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Thailand’s GDP to contract up to 5% for 2020 – business thinktank

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Thailand’s GDP to contract up to 5% for 2020 – business thinktank | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s GDP is expected to contract between 3-5% for 2020, and exports by up to 10%. The predictions from Suphan Mongkolsuthee, president of the Federation of Thai Industries and chairman of the private sector joint committee. He also believes that the Thai economy has probably reached its ‘low point’ and will start recovering from now.

He said that, as the Government eases lockdown restrictions on several business and leisure activities, the economy will gradually start to improve. He also stated that the projections from the Federation of Thai Industries assume that there will not be a second wave of Covid-19.

“Economic recovery will take a long time, citing the fact that the disease is still spreading in several countries, rendering the quick recovery of tourism and related industries almost impossible.”

“A global economic recession will dampen Thailand’s export prospects.”

Meanwhile other economic think tanks are estimating that Thailand will have a particularly tough time recovering due to its reliance on the tourism industry, wiped out due to travel bans and airline groundings.

Delloitte says that the Thai economy will be negatively impacted from Covid-19 and “worse than peers owing to the high reliance on tourism and export, with tourism services, hotel and air transportation as the most affected sectors”.

Fitch Ratings forecasts the Thai GDP to contract by 5.1% in 2020, the weakest level since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

“The severity of the economic shock will lead to a materially weaker trajectory for the performance of Thai Non-Bank Financial Intermediaries (non-commercial bank advisories) over the credit cycle, compared with our previous expectations and despite our forecasts of a moderate economic recovery in 2021.

The Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Bankers Association and the Thai Chamber of Commerce recently proposed a package of 34 measures to the Thai government, aimed at cushioning the impacts of Covid-19 on on the country’s businesses. The measures include the waiving of corporate tax for small-to-medium enterprises for up to three years, reduction of fees for land ownership transfers and refunds of electricity meter installation charges for medium sized businesses.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

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Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights

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Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travel Daily

A travel pass for passengers inoculated against Covid-19 or who have tested negative will be piloted on flights for Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. With the travel pass issued by the International Air Transport Association, passengers can keep control of their data and share their test results with airlines and authorities for travel.

The travel pass will be offered on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter, and will expand the pass to other destinations of the trail is successful. Emirates is going to implement phase 1 of the travel pass in April for flights departing from Dubai.

Recently, the IATA travel pass programme has been also tested in International Airlines Group and Singapore Airlines.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Outbreak in Samut Sakhon is “worrying,” CCSA spokesperson says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Outbreak in Samut Sakhon is “worrying,” CCSA spokesperson says | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

While the number of daily new Covid-19 cases continues to drop, health officials are still scrambling to contain the virus in the prime hotspot: Samut Sakhon. The outbreak in the coastal fishing province is “worrying,” according to Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin.

Health officials rolled out a proactive mass testing campaign after a spike of Covid-19 cases in mid-December. The vast majority of cases were concentrated around the Central Shrimp Market in the Mahachai fishing hub, which affected a large migrant population. The virus has since spread to 61 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

With the help of proactive testing, more than 4,000 cases were reported in Samut Sakhon. Field hospitals have been set up on the fly to treat and quarantine those that are infected.

But public health officials are still racing to test as many people in the province as possible with plans to inspect 600 factories and test 50 factory workers per day. There are 12,000 factories in Samut Sakhon and Taweeslip says health officials are speeding up testing to “isolate infected people as soon as possible.”

“The outbreak in Samut Sakhon is worrying. It is difficult to conduct active case-finding there. There are many obstacles, including the number of factories… Meanwhile, factory owners and workers must cooperate. There are more than 10,000 small factories where 1-200 people are employed.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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