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Government to launch SME co-pay project

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Response to the government’s half-half co-payment campaign, aimed at easing people’s financial burden, has been overwhelmingly positive. The government is to launch the SME co-pay project by mid-2021 to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce costs while enhancing their competitiveness.

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The Government Spokesman, Anucha Burapachaisri, said today that the government is preparing additional measures to help Thai SMEs, with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) paying 50 to 80 percent of their various expenses, such as fees for product testing, certification registration, business consultation relating to accounting, agriculture and food standards. These expenses can be costly and may hinder the SMEs’ product development and services. To be eligible, the enterprises have to submit their tax filings to the OSMEP and register with the agency.

The government is expected to launch the SME co-pay project by the middle of this year. In addition, more than 3.1 million SMEs will be able to further improve the quality of their products and services to meet the needs of each industry. They will be given opportunities to showcase their products and services that conform to international standards. This is a new project of the government to revive and strengthen small businesses.

Concerning the soft loan measure, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Ministry of Finance are considering adjusting its criteria to improve accessibility and increase loan volume. In addition, the Asset Warehousing project enables creditors, or banks, to purchase assets to prevent them from being seized or shut down. Cabinet ministers will examine the details.

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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

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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Economics

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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