1. Baht set to rise until end of 2021: EIC says appreciation hampers recovery. The baht’s appreciation is poised to continue until year-end 2021 as a result of the weaker US dollar and Thailand’s current account surplus, with an export recovery potentially tempered by the strong local currency, says a research house. Bangkok Post
  2. Freer visa rules to cabinet : Ministry lobbies for tourism revival. The Interior Ministry will seek cabinet approval for a proposal to extend visa exemption for foreign tourists from 56 countries from 30 to 45 days in a bid to attract more tourist arrivals to revive the economy battered by Covid-19. Bangkok Post
  3. Central bank discounts AMC option : NPLs being managed by the industry. The idea of setting up a national asset management company (AMC) is not needed as the current scale of nonperforming loans (NPLs) can be managed with debt assistance measures on a case-by-case basis, says the Bank of Thailand. Bangkok Post
  4. Fraud charges taint travel scheme: Tourism campaign sees discrepancies. The unusual redemption rate for the tourism stimulus campaign has alarmed the government, leading to inspections of ongoing transactions, even as another 1 million room nights are added to the system as planned on Dec 16. Bangkok Post
  5. All provinces Covid-safe, says disease dept chief: All provinces are Covid-safe for tourists, and people can enjoy the New Year celebrations, as local infections at a Bangkok hospital and imported cases from Tachileik are all under control, the Disease Control Department announced yesterday. Bangkok Post
  6. Tax collection misses goal in October: The government’s tax revenue collection in the first month of fiscal 2021 fell short of its target by 15.4 billion baht or 8.5%, attributed to the impact of the pandemic. Bangkok Post
  7. Finance Ministry is assessing consumer demand for the 50/50 co-payment scheme, with the possibility of launching a third phase of registration if necessary, after 5m subs in 2nd phase were snapped up in 2 hours after open yesterday
  8. Govt shrugs off US support for protesters: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai yesterday played down a resolution by a group of US senators in support of Thailand’s prodemocracy protesters. Bangkok Post
  9. New tax to promote EVs on the cards: The government and car companies are scheduled to meet next month to discuss a proposal to impose a higher excise tax on oil-powered vehicles as part of efforts to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and reduce air pollution. Bangkok Post
  10. Thailand is among the countries added to the US Treasury Department’s watch list of currency manipulators. BOT said FX is not a tool, has no intention of using the FX to gain an unfair trade advantage and competitiveness over trading partners.

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