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December industrial exports post first expansion in 12 months

Thailand’s export sector posted first expansion in 12 months, excluding gold, at 6.68 percent in December 2020.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Improving world economic conditions and continued government stimuli have brought about the first expansion of Thailand’s export sector, excluding gold, in 12 months at 6.68 percent in December 2020, while the Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) fell year-on-year by 2.44 percent.

Director of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) Thongchai Chawalitpichet pointed out that Thailand’s effective control of COVID-19, both among the public and business sectors, helped to reduce the disease’s impact on the industrial economy with demand for products relevant to the virus, such as medical electronics, rubber gloves, pharmaceuticals and food, growing.

The director remarked that confidence would be a major deciding factor moving forward, highlighting the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in February and global vaccination efforts as two developments that could spur production and consumption.

He added that government stimulus programs, such as the co-pay scheme and Shop Dee Mee Kuen as well as Rao Chana, will be important in fueling consumption and SME activity to prop up the economy.

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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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