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Economics

Flood toll reaches 244, damage set at Bt20 billion (M$645)

Flood damage may reach 50 billion baht ($1.6 billion), the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates, stiffening resistance to mandated pay increases.

Boris Sullivan

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Flood damage

Thailand’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BoT), has initially assessed flood damage nationwide at Bt20 billion, lower than losses sustained in last year’s flooding, and predicts only a slight affect on the country’s economic growth, according to BoT Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul.

Mr Prasarn, however, said the bank will be monitoring the situation for further review as floods continue to wreck havoc in many provinces with no sign of easing.

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He said an extensive area of farmland in the central region was heavily damaged but crop losses there are to be offset by the likelihood of the large volume of rain in the northeast making likely future good harvests, making up for losses of cash crops in the central plain.

Flood damage

Flood damage may reach 50 billion baht ($1.6 billion), the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates. Picture: http://twitter.com/#!/thaiflood

Most worrisome at present, he said, is the hardships that flood victims face, and the necessary long-term measures to solve problems and rehabilitation. The central bank has instructed commercial banks to prepare measures to help their customers affected by the floods.

At least 244 people have died in the monsoon flooding that has gripped Thailand for two months, according to the latest update from government officials and emergency services.

The BoT governor said the floods have no significant impact on the growth of credit service of the commercial banks but the downward trend of the global economy would affect commercial banks’ credit approval.

It was estimated that the growth of the commercial banks’ credit in 2012 would shrink to 7-8 per cent compared with the first half of 2011 which enjoyed more than 10 per cent growth.

Economic losses from the floods and weakening overseas demand for Thailand’s electronics, textiles and agricultural goods may complicate Yingluck’s government pledge to raise the minimum wage to 300 baht. Flood damage may reach 50 billion baht ($1.6 billion), the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates, stiffening resistance to mandated pay increases.

As Thailand continues to deal with record flooding, officials there are also worried about a flood of babies in maternity wards.

The French press agency reports condoms are being rushed to hard hit areas along with other medical supplies.

Local volunteers say villagers have nothing to do, so a baby boom is expected.

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Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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