• Deal to sell rice, rubber to China — Thailand and China today signed a memorandum of understanding on agricultural products, which involves the sale of rice and rubber to Chinese companies. The MoU for agricultural crops was signed on the same day that the Transport Ministry and China signed an MoU to confirm their commitment in a joint train project from Bangkok to Nong Khai. Under the agricultural MoU, the Commerce Ministry will sell 1 million tonnes of newly-harvested rice to China. (The Nation, 3/12/15)
  • Thailand signs MoU with Japan – Deputy prime minister Somkid signed an MoU with Japanese government organizations (Japan External Trade Organization, Japan Association of Travel Agents and TV Asahi) to attract Japanese tourists to travel to Thailand with a goal of 2mn visitors from Japan by 2020 or more than 10% of Japanese tourists travelling abroad. (Thai Rath, 28/11/15)
  • BOT said the economy in October recovered gradually – Backing the recovery was government spending, expanding consumption of services & necessary goods and tourist arrivals. However, exports shrank 8% upon the economic slowdowns in China and ASEAN, which affected manufacturing and private investment. (Daily News, 1/12/15)

  • Cabinet backs Bt1.8trn infrastructure plans — The cabinet yesterday approved action plans for 20 big-ticket infrastructure projects worth a combined 1.79 trillion baht, part of the government’s urgent strategy to kick-start an ambitious development plan from 2015-22. (Bangkok Post, 2/12/15)
  • IMF Move Would Pressure China on Management of Yuan — The International Monetary Fund is on the verge of labeling China’s yuan a reserve currency. Now Chinese officials will have to prove they can treat it like one. The IMF is widely expected on Monday to say that next year it will add the yuan to the elite basket of currencies that comprise its lending reserves, a status enjoyed only by the U.S. dollar, the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen. The inclusion would represent recognition that the yuan’s status is rising along with China’s place in global finance. (The Wall Street Journal, 28/11/15)
  • Macau’s Third-Quarter Economy Sinks 24% Compared to a Year Ago — Macau’s economy contracted a fifth straight quarter as the world’s largest center of gambling was pummeled by an economic slowdown in China and the government’s attack on corruption which scared off high-rollers. The Chinese city, which relies on gamblers for about two-thirds of economic output, saw GDP tumble 24.2 percent in the three months through September, easing from the 26.4 percent drop in the second quarter. (Bloomberg, 30/11/15)
  • US manufacturing shrinks for first time since 2012 — American manufacturing contracted for the first time in three years last month, according to the latest survey from the Institute for Supply Management. An index from the ISM, which surveys manufacturers each month, slipped to 48.6 from 50.1 in October. While manufacturing output only accounts for just over 10 per cent of US GDP, it’s been hobbled by a strong dollar and a weakening in overseas demand. (Financial Times, 1/12/15)
  • Eurozone unemployment pushes to 3-year low — Eurozone unemployment fell further than expected in November, dropping to a three-year low of 10.7 per cent. That’s the lowest since January 2012, and beat forecasts of 10.8 per cent unemployment rate (Financial Times, 1/12/15)
  • Draghi Braves QE Hype With Boost That Leaves ECB Room to Do More — The European Central Bank unveiled a package of measures to tackle too-low inflation, from a cut in the floor for interest rates to an expansion of its bond-buying program by at least 360 billion euros ($390 billion). The Frankfurt-based ECB will extend quantitative easing by six months until at least March 2017 at the current rate of 60 billion euros a month, and broaden the assets purchased to include local and regional debt (Bloomberg, 3/12/15)
  • Janet Yellen Emphasizes Slow Pace of Rate Increases — Federal Reserve interest-rate increases will come slowly in the months ahead amid tepid growth overseas and divergent monetary policies between the U.S. and other nations, Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Thursday. Ms. Yellen’s testimony for Congress’s Joint Economic Committee indicated she is ready to raise rates at the Fed’s policy meeting this month because the domestic economy is improving. (The Wall Street Journal, 3/12/15)

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