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Economy

Source says 3,000 baht handout coming soon, PM says it’s a rumour

Caitlin Ashworth

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Source says 3,000 baht handout coming soon, PM says it’s a rumour | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times
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Thais are getting some extra cash … Well, maybe. Reports say a 3,000 baht cash handout scheme is in the works to help revive the economy after the pandemic, but PM Prayut Chan-o-cha told the press it’s just a rumour, saying the Thai government “does not plan cash handouts of another 3,000 baht to Thais.”

An anonymous source from the Finance Ministry spoke to the Bangkok Post about the supposed 45 billion baht budget scheme he says is planned to help out 15 million Thai nationals. The money would come from an emergency loan credit line allocated for economic recovery.

“This is in line with our objective to stimulate the overall economy.”

An e-wallet smartphone application would allow people to spend up to 100 baht a day at select stores. Those eligible would be able to register through “Pao Tang” smartphone app and the money would then be transferred to a virtual wallet.

The Finance Ministry source says the government plans to subsidise 50% of all spending each day. So if 100 baht was spent, 50 baht would be taken from the customer and the government would pay the other 50 baht.

“We chose this spending approach because we want consumer spending to be distributed to different stores, especially small shops such as noodle shops and grilled pork vendors, instead of large sums being spent once”

While the plan seems to be well thought out, Prayut brushed off the idea during a recent press conference, saying it was another rumour.

“The 3,000 baht cash handout has not been talked about at Cabinet meetings.”

Apparently, the scheme will start next month and run until the end of the year. People must be at least 18 years old to participate. Shops that want to must have already joined in for past government schemes like “Taste, Shop, Spend” and “We Travel Together.” Around 70,000 shops participated in the 2 schemes.

Once the plan is approved by the cabinet, shops will be able to register. The plan is being finalised by the Fiscal Policy Office and will be submitted to the Center for Economic Situation Administration today.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    james

    September 12, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    I have been told by a number of Thai people, the 600 baht a month pension received from the government for people over 60 years old has not been paid out recently so it looks like there is a problem with the government’s finances.

  2. Avatar

    Gareth Thomas Relph

    September 24, 2020 at 6:48 am

    The 600THB monthly pension can be exchanged for a new Tuk Tuk on a 3 year lease. Seems like a great scheme idea for getting the old folks up and out to earn their pension money. Let’s hope the fuel price stays low enough to facilitate it. Why am I stuck at this traffic light so long now?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Economy

Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand

The Thaiger

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Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand | The Thaiger

Vietnamese finance officials are downgrading expectations for a recovery of the south east Asian nation’s economy in 2021. The normally fast-growing gross domestic product in 2020 has stalled due to a huge drop in local and global demand, and the absence of international tourism. The booming economy, growing at an average of 6% per year since 2012, will struggle to reach a growth rate of 2% this year.

Fuelled by manufactured exports, the Vietnam economy has dropped back to a trickle. The Asian Development Bank estimates that this year’s GDP growth could be as low as 1.8%. The Vietnamese factories, that usually crank out shoes, garments, furniture and cheap electronics, are seeing dropping demand as the world’s consumer confidence drops dramatically.

Stay-at-home rules in Europe and America are keeping are keeping people away from retail stores. And despite the acceleration of online retail, many of the consumers are emerging from the Covid Spring and Summer with vastly reduced spending power.

The headaches of 2020 are also challenging Vietnam to maintain its reputation as south east Asia’s manufacturing hotspot. Rising costs and xenophobic foreign policy have put China ‘on the nose’ with some governments, complicating factory work in China, whilst other south east Asian countries lack infrastructure and are incurring higher wage costs.

One Vietnamese factory operated by Taiwan-based Pou Chen Group, which produces footwear for top international brands, has laid off 150 workers earlier this year. There are hundreds more examples of the impact of falling demand in the bustling Vietnamese manufacturing economy.

Vietnam’s border closure is also preventing investors from making trips, setting up meetings and pushing projects forward. Those projects in turn create jobs, fostering Vietnam’s growing middle class. Tourism has also been badly affected by the restrictions on travel. “International tourism is dead,” says Jack Nguyen, a partner at Mazars in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Inbound tourism usually makes up 6% of the economy.”

“Things will only pick up only when the borders are open and there’s no quarantine requirements. Who knows when that’s going to be.”

A mid-year COVID-19 outbreak in the coastal resort city Danang followed by the start of the school year has reduced domestic travel, analysts say. Some of the country’s hotels are up for sale as a result.

“Recovery could take 4 years.”

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment is now warning that global post-pandemic recovery could take as long as 4 years, perhaps more.

Not that foreign investors in the country are pulling out. Indeed, many are tainge a long-term view that Vietnam’s underlying strengths will outlive Covid-19. Vietnam reports just 1,069 coronavirus cases overall.

SOURCE: VOA News

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Thailand

Government to stir economy with 100 billion baht stimulus starting in October

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Government to stir economy with 100 billion baht stimulus starting in October | The Thaiger

The Thai Government is expected to stimulate the economy with 100 billion baht boost starting in October until the end of the year. The injection will reportedly come from both the people’s and the government’s spending under three stimulus measures according to the Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow.

The first measure will reportedly give 14 million welfare cardholders an extra 500 baht discount over the next 3 months on their shopping with the budget for this measure totalling 21 billion baht. The second measure, dubbed “Kon La Khreung” or Let’s Go Halves, will give 10 million people up to 100 baht discounts daily on beverages and household essentials with the subsidy being capped at 3,000 baht per person. The scheme will not, however, include such things as alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.

The third measure is aimed at wealthier Thais as tax incentives and will be offered in an effort to encourage them to spend more as consumers. The Cabinet has also approved a measure to pay 260,000 new graduates half of their salary to help the private sector. That budget is reportedly totaling 19.5 billion baht.

Supattanapong also predicts the economy will improve next year but warns it could take 2 years before the nation’s economic growth returns to the pre-Covid level. He says the country’s current budget is sufficient to boost the economy unless there is a second wave of Covid.

“But in the event that there is a second wave, the government is prepared to borrow more as its national debt is quite low compared to other countries. However the government is being cautious so it can remain financially healthy in the post-Covid era.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Economy

Deputy PM says 2 years until Thailand’s economy is back to normal

Caitlin Ashworth

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Deputy PM says 2 years until Thailand’s economy is back to normal | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

It’s going to be another 2 years until Thailand’s economy is back on track, according to Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow. At least that’s the amount of time he expects it will take to get the economy back to “normal levels” from before the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis crippled economies across the globe. The Covid-19 pandemic is already the worst global crisis since World War II, according to a report by the UN. Thailand’s tourism-dependant economy has been struggling since the country shut it’s doors to international travel. Krungthai Bank also predicts it will take about 2 to 3 years for Thailand’s economy to recover and the Finance Ministry predicts Thailand’s economy will contract by a record of 8.5% this year.

Almost 800 billion baht has gone into supporting the economy, Supattanapong says, adding that the government plans to do more stimulus perks to help boost the economy. The government is working on a 1.9 trillion baht response package with a 1 trillion baht borrowing plan.

Supattanapong’s guesses are based on the pandemic situation not getting any worse, whilst the world’s Covid cases, in many part of the world, including many of Thailand’s feeder markets, are suffering a new spike in cases. His assumptions would also have to include an immediate return to high profit of the country’s tourism industry – not likely to happen any time soon.

“I think the economy should get back to normal levels within two years… But if we can manage it very well, we may see that late next year.”

While Thailand’s economy as a whole might take just 2 years to get back to normal, the country’s tourism revenue is expected to take even longer. Krungthai COMPASS Research Centre predicts it will be at least 3 to 4 years until tourism revenue is back to normal. Thailand’s tourism revenue is expected to shrink by 70% by the end of this year, making only 9.1 billion baht compared to the 3.02 trillion baht tourism brought in last year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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