Advance Blog

October 14, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 12 October 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)
9,445 (201 from prisons); (excluding ATK 1,368)1,730,364 (last seven days: 73,133)2,954/ 6601,604,355 (+11,452)1,701,50135,462,170 (+ 368,278) BKK: 7,923,954 (+17,428)1,774,584 (+41,363) BKK: 469,126 (+6,685)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Active detection test rates (last seven days)
9,231 [8,987 (get tested in hospital) +244 (active case finding)]13 (in SQ)108,174 [67,762 in field hospital]381,396 (+1,170)17,835 (+84) (last seven days: 632)61,033,251 (+ 805,146 ) BKK:  13,223,839 (+ 109,904)23,796,497 (+ 395,505) BKK: 4,830,759 (+85,791)14.68%
  • The PM held a national televised speech on reopening the Kingdom to international tourists. The full speech can be accessed via—TAT News. Important announcement includes:
    • Thailand will allow fully vaccinated tourists from low-risk countries to enter the kingdom without quarantine from 1 November.
      • There will be at least ten low-risk countries, including Singapore, Germany, China and the US. More countries on the list will be added.
      • Tourists from countries not on the list will be required to undergo quarantine.
    • International visitors will need to show that they are COVID-free at their time of travel with an RT-PCR test undertaken before they leave their home country, and then have a test when arriving in Thailand.
    • These travellers would be allowed to visit any part of the country after meeting these requirements.
    • The government also expects to consider allowing the consumption of alcoholic beverages in restaurants as well as the operation of entertainment venues by 1 December.–Reuters

Politics

  • In regard to the clash between the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) MPs and the advisor to the PPRP leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, there have been some comments to quell the speculation:
    • The Digital Economy Minister and PPRP MP denied the reports that there have been conflicts between the advisor and its MPs. The Minister said that the PM advisor might be new to the party and will need time to get to know with its MPs.—Thai Rath
    • Meanwhile, the Deputy PM and PPRP leader General Prawit said that he has everything under control and that there is no need for the media to concern.—Krungthep Turakij
    • The Labour Minister and PPRP main figure Suchart said that the clash is not a big issue and that everything must be up to the party leader. Suchart said the PM advisor must not get the priority in taking positions on behalf of the PPRP as he is a newcomer.–Matichon
  • Former Energy Minister and PPRP secretary-general Sonthirat Sonthijirawong gave an interview in response to the earlier reports that he will join with other minor parties, namely the New Economy Party and Pheu Chart Party to set up a new political party. The main figure of the fallen-from-grace technocrat team said that he is not part of the political deal, but he said he is interested in politics.–Matichon
  • The main opposition Pheu Thai Party is set to hold a meeting to make a decision on the political destiny of the 2 MPs, Saranwut Sarunket, Uttaradit MP and Pornpimol Thammasarn, MP. Pathum Thani MPs who broke the party’s resolution.–Matichon
  • The Nang Lerng Police Station has filed former Future Forward Party leader case to the attorney general on royal defamation when the opposition leader held a Facebook live questioning the royal involvement of the AstraZeneca producing company.–Matichon

Analysis/ opinion

  • Krungthep Turakij explores the factors why the PM might dissolve the Parliament in early 2023 which will be most beneficial to the ruling coalition:
    • The economic recovery from the pandemic will start picking up during the period after reopening the country by the end of this year.
    • 2022 will be a good chance for the government to introduce stimulus packages and the economic growth might bounce back.
    • The dissolution in 2023 will be best as it offers the government to finalise budget bill and the relocation of civil servants in October 2022.
    • Being the host of APEC meetings will require stability of the government.
    • The media point out to the constitutional condition for 90 days party membership minimum in case of an MP shifting party. If there is a dissolution, the minimum requirement will be that of 30 days.—Krungthep Turakij

Economic:

CBAM

CPTPP

  • The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has revised its GDP forecast for the Thai economy in 2021 to a growth of 0 – 1 percent following its meeting yesterday, with export expected to expand by 12 – 14 percent.  The JSCCIB will also submit a letter to PM Prayut to urge that the government make a decision on whether or not it will join the CPTPP negotiation, given that China, the UK and Taiwan are all keen to join the trade pact.  Should Thailand delay its decision further, it will have to negotiate under the conditions set by 11 rather than 9 member countries and lose trade advantages to Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.  JSCCIB will continue to press the MFA’s International Economic Policy Committee to organise a seminar to explain the impacts of CPTPP on the Thai economy to the public, private and NGO sectors.  The JSCCIB also wants PM Prayut to consider revising its co-payment stimulus scheme by raising the limit for government subsidy to 6,000 Baht from 3,000 Baht per person.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Prachachart Turakij

APEC

  • DPM Supattanapong represented Thailand at the 27th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting, where he discussed Thailand’s plan to develop a digital ecosystem to help Thai MSMEs recover from COVID-19 and promote good well-being.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij  Poojadkarn Online

Others

  • The Board of Investment (BOI) has approved incentives to promote entrepreneurs to upgrade their production and machinery to Industry 4.0 standards.  The incentives include a 3-year corporate income tax exemption covering 100 percent of investment for industry 4.0 upgrade in sectors such as Automoation & Network Technology; Smart Operation; Digital Technology in Production & Enterprise Process.  The goal is to upgrade 10,000 factories in the EEC to become smart factories in 5 years. 
  • BOI’s total investment application value in the first 9 months of 2021 was 521 billion Baht; doubling the value generated in 2020 and also exceeding the total value for the whole year of 2020.  The first 9 months saw 1,273 project applications, compared to 1,623 project applications for the entire year of 2020.  Meanwhile, the Eastern Economic Corridor accounted for 33 percent of the combined investment value applications, with 348 projects worth 174 billion Baht; or a 60.6 percent YoY increase.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 12 October 2021
  • Koh Samui’s sandbox program received positive feedback after it lifted the mandatory quarantine, with forward bookings in the first 10 days of October made by 955 tourists, which already exceeded its total forward booking number since its opening on July 15 (booking was from 907 tourists from July 15-Sept 30).  Source:  Bangkok Post  
  • Cha-am’s reopening plan on 1 November, known as Cha-am Sunshine, is anticipated to attract 1,000 international arrivals per month and generate 15-20 million Baht monthly by the end of 2021.  On 13 October, state agencies and operators in Cha-am and Hua Hin will discuss the details on connecting the routes between the 2 areas.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • A Digital Innovation Centre spanning 40,000 square metres of space is planned for Thailand Digital Valley, located in Chon Buri’s Si Racha district, in the next 24 months to allow technology testing and development, according to the Digital Economy and Society Ministry.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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