Advance Blog

November 30, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 30 November 2020

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesDischarged from hospital
+213,9983,803 (at 95.12%)
Local transmissionFrom aboardBeing hospitalisedDeath toll
019 (in ASQ) + 2 (illicit entry)13560
  • Over the weekend, Thailand witnessed the re-emergence of COVID-19 outbreak in Northern Chiang Mai. Two Thai ladies are tested positive after returning from Myanmar. An 29-year old lady is feared to be a super spreader as she had the record of travelling across provinces and to department stores.—all media outlet
  • In response to the COVID-19 emergence cases who could manage to cross borders into Thailand without any authority record or quarantine, Thai authorities are beefing up their surveillance and border protection to block illegal entry. The government spokesperson said the PM has stressed that anyone who is involved in these illegal entries will be prosecuted with no exception.—Royal Thai government


  • The student-led protest took the streets of Greater Bangkok to press for their three demands.:
    • On Friday, 27 November protestors occupied Lat Prao Intersection to prepare for anti-coup activism. Protest leaders called for ‘car-mob’ using personal cars to block the streets.—BBC Thai
    • On Saturday, 28 November, there were two minor protests at Bang na intersection in Eastern Bangkok and in Nonthaburi in Northern Bangkok.
    • On Sunday, 29 November, after witnessing tough barricade in front of the 1st Infantry Regiment, the protestors changed the venue to the 11th Infantry Regiment. The protestors claim that the rationale for the gathering is to bring back the two military units back to the control of the civilian government. Currently, the two main units are under the King’s command and control.–Reuters
    • The next gathering will be on 2 December at the Constitutional Court from 2.00pm to monitor the court’s verdict on the status of premiership and conflict of interest.
  • On virtual front, giant social media platform Twitter has suspended @jitarsa_school, the official account of the King’s own Royal Volunteers School, citing the account and tweets related to it a part of the information operation (IO).—The Sydney Morning Herald
    • Reuters made an analysis finding that more than 80% of the accounts following @jitarsa_school had also been created since the start of September. A sample of 4,600 of the recently created accounts showed that all they did was promote the royalist hashtags – an indication of the kind of activity that would not be associated with regular Twitter users.
    • Royalist group leader Warong Dechgitvigrom declined to comment on the account’s suspension, saying he was unaware of it. He told Reuters there were more pro-monarchy messages on Twitter because royalists increasingly recognised the need to counter protesters’ messages and had encouraged each another to join the platform.
  • There will be a lot of developments on the Parliament front this week
    • The Parliament is scheduled to debate on the referendum bill on 1 December as proposed by the government.
    • The government whip said that on the agenda of whether to send the Constitutional Amendment motion to the Constitutional Court; or not, the coalition will not provide a guideline, rather will be in ‘free-vote’ pattern. Democrat Party has indicated that they do not agree with the agenda.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Tomorrow will mark a significant day for student activism in Thailand as student nation-wide will dress in their ‘private’ costume, negating to wear their uniforms. This is a bid to reform the Thai educational system and to problematise the benefit of uniform. So far, the organisers said there have been students from 23 schools attending.–Matichon
  • Main figures of the protests went to Samran Rat Police Station to acknowledge the allegations of Article 112 lèse majesté. All protest leaders said they respect judicial system.—Nation TV


  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce submitted a white paper to PM Prayut on 29 November, which compiled a suite of economic stimulus measures put forth by the private sector for the post-COVID19 period.  The paper was presented to Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong following the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s 38th Annual Meeting.  Proposals included: launching a tourism stimulus package known as the Happy Model; sustainable management of water and natural resources; improve the rules, laws and regulations for foreign tourists, high-skilled labourers and entrepreneurs; allocate budget for National Digital Trading Platform; expedite the development of e-government system; establish a committee between the public and private sectors for FTA negotiations between Thailand-UK, EU, CPTPP; extend the co-payment domestic tourism package and soft loan for the hospitality industry.  Source:  Khaosod
  • At the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s 38th Annual Meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong expects 2021 to be a transitional year for Thailand to restructure its economy.  He said a restructuring plan is expected by Q1 of 2021, focusing on building up the local economy and attracting FDIs, notably in new industries related to medical services, food, the circular economy, biofuel or clean energy, smart electronics and electric vehicles.  He asked the Finance Ministry to improve the tax benefits to cover investment in the EEC and other areas nationwide, as well as to establish a central e-commerce platform similarly to Lazada.  He also anticipates that the Thai economy will rebound to normal level in 18 months.  He expected more investments will come to Thailand in Q1 or Q2 of next year, the case in point being US and Taiwanese investors who have shown interests in investing in Thailand to supply its products to China.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Prachachat Turakij
  • Thailand’s manufacturing production index (MPI) in October dipped by 0.54 percent YoY, but rose by 0.45 percent from September.  The Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) believse domestic industry is approaching its pre-outbreak momentum as monthly MPI has been rising since May.  The October increase is attributable to rising production in key areas such as electronics products (+6.7 percent), processed fruit (+20 percent) and vegetables, and steel (+9.19 percent).  Capacity utilisation in october was 63.2 percent, following September’s rate of 63.46 percent.   Meanwhile, car manufacturing dropped by -2.24 YoY; a smaller contraction from September.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) is preparing to launch a secondary market by July 2021 for the trade of government savings bonds.  Investors will be able to sell government savings bonds to financial institutions that distribute these bonds before the maturity date.  Banks will calculate their purchase price at a discounted rate.  This will be helpful for investors who hold government savings bonds but want to convert them into cash to increase their liquidity.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Finance Ministry announced via The Royal Gazette that Thailand’s outstanding public debt stands at 7.84 trillion Baht, or 49.34 percent of GDP as of 30 September.  Some 98.22 percent is domestic debt, while 139.39 billion Baht or 1.78 per cent, is overseas debt.  Sources:  The Nation Prachachart Turakij
  • PM Prayut has acknowledged Standard & Poor’s stable credit rating (BBB+) for Thailand and is confident the Thai economy will recover well next year.  The amount of public debts is not raising any concern because it is below the 60 percent ceiling and the ongoing political situations do not have significant impacts on national economic growth and the efficiency of the government. The Thai economy was likely to recover in the next few years.  Sources:  MCOT
The Australian Embassy Bangkok

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