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Incomes on the rise for Thai expats

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Incomes on the rise for Thai expats | The Thaiger

“The Thai economy has continued to see an upward trend in recent years, with a steady and sustained increase in overseas business…”

The pay and benefits packages of expats in Thailand has seen a major increase, with the overall package of an average overseas worker increasing by US$27,917, according to a new survey.

Lee Quane of ECA International said the MyExpatriate Market Pay report reflected Thai economic growth.

“The Thai economy has continued to see an upward trend in recent years, with a steady and sustained increase in overseas business, and consequently expatriate workers, to the nation.”

“In the strengthened demand for expatriate-standard accommodation has, in turn, resulted in higher wages and benefits as increasing numbers of higher-skilled employees move to Thailand.”

Elsewhere in Asia, expatriate pay packages in Singapore rose by US$13,163 in 2018 to US$236,258, including an average cash salary of US$90,170.

When considering the cost of an expatriate package, companies need to factor in three main elements: the cash salary, benefits – such as accommodation, international schools, utilities or cars – and tax.

To assist companies relocating staff with benchmarking their packages against the market, ECA conducts its annual MyExpatriate Market Pay Survey of pay levels for expatriates, including benefits, allowances, salary calculation methods and tax treatment.

Meanwhile, Japan is no longer the most expensive location in the world to send expatriates, after being overtaken in the rankings by the UK.

“Despite an increase of over US$30,000 to the average expatriate pay package from 2017, Japan has dropped back into second place in our rankings after overtaking the UK in 2017. Although sending a mid-level overseas employee to Japan would now amount to US$386,451, the cost is still US$35,347 behind the total cost of sending an expatriate to the UK.

“Although the overall cost of the pay package for an expatriate in Japan increased by an average of 8.5 per cent in 2018, Japan would most likely have remained at the top of the rankings if not for the significant rise in accommodation costs in the UK last year,” added Quane.

The pay and benefits package of an expatriate living and working in China saw a significant rebound last year, after falling in 2017. The average package is now valued at US$310,204 – an increase of over US$33,000. This pushes China up one place in the rankings to the third position.

Quane said: “Expatriates in China have seen a big jump after a bad year in 2017, which saw the value of the average package drop in all areas. The Chinese yuan experienced a better year in 2018 due to a stronger economy and currency, and has resulted in a considerable improvement in the pay package for overseas workers in China.”

Incomes on the rise for Thai expats | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Somkid blames sluggish formation of Thai government for GDP downgrading

The Thaiger

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Somkid blames sluggish formation of Thai government for GDP downgrading | The Thaiger

Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak is saying the delay in forming Thailand’s next government caused the downgrading of the country’s GDP projections from 3.8% to 3.3%.

The Bank of Thailand downgraded their forecasts at a meeting this morning.

But Somkid noted that he was confident that Thailand’s GDP growth will pick up again once the new cabinet had been announced and royally endorsed.

He also said that the depressed world economy and the ongoing trade spat between the US and China was adversely affecting the Thai economy and mostly out of his ministry’s control. He also promised that the new government would fast-track infrastructure projects like the high-speed train routes linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao, and the link between Bangkok and the Laos border.

Somkid was speaking at the opening of the Saha Group Fair at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre today.
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Trying to find a pulse in Thailand’s economic health

The Thaiger

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Trying to find a pulse in Thailand’s economic health | The Thaiger

Thailand’s economy is south-east Asia’s wounded soldier as the newly elected Thai government tries to boost confidence and stimulate the economy after five years of military rule. Certainly the past 12 months have been the most challenging.

GDP growth hit a four-year low of 2.8% for Q1 2019 and exports remain weak.

Despite having unlimited power for half a decade, PM Prayut and the NCPO have done little to improve Thailand’s economic situation or the plight of the average Thai.

Going after the previous premier and the elected Pheu Thai government as soon as they came to power over a rice pledging scheme (subsidies for rice farmers), the NCPO have used the same blunt tool of agricultural subsidies to keep the northern and north-east farmers ‘happy’. After all, that was Prayut’s big promise after seizing power in 2014, “bringing happiness back to the people”.

Big infrastructure promises and spending have made good headlines but are yet to show any economic gain for most Thai people. It hasn’t really made Thai people ‘happy’ yet.

Of the ASEAN 5 economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand), the Land of Smiles has performed the worst over the fast five years averaging 3.6% growth against the average of the other four nations of 5-6.2% GDP growth.

For 2019, Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Council, responsible for calculating the official GDP figures, has set growth at 3.3-3.8%, down from 4% estimated at the start of the year.  If the tourist tap stops gushing and slows to a trickle and the export figures keep trending down, the estimates may have to be revised down further again.

Trying to find a pulse in Thailand's economic health | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Global Economic Data, Indicators, Charts & Forecasts

Following the election and the (soon) completed formation of the new government it would appear that political stability abounds for Thailand but the fragile 19-party coalition is not predicted to last long. It’s also considered unlikely the new PM, who is the old PM from the five years of military rule, will be a fan of lengthy discussions, public consultation and parliamentary debate. Some of the smaller parties, who threw their weight behind the pro-junta coalition initially, are now getting flakey and looking to cross the floor and take their place in the back-benches of the opposition side of the new parliament.

Public debt has also steadily risen under military rule, climbing to 34% of GDP last year from 30% when they came to power. But international credit rating agencies are not ringing alarm bells just yet and Thailand’s public debt levels remain lower than Vietnam, Malaysia or Indonesia.

Thailand’s two largest infrastructure projects will surely continue to manifest, though the next phases of the contract will now be subject to debate in the new parliament. These include the 225 billion baht high-speed rail link between Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao international airports, and the China-backed high-speed line between Bangkok and the Thai-Laos border with a proposed budget of 300 billion baht.

And the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the expansion of industry for the areas from Bangkok’s east to Rayong, will remain a showcase for economic growth for the new government.

Thailand will now have to choose whether it’s sufficient to keep surfing along as the wounded soldier of south-east Asian economies or whether it can muscle its way back to a position of regional economic prominence.

Trying to find a pulse in Thailand's economic health | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: National Economic and Social Development Council

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Thai car manufacturers upbeat about sales

The Thaiger

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Thai car manufacturers upbeat about sales | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Chevrolet’s proposed SUV ‘Blazer’ to replace the Captiva

Car sales for the first five months of this year stood at 437,722 equating to a year-on-year rise of just over 9%. Sales for May alone were 88,097 units, up 3.7%. But May’s growth slowed from the double-digit rise that the sector experienced between January and April, 2019.

• By brand sales in May, Toyota was up 10.2% to 29,337 units. Isuzu was up 9.2% to 15,651 units and Honda was up 7.7% to 11,224 units. Mitsubishi sales were up 6.2% to 7,308 units, and Nissan sales were down 1.0% to 5,385 units.

• By body type, passenger cars were up 1.3% year on year to 33,580 units. Commercial vehicle sales were up 5.2% to 54,517 units. Pickup sales included in the commercial vehicle sales were up 8.9% to 44,102 units.

The VP of Tri Petch Isuzu Sales, Takeshi Kazahara, is quoted in the Bangkok Post saying the slow growth last month is in line with Thailand’s general economic outlook, which is suffering from the US-China trade war.

“This external factor could pressure the economy with unstable sentiment. A windfall factor is new investment flow from Chinese investors, who are shifting to invest in Thailand as they flee from the trade war. The rise of private investment could contribute to Thailand’s GDP and offset the trade war’s effect,” he told the Bangkok Post.

Spokespersons from Mitsubishi and Suzuki also were bullish about the state of the Thai car sales, Mitsubishi saying they remain confident after a strong first quarter this year, and Suzuki calling for the Bank of Thailand to control financial measures for people borrowing to purchase cars.

More worrisome is the drop in exports which are directly linked to the strength of the Thai baht.

Thai car manufacturers upbeat about sales | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: FTI (Federation of Thai Industries), Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT)

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