When to bring the curtain down: Stakeholders debate merits of deputy pm’s early election talk. Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwon sparked debate over whether the government should call an early House dissolution when he floated the idea that it would be a good time to go the polls after the Apec 2022 summit. Bangkok Post
Race to end restrictions: While the government plans to declare Covid-19 endemic on July 1, many in the business sector would like a more rapid rollback. After plaguing Thailand for two years with physical and economic ailments, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be downgraded to an endemic from July 1, marking a significant step towards full economic recovery. Bangkok Post
Rice exports tipped to hit 8m tonnes: Thailand’s rice exports are expected to exceed 8 million tonnes this year, driven by the weakness of the baht and rising demand in the global market, according to veteran trader Chookiat Ophaswongse. Mr Chookiat, an honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thai rice shipments reached 1.5 million tonnes in the first two months of this year, compared with 900,000 tonnes in the same period of 2021. Bangkok Post
Six potential locations for a Bt200b Southern Land Bridge connecting the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman coasts will be proposed to the Transport Ministry this week, said the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP).
The price of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) entitled to the state’s subsidy and tax incentives will be reduced by at least Bt150K-200K per car, as part of Government’s Bt3b budget to support EV promotion. GWM and SAIC of China are the 1st to sign, will produce the same # of imported cars locally later.
Paetongtarn tipped as candidate for PM: Thaksin’s youngest daughter is shaping up to be a key part of the Pheu Thai Party’s election bid. All eyes are on whether Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, will be named as a candidate for prime minister in the next general election after she was put in charge of a campaign aimed at promoting unity in the Pheu Thai Party. Bangkok Post
Cabinet okays EEC smart city deal: Investment tallies B1.34tn over decade. The cabinet approved a smart city development yesterday, the fifth flagship infrastructure project in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), with investment worth a combined 1.34 trillion baht over 10 years. Bangkok Post
Downgrade dump: Thai bank shares slid after S&P Global Ratings lowered its credit marks for 4 local firms on concerns over household debt. Banking and finance stocks slid after S&P Global Ratings downgraded the credit ratings of four Thai banks on concerns over high household debt. The credit ratings agency also said systemic risk may lift the level of nonperforming loans (NPLs) and undermine the asset quality of companies in the finance group. Bangkok Post
B14.32bn earmarked for national jab policy: The government has set aside 14.32 billion baht for a five-year plan to ensure public health security through a national vaccine and vaccination policy to fight existing and emerging diseases as well as bioweapons. Bangkok Post
Thailand will bar the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payments for goods and services, and business operators must not provide such payment services, and are barred from acting in a manner that promotes the use of digital assets to pay for G&S, said the SEC.