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Economy

Trending upwards, but consumer confidence in Thailand still at a 22 year low

Maya Taylor

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Trending upwards, but consumer confidence in Thailand still at a 22 year low | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World
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A leading academic says that despite an upward trend, consumer confidence in Thailand still sits at a 22 year low as a result of the economic impact of Covid-19. Thanavath Phonvichai from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, says the pandemic’s devastating effects on tourism, employment, and exports, is mostly to blame, coupled with concerns over the ongoing political unrest.

Consumer confidence has improved somewhat in the last month, as a result of stimulus measures from the government and the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, including the re-opening of bars and nightclubs. The move has slightly boosted confidence in jobs, revenue and the overall economic outlook, but the current political strife is still proving to be a cause for concern. And, despite rising to over 50 points from just over 49 in June, the figure is still the lowest seen in 22 years.

22 years ago Thailand was just starting to recover from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, known in Thailand as the Tom Yam Kung crisis. The Thai baht collapsed after the Thai government was forced to float the baht due to low foreign currency inflows to support its currency, at the time pegged to the US dollar. Capital started flowing out of the country almost immediately, beginning an international chain reaction. At the time, Thailand had acquired a burden of foreign debt that made the country effectively bankrupt even before the collapse of its currency. Most of Southeast Asia and Japan became engulfed with financial contagion and slumping currencies, devalued stock markets and a precipitous rise in private debt.

Thailand has entered into the current financial crisis in much better shape.

While some entertainment businesses have re-opened, others remain shuttered, with the ongoing closure of international borders having a significant impact on tourist hot spots such as Pattaya and Phuket.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 10, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Can’t imagine any entertainment businesses being open now. I’ve seen them on slow nights during low and high seasons so it’s hard to see it now.

  2. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    August 10, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Is alcohol still banned? Restaurants banned? Female company banned?
    At least there might be fewer jetski operators, but I guess the numbers of lottery ticket sellers has spiked.

  3. Avatar

    Working man

    August 11, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Yesterday the deputy governor for international marketing at TAT, Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya said that it is very unlikely that the borders will re-open this year, and possibly not even before the Chinese New Year (article also in this newspaper). Should this be the case, than consumer confidence will plummet. According to the World Bank, under the current regime the number of people living in poverty has risen by 2 million to 6.7 million people. Now with an estimate additional unemployment of 8.4 million just by this pandemic and the government’s response, this figure will likely rise to over 15 million people living in poverty. Even the domestic tourism will come to a halt. Future is bleaker than it has ever been.

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Economy

Covid-19 shuts down 70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses

Caitlin Ashworth

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Covid-19 shuts down 70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses | The Thaiger
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Most tourism businesses in Phuket have closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they probably won’t be up and running again until foreign tourists are let back in Thailand. Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew says around 70% of tourism businesses have closed, most of them just temporarily, but some have shut down permanently.

Before the pandemic, tourism to Phuket brought in 450 billion baht a year with 400 billion baht from foreign visitors while the other 50 billion baht was from domestic tourists. Thailand has been trying to increase domestic tourism to help revive the industry after the pandemic. Phuket’s governor says it helps, but not enough.

“Their visits can help solve some of our economic problems, but they cannot replace the need of foreign tourists.”

66.8% of tourism businesses in Phuket have closed temporarily while 2.8% have closed permanently, according to data by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency. The governor is trying figure out how to recover the economy, fast.

“By the end of September, the number of businesses to be closed will increase up to 70% for sure.”

While many businesses are closed, the governor says Phuket is “almost 100% ready to welcome foreign tourists.” The governor says he can’t give an answer to when foreign tourists will arrive in Phuket, but he claims they’ve “prepared every step,” from checking in at the airport to hotel quarantine. They’re just going to install some new temperature check machines at the Phuket International Airport and review the procedures for welcoming the tourists.

“We have to work and prepare carefully to welcome foreign tourists… We have to gradually open our door to welcome small groups of people first, in order to test our system, and then open for bigger groups.”

At the moment, only 3 venues in Phuket have been approved to operate as alternative state quarantine facilities. Anantara Phuket Suites & Villas has 100 rooms available, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket has 36 villas and Trisara resort has 15 villas.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Economy

Ministry of Labour, CP Foods to hire 8,000 graduates to help reduce unemployment

Caitlin Ashworth

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Ministry of Labour, CP Foods to hire 8,000 graduates to help reduce unemployment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: CP Foods

To help reduce unemployment and boost the economy after the pandemic, 8,000 graduates will be hired by the company Charoen Pokphand Foods, known as CP Foods. Thailand’s Ministry of Labour recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the company.

4,000 of those jobs will be in Bangkok and metropolitan areas while the other 4,000 more in the upcountry. The job offers vary from positions in the computer science field to positions in the culinary industry.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin says the government has a policy to unite all sectors of the society to revive the economy from the coronavirus crisis that caused job cuts, leaving many unemployed, especially new graduates.

He adds that CP Foods has been constantly supporting the government in Covid-19 relief effort since the beginning of the outbreak. This post Covid-19 collaboration will create stability for people at all levels and build more small and medium sized enterprise, or SME, owners that are the foundation of Thai economy.

There’s also a discount coupon giveaway from CP Foods and the minister says it will help reduce cost of living for people who are eligible for social security benefits.

CEO of CP Foods Prasit Boondoungprasert says CP Foods is managed in line with the parent group CP Group’s policy, to solve the Thailand’s unemployment problem, particularly for new graduates, by creating job opportunities and job security. He says it’s an “engine for economic revival.”

CP Foods will also provide a business opportunity for SME franchises like FiveStar and STAR Coffee, which need a small budget and small space to kick off.

The company will also offer training courses with experts to guide them to start up the business. It expects to create 4,500 franchise owners nationwide.

CP Foods will have a book at the Job Expo Thailand 2020 this Saturday until Monday at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centres, or BITEC. Those interested can click HERE for more information.

To learn more about starting a FiveStar franchise click HERE and for a STAR Coffee franchise click HERE.

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Economy

4 Thai banks to be investigated for “suspicious transfers” after FinCEN files report

Caitlin Ashworth

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4 Thai banks to be investigated for “suspicious transfers” after FinCEN files report | The Thaiger
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4 Thai banks are being investigated after an international money laundering report said the Thai banks had “suspicious financial transactions.” The report found 92 “suspicious” transactions in and out of Thailand totalling to $9,558,752 USD received in Thailand and $31,750,000 USD sent out.

Files were allegedly leaked from the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, and journalists from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ, tracked the money. The FinCEN Files report from the ICIJ says it “reveals the role of global banks in industrial scale money laundering,” citing a total of $2 trillion USD in suspicious global transactions from 1997 to 2017.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office plans to investigate Kasikorn Bank, Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank and the Export Import Bank of Thailand. The office’s acting secretary general Preecha Charoensahayanont says the office is discussing the report with the Bank of Thailand and financial intelligence organisations, according to the Bangkok Post. He says the information needs to be verified first.

“The information from the media has yet to be verified and no one knows if it came from an official intelligence organisation of the United States… There will be an appropriate response. It does not mean that whenever there is any news report, a big investigation will follow. That would cause panic.”

The Kasikorn Bank allegedly had 37 suspicious transactions, sending out $9,450,000 USD in suspicious funds and receiving $835,606 USD. Bangkok Bank allegedly had 52 suspicious transactions, receiving $5,966,141 USD and sending out $22,300,000 USD. Krungthai Bank allegedly had 2 suspicious transactions, receiving $200,000 USD. Export Import Bank of Thailand allegedly had 1 suspicious transaction, receiving $2,557,005 USD.

In 2016, the Bangkok Bank allegedly sent out $22,300,000 USD to the CIMB Bank Berhad. The Bangkok Bank also allegedly received a total of $5,920,731 USD from the Israel Discount Bank in 45 different transactions from June 2,2013 to November 12, 2013.

Kasikorn Bank allegedly sent out $9,450,000 USD to the DNB Nor Bank Asa. They also allegedly had 18 transactions with the VP Bank AG, receiving $511,606 USD, and 5 transactions 18 transactions with DMS Bank & Trust, receiving $324,000 USD.

Thailand suspicious transaction data by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists FinCEN Files report. Click HERE to follow the money.

4 Thai banks to be investigated for

SOURCES: ICIJ | Bangkok Post

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