Advance Blog

December 2, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 1 December 2021

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollTotal vaccination
4,886 (165 from prisons)2,120,758 (last seven days: 38,766)37 (last seven days: 270)93,231,463 (+573,073)
1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July) 
48,307,704 (+233,654)41,485,442  (+274,665)3,438,317 (+64,754) 
  • The cabinet has approved the retain the RT-PCR test as a prerequisite for the visitors entering the country after allowing the visitors to only goes through rapid ATK tests since 16 December.—Thai Rath
  • The cabinet has approved the principle of Medical Treatment Visa for one year with no more than 3 dependents. The visa aims at attracting potential foreigners and has spending powers, in accordance with the Thai government policy of Medical Hub.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The government spokesperson said that there was no discussion on the emerging Omicron strain in the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The government spokesman dismissed the reports that there will be lockdown should there is a detection of Omicron strain in the Kingdom.—Krungthep Turakij

Politics

  • The leader of the Opposition Pheu Thai Party has pledged with their MPs that in the next election, the party could win 253 MPs and could establish a stable government.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The court has decided to temporarily released Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sitthijirawatanakul, a student-led protest leader from detainment until 12 January during her exam period. The court has indicated conditions for the temporary release on conditions of wearing tracking bracelet, 24 hours house detainment except for the visit to university, hospital and the court. The court also indicated that the student protest leader cannot leave the Kingdom and cannot attend any protest.–Matichon
  • The Deputy PM and leader of Bhumjaithai Party said that the postponement of the coalition parties’ dinner is not a big deal and has no political ramification against the coalition unity as they are so close.–Matichon
  • Cancel culture is picking up in Thailand again as a daughter of staunch figure of yellow-shirt People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) is making her debut as a K-Pop star. The hashtags involve banning the Sitala making it to Twitter trending questioning her father and her involvement in the protests that led to the coup in 2014. Some Twitter users are calling for the ban of persons who contribute to the coup.—Nation TV
  • The Deputy PM and government legal pundit gave an interview on the Akra mining case between the Australian Kingsgate Company and the Royal Thai Government that he has no information on how the arbitrary has been proceeded but he just realised that it will be postponed for one to two month.–Matichon

Economic:

CPTPP

  • FTA Watch has called its network of NGOs under nationwide the name ‘#NoCPTPP’ to stage rallies and a news conference on 2 December to voice their objections towards the current government’s moves to accede to CPTPP.The trigger for this outcry was PM Prayut’s announcement to various chambers of commerce that the government will join the CPTPP negotiation, as well as the International Economic Policy Committee’s planned meeting on 8 December to discuss this topic and their intention to submit to the cabinet the framework for Thailand to join CPTPP on 14 December.  FTA Watch reasoned that the current regime is manoeuvring these moves without addressing the various objections raised by the parliament-appointed CPTPP committee.  FTA Watch pointed out that the trade pact will benefit the large conglomerates, such as the exporters of shrimps and frozen chicken and plant seed manufacturers.  It will put small-scale farmers out of business, particularly pork farmers.  Sources:  Manager Online  Prachatai

Cabinet’s Decisions, 30 November 2021

  • Approved a combined 141 billion Baht to support an income guarantee scheme for rice and rubber farmers in the 2021-22 season.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Post Today
  • Instructed the Tourism Authority of Thailand to promote Wellness Tourism and Medical Tourism in 2022.  In promoting Wellness Tourism, TAT will promote the use of Thai herbs, which is also in line with Thailand’s 2017 – 2026 national strategy to become a medical Hub.  TAT will focus on attracting high-spending tourists with spending per head of 80,000 – 120,000 Baht.  Source:  Thai Government fb page, 30 November 2021
  • Acknowledged that public debt is 58.1 percent of GDP at the end of FY2021 (Sept 2021), which does not exceed the 70 percent debt ceiling.  Source:  Isra News
  • Approved in principle the 1-year, multiple-entry Medical Treatment Visa (Non-MT visa) for patients who needed medical services in Thailand.  The goal is to attract foreigners with high spending power, wherein the applicants and their followers must each show bank statements with deposits of at least 800,000 baht and have accident and Covid-19 insurance cover in Thailand for at least USD100,000 (3 million Baht).  Source:  Bangkok Post

Others

  • PM Prayut urges state-own-enterprises (SOE) to expedite their spending in the last quarter of 2021.  The disbursement of SOE’s investment budget at the end of October 2021 stands at 89 percent (valued at 269 billion Baht) of the targeted disbursement.  Source:  Thansettakij
  • The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has maintained its GDP growth projection for 2021 at + 0.7 percent following the better-than-expected Q3 2021 GDP figure.  BOT will closely monitor the COVID-19 Omicron variant, but anticipates it will not have substantial impacts on the Thai economy until next year.  BOT noted the Thai economy in October had improved from September, with private consumption bolstered by the government’s stimulus measures as well as rising export and manufacturing production.  Sources:  Thai Post  Bank of Thailand Press Release Bangkok Post
  • Industry Minister Suriya revealed that Thailand’s manufacturing production index (MPI) in October increased by 2.91 percent YoY to 97.99 points, which has rebounded close to the pre-pandemic 2019 level.  This is attributable to the recovery of global economies.  MPI in the first 10 months of 2021 reported a growth of 5.93 percent at 97.26 points.  Industry Ministry has therefore revised its MPI forecast for 2021 to an expansion of 5.2 percent from 4-5 percent, with industrial GDP expected to grow by 3.9 percent from 3-4 percent.  In 2022, MPI is expected to grow by 4-5 percent, and industrial GDP by 2.5 – 3.5 percent.   Source:  Siam Rath Krungthap Turakij Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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