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Thai workers debt hits 10 years high

The average worker’s family have a personal debt of 138,000 bahts, almost 10 times their monthly income

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According to the latest survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) based on 1,194 respondents whose income is lower than 15,000 baht per month, 96% of them were in debt.

The survey estimated average debt per household at 137,988 baht, the highest level in 10 years, up by almost 5% from 2017.

Default rate up to 85%

Up to 34% of the current household debt of poor families is still managed by the informal sector

Up to 34% of the current household debt of poor families is still managed by the informal sector (known as loan sharks)

Some 85.4% of respondents have defaulted on debt repayments in the past 12 months, mostly because of lower income, higher expenses, rising product prices, and a higher debt burden and interest rates.

According to an infographic published by the Bangkok Post, up to 34% of the current household debt of poor families is still managed by the informal sector (known as loan sharks) with interest rates as high as 20% per month.

Laborers with wages under 15,000 baht a month are showing the highest rate of debt in 10 years according to a survey conducted by The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Economic and Business Forecasting Center.

Average debt of 138,000 baht up 5%

Of the 1,194 people questioned, as many as 96 percent said they have debts, the highest figure in 10 years. The average household debt for respondents was gauged at 137,988 baht, up 4.9 percent on-year with most having to make a monthly payment on average of 5,326 baht.

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Economics

EEC Expects 300-billion-baht Investment This Year

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) has expected investment to triple to 300 billion baht this year as investment projects previously held by the coronavirus outbreak get pushed forward again.

EEC Secretary -General Kanit Sangsubhan said actual investment in the EEC could be up from 96 billion baht in 2020, or 46% of total project applications as investors did not invest last year, and they would have to do it this year.

He said there will be a bunch of projects held up from previous years.

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Economics

Commerce Ministry sets Thailand’s export growth target at 4% for 2021

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand has seen export growth of 0.35 percent in the first month of the year. The Commerce Minister has ordered the Department of International Trade Promotion to advance an action plan to accelerate growth, which is set at 4 percent this year.

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Ecommerce

Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

Oxford Business Group

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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