Advance Blog

October 25, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 25 October 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)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
8,675 (201 from prisons); (excluding ATK 3,525)1,859,157 (last seven days: 65,345)2,437/ 5361,740,316 (+9,589)1,830,29439,999,692  (+118,658) BKK: 8,274,305 (+5,213)2,133,579 (+11,154) BKK: 579,571 (+483)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb) 
8,463 [7,931 (get tested in hospital) + 532 (active case finding)]11 (in SQ)100,042 [57,789 in field hospital]389,932 (+1,020)18,799 (+44) (last seven days: 463)70,505,802 (+226,178) BKK:  14,620,573 (+ 12,180)28,372,531 (+96,366) BKK: 5,766,697 (+6,484) 

Politics

  • All eyes are on who will be the next main opposition Pheu Thai PM candidate. Despite the earlier reports that the name will be nominated at the Party annual convention on 28 October, but yesterday the Deputy head of the party said that the party will announce the name(s) when the House is dissolved or there have been confirmed election date.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Nida Poll has released its latest finding of the popularity of Pheu Thai Party in the Northeast–the party’s political stronghold.
    • The finding showed that 70.59% of the respondents said they voted for Pheu Thai Party; meanwhile, 29.41% showed that they have not voted for the party.
    • On whether the respondents will vote for Pheu Thai in the next election: 48.33 percent said they will definitely vote for the party, 37.12% said they remains unsure, and 12.35 percent said they will not vote for Pheu Thai.—Nida Poll
  • There has been a turbulence within the main-ruling Palang Pracharat Party as the party secretary-general has come up with an idea of conducting a popularity poll for its MP candidates:
    • Sources in the PPRP said that some of the MPs are concerned that this poll will legitimise the preferential treatment for MPs in the secretary-general clique. It is reported that Thammanat, the secretary-general, will focus on the Bangkok and Southern MPs as he believed that the MPs in the area won because of Prayut popularity. There will be a meeting for MPs recruitment committee on 26 October.—Krungthep Turakij
    • The aides to Captain Thammanat gave an interview confirming that the reports and said that the poll was done with the help of Dusit Poll and Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC). The MP said that the poll is not conducted in particular areas, but nationwide.—Inside Thailand
    • The government whip and PPRP MP said that the poll did not cultivate preferential treatment, but just to make sure that the party MP candidate will win the election.—Krungthep Turakij
    • The Deputy PM and party leader said, however, that he did not order the secretary-general to make the popularity poll. He said that the former MP candidate must have the priority in being nominated before the new candidate.–Matichon
  • Prachachat Turakij has published the political thoughts on various issues, including his take on the student-led protestor demands on monarchical reforms. Srettha Thavisin is believed to be one of the Pheu Thai PM candidates.—Prachachat Turakij
  • After being off public attention for quite some times, the student-led protest is calling for a major gathering at CBD Ratchaprasong Intersection on 31 October from 4.00pm. The organisers announced that there will be a signatory for the abolishment of royal defamation laws.–Matichon

Australia

Economic:

CPTPP

Foreign Ministry’s International Economic Policy Committee said it is preparing a letter of intent to be signed by its Chair, Foreign Minister Don, who supports Thailand to join the negotiation for CPTPP accession. The Committee met last Monday and instructed all related agencies to compile additional issues such as Thailand’s areas of concern, reservation list and transition period within 30-45 days.  Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, which serves as the Committee’s secretary, will compile these additional issues. These issues will be included in the negotiation framework for CPTPP, which upon completion will be filed for the cabinet’s approval. 

  • The Committee also urged related agencies to establish a remedial FTA fund to assist those affected by Thailand’s accession to the trade pact.  In the pipeline is also the plan to launch a public relations panel to tackle fake news and disseminate correct information on CPTPP.  Sources:  Bangkok Post   Krungthep Turakij

Others

  • The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has further eased the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio for mortgage lending to allow homebuyers to borrow loans of up to 100 percent in a bid to boost the property sector past Covid-19.  The temporary relaxation is effective as of 20 October 2021 until the end of 2022.  Banks are allowed to approve housing loans for borrowers of up to 10 percent of the total home value for all types of mortgage loan contracts.  Additionally, BOT also allows an LTV ratio of up to 110 percent with a combined mortgage loan and top-up loan for home decoration for a first home priced below 10 million Baht.  The LTV relaxation is expected to attract capital worth 9.8 percent of GDP into the Thai economy and create employment for 2.8 million people. Source:  Bangkok Post Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 22 October 2021

Last week the cabinet had approved of increasing funding for 4 government stimulus measures, namely:

  • Raising monthly stipends for state welfare cardholders and vulnerable groups by 300 Baht for November and December, totalling 600 Baht.  These stimulus measures are now in their 3rd phase
  • Approved additional 1,500 Baht fund of subsidies for participants of the government’s 3rd phase of the Khon La Krueng co-payment scheme for November and December 
  • Ying Chai Ying Dai tax rebate scheme will grant the maximum e-voucher of 10,000 Baht to participants who meet the 60,000 Baht spending criteria, effective from 1-30 November.  This is a 3,000 Baht addition to the previous limit set on the e-voucher of 7,000 Baht.  Source:  National News Bureau of Thailand fb page
  • The Excise Department was given the authority to not approve cigarette importers from selling the product at an unusually low price following changes in the tax structure since 1 October, which is expected to drive up the retail price of cigarettes.  The Excise Dept insists the new tax structure will curb both the sales of illegal cigarettes as well as disincentivise Thais to smoke and improve their health.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij 
  • Federation of Thai Industries anticipates car production to grow beyond the target of 1.6 million units this year as COvID-19 infection declines and semi-conductor shortage eases.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • A consortium led by Charoen Pokphand Group is set will take over the operations of Airport Rail Link (ARL) services today, according to the Department of Rail Transport (DRT).  AERA1, formerly known as Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports Co Ltd, is CP-led consortium that won the bid to build the high-speed rail linking 3 airports of Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao with a plan to completely take over the ARL’s operations this year.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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