So yesterday the government came out with the following stimulus measures.

1) daily minimum wage hike for 69 provinces (out of 77 provinces), by THB5-10 or less than 3% hike, effective from 1 Jan 2017. This is the first hike since 2013, when min wage was upped to THB300 across the country. Only 8 exceptional provinces (Sing Buri, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Ranong, Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala) were kept unchanged due to only small number of factories. There is no objection from the private sector as they already pay their workers more than that.

2) THB12.8b cash handout for 5m low-income earners (with less than THB100k per year) by next month. People with <THB30k yearly salary will get THB3,000 and THB30-100k range will get THB1,500.

3) Visa measure including waiving visa fee (THB1,000) and halving visa-on-arrival fee (THB2,000) for tourists from 19 countries including Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, starting 1 Dec – 28 Feb. The gov’t expects boost no of tourists by 350,000 with THB28b revenue during the period. Also, in a bid to promote Thailand as a hub for medical services, the gov’t granted 10-yr visas for foreigners over 50 years old with (1) monthly salary >THB100k or THB3m saving in bank account (2) health insurance with >USD10k annual coverage. This will replace the current 1-yr renewable visas. The visa will be valid initially for 5 years and subject to another 5-yr renewal. And the applicant will also be required to report to immigration police every 90 days.

Note that tax incentives including THB15k tax deductibles for shopping during New Year and THB15k for travelling expense are still pending. However, postponement shouldn’t be long, given that the gov’t targets to boost spending during New Year

Who wins from this? BJC, BIGC, CPALL, ROBINS, any leasing company.

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