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Thailand’s GDP to drop by 1% if political crisis drags on

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Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) will shrink by 1 per cent if the current political crisis drags on, according to a top banker.

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Boontuck Wangcharoen, chief executive officer of TMB Bank (formerly the Thai Military Bank), said the  ongoing rally by the anti-government United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) at the downtown Ratchaprasong intersection had little impact on its loan portfolio because the number of bank clients operating businesses in the area is rather small.

via GDP growth to drop by 1% if political crisis drags on, says banker.

Key risks to the outlook are (i) political uncertainty and (ii) the timing of the withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus. Increased political tensions may have a long-lasting impact on investment, and withdrawal of stimulus (in Thailand and the advanced economies) must be precisely timed to avoid macroeconomic imbalances (including new asset bubbles) while also ensuring that the recovery is on a sufficiently solid footing.

Long-term growth will require improving productivity and greater focus on distributional issues. Imbalances present before the crisis remain, but the crisis has increased the urgency of reforms to improve productivity, enhance competitiveness, and promote more equitable growth. Openness to trade and investment have been – and will continue to be – essential to Thailand’s long-term growth. However, a return to high growth will require boosting domestic consumption and developing additional sources of external demand.

National

Abuse against women still prevalent in Thailand

Like many other Asian countries, Thailand is a patriarchal society in which women are generally tied to the role of family caretaker which usually means raising children and taking care of the elderly, as well as other household chores like cooking and cleaning.

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In December 1999, the United Nations designated Nov 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to commemorate the murder of the Mirabal sisters, the three Dominican political activists who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in 1960.

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Banking

Thai cabinet approves 350 billion baht Aid for COVID-hit Businesses

Thailand unveiled new measures to help small and medium COVID-hit businesses in the tourism industry hit by a liquidity crunch.

Olivier Languepin

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The Thai cabinet has approved assistance worth 350 billion baht($11 Billion) to help businesses affected by COVID-19 with soft loans and asset warehousing.

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Markets

Thai Mango growers complain of low prices and fewer exports

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, their mangoes are not being exported, due to fewer buyers, and their prices have plunged to between 10 and 20 baht per kilogram, depending on size.

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Mango orchard owners in Thailand’s northern province of Phitsanuloke are seeking help from the provincial administration to promote the sale of their sweet fruit, particularly Barracuda Mango variety.

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