Advance Blog

January 11, 2023
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 11 January 2023

KEY ISSUES AT A GLANCE

  • Casino project shapes up. A report by a special House committee studying the feasibility of allowing an entertainment complex to be built that includes legal casinos is expected to be deliberated on Thursday, a member of the committee said on Tuesday. Aimed at raising tax revenue from legalising gambling businesses in a yet-to-be-designated area, the project has been studied by the House committee since late last year, added the source, who declined to give their name. If approved, the report will be forwarded to the government for consideration, the person said. Source: Bangkok Post, Bangkok Biz News, Khaosod
  • 44kg of heroin seized, 2 men arrested in Samut Prakan. Narcotic Control Board (ONCB) officers raided 2 rented houses in Samut Prakan, where they found about 44kg of heroin and 12g of Ice altogether hidden in a cardboard box and about to be sent abroad. The man from Hong Kong and a Thai from Chiang Rai Province, were in the first house at the time of the raid. On the same day, customs officials at Bangkok’s main port found 50kg of Ice hidden among carpets being shipped abroad. The drugs were traced to one of the two houses which were raided. Source: Thai PBS World, Ch7 News
  • Akara gold mine makes a comeback as it counts down to reopening. Akara gold mine reiterated that it is ready to re-open in early 2023 as it has spent some 500 million Baht in organisational restructuring and machinery repair. The current plan is for its first phase of reopening, for which the company is recruiting 160 employees. In its second phase of re-opening, the mine will recruit an additional 1,000 employees. Villagers have turned up en-mass to apply for job vacancies as the company assures them that it has set up 4 funds in compliance with the law. Source: Prachachart Turakij

AUSTRALIA IN THE NEWS

  • No significant announcement.

GENERAL

  • The current population of Thailand is 66,090,475 as of December 31, 2022, based on The Interior Ministry of Thailand. Thailand ranks number 22nd in the world by population in the list of 235 countries/territories. Thailand’s population peak will be 2029 with 70.38 mn people after Thailand’s population will be decreased year by year. The Thailand population is projected to reach 70.35 million in 2030 and decrease further to 65.94 million in 2050 and 46.02 million by 2100. Source: The Nation
  • 540 drivers have driving license points deducted on 1st day of new system. Altogether 540 motorists and motorcyclists had driving license points deducted on the first day of the enforcement of the points system yesterday (Monday), said the spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, Pol Maj-Gen Archayon Kraithong. The most common violations were failure to display a valid annual road tax sticker (233), not displaying license plates (81) and speeding (63). Drivers can check their previous traffic tickets and challenge alleged traffic law infringements via “Khub Dee” application or visit https://ptm.police.go.th/eTicket Source: Thai PBS World, Thairath
  • 44kg of heroin seized, 2 men arrested in Samut Prakan. Narcotic Control Board (ONCB) officers raided 2 rented houses in Samut Prakan, where they found about 44kg of heroin and 12g of Ice altogether hidden in a cardboard box and about to be sent abroad. The man from Hong Kong and a Thai from Chiang Rai Province, were in the first house at the time of the raid. On the same day, customs officials at Bangkok’s main port found 50kg of Ice hidden among carpets being shipped abroad. The drugs were traced to one of the two houses which were raided. Source: Thai PBS World, Ch7 News

POLITICS

  •  Ruling PPRP to name Prawit as its sole candidate for PM. The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has declared it will nominate its leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwon as its lone prime ministerial candidate, according to party secretary-general Santi Promphat.The party is also unperturbed in going head-to-head with the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party, which unveiled Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as a member on Monday, Mr Santi said. He said that he and Gen Prayut talked to each other all day on Tuesday, adding that political issues were not part of the conversation. “It’s still the same between us. Nothing has changed,” Gen Prawit said. Source: Bangkok Post Online & Print Edition, WorkpointTODAY
  • Ministry probes claims that Thai academics are buying theses for promotion. Higher Education Minister Anek Laothamatas announced the investigation on Tuesday after allegations raised by fellow academics were widely shared on social media. The claims said that certain academics have either hired others to write research studies or merely purchased them to get their names published in international academic journals and claim credits needed for promotions at their universities. Source: The Nation
  • Casino project shapes up. A report by a special House committee studying the feasibility of allowing an entertainment complex to be built that includes legal casinos is expected to be deliberated on Thursday, a member of the committee said on Tuesday. Aimed at raising tax revenue from legalising gambling businesses in a yet-to-be-designated area, the project has been studied by the House committee since late last year, added the source, who declined to give their name. If approved, the report will be forwarded to the government for consideration, the person said. Source: Bangkok Post, Bangkok Biz News, Khaosod

ECONOMICS

  • Chinese tourists flow into Thailand, affecting Indian tourists who are cancelling their tickets. Some 50-60 percent of Indian travellers have cancelled their flight tickets and accommodations in Thailand as a result of the ‘Chinese effect’. The MICE group has cancelled their trip to Thailand by 100 percent. This is the result of the Indian government requiring travellers to conduct RT-PCR tests before returning to India, as well as the Thai government’s requirement that inbound tourists buy health insurance. Meanwhile, Tourism Authority of Thailand expects some 1 million Chinese tourists to visit Thailand during the Chinese New Year. Most recently, 15 flights from China are also looking to fly to Thailand. Source: Prachachart Turakij
  • Foreigners invest in Flash. Thailand’s first unicorn, Flash, has surprised the start-up circuit by raising an additional 15 billion Baht of funding from foreign investors. Previous investors include China’s Alibaba and Singapore’s Buer Capital, as well as local investors. The delivery start-up is applauded for successfully raising funds despite an array of weathering economic storms, from rising fuel price to intensifying competition. Source: Krungthep Turakij Print Edition
  • Export to contract until mid-year as prolonged wars drag down global trade. Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC) noted Thai export will continue to contract in the first half of 2023 due to the global economic slump, geopolitical conflicts and strong Baht.  Export in 2022 is expected to grow by 6-6.5 percent as demand has been slowing down since Q4 2022.  The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce forecasts Thailand’s export in Q1 2023 will contract by 1.8 -3.4 percent YoY, but could recover in the second half and bring annual growth to 1 percent, the lowest growth rate in 3 years. Source: Krungthep Turakijk Print Edition, Bangkok Post
  • Japan roadshow seeks 10 billion Baht from investors. The Industry Ministry expects to draw investment of 10 billion Baht from Japanese businesses during a roadshow to promote the growth of Electric Vehicles and smart electronic industries from 11-15 January in Japan. The Industry Ministry will also ask for Japanese investment in the EEC. According to the Board of Investment, Japanese investment was ranked third in value after China and Taiwan in the first 9 months of 2022. In the same period, total FDI value in Thailand decreased by 25 percent YoY. Source: Bangkok Post
  • Akara gold mine makes a comeback as it counts down to reopening. Akara gold mine reiterated that it is ready to re-open in early 2023 as it has spent some 500 million Baht in organisational restructuring and machinery repair. The current plan is for its first phase of reopening, for which the company is recruiting 160 employees. In its second phase of re-opening, the mine will recruit an additional 1,000 employees. Villagers have turned up en-mass to apply for job vacancies as the company assures them that it has set up 4 funds in compliance with the law. Source: Prachachart Turakij

For further information please see the embassy’s Facebook Page ‘Australian Embassy, Thailand’ or the Ambassador’s Twitter Page https://twitter.com/AusAmbBKK

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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