1. Real Estate Info Center (REIC) warns developers should exercise caution when launching new condos and Townhouses priced <Bt2m in Greater BKK as substantial inventory of unsold units might lead to increased competition, leading to discounted prices.
  2. Social Development and Human Security Minister said he supported idea to increase monthly allowance for elderly to Bt3,000 from Bt600, yet must be financially sustainable for the country.
  3. Thailand and China will implement a reciprocal visa-free scheme in which they will permanently waive visa requirements for each other’s citizens from Mar. The scheme should increase outbound travellers to China by >10%, but inbound numbers might not reach the government projection of 8.2m, said the Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta).
  4. Govt sets ambitious B3.5tr tourism target for ’24: The government is aiming to generate 3.5 trillion baht for the economy through the tourism industry this year, as it plans to promote the country as a yearround tourism destination. Bangkok Post
  5. Holiday revenue set to top B54bn as foreign travellers return: Tourism revenue during the New Year holiday is estimated to reach 54.4 billion baht, marking a 44% increase from the same period last year, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Bangkok Post
  6. Country to see eight new airlines take off this year: Eight new Thai airlines are set to start operations this year amid expectations of a sustained recovery in leisure travel to draw about 35 million foreign visitors this year. Bangkok Post
  7. Bottoms up: Wine taxes slashed: Cabinet exempts import tariffs. The cabinet halved the excise tax on certain wines to stimulate tourism and domestic spending, says permanent finance secretary Lavaron Sangsnit. Bangkok Post
  8. Industry Ministry is interested in further exploration of lithium in Phangnga’s Takua Thung district to serve the growing EV industry after an initial survey found some areas are likely to have this element, which can be used to make lithium-ion batteries for EVs.
  9. Transport Ministry mulls proposing Cabinet 7 mega projects worth Bt133b by end of Jan, including 3 Red Line’s extensions, Eastern passenger terminal extension at Suvarabhumi, and Kratu-Patong expressway.
  10. Digital wallet scheme ‘coming in May’: The government insisted yesterday that its promised digital wallet scheme will be rolled out in May, adding that opinions from the Council of State about its plan to borrow 500 billion baht to finance the scheme would be used to ensure it is rolled out flawlessly. Bangkok Post

Bonus 6

  1. Short-term stimulus measures expected: The Finance Ministry is preparing short-term stimulus measures to support the economy as the 2024 Budget Expenditure Act has not yet been approved, says permanent finance secretary Lavaron Sangsnit. Bangkok Post
  2. Tourism target seen as ambitious: Goal of 40m foreign arrivals a challenge. Tourism operators see the government’s goal of 40 million foreign arrivals as a challenge, considering high travel expenses, sluggish demand in populous markets such as China and Russia, and competition from neigh-bouring countries. Bangkok Post
  3. Urgent inspections sought of monorail lines: The Thailand Consumer Council (TCC) yesterday called for a complete inspection of the Yellow and Pink Lines, the country’s first two monorail systems. Bangkok Post
  4. Online reports could hike flows by B10bn: Online platform operators are required to submit income statements for sellers on their platforms to the Revenue Department, which should increase revenue for the department by roughly 10 billion baht, says permanent finance secretary Lavaron Sangsnit. Bangkok Post
  5. AoT preps for traveller influx: Airports of Thailand (AoT) is expecting to see at least eight million tourists from China pass through its airports this year, as the Thai-Chinese visa-free scheme is set to come into effect on March 1. Bangkok Post
  6. The BOT issues new rule banning prepayment fees for consumer, housing, education, and vehicle loans, from Jan 1, 2024.

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