Thailand’s economy to shrink 5-6 % in 2020
NESDB Secretary General Tossaporn
Thailand’s economy contracted 1.8 percent in the first quarter and is
projected to shrink 5-6 percent this year, says the National Economic and
Social Development Board (NESDB)
NESDB Secretary General Tossaporn Sirisamphan said that
the quarterly contraction was the first since 2014 and the GDP would further
drop in the second quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NESDB also projected country’s total exports to
decrease by 8 percent.
“These projections are based on the assumptions that
the virus is contained by the second quarter and the economic and tourism
activities return to normal in the latter half of the year”, said Tossaporn.
Commenting on the government’s plan to acquire 1
trillion- baht worth of loan, the NESDB chief said that the injection would
not significantly stimulate the GDP.
Tossaporn also cited the US-China trade war and the
drought disaster as main affecting factors.
Due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus, the tourism
industry could lose at least 150 billion baht in revenue, the NESDB said in
a report released earlier.(TNA)
Thailand to set up fund to help small businesses
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak
BANGKOK- Many small businesses are affected by the coronavirus
outbreak and lacking access to financial sources. In a meeting of economic
ministers and the Bank of Thailand on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid
Jatusripitak said that he instructed the Finance Ministry to finalize the
plan to support small businesses.
Finance Minister Uttama Savayanaya said that the fund
might be worth up to 100 billion baht allocated from the 400-billion-baht
emergency loan for COVID-19.
Eligibility verification could be tricky, he said,
because many small businesses had no financial records. Officials might
have to survey their actual locations in order to approve their eligibility.
Uttama also revealed that the Ministry planned to
announce its GDP forecast on Monday which would definitely shrink due to
Shopping malls in Thailand prepare to reopen
malls in Thailand are preparing for reopening.
BANGKOK- The government is
mulling the second phase of easing coronavirus restrictions.
After the first stage of easing which has seen some
restaurants, barber shops and salons reopened, the government’s COVID-19
taskforce has announced that it plans to allow shopping malls as well as
health and wellness businesses in the next stage which could begin next
The operators of the shopping malls that have been
closed since March 22 are gearing up with their preparations for reopening.
Health screening, density limit and social distancing
measures would be taken when they resume operations, the management of one
of the major shopping malls said.
The high-density venues can reopen if the number of new
Covid-19 infections continues to drop, according to the government’s
coronavirus taskforce. The taskforce is expected to announce its decision on
the second phase of lockdown easing on Friday.
An analysis report by Siam Commercial Bank indicates
that retailing businesses have shrunk by 14 percent, translating into about
500- billion baht of loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. (TNA)
screening, density limit and social distancing measures would be exercised
Bangkok Governor extends Chatuchak Market opening hours
Kwanmuang, Bangkok Governor and of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
officials inspected COVID-19 prevention measures at Chatuchak Weekend Market
The Bangkok Governor today issued an
order to extend Chatuchak Market opening hours to support shopkeepers and
customers, with a further hour of shopping time. The market is now open from
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customers and shopkeepers are asked to maintain appropriate
personal distance and follow the regulations.
Asawin Kwanmuang, Bangkok Governor along with officials
of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration or BMA inspected COVID-19
prevention measures at Chatuchak Weekend Market on Sunday. After being open
for two days, they found that during the hot season customers tend to come
in the afternoon around 2 to 5 p.m. The governor therefore decided to extend
opening hours, so that now shopping ends at 7 p.m., instead of 6 p.m.
The BMA is also preparing to cut rents for traders, a
plan now being proposed to the Minister of Transport. The plan aims to cut
rent payable from March to November as customer numbers are much lower than
However, it was noted that social distancing in the
market is sometimes forgotten by shoppers. As a result, the governor has had
officials draw lines on the ground all over the market as a reminder to
maintain personal distance.
A big cleaning operation was also undertaken on Monday.
The governor has asked all customers and shopkeepers to
follow anti-pandemic measures. Violators will be warned first, so that it
may not be necessary to enforce the harsh provisions of the law.
As for the market’s COVID-19 control measures, only 6
of 13 entrances are open, everyone must wear a mask and have their body
temperature checked. Hand sanitizers are provided at every entrance and
other spots around the market. Toilets are cleaned every 2 hours.
Food vendors must work behind a plastic screen and all
containers must have a lid. Shops are allowed to have a maximum of five
customers inside at any one time in small shops, with a 10-person maximum in
larger shops. Meanwhile, the area normally reserved for street vendors
around the clocktower, and the night market are still closed. (NNT)
TOT, CAT introduce affordable home internet package in Thailand
TOT and CAT Telecom offer a new fixed broadband
home internet package to facilitate online communications, work and study
BANGKOK - The coronavirus pandemic is forcing more people to stay at
home, making a capable internet connection essential for work and study
online. The Ministry of a Digital Economy and Society has joined interests
with telecom providers to offer a special home internet package, with free
installation and a 3-month bonus.
The Minister of a Digital Economy and Society,
Puttipong Punnakanta has announced that telecom providers TOT and CAT
Telecom will be offering a new fixed broadband home internet package, with
100 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds, to facilitate online
communications, as well as work and study from home.
The new package will be offered at 390 baht per month
for households with no internet connection. Customers will receive a free
3-month bonus after the first 12 bills. The companies aim to offer this
package to 100,000 customers, helping more people have access to the
internet at an affordable price.
TOT Acting President Pipat Khanthong, said today the
membership fee, equipment costs, and installation fees will be waived.
Customers in remote areas can also sign up, thanks to the Net Pracharat
village internet infrastructure that covers more than 24,000 networks
Interested persons can sign up for this special package
from 10th May to 31st July this year, by calling CAT Telecom cell center
1322, or TOT call center 1100. (NNT)
2,100 migrant workers tested for Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon, Thailand
Thai health officials conduct a random testing
of 2,100 migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province.
SAMUT SAKHON - Thai health officials conduct a random testing of
2,100 migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province for COVID-19 in an attempt to
contain the outbreak.
Public health volunteers have since Monday begun
door-to-door testing at a community of migrant workers, mostly from
Myanmar, who are employed in fishery industry.
The testing is supported by provincial disease
control committee, local hospitals and the Department of Medical
Around 500 people have been tested so far as
officials set the target at 2,100. Test results will be completed in
Samut Sakhon Governor Wirasak Wichitsaengsri said
the random testing in the province, home to over 268,000 migrant
workers, served as a model for advanced community testing.
The testing was instrumental in detecting virus
cases in communities leading to effective disease control, he said.
Public health volunteers handed out social
distancing and sanitary guidelines for the workers as well. (TNA)