Advance Blog

March 9, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 3 March 2022

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollHospitalised/ intensive care patients
18,943 Domestic +21,060 Abroad+1023,066,800 ( since 2020)                      69224,328
Total vaccination1st dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 7 March )2nd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 7 March)3rd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 7 March )
125,036,572 (+120,488)53,867,360 (+35,115 yesterday)     77.6 %49,878,379 (+13,535 yesterday)     71.7 %21,174,324 (+71,838 yesterday)     30.4%

        Sources : Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and Department of Control 

Covid-19 and change regulation

  • Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha ,summoned Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang to inquire about public complaints that they are unable to seek Covid-19 treatment in the capital  TheNation 
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, said that Covid-19 in Thailand continues downward trend as l recovery numbers are more than infection case .Further, he added the cabinet today sets to approve the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients (UCEP) Plus scheme , in which Patients can seek treatment at any medical institution for three days under the UCEP scheme, after which they will be sent to a hospital that is registered with their state welfare and/or health insurance scheme. Mathichon

Politics

Censure Motion

  • The Opposition bloc expects to file a censure motion against the government right away after the Parliament reopens for a new session on May 22.
  • The move is to prevent Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from dissolving the Parliament, according to opposition leader Dr Chonlanan Srikaew,  who is Pheu Thai party leader.
  • So far, he instructed all opposition parties to compile information in preparation for the censure motion to be submitted to parliament in May. He expects them to come up with issues and questions and discuss them during meetings of the Opposition which will be held every 2 weeks.
  • Additionally, The opposition will determine the timeline for the planned censure debate based on factors like the deliberation of 2 organic laws on the election of MPs and the political parties as well as the budget bill for the 2023 fiscal year – tentatively scheduled for its 1st reading in the House during June 1-2
  • Meanwhile,  Phumtham Wechayachai, an adviser to the leader of Pheu Thai Party,  , the government has no legitimacy to stay in office to lay out the 2023 budget bill. v Phumtham said he is hoping that the Opposition will bring a censure motion before August when Gen Prayut meets the 8-year tenure cap outlined in the 2017 charter.

Khaosod Thaipost Mathichon

Bangkok and Pattaya elections

  • After nearly 9 years after the local election took place ,the Cabinet sets to approve the planned elections for the Bangkok and Pattaya city’s Governors.  
  • April 11-15  –  The  candidates submit their names for the elections
  • May 29 – Bangkok Governor Elections
  • May 30 – Results to be announced
  • July 28 – Official results announcement  
  •  NationTV
  • The leader of the coalition Palang Pracharat party (PPRP) is also set to announce its stance on who it will support for the Bangkok governor as the party like Phue Thai party has decided not to send a candidate to contest the Bangkok governor elections after the party purposed Sokonthee Phatthiyakulm deputy Bangkok governor who announced yesterday he would join the candidacy with ‘ liberal ‘ stance Thairath

Government’s dinner meeting

  • Several local news outlets state that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has invited key leaders of the coalition parties for a dinner meeting at the Ratchapruek Club, Bangkok at 18.00 hrs today. The list are as follows;
  • Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, as the Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) leade
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, as the Bhumjai Thai Party leader
  • Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, Bhumjai Thai’s secretary-general
  • Natural Resources and Environment Minister Warawut Silpa-archa, as the Chart Thai Pattana Party leader
  • Deputy Agriculture Minister Prapat Pothasuthon, as Chart Thai Pattana secretary-general
  • Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, as the Democrat Party leader

NOTES : Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on, as the Democrat Party’s secretary-general, will not attend the event as he is engaged in other mission   Mathichon

Other news

  • Tourism Minister said that there are around 7,000 Ukrainian and Russians pending in Thailand as they can’t proceed their finance after the credit cards are suspended due to Russia-Ukraine conflict Mathichon

Economic news:

  • Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said Thailand is facing a shortage of some 700,000 labourers.  It urges the government to quickly sign MoUs to import labourers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.  It advised authorities to establish a program for migrant workers similar to tourism’s ‘Test & Go’ scheme r to reduce or remove quarantine requirements.  Source:  Thai Public Relations Department news
  • Starting from April, the prices of instant noodles will be increasing by 15-18 Baht per box due to the inflation that has pushed up their production cost.   Manufacturers are asking Commerce Ministry to lift the price ceiling since instant noodles are MoC’s price-controlled items.  Retail prices of milk and condensed milk will also go up by 2 Baht per can as the price of the tinplate used to produce cans rise.  Prices are expected to go up for more commodities, partly as a result of Commerce Ministry’s anti-dumping measures on BOPP film, which is used in the manufacturing of packages for 100 household items such as instant noodles, candies, drinks and medications.  Source:  Thai Rath
  • Commerce Ministry is urging Thai government agencies and entrepreneurs alike to prepare for the launch of China’s Hainan Free Trade Port in year 2025.  The Hainan Free Trade Port will establish its own set of rules and regulations that will present new opportunities for Thai exports as well as tourism.  Source:  Manager Online
  • Commerce Ministry has officially jumpstarted its APEC chairmanship with the 1st APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting, held from 14-25 February 2022.  Among the key discussions include market access, service, trade and investment; WTO trade facilitation and elimination of tariffs for IT and sustainable items; WTO reforms; promoting BCG policies and brainstorming for the implementation of FTAAP.  Source:  Department of Trade Negotiations
  • Investor confidence in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) over the next 3 months rose on expectations of further foreign fund inflows, despite concerns about the Ukraine crisis that caused share index to temporarily plunge and US monetary tightening, according to a survey conducted by the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO).  Foreign investors’ confidence jumped by 186 percent to the “bullish zone,” also buoyed by Thailand’s economic recovery and reopening. Source:  Bangkok Post
  • FETCO anticipates that foreign fund flow will continue its influx into SET throughout 2022.  This is because the Thai capital market is perceived as a safe haven amidst the Russian-Ukraine crisis, given Thailand’s low reliance on Russia for trade and tourism.  Foreign investors have bought about a net 84 billion Baht of Thai shares from January-February 2022, which is considered massive.  From 1-7 March, the fund flow already tallied about 4 billion Baht, surpassing FETCO’s forecast.  Source: Krungthep Turakij
  • Ministry of Industry is currently conducting an analysis to develop Thailand into a Biorefinery hub in a move to add value to Thailand’s agricultural sector, which is also in line with the government’s BCG economy.  The analysis reveals that Thailand has high potential in developing amino acid derived from sugarcane and tapioca into food supplement as well as bio-lubricant derived from palm oil.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij
  • Domestic oil prices have increased by around 4 Baht per litre on Russia-Ukraine conflict, putting a greater burden on the state Oil Fuel Fund, which caps diesel prices at below 30 Baht per litre.  Local oil trader Susco said the government has 2 choices; either borrow more money to continue price subsidies or allow retail oil prices to slightly increase, putting them more in line with global prices.  The latter would help reduce the government’s financial burden and help local oil retailers better cope with the ongoing price spike, in which global oil price could soar to USD150 per barrel.  The Federation of Thai Industries earlier suggested the government seek an additional loan of 1 trillion Baht to support the Oil Fuel Fund and its packages.  Source: Bangkok Post

NESDC said the government should pay more attention to metaverse development as a technology to rehabilitate the Thai economy.  It suggested the government to support Thais and businesses to have metaverse access because of the high cost of access equipment.  Moreover, Thais need to be upskilled with digital skills.  The number of IT professionals in Thailand is still limited and therefore unable to meet the growing demands of this field.  Source:  Bangkok Post

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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