Advance Blog

April 27, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 27 April 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesSevere conditionsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
2,17959,687628 cases33,551 (at 56.21%)30,8241,012,388
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollAccumulated cases from active case finding2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
2,174 [2,149 (get tested in hospital) + 25 (active case finding)] 5 (in SQ) 25,973 [5,365 in field hospital]10,069 (+993)163 (+15)21,732214,644
  • Yesterday, the Bangkok Governor and Metropolitan Police fined PM Prayut for not wearing a face mask when he was spotted leading a meeting at the Government House without any personal protective gear.–Reuters and all media outlet
  • As of now, there have been more than 50 provinces in Thailand, including Bangkok which have imposed restrictions for everyone to wear face masks at all time when in public. Offenders are liable to a fine up to 20,000 THB.—Tourism Authority of Thailand
  • Yesterday, the CCSA deputy spokesperson said in the daily press briefing that on Thursday, there will be a revision of the area of restrictions to escalating six provinces (Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Chiang Mai and Chonburi) to be maximum and strict control areas (formerly maximum control area). Under the new proposed scheme, there will be 55 provinces under maximum control areas and 16 provinces under control areas.–ThaiPBS, Thai Rath
  • Deputy PM and Energy Minister Suppatanapong is confident that the government could take control of the pandemic situation within two weeks. And affirmed that the scheme to reopen for international tourists in July remains in place.—Thai Rath
  • The secretary-general of the Interior Ministry has issued a new order to Bangkok-adjacent Samut Sakhon province to set up field hospitals capable of hosting 500 patients (from Bangkok).—Krungthep Turakij

Politics

  • Suan Dusit Poll released the latest study on the government handling of the pandemic which shows that 67.82% of the respondents do not believe that the government can curb the third wave. And 70.51 percent of the people believe that this third wave is the most severe.—Suan Dusit Poll
  • The unity of the coalition is under a big pressure on all fronts:
    • Regarding the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) and Democrat Party, the designation of ministers to oversight a big budget to mobilise the economy still cause conflicts.
      • Democrat leader Jurin came out to say that the third largest ruling party does not satisfy with the PM order to designate Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat to look after some Democrat political capitals in the South. Democrat leader also raised questions why the PPRP ministers were assigned to their constituencies, but Democrat ministers were assigned to provinces that they have no connection with and he hoped “the issue to be resolved soon to prevent this conflict to worsen.”–Prachachat
      • This is seen by a columnist as the first act of defiant of Jurin against the PM.—Thai Rath
    • The handling of COVID-19 has caused the PPRP and second largest Bhumjaithai Party.
      • Bhumjaithai leader and Public Health Minister Anutin has been under great pressure to be the target of a campaign of Change.org to drive the minister out for the failure in curbing the third wave of the pandemic. [As of now, there have been 200,000 users signed the petition].—Change.org
      • The Minister posted on his social media saying that he is working under the direction of the Prime Minister who is concurrently the director of CCSA. He said the pandemic control has been under the PM direction since last year, not the Public Health Ministry under his control.—Krungthep Turakij
      • Bhumjaithai Party Registrar came out to hit the PM for keeping on using the Emergency Decree and the CCSA which exclude the politicians to be part of the pandemic control since inception. Mr Suphachai said that the PM is viewing the virus as the traditional security threat, which is different from the successful pandemic control back in the 2000s.—Krungthep Turakij
    • Deputy leader and a main figure of the main Opposition Pheu Thai Party came out to dismiss the rumour that the party will join the coalition should Bhumjaithai or Democrat pull out of the coalition.—Thai Rath

Australia

Economic:

Export

  • Thailand’s export value in March 2021 hit a record high of 24.2 billion USD, expanding by an impressive 8.47 percent YoY.  This is the second executive month of growth and also the highest in 28 months since Nov 2018.  Excluding oil, gold and weaponry, real export had increased by 11.97 percent while import grew by 14.12 percent ( 23.5 billion USD in value), with a trade surplus of 710.80 million USD.  As such, Commerce Minister Jurin expects the 2021 export to exceed his original forecast of 4 percent, noting that the current COVID-19 resurgence did not affect export much since it has little impacts on factories or labourers.  The growth in March was driven by higher export of cars and components, steel, rubber products, electronic appliances and PPE gear.  Overall, export grew by 2.27 percent in Q1 of 2021, real export by 7.61 percent and import by 9.37 percent.  This leaves a trade surplus of 515.66 million USD for Q1 of 2021.  Sources:  Prachachart Turakij Bangkok Post MoC Press Release
  • The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) projects that Thai food export will grow in value by 5-7 percent to reach 1 trillion Baht as COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues.  FTI aims for Thailand to focus on manufacturing high value added products and premium food that will fetch higher profit margin.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Tourism

  • Due to the third wave of COVID-19 outbreak, the government has slashed its forecast for the 2021 international visitor figures to 3-4 million from 6 million as well as the revenue target to 850 billion Baht from 1.218 trillion Baht.  Of the 850 billion Baht forecasted revenue, 550 billion Baht would be from domestic market and 300 billion from foreigners.  Source: Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Minister Jurin reiterated that the tourism Phuket sandbox scheme can still kick off on 1 July as planned.  The key success factor is that the vaccine must be rolled out quickly enough to inoculate 70 percent of the Phuket residents by the end of June.  The Thai Chamber of Commerce is ready to support the government achieve this endeavour.  Source:  ThaiPBS World
  • Hua Hin is ready to take after the Phuket sandbox model and open to vaccinated tourists without quarantine requirements in October through the ‘Hua Hin Recharge’ campaign.  This means inoculations in Hua Hin, set at 353498 doses, must start from June 1 until Sept 30.  If successful, the campaign could attract some 100,000 international tourists. Hua Hin Recharge will be officially proposed to the National Tourism Policy Committee’s meeting on May 6.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Ease of Doing Business

  • In February, the government established an ad hoc committee to revise investment privileges, regulations and work permits to better facilitate foreign investment into Thailand.  Headed by ML Chayothid Kridakorn, who is also an adviser to DPM Supattanapong, the committee will finalise new investment privileges in 60 days and submit them to PM Prayut and CESA.  ML Chayothid warned that Thailand’s competitiveness will lag behind Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia if ease of doing business issues are not tackled soon.  Source: Bangkok Post

Others

  • Ministry of Finance affirmed that it has up to 300 billion Baht to stimulate the economy through a roster of packages, to be implemented in June.  Of this figure, 240 billion Baht is available (remaining from the 1-trillion-Baht loan) and the rest is from the government’s budget.  Among the packages is one that will incentivise people to spend their savings, because the supply of savings had increased significantly by 500 – 600 billion Baht or equivalent to 3 percent of GDP.  If half of this amount could be converted into domestic consumption, it could boost GDP growth by 1 percent and might propel the Thai economy to grow by 4 percent.  Sources:   Manager Online Naew Na  Bangkok Post
  • The Japan Credit Rating (JCR) Agency has maintained Thailand’s credit-rating at A- with a stable outlook, despite the economy facing serious impacts from Covid-19.  The rating is maintained as the Thai government had launched a 1.9-trillion Baht fiscal package since Q2 of 2020, while its public debt to GDP remained below the 60 percent ceiling and the banking sector remained sound.  JCR expects Thailand’s GDP to grow by 3 percent in 2021 following a -6 percent contraction last year.  Source:  Bangkok Post The Nation
  • Evlomo Inc, a US-based company specialising in Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Thailand’s Rojana Industrial Park invested USD 1.06 billion (33.3 billion Baht) to establish an 8-gigawatt battery energy storage project in Chon Buri province.  The joint venture is 55 percent held by the Rojana and 45 percent by Evlomo.  The Eastern Economic Corridor Office expects the JV to transform Nong Yai into an EV manufacturing hub in ASEAN.  Construction is to be completed in 18-24 months and is expected to create 3,000 jobs.  Source:  Bangkok 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