Weekly Economic & Commercial Report (1st -7th March  2020)

Mess of Chevrolet sales
Thai Rath 01.03.2020

PM’s Office Minister Tewan Liptapanlop reveals that he has negotiated with the representative of Chevrolet Sales (Thailand) about a group of customers who bought Chevrolet vehicles at full price submitted a letter to Chevrolet Sales (Thailand) representatives, demanding that the company compensate them after Chevrolet cut the prices of its vehicles by 50 percent. Some of the bookings for discounted cars have also been canceled. He needs OCPB and Chevrolet Sales

2nd phase of no plastic bag campaign promoted  
Daily News 01.03.2020

The director of the Thai Retailers Association reveals that the association has continued the project “EVERYDAY SAY NO TO PLASTICS BAGS” to stop providing plastic bags. The project stopped customers from taking over 3.750 billion plastic bags within a month. The research shows that 61 percent of customers are willing to join the campaign, 36 percent are whatever, and 3 percent are not willing to join the campaign.

Covid 19 takes down business sentiment
Thai Rath 03.03.2020

The Bank of Thailand reported that the business confident index has dropped drastically in February from 48.5 points in January to 44.1 points in March, the lowest point since the 2011 flood.  The electrical appliance industry saw the highest drop due to concerns about stock and production affected by COVID-19. The 3-month confident index also dropped to 50.5 points from 52.4 points. Businesses expected that there will be continuous risks in the future.

E20 promoted to national standard  
Daily News 03.03.2020

The Director-General of the Department of Energy Business revealed that the department will discuss the preparation for the listing of E20 as the standard fuel with oil trader, refinery, and ethanol businesses. The listing is scheduled to take effect in Q3/2020 to help increase cane and cassava prices. Oil traders concerned that there will be not enough ethanol. The Chairman of the Thai Ethanol Manufacturer and Trader Association said that Thailand saw less cane production in 2019/20 season and we will have fewer molasses for producing ethanol.

Economic boosting plan to crack down virus
Thai Post  03.03.2020

The Finance Minister said that the minister is studying the impacts of COVID-19 and will issue measures to help the public. The Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade revealed that the department launched a caravan of 111 cars to sell masks to the public across Thailand. The department also distributed masks to other organizations and private stores such as Blue Flag, 7-Eleven, Mini Big C, Lotus Express, and Family Mart. 1 person can buy only 1 THB 10 4-piece pack.

MoF to provide money for low income earners
Thai Rath 05.03.2020

The minister of Finance said that the ministry of Finance will propose the care measure and remedy for Covid-19 impact to the economic cabinet for approval on Mar 6. If approved, the measure will be proposed to the cabinet for consideration on Mar 10. The measure will take effect in the next 3-4 months (Mar to June).  The measure and remedy include giving THB1,000 to low-income earners through PromptPay, soft loan, other incentives for operators and labors who are affected from the Covid-19, as well as temporarily adjusting LTF measure to stimulate the economy.

FTI-Kasikorn cut GDP to 2 pc
Khao Sod 05.03.2020

The Chairman of the Federation of the Thai Industries revealed that the tripartite committee agreed to reduce the expected GDP growth to 1.5-2% from 2.2.5% due to the impacts from COVID-19 outbreak. The stimulating measures from the government will not be able to compensate for the loss. The household economy will also be affected by the drought. Thailand’s industries will be benefitted from COVID0-19 as China couldn’t export products. However, family businesses and SMEs will face difficult challenges.

Measures to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak.
Matichon 06.03.2020

The director-general of The Department of International Trade Promotion says that governments from across the world have come up with measures to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak. The department has come up with a video conference for business negotiations between countries. It already arranged a video conference with some countries such as India, SEA, China, etc.

FED cut off interest rate
Thai Rath 06.03.2020

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates amid concern about the potential economic toll of the Covid-19 outbreak. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which sets Fed interest rates, announced it would cut its baseline rate range by 0.5 percentage points to a 1 to 1.25 percent spread. Kasirkon Research Center estimates that Fed’s decision to reduce interest rates would affect Thailand’s interest rates by 0.25 percent from the current amount of 1.00 percent.

Surgical mask price control   
Thai Rath 06.03.2020

The Minister of Commerce declared on March 5 to put a limitation of THB 2.50 for one medical mask effective immediately. Anyone who refuses to adhere to this new regulation will face a fine of THB 100,00, 5-year jail time, or both. He reveals that there are currently 11 medical mask facilities in Thailand capable of producing 1.2 million masks per day, which he plans to distribute to the Ministry of Public Health.

Govt providing money
Thai Rath 07.03.2020

Mr. Uttama Savanayana, Finance Minister, revealed that the cabinet approved measures to help employers and the public affected by COVID-19. The first set is the measures for employers including 1) soft loans by GSB, 2) principal and interest suspension, 3) debt structure adjustment, and 4) special loans from Social Security Fund with 3% interest rate for 3 years. Other measures include tax reduction, money giving, etc.

Pipat urges cabinet for tourism rescue
Thai Rath 03.03.2020

The Minister of Tourism and Sports reveals that The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Ministry of Finance will offer the economic stimulation measures and the measures to take care of people who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak at the cabinet meeting on 3rd March 2020. The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand reports that 40 percent less foreign tourists enter Thailand due to the outbreak (as of 24th January – 29th February 2020), including Chinese tourists for 80 percent from the same period of last year and Indian tourists for 31 percent.

Jurin prepares for lower fruit prices
Prachachart Turakij 05.03.2020

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit presided over the business matching activity on 4th March 2020 with 50 companies from India, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, EU, the US, Africa, and the Middle East. Over 80 Thai fruit-related companies also joined the activity to match the business. 12 online platforms joined promoting fruit market, including Bigbasket.com from India, Tmall from China, and others.

India limits medicine export
Prachachart Turakij 07.03.2020

The outbreak of the new coronavirus has forced a large number of Chinese drug manufacturers to shut down. That could be bad news for the United States, which depends on China and India for its drug supply. he Indian government recently ordered its pharmaceutical industry to stop exporting twenty-six pharmaceutical products, most of which are antibiotics. That decision could make shortages of certain drugs, especially antibiotics, in the United States more likely. India supplies 40 percent of over-the-counter and generic prescription drugs used in the United States.

Best Regards,
Manoranjan Sahu
Attache ( Economic & Commerce)
Embassy of India, Bangkok
46 Prasarnmitr, Sukhumvit Soi 23
Klongtoey, Wattana, Bangkok – 10110 (Thailand)
T: +66 2 2580029 (Direct), +66 2 2580300-06 (Extn. 162)
F: +66 2 2584627 Email: com.bangkok@mea.gov.in