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China and CLMV drives Thai exports growth to continue at 6.2%YOY

The value of Thai exports grew by 0.5%YOY in 2016, turning to positive growth for the first time in 4 years.

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Thai exports rose by 6.2%YOY thanks to rising exports to China and CLMV that grew by 27%YOY and 17%YOY, respectively, with exports of oil-related products growing quickly in these markets.The value of exports grew by 0.5%YOY in 2016, turning to positive growth for the first time in 4 years. Excluding gold exports, however, the value of exports would have contracted by 1.2%YOY.

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The value of imports continued to grow the fourth consecutive month by 10.3%YOY as imports of fuel increase following oil price recovery. As a result, the overall value of imports fell by 3.9%YOY in 2016.

EIC expects exports to grow slightly by 1.5%YOY in 2017

The drop in exports when excluding gold reflects that Thai exports have not yet fully recovered, especially with exports of main industrial goods like electronics and electrical appliances that have continued to suffer throughout 2016 from slow recovery of global markets, products becoming outdated and shifts in production bases.

EIC expects exports to grow slightly by 1.5%YOY in 2017, as subdued global trade and risk from the US trade barriers with China that will affect Thai industrial exports used in China’s exports supply chain, especially electronics, primary plastic and furniture wood, weigh down growth.

Nevertheless, recovering oil prices will likely support improvement in prices and value of oil-related commodities exports, especially during the first half of 2017.

EIC expects imports to return to growth at 3.5%YOY in 2017 as imports of fuel rise with oil prices and demand of consumer goods increases on the back of stronger household consumption. However, stalling investment condition among main industries that will prolong into 2017 will likely put downward pressure imports of on capital goods going forward.

Author: Pimnipa Booasang

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Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

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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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

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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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Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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