Advance Blog

March 11, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 11 March 2021

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesProvinces with confirmed casesDischarged from hospitalFrom 15 Dec, totally confirmed cases
5826,5986326,000 (at 97.76%)22,361
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollAccumulated cases from active case finding
53 [17 (get tested in hospital) + 36 (active case finding)] 5 (in SQ) 5131,006 (+12)85 (+0)14,758
  • The Tourism and Sports Industry will make a proposal to the CCSA plenary meeting on 19 March introducing the ‘sandbox’ idea to allow international tourists to designated areas without quarantine. The ministry outlined four phases of the grand plan.—The Standard, Than Settakij, Krungthep Turakij
Time frameApril-May 2021June-September 2021October-December 2021January 2022
ObjectivesIncrease the number of Area QuarantineIncrease the types of quarantinePreparation for opening-upOpening-up
Designated areasPhuket, Surat Thani (Samui, Tao and Pha Ngan Islands), Krabi, Chonburi Chiang Mai and BangkokThe entire country
Designated touristsUAE, Israel, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and RussiaVaccinated tourists/ from countries where there is more than 70% vaccinated rate
Quarantine schemes14 Days (Day 0-3 In-room, Day 4-14 activities inside the hotel)10 Days or less (Can enjoy activities inside hotel(s))No quarantine or one day awaiting SWAB Test in areas that pass the public hearing.Nation-wide no quarantine or only day 1 awaiting SWAB test result.

Politics

  • The Constitutional Court is scheduled to deliver the verdict on the constitutionality of the charter rejig motion to set up a Constitutional Drafting Assembly.
    • The secretary-general of the main Opposition Pheu Thai Party said in a media interview that even though the Court makes the verdict to scrap the charter rejig motion, the Opposition will convene and expect to discuss this broadly with the Parliament. The Opposition will propose the motion to the Parliament again.—Inside Thailand
    • The Royal Gazette published the King’s order for the Parliament to convene for an extraordinary session on 17 March. The Parliament will convene to vote on the third reading of the motion.
    • The main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) and Senate have joined hands to file the case to the court to make verdict into the matter.
  • The issue of cabinet reshuffle is still on agenda:
    • The Coalition Democrat Party leader said that the third largest coalition has not submitted the portfolio lists. The party secretary-general will meet with the party’s executives on Friday to decide who will be eligible for the vacant position.—Krungthep Turakij
  • On student-led protest fronts, the ‘March Through the Heaven’ group will call for an overnight march from the Democracy Monument to the Government House this Saturday from 2.00 pm.—Krungthep Turakij

ASEAN/World

  • Thai MFA issued its statement on the situation in Myanmar.—Thai MFA

Economic:

  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) is working with the government to establish a mechanism for the private sector to procure COVID-19 vaccine.  TCC said the government has vaccinated only 30 percent of the population to date and should speed up the vaccination to an estimated 300,000 people per day or 10 million Thais per month.  Source:  Matichon newspaper, 11 March 2021
  • Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced the Andaman sandbox concept, which will see some areas welcoming international tourists without quarantine in its 1st phase in July, such a Phuket, Koh Ngai, Railway and Khao Lak.  The first arrivals could potentially come from China after Beijing said it will issue a digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate to its citizens to facilitate crossing borders.  This paves way for China and Thailand to exchange tourists via a quarantine-free program. The Association of Thai Travel Agents is hopeful that Thailand can receive 8 million Chinese visitors this year if Thailand could implement a travel bubble with China from June onward.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Krungthai Bank’s Compass Research Centre noted that medical textile is a high-potential business in Thailand and across the Asia Pacific, with an estimated growth rate of 8.3 percent annually from 2020 – 2027 with value that could top 3 billion USD.  Medical textile is one of Thailand’s S-Curve industries and is being promoted by the Board of Investment.  Its popularity is reflected in BOI’s investment applications in this segment that increased by 4 times from 405 million Baht in 2018 to 2.5 billion Baht in 2020.  In the next 3-5 years, surgical face mask is expected to grow by 144 percent annually in the Asia Pacific.  Source:  Thansettakij  Naew Na
  • The government should establish an SME Council to protect, strengthen and upgrade Thailand’s SMEs and MSMEs, asserted Worawoot Ounjai, former president of the Thai Retailers Association.  Thailand has 3 million SMEs and start-ups, with tourism SMEs making up half of all SMEs nationwide.  SMEs account for 32-35 percent of Thailand’s GDP, but they are currently ravaged by the pandemic and their rising credit risks make it hard for them to obtain bank loans.  Worawoot called out for the government to pay more attention to the small-scale businesses rather than the large conglomerates.  Source:  Siam Rath Bangkok Post
  • In this oped, TDRI suggests that regulatory reforms could be another instrument to help Thailand rebound from the second wave of COVID-19.  This is because the government’s monetary and fiscal policies, ie: the Bank of Thailand keeping interest rate low and the government’s string of tax break and stimulus packages did little to boost the Thai economy.  The article pointed to TDRI’s Regulatory Guillotine project which advised that 85 percent (1,026 procedures) of the reviewed procedures could be amended or abolished.  This would save private sector’s and Thai people’s compliance costs by 133.8 billion Baht annually or 0.8 percent of GDP.  Source: Thailand Business News
  • The Thai government is poised to sign an MoU to sell up to 1 million tonnes of rice per year in G2G deal with the Indonesian government in the last week of March.  Indonesia has been facing a shortage of domestic rice supplies, while Thailand is having difficulty exporting its rice because its price is more expensive that competitors’.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • According to Commerce Ministry (MoC), the Consumer Confidence Index for February 2021 increased to 45.5 from 43.2 in January 2021.  The index also indicated that consumers are more optimistic about the Thai economy in the coming months, with sentiment rebounding close to pre-COVID-19 level.  MoC attributes this to the vaccine rollout and the government’s stimulus packages.  Source:  Matichon Weekly The Standard
  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce has been collaborating with its member companies, such as CP Oil, Lotus and Macro hypermarkets to buy and distribute vegetables and fruits across its retail outlets to alleviate the ongoing oversupply problem.  Source:  MCOT
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
Share:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Representing the Chamber on Your Website

Proud Member of

preview logo

Adding AustCham Logo to Your Website​

Proudly present yourselves as a part of Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce by adding AustCham logo to your website.

MEMBER LOG IN