1. SRT okays B20 fare for 2 lines: The board of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has approved a 20baht flat rate fare for the SRT’s Red Line and the MRT’s Purple Line – in line with the government’s policy to ease the cost of living. Bangkok Post
  2. Thai rice production set to fall: Thai rice production is expected to drop by 871,000 tonnes of rice paddy, down 3.27% to 25.8 million tonnes, for the 2023-24 harvest season, mainly attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon, according to the latest forecast by the Agricultural Economics Office under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry. Bangkok Post
  3. At least 5m Chinese tourists are expected to visit TH by the end of year after govt’s visa-free policy for China and Kazakhstan went into effect yesterday, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), but charter flights or large Chinese tour groups might only be revived during 1Q24
  4. Retailers call for revision of tax on luxury goods: The new government is being urged to revise import taxes on luxury products to better align with neighbouring countries to attract foreign tourists while also strengthening Thai small and mediumsized enterprise (SME) brands to make them more competitive against the foreign brands prevailing in the country. Bangkok Post
  5. Online gambling should be legalised to increase govt revenue, says Deputy PM Somsak Thepsutin. About 4,400 online gambling websites have been shut down YTD.
  6. TH and UAE are steadily advancing in their bilateral FTA negotiations, with discussions now 80% complete.
  7. Thai exports rebound in August after long decline: Thai exports unexpectedly bounced back to growth for the first time in 11 months, supported by improved signals from the global manufacturing sector, positive consumer spending, and an expanding service sector among trading partners. Bangkok Post
  8. BoT increases policy rate to 2.50%: Growth forecast for 2023 cut to 2.8%. The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously yesterday to raise the policy rate by a quarter percentage point from 2.25% to 2.50%, effective immediately, the highest level since October 2013. Bangkok Post
  9. Talks with Taiwan on industrial estate: Taiwanese electronic parts and printed circuit board (PCB) companies are interested in building a new industrial estate based on a smart city concept in Rayong to serve manufacturers expanding their businesses into Thailand, according to the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT). Bangkok Post
  10. Analyst cuts Thai growth projection: The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has trimmed its economic growth forecast for this year to 3%, down from 3.6% estimated in December last year, primarily because of lower than expected exports and delays in state budget preparation. Bangkok Post

Extra 8 – Pure gov policies

  1. Cabinet allots B500bn for state enterprises: The cabinet approved an investment budget of 500 billion baht yesterday for 46 state-owned enterprises in fiscal 2024, which starts in October this year, with an aim to stimulate the country’s economy. Bangkok Post
  2. Cabinet nod to help farmers: B30bn to be offered in debt relief push. The cabinet yesterday approved a three-year debt moratorium for farmers, which will cost the government about 30 billion baht. Bangkok Post
  3. Neighbours to deepen ties: Srettha meets with Cambodian leader. Thailand and Cambodia will work together to boost bilateral trade volume to US$15 billion (551 billion baht) by 2025 as the two countries pledged to deepen ties, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said. Bangkok Post
  4. The cabinet approved a 3-yr debt moratorium for farmers, which will cost the govt Bt30b.
  5. Land bridge megaproject still on the burner: Transport minister denies halting one-trillion-baht ‘connectivity’ project in the south. Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit has denied putting the brakes on the southern land bridge megaproject worth an estimated 1 trillion baht, though he says a thorough study is required before it can go ahead. Bangkok Post
  6. Government plans to raise the limit on off-budget spending to 45% of total state expenditure from 32% to finance new policies, state banks can advance cash to fund projects and to be compensated later.
  7. Following PM’s revelation last week that the government expects a daily min wage hike to Bt400 in either Nov or Dec, the biz sector voiced its concerns regarding increasing costs that could eventually create an additional burden for consumers.
  8. Cabinet approved an investment budget of Bt500b yesterday for 46 state-owned enterprises in fiscal 2024, which starts in Oct this year, aiming to stimulate the econ.

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