Advance Blog

November 24, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 23 November 2022

KEY ISSUES AT A GLANCE

  • Yingluck cries foul as top court issues arrest warrant over 2011 Thawil transfer case. In a tweet on Tuesday, former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra lamented about being constantly targeted for a decision she had made as an elected PM. “Thailand is the only country in the world in which an elected prime minister faces legal action for transferring a permanent official. #ถูกกลั่นแกล้งไม่จบ [#ceaselesslypersecuted],” her tweet read. She was responding to the arrest warrant the Supreme Court issued against her for ordering the removal of then-National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri in 2011. The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office had issued summonses for Yingluck to be present in court on Tuesday to plead her case. However, since she was absent, the court issued an arrest warrant against her. Source: Nation Thailand, Bangkok Post Print Edition
  • Chambers of Commerce nationwide brush up on projects related to BCG to propose to government. The Thai Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Sanan, will be organizing the 40th meeting for all Chambers of Commerce across the 4 regions of Thailand to participate in from 25-27 November. The goal is to draft a white paper on Thailand’s 2023 economic plans and obstacles based on the BCG Goals concluded at APEC, which will be presented to DPM and Energy Minister Supattanapong.  Among the plans are the Northern Economic Corridor, Northeast Economic Corridor, Food Valley in the central region, Andaman Wellness Corridor, Eastern Fruit Corridor and Thai-Gulf Andaman Land Bridge. Source: Krungthep Turakij

GENERAL

  • 1 Policeman Killed, Many Others Injured in Police Flat Bombing. The bomb exploded at 12.46pm at the police flat in front of Narasikhalai School. It spread fire on vehicles and firefighters shortly prevented the blaze from expanding to buildings. The bombing killed Pol Capt Sutthirak Phanthaniya of the Muang Narathiwat police station. He stayed in his flat and the vehicle that carried the bomb was parked next to his room. Seventeen people were injured. Most of them were dwellers at the police flat and nearby houses. They were sent to Naradhiwasrajanagarindra Hospital. Source: Thai News Agency, Nation Thailand
  • Thailand’s Hom Mali fragrant rice lost its world championship to Cambodia’s “Phaka Lamduan” rice in the World’s Best Rice 2022 contest in Phuket. Chukiat Opaswong, honorary president of the Rice Exporters Association, said Cambodia’s Phaka Lamduan fragrant rice narrowly beat Thailand’s Hom Mali 105 rice because the Thai rice variety was less fragrant. He blamed the defect on prolonged flooding in Ubon Ratchathani province. The association on behalf of Thailand sent only one rice entry to the contest which drew 20 entries also from Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, India, Pakistan, the United States and China. The Thai rice lost its championship to Cambodia by only one point while the third and fourth ranks were rice from Vietnam and Laos respectively, Mr Chukiat said. Source: Thai News Agency

POLITICS

  • The Thai cabinet approved, in principle, a draft bill today (Tuesday), which seeks to hold businesses accountable for goods sold to consumers which are found to be defective within two years of delivery. Deputy Government Spokesperson Traisuree Traisoranakul said that the draft bill is intended to protect the consumers from being exploited by businesses selling defective goods, knowingly or unknowingly, and refusing to take responsibility. In case the defects are found within a year of delivery of the goods, it is assumed that they were defective from the date of the delivery, she said. Source: Thai PBS World, Workpoint Today, Thaigov
  • Navy to seek guarantee from Chinese counterpart on Chinese-made submarine engine. Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet said he would like China’s navy to guarantee the quality of the improved version of the CHD620 engine offered by China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC). The Royal Thai Navy hired the CSOC to build a S26T Yuan-class submarine and under the initial contract it was to be equipped with an MTU 396 diesel engine from Germany. But after Germany refused to sell MTU 396 diesel engines to China on grounds that they are regarded as a military item, the CSOC offered the CHD620 engine to the RTN. The RTN tested the engine in September but declined to approve it due to doubts of its reliability as the engine has not been used in a Chinese submarine. Source: Nation Thailand
  • Kingdom to sign carbon transfer deal. Thailand recently announced it will participate in the Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMO), a legal agreement between any two countries to market greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation outcomes. Speaking at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Varawut Silpa-archa, the Natural Resources and Environment Minister who led Thai delegates to join the event, conveyed the kingdom’s position on climate change. He said Thailand was ready to support the cooperative approaches instilled under the Paris Agreement that allow for carbon credit transfers between two countries. Mr Varawut said Thailand has already prepared a set of national guidelines and mechanisms on carbon credit management. Source: Bangkok Post Print Edition

ECONOMICS

  • Cabinet okays adjusted B5bn loan.  The cabinet approved reworking the conditions of a 5-billion Baht soft loan program to help small hotel operators and their supply chains, including restaurants, to reopen.  The new conditions and criteria of the loan program will become more flexible and extensive, while the objectives are enlarged, extending the lending and repayment periods to June 2023. Hotel operators still in the process of applying for a hotel business licence will also be allowed to apply for soft loans. Source: Bangkok Post
  • Merger to push on as tender scrapped.  True and DTAC have vowed to continue pursuing their amalgamation, although 2 affiliates of both companies have scrapped their plans to conduct tender offers to acquire the acquire the two telecom operators’ shares to create a path for the merger. The cancellation is in line with a notification from the Securities and Exchange Commission on the conditions and methods for the acquisition of securities for business takeovers, which requires the abolition of the tender offer if it cannot do so within one year. Source: Bangkok Post
  • Bank of Thailand warns all sectors to brace for economic volatility next year. The Bank of Thailand Governor warned of a market dysfunction that could strike both advanced and developing economies next year.  This is the result of prolonged relaxed monetary policies and low interest rate, combined with geo-political conflict. This could lead to fund outflow and weak currency; factors that could cripple Thailand’s GDP growth to fall below 3 percent in the worst case scenario next year. Source: Krungthep Turakij

For further information please see the embassy’s Facebook Page ‘Australian Embassy, Thailand’ or the Ambassador’s Twitter Page https://twitter.com/AusAmbBKK

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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