Advance Blog

October 8, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 8 October 2020


  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today, Thailand reports seven newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,622 cases. Out of the total number, 3,439 have been discharged from hospital (at 94.95%); 124 are being hospitalised. The death toll is at 59. The newly confirmed cases are returnees from the US (1), India (1), UAE (1), Hungary (2), the Netherlands (1) and Kuwait (1). All have been in state quarantine since.
  • This morning, the former vocal Army Chief Apirat who went to retire on 30 September and continue his work as Vice Lord Chamberlain ordained at a temple on Thonburi side of town. The former Army Chief went to enter monkhood at the same temple as former Police Chief Chaktip who seeked religious peace as he entered into retirement.—all media outlet


  • Drums are beating up on the upcoming major rally by all groups of the student-led rallies on 14 October:
    • The main figures of the rallies alerted the press that they will host a press briefing at Sanam Luang (Royal Field) from 2.30pm onwards.
    • Online community has been sharing a document showing that their majesties the King and Queen will travel to the Grand Palace to attend a monkhood-related ceremony on the same day as the major protest.—Siam Rath
    • One of the protest main figure, Piyarat ‘Toto’ Chongthep, posted on his Facebook yesterday that he has been contacted by security agencies asking the rallies to avoid using Rachadamneon Avenue as their majesties will travel through. The protest leader posted that there are many roads in Bangkok.—Piyarat Chongthep
  • Yesterday, the Constitutional Court made a series of verdicts which have political implications:
    • The Court has passed a resolution that an Act allowing House Committee to summon anyone for investigation is unconstitutional. The Court made the decision following a vocal MP from the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) Paiboon’s request for the court to look into the legality, as the MP claimed the Act was part of the 2007 Constitution which is no longer liable. The Opposition has been using committee’s order to summon key figures in the government to testify in the investigation. A distinguished case was when Pol Gen Seripisut has repeated the Committee’s summon of the PM on the incomplete oath he took back in 2019. —Thai Post
    • The Court will read the verdict on 28 October whether the status of 64 MPs (equally from the Coalition and Opposition) remains viable as the MPs have shares in media firms. The verdict for the Coalition MPs will be read from 3.00 pm, followed by the Opposition MPs from 4.00pm. Should the MPs found guilty, they are obliged to cease its MP status.—Neaw Na
  • The Secretary-general of the Election Commission said next week, the EC will convene to determine the election date of the Provincial Administrative Organisation’s Chief Executive. He said there has been two timeline for the elction:
    • 1. The EC will announce the PAO election on 28 Oct—Applications open 5-9 Nov.—Election date 13 Dec.
    • 2. The EC will announce the PAO election 5-9 Nov.—Applications open 5 Dec.—Election date 20 Dec.—Krungthep Turakij


  • The Centre Economic Situation Administration (CESA) anticipates it will spend 200 billion Baht on 3 stimulus projects to spur domestic spending in Q4 of 2020
  • The first project, already approved by CESA, is called ‘Shop Dee Mee Keun’.  It offers income tax deductions of up to 30,000 Baht for the purchase of products and services with a 7 percent value-added tax, except for alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, government lotteries, fuel, accommodation services and air tickets.  The scheme runs from 23 October until 31 December and is projected to inject 120 billion Baht into the economy. Eligible applicants are those who have not signed up for other existing stimulus packages.
  • CESA also approved of extending 2 tourism projects, namely We Travel Together and Moral Support until January 31, 2021.  For We Travel Together, participants can use e-vouchers given to them to pay for food, entrance fees at tourist attractions and for buying OTOP products in their home province.  For Moral Support package, eligible applicants now include 570 officials at Bangkok health centres and 2,615 health promotion officers, instead of only health volunteers.
  • CESA is considering proposals proposal to lure more foreign investors and tourists through the Special Tourist Visa program, the Board of Investment of Thailand’s measures to attract foreign experts, and an idea to allow Thailand Elite Card holders to invest more in properties.  Discussions will continue on Friday.
  • PM Prayut said the tourists who will visit Thailand through the Special Tourist Visa Scheme will most likely enter Thailand after 25 October.   Source:  Bangkok Post Prachachat Turakij Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 8 October 2020
  • Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) expects Thailand’s economy to shrink by 7-9 percent this year, while upgrading its export outlook to a contraction of -8 to -10 percent rather than -10 to -12 percent.  It also urged the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation to extend credit guarantees provided to SMEs from 2 years to 10 years under the Bank of Thailand’s 500 billion Baht soft loan scheme.  JSCCIB asked the government to tweak economic stimulus measures and to continue its excise tax reduction for jet fuel and speed up issuing soft loans to domestic airlines.  Source:  Bangkok Post The Nation Bangkok Post
  • JSCCIB is in the process of hiring a consultant agency to analyse the pros and cons of Thailand joining the CPTPP and providing their recommendations to the government.  This move follows the remarks of Japanese investors who said they prefer to invest in Vietnam and Malaysia because these countries have signed the CPTPP, which reflects the sentiment of the new Japanese PM Suga.  Source:  Manager Online
  • The Digital Economy Promotion Agency will officially announce the first batch of 4 smart cities designated under its development scheme at Thailand Smart City Week scheduled to run from 16 – 22 October. These four smart cities have met five categories for smart city transformation and have 2 years to develop to become smart cities.  The smart city development project is part of the government’s 20-year national development where the government expects 100 smart cities by 2024.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Fitch Ratings said Thailand’s economy will recover slowly if tourism does not improve, as its economic growth is reliant on foreign tourist arrivals.  Fitch considers the prospect of Thailand’s public debt to GDP surging in the wake of the pandemic not too worrisome because it has been taking a prudent approach to public finance.  Fitch’s recommended measures include promoting employment and labour skill development; job creation in provincial areas to absorb returning workers and economic restructuring.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Cross-border trade, including transit trade, declined by 7.42 percent YoY to 853 billion Baht in the first eight months of 2020, according to Commerce Ministry.  Overall border trade with 4 neighbouring countries amounted to 497 billion baht, down 11.5 percent YoY.  This is attributable to the closure of border checkpoints to prevent the pandemic outbreak, where only 36 of 97 border checkpoints are currently opened.  Source: Bangkok Post
  • MTS Gold Group, one of the country’s largest bullion traders, predicts domestic gold trading volume will remain bullish in the medium term with an upward trend that could hit 30,000 Baht by next year. MTS is preparing for new business opportunities from dollar-gold trade, silver and rubber futures, which regulators are likely to approve trading in this year.  As for gold, for the first nine months this year, trading of gold online grew by 200 percent.  Source:  Bangkok Post


  • Pew Research took an opinion study on citizen of 14 democratic and advanced economic countries, including the US, Australia, Japan and many European countries from 10 June-3 August. Majority of the people have negative image of China. In Australia, 81% of the interviewees felt unsatisfactory with China, following by the UK at 74 %, Germany at 71%, the US at 73%.—Voice Online


  • Op-Ed by four Ambassadors (Australia, Germany, the UK and the US) on ‘Turbocharging Thailand’s post-COVID economic recovery – improving the ease of doing business’, proposing 10 measures for Thailand to implement in order to be the top ten in World Bank Global.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Former advisor to Deputy PM Prawit, Paisarn posted on his FB calling for an action by the Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Don to ask Singaporean and Australian diplomats about prominent figures who are organising anti-monarchy protests using Bangkok—Singapore—Australia route to seek asylum.—Siam Rath
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