Investment from Hong Kong also doubled from USD 8 billion to USD 16 billion during the same time period, making the growth of investment from the region more impressive.
SOURCE: South China Morning Post
Amongst all the bad economic news, Thailand’s industrial property sector is profiting from the protracted US-China trade war, as mainland Chinese manufacturers shift production to ASEAN countries in an attempt to avoid escalating tariffs.
Chinese foreign direct investment into the south east Asia sector rose last year by 31.7% to USD 233 million, after declining by 15.7% in 2016-17, according to Bank of Thailand data. In the same period, total FDI into Thailand skyrocketed by 130.5% year on year. Chinese investment accounted for 4.3% of total FDI last year and 7.6% in 2016-17, according to CBRE.
FDI into Thailand’s manufacturing sector was increasing before the trade war too, and is now seeing increased participation from China.
Last year, sales of serviced industrial land plots – privately owned industrial estates – by major developers in Thailand increased by 50% year on year. One park, specifically developed for Chinese manufacturers by Thai industrial estates provider Amata, accounted for 15% of the total sales in 2018.
CBRE also says China could be in line to take over from Japan, which has been the largest source of investment into Thailand since the late 1980s. Total FDI into Thailand last year amounted to USD 235 billion, with Japan contributing USD 86.6 billion and China US D4.9 billion, so there’s still a long way to go before Chinese investment outstrips Japan.
The Covid-19 crisis has severely restricted international air travel, but that didn’t stop a summit of Asean nations yesterday hosted by Vietnam and held by teleconference. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha called on fellow Asean members to begin discussion about reopening certain limited lines of interregional travel, to begin the recovery from the pandemic’s impact on the regional economy.
No specific time was mentioned around when such discussions would take place, but it was a significant first step to begin deeper discussions, as many Asean nations now have low to no active cases of Covid-19. There are some notable exceptions, such as Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, which saw 1,240 new cases yesterday alone.
Prayut specifically mentioned businesspeople in regards to the travel permissions, as well as other limited groups. It’s expected that if such a proposition moves forward, any travel corridor would carry strict limits and restrictions and wouldn’t allow everyone to travel freely across the region.
Prayut said public health measures would still take top priority in any such travel channel and would need to be agreed upon between member countries.
Besides opening dialogue on travel Prayt also suggested further investment in digital infrastructure and closer economic integration across the region.
Thailand has been considering “travel bubbles” for several weeks, at the highest levels of government, but announced earlier this week detailed discussion would be postponed until August. Monday’s meeting with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and other relevant agencies will discuss allowing limited numbers of foreigners enter, but with strict medical precautions. These would be limited to businesspeople, diplomats, guests of the government and foreigners with dependent Thai families. Discussion on protocols for such entries are ongoing as of press time. It’s is expected that the majority, if not all, will be required to go through quarantine at their own expense.
Thailand has not had a single confirmed locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in 32 days, and this morning announced 0 confirmed total cases in the past 24 hours.
SOURCE: The Pattaya NewsKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor is pushing for more foreign business people to be allowed to enter Thailand when the country reopens for international visitors. No date has yet been confirmed for this. The EEC is a special economic region consisting of the eastern provinces of Chonburi, Chachoengsao, and Rayong, with the purpose of developing these provinces into an important ASEAN economic zone.
The EEC is lobbying the government’s Covid-19 task force to allow more foreign businesspeople to visit the eastern provinces, on condition they fulfill strict criteria for entry into Thailand. These include being tested for Covid-19, both in their home country and on arrival in the Kingdom, holding medical insurance that covers treatment for Covid-19, and undergoing 14 days’ quarantine at designated spots within the EEC area.
The request comes after the government’s announcement that it plans to allow 7 different groups of foreigners into the country once international flights resume.
The EEC is also in talks about a further relaxion of Covid restrictions to grant access to the eastern economic zone to potential investors. A report in Nation Thailand today says business representatives from various Asian countries are asking Thailand to ease some of the criteria and grant entry to their citizens for business-related visits.
SOURCE: Nation ThailandKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
A survey carried out by internet-based market research firm YouGov reveals that Thais are the most likely to wear face masks and to use hand sanitiser. Khaosod English reports that the survey examined the habits of citizens from 6 ASEAN member-states and found that 95% of Thais always wear a face mask in public.
(It’s currently still law to wear a face-mask in public as part of the emergency decree)
Vietnamese citizens were a close second at 94%, followed by the Philippines (93%), Malaysia (89%), and Indonesia (87%). Singapore came in last with just 66% of people saying they always wear a face mask in public. Those surveyed were chosen based on age, income, education level and gender to ensure a wide representation for each country.
YouGov/Imperial College London
The Covid-19 outbreak has led to more people wearing face masks, particularly in countries where it is now mandatory to do so while in public. While there was a degree of panic-buying of surgical masks in the early days of the pandemic, many Thai fashion brands are now producing their own, along with creative individuals who started making masks to alleviate the initial shortage.
The owner of the I’m Not A Morning Person fashion label, 28 year old Jarauyporn Khamwan started by using leftover material to make satin masks which she sold for 290 baht. She believes masks have the potential to become a fashion accessory, particularly if wearing them remains a permanent requirement.
Overall, the wearing of face masks is far more prevalent in Asian culture, although things are slowly changing in some Western countries as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Across the 6 ASEAN members surveyed, 86% of respondents say they always wear a face mask in public. By contrast, 48% of people in the US do, followed by 44% in France. In the UK, just 15% of respondents say they always wear a face mask when leaving home.
SOURCE: Khaosod EnglishKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
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