Prawit’s wing in the party and aim to shuffle in June, prior to the cabinet-reshuffle which the group expects it will be after the COVID-19 situation. After the party’s structure changes, the new expected portfolio will be Deputy PM Prawit also as Interior Minister, Santi Promphat as the Finance Minister, Dr Narumon (government spokesperson) as deputy Finance Minister, Nataphol Teepsuwan (Education Minister) as Energy Minister, Anoocha Nakhasai as the Education Minister, and Suchart Chomklin as the Higher Education Minister.—Than Settakij
  • Will the COVID-19 pandemic trigger a crisis of confidence in the new government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha?—Channel News Asia
  • An exclusive interview with MP Pita, the leader of Move Forward Party on “The Big Interview: Pita Limjaroenrat joins us to talk Move Forward, Covid-19 and coalition governments”—Thai Enquirer
  • An opinion piece on the political implication of the lockdown, by a TV commentator: “Kam Phaka: the lockdown is only for controlling the people”–Thisrupt

Business

Stimulus Package

Logistics

  • China has opened two additional borders from which Thai fruits can be imported into the country through trucks.  Both entry points (Dongxing and Pingxiang Railway Station) are located at China’s border points in Vietnam.  This is considered a monumental progress in the export of Thai fruits to China.  Not only will Thai fruits be delivered to China in higher quantity, but they can also switch the transportation mode; the fruits can be unloaded from the truck and onto the train at the Pinxiang entry point into China. 

Source:  https://www.thansettakij.com/content/431145

  • Commerce Ministry asked Japan to support the export of 9 types of Thai fruits such as mango, Durian, pineapple, coconut and pomelo, among others, and sell them through Japan’s TV direct-sale channels.  Commerce Ministry also requested that Japan increase its number of cargo airplane to accommodate more Thai fruit imports.  Source:  https://dtn.go.th/th/news

Others

  • Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) has asked the Industry Ministry to postpone classifying the pesticides paraquat and chlorpyrifos as hazardous chemicals until at least 31 December 2020 or when the pandemic outbreak ends.  The banning of these pesticides may impact the country’s food security in the wake of Covid19, cited the TCC in its letter to Industry Ministry.  Source:  https://www.thansettakij.com/content/Macro_econ/431624
  • Commerce Ministry is pushing for the cabinet to approve of Thailand’s bid to join the CPTPP despite strong opposition from civil groups.  On 26 April, the Commerce Minister forwarded the proposal for Thailand to join CPTPP to the cabinet, but it is not known if the cabinet will consider it at its meeting tomorrow.  Commerce Ministry had completed its studies on the pros and cons of Thailand joining the CPTPP.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1907970/cabinet-to-mull-joining-pacific-trade-pact
  • Finance Ministry dismissed Thai Airways’s hopes for a loan guarantee worth 70 billion Baht, saying the assistance would breach loan guarantee requirements for state enterprises because THAI has recorded net losses for three years in a row.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1908150/thai-loan-queries-rebuffed-by-ministry
  • The Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EECO) is poised to revise its investment target and strategy for this year due to the pandemic outbreak.  For its new strategy, EECO might focus on promotion of medical services that provide treatments for diseases and pandemic.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1908140/eec-targets-thrown-out-as-forecasts-fogged-by-crisis

ASEAN/World

  • Amidst the reports over the weekend of the possible dead of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, the security advisor to the South Korean President affirms that the Supreme Leader of the North is still healthy and currently retreating in the resort town of Wonsan.—Krungthep Turakij

Australia

  • PM Prayuth, yesterday, went to greet 207 Thai people who travelled back from Australia to Thailand. He pledged that he will look after all Thais.—all media outlet
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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