1. PM counts on his allies: Prayut may have no choice but to rejig cabinet if he is to survive. Since assuming office in 2019 Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has faced down tough challenges including a plot to overthrow him from power in a no-confidence debate in September last year. Bangkok Post
  2. FTI: Car output to exceed 2m by 2024: Thailand will see its annual car production increase to more than 2 million units within two years thanks to the global economic recovery, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has predicted. The government’s incentive package for electric vehicles EVs , which includes the reduction of customs duty for battery electric vehicles by up to 40%, may boost car imports but will not affect domestic manufacturing in the long term, said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vicechairman and spokesman for the FTI’s automotive club. Bangkok Post
  3. BOT sees uptick in loan demand: Economic rebound seen fuelling trend. During the Covid-19 pandemic, consumer loans grew by 4.2% in 2020 and 4% in 2021. The Bank of Thailand (BoT) expects that the picking up trend of the Thai economy will support economic activities and loan demand this year. Loan demand for 2022 should be in line with economic activity under the economic rebound. Normally the BoT does not forecast loan growth of the banking sector, said the central bank’s senior director Suwannee Jatsadasak. According to the National Economic and Social Development Council, the economy is expected to expand in the range of 3.5-4.5% this year, up from 1.6% last year. Bangkok Post
  4. Cabinet pushes through EV customs and excise duty cuts: The cabinet yesterday approved a package of customs duty and excise tax measures to promote the electric vehicle (EV) industry and reduce carbon monoxide emissions. Bangkok Post
  5. Oil palm subsidy approved: The cabinet yesterday approved a 7.66-billion-baht budget to finance the state-sponsored price guarantee scheme for oil palm in the 2021/2022 season. Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the scheme needs to be continued to ensure farmers’ income. The guaranteed price for fresh palm nuts is set at four baht per kilogramme, for a limit of 25 rai per family. The scheme runs from September 2021 to August 2022 and is expected to benefit 380,000 planters. Bangkok Post
  6. Govt eases overseas entry rules: Second RT-PCR test replaced by ATK. The government has agreed to relax entry requirements for overseas arrivals by replacing the second RT-PCR test with an antigen test kit (ATK) and reducing health insurance coverage for foreign visitors from at least US$50,000 to $20,000. Bangkok Post
  7. B101bn spent on Covid-19 treatments: More than 101 billion baht of the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients (UCEP) scheme has been spent treating Covid-19 sufferers, mostly with mild symptoms, over the past two years, says the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). Bangkok Post
  8. Media spending set to expand: Eight sectors likely to drive improvement. Media spending is set to rebound to growth of 12.8% in 2022 as people get back to normal life, says Media Intelligence Group. Media spending is expected to rebound to growth of 12.8% in 2022 as people are getting back to normal life after two years of the pandemic, says Media Intelligence Group (MI), a media planning and creative agency. Bangkok Post
  9. Thai-Laos agreed to reopen cross-border checkpoints within 1H to increase value of border trade, streamline customs process at Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistic Park opposite Nong Khai border to attract TH investors to use Laos-China railway services.
  10. Public debt forecast to increase to 62% of GDP: Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has projected Thailand’s public debt will rise to 62% of GDP in fiscal 2022 from 59.6% as of December 2021. Bangkok Post

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