Advance Blog

December 13, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 10 December 2021

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollTotal vaccination
4,193 (29 from prisons)2,160,780 (last seven days: 30,112)28 (last seven days: 232)96,821,760 (+480,012)
1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July) 
49,733,993 (+165,318)43,075,123 (+219,253)4,012,644 (+95,441) 

Politics

  • It is getting closer to the Bangkok Governor election as more candidates are signalling their intention to run:
    • A source in the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) was quoted saying that at the Deputy PM and PPRP leader residence, the PPRP leader said it is highly likely that he will throw his support behind Pathum Thani Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn. The governor has asked for two weeks to make up his mind. The source said that it is highly likely that the governor will run as an independent, not as PPRP candidate.–Matichon
      • The head of Bangkok campaigner for PPRP said that even the party has not reached its conclusion whether who will be their governor candidate, but the campaigner head said that the governor is a leading candidate.—Krungthep Turakij
    • The rector of King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang resigned from position yesterday and he is highly expected to take the Democrat banner in the upcoming gubernatorial election. A deputy party leader said that the party will hold its executives meeting on 13 December and he will propose the name of rector to run for the election.–Matichon
  • Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn has launched his campaign calling for 70,000 signatures to submit to the House speaker to amend Article 272 authorising the Senators to jointly nominate the Prime Minister. The former EC said he will leave the campaign open even after gaining enough signatures to propose the amendment.–Matichon
  • The Democrat Party said on Thursday that they are ready to contest the upcoming by-elections in Songkhla and Chumphon, while its ally, the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), said they have yet to decide whether they will field candidates for empty MP seats.—Thai Enquirer
  • On the Constitution Day, ousted and self-exiled former PM Yingluck Shinawatra posted on her social media calling for the change of the Constitution to be in accordance with the international standard. She said she is looking forward to the Constitution which truly reflects the needs of the people.—Thai Rath
  • A group called “24 June for Democracy” is calling for the United Nations to sanction Prayuth government, accusing the administration of the Crime Against Humanity. The group raised the issue of the government crackdown of Southern Chana protestor.—Thai Rath

Economic

  • FTA Watch said news has surfaced that Foreign Minister Don may call off his 20 December meeting with the NGOs to discuss their CPTPP concerns.  It is also highly likely that FM Don may try to submit Thailand’s CPTPP accession to the cabinet on 14 December to keep its promise with Japan that it would submit its CPTPP accession within this year.  Source:  FTA Watch fb page, 10 December 2021

Others

  • Board of Investment (BOI) reported that Thailand received an inflow of investments from China and Taiwan worth 126 billion Baht through 250 projects over the past 3 years, owing largely to the relocation driven by the US-China Trade War.  The easing of the lockdown, Thailand’s reopening as well as Thailand’s commitment to reducing C02 emission have helped to lure back investors.  Overall, BOI received 1,273 investment applications valued at 521 billion Baht in the first 9 months of 2021; an expansion of 140 percent YoY.  Of the 521 billion Baht, some 372 billion Baht is from FDI application; an increase of 3-fold YoY due to the US-China Trade War.  In 2022, BOI expects to receive investment application worth over 600 billion Baht.  Source:  Thansettakij
  • In 2022, PTT Oil and Retail (OR) will continue to cooperate with its power generation arm Global Power Synergy (GPSC) to develop batteries for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and will also expand its EV charging stations to 300, up from the current 97 stations.  It also aims to develop digital app for charging EVs and will branch out to developing EV maintenance facilities.  Additionally, OR also plans to diversify its gas station and retail businesses as well as promote start-ups throughout next year.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 10 December 2021
  • Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Centre has downgraded Thailand’s 2022 economic growth forecast to 3.2 percent from 3.4 since the COVID-19 Omicron variant is expected to hit the global economy and delay Thailand’s tourism recovery until at least the beginning of next year.  Overall, the 2022 economy would see a slow, steady rebound from lasting scarring effects such as decreased household revenue, rising household debt, low savings, widened inequality and high unemployment.  EIC recommends the government borrow an additional 500 billion – 1 trillion Baht to revive and restructure the economy, for which public debt would reach 69 percent of GDP.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 10 December 2021  Bangkok Post 
  • At the MFA CEO Forum with BOT Governor: Getting the Policy Response Right webinar, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor, Dr Setthaput, expects the Thai economy to see the slowest recovery in the region due to its over-reliance on the service sector coupled with an uneven, K-Shape recovery. While the export sector has outperformed pre-COVID level, the tourism sector will be the last sector to recover.  BOT has maintained policy rate at the historically low level of 0.5 percent to support economic growth, and will continue to pursue accommodative monetary policy to support recovery next year.  The economy will only return to pre-pandemic level in Q1 of 2023.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij
  • BOT announced that financial institutions will offer commercial loans to SMEs via digital supply chain financing in December as part of the Smart Financial and Payment Infrastructure for Business project.  For the second phase of the project, a digital trading system is being developed as a central infrastructure in 3 core areas: e-invoices, e-tax invoices and e-payment for businesses.  They are poised to be operational in Q4 of 2022.  Sources:  Krungthep Turakij  Bangkok Post
  • PM Prayut is jubilant to learn that consumer confidence index rose for the third straight month in November, hitting a 7-month high.  This is attributable to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, robust export growth and Thailand’s reopening, according to the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.  Sources:  Post Today Bangkok Post
  • Ministry of Commerce is urging Thai entrepreneurs to reap the maximum benefits from RCEP, Thailand’s 14th FTA which is notably the world’s largest trade pact.  Under RCEP, which will take effect on 1 January 2022, tariff will be eliminated for some 39,366 Thai exported items, of which 29,891 items will see zero tariff starting from January 2022.  Sources:  Thai Rath  Department of Trade Negotiations Press Release
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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