Advance Blog

July 3, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 3 July 2020

News  

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today Thailand reports a newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,180 cases. Out of the total number, 3,066 have been discharged from hospital (or at 96.42%); 56 are being hospitalised. The death toll is at 58. The new case arrived from Bahrain and have been in state quarantine. This is the 39th consecutive day that there is no local transmission in Thailand. 
    • The spokesperson of CCSA said that the centre concerns that the long weekend between 4-7 July could lead to the 2nd wave of COVID-19 transmission.
    • Meanwhile, the highway authority has granted a free access for people using “motorway” in the upcoming long weekend.
    • Attention is now focusing on when the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will allow contact sports like boxing and football to resume after night entertainment venues opened their doors in the fifth phase of lockdown easing. The Minister of Public Health gave an interview that the CCSA is looking into it.

Politics

  • The main opposition Pheu Thai Party will field a former candidate, to contest the upcoming by-election in Samut Prakan’s Constituency 5. Meanwhile, the Move Forward Party also announced that the party will file the candidate to fill in the vacancy. Earlier the two parties are reportedly in an agreement not to compete each other in the by-election.–all media outlet

Business:

CPTPP Seminar organised by Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB), 2 July 2020

  • Speaking at the seminar, Mr Hugh Robilliard, Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, said CPTPP has enabled the Australian economy to expand to trade with countries that it has no previous FTAs with, such as Canada and Mexico.  While it is not yet evident if CPTPP has helped Australia’s trade and investment to grow within the past year, Australia expects to see growth in the ensuing period.  Australia congratulates Thailand for considering negotiating the CPTPP.  Mr Robilliard stresses the importance of the Thai government being open to opinions from all sectors, which will lead to public acceptance of Thailand’s accession.  Source:  https://www.naewna.com/business/503011
  • Kalin Sarasin, President of Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the Japanese Chamber of Commerce supports Thailand to join CPTPP.  CPTPP could incentivise Japanese businesses to invest in Thailand, otherwise Japan may relocate its investment to Vietnam.  Japan sees Vietnam, a CPTPP member, as Thailand’s replacement.  To this end, TCC urges the Thai government to quickly decide if it will join CPTPP.  Kalin added that if Thailand were to apply for accession next year, the negotiations could be more difficult as it will not be a founding member.  It will have to negotiate with more member countries – totalling 11 rather than 7 countries.  Source: https://mgronline.com/daily/detail/9630000068247
  • Government’s Remedial Payment
    • The 1.14 million holders of state-welfare cards will each receive 3,000 Baht as remedial payment on 4 July through an e-wallet system.  Additionally, ‘vulnerable’ groups of people (newborns, elderly and disabled) will also receive 3,000 Baht each as remedial payment within July.  These recipients received no previous assistance from the government, with the 3,000 Baht being an accumulation of 3 months worth of payment (1,000 Baht each from May to July).  Source:  http://www.mof.go.th, Thai Government fb page, 3 July 2020

Others

  • The government confirms that the major EEC infrastructure projects remain on course, namely 1) the hi-speed train linking 3 airports, which is slated to open in year 2024-2025; 2) U-Tapao and Eastern Aviation City, Phase 1 in 2025; 3) Laem Chabang port Phase 3 in 2025 and 4) MRO at U-Tapao airport in 2023.  Source:  National News Bureau fb page, 3 July
  • DPM Somkid ordered relevant authorities to establish a new mechanism that will enable aviation, tourism and hotel operators to keep employees on payroll.  This may include the Bank of Thailand’s soft loan being extended to SMEs with credit line exceeding 500 million Baht if they keep employees on their payroll.  DPM Somkid also ordered the Bank of Thailand to extend debt relief scheme to support businesses and individuals who are affected by the pandemic.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1945032/somkid-rustles-up-larger-sme-loans
  • PM Prayut has ordered the economic cabinet to meet every two weeks to address economic rehabilitation endeavours in the next 6-12 months.  DPM Somkid assigned related agencies to prepare additional 100 billion Baht worth of packages for implementing economic rehabilitation plans.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1944944/economic-cabinet-told-to-meet-every-2-weeks
  • Consumer Confidence Index picked up in June for the second straight month, boosted by business reopening and the government’s stimulus measures, according to Thai Chamber of Commerce University.  Despite the surge, the index remains at historically low since October 1998.  The University also forecasts the Thai economy will shrink by 8-10 percent this year.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1944884/june-sees-consumer-sentiment-recovery-albeit-to-still-low-level
  • Hotel businesses will be exempted from paying an annual fee to the government until 2022 to reduce their burden in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.  The announcement was published in The Royal Gazette and is effective from 1 July 2020 – 30 June, 2022.  Source:  https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30390649
  • DPM Somkid urges US investors to develop a Silicon Valley-like centre for global start-ups and tech firms in the EEC zone, for which special investment packages will be devised.  DPM Somkid also markets Thailand as the most appropriate location for the US’s investment and supply chain development in Southeast Asia.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1944952/govt-wants-to-attract-us-tech-firms

 Australia

  • Australia, the US and UK responded to the passing of Hong Kong security law by China. PM Morrison said the Australian cabinet is preparing to allow Hong Kong to settle in Australia.—Matichon
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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