1. EEC investment plan confirmed: The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee yesterday endorsed a draft five-year EEC development plan from 2023 to 2027 with the aim of attracting 500 billion baht worth of investments to the area, averaging 100 billion per year. Bangkok Post
  2. Japan has detected a case of bird flu at chicken farm in Saga prefecture, started to cull 40,000 chickens raised at Kashima on Saturday. Positive for CPF, GFPT, TFG should situation escalate.
  3. NESDC issues warning on welfare spending surge: The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has warned the government that the fiscal gap is starting to narrow due to the expansion of the state welfare budget, said secretary-general Danucha Pichayanan. Bangkok Post
  4. The National Credit Bureau (NCB) estimates by year-end, debts in the troubled debt restructuring (TDR) program could exceed 1 trillion baht as a result of the weaker repayment ability of borrowers.
  5. The cabinet has approved a salary raise of 20% over next 2 years for newly recruited civil servants. May put pressure on SMEs to attract talented ones.
  6. Association of Securities Co (ASCO) reaffirmed there’s no naked short on the SET, while SEC asked ASCO members to adjust their SS guidelines based on SEC instruction.
  7. Bank of Thailand revises 2024F GDP growth from 4.4% to 3.8% with digital wallet handout or 3.2% without.
  8. Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved Ft hike by Bt0.69/unit lifting average price for all type of users to Bt4.68/KWh for electricity sale during January to April 2024 citing higher production cost.
  9. S&P reaffirms TH sovereign credit rating at BBB+, outlook stable.
  10. World Bank says that inequality in Thailand is the highest in Asia Pacific with 10% of population holding more than 50% of the wealth.

Bonus 9 (because this country is just such a mess at the moment there’s so much news available)

  1. Govt plots duty-free paradise: Seeks ways to boost spending by tourists. The government has initiated a study aimed at transforming Thailand into a duty-free paradise, a crucial step in positioning the country as a prime tourism and shopping hub. Bangkok Post
  2. Troubled debt set to exceed B1tn: Rising living costs hit repayment ability. The National Credit Bureau (NCB) estimates by year-end, debts in the troubled debt restructuring (TDR) programme could exceed 1 trillion baht as a result of the weaker repayment ability of borrowers. Bangkok Post
  3. Analysts downgrade forecasts for 2024 arrivals: The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) target of 8.2 million Chinese arrivals in 2024 is “quite challenging”, say analysts, as they cut their forecasts for total foreign arrivals next year amid a weak global economy. Bangkok Post
  4. Deputy puts 2024 inflation at 1.5%: Economic risk factors for 2024 including natural disasters and government stimulus measures are expected to affect the Thai inflation rate, says Deputy Finance Minister Krisada Chinavicharana. During a keynote speech on Monday at Top News Forum, Mr Krisada said the Thai inflation level is expected to be 1.5% in 2024, while crude oil prices should be US$80-90 per barrel, on par with this year. This is considered a positive sign as it would help reduce inflationary pressures. Bangkok Post
  5. Ministry aims to rejig beverage tax: One proposed measure reduces the beverage tax to increase domestic consumption. The Finance Ministry plans to adjust the beverage tax structure to support tourism and domestic consumption, says permanent finance secretary Lavaron Sangsnit. Tomorrow he plans to invite officials from the Customs Department and the Excise Department to discuss the measures, which are in line with the government’s policy to increase consumption and tourism. Bangkok Post
  6. Shrimp exports projected to increase by 10% next year: It has been estimated that the country’s shrimp production will reach 290,000 tonnes next year. Thailand’s shrimp exports are expected to grow by 10% next year, driven by a slight increase in domestic shrimp production and stronger demand, especially in the United States. Ekapoj Yodpinit, president of the Thai Shrimp Association, said overall shrimp production in Thailand this year stood at 280,000 tonnes, matching the level recorded in 2022, while shrimp exports this year are projected at roughly 120,000 tonnes valued at 50 billion baht, a decrease from last year’s figure of 144,113 tonnes valued at 50.9 billion baht. Bangkok Post
  7. SEC rejig to improve law enforcement: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restructured its organisation, strengthening its law enforcement role to ensure greater efficiency and build up confidence in the Thai capital market, as well as support the development of the digital economy and ensure sustainability. Bangkok Post
  8. BoT puts last quarter GDP growth at 3.7%: Private consumption, tourism fuel recovery. The Bank of Thailand predicts GDP growth of 3.7% in the final quarter this year, attributed to the low-base effect amid a continued recovery driven by private consumption and tourism. The central bank forecasts 2023 GDP growth of 2.4%. Bangkok Post
  9. Production index dips 4.3% in October: The state planning unit cut its outlook for Thai GDP growth this year to 2.5% after thirdquarter GDP growth of only 1.5%. Thailand’s Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) decreased by 4.29% year-onyear in October to 89.4 points as people become more careful spending amid sluggish Thai and global economies. The Thai economy has not fully recovered and interest rates remain high, said Siripen Kiatfuengfoo, deputy directorgeneral of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE). Bangkok Post

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