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Urgent meetings to consider impact of US-China trade war on Thai exports | The ThaigerUrgent meetings to consider impact of US-China trade war on Thai exports | The Thaiger

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Urgent meetings to consider impact of US-China trade war on Thai exports

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The Thaiger & The Nation

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The Thai government is reacting quickly to perceived threats to the Thai export business by the ongoing US-China trade wars which have been ramped up in the past week by, firstly, US President Donald Trump rising the tariffs on a raft of additional Chinese items. Then China announced yesterday that it will impose tariffs on US$60 billion of US goods from June 1.

In response Thailand’s Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak called an urgent meeting of his economic team at Government House yesterday to assess the impact on Thai exports. The Deputy Commerce Minister Ms. Chutima Boonyapraphat was instructed to present the latest updates on the escalating trade war at the meeting, according to Thai PBS.

There is serious concern in Thai government circles that the deepening of the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies will seriously disrupt the global economy and impact Thai exports and tourism industry. The escalation is driving stock markets down, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing more than 600 points lower in yesterday’s trade.

US President Donald Trump warned China not to raise levies, but Beijing said it would not just swallow any “bitter fruit” that harmed its interests. China is raising tariffs on more than 5,000 US products, with the new rates ranging from 5%-25%. Items affected include beef, lamb and pork products, as well as various varieties of vegetables, fruit juice, cooking oil, tea and coffee.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

TAT will use domestic tourism as dress rehearsal for international returns

Jack Burton

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TAT will use domestic tourism as dress rehearsal for international returns | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Adventure In You

“…the tourism sector will continue to be stifled by disease control measures until a Covid-19 vaccine is developed.”

Due to the current ban on international arrivals, extended several times and now in effect until at least July, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has created a strategy to support domestic tourism and “learn from the experience”, as it eases into the inevitable challenge of luring back international tourists.

In a feature posted on its website earlier this week, the TAT said it had identified some basic truths; one of them being that the tourism sector will continue to be stifled by disease control measures until a Covid-19 vaccine is developed.

“This will affect and change all behaviour and patterns of traditional travel and tourism activities starting with the aviation experience.”

The agency predicts that only the strongest people will travel as tourists focus more than before on their health and safety. The so-called “new normal,” which is actually highly abnormal for Thai tourism, will concentrate on less travel, smaller gatherings and avoiding crowds. This is the opposite of what made Thai tourism the success it was before the pandemic… group tours, especially from China, festivals, large scale events, and a massive nightlife and entertainment industry (with all the related health risks), gave the country 39.8 million tourists last year. This year the kingdom will be lucky to attract a third of that number, and that’s supremely optimistic given the current risk-averse Thai government.

Both mainstream and niche markets will be evaluated for opportunities, but Thailand’s tourism industry is highly dependent on international arrivals, and it will ultimately be consumers who decide if and when they’re comfortable travelling overseas.

Visitors to Thailand, as of now, are required to obtain a fit-to-fly medical certificate and medical insurance cover, that includes Covid-19 treatment, valued at 100,000 US$ (3.1 million baht). Only people with current work permits or an ‘urgent’ need to return, are considered for possible re-entry at the moment.

Here are some more considerations that may be imposed, according to the TAT…

• The number of tourists will be limited to avoid congestion

• Once landed in Thailand, tourists will be required to undergo a Covid-19 rapid screening process for reconfirmation, and then depart to a sealed area resort location, most likely islands, without any stops

• The swab tests are not 100% reliable and require 6-12 hours for processing, which might not be practical for airports to manage

• Financial support will have to be extended to airlines and tour operators to use in public relations and tourism marketing campaigns

While in Thailand, tourists will have to install and use the Thai Chana tracking application on their smartphones when travelling in and out of sealed areas. Basically the focus will be on high-end international tourists who can afford the expensive medical insurance and are prepared to be transported to a “bubble” in a beach resort.

The TAT also floated the idea of a tax for outbound Thai tourists to support domestic tourism, while exempting visa application fees at Thai embassies and consulates in other countries, including visa-on-arrival fees. This move would require a compensation budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Bureau’s lost revenue.

(Bottomline: If these measures are to be rolled out there are very few tourists who will be inclined to jump through the hoops and then be ‘imprisoned’ in a location for the duration of their stay. The TAT also foreshadows the idea of a ‘vaccine stamp’ where people without a Covid-19 vaccine wouldn’t be allowed to enter the country – The Thaiger)

SOURCE: TTR Weekly

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Government says Cambodian workers should remain in Thailand during Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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Government says Cambodian workers should remain in Thailand during Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Asean Post/AFP

The director general of Thailand’s Employment Department, Suchart Phonchaiwisetkun, says Cambodian labourers should remain in Thailand while the fight against the Covid-19 goes on in the region. He was speaking following a meeting with the the Cambodian Ambassador, Ouk Sorphorn, where they discussed how Thailand would deal with its migrant workforce during the pandemic.

According to a report in Nation Thailand, Suchart claims Cambodian workers wish to remain in Thailand and continue working, rather than returning to their home country. He says having them travel across the border now would not only cost money but could increase the risk of virus transmission. He adds that having them remain in Thailand provides reassurance to Thai business owners that they won’t have to deal with a shortage of workers, adding that the Cambodians themselves are in agreement.

“The Cambodians agreed to the preliminary principles and want relevant agencies in Thailand and Cambodia to meet in a video conference later.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Beauty clinic designs special face masks for facial treatments

Caitlin Ashworth

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Beauty clinic designs special face masks for facial treatments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Waleerat Clinic Facebook

A skin and beauty clinic has designed a mini face mask for clients getting close-up facial treatments to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and comply with the rules set out by the government. But the mask allows therapists to still get to most of the face so they can apply the same procedures.

Waleerat Clinic in Bangkok made re-usable cloth masks that are narrower than typical face masks, covering the mouth and nose but leaving the cheeks open. The staff also protect themselves by wearing face shields. The clinic’s chief told Reuters they also plan to design another mask the leaves most of the nose out so they can treat that area without taking the mask off the client.

“At first, I thought it was weird but it is actually really great because it’s specifically designed to keep us safe during facial treatments,” a laser treatment customer told Reuters.

The clinic, which opened in the third phase of restriction lifts, says they’ve drastically cut down the amount of clients coming in the centre each day from more than 100 people to just 15. They also require temperature and health checks.

SOURCE: Reuters

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