Advance Blog

June 30, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 30 June 2020

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today Thailand reports two newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,171 cases. Out of the total number, 3,056 have been discharged from hospital (or at 96.37%); 57 are being hospitalised. The death toll is still at 58. The new cases arrived from Qatar and have been in state quarantine. This is the 36th consecutive days that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
    • Today, the cabinet will make a decision whether to approve the proposal by the CCSA to extend the state of emergency until 31 July.
    • The PM defended the extension of the emergency decree yesterday by citing that the 5th phase of restriction easing are for those businesses which are at “high-risk”, so the decree is needed for coordination of the authorities. He denied the allegation that the decree is used for political gains.  
    • The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has issued its order allowing six groups of foreigners to be allowed to enter Thailand:
      • Those who hold work permits, including their spouse or children
      • Those who are spouses, parents or children of a Thai national
      • Those who hold a valid certificate of residence, or permission to take up residence in Thailand
      • Those seeking medical treatment and their attendants, excluding COVID-19 treatment
      • Foreign students & their parents/ guardians
      • Those who are granted special permission ( e.g. guests of the government / investors)
    • Chinese chargé d’affaires presented face masks and medical kits from the Chinese government to PM Prayut at the

Politics

  • In the first appearance after nominated as the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) leader on Saturday, Deputy PM Prawit just answered the media on what would be the prospect of the “Fantastic 4” groups under Deputy PM Somkid wing who just lost their leadership roles in the party. The PPRP leader said “let me see how they can contribute to the party”. He told the media that there is no contacts from the group about its resignation.
  • DPM Somkid spoke at a venue about SMEs policy but made a comment about the recent dissolution of the Parliament in Singapore. He said that Singaporean government sees the upcoming recession storm is coming, that’s why they dissolve the parliament to elect a new effective government.—all media outlet
  • Government spokesperson turned down the news report on her prospective role as the leader of the economic team in the PPRP. She also dismissed rumours of strained relations between the party’s new leadership and the government’s economic team headed by DPM Somkid.—all media outlet

Business:

CPTPP

  • Department of Trade Negotiation’s Director-General Auramon supports for Thailand to join the CPTPP negotiation.  She reasons that Thailand could negotiate for a transition period on clauses it deem sensitive; an arrangement similarly adopted by existing members.  If this is not possible and Thailand appears to be at a disadvantage, Thailand could always withdraw from the negotiation process.  For example, Malaysia and Mexico asked for a 4-year transition period before they join the UPOV clause.  https://www.thansettakij.com/content/439556

Tourism

  • Tourism and Sports Ministry is working with designated destinations to accommodate tourists under the travel bubble scheme, with the hope that tourism can resume in August.  The tourist quota set for each destination depends on the healthcare capacity of each province, with five destinations in southern Thailand eyed for pilot projects.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1942996/august-targeted-for-beach-holidays
  • Bangkok Dusit Medical Services has entered into an agreement with China-based Ping An Health Insurance to tap the lucrative Chinese medical tourist market.  Through this diversification, BDMS expects to attract 1,000-4,000 Chinese patients per year, generating 1-2 billion baht once travel returns to normal.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1943012/bdms-ping-an-health-ink-agreement

Aviation

  • NookScoot is shutting down its business due to the impacts of the pandemic and will leave 450 staff unemployed.  However, its closure is unlikely to have significant repercussions on the domestic aviation industry. The budget airline is a joint venture between Singapore-based Scoot and SET-listed Nok Airlines Plc.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1942992/industry-unfazed-by-nokscoot-closure

Others

  • Huawei Technologies Thailand said Thailand is a 5G technology leader in ASEAN because it is an early adopter.  Tourism and healthcare are expected to benefit most from 5G, with telemedicine already put to good use in the past month to diagnose suspected Covid-19 infections.  The 5G could be used to promote tourism, such as organising multimedia tours and smart farms.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1943044/5g-a-boon-for-tourism-healthcare
  • Freelance workers and labourers ages between 60-65 years can now contribute to Social Security Fund under Section 40, effective from 24 June onward.  They can choose to contribute based on 3 schemes; 70 Baht, 100 Baht or 300 Baht contributions monthly.  Source:  National News Bureau fb page, 30 June 2020
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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