1. Business registrations climb to 10-year high: The improving economy and rapidly recovering tourism sector led new business registrations to rise by 6% year-on-year in January, reaching the highest level in a decade. Bangkok Post
  2. Finance Ministry expects GDP this year to grow by 3.8%, on rebound in tourism sector, forecasting 27.5m arrivals, vs 11.5m last year and 40m pre-covid.
  3. Exporters fear costs of EU carbon scheme: Asian exports could potentially face a higher cost burden as the EU is preparing to launch a new regulation pertaining to imported carbon-intensive commodities later this year, experts say. Bangkok Post
  4. Rosy outlook for rice exports: Shipments could hit 8m tonnes this year. Demand for Thai rice worldwide remains strong, with exports potentially rising to 8 million tonnes this year. Demand for Thai rice in the international market remains strong, with Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit expecting the country’s exports to potentially increase to eight million tonnes this year. Speaking after a discussion with the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Mr Jurin said yesterday that the weak baht, increased stocks for domestic consumption in India and Vietnam, and growing demand in the Middle East are the key factors that will help boost the Thai rice export outlook this year. Bangkok Post
  5. 14.6m low-income people newly approved for welfare cards: The cabinet yesterday approved the registration of 14.6 million low-income people eligible to receive benefits under a new phase of the government’s state welfare card programme, which is due to begin on April 1, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said. Bangkok Post
  6. MPI rises 6.6% in January to reach 10-month high: Thailand’s Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) increased by 6.6% from December last year to reach 99.8 points in January, the highest level in 10 months, thanks to more business activity, driven by an uptick in tourism. However, the January MPI decreased by 4.35% year-on-year due to the global economic slowdown and the impact of the RussiaUkraine war, said the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE). Bangkok Post
  7. The Thai cabinet approved an income guarantee scheme for rubber farmers, covering 1.6 million people.: Some 1.6 million rubber farmers are to be covered by the rubber income guarantee scheme. The cabinet yesterday approved the rubber income guarantee scheme for the 2022-23 season, pledging to spend 7.6 billion baht for the initiative’s fourth consecutive year. Bangkok Post
  8. Higher airfares hobble Chinese market revival: The average airfare for flights connecting key cities in China and Thailand remains 1.5 times higher than pre-pandemic prices, while for second-tier cities fares have surged 200%, which means low-priced tours cannot return, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Bangkok Post
  9. An industry trade group expects the mid-year power tariff for businesses to decline slightly as gas prices dipped.: The current power tariff for businesses, in effect from January to April this year, is 5.33 baht a unit. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) expects the new mid-year power tariff, which is used to calculate electricity bills, to not exceed 5 baht per kilowatthour (unit) following a drop in liquefied national gas (LNG) prices. Bangkok Post
  10. Asia-Pacific GDP forecast to grow 3.1% in 2023: The Asia-Pacific region’s economy is projected to expand 3.1% this year before dropping to 2.9% growth in 2024 as downside risks continue to pressure recovery, according to an analysis from an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) research unit. A new report by the Apec Policy Support Unit (PSU) indicated the region’s GDP growth will pick up shortly from 2.6% last year, as estimated by the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. Bangkok Post

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