Advance Blog

September 15, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 15 September 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)
13,798 (451 from prisons); (excluding ATK 783)1,420,340 (last seven days: 97,821)3,994/ 8061,277,029 (+14,133)1,249,60327,769,095  (+ 228,352) BKK: 7,407,837 (+36,334)617,550 (+ 975) BKK: 187,274 (+1,219)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Average positive rate in the last seven days
13,325 [12,117 (get tested in hospital) + 1,208 (active case finding)]22 (in SQ)128,546 [87,363 in field hospital]331,911 (+2,772)14,765(+144) (last seven days: 1,254)41,647,101  (+ 694,076) BKK: 10,460,931 (+93,837)13,260,456 (+ 464,749) BKK: 2,865,820 (+56,284)17.72%
  • The Transport Minister gave an interview this morning. He is going to meet with Bangkok Governor at 3 pm today to discuss Bangkok Sandbox. He said that the reopening of Bangkok will be by districts basis-potentially CBDs and the old town to attract tourists. The final say will be on the governor.
    • Based on his interview, here are the initial requirements:
      • The scheme will kick off on 1 October. 
      • The tourists must have Mor-Chana (tracking application) which will alert authority should the user left the designated area.
      • The tourists in Bangkok must have the RT-PCR results as negative to enjoy the travel scheme without any quarantine. While waiting for the result, the tourist must wait in their hotel rooms.
      • If there are 200 or more cases in Bangkok for 10 days straight, the authority will consider a step-up measures. 
      • No alcoholic beverage allowed when dine-in.
    • The Bangkok Sandbox is part of the scheme to reopen some areas in tourist provinces: Chiang Mai (Mueng, Mae Rim), Prachuab Kirikhan (Hua Hin), Chonburi (Pattaya and other districts) and Rayong (Cha-am).—Inside Thailand
  • Chulabhorn Royal Academy which has been importing ‘alternative’ Sinophram vaccines is now set to import 8 million doses of Moderna vaccines and will open for the public registration in October.—Prachachat Turakij
  • The prospect of flooding in Central Thailand is looming large as Chao Praya Dam is set to discharge water downstream. The Irrigation Department issued a warning saying that low-lying areas in Ayutthaya would initially be affected.—Bangkok Post

Politics

  • In the highly-anticipated politically shaky main ruling PPRP meeting this morning, there have been various developments since last night:
    • Yesterday, the Deputy PM and PPRP leader General Prawit issued a letter appointing his general friend as the PPRP’s Strategic Chief. The appointment means that Justice Minister Somsak who has been siding with the PM in the latest censure debate is kicked out of the position in the party.—Inside Thailand
    • PPRP secretary-general Thammanat and the party treasurer Narumon participated in the party meeting. The two main PPRP figures were kicked off ministerial posts from their failed attempt to oust the PM in the last censure debate.—Krungthep Turakij
  • In his Club House session yesterday, ousted and self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra dismissed the conspiracy which said that he had paid Thammanat 2 billions THB to oust the PM in the censure debate. The former PM also said that the PM order to strip Thammanat and Narumon will make the PM to pay higher price to get the PPRP vote for him in the upcoming Parliamentary sessions.—Krungthep Turakij
  • It is reported that before the cabinet meeting yesterday, the PM held a meeting with other coalition party leaders while he said let’s get prepared for the next election next year.—Krungthep Turakij
  • After the Parliament has passed the third reading of the Constitutional amendment motion, smaller political parties are set to petition the Constitutional Court this Friday to seek a ruling on the constitutionality of the constitutional amendment draft.-Khao Sod

Economic:

Cabinet’s Approval, 14 September 2021

Approved of tax deduction incentives to promote the private sector to purchase Antigen Test Kit to test their employees and staff.

Approved in principle the Long Term Resident (LTR) visa package.  The LTR gives 4 groups of foreigners the following benefits:

  • A 10-year visa, also extended to their spouse and dependent
  • Exemption from the 90-day visa reporting
  • Exemption 4:1 labour quota (Thai: migrant labour)
  • Allow them to own land/properties for up to 5 years (Cabinet has instructed interior Ministry to amend the law)
  • Reduction of tariff on wine, alcoholic beverages and cigar for up to 5 years (Finance Ministry is instructed to revise the regulations)
  • High-skilled professionals can pay the fixed income rate of 17 percent; a special rate that also applies to foreigners working in the Eastern Economic Corridor
Eligible LTR applicants and their requirements
Wealthy Global CitizenWealthy PensionerWork from Thailand ProfessionalHi-Skilled Professionals
Required to make a minimum of 500,000 USD investment in Thai government bonds, real estate or though Foreign Direct InvestmentRequired to make a minimum of 250,000 USD investment in Thai government bonds, real estate or through Foreign Direct InvestmentMust receive minimum earning of 80,000 USD annually in the past 2 yearsMust receive minimum personal earning of 80,000 USD annually in the past 2 years
Minimum salary/pension of 80,000 USD annually in the past 2 yearsMinimum pension of 40,000 USD annuallyMinimum earning of 40,000 USD annually with Master’s Degree and above; or have received Series A3 with 5 year of working experienceMinimum earning of 40,000 USD annually with Master’s Degree and above; with 5 year of working experience in the targeted industries
Must possess assets worth a minimum of 1 million USDMust have minimum pension of USD 80,000 annually if cannot invest in Thailand  
  • The cabinet has also instructed the Board of Investment to establish a one-stop-service center to facilitate LTR visa application.  The relevant ministries must update the progress to the cabinet in 90 days.
  • The government expects the LTR package to attract 1 million foreigners to Thailand, generate 1 trillion Baht for the Thai economy and 800 billion Baht in investment, increase revenue from tax collection by 270 billion Baht.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Prachachat Turakij  Krungthep Turakij
  • Tourism and Sports Minister confirmed that Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai will begin implementing their tourism reopening plans on 1 October as planned.  Some 21 other provinces will follow suit on 15 October.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Others

  • Thailand’s national trade strategy from 2022 – 2027 should focus on upgrading existing export products and services in alignment with modern technology. The government needs to improve the business environment by reducing market dominance and regulations to facilitate ease of doing business for small and new operators, according to the study by Thammasat University’s Research and Consultancy Institute, hired by the Trade Policy and Strategy Office under the Commerce Ministry.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Bank of Thailand and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) prepare for cross-border business expansion under a bilateral Qualified ASEAN Bank (QAB) agreement, which is part of the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework, concluded in April 2019.  Banks in Thailand and Malaysia are invited to state their interest in being a QAB in Malaysia or Thailand.  A successful QAB candidate will enjoy market access and operational flexibility under the bilateral arrangement.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Low-priced condos with attractive designs near job clusters or schools continue to be popular as price-sensitive demand is strong amid poor market sentiment, according to Colliers Thailand.  Demand for low-end condo units was on the rise during the first 8 months of 2021 as this segment has the largest base of real demand.  However, in the first half of 2021, new condo launches totaled 6,079 units; a YoY decrease of 14 percent.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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