Advance Blog

July 2, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 2 July 2020

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today Thailand reports six newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,179 cases. Out of the total number, 3,059 have been discharged from hospital (or at 96.23%); 62 are being hospitalised. The death toll is still at 58. The new cases arrived from Indonesia (4), South Africa (1) and South Sudan (1) and have been in state quarantine. This is the 38th consecutive days that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
  • The Interior Minister has ordered all local authority to hold celebrations for the King in his upcoming Birthday on 28th. The PM has asked for cooperation from cabinet and state officials to wear yellow costumes for the rest of the month.—Thai Post, Naew Na, Manager

Politics

  • Bangkok MP Sira Jenjakha from the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) has been spared by the Constitutional Court after court judges ruled in favour of him. The MP was accused of abusing of power when we was filmed scolding at a police officer when the MP was in Phuket.
  • The Constitutional Court has also rejected a petition asking it to rule on the eligibility of Thamanat Prompow, the deputy Agriculture Minister and PPRP MP for holding a seat in parliament due to his wife’s business dealings with The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT).
  • The Parliament debate is in session and the opposition MPs have grilled the government budget, particularly in the sections related to defence. The PM and Defence Minister Prayut defended the decision to include the procurement of weapons for the armed forces in the budget bill for 2021.
  • The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) found former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abusing her power in violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code for the unlawful transfer order of Thawil Pliensri from his post as secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC) 9 years ago. –Thai Post
  • Media reports that the PM as the head of the government economic team has ordered an urgent economic ministers meeting on Friday to discuss on plans to help out SMEs to curb with the effects of COVID-19.

Business:

Face Mask Export Ban

  • Commerce Ministry has extended the face mask export ban for another 6 months, effective from 1 July 2020 until 3 February 2021.  The announcement is published in The Royal Gazette on 1 July.  This is to ensure there is sufficient supply of face masks for local medical staff and the general Thai population.  Source:  https://www.thansettakij.com/content/normal_news/440495

CPTPP

  • Commerce Ministry’s Department of Trade Negotiations said Thailand may not be able to submit a formal request to join the trade pact within this year.  The parliament-appointed CPTPP committee has asked to postpone the completion date of their studies on CPTPP for an additional 60 days, or 10 September, after which the cabinet will decide if Thailand should join the pact.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1944320/cptpp-discord-delays-entry

Tourism

Others

  • The World Trade Organization on 18 June prohibited members from banning food exports imposed during Covid19 outbreak.  Thailand reasoned that it did not violate WTO’s prohibition since it already lifted the one-month ban on egg export, which ran from March to April.  Source:  https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30390580
  • The Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA) is in talks with the Bank of Thailand to seek ways to tweak the 500-billion-Baht soft loan criteria.  The goal is to increase the soft loan disbursement by offering it with objectives and easing some conditions to enable SMEs to access them.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1944388/tba-talks-soft-loan-criteria-with-bot

Australia

  • More media starts to report on the PM plan to increase the defence budget to 40 percent in the next 10 years to curb the Chinese influence in the region.—Thai rath, Matichon, Nation TV
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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