Gavroche has selected for you some salient news in Thailand during this past week. An essential overview of the news for anyone interested in this Southeast Asian country.
The week in Thailand was obviously dominated by the APEC summit which we have extensively reported on. To find out more, do not hesitate to read our various articles.
After attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali, Indonesia, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, visited Thailand from November 16 to 18. During this visit, he held talks with the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, with the King of Thailand, Rama X, as well as with several other leaders of the region. The President participated for the first time, as a special guest, in the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit on the occasion of which he spoke during the APEC CEO Summit, on the theme ” Navigating a turbulent world”, before taking part in the plenary sessions of the Summit in the presence of APEC Heads of State and Government.
Over the weekend, US Vice President Kamala Harris held talks with Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, which focused on expanding cooperation on climate change, the clean energy and sustainable development. During their meeting, General Prayut said Thailand stands ready to promote and strengthen “heart-to-heart” cooperation with the United States based on two centuries of bilateral relations.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hosted a press conference to answer questions and provide information on Japan’s preparations to host the 2023 Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Tokyo. The Japanese prime minister, who was among foreign dignitaries attending the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok, said the upcoming meeting would provide G7 members with an opportunity to discuss pressing issues, especially those relating to a joint dialogue on ASEAN perspectives on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
About 480 foreign companies set up shop in Thailand in the first 10 months of 2022, bringing over 100 billion baht to the country. During the same period last year, 446 foreign companies had invested 61.96 billion baht to set up in Thailand. From January to October, 480 foreign companies were licensed under the Foreign Business Law. They have invested 106.43 billion baht and created 4,635 jobs, said Thai Deputy Minister of Commerce Sinit Lertkrai. Among the new foreign companies, the largest investors are the Japanese, who invested 37.73 billion baht and created 125 companies, followed by the Chinese (20.84 billion baht.
According to the Minister of Finance, the country’s growth is expected to reach 3.4% this year and 3.8% next year, despite economic headwinds. Growth should be driven mainly by exports, tourism (10 million tourists expected this year) and public spending. On this point, the stimulus measures implemented by the government, which mainly target low-income households, should become less important as employment picks up. The Thai central bank has also declared that it wants to continue the gradual tightening of its monetary policy, in a context where inflation is slowing and the baht is strengthening (it reached its highest level in three months this week). For the record, the BoT has raised its key rate twice this year, up to 1%. The next central bank monetary policy meeting will take place on November 30.
Thailand’s headline inflation stood at 5.98% YoY (+0.33% YoY) in October, down from 6.41% last month. Lower inflation was driven by lower retail oil prices, while electricity prices remained stable after rising prices in September. However, raw food prices continued to rise.
Food prices rose slightly in Thailand due to higher prices for vegetables and grain products despite lower meat prices. Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 9.58% year-on-year, down slightly from a 9.82% increase in September. Prices for vegetables and fruit continued to post a solid gain while other raw foods and prepared foods slowed in September. Prices for rice, flour and grain products began to accelerate, with prices rising 4.13% year-on-year from 1.45% year-on-year in the previous month. The impact of the floods is expected to ease over the next few months, but high food production costs could keep prices high for some time.
A wildlife trader was arrested while delivering to an undercover agent in Mukdahan province four baby tigers he was selling for 1.5 million baht. He was arrested by the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Police and officials from the Regional 9 Protected Areas Office which was investigating the illegal wildlife trade. They learned that a man, later identified as Thanad W…, 63, had four baby tigers he said were smuggled from Laos and was selling them for 2 million baht, he said on Tuesday. Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, Commissioner of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Thailand plans to introduce a new visa for medical treatment on Jan. 1 to cement its position as a health hub in the region. The Thai government has approved the Ministry of Health’s proposal to reduce the fee for medical treatment visa applicants in the Non-MT category from 6,000 baht to 5,000 baht. The new visa allows multiple entries and is valid for one year. The visa holder can stay in the country for 90 days. Three people who are immediate family members are also allowed to stay in Thailand.
Tourism, Culture, Sports
The Tourism Board of Thailand (TAT) hosted Thailand Charter Week 2022 on November 16 at Phuket Yacht Haven Marina with the aim of boosting nautical tourism. The TAT estimates that welcoming the boating community to Phuket will generate 1 billion baht in revenue.
The Tourism Board of Thailand on November 17 released an updated schedule of its stunning free “Vijit Chao Phraya” light shows at six locations along the river in Bangkok to welcome leaders, delegates and tourists from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec).
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), presented Thailand’s significant direction towards more sustainable, inclusive and environmentally friendly tourism at the CEO Summit of Thailand. APEC 2022.
Tourism leaders forecast 18 million foreign arrivals in 2023 in Thailand while holding out little hope that the Chinese market will return anytime soon, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).