Advance Blog

August 10, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 10 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)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
19,843 (398 from prisons)795,951 (last seven days: 143,766)5,450/ 1,106578,140 (+22,806)767,08816,336,743 (+350,389)BKK:5,537,698 (+70,470)268,022 (+46,457)BKK: 66,486 (+13,790)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb) 
19,424 [14,832  (get tested in hospital) + 4,592 (active case finding)]21 (in SQ)211,223 [148,506 in field hospital]189,330 (+4,226)6,588 (+235) (last seven days: 1,273)21,171,110 (+501,330)BKK:6,808,007 (+95,231)4,566,345 (+104,484)BKK:1,203,823 (+10,971) 

Politics

  • The PM has officially cancelled the extra order under the Emergency Decree which prohibits the spread of fake news and news which could stir fears even they are true. The cancellation has been gazetted. The Civil Court has issued temporary suspension order after case filed by online news outlets.—all media outlets
  • Thai authorities have detained at least 11 leaders of the country’s anti-government protest movements, all of whom presented themselves to the police after seeing the arrest warrant. Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jadnok and Jatupat “Pai” Boonpattararaksa surrendered to police after having their bail request rejected; Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, had his previous bail terms revoked and also surrendered to police, while human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa handed himself in over fresh protest-related charges.–Reuters
  • Online users circulated a leaked document showing a government watchlist of more than 100 dissidents who are under government surveillance and facing travel restrictions. The list included Move Forward and Progressive Movement’s executives, student-led protest leaders, iLAW coordinators, an actress and journalist. The document was labelled as confidential and dated as of 1 June 2021.—all media outlet
    • Move Forward Party’s secretary-general held a press conference saying that the PM and Deputy PM Prawit must be held accountable for such a list which regards government dissidents as the enemy of the state.—Krungthep Turakij
  • After much speculation, the Public Health Ministry came out to admit that the ministry is preparing for the amnesty bill for health workers from any legal penalty in handling the pandemic.—Ministry of Public Health
    • Deputy PM and Public Health Minister gave an interview saying that he did not see the whole draft and that it was the public officials’ idea, not at the ministerial level. The top health officials defended the rationale behind the decree, saying that it will comfort the officials.—Inside Thailand
  • The Opposition whip from the main Opposition Pheu Thai Party said that the opposition parties are going to meet and decide who will be on the list of the censure debate. The whip said the name list will be presented to the House Speaker on 16 August. The numbers of ministers who will censured are around three to seven positions.–Matichon
  • Former Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya has suggested the way for the PM to peacefully step down from power, that is a social contract that he will dissolve the Parliament within 6 to 8 months. In the meantime, the PM must be the main initiator of Constitutional Amendment.–Matichon
  • After the US authority arrested two Myanmar citizens in New York who plotted with an arm dealer in Thailand to kill Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations–Reuters, deputy Police spokesperson said that the Royal Thai Police has not received any request from any authority, but it is ready to cooperate.–Komchadleuk

Economic:

  • The American company NatureWorks (owned by US multinational Cargill), together with GC International Corporation (subsidiary of Thai conglomerate PTT) is investing 20 billion Baht (600 million USD) to open the first polylactic acid polymers manufacturing complex in Thailand in 2024.  The complex uses advanced technology to produce biopolymer (bio-plastic) from sugar derived from sugarcane grown in Thailand. The complex is to be located in Nakhon Sawan province, at a special zone called Nakhon Sawan Bio Complex, which is Thailand’s first zone dedicated to promoting circular economy.  The investment was approved by BOI.  PM Prayut and DPM Supattanapong attended the virtual ceremony to kickstart the construction of the facility, hailing it as a significant milestone for Thailand in progressing towards BCG Economy by adding value to Thai agricultural product and promotes innovation as well as sustainability.  Sources:  Thai Government Press Release Krungthep Turakij Thai Rath
  • The value of investment applications in the first half of 2021 rose 158 percent YoY to 386 billion Baht while the number of projects increased by 14 percent to 801 projects, led by the electronics and medical sectors, according to the Board of Investment (BOI).  Japan (87 projects worth 42.8 billion Baht), the United States (18 projects worth 24.1 billion Baht) and China (63 projects worth 18.6 billion Baht) were the top 3 source countries of FDI applications. In terms of sectors, the electrical appliances and electronics industry attracted the most investment, with investment value soaring by 136 percent YoY to 61 billion Baht through 77 projects. The Eastern Economic Corridor attracted 232 projects with investment value of 126.6 billion Baht, a 54 percent increase YoY.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij Bangkok Post
  • Modern trade sentiment fell to a 3-year low, while operators were increasingly concerned about their liquidity, according to a quarterly survey by the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).  The drop is attributable to the growing concerns on domestic COVID-19 outbreak situation and the lockdown that is incurring an economic loss of 500 – 800 billion Baht monthly.  The retail business is one of the hardest hit, in which up to 270 billion Baht worth retail sale was lost in the 16 months since the COVID-19 outbreak.  Another concern is the rising infections among workers in factories and the logistics sector, which is starting to affect the overall food supply chains.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Krungthep Turakij
  • Finance Minister Arkhom insisted it is not necessary to raise public debt to GDP ceiling to above 60 percent, given that public debt ratio at the end of 2021 is expected at 58 percent.  His response came after the JSCCIB proposed that the public debt ceiling be raised to 65 – 70 percent of GDP.   Ministry of Finance reasoned that the government currently has no plans to borrow more, since only 840 billion Baht of the 1 trillion Baht loan been disbursed.  Additionally, there is an additional 500 billion Baht loan that has yet to be used.  Minister Arkhom also added that plans are not in the pipeline to raise the public debt ceiling.   Source:  Prachachart Turakij
  • Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is inviting investors to bid for the third-phase development of the Map Ta Phut deep sea port in Rayong province, which is part of the EEC zone.  IEAT plans to announce the 55-billion-Baht project’s terms of reference to interested bidders by the end of 2021 and expects to sign a contract with an investor by October 2022.  Construction is scheduled to start in 2024, with the start of operations slated for 2026.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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