1. Excise department to hike sugar tax (phase 3) from April after 6 months postponed since October 22, new structure will be sugar content 6-8 gram/100ml @ Bt0.3, 8-10 gram @ Bt1, 10-15 gram @ Bt3 & 14-18 gram @ Bt5.
  2. Constitutional Court rejected petition to cut power gen by private producers to <50% of the country’s total capacity, alleging their dominance boosted cost of electricity
  3. World Bank slashed its 2023 growth forecast on Tuesday to 1.7% from 3%, teetering on the brink of recession for many countries as the impact of central bank rate hikes intensifies, Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, and the world’s major economic engines sputter.
  4. China market poised to regain top position: Low-cost carriers eye pent-up demand. Travellers from China are forecast to regain the top spot in terms of arrivals this year with no fewer than 5 million, while low-cost carriers from Thailand rush to secure China’s routes to tap pent-up demand. Bangkok Post
  5. Krungthai Compass predicts 22.5m foreign arrivals in 2023: Krungthai Compass, a research unit under Krungthai Bank, expects foreign tourist arrivals in 2023 to more than double the number recorded last year, estimating it will take two years to return to the level posted in 2019. Bangkok Post
  6. China tour packages record 20% price hike: Few flights, lack of plans hobble market. Tour packages to Thailand for Chinese visitors surged in price by 20% because of few tours and high demand, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Bangkok Post
  7. B300 entry fee scheduled for June start: The Tourism and Sports Ministry is preparing to collect a 300-baht tourism fee from all foreign passport holders visiting Thailand by June, while expatriates can ask for a refund at a later date. Bangkok Post
  8. Oil Fund borrowing bumps up public debt-to-GDP ratio: Thailand’s public debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 61.4% in fiscal 2023, above an earlier estimate of 60.4%, after the inclusion of the Finance Ministry’s total guarantee for the Oil Fuel Fund’s borrowings — tallying 110 billion baht — in the country’s public debt management plan. Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said a meeting of the ministry’s public debt committee approved the first adjustment to the management plan for fiscal 2023. The key adjustment comprised the addition of the ministry’s loan guarantee for the Oil Fuel Fund of an additional 80 billion baht in the debt management plan, adding to the existing 30-billionbaht guarantee included in the plan. Bangkok Post
  9. BOT plans to grant up to 3 virtual banking licenses in the first stage of its digital plans, and will allow both financial institutions and non-financial firms to apply.
  10. New power tariff reduced for business: The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will make a cut to the power tariff for businesses after concerned groups petitioned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to lower electricity prices. Bangkok Post

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