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Update May - August, 2020


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Update by Thanaphon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
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‘Global Business Matching 2020’ promotes partnership for Thai SMEs

The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM) jointly launched Global Business Matching 2020 programme on Friday.

Thai SMEs in the agriculture sector are getting help in finding business partners in neighbouring countries via a business matching programme.

The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM) jointly launched Global Business Matching 2020 programme on Friday.

 

Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of EXIM Bank’s board of directors, said the programme was designed to help SMEs create partnership for online trade in ASEAN, especially CLMV countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. 

Last year, Thai SMEs in the agriculture sector exported 500 million-baht worth of goods to their business partners overseas, said Supant.

 

This business matching programme could catalyze exports of Thai farm products, he said.

Thailand aimed to promote exports of farm products as one of the main economic engines generating 1.2 trillion baht or 10 percent of GDP, according to Supant. (TNA


Economic stabilization the key for ‘Thailand Rebounds’

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.

At Centara Grand at Central Ladprao Hotel, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered a keynote speech, on occasion of the 74th anniversary of the Bangkok Post newspaper, under the topic "Thailand Rebounds, Policy in the New Normal''.

The Prime Minister congratulated the 74th anniversary of the Bangkok Post, and emphasized that good mass media is a key infrastructure to national stability, as it would present the public with multi-dimensional facts and right-to-the-point opinions, thereby, creating public understanding, and reducing conflict and social disparity.

According to the Prime Minister, economic stabilization is a key for the country’s rebound. It is important for Thailand to promote and reinforce domestic and grassroots economy, especially infrastructure development and implementation of relief and rehabilitation measures, e.g., promoting domestic tourism, reducing people’s burden on household expenses, providing subsidies to affected people, debt restructuring, etc., in a bid to alleviate people’s plights and enable them to sustain themselves through the COVID-19 situation.

The Government has also put forward the Royal Decree authorizing Ministry of Finance to seek loan for economic and social problem solving, remedy, and rehabilitation as a result of spread of COVID-19, B.E. 2563 (1-trillion Baht Loan), which has been enacted as a quick win to maintain national stability. Budget allocated under the Royal Decree would enable implementations according to the Government’s medical and public healthcare plan against COVID-19 pandemic, and post-COVID-19 economic rehabilitation plans through investment and economic-related activities. The Royal Decree is also aimed to remedy the people economically affected by the situation, and accommodate the “New Normal” way of life. Focus will be made on projects that promote community’s economic growth in a sustainable manner, which is fundamental to the rebound of Thai economy. At the same time, preventive public healthcare measures against COVID-19 must continue to be implemented in parallel.

The Government also strives to improve public administrative procedure to enhance engagement of the people. The Prime Minister emphasized that we need to turn the crisis into an opportunity for Thailand to be restored and become even better than before. People of all sectors need to put collective effort under the working principle “Unifying Thailand, Building the Nation” to get through the crisis. According to the Prime Minister, we all will “survive today and be stronger tomorrow”.


Thai economic recovery to take 2-3 years

Krungthai Bank president,Payong Srivanich.

Krungthai Bank stated that the coronavirus disease 2019 had global impacts and it would take 2-3 years for economic recovery while health and digital business had a bright future. 

Krungthai Bank president Payong Srivanich quoted the United Nations as stating that the COVID-19 pandemic was the worst crisis since World War II. 

Next year COVID-19 would cause severe contraction to 60% of the global economy and it would take 2-3 years for economic restoration. However, Thailand was in a better position than many countries thanks to its monetary and financial discipline, adaptation and digitalization in the private sector. 

The Krungthai COMPASS research center predicted that the Thai economy would shrink by as much as 8.8% this year. The downturn would be close to what happened in the Tom Yum Kung economic crisis. 

It pointed out that COVID-19 brought a bright future to health business and accelerated technological development. In April there were more than 10 million Prompt Pay transactions a day, doubling last year’s transactions. (TNA)


‘GI Market 2020’ gathers unique items from around Thailand

Thosapone Dunsuputra, Director General of Department of Intellectual Property.

‘GI Market 2020’ is an event that brings together Geographical Indication products from all over the country and is hosted by the Department of Intellectual Property at Central Plaza Rama 9. The event will last until 2nd of August, so make sure you don’t miss the special items.

The event is usually held twice a year, but due to COVID-19, the event was postponed to this month and in late August. It brings many geographical indication products, such as Chanthaburi Durian, Golden Longan from Ban Phaeo, Nakhon Nayok’s Marian plums, Fermented Sea Catfish from Phatthalung, Mae Hong Son’s Tiger-Stripe peanut, Sakon Nakhon’s Indigo cloth, Ban Chiang’s earthenware and many more, including 19 GI products that have been registered this year.

Thosapone Dunsuputra Director General of Department of Intellectual Property says “Due to the COVID-19 crisis, people can hardly sell a thing. The department helped them move to the online market, for those who are capable, because some agricultural products don’t last long enough for the delivery process. Now it’s better. Events can be held. We also installed protective screens and require everyone to put on a mask to avoid the disease.”

In addition, there are also seminars to inspire and help local product producers to find new markets. The seminars cover many topics, such as advertising and how to use the GI title as a marketing tool.

Once again, the event lasts until the 2nd of August at the Central Plaza Grand Rama 9. (NNT)


Thailand to host ‘CCA 2020’ first world-class beauty trade fair in Southeast Asia

COSMOPROF CBE ASEAN (CCA 2020)will be held from December 14 - 16 at IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Muang Thong Thani.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Informa Markets to host COSMOPROF CBE ASEAN (CCA 2020), the first world-class beauty trade fair in Southeast Asia, to support Thai entrepreneurs and enhance their competitiveness on the world stage.

The signing of this MoU is a sign of cooperation on driving the Thai beauty business sector, especially SMEs, to be able to compete in international markets by using the CCA 2020, the world-class beauty trade fair, held for the first time in Southeast Asia, as a platform for showing the potential of new products and innovations from Thai entrepreneurs.

FTI Chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthi said the event will be held from December 14 - 16 at IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Muang Thong Thani. He expressed his confidence that it will help attract foreign investors, support Thai SME entrepreneurs with opportunities for business networking, expand the Thai beauty business to the world market and promote Thailand’s strength as a hub for the health and beauty industries in ASEAN. (NNT)


Shopping malls in Bangkok organize big discounts festival to boost domestic consumption

The Mall, The Emporium, Emquartier, Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery, join "Bangkok Shopping Festival" an extravaganza offering discounts of up to 90 %.

The Mall Group has organized a shopping festival offering discounts of up to 90 percent at six of its locations, intended to stimulate the economy weighed down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating stores are The Mall, The Emporium, Emquartier, Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery, which are hosting the ‘Bangkok Shopping Festival’ an extravaganza offering discounts of up to 90 percent from June 26 to August 2.

The festival includes spaces for vendors affected by COVID-19 free of charge within areas dubbed the ‘Siam Smile Flea Market’.

The Mall Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Woralak Tulaporn, said this week that consumption remains sluggish as consumers are still wary of the effects of the COVID-19 situation. Most buyers have focused on necessities or schooling needs, with retailers still working to recover, even with the fourth phase of regulation relaxation announced by the government. Only 60 percent of consumers are expected to be shopping at department stores at this time, necessitating the stimulus event.

Even after the fifth phase relaxation of social measures, which will include opening Thai air space, takes place, Ms. Woralak said there is no certainty consumption will recover, noting that up to 40 percent of retailers depend on foreign tourists who may not be able to leave their countries at this stage. (NNT)


New York Times praises Thai fruit delicacies despite peeling effort

Thailand’s famous fruit highlighted in the New York Times included Lychee, jackfruit, rambutan, mangosteen, salak, and durian.

A recent online post in the New York Times has recognized the quality of Thai fruit, saying "Eating Thai Fruit Demands Serious Effort but Delivers a Sublime Reward."

In its publication earlier this week, the paper offered its readers insight into Thai fruit delicacies, as the kingdom is now entering its peak fruit season.

The kingdom’s famous fruit highlighted in the newspaper included Lychee, jackfruit, rambutan, mangosteen, salak, and durian.

The paper says the “region’s fruits are like no other” but despite being both unique and yummy, they all need quite serious commitment to eat.

With the many different fruit on offer, the kingdom is currently ranked the world’s sixth biggest fruit exporter, with China being the biggest customer.

Those interested in reading more of this article can search for “Eating Thai Fruit Demands Serious Effort but Delivers a Sublime Reward.” On New York Times. (NNT)


Thailand exporting lowest in 4 Years

Worldwide demand and supply shrank due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the production that had plunged due to the lockdowns.

Thai exports in May showed the lowest level in four years due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Commerce Ministry.

Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said the export value in May was at US$16.28 billion, down by 22.50% year-on-year, and the import value was at US$13.58 billion, falling by 34.41%.

The May export was the lowest in four years and its increase rate was the lowest in 130 months or more than 10 years from July 2009, she said.

Demand and supply shrank due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production plunged because of worldwide lockdowns and the income of trading partners was affected, Ms Pimchanok said.

“The impacts happen worldwide and it cannot be predicted when the situation should end,” she said.
However, the exports of farm products and foods remained promising as they grew by 22%, up from 15% in the same period last year.

“The markets for this group of exports must be protected and such an incident in Germany where infections happened at slaughterhouses must be prevented,” Ms Pimchanok said.

In May, Thailand posted a trade surplus of US$2.69 billion. In the first five months of this year the trade surplus amounted to US$9.09 billion due to US$97.89billion exports, down by 3.71%, and US$88.80 billion imports, down by 11.64%. (TNA)


Thailand’s economy to shrink 5-6 % in 2020

 NESDB Secretary General Tossaporn Sirisamphan.

Thailand’s economy contracted 1.8 percent in the first quarter and is projected to shrink 5-6 percent this year, says the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)

NESDB Secretary General Tossaporn Sirisamphan said that the quarterly contraction was the first since 2014 and the GDP would further drop in the second quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NESDB also projected country’s total exports to decrease by 8 percent.

“These projections are based on the assumptions that the virus is contained by the second quarter and the economic and tourism activities return to normal in the latter half of the year”, said Tossaporn.

Commenting on the government’s plan to acquire 1 trillion- baht worth of loan, the NESDB chief said that the injection would not significantly stimulate the GDP.

Tossaporn also cited the US-China trade war and the drought disaster as main affecting factors.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus, the tourism industry could lose at least 150 billion baht in revenue, the NESDB said in a report released earlier.(TNA


Thailand to set up fund to help small businesses

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak (center).

BANGKOK- Many small businesses are affected by the coronavirus outbreak and lacking access to financial sources. In a meeting of economic ministers and the Bank of Thailand on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said that he instructed the Finance Ministry to finalize the plan to support small businesses.

Finance Minister Uttama Savayanaya said that the fund might be worth up to 100 billion baht allocated from the 400-billion-baht emergency loan for COVID-19.

Eligibility verification could be tricky, he said, because many small businesses had no financial records.  Officials might have to survey their actual locations in order to approve their eligibility.

Uttama also revealed that the Ministry planned to announce its GDP forecast on Monday which would definitely shrink due to COVID-19. (TNA) 


Shopping malls in Thailand prepare to reopen

 

Shopping malls in Thailand are preparing for reopening.

BANGKOK- The government is mulling the second phase of easing coronavirus restrictions.

After the first stage of easing which has seen some restaurants, barber shops and salons reopened, the government’s COVID-19 taskforce has announced that it plans to allow shopping malls as well as health and wellness businesses in the next stage which could begin next week.

The operators of the shopping malls that have been closed since March 22 are gearing up with their preparations for reopening. 

Health screening, density limit and social distancing measures would be taken when they resume operations, the management of one of the major shopping malls said.

The high-density venues can reopen if the number of new Covid-19 infections continues to drop, according to the government’s coronavirus taskforce. The taskforce is expected to announce its decision on the second phase of lockdown easing on Friday.

An analysis report by Siam Commercial Bank indicates that retailing businesses have shrunk by 14 percent, translating into about 500- billion baht of loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. (TNA)

Health screening, density limit and social distancing measures would be exercised upon reopening.


Bangkok Governor extends Chatuchak Market opening hours

Asawin Kwanmuang, Bangkok Governor and of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration officials inspected COVID-19 prevention measures at Chatuchak Weekend Market on Sunday.

The Bangkok Governor today issued an order to extend Chatuchak Market opening hours to support shopkeepers and customers, with a further hour of shopping time. The market is now open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customers and shopkeepers are asked to maintain appropriate personal distance and follow the regulations.

Asawin Kwanmuang, Bangkok Governor along with officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration or BMA inspected COVID-19 prevention measures at Chatuchak Weekend Market on Sunday. After being open for two days, they found that during the hot season customers tend to come in the afternoon around 2 to 5 p.m. The governor therefore decided to extend opening hours, so that now shopping ends at 7 p.m., instead of 6 p.m.

The BMA is also preparing to cut rents for traders, a plan now being proposed to the Minister of Transport. The plan aims to cut rent payable from March to November as customer numbers are much lower than usual.

 

However, it was noted that social distancing in the market is sometimes forgotten by shoppers. As a result, the governor has had officials draw lines on the ground all over the market as a reminder to maintain personal distance.

A big cleaning operation was also undertaken on Monday.

The governor has asked all customers and shopkeepers to follow anti-pandemic measures. Violators will be warned first, so that it may not be necessary to enforce the harsh provisions of the law.

 

As for the market’s COVID-19 control measures, only 6 of 13 entrances are open, everyone must wear a mask and have their body temperature checked. Hand sanitizers are provided at every entrance and other spots around the market. Toilets are cleaned every 2 hours.

Food vendors must work behind a plastic screen and all containers must have a lid. Shops are allowed to have a maximum of five customers inside at any one time in small shops, with a 10-person maximum in larger shops. Meanwhile, the area normally reserved for street vendors around the clocktower, and the night market are still closed. (NNT)


TOT, CAT introduce affordable home internet package in Thailand

TOT and CAT Telecom offer a new fixed broadband home internet package to facilitate online communications, work and study from home.

BANGKOK - The coronavirus pandemic is forcing more people to stay at home, making a capable internet connection essential for work and study online. The Ministry of a Digital Economy and Society has joined interests with telecom providers to offer a special home internet package, with free installation and a 3-month bonus.

The Minister of a Digital Economy and Society, Puttipong Punnakanta has announced that telecom providers TOT and CAT Telecom will be offering a new fixed broadband home internet package, with 100 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds, to facilitate online communications, as well as work and study from home.

The new package will be offered at 390 baht per month for households with no internet connection. Customers will receive a free 3-month bonus after the first 12 bills. The companies aim to offer this package to 100,000 customers, helping more people have access to the internet at an affordable price.

TOT Acting President Pipat Khanthong, said today the membership fee, equipment costs, and installation fees will be waived. Customers in remote areas can also sign up, thanks to the Net Pracharat village internet infrastructure that covers more than 24,000 networks nationwide.

Interested persons can sign up for this special package from 10th May to 31st July this year, by calling CAT Telecom cell center 1322, or TOT call center 1100. (NNT)


2,100 migrant workers tested for Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon, Thailand

Thai health officials conduct a random testing of 2,100 migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province.

SAMUT SAKHON - Thai health officials conduct a random testing of 2,100 migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province for COVID-19 in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

Public health volunteers have since Monday begun door-to-door testing at a community of migrant workers, mostly from Myanmar, who are employed in fishery industry.

The testing is supported by provincial disease control committee, local hospitals and the Department of Medical Sciences. 

Around 500 people have been tested so far as officials set the target at 2,100.  Test results will be completed in two weeks.

Samut Sakhon Governor Wirasak Wichitsaengsri said the random testing in the province, home to over 268,000 migrant workers, served as a model for advanced community testing.

The testing was instrumental in detecting virus cases in communities leading to effective disease control, he said. 

Public health volunteers handed out social distancing and sanitary guidelines for the workers as well. (TNA)


 


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story] : 

‘Global Business Matching 2020’ promotes partnership for Thai SMEs

Economic stabilization the key for ‘Thailand Rebounds’

Thai economic recovery to take 2-3 years


‘GI Market 2020’ gathers unique items from around Thailand


Thailand to host ‘CCA 2020’ first world-class beauty trade fair in Southeast Asia


Shopping malls in Bangkok organize big discounts festival to boost domestic consumption


New York Times praises Thai fruit delicacies despite peeling effort

Thailand exporting lowest in 4 Years


Thailand’s economy to shrink 5-6 % in 2020

Thailand to set up fund to help small businesses

Shopping malls in Thailand prepare to reopen


Bangkok Governor extends Chatuchak Market opening hours

TOT, CAT introduce affordable home internet package in Thailand


2,100 migrant workers tested for Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon, Thailand