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Coronavirus Thailand

Alcohol industry asks PM to lift booze ban nationwide

Jack Burton

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Alcohol industry asks PM to lift booze ban nationwide | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pinoy Thaiyo
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Thailand’s alcohol industry is banding together to ask PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to lift the ban on alcohol sales, imposed as part of the national state of emergency to halt the spread of Covid-19. Alcohol-industry organisations, led by the Thai Fruit Wine and the Local Spirit Producer Association, the Thailand Bartender Association and Thai Wine Association, have made their case to the PM.

Though there has been no national prohibition, all 76 of Thailand’s provinces, plus Bangkok, have banned the sale of alcohol until this Thursday, the original date for the Emergency Decree to expire. The various associations asked the government not to prolong the prohibition beyond that date, and to allow alcoholic beverages to be sold via takeaway and delivery services.

They also asked the government to ease their tax burden and help manage the destruction of spoiled beverages, when all pubs, clubs and bars remain shuttered. The Excise Department has collected 132 billion baht in tax on alcohol so far this year, including 70 billion from beer and 62 billion from liquor.

The groups also want the government to lift the ban on the wholesale trade of alcohol, which they say is preventing producers and distributors from shipping products to retailers, where stocks can be safely stored in climate controlled conditions.

And they’ve asked authorities to inform them in advance before announcing future alcohol-related orders, complaining that, in many cases, provincial governors announced the local alcohol bans on the night before or even on the day they became effective.

SOURCE: Weekly Blitz

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

New rules for Thai cinemas to re-open in Phase 3

Jack Burton

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New rules for Thai cinemas to re-open in Phase 3 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Yahoo News

As part of Phase 3 of the easing of Emergency Decree restrictions enacted to fight the spread of Covid-19, cinemas will be allowed to reopen on June 1 (though many operators are unlikely to do so as food and drink are their main revenue source and the movie companies say there are currently no new movies to release…)

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has released the rules for the reopening, designed to help encourage social distancing and prevent any possible spread of the virus

The rules are…

  • No eating or drinking in the movie theatre. Patrons can eat concession food outside the viewing room, but the cinema must have a properly spaced eating area that encourages social distancing, with partitions
  • A maximum of 2 people can sit next to each other. Others must be spaced out at least 3 seats apart. People must not be seated directly in front or behind others
  • Film festivals and nonstop screenings are prohibited
  • Cinemas must be fully sanitised and cleaned after every viewing
  • Masks must be worn at all times during a film
  • Cinema staff will be asked to enforce the rules about eating, drinking and social distancing

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | Nation Thailand

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Economy

Top 10 countries for investment in Covid era – World Trade Group

The Thaiger

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Top 10 countries for investment in Covid era – World Trade Group | The Thaiger

“Where to invest?”. Where is the next ‘good thing’ as the world starts to look to opportunities and new business models? Looking around the world, and perusing stock markets, there continues to be some traditional businesses failing but others thriving during the Covid-19 era.

Investors look to countries with economical and political stability when choosing to invest money and unveil new businesses. Whilst global depression, drops in GDP, bankruptcy, and a realignment of trade and supply chains swirls around us, there will be emerging opportunities too. According to London Post, CEO World Magazine and the World Trade Group, some countries are very fortified to withstand an economic crash.

“They have a lot of internal growth drivers with minimal affiliation with global markets. They will be the least affected. The best countries to invest in 2020 are these fortified countries.”

Their report lists four unique factors motivate an individual or a business entity to invest in a country. These are the country’s natural resources, markets, efficiency, and strategic assets.

The London Post has used this information and parameters to compile The 2020 Best Countries to Invest In ranking based on a broad list of ten equally weighted attributes: corruption index, tax environment, economical stability, entrepreneurial freedom, innovativeness, skilled labor force and technological expertise, infrastructure, investor protection, red tape, and quality of life.

Somehow, and perhaps surprisingly to people who run businesses in Thailand, the Land of Smiles has scraped into the Number 2 position. 4 of the recommended Top 10 countries are in south east Asia.

1. Croatia

The country’s growth is amazing because in 2019, it was ranked 25 positions lower in this list. The European country’s stable economy, coupled with an entrepreneurial and innovative population, has made foreign investors very optimistic about the “progressive business environment”. In the first quarter of 2019, Croatia had a whooping foreign direct investment of more than $389 million.

2. Thailand

Thailand occupies the second position on the 2020 Best Countries to Invest In ranking. The country has been able to capitalise on trade tension between the US and China. In the first nine months of 2019, the country received a 69% increase in the total value of Foreign Direct Investment applications, as compared to 2018. 65% of these applications were led by the automotive, electronics and electrical, and digital sectors. The growth of the Thai market and momentum indicators remain strong. Forbes listed the country as the 8th best-emerging market of 2020.

3. The United Kingdom

The UK is economically stable and has a skilled labour force and technological expertise. It is the sixth country attracting inflow of foreign direct investment. In the first 7 months of 2019, the US and Asian tech firms invested $3.7 billion in tech companies in the country, thus surpassing the $2.9 billion invested in the previous year.

“Despite Brexit, the UK remains the fifth largest economy in the world and has an industrialised and competitive market.”

4. Indonesia

With about 650 listed equities and a market cap exceeding $500 billion, Indonesia boasts of one of the largest Asian stock markets. The report claims the Indonesian consumer market is largely undiscovered, hence its huge potentials.

“The robust economy and heavy investment in transportation and infrastructure make this country worthy of your investment. The only downside is that non-citizens are limited to only leasehold properties.”

5. India

According to the UN, India was one of the top 10 countries with the highest inflow of foreign direct investment. India has been in the top 5 of the best countries to invest in since 2019.

“The Asian giant has invested so much in research and development and, and she is among the top countries having a comparatively skilled workforce.”

6. Italy

Italy is one of the top countries attracting investors in 2020. This level of economical stability, its robust manufacturing sector, and the country’s stable political environment make it a good choice for investment.

7. Australia

Australia boasts of more than 25 years of continued economic growth. It is the 9th country with the most direct foreign investment in 2020. Australia has been in the top 10 for ten years now.

8. Vietnam

Like Thailand, Vietnam has capitalised on the trade tension between China and the US.In recent years China’s southern neighbour has gradually risen to become a formidable manufacturing hub. This growth became even more evident when multinational corporations like Samsung began relocating are from China into Vietnam.

9. Latvia

Latvia boasts of macroeconomic and political stability as well as good accessibility to large markets and a very business-friendly environment, according to the report. The government encourages investors by offering them a wide variety of advantages. Investors are offered significant cost advantages, including real estate expenses, competitive tax rates, and competitive labor.

10. Singapore

Aside from being the 10th best country to invest in 2020, Singapore is also the 10th country attracting the most foreign investments. Singapore’s strong economic outlook has made many investors very optimistic. The country’s world-class business-friendly environment is one major attribute attracting investors.

SOURCE: London Post

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Expats

Foreigners with work permits to be allowed back into Thailand on case by case basis

Jack Burton

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Foreigners with work permits to be allowed back into Thailand on case by case basis | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Foreigners with work permits or permission from the Labour Ministry (and other some other government agencies) will be allowed to enter the country after registration, under phase 3 of the lockdown relaxation, which begins Monday. The Foreign Ministry made the announcement today.

The Foreign Ministry has told Thailand’s foreign chambers of commerce about the relaxation. Eligible foreign nationals are invited to apply at Thai Embassies in their home countries. They must have health insurance covering Covid-19 treatment valued at at least 3 million baht and a health certificate. They will also be subject to 14 day quarantine on entry to Thailand, either in a state facility or in a private facility, at their own cost.

“Permission to enter does not cover all groups as, we are proceeding step by step.”

Here are the details of the letter sent to all foreign chambers of commerce in Thailand…

1. The Royal Thai Government’s invocation of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations BE2548 (2005) (No I) dated 25 March BE2563 (2020) to control the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19), closes the entry into the Kingdom of non-Thai nationals, in accordance with the laws on communicable diseases and immigration. However, clause 3 of the Regulation issued under the said Emergency Decree, also allows non-Thai nationals who either possess a valid work permit or have already been granted permission from a Thai government agency to work in the Kingdom, to apply for permission to enter the Kingdom.

2. It is, however, requested that only those in urgent need to enter the Kingdom submit an application for entry. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in consultation with the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Labour, will consider all requests for entry on a case by case basis, taking into account urgency and economic importance, among others.

3. The procedure for non-Thai nationals who wish to submit an application for entry are as follows:

3.1 Contact the Royal Thai Embassy or the Royal Thai Consulate-General in their country of departure to apply for ‘Certificate of Entry into the Kingdom of Thailand” at least 10 working days before the date of intended departure. The applicants must present:

(1) a copy of his work permit or copy of a letter of permission issued by a Thai Government agency (in most cases, by the Ministry of Labour) to work in Thailand;

(2) a valid health insurance policy covering all expenditures of medical treatment, including Covid-19 worth at least 100,000 US dollars.

3.2 The Thai Embassy/Consulate-General will forward the application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok. If the application is approved, the Thai Embassy/Consulate-General will be instructed to issue the “Certificate of Entry into the Kingdom of Thailand” and appropriate visa to the applicant.

4. At the port of departure/embarkation (eg airline check-in counter), the approved applicant is required to present (I) a “Certificate of Entry into the Kingdom of Thailand” issued by the Royal Thai Embassy Consulate-General; (II) a completed and signed “Declaration Form” obtained from the Embassy/Consulate-General; (III) a “Fit to Fly Health Certificate” issued no more than 72 hours before departure; and (IV) health insurance covering all expenditures of medical treatment, including Covid-19, while traveling to Thailand in an amount of at least 100,000 US dollars.

5. Upon entry into the Kingdom, non-Thai nationals will be subjected to a 14-day state quarantine at a government-designated Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility at their own expenses, and obliged to comply with the government’s disease prevention measures pursuant to clause 11 of the Regulation issued under Section 9 of the said Emergency Decree.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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