Advance Blog

September 1, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 1 September 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)
14,802  (342 from prisons); (excluding ATK 5,066)1,219,531 (last seven days: 117,163)4,917/ 1,0401,040,768 (+18,996)1,190,66823,795,098 (+393,633) BKK: 7,023,294 (+20,636)592,153 (+ 2,772) BKK: 163,363 (+1,311)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Average tests in the last seven days
14,580 [12,892  (get tested in hospital) + 1,688 (active case finding)]5 (in SQ)166,922 [142,761 in field hospital]283,282 (+3,732)11,841 (+252) (last seven days: 1,756)32,600,001 (+828,182) BKK: 8,978,337 (+68,463)8,212,750 (+431,777) BKK: 1,791,680 (+46,516)47,485

Politics

  • The PM said at the Parliament in response to the reports on political changes: the resignation, the House dissolution and on the royal angst against the PM. The head of the government said that these three things are not true. The PM warned some one who are plotting against the him in the vote on 4 September as being un-gentleman.—Prachachat Turakij Krungthep Turakij
  • The censure debate is kicking off with grills on the government COVID administration and the Information Operation by the Royal Thai Army. Here are the highlights:
    • Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin defended the efficacy of the Chinese Sinovac vaccines. The Minister said that Thailand has bought the Chinese vaccine at a gradually lower price and declined that there are some corruption or discrepancies of prices.—Krungthep Turakij  
    • The Minister also warned that the Opposition criticism against the Chinese vaccine may have an advert effects on the Sino-Thai international relations.—Thai Rath
    • A Move Forward Party MP grilled the Royal Thai Army by revealing the photos and leaked audio record of Army personnels who are part of the information operation to undermine the government opposition. The MP questioned whether this is part of the Army responsibility.—Krungthep Turakij More at Thai Enquirer
  • The intra-PPRP conflicts are gaining pace as it is reported that the Deputy Agriculture Minister and the secretary-general of the PPRP said in a party meeting that the PPRP ministers do not have enough projects to gain votes in the next election, particularly the Interior Minister who he said did not help the party MP. The PPRP secretary-general is demanding the reshuffle kicking General Anupong out and make the portfolio under PPRP quota (currently-under the PM quota). He also mentioned that for other ministers under the PM quota, like the Finance or Energy Ministers, the PPRP will leave the quotas as they are.—Krunthep Turakij
  • Alongside the censure debate, there are extra-parliamentary movement lining up:
    • 31 AUG Ousted and self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra held a Club House session on 31 August to grill the PM and the other ministers.–Matichon
    • Thaksin called for the voters to gather in front of their MP’s homes pressuring to vote against the government in the upcoming vote-of-no-confidence.—Prachachat Turakij
    • 1 SEP There will be three gatherings:
    • Ramkhamhaeng University Student Network is set to hold their censure debate against the PM in front of the Parliament.—Khao Sod
    • The other group ‘Ratsadon Taliban’ is going to hold a protest at Lad Prao Intersection.
    • Anarchic-prone ‘Talu Gas’ is going to gather at their usual Din Daeng intersection.
    • 2 SEP The ‘Car Mob’ organisers led by former Red Shirt protestors are going to hold its escalated gathering at CBD Asoke intersection from 4.00 to 8.00pm. The organisers said they will return to Bangkok CBD for gathering every day until 4 September where the vote is casted.—Krungthep Turakij
    • 3 SEP The United Front for Thammasat and Demonstration protest group is going to hold their protest on 3 September. The Group is yet to announce its gathering location.—Naew Na
    • 4 SEP anarchic-prone FreeYouth/ ReDem Group is going to gather at Lumphini Park in Bangkok CBD where there is the statue of King Rama VI to push for the call on monarchical reforms.–FreeYouth

Economic

  • Bank of Thailand (BOT) reported that the Thai economy in July had deteriorated compared to June due to tighter lockdown restrictions to curb COVID-19 outbreak.  Private consumption contracted by -5.3 percent from -1.9 percent in June, while private investment dropped by -3.8 percent.  The labour market continued to be fragile with more number of people applying for Social Security unemployment compensation.  The value of merchandise export slightly decreased by 0.3 percent from June due to lower demand from trading partners, global shortage of semi-conductors and clusters of outbreaks in Thailand’s agro-manufacturing factories.  Current account deficit declined to USD 0.7 billion compared to June (USD1.3 billion) due to lower deficit in net services, income and transfers.  Sources: Thansettakij Bank of Thailand Press ReleaseReuters   
  • BOT identified public confidence as the key factor in boosting the economy after the government eased its Covid-19 restrictions from today onwards.  However, BOT still maintains its baseline GDP growth of 0.7 percent, noting that August is an important turning point in determining changes in export and consumption.  Krungsri Bank has recently revised Thailand’s GDP forecast for 2021 to +0.6 percent from +1.2 percent because of weak domestic demand and tourism.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Prachachart Turakij
  • Starting from today, Thailand will enforce the Revenue Code Amendment Act.  It authorises VAT collection on foreign e-service providers/e-platforms that earn over 1.8 million Baht of revenue annually from providing e-services to non-VAT registered customers in Thailand.  This law applies to 5 types of operators, ie: 1) e-commerce platforms, 2) online advertising, 3) online accommodation booking, 4) online music and film streaming and 5) online games and applications.  This applies to major international digital platforms such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Line, YouTube and TikTok.  The foreign e-service providers will be paying VAT and files for VAT return through Finance Ministry’s online system, known as VAT system for e-service (SVE).  The move is expected to bring in 5 billion Baht of state revenue in FY 2022.  Academics note that while VAT collection will create a level playing field between Thai and foreign e-service providers, it could impose additional financial burden on SMEs that advertise through foreign platforms.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Naew Na
  • The Retail Association of Thailand welcomes the government’s easing of lockdown and curfew measures, starting from today.  It expects less than 50 percent of the restaurants to resume operation initially, but remain upbeat that it should pave way for more opening up in Q4 which coincides with the high season.  Restauranteurs remain cautious, with large chains opting to only open some branches of their restaurants because the restrictions are still in place and most people are still working from home.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Thansettakij
  • Hua Hin’s reopening plan, entitled Hua Hin Recharge, has adopted Phuket sandbox’s quarantine-free approach with the goal of reopening on 1 October. Hua Hin’s goal is to welcome 100,000 international travellers which will generate 1.2 billion Baht in Q4 2021.  High-spending tourists travelling by private jets are also a key market for wellness tourism for the municipality.  To date Hua Hin is speeding up the vaccination of its inhabitants since only 55 percent of its resident is vaccinated.   Source:  Bangkok Post
  • EDL-Generation Plc (EDL-Gen), an energy producer in Laos, reported revenue growth of 1,707 percent in the first half of 2020 to hit 1.15 billion Baht after starting operations on 2 independent power producers. The company will be issuing 2 series of debentures worth a combined 3.7 billion Baht, with a coupon rate of 5.90 percent and 6.50 percent and with a duration of 3 and 4 years, respectively.  The bonds will be available for subscription from Sept 20-22 and will be offered to institutional investors and high-net-worth investors.  Source:  Bangkok Post Prachachart Turakij
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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