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Thailand’s economy facing bleakest prediction in Asia

Maya Taylor

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Thailand’s economy facing bleakest prediction in Asia | Thaiger
PHOTO: Andreas Brücker on Unsplash

“The Bank of Thailand predicts that its gross domestic product will shrink by more than 8% this year.”

While Thailand appears to have been successful in suppressing the Covid-19 virus, a report in The Bangkok Post today says the outlook for the country’s economy is far from favourable, calling it the worst in Asia.

The Bank of Thailand predictions are the bleakest across Asian countries’ economies. Such a drop would be even worse than the one experienced during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998. Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, a senior economist for Thailand at the World Bank, says much of it can be attributed to the plunge in international tourism since the country shut its borders in the early weeks of the Covid crisis.

“Thailand has large exposure as a tourism hub, close to 15% of GDP, and it also has a large exposure of the export-oriented sector. Hence the large shock to GDP.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg is predicting a contraction of 6% for Thailand’s economy, the worst in south-east Asia, with experts expecting it to have a weak recovery of about 4% in 2021. Measures put in place to suppress the spread of the Covid-19 virus. are being seen as a major factor in the economic downturn. The forced shut down of businesses, introduction of a nighttime curfew and state of emergency have had a devastating knock-down effect at a time when investment and consumption were already on a downward trajectory since last year.

With the exception of a limitation on international flights, most restrictions have now been lifted, along with the government introducing various stimulus packages to boost domestic tourism and the overall economy. However, no amount of domestic travel can make up for the devastating loss to the country’s tourism sector, which accounted for a fifth of the overall economy last year.

With airports still closed to almost all international arrivals, foreign tourism is expected to plummet to one-fifth of last year’s figures, at just 8 million. The Thai government is still mulling the introduction of travel bubbles with countries it deems safe from Covid-19, but it’s slow going, with the PM expressing concern over the risk of reintroducing the virus through arrivals from abroad.

Analysts are also saying they don’t foresee a rush of investment any time soon, given the bleak predictions facing the country. Exports appear to be recovering, however, having taken a brief hit during the first two months of the year. The rise in the price of gold is providing a much-needed boost, but exports overall are still feeling the effects of a decrease in demand, in addition to disruptions to the global supply chain.

The strong baht remains an ongoing factor, with the US dollar losing nearly 6% against the baht over the last 3 months, despite multiple interest rate cuts by the Bank of Thailand to try and quell the enthusiasm for the Thai currency. The Central Bank has previously spoken about the negative effect the Thai baht is having on exports and the overall economy, warning that they will take steps to restrain the currency’s climb if necessary.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    robert farrar

    Friday, July 10, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Best wishes friend- Thailand. You will be fine long term- You are special.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, July 10, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Thailand has an big opinion of itself.
    Truth is they were just peasants that got lucky with foreign aid and investment.
    The investment was not to make money from the Thais, but from foreigners.
    Now foreigners cannot enter or leave, the investment will disappear.
    Thailand is becoming poison to any foreigner because of Thai racism and corruption.

  3. Avatar

    Prathet Farang

    Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 3:46 am

    It’s not Thai, but Thai-Chinese that are the problem, we all know that. They feel threatened by farang, because they know we are better than them.
    That’s why they hate us.

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Thailand

Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective?

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Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective? | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Spraying disinfectant has been effective in the community but controversial in forested refugee camps.

Some controversy exists over the Royal Thai Army attempting to sterilize areas of the Thailand-Myanmar border by spraying disinfectant along the border region. The army sprayed areas set up as a temporary holding facility for many Burmese refugees. The move drew condemnation from critics who claimed the disinfectant was not effective and not worth the expense of implementation. A spokesperson for the Royal Thai Army responded to social media ire justifying the action.

The spraying was done after the Burmese refugees had returned across the border to Myanmar, after fleeing temporarily to escape the escalating humanitarian crisis following the February 1 military coup. After the refugees left, disinfectant was sprayed around the area in compliance with Public Health directives designed to slow the Covid-19 spread and maintain safety. The disinfectant was intended to kill any possibly contagious remaining virus or disease in the area.

The spokesperson said the military used existing government equipment they requested from the Ministry of Public Health to efficiently disinfect the area. She asserted that the spraying was not just to help local people, but also to reassure them that it was safe to return to their daily lives in the area, to go to work or do farming, without fear of becoming infected with Covid-19.

While the response online to the spraying disinfectant scheme is still generally negative, it’s worth noting that the same spraying has been used to effectively sterilize 162 schools and 268 other areas since January. The spray is a safety precaution to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and has been used throughout communities in places like bus terminals, marketplaces, temples and other places where people tend to gather.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bang Lamung Hospital is full, province using field hospitals and ASQ hotels

Tim Newton

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Bang Lamung Hospital is full, province using field hospitals and ASQ hotels | Thaiger

A spokesperson from the Bang Lamung Hospital in Pattaya says that all the beds put aside for Covid patients are now full and doctors are now having to refer newly infected people to Sattahip where the Navy have set up a field hospital. They’re also referring some patients to ASQ hotels.

The hospital said they had put aside 30 ward beds and 12 private rooms for Covid-infected patients but the beds had already been taken up following up to 500 people seeking tests at the hospital each day.

Chin Buri has reported another 97 infections today, about the same as the rest of this week. That makes the total in the province to 807 since the start of the month.

Confirmed by the government earlier this week, Thailand hospitalises everyone who tests positive. Or, alternatively they are sent to a field hospital or the government’s quarantine facilities where Thais were given free quarantine when they repatriated back to Thailand over the past year.

But the current upsurge of new infections being discovered in Chon Buri, and the rest of the country, is putting a strain on facilities. Some people who have tested positive are even being sent to ASQ hotels where the hospitals had used up their quota of available beds.

Public health officials in Chon Buri are currently urging people who are not considered ‘at risk’ to avoid hospitals at this time to allow faster processing of people who are considered at risk.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas

Maya Taylor

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Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Thailand’s Covid-19 infections are still on the rise, with the Kingdom reporting 1,543 new infections in the last 24 hours. Only 3 of those are imported with 1,540 being cases of community transmission. Thailand has now recorded 37,453 infections. 8,973 patients are receiving hospital treatment, 41 of whom have pneumonia.

11 people are currently in a serious condition on ventilators.

1,540 were community cases, most from the hot zone of Bangkok with 409 new infections. Chiang Mai had 278 new cases, Prachuap Khiri Khan 98 and Chon Buri (including Pattaya) 98.

UPDATE: Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the acting director for emergency health at the Department of Disease Control, says that people will need to consider working from home for 2 weeks if they live in a red zone area.

He said that it may be necessary to increase restrictions further to mitigate the upward trajectory of Covid-19 that is expected to rise after Songkran. Those red zone areas include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani and Sa Kaeo.

“To reduce risks, people should work from home after the Songkran festival.”

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by ThaigerHere’s the trajectory of the outbreak since April 1…

April 1 – 26 infections
April 2 – 58 infections
April 3 – 84 infections
April 4 – 96 infections
April 5 – 194 infections
April 6 – 250 infections
April 7 – 334 infections
April 8 – 405 infections
April 9 – 559 infections
April 10 – 789 infections
April 11 – 967 infections
April 12 – 985 infections
April 13 – 965 infections
April 14 – 1,335 infections
April 15 – 1,543 infections

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by Thaiger

 

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