Advance Blog

June 2, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 2 June 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)
3,440 (1,087 from prisons)165,4621,247/ 381114,578136,5992,591,372 (+51,881) (= 3.836% of the population)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
2,338 [1,175 (get tested in hospital) + 1,162 (active case finding)]15 (in SQ)49,777 [27,427 in field hospital]43,117 (+680)1,107 (+38)3,753,7181,162,346 (+36,978) (=1.7 % of the population)
  • The secretary-general of the Security Council affirmed the public that there will be a mass vaccination on 7 June as planned. But he said there might not be enough vaccines for everyone registered.—Thai Rath
  • AstraZeneca announced the official launch of its supply chain in Thailand, with the first doses of locally produced COVID-19 vaccine by Siam Bioscience ready to be gradually rolled out starting this week.—Prachachat Turakij
    • It is also reported that the first batch of the vaccine will be 1.8 million doses.—Thai Rath

Politics

  • The US Deputy Secretary of State paid a courtesy call to the PM this morning. The PM welcomed the American offer in vaccine assistances. The two also discussed issues on Myanmar and human-trafficking issues. Mrs. Wendy R. Sherman is on a regional tour.—Thai Government
  • The House is still debating on the 2022 Budget Bill, this is the final day of the debate of the first reading. Here are some developments:
    • The coalition whip aims to hold the vote on the first reading at 10.00pm.—Krungthep Turakij
    • It is reported that the PM spokes in weekly cabinet meeting yesterday that despite the party leaders assurance, the coalition MPs, particularly Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, grilled the PM and the government.—Krungthep Turakij
    • Opposition Prachachat Party MP grilled the Internal Security Operations Command 600 million THB proposal to construct a wall along Thai-Malaysian border in Tak Bai, Narathiwat Province. The MP said this wall would destruct the way of life of people living along the borderlines.—BBC Thai
  • After media leaked that aides to Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat were in a fight with a Parliament police, it was reported that the police had to crawl to the ground asking for forgiveness. Minister Thammanat said the reports were too critical, he admitted they quarrelled, but was not to the point of having the police crawled to the floor.—Thai Rath
    • The House speaker gave morale support to the police officer. He said that the police did nothing wrong and should not fear politicians who misconducted.—Thai Rath
  • Yesterday, Anon Nampa and Panupong ‘Mike’ Jadnok were released on bail on conditions of not mentioning the monarchy.—Thai Rath
  • The Shinawatras have been virtually made a frequent return to political scenes:
    • Thaksin Shinawatra urged coalition parties to resign from the government which would put an end to Prayut as PM. He also boasted that if it were him, the pandemic problem would have been resolved within six months.—Krungthep Turakij
    • Yingluck Shinawatra jabbed back the PM remarks on the debts her Rice guarantee scheme made. The ousted and self-exiled former female PM said she has not been in power for seven years, stop using her as a scapegoat for the government mismanagement.—Thai Rath
    • The PM responded to the comments Thaksin made by saying “If he can do it, just come back.”—Krungthep Turakij
  • The Digital Economy Minister presented court orders to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to close or remove from their computers the accounts of eight individuals deemed to have posted fake news which is critical to the nation and monarchy on websites and social networks within 24 hours. The Minister said there will be non-compliance penalty for the ISPs.—Thai Rath

Australia

  • Around 200 Thai online vendors in Sydney, Australia filed a legal case against MD Import Export International Trading Pty for their fraudulent advertisement of cheaper import-export fees in Australia. The online vendors seemed help from Thai Consulate-general in Sydney and the Australian Police.—Thai Rath 
  • A 62-year-old Australian in Katu, Phuket is found dead in a rented room. The deceased named Kenneth John Pavitt went to the police two months earlier claiming his girlfriend is lost. The police is looking into the incentive but hasn’t decide whether it was a suicide or homicide.—Daily News

Economic News Summary:

Cabinet’s decisions, 1 June 2021

  • Approved 17.1 billion Baht to fund 3 projects related to public health services, including vaccine distribution and vehicle procurement to patrol at-risk groups.
  • Allocated 140.38 billion Baht from the 1-trillion Baht loan to fund 4 stimulus packages and relief schemes, which are anticipated to generate over 473 billion Baht for the Thai economy, comprising:

·         16.4 billion Baht is for the 3rd phase of the cash handouts to 13.7 million low-income earners who hold state welfare cards.  The handout is worth 200 Baht per person monthly, from July to December

·         3 billion Baht is for funding cash handouts to 2.5 million vulnerable people who require special assistance, such as those with no access to smart phones or are afflicted with disability. 

·         93 billion Baht to fund the 3rd phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” co-payment scheme from July – October, targeting 31 million people.

·         28 billion Baht for the scheme “Ying Chai Ying Dai” (the more you spend, the more you get).  It offers cashback e-vouchers to people who make purchases through the government’s e-wallet app from August – December.  The cashback rate is 10-15 percent of spending, with a limit of 7,000 Baht per person.  The scheme targets 4 million middle and high-income earners.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Prachchat Turakij

  • The cabinet approved a budget of 15 billion Baht for the National Health Security Office to spend on healthcare for those affected by COVID-19 and any medical treatments for COVID-19 patients.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The cabinet approved an additional 2.17 billion Baht to buy land needed to build the high-speed railway linking the 3 airports as proposed by the Eastern Economic Corridor committee.  This funding will be used for the expropriation of land along the route between Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Electric Vehicles

  • Thai energy conglomerate PTT and Taiwan’s Foxconn signed an MoU to cooperate in producing Electric Vehicles (EVs) and their components in Thailand, with Prime Minister Prayut presiding over the virtual signing ceremony.  Foxconn’s investment will help Thailand develop its value chain in the EV sector, which is in line with the Thai government’s plan to promote Electric Vehicles industry. In the initial stage, both entities will invest 1-2 billion USD in establishing a platform for manufacturing EVs.  Sources:  Thansettakij  Bangkok Post
  • Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor (GWM) plans to make Thailand its base for its first smart factory in Southeast Asia to tap into international markets.  Located in the EEC’s Rayong province, the factory previously belonged to General Motor (GM), but was sold to GWM when GM divested from the Thai market.  GWM had upgraded the factory and will use it to produce its sport utility vehicle HAVAL, however, GWM declined to reveal if it will be used to manufacture battery electric vehicles.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Others

  • The Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC) is confident Thailand’s export this year could increase by 10-15 percent, given that global economies are recovering, vaccination rate is increasing worldwide and Thailand’s April export expanded by +13 percent.  Thai export is expected to benefit as global demands for automobiles, electrical appliances, equipment and parts, and oil related products such as plastic pallet are on the rise.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Ministry said Thailand’s cross-border trade (including transit trade) from January – April 2021 increased by +26.7 percent YoY to total 526 billion Baht.  Of the 526 billion Baht, transit trade accounted for 231 billion Baht and border trade for 295 billion Baht; the latter increasing by +17 percent.  For border trade, Malaysia is the biggest partner by value, increasing by +52.9 percent (value: 107 billion Baht).  Meanwhile, Thailand’s transit trade to southern China rose by 53.4 percent (value: 102 billion Baht).  Cross-border trade is forecasted to grow by 3-6 percent to 1.4 trillion Baht this year, up from 1.3 trillion in 2020.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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