Advance Blog

January 7, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 7 January 2021

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesAccumulated cases for active case finding among migrant workersDischarged from hospital
3059,6362,6844,521 (at 46.92%)
Local transmissionFrom abroadProvinces detected confirmed case(s)Death toll
193+109 (active case finding among migrant workers)3 (in SQ)5667 (+1 having cancer and got infected from his son who went to Rayong)

After the rumour is spreading that a canned tuna factory in Samut Sakhon has more than 900 COVID cases, the director-general of the Disease Control Department came out to confirm that out of more than 3,800 factory workers, the active case finding showed that there are 914 COVID infections (103 Thai workers; 811 migrant workers).—Inside Thailand

  • In the other seafood factory (the biggest in Thailand) in Samut Sakhon which have almost 28 thousands workers, the CEO gave an interview to a media that as of last night the factory has done more than 23 thousands and found 69 active cases among migrant workers (at 0.29 percent)—Inside Thailand
  • Yesterday, the Royal Gazette has published the PM order which signed off the new set of restriction in entering the ‘maximum with strictest control zone’ comprising of five provinces (Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Chantaburi, Rayong and Trat). The newest restriction includes the compulsory download of ‘Mor Chana’ application (the application traces users with GPS and Bluetooth systems) for people under the ‘maximum and strictest control zone’. For people in the zone wishing to leave the area, the checkpoint will ask for both the ID and documents issued by authority. The new order also outline penalty for violating the restrictions effective from today.—Ratchakitcha
  • Phuket communicable disease control committee has made a resolution to fine people who do not wear face mask when in public places as high as 20,000 THB and may be liable to one month of imprisonment or both.—Manager 

Politics

  • In defiant of the pandemic, the Thammasat and Demonstration Group is scheduled to call for a gathering in front of Thung Haha Men Police Station as many of the student-led protest main figures are to report themselves to the police on Article 112 charges from their protest in front of the German Embassy in Bangkok late last year.—Than Settakij

ASEAN/World

  • All Thai media outlets reported on the riots at the US Capitol when President Trump’s supporters stormed the Congress ceremony to certify the election result which President-elect Joe Biden won over President Donald Trump.

Australia

  • Thai media quoted AFP report on the Australian border force cracked down the riots on the temporary migrant shelter Christmas Island. The riot was, according to NGOs, from some immigrants who were displeased with the authority treatment, including the 22 hours of detention, unstable phone connection.—Khao Sod

Economic

  • According to Siam Commercial Bank’s survey, China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Thailand is expected to increase significantly post-COVID-19.  Of the 170 Chinese investors surveyed, some 66 percent said they plan to invest in Thailand over the next 2 years, of which 60 percent have never invested in Thailand.  The new perception is that Thailand is a strategic hub in ASEAN rather than a base for re-export.  Interested Chinese investors are also planning to invest on a smaller scale of 500 million Baht or less, whereas previously Chinese investments were on a much larger scale in industries such as vehicle tyres and solar panels.  Most are SMEs that want to diversify their production base as a result of the US-China Trade War.  Thailand proves attractive also because it joined RCEP and has sound infrastructure development plans.  Sources:  Daily News, 7 January 2021   Thai Rath Bangkok Post
  • The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee said that the new wave of COVID-19 infection in January 2021 is more severe than anticipated and will lead to subdued private consumption, services and tourism.  The 2021 GDP is anticipated to grow by 3.2 percent, down from its earlier projection of 3.6 percent as the country faces numerous downside risks, such as the unpredictability of the pandemic outbreak; the efficacy of the vaccines which could delay tourist arrivals; the decline in fiscal stimulus if there is delay in project approvals; business’s liquidity constraints that lead to closure and prolonged scarring effect; and the fall in debt servicing abilities of business and household sectors.  Sources:  Thansettakij Bangkok Post  Thai Rath
  • The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has downgraded its 2020 economic outlook from a growth of 2-4 percent to 1.5 – 3.5 percent, provided that the government can stop the pandemic outbreak in 3 months and inject an additional 200 billion Baht worth of fiscal stimulus packages into the economy.  Export is expected to expand by 3-5 percent, down from the earlier projection of 4-6 percent, and inflation by 0.8 – 1 percent.  JSCCIB is concerned about the rising unemployment as currently 100,00 employees are jobless or are suspended from work due to the closure of more than 6,000 businesses in 28 red zone provinces.  Sources:  Thai Rath  Bangkok Post
  • DPM and Energy Minsiter Supattanapong is expected to announce extra aid packages within 1-2 weeks.  The NESDC is considering re-allocating the 400 billion Baht designated for economic and social rehabilitation into relief packages for the people.  Finance Ministry is also working on similar measures and dismissed the rumour that it will give away cash worth 4,000 Baht to the afflicted.  Sources:  Krungthep Turakij
  • Thailand’s food exports are expected to see a growth of 2-3 percent this year despite a fresh surge of infections and reports of growing cases among workers in the food industry. Thai Food Processors Association expects to fetch 1.1 trillion Baht this year from an estimated 1.08 trillion Baht last year because of rising demand for food and high confidence in food safety standards.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Large merger and acquisition deals have taken place this year, driven by the economic recession, US-China trade war and COVID19 outbreak.  Notable M&A in Thailand includes CP’s merger with Tesco Lotus, and Prince Suvarnabhumi’s takeover of Bumrungrad Hospital and Bangkok Bank’s acquisition of Indonesia’s PT Bank Permata Tbk.  Source:  Thansettakij
  • Earnings per share on the Thai stock market will increase 40 percent from 2020, in line with listed firms’ net profit recovery and supported by global governments’ quantitative easing programmes and inbound fund flow, according to a survey by the Investment Analysts Association (IAA).  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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