Weekly Economic & Commercial Report (8th -14th March 2020)

Covid 19 impacts Thai economy   
Khao Sod 08.03.2020

In the past 2-3 weeks, COVID-19 outbreak has increasingly affected the economy. Private sector reduced GDP growth expectation as the export and tourism industries are directly impacted by the outbreak. Kasikorn Research Institute expected that Thailand will see only 0.5% GDP growth, reduced from the expected 2.7% growth. The country is expected to lose THB 410 Billion from the 8.3 million lower number of tourists amounted to a 2.4% of GDP. The retail industry is expected to see no less than THB 100 Billion damage as people don’t want to leave home. Commercial banks will see lower revenues due to the measures issued to help customers. The Tripartite Private Committee expected that the GDP growth of Thailand will be at 1.5-2%. The Thai National Shippers’ Council expected that Thailand’s export in 2020 will grow by 0-1%. The Vice Chairman of the Employers’ Confederation of Thailand revealed that employers are finding measures to reduce cost. Employers may slowdown the recruitment which will affect the 500,000 new graduates.

Gamble on national economy in Covid 19 outbreak situation
Daily News 09.03.2020

The economic cabinet has come up with the emergency measures to support Thai people during the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the country, including the measure to reduce Social Security’s contribution from THB750 per month or 5 percent of the salary to only 0.1 percent of the salary. The measure is expected to be available for 3 months.

THAIFEX may postpone
Prachachart Turakij  09.03.2020

The Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion revealed that the department will host a meeting on March 9 to decide the postponement of THAIFEX 2020. The department has developed measures for event postponement due to COVID-19 including 1) constant updates, 2) technology implementation for online marketing promotion, 3) hosting a teleconference with leaders, and 4) use Facebook Live to host workshops for exporters.

PM stops providing THB 2000
Kom Chad Luek 10.03.2020

On March 9, the Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed that the government suspended the THB 2,000 free money policy to help the public cope with COVID-19. Mr. Satit Pitutacha, Deputy Minister of Public Health, revealed that the government has adjusted the mask allocation to provide masks to medical personnel first. The Department of Internal Trade has increased the mask allocation for the Public Health Ministry from 300,000 to 700,000 pieces per day. MR Jatumongkol Sonakul, Labour Minister, presided over the unemployment center to monitor employments from COVID-19 crisis.

Measures to support farmers
Thai Rath 11.03.2020

The secretary-general of the Office of Agricultural Economics reveals that the office prepares 3 measures to support farmers who are being affected by COVID-19 outbreak, including the measure to promote domestic fruit consumption with the coordination from HomePro, IT Square, Tesco Lotus, Big C, and others. They will provide their department stores to sell 3,000 tons of fruit at fair prices.

Help Thai labors returning back from covid risk countries
Krungthep Turakij 11.03.2020

The Ministry of Labour established a countermeasure for the Covid-19 virus for every worker who recently returns from high-risk countries to quarantine themselves for 14 days. The National Security Health Office (NHSO), along with the Social Security Office (SSO), and the Comptroller General’s Department, is considering increasing compensation for medical expenses for insured patients who got infected with the Covid-19 virus.

 Lower investor confidence index   
Siam Rath  11.03.2020

The Chairman of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO) revealed that investor confidence index in March 2020. The 3-month investor confidence index reduced by 11.48% to 64.40 points due to concerns about the tourism crisis. Investors mostly interested in food and drink investment followed by energy, public utility, real estate funds, etc. Investors are hoping that the government’s measures will help improve the economy. The global factors that need to be monitored are COVID-19 outbreak, financial policies from central banks, etc.

60 organizations to distribute 3 million tons of fruits
Matichon  11.03.2020

Mr. Jurin Laksanavisit, Commerce Minister, revealed that Thailand is expected to see 3 million tons of fruit products in 2020 amounted to a 10% increase. The ministry will sign MOU with 60 public and private organizations to solve fruit crisis due to COVID-19 outbreak. The ministry has prepared 9 measures including issuing fruit certification, establishing fruit distribution center, allowing passengers to carry fruits on air planes for free, etc. Ms. Mananya Thaiset, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, revealed that this is a good chance that Thai people will be able to eat good-quality fruits.

Economic stimulation budget
Thai Rath 11.03.2020

The economic cabinet has come up with the emergency measures to support Thai people during the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the country, including the measure to reduce Social Security’s contribution from THB750 per month or 5 percent of the salary to only 0.1 percent of the salary. The measure is expected to be available for 3 months.

More access provided for soft loan
Daily News 12.03.2020

The President of Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) agrees with countermeasures from the government to relieve damages from the Covid-19 virus outbreak. However, he concerns about the soft loan campaign, doubting that SMEs will truly gain support from commercial banks.

Somkid to develop electric bike hub
Matichon 12.03.2020

The Deputy Prime Minister states that Thailand aims to become the hub of electric vehicles (EVs) and electric bikes (EBs) of ASEAN within five years, establishing numerous campaigns to accomplish this goal. The Minister of Industry intends to convert 53,000 motorcycle taxi drivers to use EB within three years, which has an estimated budget of THB 2,954 million. He predicts that this campaign will save Thailand over THB 2,936 million from maintenance service fee.

Thai economy ruined from COVID 19
Kom Chad Luek 10.03.2020

The COVID-19 epidemic and the drought have been major economic drawbacks, causing a slowdown in the Thai economy. The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s (UTCC) Center for Economic and Business Forecasting’s (CEBF) latest TCC Confidence Index for February 2020 has fallen to 44.9, from 45.4 in January, the lowest figure in 27 months.The executive of Thai Vietjet Air says that COVID-19 caused the airline’s passenger to drop over 50 percent due to the lack of Chinese tourists. It has been getting worse because of the outbreak in Europe and the US.

MoC to use FTA for suppling more masks in Thailand for COVID -19
Siam Rath 11.03.2020

Oramon Sapthaweetham, the director-general of Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Commerce, reveals that products, which are related to COVID-19 outbreak such as surgical masks and hand sanitizers, are facing shortage crisis due to higher demand. The department plans to use benefit from FTA to allow Thai sellers to supply products more from foreign countries. In 2019, Thailand imported the surgical masks which were worth over $600,000. China was the no.1 import market with up to 94 percent ratio, followed by Japan, the US, Netherland, China, and Taipei. Thailand exported the surgical masks which were worth over $1.4 million in the same year to several countries which are Cambodia, Maldives, the US. Laos, and India.

Foreigners leave THB500bn worth of stock in 5 years
Krungthep Turakij 12.03.2020

The article informs about the Fund Flow of each capital market in Asia from the beginning of 2020 – 10th March 2020 which are Thailand with -THB64.327 billion, Indonesia with –THB15.832 billion, the Philippines with -THB13.303 billion, Vietnam with –THB3.157 billion, India with +THB16.891 billion, Taiwan with –THB243 billion, and South Korea with –THB210 billion.

65th Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Fair 2020
Money Life Today  12 03 2020

The director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion concludes the success of the recent 65th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair 2020 that over 10,000 participants joined the event during the 5-day arrangement. The TOP-countries which participated in the event the most are India, China, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Russia.

Gulfood 2020
Money Life Today 12.03.2020

The director-general of the Department of International Trade reveals that the depearment presented Thai rice products in the event “Gulfood 2020” which was held in Dubai, Arab Emirates on 16-20th February 2020. Over 90 countries across the world joined the event such as the US, Argentina, Italy, Turkey, India, China, and others.

India closes country to prevent COVID
Manager Daily 360 12.03.2020

India said on 12th March 2020 it will suspend all tourist visas to the country in a wide-reaching attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as cases across the region continued to rise. U.N./international organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020,” India’s Health Ministry said in a statement.

PTTEP wins Platinum Winner award
Krungthep Turakij 13.03.2020

PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) represented by Mr. Siriphong Fuenglikhit, Vice President for Social Responsibility Department, recently received the Global CSR award at Platinum Winner, honoring the H.T.M.S. Underwater Learning Center Project. The award was presented by Hon’ble Justice Swatanter Kumar, Former Chairperson of National Green Tribunal, at the Energy and Environment Foundation Global CSR Awards 2020 recently held in New Delhi, India.

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)
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