Advance Blog

November 4, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 4 November 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
7,982 (144 from prisons); (excluding ATK 3,001)1,935,442 (last seven days: 58,451)2,181/ 4661,826,492 (+8,029)1,914,561            43,112,788 (+297,188) BKK: 8,475,174 (+3,401)2,495,219 (+27,092) BKK: 696,532 (+3,312)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Percentage of detection rate (past seven days)
7,972 [7,762 (get tested in hospital) + 66 (active case finding)]10 (in SQ)97,470 [55,099 in field hospital]402,425 (+827)19,462 (+68) (last seven days: 456)77,831,474 (+817,382) BKK:  15,600,813 (+ 76,166)                           32,223,467 (+ 493,102) BKK: 6,429,107 (+69,453)13.21%
  • The PM has returned from Glasgow and has got the Covid test right away, the result turned negative. He has thanked all related agencies on cooperation for the reopening of the Kingdom.—Thai Rath
  • It is expected that the Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin will propose at the weekly cabinet meeting to procure 2 million tablets (equal to 50,000 courses) of molnupiravir to be used in conjunction with favipiravir to treat Covid-19.—Krungthep Turakij

Politics

  • The PM Prayut speech on COP 26 has been criticised for being very similar, if not the same expression, to that of former US President Obama. The PM said he does not take the criticism seriously as it is possible that leaders may think alike and he has already consulted with the MFA on this.—Prachachat Turakij
  • After the government whip has to stop his representative status due to a court sentence, it is expected that the PM will head the cabinet meeting with an agenda to nominate the new government whip with five PPRP MPs.—Prachachat Turakij
  • As there have been more local elections coming up and that it is unconstitutional for political parties to assist in the election, the Deputy PM and government legal pundit Wissanu hinted that there will be an amendment before the upcoming Bangkok governor election. The legal pundit said that the motion to amend the regulation could be expedited in the House.–Matichon
  • The freshly appointed main opposition Pheu Thai Party gave an interview on the flip flops of Pheu Thai Party stances saying that despite its chief strategist statement to amend lese majeste law, the party will not propose the amendment. Dr Chonlanan said that if student-led protestors proposed the amendment motion, the party will facilitate the motion.—Inside Thailand
    • On Wednesday, the Party leader held a press conference on behalf of the Opposition that the motion to amend the royal defamation law will be up to each party and any individual MP to propose. He underlined that Pheu Thai Party will not take the lead in collecting names or propose an amendment of Article 112, rather the party will act as a mediator in introducing the problems to the House.–Matichon
  • After returning from the COP26 summit, the PM announced that the government will not amend the royal defamation laws. The PM said he spoke on behalf of the coalition that the ruling parties will not amend the law as it is a matter of national security. The PM said some politicians should not destruct what Thai people revere.—Krungthep Turakij
  • So far, the parties stances on amending Article 112 has been as followed:
Parties Stances
GovernmentPrime MinisterAgainst
Pheu ThaiChief StrategistFor
 CARE Group (Think Tank)For
 ThaksinAgainst
Palang PracharatParty leader (Prawit Wongsuwan)Against
 Party leader advisor (Pirapan Salirathavibhaga)Against
BhumjaithaiParty leaderAgainst
Chatthai PattanaMP and Party directorAgainst
Move ForwardSecretary-generalFor
Progressive MovementSecretary-generalAbolish
Seri RuamthaiParty leaderFor
DemocratParty leaderAgainst
KlaSecretary-generalAgainst

Economic:

At the seminar Boost Up Thailand 2022, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong forecasted Thailand’s GDP could grow by 5-6 percent next year since the economy has already passed the lowest point.

  • DPM Supattanapong confirmed the package to promote Electric Vehicles (EV) will be finalised within next month (December) and will be subsequently presented to the cabinet.  This will ensure Thailand can become the centre of production for all types of vehicles.  It will also correspond with Thailand’s policies to promote clean energy following PM Prayut’s announcement at the 26th UNFCCC: COP that Thailand will achieve net zero emission by 2065.
  • He announced that the value of Thailand’s investment application through the BOI in the first 9 months of 2021 had tallied 520 billion Baht, which doubled from the 210 billion Baht reported during the same period in 2020.  He forecasted that at the end of this year, investment application will reach 600 billion Baht, which is close to the 2019 value of 756 billion Baht.  He attributed this to the relocation of factories, which is incentivised by net zero emission.
  • In the next 3 years, he expects Thailand to be the largest bio-plastic investment base in the world.  This is already taking shape through a foreign investment in the bio-complex industrial estate in Nakhon Sawan province, which is set to kick off next year.  Source  Prachachat Turakij   Bangkok Post

Experts have called on the government to find new ways to subsidise diesel prices, target only specific groups of customers for help and end the current blanket subsidy for all motorists.  The government is promoting EVs through tax and non-tax incentives, to be rolled out in December.  Permanent Secretary of the Energy Ministry, Kulrit Sombatsiri, said the EV policy will add a new financial burden on the government.  Source:  Bangkok Post

PM Prayut has instructed all government agencies to seek new ways of working to revamp Thailand’s image.  As such, the TAT is promoting Thai tourism in 2022 through the theme Amazing Thailand, Amazing New Chapters to promote the new normal COVID-19 standards.  It also reported that a total of 4,150 tourists have travelled into Thailand, with 3 infected cases through the Test and Go scheme and 3 cases from the 7-10-day quarantine.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 4 November 2021

Australia

Australia and New Zealand announced that both countries had ratified RCEP on 2 October.  Australia also announced that the world’s biggest free trade agreement will come into effect on 1 January, given that RCEP will come into effect 60 days after ratification by at least 6 ASEAN states and at least 3 non-ASEAN states.  Sources:  Daily News  Post Today

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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