Advance Blog

June 9, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 9 June 2020

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today, Thailand reports 2 newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,121 cases. Out of the total number,  2,973 have been discharged from the hospital; 90 are being hospitalised. The death toll is at 58. The two confirmed cases are returning from aboard and have been in state quarantine. This is the 15th day that there is no local transmission in Thailand. 
    • CCSA said, despite the epidemiological theoretical grounds on 14 days of COVID-19 transmission, we have to make sure that there is no local transmission for 28 days for it to reach the point of having ‘low risk’.
    • Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu signalled the possibility that the state of emergency may be extended while schools and airports will reopen and there will be long holidays next month.
    • This morning Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin said before the weekly cabinet meeting that opening its air border to tourists is still not feasible in that there are reports on imported cases. And he said that the emergency decree should still be in place as the Communicable Disease Act might not give enough authority for agencies to coordinate.–The Reporters
  •  Some 300 Thais and foreigners in Thailand and elsewhere joined an online protest against racism on Sunday, adding their voices to global calls for justice for black American George Floyd who died in U.S. police custody in Minneapolis last month.–Reuters

Politics

  • The developments revolving around the abduction of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a previously little-known activist who fled Thailand following the 2014 coup and self-exiled in Cambodia, are still unfolding. Protests flared in Bangkok on Monday in front of the Cambodian Embassy against the suspected kidnapping of a Thai activist in Cambodia which has reignited protests against Thailand’s military-royalist elite.–Reuters, and all media outlet
    • UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Praya Lundberg was under criticism for her comment about the abduction of Wanchalerm as this issue is “too sensitive and that her work should be apolitical” and since this involves politics, she will not get involved.
    • Meanwhile, Maria Lynn Ehren Thai Beauty pageant posted on her social media account standing with the abducted and asked how long are we going to live under fear? She also said that, though she realised there are some complexities which she could not all wrap herself around, Thais deserved answers.
    • The main opposition Pheu Thai Party’s chief strategist Sudarat Keyuraphan issued a statement called for the Thai Foreign Ministry to apply diplomat measures to protect the lives of Thai citizens in Cambodia. 
    • Deputy PM Prawit said he did not have knowledge of the issue and that this
    • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has come out to issue a statement that it was going to look into this issue and will coordinate with the Cambodian authorities.
  • The intra-party rifts of the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) are still ongoing.
    •  Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid called for an end to political infighting, asking all sides to create a virtuous political climate for the sake of the country’s best economic and social interests. Somkid group is reportedly being the target for the next cabinet reshuffle as they are holding many economically significant portfolios. 
    • Today, Deputy PM Somkid declined the earlier report that 3 ministers under his wing (Finance Minister Uttama, Energy Minister Sondhirat, and Higher Education Minister Suvit) sought his counsel and discuss the possibility of resignation. There was a report that prior to the weekly cabinet meeting, Minister Suvit went to discuss with DPM Somkid.
  • The Ministry of Defence came under fire as there are reports that a letter has been sent between the ministry, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Department of Disease Control asking mobile operators to provide the location data of those who were in close proximity to coronavirus patients. Online users asked how could the Ministry of Defence get involve in this issue?–all media outlet
    • General Raksak Rojphimphum, Director of Defence Policy and Planning Office, confirmed that the leaked document shared came
      from the Ministry and said the proposal is solely for the purpose of outbreak prevention. 
    • Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence spokesperson said affirms with the media that there is no such document.

Business:

  • Yesterday DPM Somkid convened a meeting with his economic team to deliberate on how to best spend the 400 billion Baht set aside for economic and social rehabilitation projects.
  • Entry restrictions may be eased for foreign visitors in Q3 (July-September) or Q4 of this year (October – December), starting with travellers from countries or cities/areas that are Covid19-free.  Fresh assistance package will be rolled out in Q3 to coincide with the easing of travel restrictions and the launch of tourism promotions.  The combination of stimulating local spending and tourism will boost economic recovery.
  • DPM Somkid also instructed the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide assistance to issuers of non-investment grade corporate bonds who are not eligible for the Bank of Thailand’s Corporate Bond Stabilization Fund.  To this end, SEC contemplates setting up another fund and is asking Finance Ministry to offer tax privileges to make the fund’s establishment viable.  To date 9 companies, most of them listed, have reported extension of interest payment on issued debentures this year, according to Thai Bond Market Association is reporting that.    Sources:  https://www.prachachat.net/finance/news-474796 https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1931504/sec-mulls-alternative-bond-funding
  • National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) received applications for 28,425 projects worth 593 billion Baht to use the 400 billion Baht budget allocated for economic rehabilitation projects.  Most of the applicants are state agencies and local administrative organizations.  All the proposed projects are listed on NESDC’s website http://thaime.nesdc.go.th, where the public, civil society and UN Development programme can comment on them from 8-15 June.  NESDC will subsequently screen the projects and submit them to the cabinet by July 7, with the projects to be implemented from July and completed by September 2021.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1931540/over-28-000-projects-eye-nesdc-aid

Others

  • Japanese investors and companies are urging Thailand to reopen its county to 100 Japanese business travellers per day as they are keen to resume business expansion and investment, reported the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).  FTI is discussing this opportunity with the Public Health Ministry and Covid19 Situation Administration Centre as a way to help local businesses survive, considering that the government’s relief packages last only 3 months.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1931476/japanese-firms-ask-for-traveller-quota
  • Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) is promoting Thai products through 250 international online and offline projects such as Alibaba’s Tmall.com (China), Bigbasket (India), คลัง.com (ASEAN) and Amazon (USA).  Business matching negotiations are being conducted between Thai exporters and US importers in 20 product categories such as food, tyres, animation, organic products and pharmaceutical products from May – September, to be sold through Amazon.com. 
  • From April to September, Thai products will be promoted through 44 projects at shopping malls and e-commerce platforms in China and Hong Kong.  Most notable is Tmall’s ‘6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival’, China’s biggest online shopping event since the lockdown.  The online festival will market premium Thai fruits, food and beverages to Chinese consumers as part of MoC’s ‘Thai Fruits Golden Months’ initiative, which has been promoting Thai fruits domestically and internationally since May.  DITP also has a country flagship store on Tmall.com and has recently facilitated the opening of new border entry points and rail routes into China to boost the export of Thai fruits.  Source:  Thai Khu Fah fb page, 9 June https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1931692/alibaba-showcases-local-fruit
  • The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has earmarked 1 billion Baht as loans to farmers, community enterprises and cooperatives which wish to sell their produce directly to markets.  Farmers will enjoy higher profits if they use the loans to strengthen their value chain and bypass the middlemen.  The loans are available until 30 September, with the loan limit of 5 million Baht per farmer and interest of 6.5 percent.  The focus is on 7 economical fruits: – rambutan, durian, mangosteen, mangoes, longan, lychees and longkong.  Source:  https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30389248
  • Thai Union Group announced it will be closing its seafood processing plant in Nakhon Si Thammarat province which employs 400 people due to the impact of Covid19.  In total, Thai Union employs 30,000 – 40,000 people in Thailand.  Source: https://www.prachachat.net/economy/news-474427

ASEAN/World

  • Thai media reports on the easing of lockdowns in New Zealand as there have been no active cases of COVID-19 in the country.–all media outlet

Australia

  • Australian-Chinese relations are still sour when the Chinese ambassador to Australia has threatened to boycott Australian products. Chinese culture and tourism ministry has issued a statement warning its citizen not to travel to Australia as there are incidents of preferential treatments and violence against Chinese people amidst COVID-19.–Post Today, Thai News Agency
  • Walter Brown, a long-time Australian expat in Thailand has been bestowed Order of Australia in the Queen’s List 2020 for his services provided to Australians in Phuket.—The Phuket News
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