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Update May - October, 2020


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Update by Thanaphon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
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Thai GDP to fall by 8.3% this year

Birgit Hansl, World Bank Country Manager for Thailand, said Thailand would survive the COVID-19 crisis because it well controlled the disease and helped affected people.

The World Bank warns that the Thai economy can shrink by 8.3% this year and may take nearly three years to recover.

The message is a part of the World Bank’s Economic Update for East Asia and the Pacific for October.

The report said that the economy of this region would grow by only 0.9% this year, its slowest pace since 1967. China’s economy will expand by 2% because it contained the coronavirus disease 2019 in March and has increased government investments since.

Meanwhile, the economies of other countries in the region will contract by 3.5% on average. The Thai economy can shrink by 8.3-10.4% this year, according to the World Bank.

Birgit Hansl, World Bank Country Manager for Thailand, said Thailand would survive the COVID-19 crisis because it well controlled the disease and helped affected people. She suggested the Thai government balance health policies against economic ones, improve economic stimulus measures to better reach target groups and maintain employment.

Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, World Bank’s senior country economist for Thailand, said the Thai gross domestic product this year could fall by 10.4% if the country faced the second wave of COVID-19 in addition to flooding and political uncertainty.

The 8.3% contraction would take two years for GDP recovery to the pre-COVID level but it would take as long as three years if the contraction rate reached 10.4%, he said.

The World Bank’s report also stated that poverty in the region tended to rise for the first time in 20 years with the number of the poor to reach 38 million this year and COVID-19 was creating a class of “new poor”. (TNA)


Thailand Mooncake Festival on Oct 1 may see sales shrink by 16%

Sales of mooncake are estimated this year at about 800 million baht, down by 15.8% from last year.

Mooncake sales are shrinking by about 16% due to economic problems, the Kasikorn Research Center said.

The center estimated mooncake sales this year at about 800 million baht, down by 15.8% from last year.

It explained that the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic heavily affected purchasing power and would reduce the number of visitors to the Mooncake Festival on Oct 1 and the overall sales of mooncakes.

The impact would be serious for the producers who conventionally sold expensive mooncakes to tourists. Those who had regular customers and sold affordable mooncakes should be less affected, the center said.

Mooncake producers would still participate in the Mooncake Festival on October 1 to maintain their brand awareness and customer base while waiting for economic recovery. Weak purchasing power and fierce competition were their major challenges, the research center said. (TNA)

Mooncake producers would still participate in the Mooncake Festival on October 1 to maintain their brand awareness and customer base while waiting for economic recovery.


Bank of Thailand forecasts -7.8% GDP drop, maintains policy rate at 0.50%

Titanun Mallikamas, Bank of Thailand’s assistant governor supervising the Monetary Policy Group.

The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) maintained the policy rate at 0.50% and revised its forecast on the gross domestic product decline from -8.1% to -7.8% this year.

Titanun Mallikamas, Bank of Thailand’s assistant governor supervising the Monetary Policy Group, said the committee resolved unanimously to keep the policy rate unchanged because it expected a slightly less decline of the Thai economy and the headline inflation to gradually rise next year.

The committee viewed that financial institutions should quickly restructure household and business debts regarding more risks in the financial system of the country.

The MPC predicted that Thailand would welcome 6.7 million visitors this year and 9 million next year. The committee revised its forecast down from its earlier estimation of 8 million visitors this year and 16 million next year.

The MPC expected that the Thai GDP would slowly recover and take at least two years to return to its pre-COVID level late last year. The government needed to improve its economic stimulus measures, promote employment and restructure the national economy, Mr Titanun said. (TNA)


Thailand to stop transferring 5,000-baht in cash relief on Sept 30

Thai Ministry of Finance has transferred 5,000 baht in cash relief to all 15.3 million eligible citizens and will continue the transfer efforts until September 30, 2020.

The Ministry of Finance has transferred 5,000 baht in cash relief to all 15.3 million eligible citizens. However, some people have yet to receive the financial aid, as their bank accounts are not linked to the PromptPay service or they have already been closed.

The Director of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) and Spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, Lawaron Sangsanit, said that the ministry has repeatedly tried to transfer the aid payments to about 56,000 remaining applicants each week. The ministry will continue the transfer efforts until September 30, 2020.

People, who have yet to receive the 5,000-baht cash handout, can check whether they are in this group of applicants by visiting "เราไม่ทิ้งกัน" website. They can click on a dark green button with the label "Eligible persons who have not successfully received transferred money". If they are in this group of applicants or receive a short message service (SMS) message to confirm their status, they are advised to contact their respective bank, so that their accounts are linked to the PromptPay service before September 28. After September 30, the ministry will consider closing the project and ending the transfer.

Eligible applicants, who have yet to receive the government’s financial aid, are advised to have their bank accounts linked to PromptPay as soon as possible. (NNT)


Ex-WTO chief positive Thai economy will improve next year

Mr Supachai Panitchpakdi, former Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

A former chief of the World Trade Organization has expressed an optimistic outlook on the Thai economy, expecting rapid recovery early next year.

Mr Supachai Panitchpakdi, a former Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) disclosed today that he expects Thai economic recovery post COVID-19 to take some time, starting in Q3 and Q4 this year, with a better performance expected early next year.

He said Thailand is considered among countries in the Asian region that have managed the COVID-19 pandemic well, and expected the authorities to be able to control the situation should there be a second wave of infections.

The former WTO chief and national strategy board’s senior adviser said however the economy’s recovery is not able to commence fully just yet due to problems faced around the globe, while the government must provide support to the general public and businesses of all types to prolong their operations, protect society from further damage, as well as provide more help to informal workers, senior citizens, and unregistered persons with disabilities.

According to Mr Supachai, the Thai economy in Q3-Q4 this year will see less shrinkage and improved consumer confidence. He also stressed the importance of international cooperation between all countries in order for the world to recover from this global crisis.

Mr Supachai also denied a claim he has been offered the position of the new Minister of Finance by the Prime Minister. (NNT)


Thailand endeavors electric vehicle roadmap

The Ministry of Industry aims to increase electric car production to 30 percent of the total car production over 10 years.

From now on, the Thai automotive industry will move towards advancing technology driven by electricity. The Ministry of Industry aims to increase electric car production to 30 percent of the total car production over 10 years and will launch measures to encourage people to exchange their old cars for new electric vehicles.

Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit told the “New Generation of Automotives” seminar this week, about the Thai electric vehicle industry’s development plan. The short-term goal is to produce more than 60,000-110,000 government vehicles, public buses, electric taxi motorcycles and other personal vehicles. The medium-term goal is to produce about 300,000 ECO electric vehicles (EVs) and Smart City buses. The immediate goal is to produce 750,000 EVs.

The Ministry of Industry will accelerate an improvement in the quality of electric vehicles and study guidelines for continual industry development in order to promote the recycling of materials according to the concept of a circular economy, to achieve a systematic vehicle management mechanism.

The Ministry of Industry will offer tax incentives for individuals and companies to exchange their old cars for new cars or electric vehicles. The scheme will apply to used cars 15 years old or older and will boost sales of new cars and e-vehicles and reduce pollution. The scheme is being discussed by the Ministry of Industry, private agencies and related agencies. (NNT)

Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit.

The medium-term goal is to produce about 300,000 ECO electric vehicles (EVs) and Smart City buses. The immediate goal is to produce 750,000 EVs.

The “New Generation of Automotives” seminar this week, about the Thai electric vehicle industry’s development plan.


Thai exports in July fall 11.37% year-on-year

The July’s exports contracted 11.37% year-on-year to US$18.8 billion. Exports for the first seven months dropped 7.72% to $133 billion.

Thai exports contracted 11.37 percent in July due to the COVID-19 pandemic but there are signs for gradual improvements, the Ministry of Commerce reports.

Pimchanok Vonkorpon, Director-General of the Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said that although the contraction continued but the Ministry believed the worst slump was over.

The July’s exports contracted 11.37% year-on-year to US$18.8 billion. Exports for the first seven months dropped 7.72% to $133 billion, according to Pimchanok.

In the meantime, imports went down 23.68% to $15.5 billion, compared to the same month last year.  The trade surplus stood at $14 billion. 

The ministry was more optimistic about trade prospects, said Pimchanok, projecting 2020 exports to decrease 7-8 percent, much better than previous forecasts.

The value of exports to major trading partners contracted at a lower rate, she said. (TNA)  

Pimchanok Vonkorpon, Director-General of the Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office.


All commercial banks in Thailand are strong

Ronadol Numnonda, Bank of Thailand (BoT) deputy governor for financial institutions stability.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has confirmed that all commercial banks in the country are financially strong.

In response to an economist’s warning that Thai commercial banks were suffering from economic problems, Ronadol Numnonda, BoT’s deputy governor for financial institutions stability, said the operations and funds of all commercial banks remained strong and could cope well with the economic problems that resulted from the coronavirus disease 2019.

Since early 2020, the excess reserves of commercial banks were huge thanks to a strict provision policy implemented over the past years. As of June 2020, the capital ratio of commercial banks was as high as 19.2%. Besides, the banks continued to post profits and have high liquidity, he said.

In addition, commercial banks already conducted stress tests which confirmed that they had considerable funds and could cope with crises.

Meanwhile, the government and BoT issued swift monetary and financial measures to relieve the impacts of COVID-19 on people and businesses. As a result, affected people and businesses were able to repay their debts as usual, Mr Ronadol said.

BoT and financial institutions were cooperating closely on helping debtors and restructuring their debts and thus commercial banks could limit their non-performing loans, he said.

BoT assured that Thai commercial banks remained strong and were able to cope with the economic impacts of COVID-19. (TNA)


Support boosted for SMEs in aviation industry in Thailand

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) and Thai Aviation Industries Co (TAI) are supporting local SMEs to supply parts for aircraft maintenance.

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) and Thai Aviation Industries Co (TAI) are supporting local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to supply parts for aircraft maintenance.

OSMEP director-general Veerapong Malai said the SMEs that were members of the Thai Subcontracting Promotion Association were improving their capabilities to supply parts for the aircraft maintenance business of TAI after their representatives had inspection trips at aircraft maintenance centers in Nakhon Sawan and Lop Buri provinces.

 

Parts from the SMEs would soon form about 30% of whole aircraft that TAI maintained and the percentage would be increasing, Mr Veerapong said.

OSMEP and TAI would propose a policy that would encourage governmental organizations to use the local parts for their aircraft maintenance and the SMEs would receive a special favor in vying for aircraft part supply contracts with the right to quote prices 10% higher than the lowest quotation in each bidding contest, he said.

The air force hires TAI 4.5 billion baht a year to maintain its aircraft.

TAI managing director ACM Siripol Sirisap said TAI and the Directorate of Aeronautical Engineering would transfer their technology and production expertise to Thai SMEs, especially those concerning the equipment that did not require high technology. (TNA)

 


‘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] : 

Thai GDP to fall by 8.3% this year


Thailand Mooncake Festival on Oct 1 may see sales shrink by 16%

Bank of Thailand forecasts -7.8% GDP drop, maintains policy rate at 0.50%


Thailand to stop transferring 5,000-baht in cash relief on Sept 30

Ex-WTO chief positive Thai economy will improve next year


Thailand endeavors electric vehicle roadmap


Thai exports in July fall 11.37% year-on-year

All commercial banks in Thailand are strong


Support boosted for SMEs in aviation industry in Thailand

‘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