Advance Blog

October 4, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 1 October 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)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
11,754 (120 from prisons); (excluding ATK 5,150)1,615,229 (last seven days: 77,919)3,144/ 7091,483,146 (+12,473)1,586,36632,577,832 (+ 792,116) BKK: 8,050,083 (+5,927)1,368,406 (+ 144,149) BKK: 321,913 (+4,010)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Active detection test rates (last seven days)
11,242 [9,998 (get tested in hospital) + 1,244 (active case finding)]11 (in SQ)115,233 [75,942 in field hospital]368,046 (+1,423)16,850 (+123) (last seven days: 834)53,784,812 (+ 2,288,728) BKK: 12,377,295 (+47,757)19,838,574 (+ 1,352,463) BKK: 4,005,299 (+37,820)13.49%

Politics

  • The cabinet reshuffle is looming large and the new list is being circulated. It is reported that the Interior Minister Anupong will also take the Deputy PM portfolio, former WTO director Supachai Panitchpakdi to be the next economic tzar replacing Suphattanapong (the DPM and Energy Minister) and it is reported that the PM is eyeing for a perfect candidate to fill in the very senior Foreign Minister. It is also expected that the freshly retired Interior Permanent Secretary and National Security Council chief will be a deputy minister and a security advisor to the PM, consecutively.—Daily Newsand Manager
  • A source in the Government House has revealed that the PM has ordered to rearrange a new room on the Command Building where Deputy PMs seat. The order happens on the backdrop of highly expected retired Interior permanent-secretary to join the cabinet.—Khao Sod
  • After Colonel Suchart former Southern Chief Strategist of the party and colleague of the PM announced that he and other Southern PPRP MPs will leave PPRP and join the highly expected political party to be set up by retiring Interior permanent secretary.—Thai Rath
    • A representative of the Southern PPRP MPs said that he and other MPs do not share the same view with Colonel Suchart. The MP from Nakhon Sri Thammarat said that it is up to the PM colleague to join the new party, but they remain with the PPRP.—Krungthep Turakij
    • A Southern PPRP MP from Phuket said that 7 to 8 MPs will have a meeting and will announce its statement by the end of week whether to remain with the PPRP.—Thai Rath
    • The freshly retired permanent-secretary said, however, he does not wish to set up a new political party and that after retirement, he would like to be an ordinary citizen. When asked whether he is eyeing to set up a new party in the future, he said he want to focus on the present not the future.—Matichon
    • Krungthep Turakij argued that the action of the PM friend was nothing but to proof himself valuable to the Southern MPs and might eye a portfolio in the upcoming reshuffle.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The PM faced with harsh protest when he went for a site visit in Nonthaburi. His entourage had to take the ferry to avoid the protestors.—Krungthep Turakij
  • It is reported that on 30th September, the PPRP held its electoral district chiefs meeting when the Deputy PM and PPRP leader General Prawit said the main ruling party be able to win 150 to 200 MPs. A source in the PPRP said that General Prawit affirmed the party will nominate PM Prayut as its PM candidate, there is no change into that.—Matichon
  • In response to the PM order to return legal authority to related ministers during the peak of the pandemic, the Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin said the PM reverse order does not make a difference as a minister, since we have to listen to the PM direction.—Matichon

Analysis/ opinion

  • Matichon asked opinions from political scientists on the intra-troika conflicts, the potential new party and the limit of 8 years tenure:
    • Electoral system expert Siripan Sawaddee from Chulalongkorn University said that the House Dissolution is sooner, not later and we have to focus on which factors might expedite the decision. The political science pundit said the constitutional condition for any PM to not have an 8 years tenure regardless of term will be his most drawbacks as for any political party, the PM who has been serving for quite some times might be no use as his tenure is proved to be short. The academia said that should the PM eyes to set up a new twin party of the PPRP and will not be beneficial under the two ballot system, then the PM might dissolve the House sooner than later.
    • Pichai Rattanadirok Na Phuket at NIDA Institute said the tenure limit is interesting in that it will be a decisive factor for political party to nominate Prayut. The political scientist said that should the next election is held under the two ballot system, the PPRP might have around 50 to 60 MPs, the same with the new twin party. The main beneficiary from the electoral system will be Pheu Thai. The pundit said that even though the ruling elites and some politicians might throw its support behind Prayut but it is not enough to make sure they will win the next election, considering the government mismanagement.
  • Anti-CCP Chinese expert Associate Professor Dr Wassana Wongsurawat gave an interview to Krungthep Turakij on Chinese national day. The Chinese expert said the pandemic is disrupting the world order as we knew it to the point that Beijing must shift its grand strategy-there has been less discussion on BRI. The pundit said that the biggest threat that China is facing is nothing but the CCP and the aftermath of it is the rising nationalist wave in China. The Chinese historian said that the reason why Beijing is purging the people in entertainment complex and Alibaba is a fight for allegiance—the CCP does not want anyone to become more popular than the party.—Krungthep Turakij

Economic:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Tourism

  • CESA approved the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) plan to promote Phuket as a world-class destination, with a goal of generating 60 billion Baht in Q4 of 2021 and through to Q1 of 2022.  In the next 6 months, Phuket anticipates it will generate tens of billions of Baht from the 1 million foreign arrivals.  This is partly because in Q4 2021, starting from October, quarantine days will be reduced from 14 to 7 days, while 8 travel measures will also be eased.  Since the launch of the sandbox scheme in July, Phuket had welcomed 37,978 travellers, which generated a total of 2.25 billion Baht.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • TAT also unveiled the campaign Visit Thailand Year 2022, Now Even More Amazing campaign to promote Thai tourism next year.  It also suggested that a 5 billion Baht tourism fund be established to revamp Thai tourism and reform the tourism sector to achieve sustainable growth.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 1 October 2021

Others

  • Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput said at the BOT Symposium 2021 that the Thai economy must become resilient in order to cope with a crisis.  For this, he suggested Thailand adopt proper risk management, restructure the economy and diversify industrial sectors to reduce over-reliance on a single manufacturing sector, bring the informal sector into the formal sector, reduce inequality, protect households and businesses during a crisis and reduce economic scar.  BOT also expects economic inequality to widen after the pandemic is reigned in.  Vulnerable segments such as low-income households and SMEs will likely to continue to suffer from an uneven, K-Shape recovery.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 1 October 2021
  • At the Go Green online seminar organised by Krungthep Turakij newspaper, Environment Minister Worrawut announced that Thailand is prepared to reduce greenhouse gas emission to zero by year 2100 as per its commitments at the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement.  Ministry of Commerce (MoC) noted that the environment as well as sustainable trade and development are becoming important topics at multilateral negotiation platforms such as the WTO, APEC, AEC.  However, MoC also warned that carbon emission is being increasingly used as a form Non-Tariff Barrier among the global communities.  MoC suggested Thai entrepreneurs adopt environmentally friendly measures and the BCG principles.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 1 October 2021
  • Finance Ministry is deliberating on injecting fresh money into the economy in Q4 2021 and extending the various stimulus packages in response to forecasts by economists that the Thai economy will become stagnant in Q4.  Thai Chamber of Commerce University recommends that the government revamp the Shop Dee mee Khuen scheme to offer tax deduction of 50,000 Baht to effectively boost domestic spending.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 1 October 2021
  • The government eyes allocating 46.9 billion Baht from the 500 billion Baht loan decree to roll out more measures to help SMEs retain workers and generate new jobs.  NESDC noted the measures will involve the government handing out 3,000 Baht monthly to each worker from November 2021 to January 2022.  If an employer agrees to create jobs, the government will pay 3,000 Baht monthly to each worker they hire during this period.  The measure is to cover 480,122 SMEs and will create 252,009 new jobs between December 2021 and January 2022.  Eligible employers and employees must register for Social Security Fund under Section 33.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • ASEAN is poised to resume free trade talks with the EU after negotiations were suspended since 2009.  Commerce Vice-Minister Sansern said both sides agreed to prepare for the negotiations of an ASEAN-EU FTA and hold joint expert meetings on new trade issues such as e-commerce, government procurement and sustainable trade and development.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Minister Jurin revealed that cross-border trade, including transit trade, grew by 31.2 percent in the first 8 months of this year, valued at 1.11 trillion Baht.  He anticipates the 2021 cross-border trade to exceed the growth target of 3-6 percent set earlier by Commerce Ministry after reporting a 1.7 decline in 2020.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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