1. Ministry of Commerce confident that FTA benefits will surpass target of US$6.5bn after already reaching US$2.8bn in five months. The Department of Foreign Trade is confident that the value of benefits under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in 2018 will grow at a rate not less than the growth rate of total exports. The Ministry of Commerce has set a target growth of 9%. The value of the benefits in the past five months is 43% of its full year target value of at least US$65bn. (IQ Biz, 17/07/18)
  2. The Prime Minister said Ministry of Energy will restructure oil prices to reduce the Oil Fund burden after freezing LPG prices until the end of 2018. PM Prayut said that there were concerns over the stabilization of energy prices on the Oil Fund because LPG was at a loss. The Ministry of Energy reported that the Energy Policy Committee (EPC) approved an additional budget of more than Bt1bn to fix the price of LPG at Bt363 per 15 kg tank. The EPC expects the price to be fixed until the end of 2018 and will adjust oil prices to reduce the Oil Fund. (IQ Biz, 17/07/18)
  3. IFRS9 postponed. The Supervisory Board of Accounting decided to postpone the adoption of IFRS9, a new accounting standard, to the beginning of 2020. (Kao Hoon, 18/7/18)
  4. The Thai Industries Sentiment Index hit a 42-month peak in June, rising for the second consecutive month. The index increased to 91.7 last month, up from 90.2 in May, thanks to the World Cup, which stimulated consumer demand for food, electronic and electrical products, and garments, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). (Bangkok Post, 18/07/18) Auto production up 7% in June. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) reported on Wednesday that automobile output in June increased by 7.71% to 188,970 units, driven by the production of pickup trucks for international markets, which rose by 5.87% to 64,342 units last month.  (Bangkok Post, 18/07/18) Govt looks to Bt3bn windfall from online VAT revenue. The Revenue Department plans to reap 3 billion baht in annual VAT payments from the 80-90 major international online service providers with a presence in Thailand. (Bangkok Post, 18/07/18)
  5. Foreign tourists top 20 million in first half of year. The number of foreign tourists reached 20 million in the first half of the year, an increase on the same period last year of 12%, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Tourism revenue has totaled a trillion baht, an expansion of 15%. The largest number of tourists remains from China followed by ASEAN countries. The overall tourism sector in the second half is also growing fast due to the expansion of foreign economies such as the United States, China, Japan, and the European Union, which is benefitting Thai tourism. )Bangkok Post, 19/07/18(
  6. Minister of Finance expects public debt per GDP to peak at 48% in next 4 years from the current of 40.4% because of infrastructure investment. He expects Thailand economy continue to grow in 2H18 and says a government still uses the policy of budget deficit of around Bt4.5bn a year during 2018-2019. The government has focused on spending to stimulate the economy. Meanwhile, he will take care of debt. )IQ Biz, 19/07/1
  7. Chinese imports to U.S. ports start peaking early amid tariff threat. Chinese imports to U.S. ports rose more than expected in June, suggesting that some retailers moved up orders to insulate themselves from an intensifying trade war that threatens to send up costs on a growing number of consumer products. Retailers such as Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Amazon.com (AMZN.O) face uncertainty due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods, and the jump in imports from the country was likely because of “pre-emptive buying in anticipation of the tariffs”, said Ben Hackett, founder of international maritime consultancy Hackett Associates. (Reuters, 13/07/18)
  8. EU, Japan to sign massive trade deal as US puts up barriers. The European Union’s top officials arrive in Japan Tuesday to sign the single market’s biggest trade deal ever and present a united front as Washington upends the international trade order. (Bangkok Post, 17/07/18)
  9. China boosts liquidity, set for more policy easing as trade war threatens economy. Chinese policymakers are pumping more liquidity into the financial system and channeling credit to small and medium-sized firms, and Beijing looks set to further loosen monetary conditions to mitigate threats to growth from a heated Sino-U.S. trade war. (Reuters, 19/07/18(
  10. EU mulls coal, pharma, chemicals tariffs if U.S. hits cars: Wiwo. The European Union will consider introducing tariffs on coal, pharmaceuticals and chemical products from the United States if President Donald Trump imposes restrictions on European cars, Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche magazine reported on Thursday. (Reuters, 19/07/18(

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