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  • Covid-19: Thailand reports 10 weeks without local transmission

    According to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Thailand has recorded zero new locally-contracted cases for 10 weeks.

    The post Covid-19: Thailand reports 10 weeks without local transmission appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    According to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Thailand has recorded zero new locally-contracted cases for 70 days, as all new cases were imported from other countries.

    All the new cases were recently repatriated Thai nationals who tested positive for Covid-19, including a maid, 26, and a male driver, 43, who returned from the United Arab Emirates and were confined to a state quarantine facility in Chon Buri. 

    The post Covid-19: Thailand reports 10 weeks without local transmission appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    3 August 2020
    National
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80192
  • Thai economy improved in June says Bank of Thailand

    In June 2020, the Thai economy improved from the previous month due to the gradual relaxation of lockdown measures both in Thailand and abroad, supporting economic activities to resume operations

    The post Thai economy improved in June says Bank of Thailand appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    In June 2020, the Thai economy improved from the previous month due to the gradual relaxation of lockdown measures both in Thailand and abroad, supporting economic activities to resume operations, wrote the Bank of Thailand in its latest press release on Economic and Monetary Conditions.

    As a result, merchandise exports value excluding gold, private consumption and private investment indicators, and manufacturing production contracted at a lower rate. Meanwhile, public spending expanded both in current and capital expenditures. Nevertheless, the tourism sector continued to contract substantially due to international travel restrictions.

    Overall economic stability remained vulnerable

    Headline and core inflations were negative, consistent with weak domestic demand. The number of unemployed persons continued to increase. The current account was balanced. The capital and financial accounts posted asurplus from both the asset and the liability positions.

    Details of the economic conditions are as follows

    Merchandise exports contracted by 24.6 percent

    The value of merchandise exports contracted by 24.6 percent from the same period last year, slightly higher than the previous month. Excluding gold, however, the contraction rate substantially reduced to 18.4 percent from 29.0 percent last month.

    This was due to the improvement of exports in almost all categories, consistent with improving in economic activities in trading partner countries after the relaxation of lockdown measures.

    Nevertheless, the contraction rate of merchandise exports value remained high, especially automotive and parts, machinery and equipment, and petroleum-related products, reflecting weakening income of trading partners.

    Private consumption indicators contracted at a lower rate compared with the previous month. Spending in all categories improved as a result of the relaxation of the lockdown measures, resulting in an increase in consumer spending outside, coupled with supports from the government’s relief measures However, private consumption indicators still highly contracted in line with weak household income and low consumer confidence.

    Manufacturing production contracted at a lower rate in almost all industries, consistent with the improvement of exports and private consumption. 

    Private investment contracted at a slower pace

    Private investment indicators contracted at a slower pace compared with the previous month due to an improvement of investment in machinery and equipment from domestic machinery sales, the number of newly registered motor vehicles, and imports of capital goods.

    Meanwhile, investment in construction contracted at a higher rate from construction material sales. However, private investment indicators still contracted substantially due to weak domestic and external demand, high excess production capacity, and fragile business sentiment despite a slightly improvement.

    The value of merchandise imports contracted by 18.2 percent from the same period last year, improved from the previous month in all major categories including consumer goods, raw materials and intermediate goods, and capital goods. This was partly as a result of the low base effect last year and the recovery of overall economic activities. 

     Public spending, excluding transfers, expanded from the same period last year both from current and capital expenditures. Current expenditures have slightly expanded from purchases on goods and services. Capital expenditures highly expanded due mainly to disbursement of the central government for road maintenance. However, state enterprise’s capital expenditures contracted.

    Foreign tourist arrivals down 100%

    The number of foreign tourist arrivals continued to contract extremely at 100 percent from the same period last year. There was none of foreign tourist arrivals for the third consecutive month due to Thailand’s inbound travel restrictions. 

    Overall economic stability remained vulnerable

    Headline inflation remained negative, although edging up from energy prices due to an increase in domestic retail petroleum prices. Core inflation was slightly negative, consistent with weak domestic demand. Labor market remained vulnerable as partly reflected by the continued increase in the number of jobless claims on the social security system.

    The current account was balanced. The capital and financial accounts posted a surplus from both the asset position owing to the net sell in debt securities and the withdrawal of deposit abroad by Thai investors, and the liability position owing to the net buy in debt securities by foreign investors.

              Overall economic activity in the second quarter of 2020 substantially contracted as a result of the strong implementation of COVID-19 containment measures in both Thailand and abroad, temporarily disrupting economic activities.

    External demand contracted sharply both in the tourism sector affected by international travel restriction measures, and merchandise exports affected by weakening trading partner demand. Consequently, domestic economic activities were affected especially private consumption and private investment indicators as well as manufacturing production. However, public spending expanded and played an important role in supporting Thai economy. On the stability front, headline inflation was negative mainly from a decline in energy prices, while core inflation was slightly positive. The current account posted a small deficit compared with a large surplus in the previous quarter, attributed to a drop in tourism sector receipt coupled with the seasonal remittance of profits and dividends by foreign businesses operating in Thailand. The capital and financial accounts registered a surplus from the asset and the liability positions.

    Bank of Thailand
    31 July 2020

    The post Thai economy improved in June says Bank of Thailand appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    1 August 2020
    Banking
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80188
  • Gold rush hits Thailand as prices surge

    The value of gold has rocketed by Bt7,000 per baht weight since the beginning of this year, generating returns of over 20 per cent.

    The post Gold rush hits Thailand as prices surge appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    People flocked to sell their gold at China town. The Gold Traders Association announced the buying and selling prices of gold has increased by 50 baht to a historic high.

    The price of gold is currently high. The price of gold ornaments has reached nearing 29,000 baht, tempting people to sell.

    The price of gold rose by Bt450 per baht weight in the morning trade on Tuesday (July 28), the Gold Traders Association reported.

    As of 9.31am, the buying price of gold bars was Bt29,200 per baht weight and the selling price Bt29,300, while gold ornaments cost Bt28,667.56 and Bt29,800, respectively.

    The price has increased by 1,200 baht since the beginning of the week, which is in line with the world market price, which has risen to a nine year high due to the concerns about the outbreak of COVID-19, which is affecting the growth of the global economy. It is also a result of the baht depreciation which has caused the price of gold in the country to increase.

    Expert predicts gold will hit Bt30,000 this year

    Experts are divided over whether gold will hit the magic price of Bt30,000 per baht weight by the end of this year, as the global price nears US$2,000 per ounce.

    Kritrat Hiranyasiri, chairman of MTS Gold said gold prices could rise further as investors react to the US-China trade war, Covid-19 pandemic, and central banks’ move to inject cash into the economic system.

    The post Gold rush hits Thailand as prices surge appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    30 July 2020
    commodities
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80146
  • April International Care announces raft of enhancements to MyHEALTH Singapore

    APRIL International Care has announced significant improvements to its MyHEALTH Singapore private international health insurance policy range

    The post April International Care announces raft of enhancements to MyHEALTH Singapore appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    APRIL International Care has announced significant improvements to its MyHEALTH Singapore private international health insurance policy range, in particular to its “Elite” module. The changes will take effect from 1 August 2020. 

    The annual cover limit for the Elite module clients for in-hospital care has been increased from $4.5 million to $6 million, whilst the out of area cover has also been increased from $150,000 to $250.000 for those holding the worldwide ex USA cover options. (Amounts in Singapore dollars).

    Preventive health screening service

    Another innovative introduction is the adult and child preventative health screening service which is particularly relevant in the current climate, tapping into the view that early diagnosis is increasingly important for many healthcare issues.

    New preventative screening benefits for adults mean the first $300 of any test is also now covered, whether the client has purchased inpatient or outpatient cover.

    Typical tests which can now be undertaken within APRIL International Care’s network of 1200 local facilities include Pap smear testing, mammography and prostate screening. 

    Commenting on the introducing of the new enhancements, Regional Head of Business Development Alistair Dickman said,

    “With these changes, our Elite policy now offers a blend of premium benefits and competitive pricing, which we believe makes APRIL International Care a very attractive choice. At the same time, our extended benefits package reflects the fact that we are learning more and more how important it is to stay ahead of the game when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

    For many conditions now, early diagnosis brings genuine benefits and faster recovery times.

    Alistair Dickman, Regional Head of Business Development

    This new benefit opens up that possibility for many of our clients. In the long term too, it is in all our interests to diagnose and treat early, as it can cost far less, which in turn helps us to keep premiums lower.”


    APRIL International Care are specialists in designing and delivering flexible international private health insurance solutions for individuals, families and companies. For more information, contact APRIL International Care, or visit www.april-international.com.

    The post April International Care announces raft of enhancements to MyHEALTH Singapore appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    30 July 2020
    Companies
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80135
  • Thailand Ranks First in the Global COVID-19 Recovery Index

    Among the 20 countries with the highest recovery index, five are in Asia. They include Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

    The post Thailand Ranks First in the Global COVID-19 Recovery Index appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    Thailand ranks first among the countries with the highest COVID-19 recovery index, according to a report issued by the Global COVID-19 Index (GCI).

    The GCI report, published on 28 July 2020, gave Thailand an index score of 82.06 from 100 points, putting it on top of the countries that have made the most progress in curtailing the spread of the pandemic and can be used as examples of best practices.

    In the ranking of countries by recovery index, South Korea comes second, receiving 81.09 points. Coming third is Latvia (80.81), followed by Malaysia (79.37), Taiwan (78.94), New Zealand (78.55), Lithuania (77.54), Australia (77.18), Canada (75.87), and Malta (75.79).

    Among the 20 countries with the highest recovery index, five are in Asia. They include Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

    The GCI bases 70 percent of its calculation on big data and daily analysis, ranking 184 countries on how well they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The remaining 30 percent comprises static scores derived from the Global Health Security Index (GHS), an initiative led by the Johns Hopkins University that was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The GHS was developed to assess a country’s readiness to cope and handle any epidemic.

    The GCI has been developed by PEMANDU Associates in collaboration with Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Sunway Group.

    RANKCOUNTRYRECOVERY RATINGRECOVERY INDEXSEVERITY RATINGSEVERITY INDEXCONTINENT
    1Thailand582.06110.69Asia
    2South Korea581.09113.53Asia
    3Latvia580.81117.37Europe
    4Malaysia579.37116.18Asia
    5Taiwan, ROC578.94110.74Asia
    6New Zealand578.55113.07Oceania
    7Lithuania577.54120.64Europe
    8Australia577.18112.41Oceania
    9Canada575.87353.77North America
    10Malta575.79124.63Europe

    The post Thailand Ranks First in the Global COVID-19 Recovery Index appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    29 July 2020
    Health
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80125
  • Thailand’s Amendments to Ease Doing Business

    Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the country’s Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) aimed at improving the business climate.

    The post Thailand’s Amendments to Ease Doing Business appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    In June 2020, Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) to simplify the process of setting up and conducting business in the country. It is anticipated that the proposed amendments will become law towards the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

    • Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the country’s Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) aimed at improving the business climate.
    • The amendments will streamline the process for establishing a company as well as officially recognizing business mergers.
    • The new CCC ensures that dividends are paid within one month from the approval of shareholders.
    • Businesses are also permitted to conduct e-meetings between shareholders and directors, which was not previously recognized.

    The changes to the CCC relate to simplifying the company formation process, new merger provisions, and a set timeline for the payment of dividends, among other amendments.

    The changes in the CCC is part of the government’s efforts of ongoing regulatory reforms that provide additional clarity to doing business in the country. The government has also issued various stimulus packages to mitigate some of the immediate impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Thailand’s economic outlook expected to perform the worst in Southeast Asia with the central bank forecasting a GDP contraction of 8.1 percent in 2020; surpassing the plunge during the Asian Financial Crisis more than two decades ago.

    Streamlining the company formation process

    Previously, a minimum of three Thai citizens (known as promoters) is required to form a company and become the initial shareholders of the business.

    With the amendment to the CCC, this has been reduced to just two, which is a positive move for foreign investors, many of whom find it difficult to find suitable promoters. This is not the first time the CCC was amended to reduce the number of promoters needed to establish a company. In 1925 – when the CCC first came into force – the number of required promoters was seven before it was reduced in an amendment in 2008 to three. 

    Court order dissolutions

    The CCC provides that a company can be dissolved by court order if the number of shareholders is less than three. This has been changed to reflect the aforementioned amendments on the number of promoters needed to establish a company in Thailand.

    Merger provisions

    Before the amendments, the CCC only recognized the concept of amalgamation of companies as opposed to mergers.

    Under this concept, two or more companies are combined, along with their assets and liabilities, to form a newly formed business entity. Through a merger process, however, two companies are merged into a single entity (A+B), with the remaining company (A or B) being liquidated.

    The amended CCC will now recognize the concept of a merger, giving companies the choice of either an amalgamation or a merger.

    Business registration

    Company registration for private businesses can now be done at any approved Department of Business Development office, regardless of the location. The Ministry of Commerce is set to also waive registration fees for incorporation.

    Dividend payments

    The proposed amendments will formally enshrine the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) No. 21/2017 that mandates the payment of dividends within one month from approval of the company’s shareholders.

    The amended CCC also recognizes the NCPO’s permission for companies to add procedures in their articles of associations in relation to dealing with disputes between the management team (shareholders and directors).

    E-meeting provisions

    The CCC will now allow e-meetings of shareholders and directors. E-meetings were first formalized by Royal Decree in April 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 spread in Thailand.

    A minimum of two shareholders must attend a shareholders’ meeting in order to constitute a quorum.

    This article was first published by  AseanBriefing, which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in ChinaHong KongVietnamSingaporeIndia, and Russia. Readers may write to info@dezshira.com for more support.

    The post Thailand’s Amendments to Ease Doing Business appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    29 July 2020
    Companies
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80117
  • How long is the path to recovery for Thailand’s economy?

    At present, the Thai authorities are continuing to stimulate the economy to achieve optimal growth levels, before activity levels return to pre-Covid-19 levels towards the end of 2021.

    The post How long is the path to recovery for Thailand’s economy? appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    At first glance, it appears as though the Southeast Asian country of Thailand has not been too adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As of July 28th, just 3,297 cases had been reported in Thailand, resulting in a total of 58 deaths.

    However, this observation ignores the socio-economic impact of Covid-19, which has decimated Thailand’s lucrative and fast-growing tourism sector. 

    While the Governor for the Bank of Thailand (BoT) may have recently ruled out the option of a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (based on the relative strength of the Thai economy), there’s no doubt that the nation’s tourism market will take a while to recover and extend the path towards economic growth well into 2021.

    But just how long is the path towards Thailand’s economic recovery, and what does the future hold for this emerging Asian nation?

    How Reliant is the Thai Economy on Tourism?

    Make no mistake; the tourism sector comprises a significant part of the Thai economy, providing an estimated one in six job opportunities nationwide. 

    It also accounts for a whopping 13-14% of the country’s economy, receiving more than 3.5 million international visitors in January of this year alone.

    However, China accounts for almost 30% of the tourists who visit Thailand on average, and the closure of international borders during the first two quarters have had a huge impact on the Thai economy and its capacity for generating revenues.

    As a result of this, the overall growth forecast in Thailand has been slashed from an initial projection of 2.7% to a 8.1% negative growth. 

    This has been lowered to a potential range of between 1.5% and 2.5% by the National Economic and Social Development Council, compounding the fact that GDP growth of 2.4% in 2019 represented the slowest pace in five years. 

    How is Thailand Monitoring its Economy?

    Thailand is currently monitoring its initial economic recovery in a number of different ways, particularly with the tourism sector likely to grow slowly and incrementally in the near-term.

    One measure is the Thailand Economic Monitor for June 2020, which highlighted an economic contraction of 5% in Q2 and a decline in global demand and trade (which impacted noticeably on Thai exports and supply chains).

    The government has also observed a weakening demand and falling energy prices, triggering a sharp fall in inflation within a relatively short period of time.

    Beyond this, the Thai government has also turned to satellite images to gain faster and real-time updates on the nation’s economy. 

    This process involves reviewing detailed images from outer space, which focus on nitrogen dioxide concentration in specific areas and the level of visible night during the evening. These signs are indicative of economic activity and output, and various officials have confirmed that they can already see the green shoots of recovery in Thailand.

    While this type of cutting-edge technology certainly offers a true and accurate insight into real-time economic activity, the findings suggest that Thailand may be performing slightly better than some would expect in the current climate.

    Thailand’s path to recovery and courses of action

    At present, the Thai authorities are continuing to manipulate and stimulate the economy to achieve optimal growth levels, before activity levels return to pre-Covid-19 levels towards the end of 2021.

    However, the country isn’t expected to extend its record-low base interest rate policy below 0.50%, highlighting a balanced economic approach and reinforcing the real-time value of the Thai baht.

    In order to offset the reported 80% decline in foreign tourist numbers into Thailand, the government may also want to follow Vietnam’s approach by prioritising and promoting domestic tourism.

    This would require sustained infrastructure spending in public transportation and holiday resorts, while the government may also need to prioritise job retention schemes for hotel staff nationwide.

    Such measures should help the economy to avoid the worst of the coronavirus fallout, and continue the initial recovery that began in earnest at the end of Q2. Hopefully, they’ll expedite the nation’s economic recovery too, creating a scenario where growth can return fully before the end of 2021.

    The post How long is the path to recovery for Thailand’s economy? appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    28 July 2020
    Economics
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80111
  • Covid-19 vaccine to be available next year at 620 baht per dose

    Covid-19 vaccines will be available next year in Thailand at 620 baht per dose, but it will take two doses to protect a healthy individual against the virus.

    The post Covid-19 vaccine to be available next year at 620 baht per dose appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) reckons Covid-19 vaccines will be available next year at the price of 620 baht per dose. It will take two doses to protect a healthy individual against the virus.

    The first anti-COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be available for use in humans next year said Dr. Siriroek Songsivilai, secretary-general of the National Vaccines Committee of the Ministry of Higher Education.

    The estimated price is based on the 100 million doses, worth about two billion US dollars, ordered by the US government from the US’s Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE, which jointly developed the vaccines.

    The NRCT believes there will be enough vaccines for a large group of people by mid-2021 but not enough for everyone until the production picks up but did not give a time frame as to when vaccines will be made available to all.

    A dose of vaccine will cost 20 US dollars or around 620 baht and each person will need two doses.

    Currently, there are 30 candidate vaccines being trialed in humans and scientists are optimistic that they will have workable vaccines in the near future.

    Dr. Siriroek said that Thailand is using three approaches, namely developing its own vaccine, developing vaccines through transfer of technology and the purchase of vaccines from abroad.

    Thai researchers have completed a trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine with rats, to be followed by a trial in monkeys. The team coordinated with North American manufacturers to produce the first batch of the vaccine.

    The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, said yesterday regarding the development of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 in Thailand, that the vaccine had passed its trial in rats, with the next step being a trial in monkeys.

    The vaccine, developed by Thai researchers, is an MRNA vaccine designed to help the body create immunity against the new coronavirus. It could be available as early as next year, provided that all tests are successful. The Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, has ordered the development to progress urgently.

    The post Covid-19 vaccine to be available next year at 620 baht per dose appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    27 July 2020
    Health
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80098