Advance Blog

July 10, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 10 July 2020

News  

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today, Thailand reports no newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,202 cases. Out of the total number, 3,087 have been discharged from hospital; 57 are being hospitalised (at 96.41%). The death toll is at 58. This is the 46th consecutive day that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
    • Temporary Visa Office set to open next week to relieve congestion at its government complex office on Chaeng Wattana Road. Deputy commander of Immigration Division 1 said the Interior Ministry’s visa extension for some categories of foreigners would expire on July 31.—Bangkok Post
  • United States ambassador DeSombre pledged to assist Thailand in achieving its goal to be upgraded from Tier 2 in the US Trafficking in Person Report (TIP) to Tier 1 when he met with Deputy PM Prawit on Thursday.—Bangkok Post

Politics

  • The PM holds a talk with the US Army Chief at the Government House to discuss Thailand and United States Army- to- Army Strategic Vision. The government spokesperson posted on her FB Page that the two sides agreed to support a stable, free, open and sustainable Indo-Pacific region.
  • Today two largest parties in the House will hold its party meetings. The main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) is scheduled to hold a meeting to nominate party positions, including the party spokesperson. Meanwhile, the main opposition Pheu Thai Party is also scheduled to hold an extraordinary general meeting.
    • The spokesperson of the PPRP is reported to be a contest between Patcharin Sumsiripong, Bangkok MP under the former People’s Democratic Reform Committee wing and vocal MP Pareena Kraikupt who is believed to be under Wirat Ratanase, the government whip clique.—Inside Thailand
    • As for Pheu Thai, media reported earlier about the possible change in the party’s executives as the intra-party rifts have been imminent.—Thai Post
    • Analysis on Pheu Thai decline since the latest election.—Thai Enquirer
  • Yesterday, the so-called “Fantastic 4” group, consisting of Finance Minister Uttama, Energy Minister Sondhirat, Higher Education Minister Suvit and deputy secretary-general of the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak announced their resignation from the PPRP, but told the press that they will remain in the administration as long as the PM reshuffle the cabinet. The group dismissed earlier reports that they are planning to establish a new political party “Construct Thailand”, saying that as of now they have no idea of doing so.—all media outlet
    • This has resulted in the PM to cancel the economic cabinet meeting supposed to be held today. The next meeting is scheduled for 24 July to discuss the effects COVID-19 has on tourism.–Prachachart
    • The PM gave an interview after the announcement saying that should there be a cabinet reshuffle, the economic-related portfolios will also need to be jolted.—Khao Sod, Naew Na, Matichon, Daily News
    • This morning, Deputy PM Somkid (the mentor of the “Fantastic 4” group) said to the press that the reshuffle is a normal thing to happen and that he wish the PM to think of the country ahead of anything else.—The Standard.
  • Breaking: The Move Forward Party just held a press conference that the party is ready to compete in Bangkok’s local districts and governor elections. It is still unclear when the government will allow the resumption of local elections, since it was halted after the coup in 2014.

Business

  • Federation of Thai Industries contends that the resignation of the 4 former leaders of Palang Pracharat Party is unlikely to an immediate impact the government’s economic stimulus measures.  The private sector is more concerned with the impending cabinet reshuffle and its effects on policy continuity.   Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1948860/resignations-seen-as-minor-setback
  • The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry is teaming up with the Federation of Thai Industries to promote Thailand as one of the world’s top 10 food exporters in the post-Covid19 period, also to be in line with the Modern Industrial Agriculture Development.  A joint taskforce was appointed and will start by promoting agriculture clusters in the EEC area.  Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30391016
  • A Survival Team was established to work out a debt rehabilitation business plan for Thai Airways, effective from 9 July – 31 October.  It will comprise 21 members who are executives of various departments of the airline.  The airline is set to submit its rehabilitation blueprint to the Central Bankruptcy Court on 17 August.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1948692/survival-team-set-up-for-thai-airways
  • Thailand’s export of mangosteen increased by 16 percent YoY in the first five months of 2020, mainly to China, ASEAN and Hong Kong.  This is owing largely to the elimination of tariff under free trade agreements, which is also in place under TAFTA.  Source: https://www.sentangsedtee.com/today-news/article_154864

ASEAN/World

Australia

  • Mr Stephen Fry, Australian Police Attaché paid a courtesy visit to Mae Rim Police Station in Chiang Mai.—Chiang Mai News
  • Ambassador’s Op-Ed on “COVID-19, Australia and Thailand: We are in this together” is published online.–Prachachart
  • Australian University RMIT is working with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to turn Bangkok into a smart city.—Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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