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Thailand to raise excise tax on booze

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET CITY (The Nation): An executive decree will be issued shortly to raise the excise tax ceiling on alcoholic beverages in preparation for the implementation of the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta) agreement on January 1, a Finance Ministry source said yesterday.

The Cabinet is expected to consider the measure on Tuesday, just before the arrival of 2010, when the import tax on all imported beer and liquor will be reduced to zero under the Afta scheme.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij yesterday declined to comment on the planned excise ceiling hike.

The planned hike should help prevent cheaper foreign-made alcoholic drinks being dumped in the Thai market once liberalization is in place.

“Alcoholic beverages damage consumers’ health, so it’s necessary to use the excise tax as a measure to manage consumption. Competition in the alcohol industry should also be curbed, because fiercer competition as a result of market liberalization will lead to more consumption.

“In addition, the government should enforce a law banning advertising of these products to prevent further damage to public health,” said a ministry official who asked not to be named.

Under the Afta scheme, Thailand and other Asean countries will be opening up their domestic markets to boost trade within the 10-country grouping.

From January 1, importers of several product classes, including alcohol, will benefit from the zero import tax rate, allowing an influx of cheaper beer and liquor from within the region.

At present, Thailand is the largest market for alcoholic beverages in Asean, followed by the Philippines and Vietnam.

Sources say Chinese beverage firms with production facilities inside Asean are expected to flood the Thai market with cheap beer and liquor. In addition, some European firms are already using production facilities within Asean to supply low-cost products to the Thai market.

If the excise tax ceiling does not get adjusted before Afta is enforced, Thai producers will be hit hard by an expected surge in cheap, foreign products.

Beside beer, competition in the distilled white spirits and whiskey market segments is also expected to be fierce due to the reduction of import duty.

— Nophakun Limsamarnphun

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive. The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… “We want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

Thaiger

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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