Advance Blog

June 2, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 2 June 2020

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19: 
    • Today, Thailand reports a newly confirmed case, a total of  3,083 cases. Out of the total number, 2,966 have been discharged from the hospital; 59 are being hospitalised. The death toll is at 58. The newly confirmed case is a Thai student who travelled back from Saudi Arabia and has been in state quarantine. The new confirmed dead had an operation and were in contact with an earlier confirmed case when hospitalised. This is the 8th straight day which no reports of local transmission. 
    • Disease control department aims to re-open smaller schools (with less than 100 students) on the 4th phase 1st July. As for the larger schools, the department said that it may need to do a mixture of offline and online education. Nightclubs and bars will be allowed to re-opened in the 5th phase. The PM said in a briefing after the cabinet meeting that this has to be decided according to the transmission in the coming days and weeks. Further information will be announced by the Education Ministry.
    • This morning the Minister of Culture said that the CCSA will decide this Friday whether to announce 4-9 July public holidays, substituting the Songkran festival earlier deferred in April. The PM said in a news briefing after the cabinet meeting that it is not yet confirmed, the related agencies need to look into the result of 3rd phase easing first.
    • The cabinet has approved the reduction of land tax by 90 percent for this year and extend the time for tax payment to be by August to help curb with the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Applications to hold a commemoration event on the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre outside the Chinese Embassy was stopped by Thai police. One of the organisers told the media that the police had a discussion with the Chinese Embassy and then rejected the application. The organiser questions the influences mainland had over the Thai government, —Thai Enquirer, Matichon

Politics

  • Yesterday, 18 out of 34 main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) executives resigned, resulted in the dissolution of the board. The party is required to hold a general assembly to pick new board members within 45 days of the dissolution.
    • Finance Minister and the PPRP leader Uttama and his mentor – Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, are set to fight back because any major change in the PPRP could lead to a change in the Cabinet positions that are also controlled by this faction.
  •  A military journalist posted her analysis on Facebook viewing that the resignation of the executives is part of a larger plan of the ruling “3Ps” (PM Prayut, Deputy PM Prawit and Interior Minister “Pok” Anupong) to be in power for 8 years more years. Wassana Nanuam wrote that the strong ties in the 3Ps are solid to the point that it could replace the former politico-military anchor provided by late Privy chief General Prem.

Business:

Post-Pandemic Measures

  • Finance Ministry is preparing to introduce financial and non-financial measures to revive the post-Covid19 economy.  For financial measures, it prioritizes creating jobs in the local economy by having specialized financial institutions and commercial banks offer loans for SMEs and underground borrowers.  For non-financial measures, Finance Ministry aims to establish a 50-billion Baht fund to help SMEs access loans.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1927960/recovery-stimulus-coming-together
  • Industry Ministry has approved for SME Development Bank of Thailand (SME D Bank) to disburse soft loans worth 40 billion Baht to help SMEs recover in the post Covid-19 period.  The loan scheme is expected to help 24,000 businesses, create 120,000 jobs and contribute 90 billion Baht to the economy.  Industry Ministry has also approved for the committee for SME development funds under the Pracha Rat scheme to offer loans for 10,000 businesses worth 1.7 billion Baht for drought and pandemic relief.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1927876/sme-d-bank-hastens-giving-out-b40bn-to-small-firms  https://www.nationtv.tv/main/content/378779091
  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) urges the government to revise The 20-Year National Strategy and The 12th National Economic and Social Development plans.  In the post-Covid19 era, the focus should be on promoting food, tourism, healthcare, medical equipment and renewable energy.  TCCC will also submit its plans for the revised strategy to the government soon.  NESDC will propose its revised plan in September.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1927948/national-strategic-plan-requires-revamp

Tourism

  • The Pattaya Business and Tourism Association (PBTA) said the hospitality sector in the province needs to target local tourists as there is likelihood that international tourists might not return until next year.  However, tourism in Pattaya might not be revived as only the beaches are opened, not the entertainment venues or nightlife attractions.  PBTA also urged the government to do more to boost local tourism market, saying that TAT’s 8 billion Baht assistance is a drop in the bucket.  The Association also asked the government to extend social Security compensation payments to workers.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1927820/pattaya-firms-unsure-partial-opening-will-reel-in-visitors
  • Japan mulls opening up to business visitors from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand as it plans to ease its entry ban.  The 4 countries also have strong business ties with Japan.  Moreover, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are fellow CPTPP members, while Thailand, which wants to join the multilateral framework, hosts many Japanese companies.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1927692/japan-may-soon-allow-business-visits-from-thailand 

Others

  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) will present its study on the economic cost of banning chlorpyrifos and paraquat to Prime Minister in a few weeks.  TCC is asking to have the ban suspended for a year, while proposing a compromise of limiting imports of the agricultural chemicals.  Meanwhile, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset vowed to push for a ban on glyphosate.  Sources:  https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30388891?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral   https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1927916/farmers-to-hand-back-chemicals
  • Thailand Knitting Factory Ltd, the manufacturer of Harn Khu (Double Goose) t-shirts, is undergoing a restructuring after 64 years.  In the first quarter of 2020, the Covid19 outbreak has devastated it revenue with its retail outlets at department stores forced to close down.  The company will diversify into manufacturing new products in the health category, such as facial masks, to cater to the new normal lifestyle.  It also has plans to manufacture PPE gowns.  In the future, its envisages forging new collaborations to develop innovative apparel lines; a recipe to ensure its survival.  Source:  https://www.thansettakij.com/content/436089
  • Luxury low-rise housing market showed signs of recovery in May, following a drop in March and April.  The segment has real demand and was just delaying their buying decisions in the early stage of the pandemic outbreak.  According to CBSE, sales have started to recover since last week, with the overall residential market poised to return in the second half if the pandemic outbreak is controlled.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1927904/posh-low-rise-market-eyes-recovery
  • The Bank of Thailand (BOT) will impose measures to curb the swift Baht appreciation, which will ravage the already fragile business sector and economy.  The local currency appreciated to the highest level in two months, at 31.74 to USD and rose 1.8 percent in May, the biggest monthly gain in 2020.  The appreciation is attributable to the surge in gold price and the Covid-19 situation in Thailand and its Q1 economic figures surpassing expectations.  As a result, investors may have been buying the Baht and regional currencies to park their short-term funds, thus increasing the short-term inflow and pushing up the Baht.  BOT will also monitor transactions by gold traders to ensure they comply with regulations.  Source:  https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30388861?utm_source=homepage_hilight&utm_medium=internal_referral   https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1928000/bot-warns-baht-uptick-could-increase-fragility

ASEAN/World

  • Cambodian leader said that China has not been given exclusive rights to use a naval base on the country’s southern coast and that warships from all nations, including the United States, are welcome to dock there. Hun Sen also said Cambodia was open to holding joint military exercises with all foreign countries, but they would have to be conducted after the threat from the coronavirus has passed. –AP, Thai Post
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