1. NLA approves 20-year national strategy. The National Legislative Assembly has voted unanimously to approve the National Strategy, with binding effect over the next 20 years and penalties for non-compliance. (Bangkok Post, 06/07/18)
  2. NESDB to study feasibility of Kra canal plan. The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) should be entrusted to study the feasibility of the Kra Canal plan which will connect the Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea in the South, the Marine Department has suggested. (Bangkok post, 08/07/18)
  3. EIC ups Thai growth forecast to 4.3% as expansion now more broad-based. Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Centre (EIC) on Monday revised its forecast for Thailand’s 2018 economic growth to 4.3 per cent from the previous estimate of 4 per cent, reflecting stronger expansion in recent periods. (The Nation, 09/07/18
  4. Commerce cancels double taxation, giving advantage for Thai investors in Cambodia. The Minister of Commerce says the Cambodian ambassador to Thailand visited him and they discussed ways to promote trade between the two countries and achieve the goal of increasing trade value to US$15bn in 2020. The Minister emphasized mutual benefit from a strategic economic partnership of both sides. (IQ Biz, 10/07/18)
  5. Commerce expects exports to grow more than 8% this year. The deputy director-general of the Department of International Trade says the department will adjust its export growth target because 1H18 exports expanded more than 11%. He says exports for the year as a whole are looking to be higher than previously expected at 8%. However, in the second half of the year there are risk factors that need to be monitored closely, as the stock market and the exchange rate continue to fluctuate. (Khao Sod, 10/07/18)
  6. The Thai bond market remains attractive for investors despite a weakening in the baht triggered by a hardening of positions by the protagonists in a global trade war. The declines in the baht against the US dollar have spooked foreign investors, resulting in a sell-off of short-term bonds that has reached Bt81.9bn this year, said Tada Phutthitada, president of the Thai Bond Market Association (ThaiBMA), yesterday. The currency’s depreciation has seen foreign holders of bonds with a maturity less than a year left with losing positions on their investments, Tada said. In contrast to the pressure on shortterm bonds, foreign investors have bought Bt84bn long-term bonds, resulting in net purchases of Bt2.1bn – against their net sales of more than Bt190bn in the stock market.  (IQ Biz, 12/07/18)
  7. Central bank taking action on rapid baht moves. The Bank of Thailand has taken action on rapid moves in the baht, the governor said on Thursday, as the currency weakened to nine-month lows against the US dollar. It is the central bank’s policy to smooth out any excessive moves in the baht, governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told reporters. The baht traded at 33.27 against the dollar at 11.48am, having depreciated by 3.6% since the middle of June. Global trade tensions have yet to have a direct impact on Thailand, but there may be some effect from supply chains, Mr. Veerathai said. (Bangkok Post, 12/07/18) Welfare cards to be issued to another 1.1m people. The Finance Ministry plans to distribute welfare cards to 1.1 million more people who missed the previous registration of the poor, and they include people with disabilities and bedridden patients. (Bangkok Post, 12/07/18)
  8. China accuses the US of launching the ‘largest trade war in economic history’. The U.S. imposes tariffs on $34 billion of annual imports from China. This prompts Beijing to respond in kind with levy tariffs on U.S. imports. China’s soymeal futures plunged over 2 percent during Friday afternoon trade in Asia before recovering most of its losses, amid market confusion over whether Beijing had implemented tariffs on soybeans and other U.S. goods. (CNBC, 06/07/18) China raises tariff rates for some U.S. optical fiber products, from July 11. China’s commerce ministry said on Tuesday it is raising “anti-dumping tariff rates” for some optical fiber products originating from the United States, effective on Wednesday, July 11.  (Reuters, 10/07/18)
  9. Third of sovereign funds plan to cut equity holdings, cite trade war fear. Over a third of sovereign investors plan to cut their equity exposure over the next three years after a strong run in 2017, citing trade wars, geopolitics and high valuations as headwinds to performance, a study by asset manager Invesco showed. (Reuters, 09/07/18)
  10. U.S. Senate backs non-binding tariff measure, minor snub of Trump. The U.S. Senate made a minor effort to push back against President Donald Trump’s trade policies on Wednesday by backing a non-binding motion to give Congress a role in his decisions to impose tariffs for national security reasons. The vote was 88-11 in favor of the measure, part of an effort led by some of Trump’s fellow Republicans who support free trade to resist the president’s escalating effort to address what he sees as unfair foreign trade. (Reuters, 12/07/18)

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