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Foreign investors and businesspeople seek clarity about the current “situation” in Thailand

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Foreign investors and businesspeople seek clarity about the current “situation” in Thailand | The Thaiger
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With Thailand battling to come up with a safe and sustainable manner of re-opening its borders, and the footage of the street protests reaching out to a world audience, foreign investors are saying they need more details of what they can or cannot do in Thailand under the new State of Emergency.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce is calling for additional details and a long term “plan” about how Thailand is going to slowly re-open and how foreign businesses can continue to invest in the country under the current “restrictions”. The State of Emergency, announced hastily on Thursday morning at 4am and then endorsed by the Thai cabinet yesterday afternoon, sends mixed signals to business and the Thai Chamber of Commerce is seeking more clarification.

TCC chairman Kalin Sarasin says that foreign investors are enquiring whether they can go ahead with holding conferences and meetings in Thailand, after the decrees’ ban on gatherings of more than 5 people. People in a BTS Skytrain carriage, or even the meeting of the Thai cabinet yesterday are gatherings of more than 5 people, so the TCC want answers to what, specifically, is allowed and what is not.

The Nation reports that Chambers of commerce in Thailand’s provinces are also asking Kalin if they will be able to continue with planned activities.

“It would take a few days to judge whether emergency rule will hit foreign-investor confidence. The economy could escape damage from political turmoil if the anti-government protests end soon.”

Meanwhile, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation, Japanese “faith in Thailand remains high”, JETRO president Atsushi Taketani says that Japanese investors “were still confident in Thailand and remain committed to driving its economy regardless of current political situation”.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand says that Thailand’s core economic showpieces, including development of the Eastern Economic Corridor, won’t be affected by escalating political tensions.

And the deputy governor of the authority, Attapon Jirawatjanya, stated that… “ongoing anti-establishment protests would be a short-term problem”.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 17, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    The clarity is obvious.
    the country is heading for a recession.
    Corruption is rife.
    You cannot enter without a lot of expensive delaying regulations.
    There is a dictatorship in power, ruling with lies and corruption, who will not allow an election.
    Take your money elsewhere. You will lose it in Thailand.

    • Avatar

      Richard

      October 17, 2020 at 7:47 pm

      Absolutely correct

  2. Avatar

    James Scott

    October 17, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    I actually used to invest in several Thai companies, as I lived in Thailand for many years, but pulled my money out of the country in April soon after the borders were shut as I could see where this entire mess under this corrupt government was heading.

    I eventually shifted most of that money to companies in Sweden and Taiwan, as these are the countries not panicking about covid and whose economies, and thus companies, will be well ahead of much of the rest of the world when this panic and idiocy ends.

    So far, my investments have seen quite decent returns. So much so, I’ll be buying more shares before the end of the year, whereas Thailand is just about the last country I would invest in right now.

    Most other international investors seem to be thinking the same thing, primarily because it is looking very likely Thai banks will start having major problems by the end of the year as hundreds of thousands of Thais default on loans. That will kick off a massive economic catastrophe in Thailand nobody investing money would want to experience.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 18, 2020 at 1:41 am

      Sweden and Taiwan?

      Based on their reaction to Covid-19?

      That’s odd … the last time I checked, one minute ago, Sweden had closed its borders to all outside the EU and UK, and Taiwan had closed its borders to all tourists.

  3. Avatar

    PJ

    October 17, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    If the borders remain closed for years. Expect economic catastrophe. The underground economy is all about tourism. The government has no idea the money made off the books from international travel.

  4. Avatar

    Crispy

    October 18, 2020 at 12:05 am

    The major problem is the paperwork and expenses of getting into Thailand to manage one’s investments. Now with the government resisting change it is looking more and more boxed in.

  5. Avatar

    West Tiger

    October 18, 2020 at 1:23 am

    No business’s or business people are going to invest in Thailand at the moment with the way things are, and properly wont until the junta is replaced.
    These are very dark days for Thailand

  6. Avatar

    Noneya Bidnizz

    October 18, 2020 at 1:48 am

    Spot On Gentlemen , NO ONE in Their Right mind would invest in Thailand Now Due to All That You`ve mentioned !

    STEP DOWN NOW PRAYUT , TAKE YOUR ILL-GOTTEN MONEY AND LEAVE BEFORE YOU ( FURTHER) DESTROY THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY AND HER PEOPLE !!!!!

    And take your “muppets“ with you !!!

    May the Students and common sense prevail !!!

  7. Avatar

    Jimmy Giggle

    October 18, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    This is way beyond finance and money now. It is about human decency and I am astounded as to why heads of countries are not doing anything about dictators. Poor efforts all round. Humans 0. Disaster 1.

  8. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    October 19, 2020 at 12:48 am

    Even if you invest in Thailand or buy property – you do not get any permanent residentship – then you can be locked out of your property. Why invest then?

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 22, 2020 at 1:26 am

    You mean like most other countries, as fewer are “selling” residency?

    If they do they’re accused of corruption and greed, if they don’t they’re accused of not supporting the economy … hmm …

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Up to 5,900 jobs to go as Hong Kong carrier Cathay Dragon shuts down

Maya Taylor

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Up to 5,900 jobs to go as Hong Kong carrier Cathay Dragon shuts down | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kwok Ho Eddie Wong / Flickr

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific is set to close its subsidiary, Cathay Dragon, with the loss of up to 5,900 jobs. The carrier, that used to be called Dragon Air before being absorbed by Cathay, has become yet another casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic that has decimated the aviation business.

The Bangkok Post reports that 5,300 jobs are expected to go in the airline’s Hong Kong base, with a further 600 axed overseas, accounting for 17% of Cathay’s total workforce. Cathay Dragon primarily operated short-haul routes within Asia, including direct flights from Hong Kong to Bangkok and Phuket.

Cathay Pacific bosses have hammered out a HK$2.2 billion restructuring plan that involves thousands of job cuts, pilots and cabin crew having to sign cheaper contracts, and total closure of its subsidiary carrier. The South China Morning Post describes the plan as, “life or death”, reporting cuts to a total of 8,500 jobs across the group. The parent airline is understood to be applying for approval to absorb Cathay Dragon’s routes into the Cathay Pacific network, as well as that of its low-cost carrier, HK Express.

Cathay Pacific CEO, Augustus Tang, says the restructuring plan is essential to Cathay’s future survival as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic show no sign of abating.

“The global pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on aviation and the hard truth is we must fundamentally restructure the Group to survive. We have to do this to protect as many jobs as possible and meet our responsibilities to the Hong Kong aviation hub and our customers.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| South China Morning Post

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Thailand’s media spend shrinks as brands shy away from ‘bad’ news

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Thailand’s media spend shrinks as brands shy away from ‘bad’ news | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Business News

Young protesters, who use social media and messaging intuitively vs Thai officials and police who try and track those messages to keep up with the plans of the protest movement. Although Thai police have water cannons and brute force, the Thai youth at the core of the current protest movement also have a valuable weapon. And it’s being used more than ever at the moment. But this increased traffic is not transforming into increased media spending from Thailand’s main brands.

Social media analyts Wisesight say social media is being ‘weaponised’, not only to plan and communicate with fellow protesters, but also “spread the word” of the issues behind their campaign and share their stories with friends. Posts on social media have nearly doubled to 40 million messages a day over the past week. The daily average of posts in past months are around 20-22 million a day.

“Some 40 million messages were posted on social media in Thailand on Oct 15, mainly driven by political strife,” according to Kla Tangsuwan, CEO of Wisesight.

But the increased traffic on social media hasn’t meant that brands are increasing their spending to take advantage of the additional ‘reach’.

In fact, Wisesight say brands are pausing digital media spending after the political conflict ramped up this week. Usually digital media spend spikes in Q4 with the approaching festive season, a peak buying time for consumers. Media were hoping that sentiment would rebound as the world “pandemic” started the settle in October, but fresh political protests, and a surge in new global Covid-19 cases, have caused brands to “pause or wait and see”.

“Brands have begun to hold back on digital media spending in the fourth quarter as political messages flood online platforms, drawing attention away from commercial activity.”

According to the business director of Media Intelligence, Pawat Ruangdejworachai, businesses are pausing their media spend.

“They lack confidence and are hard to gain attraction from audiences that have more interest in political movements.”

The report also notes that Thailand’s social media landscape, and broader media landscape generally, are entering a new paradigm where usage is driven mainly by Generations Y and Z who use their media intuitively and consume it in real time, the vast majority on their smartphones.

Gen Y. Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1980 and 1994. They are currently between 24-39 years old.

Gen Z. Gen Z is the newest generation to be named and were born between 1996 and 2015. They are currently between 5-24 years old.

According to Media Intelligence, media spending is expected to fall 20% in Thailand to 71.2 billion baht this year. Internet channels are forecast to be the only media which will see growth this year, up 0.5% to 19.7 billion baht.

SOURCE: wisesight.com

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