Advance Blog

March 5, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 5 March 2021


  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesProvinces with confirmed casesDischarged from hospitalFrom 15 Dec, totally confirmed cases
7926,2416325,641 (at 97.71%)22,004
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollAccumulated cases from active case finding
65 [22 (get tested in hospital) + 43 (active case finding)] 14 (in SQ) 515983 (+6)85 (+1)14,616


  • In response to the violent crackdown in Myanmar, Thai MFA has arranged a relief flight to help evacuate Thais on 16 March.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The Constitutional Court has issued a press release saying that the court will make a verdict on 11 March from 9.30am whether the Parliament has the authority to amend the Constitution and set up the Constitutional Drafting Assembly. The Parliament is scheduled to vote for the third reading of the motion on 17 March.–Prachachat
  • The drums are beating up for the upcoming protests on Saturday, as of now there will be at least four gatherings:
    • ReDem has voted in their Telegram group that the meeting on Saturday will be a march from Lad Prao intersection to the Criminal Court in central Bangkok from 5pm to 8pm. The theme of the protest is to dumb rubbish in front of the court.
    • Former red-shirt protestors will gather at Lotus mall in Rangsit before marching to Infantry 11th Regiment.—Naew Na
    • A long march led by a protest leader Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa will walk from suburb Rangsit to Bang Kaen intersection.
    • A royalist ‘Vocational Students for Monarchy’ is scheduled to gather at CBD Central World Department Store this Sunday.—Daily News
  • In a related gathering, Sulak Sivaraksa, prominent social critique joined the ‘เดินทะลุฟ้า’ (Walk through the heaven), a long march from the North-eastern province of Khon Kaen to Bangkok. The march started from 16 February and reach the suburb of Bangkok yesterday. The march will stop at Rangsit and will walk from Rangsit to Bang Kaen intersection on Saturday and will continue to the Democracy Monument on Sunday.–Matichon
  • The prison governor of Bangkok Klong Prem Central Prison was transferred to be hang as a Correction Department ombudsman (reportedly inactive post) for the incident of the King portrait in front of the prison burned down.–ThaiPBS
  • This weekend there will be a by-election in the Southern province of Nakhon Sri Thammarat. The constituency is the stronghold of Coalition Democrat Party. This will be a competition of four parties, including the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party.
    • The leaders of Democrat Party, including former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva also went down South to help the campaign.—Thai Rath
    • Deputy PM and Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwan is scheduled to be in the province today.—National News Bureau of Thailand
    • A media reports that considering DPM Prawit will go down to the by-election constituency for the first time, even though there has been many by-elections with Prawit absence, this weekend election is going to be a high-stake for PPRP and Democrat parties.—Krungthep Turakij
  • On the issue of the Cabinet Reshuffle, the PM came out to say yesterday that there will not be an ‘outsider’ (people outside of the Coalition parties) to fill in the vacant portfolio. The PM has asked coalition parties to haste the nomination process by the end of March and will present to the King for endorsement.–Manager, Thai Rath
  • After social media platform giant Facebook targeted Royal Thai Army for its involvement in online Information Operation (IO) against dissents in Bangkok politics and in Muslim-majority Southern Thailand, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) spokesperson said the ISOC as an organisation did not involve in the operations, rather those accounts were personal accounts.—Thai Rath
    • ISOC spokesperson said “ISOC also doesn’t engage in operations as reported in the news. We act as a centre for coordination to provide relief and refuge to the people.”  Facebook has suspended 77 accounts, 72 pages and 18 groups on Facebook and 18 accounts on Instagram linked to the Thai military and targeted audiences in the southern provinces of Thailand.–Reuters


  • DPM Supttanapong expects foreign investment to fully recover in 2022 as his focus for 2021 will be on nursing the domestic economy.  DPM Supattanapong and DPM Wissanu will both be hands-on in rolling out pilot plans on regulation reform and improving the ease of doing business.  Also addressed will be other obstacles to foreign investment such as immigration, visa applications, smart visa renewal and Customs procedures.  He also eyes slashing corporate income tax for foreign investors as per JFCCT’s recommendation to make Thailand more competitive against Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.
  • DPM Supattanapong remained confident the economy will grow by 4 percent in 2021 despite the JSCCIB’s forecast that growth will span 1-3 percent.  The DPM thinks 2021 economy will be driven by export, domestic consumption and domestic tourism.  He expects domestic revenue this year to rebound to the 2019 pre-COVID-19 level of 1 trillion Baht.
  • Tourism and Sports Ministry is considering launching Phase 3 of the domestic tourism program Rao Tiew Duay Gun, which will offer 2 million additional rights until July 2021.  MoST will submit it for the cabinet’s consideration next week. Source: Krungthep Turakij Bangkok Post
  • Thailand’s export of fresh fruits increased by 15.4 percent to total 104 billion Baht in 2020, which is at odds with the -6 percent contraction in Thailand’s overall export.  This is attributable to Thailand’s reputable and high-quality agricultural produce.  Another reason is the synergy between the Agriculture and Commerce Ministries that helped the private sector to penetrate new markets through online and offline channels.  Source:  Thai Government website Manager Online
  • The Investor Confidence Index survey conducted by Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO) for the upcoming period of March – May 2021 saw the index surging by 14.8 percent as investors maintain brighter economic outlook following the vaccine distribution.  Foreign investors also expect that more fund inflows will head to Thailand, resulting in foreign investors’ confidence index in the Thai capital market hitting an all-time-high (since the launch of this survey in 2014), with the index surging by 40 percent MoM.  Segments that are of interest to investors are tourism and leisure, followed by banking and energy.  Sources:  Krungthep Turakij Bangkok Post
  • Government spokesperson Anucha said reviving the economy remains the government’s top priority for the rest of this term, with its series of domestic stimulus measures set to kick into high gear.  In addition to supplying public updates on the nation’s Covid-19 situation, his public relations team has been putting out information about Thailand’s ongoing reforms and its strategy to transition to a Bio-Circular Green Economy model.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Countries such as China, Thailand and Australia halted the coronavirus within their borders by shutting off entry to outsiders and aggressively quashing infections that slipped in.  But that success made it less urgent for many Asian countries to quickly vaccinate their citizens and they won’t reach herd immunity until 2022, far behind the US and Europe, said Goldman Sachs.  Thailand, where up to 20 percent of the economy was tied to tourism, is likely to be one of the worst sufferers from closed borders.  NESDC has repeatedly slashed forecasts for 2021 economic growth and now predicts that foreign visitor number this year will be 3.2 million, less than a tenth of the 2019 total.  To reach that, it expects that 50 percent of the Thai population will be vaccinated by the end of 2021 – an assumption some experts think is optimistic.  In Phuket, businesses are urging the Thai government to let them pay privately to vaccinate hotel, restaurant and tourism workers so they can let in foreign visitors.  Otherwise, Phuket likely won’t reach herd immunity for at least another 1.5 years- an untenable situation, said Phuket Tourist Association.  Source:  Wall Street Journal
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