1. Ministry of Finance progresses on ”Thailand Future Fund”. The first investment project is worth Bt44bn and will be opened for investor subscription in mid-2018. (Thai Post, 27/3/18)
  2. US-China trade conflict being watched, said MoC. Ministry of Commerce said the US-China conflicts are being watched closely since it makes the world more uncertain in the investment, making investors to buy gold and weakening the USD which consequently strengthen THB and affect Thai exports. (IQ Biz, 23/3/18) Ma poised to reveal EEC plans. Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, will visit Thailand on Friday to announce the group’s future investment in the Thai government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme, says the Industry Ministry. Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the Alibaba executive plans to visit Thailand to meet with government representatives. (Bangkok Post, 26/3/18
  3. Prayut delays decision on digital TV relief measures. Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has deferred by one week the decision on whether to use his special powers to help digital TV and 900-MHz mobile operators amid conflicting views on the issue. Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), met the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on Tuesday to discuss the request for Gen Prayut to invoke Section 44 to help operators of digital TV and 900-megahertz mobile spectrum. (Bangkok Post, 28/3/18)
  4. Bank of Thailand stands pat in March, unlikely to change policy rate in 2018. The Thai central bank stood pat during its meeting today. The Bank of Thailand kept its policy rate unchanged at 1.5 percent. The policy statement repeated that an accommodative monetary policy is still necessary to nurture growth further. The central bank upwardly revised its economic growth projection for this year to 4.1 percent from the prior forecast of 3.9 percent. The BoT expects the same growth rate to continue next year. The main drivers underlying this revision were continued strength in exports and tourism flows; ongoing rose in public expenditure which is also beginning to crowd in private investment; and moderate rebound in private consumption. (Econotimes, 29/3/18)
  5. Thailand wants to join CPTPP trade pact this year: deputy PM. Thailand aims to seek membership in a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement this year, a deputy prime minister said on Thursday. The government has asked the commerce ministry to look into the details on how to join the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). “This is an important issue,” Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak told reporters. “If there is no problem, we will join it this year.” (Reuters, 30/3/18)
  6. Brazil withdrew its lawsuit against Thailand about a sugar subsidiary dispute after a satisfactory. Sugar farmers are still asking for a review of the government’s sugar rules. (Manager, 30/3/18)
  7. The US and China are in talks to try to avoid a trade war. The United States and China are acting tough over trade, but they’re also busy talking to try to stop the situation spiraling out of control. President Donald Trump ramped up tensions last week by ordering tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods just weeks after announcing of sanctions on steel and aluminum imports. Beijing has responded with plans to target $3 billion worth of US products and warnings that it’s ready to inflict more pain. (CNBC, 27/3/18)
  8. China warns US it will defend own trade interests. The United States has flouted trade rules with an inquiry into intellectual property and China will defend its interests, Vice Premier Liu He told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a telephone call on Saturday, Chinese state media reported. The call between Mnuchin and Liu, a confidante of President Xi Jinping, was the highest-level contact between the two governments since U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans for tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods on Thursday. (CNBC, 26/3/18)
  9. Final reading on US Q4 GDP is up 2.9%, vs 2.7% growth expected. U.S. economic growth slowed less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as the biggest gain in consumer spending in three years partially offset the drag from a surge in imports. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department said in its third GDP estimate for the period on Wednesday. That was a slight moderation from the third quarter’s brisk 3.2 percent pace. (CNBC, 29/3/18)
  10. U.S. core capital goods orders bolster business spending outlook. New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods rebounded more than expected in February after two straight monthly declines and shipments surged, which could temper expectations of a sharp slowdown in business spending on equipment in the first quarter. Shipments of core capital goods increased 1.4 percent last month, the biggest advance since December 2016, after a 0.1 percent gain in January. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government’s gross domestic product measurement. (Reuters, 26/3/18)

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