1. RCEP members seek year-end free trade deal. Ministers from 16 Asia-Pacific countries said on Sunday they will seek a broad agreement on their free trade talks by the end of the year as they formed a united front against the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump. (Bangkok Post, 1/7/2018)
  2. BAAC runs risk of bad loan surge. The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) is at risk of seeing its bad loan ratio surge to as much as 6% if it fails to restructure its special mention loans, worth 30 billion baht. (Bangkok Post, 03/07/2018
  3. The National Broadcast and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has repackaged 1800MHz into 9 licenses with a starting price of Bt12.468bn. For 900MHz, the starting price will be Bt35.988bn (Bt2bn lower than the previous starting price). The NBTC plans to sell the bidding application on August 8 and the auction will be held on August 18-19. (Thun Hoon, 3/7/18)
  4. Cabinet keeps VAT at 7% for another year. Cabinet has decided to keep value-added tax at the current rate of 7% for another year, from Oct 1 to Sept 30, 2019 (Bangkok Post, 03/07/18)
  5. Largest US business group attacks Trump on tariffs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a campaign on Monday to oppose Trump’s trade tariff policies.  It is the nation’s largest business group and customarily a close ally of President Donald Trump’s Republican Party. Using a state-by-state analysis, the new campaign argues that Trump is risking a global trade war that will hit the wallets of U.S. consumers. (CNBC, 02/07/18)
  6. EU gives stark warning to US over auto tariffs. The European Union warned on Monday that up to $294 billion worth of US exports would face counter-measures if President Donald Trump went through with his threat to slap duties on auto imports.  (Reuters, 02/07/18)
  7. Saudi, Russian energy ministers agree continued oil market coordination. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih discussed the oil market developments with his Russian counterpart, and both agreed to continue close coordination in the interest of producers, consumers and the global economy, according to a statement by the Saudi Energy Ministry on Tuesday. (Reuters, 03/07/18)
  8. China Won’t Weaponize the Yuan in Trade War, PBOC Official. Says Top Chinese central bank officials on Tuesday vowed to keep the nation’s currency stable, helping to reverse declines, and pledged that yuan devaluation won’t be used as a weapon in the trade conflict with the U.S. (Bloomberg, 03/07/18)
  9. The China-U.S. Power Struggle Is Just Beginning. Chinese President Xi Jinping has an ambitious master plan for his country’s transformation into a wealthy, technology-driven global economic power. And U.S. companies need not apply. That’s why the current trade rumble between the U.S. and China, in which the Trump administration is threatening to slap tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports and Beijing promises to respond in kind, is far more than just a spat over market restrictions, intellectual property rights and the epic U.S. deficit. (Bloomberg, 05/07/18)
  10. Mahathir to visit China after putting $20bn of projects on ice. Malaysian and Chinese officials are in talks for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to visit Beijing soon, two sources with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters, after Kuala Lumpur suspended China-backed projects worth more than US$20 billion. Mahathir, who came to power in May following a stunning election defeat for then prime minister Najib Razak, is reviewing major projects signed by the former government, saying many of them do not make financial sense for Malaysia. (Bangkok Post, 05/07/18(

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