Advance Blog

January 19, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 18 January 2022

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollHospitalised/ intensive care patients
6,397 (165 from aboard; 10 from prisons), excluding 1,880 ATKs2,337,811 (last seven days: 53,199)18 (last seven days: 109)81,952/ 534
Total vaccination1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
109,828,653 (+286,508)51,834,424 (+25,233)47,637,067 (+57,202)10,357,162 (+204,073)
  • On 17 January, the Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin said that the Public Health Ministry is going to propose to the CCSA on 20 January the revision of the pause of Test & Go scheme. The top health official said that he has instructed its agencies to ease the restrictions by placing the economy as the priority.—Thai Rath
    • The government spokesperson said that the PM is going to head a CCSA meeting which will rearrange the Covid-controlled areas and the rearrangement of entry requirements.—Krungthep Turakij
  • At the Government House, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar Ms. Noeleen Heyzer paid a courtesy call to the PM on issues related to the political situation in Myanmar. The government spokesperson said that the PM mentioned that the first step to the situation is to build trust with the Myanmar leader. The Thai leader said the authority has set up humanitarian area along the border.—Krungthep Turakij

Politics

  • A minister attached to the PM office is in the next step to purge international human rights civil society. Suporn Atthawong, vice minister to the PM’s Office, said that he has secured 1 million signatures in the campaign to drive out Amnesty International. His next move will be to file a complaint to the Department Of Provincial Administration, Interior Ministry to revoke the license of the civil society. Suporn said that he cannot stand seeing the civil society to continue its seditious and anti-monarchist actions.—Siam Rath  
  • Even the Move Forward Party is going to announce its candidate for the Bangkok Governor election on 23 January, a media pointed out that the deputy secretary-general of the party Surachet Pravinvongvuth is the candidate. The PhD in Engineering is believed to lead the opposition party in the gubernatorial election under the progressive campaign.—Inside Thailand
  • Two party-listed MPs from the main-ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) have submitted their resignation letters from the party, nullifying its representative status. It is widely reported that the two MPs will join the expected party led by former economic team of the government.—Prachachat Turakij, Matichon, Thai Rath
    • Two members of the former technocrat team of the government are expected to hold a press conference establishing a new political party called ‘Build Thailand’s Future’. The press conference of the establishment is expected to be on 19 January at a Bangkok CBD hotel.—Prachachat Turakij
  • Over the weekend, Thai authorities raided the homes of multiple reporters, accusing them of being involved in the ongoing anti-government protests. Sirote Klampaiboon, a prominent reporter for Voice TV, released a leaked document which revealed his name on a government watching list. He says this is why he was questioned and the likely reason why his house was raided.—Thai Enquirer
  • A group of media and academia issued a statement in defiance of the cabinet resolution to pass a bill which aims at bosting the morale and journalistic standards of the media.  The main point of the statement is that it will lead up to the establishment of Journalistic Council which does not allow enough participation of people working in the industry.–Matichon

Economic

  • The Stock Exchange of Thailand had conducted a sensitivity analysis on the transaction tax to be collected on share sales as earlier proposed by Finance Ministry (MoF).  The analysis revealed that the transaction tax will have 6 wide-ranging repercussions across the value chain, affecting those such as the investors, Thai capital and securities markets as well as on state revenue collection.  Most notably, it will disincentivise new investments, decrease Thailand’s competitiveness and ultimately leads to lower revenue collection from the tax.  Federation of Thai Capital Marketing Organization (FETCO) will also meet with MoF to voice their objections on the transaction tax collection.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 18 January 2022
  • The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report disclosed that COVID-19 has disrupted the Global Value Chain.  In re-configuring their supply chains, businesses are looking to establish a shorter and simplified supply chain that can be easily controlled.  The Thai National Shippers Council noted that it would take at least 2 years for the reconfigured supply chain to materialise.  In the meantime, Thailand will retain its place in the Global Value Chain as its logistics and manufacturing capabilities remain intact during the pandemic outbreak.  Its export sector is expected to perform relatively well, especially to countries that are RCEP members.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 18 January 2022
  • Tourism and Sports Ministry will reduce the budget for the domestic ‘Tour Teaw Thai’ tour package subsidy program due to weak demand.  The tour packages on offer are to be slashed from 1 million to 200,000, while its 4 billion Baht budget allocated from the 1 trillion Baht government loan would be returned.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Ministry of Commerce had established war rooms to monitor the price of essential consumer goods and services to tackle the rising inflation.  The war rooms, chaired by MoC’s Permanent Secretary Boonyarit, will also take legal actions against merchants who raise prices unfairly.  MoC has asked for manufacturers to cooperate in freezing the selling prices of goods, especially during periods of festivity such as the Chinese New Year.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • PM Prayut said Thailand will not import pork to increase supply and curb the rising price until the government has finished assessing the country’s pork supply.  The PM reasoned that the number of dead pigs resulting from the current outbreak of African Swine fever comprises only 20 percent of the total supply, and as such, he suspected that people must be meddling with the process.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Naew Na
  • Infrastructure investment in the second phase of the Eastern Economic Corridor from 2022 – 2026 is anticipated to significantly drop to 398 billion Baht compared to the 900 billion Baht investment seen during the EEC’s first phase from 2018-2021.  The second phase development will target rail and road development to further improve transport.  It will also provide rail feeders to link the high-speed rail with the Laem Chabang deep seaport.  Source:  Bangkok Post

The Eastern Economic Corridor Office signed an MoU with EEC Global Cloud, a Thailand-based data centre that aims to provide hybrid cloud service to the government and businesses operating in the EEC area.  The goal is to enhance the competitiveness of Thai and foreign businesses and operators in the EEC area.  Source:  Matichon

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
Share:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

MEMBER LOG IN