Thailand Business News https://www.thailand-business-news.com Thailand News with a Business Perspective Thu, 09 Jul 2020 05:16:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i1.wp.com/www.thailand-business-news.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/thaibiznews-border-helv-square.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Thailand Business News https://www.thailand-business-news.com 32 32 161852380 Thailand may extend international flight ban again https://www.thailand-business-news.com/travel/79935-thailand-may-extend-international-flight-ban-again.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/travel/79935-thailand-may-extend-international-flight-ban-again.html#respond Thu, 09 Jul 2020 05:16:03 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79935 The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand may extend the international flight ban in August, due to concerns over the global COVID-19 situation.

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has cited the possibility of extending the international flight ban, due to concerns over the global COVID-19 situation.

The director-general of the CAAT said the recovery of Thailand’s airline industry, which is expected to be revived by the travel bubble programme by August, may be delayed as travel bubble program partners including China, Japan and South Korea have recently faced a recurrence of their coronavirus outbreak.

The development is expected to delay the tourism scenes until the situation improves in these nations. The director-general said the kingdom should focus more on its domestic airline business as the government earlier gave a green light to local flights and allowed the majority of businesses to reopen.

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Thailand’s financial system more vulnerable, says BoT https://www.thailand-business-news.com/banking/79914-thailands-financial-system-more-vulnerable-says-bot.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/banking/79914-thailands-financial-system-more-vulnerable-says-bot.html#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2020 05:14:11 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79914 The Thai financial system has become more vulnerable due to the more-than-expected contraction of the economic outlook in light of the COVID-19 situation, said Bank of Thailand's (BoT)

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The Thai financial system has become more vulnerable due to the more-than-expected contraction of the economic outlook in light of the COVID-19 situation, said Bank of Thailand’s (BoT) monetary policy committee’s latest update.

The Committee assessed that the Thai economy would contract by 8.1 percent in 2020 but would expand at 5.0 percent in 2021 in tandem with a gradual improvement in both domestic and external demand.

However, the Bank of Thailand warned that the Thai economy would contract this year more than the previous assessment due to the more-severe-than-expected COVID-19 pandemic which could lead to (1) sharp correction of asset prices in global financial markets, (2) defaults by businesses and households in many countries including Thailand, and (3) corporate bonds being downgraded to non-investment grade.

Additionally, the Committee deemed it important to prepare financial measures to continuously alleviate impacts on household and business borrowers, especially after the phase-outs of the batch of financial and credit measures.

The financial institution system remained sound

The Committee assessed that the overall financial institution system remained sound. Commercial banks had robust capital funds and loan loss provision levels, capable of absorbing the impacts of COVID-19.

The Committee also deemed it necessary for the Bank of Thailand and other related regulatory agencies to prepare measures for coping with increasing risks if debt servicing capability of borrowers were to deteriorate significantly more than expected.

Meanwhile, the Committee viewed that fiscal policy would still have capacity to restore and restructure the economy and that the government need to focus on supply-side policies to support economic restructuring after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Source: Bank of Thailand

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Car Makers Ramp Up EV Production Capacity in Thailand, says BOI https://www.thailand-business-news.com/business/79907-car-makers-ramp-up-ev-production-capacity-in-thailand-says-boi.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/business/79907-car-makers-ramp-up-ev-production-capacity-in-thailand-says-boi.html#respond Tue, 07 Jul 2020 03:18:11 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79907 Amid the rising adoption of cleaner cars around the globe, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has already approved 24 projects by car makers to produce in the country electric vehicles of all types.

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Amid the rising adoption of cleaner cars around the globe, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has already approved 24 projects by car makers to produce in the country electric vehicles of all types.

This includes hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with a combined capacity of over 500,000 units per year, BOI data shows.

With the ongoing shift towards EV in the global, regional and domestic markets, Thailand is counting on its strong foundation in the automotive and support sectors, as well as its strategic location, and comprehensive investment incentives to attract car makers investment in EV manufacturing.

The approved projects include Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd.’s 5.48 billion baht investment to upgrade the company’s existing car production line at Laem Chabang Industrial Estate to allow the annual production from 2023 of a total of 39,000 vehicles, consisting of some 9,500 BEVs and 29,500 HEVs.

In June, the BOI also approved a 5.5 billion baht investment by Sammitr Group for the production, in Phetchaburi Province, of 30,000 BEVs.

Both projects, like most others, will aim at the local market and exports, mainly to other ASEAN countries.

Other manufacturers which projects have been approved include BMW (production of PHEVs and partnership with the DRÄXLMAIER Group for the production of high-voltage batteries and battery modules), FOMM, a new Japanese EV brand which name means “First One Mile Mobility”, which has started making compact BEVs at a plant in Chonburi province, and Nissan Motor which has for several years made significant investment in hybrid car production in Thailand and received approval recently for a new BEV production project.

Besides the 5 HEV projects, 6 PHEV projects and 13 BEV projects approved since the BOI first rolled out a comprehensive set of incentives covering all major aspects of the EV supply chain, the agency has also approved 10 battery production projects with a total capacity of half a million units per year and 2 charging station production projects that will make more than 4,400 outlets per year, Ms. Sonklin Ploymee, Executive Director of the BOI’s Industrial Linkage Development Division, told a recent webinar about the Electric Vehicle Market in Asia.

Thailand, Southeast Asia’s largest automotive production hub has no local content requirement for auto industry, making supply chain management more convenient for manufacturers, Ms. Sonklin said at the event, which was part of the ASEAN Sustainable Energy webinar series on the Impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

In Thailand, EV adoption has been growing continuously, with more than 30,000 new HEVs/PHEVs and more than 1,200 battery electric cars and motorcycles registered in 2019, with approximately 750 charging outlets were setup in some 500 locations, according to Mr. Krisda Utamote, Vice President of the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand.

BloombergNEF’s Allen Abraham told the webinar that projections show that in 2020, due to the impact of the coronavirus, the market will see the first decline of passenger EV sales, down by 18% from the previous year to 1.7 million units.

However, a quick recovery is expected with passenger EV sales rising to a projected 5.4 million units in 2023. The growth, especially in China and Europe, he pointed out, is driven by policy support and the development of lithium-ion battery.

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Thailand sets up COVID-19 testing at Bangkok’s airport https://www.thailand-business-news.com/health/79900-thailand-sets-up-covid-19-testing-at-bangkoks-airport.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/health/79900-thailand-sets-up-covid-19-testing-at-bangkoks-airport.html#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2020 09:27:12 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79900 Once foreigners are approved to come into Thailand for business on a short-term stay for less than seven days, they will have to go through a swab test at Suvarnabhumi after touching down.

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Thailand has set up a COVID-19 testing laboratory inside Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. It’s thought to be the first in Southeast Asia.

The lab will analyse swab tests on-site. Once foreigners are approved to come into Thailand for business on a short-term stay for less than seven days, they will have to go through a swab test at Suvarnabhumi after touching down.

Each test will cost them US$100. The lab, a permanent fixture in the airport, can be used as a testing facility for other diseases like Ebola and MERS or other new emerging viruses in the future.

Thailand recorded five new COVID-19 cases today, all among Thais in state quarantine after returning from Kuwait.

Four of the five new patients are Thai males, aged 34, 46, 48 and 51, who all worked as freelancers. The fifth is a 37-year old Thai woman, who worked as a masseuse. All of them arrived in Thailand on the same flight as five others, who earlier also tested positive for COVID-19.

CCSA spokesman, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, told a news briefing today (Monday) that the new cases bring Thailand’s cumulative infections to 3,195, with 3,072 recoveries and 65 others being treated in hospital. The death toll remains 58.

The Thai government has confirmed the requirements for people wishing to enter the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While Thailand’s borders remain closed to tourists, certain groups of foreigners are allowed to enter the country.

These groups are:

  • Persons who hold a valid certificate of residence
  • Spouses, parents or child of a Thai national
  • Work permit holders
  • Students of Thai educational institutions
  • Persons who are in need of medical treatment in Thailand

All people in the aforementioned groups are required to have health insurance covering COVID-19, a fit to fly certificate and undergo quarantine once they return to Thailand. 

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Thailand’s streak without local infections continues https://www.thailand-business-news.com/health/79875-thailands-streak-without-local-infections-continues.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/health/79875-thailands-streak-without-local-infections-continues.html#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2020 09:12:14 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79875 The novel coronavirus has killed 58 people in Thailand since it was first detected in January, while 3,038 patients have recovered.

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Now onto the coronavirus pandemic, Thailand has not seen locally-transmitted cases for 41 days, and only 61 cases in the nation are still active.

The government on Monday reported five new imported coronavirus cases, taking the total in Thailand to 3,195.

The novel coronavirus has killed 58 people in Thailand since it was first detected in January, while 3,038 patients have recovered. 

According to the CCSA, a total of 52,957 Thais returning from abroad have been quarantined at facilities across the country and 43,849 have returned home. Among the returnees, 258 were infected and 193 of them have recovered so far.

The new infections were in Thai nationals who recently returned from Kuwait and were in state quarantine, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced on its Facebook page.

Two new infections were found yesterday on the same flight from Kuwait, which is now second to Indonesia on the list of sources of imported coronavirus cases in Thailand, according to the Disease Control Department.

The government found 69 out of 1,292 Thais who returned from Indonesia were infected – and 49 out of 292 from Kuwait.

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When the Weekend Isn’t Really the Weekend: Is Flexible Working the Future? https://www.thailand-business-news.com/corporate/79878-when-the-weekend-isnt-really-the-weekend-is-flexible-working-the-future.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/corporate/79878-when-the-weekend-isnt-really-the-weekend-is-flexible-working-the-future.html#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2020 08:33:57 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79878 People all around the planet work in different patterns and for varying amounts of time. For example, in France the legal working week is 35 hours long while in Colombia and Turkey the working week is over 47 hours.

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It is becoming clear that workers all over the world could benefit from more flexible hours that let them improve their work-life balance.

Add in the fact that businesses could also find this advantageous, and it is worth exploring how this sort of change could happen.

The Case for a Four-Day Working Week

One of the strongest cases for switching to a new way of working is presented by the four-day week. Microsoft Japan reported a 40% rise in productivity and a 23% reduction in electricity costs when they give it a trial in 2019.

Computer Working on desk
There are pros and cons to this compressed working schedule. Picture: Pixabay.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has spoken out in the past about the possibility of a four-day working week based on flexible days of six hours each. However, since taking on the role of leading her country, Marin has pointed out that there are no plans to introduce this method yet.

Some other countries and companies have already tried this in the past, with mixed results. The general idea is that employees get more free time but also that they are more productive when working, as studies have shown that productivity drops as hours increase.

There are pros and cons to this sort of compressed working schedule, but it appears likely that we hear a lot more about it in the months and years ahead. The four days that we work could include the weekend, or any other part of the week, which would give a huge amount of flexibility.

Global Differences in Working Patterns

People all around the planet work in different patterns and for varying amounts of time. For example, in France the legal working week is 35 hours long while in Colombia and Turkey the working week is over 47 hours.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development put Mexico and Costa Rica as the countries where people worked most hours each year, as they were the only countries with an average of over 2,000 hours in 2019.  

Also, not every country looks on the weekend in the same way. A good example comes from countries with a predominantly Islamic culture, where Thursday and Friday are typically the days that make up the weekend. In countries such as India, where Saturday working is traditionally common, the weekend is only Sunday for many people.

As we become more used to global workforces, this increases the need for work patterns that suit everyone and are fair.

Industries That Value the Change to Take Action at Weekends

Another way that flexibility could be added to our careers is by allowing us to work weekends, thereby freeing up more leisure time during the week. This could be especially beneficial in certain industries, where the weekend offers new possibilities.

A type of worker who could appreciate this change is anyone who commutes every day and therefore would benefit from quieter transport and streets. Workers who suffer from slow, crowded computer networks and noisy workplaces may also feel the benefit of working at the weekend.

Office working
It seems certain that we see changes in our working patterns before too long Picture: Pixabay

Part of the knock-on effect of this could be that more trading occurs, as additional opportunities appear in the markets for carrying out Saturday and Sunday trading online. IG confirms that it is already possible to trade on markets such as forex, cryptocurrencies and key global indices at the weekend, suggesting they have already noted advantages to being able to make such trades.

Changes Are Likely

It seems certain that we see changes in our working patterns before too long. The recent increase in the number of home-workers has helped to show us all that it is possible to change how we work in order to get a better life and be more productive at the same time.

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Thailand’s economy https://www.thailand-business-news.com/economics/79869-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-thailands-economy.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/economics/79869-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-thailands-economy.html#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2020 04:55:28 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79869 Thailand’s economy is expected to be impacted severely by the COVID-19 pandemic, shrinking by at least 5 percent in 2020 and taking more than two years to return to pre-COVID-19 GDP output levels

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Thailand has been successful in stemming the tide of COVID-19 infections over the last three months, but the economy is expected to shrink significantly in 2020.

The recovery will be gradual, as the economy may take more than two years to return to pre-COVID-19 output levels and will depend on an effective policy response, in particular support for vulnerable households and firms.

Thailand’s economy is expected to be impacted severely by the COVID-19 pandemic, shrinking by at least 5 percent in 2020 and taking more than two years to return to pre-COVID-19 GDP output levels, according to the World Bank’s latest Thailand Economic Monitor.

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the economy especially in the second quarter of 2020 and has already led to widespread job losses, affecting middle-class households and the poor alike. 

While Thailand has been successful in stemming the tide of COVID-19 infections over the last three months, the economic impact has been severe. The tourism sector, which makes up close to 15 percent of Thailand’s GDP, has been hit hard, with a near cessation of international tourist arrivals since March 2020.

Exports to decline by 6.3 percent in 2020

Exports are expected to decline by 6.3 percent in 2020, the sharpest quarterly contraction in five years, as demand for Thai goods abroad remains weakened by the global slowdown. Household consumption is projected to decline by 3.2 percent as movement restrictions and dwindling incomes limit consumer spending, especially in the second quarter of 2020.

As Thailand starts to ease mobility restrictions, domestic consumption, Thailand’s traditionally strongest driver of growth, may pick up in the second half of 2020 and in 2021, but economic recovery will be gradual and uncertain.

In the baseline, the Thai economy is projected to grow by 4.1 percent in 2021 and by 3.6 percent in 2022, which represents a slow recovery to pre-COVID GDP output levels by mid-2022.

The shape of the recovery is subject to considerable downside risks, including weaker global growth, feeble tourism, and continuing trade and supply chain disruptions.

Thailand’s economy is expected to be impacted severely by the COVID-19 pandemic, shrinking by at least 5 percent in 2020

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Bangkok cost of living : not as cheap as you may think https://www.thailand-business-news.com/lifestyle/79850-bangkok-cost-of-living-not-as-cheap-as-you-may-think.html https://www.thailand-business-news.com/lifestyle/79850-bangkok-cost-of-living-not-as-cheap-as-you-may-think.html#respond Sat, 04 Jul 2020 09:55:47 +0000 https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=79850 Thai and Vietnamese cities have once again moved up the rankings, with Bangkok rising 64 places in five years and Hanoi up 25 places over the same period.

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The Thai capital ranked 28th in Asia according to the latest ECA International survey, or one place above Chiang Mai, on the cost of living for expatriates.

Meanwhile, Thai and Vietnamese cities have once again moved up the rankings, with Bangkok rising 64 places in five years and Hanoi up 25 places over the same period.

But it’s worth noting that ECA survey does not include certain living costs such as accommodation rental and utilities charges (electricity, gas, and water). Bangkok is still affordable when it comes to housing compared to other regional capitals like Hong Kong or Singapore.

In the global rankings, Bangkok was 60th and Chiang Mai 142nd, while Singapore is now the 14th most expensive location in the world – down two places from last year.

Strong baht

“Thailand’s steady rise up our rankings has been a constant feature of our surveys in recent years as its economy has continued to grow and attract increasing investment from overseas businesses.

This means that the baht has strengthened considerably – making the country more expensive for expatriates and tourists. However, this trend has slowed over the past year, partly in response to government attempts to weaken the baht in order to keep the country competitive,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director, Asia at ECA International.

Hong Kong has dropped slightly in the rankings after falling behind the Swiss cities of Basel and Bern, and now sits outside of the top five most expensive locations globally.

Chinese cities drop

Chinese cities have all dropped in the most recent cost of living rankings this year. This includes Beijing and Shanghai, which both fell nine places – coming in at 24th and 19th place respectively.

“Chinese cities have all fallen across the board in our latest rankings due to signs of a weakening economy and poorly performing currency. One of the key contributing factors was undoubtedly the outbreak of Covid-19. However, it is important to note that the yuan was performing poorly before this period too, with the outbreak of the coronavirus exacerbating the relative weakness of the Chinese currency against other major currencies.”

Lee Quane, Regional Director, Asia at ECA International.

Top ten most expensive locations for expatriates in Asia

CityCountry2020 global ranking2019 global ranking
AshgabatTurkmenistan11
Hong KongHong Kong64
TokyoJapan77
YokohamaJapan1014
OsakaJapan1219
NagoyaJapan1317
SingaporeSingapore1412
MacauMacau1525
SeoulRepublic of Korea178
ShanghaiChina1910
Top ten most expensive locations for expatriates – Asia

Global Highlights

The vast majority of U.S. cities saw a rise in the rankings as the U.S. dollar continued to perform well against other major currencies.

“The recent strength of the U.S. dollar has been reflected in nearly all U.S. cities moving up in the rankings, with New York and Honolulu now entering the global top 20. In uncertain times, as we are currently seeing with Covid-19 and an impending global recession, many will put their money into what is seen as ‘safe haven’ economies such as the U.S. As a result, the U.S. dollar has strengthened – making things more expensive for expatriates living in the country than in the past,” said Quane.

Many European cities saw a drop in the cost of living as the value of the euro weakened slightly from the last survey. Major European cities such as Berlin, Madrid and Rome have continued to fall in the rankings and remain outside of the top 100 most expensive cities for overseas workers. 

Australian cities have experienced some of the biggest falls in the rankings this year, with every Australian city seeing a drop of over 20 places. Sydney is now the only Australian city in the top 100 most expensive locations, but it still dropped 24 places to 97th place.

About ECA’s Cost of Living Survey

ECA International’s cost of living surveys are carried out in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services commonly purchased by assignees. The data used above refers to year-on-year movements between ECA’s March 2019 and March 2020 surveys. ECA’s Cost of Living Survey rankings began in 2005.

Cost of living indices are used by ECA clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees. The survey covers:

  • Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables 
  • Basic: Household goods; recreational goods; general services; leisure services
  • General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out; alcohol and tobacco

Certain living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities charges (electricity, gas, and water), car purchases and school fees are not included in the survey. Such items can make a significant difference to expenses but are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

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