Advance Blog

July 9, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 9 July 2020

News  

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today, Thailand reports five newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,202 cases. Out of the total number, 3,085 have been discharged from hospital; 59 are being hospitalised (at 96.35%). The death toll is at 58. The five newly confirmed cases are Thais who returned from UAE and Egypt and have been in the state quarantine since. This is the 45th consecutive day that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
    • Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn gave an interview that Thailand expects to delay plans for so-called travel bubbles given a resurgence in coronavirus infections in countries that had managed to contain the initial outbreak.–Reuters

Politics

  • Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong insisted that he has no intention of extending his mandatory retirement as army chief. He said he will “set zero” himself after September, 30th and not involve in politics. According to the current constitution, Gen Apirat cannot He also denies the rumours that he US is looking to set up a military base on Thai soil.—all media outlet
  • Breaking: Media has been alerted that this noon, the so-called “Fantastic 4” group under Deputy PM Somkid wing (Finance Minister Uttama, Energy Minister Sondhirat, Higher Education Minister Suvit, and Mr Kobsak) will announce their resignation from the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) after they were not enlisted on the party’s executives when Deputy PM Prawit took reign as the new party leader.—all media outlet
    • Mr Uttama gave a short interview saying that he will remain in the cabinet portfolio until the PM has ordered otherwise. There are some media reports that the group will establish a new political party named “Construct Thailand”.
  • A House meeting on national reform was called off yesterday (July 8) due to a lack of quorum of MPs. A report said among 53 government MPs absent from the sitting were 27 from Phalang Pracharat, 16 from the Democrat Party, 4 from the Bhumjai Thai Party, 2 each from the Palang Thong Thin Thai and Chartthai Pattana parties.
  • The cabinet has endorsed a bill permitting partnership registration of same-sex unions, along with legal amendments to ensure they have most, if not all, the same rights as married couples. The next step will be to be put to a vote in the House. However, after the bill was endorsed by the cabinet, the #SayNoToPartnershipBill hashtag in Thai was not the top chart in Twitter. Some called it “fake” equality as it stops short of calling it marriage.—all media outlet
    • Some online users called this move by the government as “hijacking” since on Tuesday Move Forward proposed another bill to amend Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code to allow anyone to be legally wed, regardless of gender. The main thrust of the proposed amendment by the party was to enact legal recognition of same-sex marriage, instead of recognising it as partnership.

Business:

CPTPP

  • The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) is preparing to set up a committee within this year to study the CPTTT more thoroughly.  The JSCCIB earlier advocates for Thailand to join CPTPP following the result of the studies conducted by University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.  Federation of Thai Industries also forecasts that Thailand may need 3-4 years to complete the lengthy process to accede to CPTPP as the issue needs approval from the cabinet and parliament.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1948408/jsccib-urges-deep-cptpp-examination

Coconut Controversy

  • Australia is cited as the second export market for processed Thai coconut after the United Sates in 2019, accounting for 9 percent of total export value of 12.8 billion Baht.  Over the past 8 years, coconut export expanded 115 percent in major markets such as the US, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. 
  • Commerce Minister Jurin met with coconut growers, exporter and other related organisations to address PETA’s report that monkeys are abused while being forced to pick coconuts in Thailand.  Coconut manufacturers and the government agreed to set up a system that can trace the origin of the products to ensure they are not sourced from produce picked by monkeys.  Commerce Ministry will also invite members of the diplomatic corps in Thailand to observe coconut-harvesting process.   Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1948112/industry-to-shun-cruel-monkey-antics                                                                https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30390959  https://news.thaipbs.or.th/content/294393 https://www.thansettakij.com/content/441161

Cabinet’s Meeting, 8 July 2020:

  • Approved the first batch of economic stimulus projects worth 92.4 billion Baht under the 400 billion Baht budget allocated for economic rehabilitation.  Approved is also the allocation of 15.5 billion Baht to support job creation and tourism-related projects.  The 92.4 billion Baht will go to projects to boost grass root economy and sustainable development, while 15.5 billion Baht is for upskilling farmers and establishing safety zones for tourists.  Source:  https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30390971
  • Approved a proposal to sign a protocol on quarantine and inspection of exported and imported fruit via a third country between Thailand and China.  This will enable Thailand to export fruits through more border checkpoints into China.  An MoU will be signed after the pandemic eases.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1948028

Others

  • TMF Group’s Global Complexity Index reveals that Thailand is rated the 42nd most complex jurisdiction for businesses globally and 8th most complex in Asia-Pacific.  Thailand’s regulations requiring foreign businesses to be majority owned by a Thai partner and filing legal documents in Thai language are identified as the main hindrance to attracting foreign investment into the country.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1948428/tmf-says-complex-regulations-hamper-foreign-investment
  • Industry Ministry has discussed working with New Zealand on an “industry bubble” with the aim of sharing knowledge, technology and innovations for the agriculture sector in support of farmers from both nations.  Both countries agreed to help their respective agricultural sectors mitigate or prevent risks caused by the pandemic.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1947532/thailand-new-zealand-in-bubble-talks
  • Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) assured DPM Somkid that Japan remains confident of its investment in Thailand and would maintain its business in the country.  DPM Somkid also warned that Thailand will face an economic storm in the second half of the year as a result of the pandemic.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1947916/somkid-warns-of-economic-storm-ahead
  • Thailand’s household debt level to GDP increased slightly to 80.1 percent in Q1, the highest in four years.  Kasikorn Research Centre predicts that the debt to GDP ratio may rise to 88 – 90 percent by year-end, the highest in 18 years.  This is partly due to the bank’s debt relief measures, such as debt moratoria and lower loan repayments.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1947380/q1-household-debt-at-80-of-gdp-highest-in-4-years
  • Average trading value per day in Thailand’s two stock markets saw a 27.8 percent YoY rise in June, a 30-month high.  This is attributable to the return of the retail investors who attempt to capture capital gains from lower share valuation due to the pandemic.  Foreign investors make up 32.5 percent of total trade and have become net buyers of the Thai bond market, while slowing their selling of local equities.  Source:    https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1948212/june-hits-30-month-trading-high-for-stocks

Australia

  • Australian government has warned its people not to travel to Hong Kong as the newly introduced security law might lead to the detention of its citizen.—Thai News Agency

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
Share:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Representing the Chamber on Your Website

Proud Member of

preview logo

Adding AustCham Logo to Your Website​

Proudly present yourselves as a part of Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce by adding AustCham logo to your website.

MEMBER LOG IN