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  • Thai exports fall 7.94% in August

    The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) has indicated that Thai export sector has improved for two consecutive months in August with a smaller than expected drop of 7.94%

    The post Thai exports fall 7.94% in August appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    Thai exports fell by 7.94 per cent to US$20.21 billion in August from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday, a smaller than expected drop, according to Reuters.

    The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) has indicated that the Thai export sector has improved for two consecutive months in August, after less-than-stellar months caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Reuters had forecast a drop of 12.05 per cent, after July’s exports fell 11.37 per cent year on year. The August figures signal a recovery after exports hit a low point with a 23.17 per cent drop in June.

    In January-August exports contracted 7.75% from a year earlier, while imports tumbled 15.31%.

    The recovery in August was driven by shipments of food, household appliances and Covid-19 protection such as rubber gloves, the global market for which has grown 125.9 per cent in the past nine months.

    The post Thai exports fall 7.94% in August appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    24 September 2020
    Economics
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80832
  • Four Thai banks Probed Over Anti-Money Laundering Investigations

    Four Thai banks allegedly involved in suspicious financial transactions are under investigation from the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo)

    The post Four Thai banks Probed Over Anti-Money Laundering Investigations appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) is currently investigating an international report claiming that four major Thai banks were involved in suspicious financial transactions, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ report referring to alleged leaked files from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US.

    The 92 transactions included in the four Thai banks’ records covered combined amounts of $41.31 million — $9.56 million transferred in and $31.75 million transferred out.

    Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank have allegedly transferred the biggest amounts with a total of 31.75 million USD transferred out.

    Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited46$ 22,300,000$ 5,920,731
    Export Import Bank of Thailand1$ 0$ 2,557,005
    Kasikornbank Public Company Limited18$ 0$ 511,606
    Kasikornbank Public Co Ltd19$ 9,450,000$ 324,000
    Krung Thai Bank Public Company Ltd2$ 0$ 200,000
    Bangkok Bank Ltd6$ 0$ 45,410
    Source : https://www.icij.org/investigations/fincen-files/explore-the-fincen-files-data/

    The FinCEN Files, based on more than 2,100 secretive reports filed by banks to the U.S. Department of Treasury and shared by BuzzFeed News, revealed trillions in tainted dollars freely flowing through the financial system. ICIJ’s year-long investigation shows that five global banks — JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon — kept profiting from powerful and dangerous players even after U.S. authorities fined these institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.

    Global banks moved more than $2 trillion between 1999 and 2017 in payments they believed were suspicious, and flagged bank clients in more than 170 countries who were identified as being involved in potentially illicit transactions, according to the ICIJ Investigation files.

    The figures include $514 billion at JPMorgan Chase and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank.

    The FinCEN Files show that five global banks — JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon — moved illicit cash for shadowy characters and criminal networks even after U.S. authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.

    In half of the FinCEN Files reports, banks didn’t have information about one or more entities behind the transactions. Years after concerns first emerged, banks continued to move money for fraudsters, drug dealers and allegedly corrupt officials, leading to cases of real harm.

    The post Four Thai banks Probed Over Anti-Money Laundering Investigations appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    22 September 2020
    Banking
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80810
  • How COVID-19 is boosting digital twins in office buildings

    The digital twin market — the phrase used to describe a virtual copy of a physical building, combining a 3-D model of a facility with the dynamic data needed to show visualizations and analysis — is growing at hyperspeed.

    The post How COVID-19 is boosting digital twins in office buildings appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    The 65-story skyscraper at 311 South Wacker Drive in Chicago boasts magnificent views of the Chicago River, Grant Park and even Lake Michigan. However, for the owners, visibility of the building’s inner workings was more important, and more difficult to access.

    To help, Zeller Realty employed a technology that exposes potential problems in the building’s HVAC systems — technology that has become exponentially more valuable during the time of COVID-19, and is often used in digital twins.

    The digital twin market — the phrase used to describe a virtual copy of a physical building, combining a 3-D model of a facility with the dynamic data needed to show visualizations and analysis — is growing at hyperspeed.

    Agile, scalable, and dynamic workplaces are needed now more than ever. Digital twins support these requirements by providing the data and visualizations needed to make more rapid and flexible decisions.”

    Jim Whittaker, Engineering Services Lead at JLL

    And real estate is one industry that has used it to uncover value during the coronavirus pandemic. Originally developed for the aerospace industry in the 1960s, digital twins are expanding their footprint across industries due to improved Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, modeling and other technologies.

    The industry is projected to be worth US$35.8 billion in 2025, compared to $3.8 billion in 2019, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

    The team at MIT’s Real Estate Innovation Lab says the benefits of digital twins for the commercial real estate industry are many, including management of building occupancy, increased budget reliability and faster delivery in the construction realm.

    According to Jim Whittaker, Engineering Services Lead at JLL, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating adoption, particularly in the built environment, where it’s now critical for building owners to rethink how their properties are used and managed.

    “Objective and credible data has always been needed to make decisions on property portfolios and inform investment decisions,” he explains. “But, agile, scalable, and dynamic workplaces are needed now more than ever. Digital twins support these requirements by providing the data and visualizations needed to make more rapid and flexible decisions.”

    Source

    The post How COVID-19 is boosting digital twins in office buildings appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    21 September 2020
    Real Estate
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80788
  • In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in an Age of Rising Chinese Power

    As China’s economy has surged and its leadership has asserted its power abroad, each country of Southeast Asia has been presented with a thorny challenge: how to benefit from the Chinese renaissance while safeguarding its sovereignty over the long term

    The post In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in an Age of Rising Chinese Power appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    The 11 nations of Southeast Asia stand uniquely exposed to the rising power of the new China: three share borders with the world’s most populous nation, and five are directly impacted by its claims over the South
    China Sea.

    All dwell in the lengthening shadow of Chinese influence: economic, political, military, and cultural.

    Throughout Southeast Asia today, there is ample evidence of China’s growing influence. In the region’s capitals, Chinese leaders come bearing gifts and promises, including trade inducements, huge tranches of Belt and Road infrastructure funding, and promises of priority access to Chinese COVID-19 vaccines.

    Feeling the hard edge of Chinese power

    At the same time, the region feels the hard edge of Chinese power. In the South China Sea, Beijing continues to pressure the nations of maritime Southeast Asia to acquiesce to its expansive maritime claims, while its string of hydropower dams on the upper reaches of the Mekong River have stirred downstream fears about chronic drought and food security.

    Meanwhile, new infrastructure connections have breached the ancient barrier of mountains and forests that once kept China far away, opening the mainland countries to a transformative southward sweep of Chinese investment and immigration.

    As China’s economy has surged and its leadership has asserted its power abroad, each country of Southeast Asia has been presented with a thorny challenge: how to benefit from the Chinese renaissance while safeguarding its sovereignty over the long term.

    Escalating tension between China and the U.S.

    Added to this is escalating tension between China and the U.S. As the Trump administration attempts to
    assemble a global coalition to contain Chinese power, Southeast Asia finds itself once again at the centre of great power competition.

    In his new book, “In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century,” Strangio, an Australian journalist who has covered Southeast Asia for more than a decade, examines on-the-ground impacts of China’s growing power in Southeast Asia and how the governments and peoples of the region are responding to its resurgence.

    Hear from the author (via Skype from Australia) and three regional experts about the perils and opportunities of China’s growing footprint in Southeast Asia, and what it might mean for the future balance of power in the Indo-Pacific.

    This event will be co-hosted by the FCCT and ISIS Thailand, at the FCCT clubhouse and livestreamed on Facebook pages:

    www.facebook.com/FCCThailand
    www.facebook.com/ISISThailand)

    Speakers:

    Sebastian Strangio, Southeast Asia editor, The Diplomat and author of “In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century.”

    Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Director, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS Thailand), Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University.

    Sihasak Phuangketkeo: Former permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; special advisor to Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor project and visiting senior fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute,
    Singapore.

    Gwen Robinson, Senior fellow, ISIS Thailand; editor-at-large, Nikkei Asian Review; and FCCT
    president

    Moderator: Jonathan Head, Southeast Asia correspondent, BBC News; FCCT vice president

    Event co-hosted by FCCT and Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University.

    Wednesday, September 23rd, 7PM at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT)

    Penthouse, Maneeya Center
    518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chitlom station)
    Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
    Tel.: 02-652-0580
    E-mail: info@fccthai.com
    Web Site: https://www.fccthai.com

    The post In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in an Age of Rising Chinese Power appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    21 September 2020
    Asean
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80791
  • Thailand approves Special Tourist Visa (STV) for long-staying visitors

    Under the STV scheme, long-staying visitors can stay in Thailand for 90 days, which can be extended twice, each for a further 90 days, up to a total length of 270 days.

    The post Thailand approves Special Tourist Visa (STV) for long-staying visitors appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    The Thai Cabinet has approved a special tourist visa (STV) for long-staying visitors (90 days) in a bid to revive the tourism sector in Thailand.

    Under the STV scheme, long-staying visitors can stay in the country for 90 days, which can be extended twice, each for a further 90 days.

    The special visa scheme is expected to become effective after the official announcement and will be available until 30 September, 2021.

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand usually received no less than 2 trillion baht revenue each year from international tourists.

    Thailand’s economy should contract between 8% to 12% this year given its reliance on exports and tourism and the strong baht, which gained more than 6% in the second quarter.

    But the lack of international visitors has deprived the tourism sector of revenue, causing a knock-on effect to all sectors in the economy, and the government is now seeking to allow international visitors to return to limited areas of the country.

    The STV will be granted to long-staying visitors who comply with Thailand’s COVID-19 control and preventive measures. They will be required to undergo a 14-day alternative local state quarantine (ALSQ) upon their arrival.

    Visitors applying for this visa must be able to produce evidence of their long-term stay in Thailand, such as a receipt for their quarantine accommodation or hospital stay payment, plus either the payment confirmation for accommodation or hospital stay after their quarantine, or a copy of the title deed of their condominium, owned by either the applicant or a family member, or confirmation of a rental condominium or house, or a downpayment confirmation for the purchase or rent of a unit legally sold to a foreigner.

    After completing the COVID-19 screening and quarantine measures as set out by the Ministry of Public Health and other agencies, and provided that all the accommodation requirements are met, foreigners can apply for the Special Tourist Visa with the fee of 2,000 baht.

    The visa will come with a 90-day validity. An extension for another 90 days can be applied twice, subject to the discretion of an immigration officer, with new applications and fee to be resubmitted and paid each time.

    The post Thailand approves Special Tourist Visa (STV) for long-staying visitors appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    17 September 2020
    Tourism
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80779
  • Thai Airways Debt Restructuring Plan Approved Amid Corruption Allegations

    The company, which had total liabilities of 332.2 billion baht at the end of June, faces one of the biggest challenges in its 60-year history as the Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok digs further into the airline's accounts.

    The post Thai Airways Debt Restructuring Plan Approved Amid Corruption Allegations appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    The Central Bankruptcy Court decided yesterday that the airline can proceed with its plan to rehabilitate its debt.

    The plan is expected to be drawn up by early next year for approval by the court and Thai Airways’ creditors. It needs the endorsement of holders of at least 50% of the airline’s debt.

    The company, which had total liabilities of 332.2 billion baht at the end of June, faces one of the biggest challenges in its 60-year history as the Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok will investigate further in the airline’s accounts.

    The airline had defaulted on loans and bonds totalling 85 billion baht, or 33.1% of its total assets, according to its latest statement on July 22. It reported a net loss of 28 billion baht in the first half of this year, a more-than-fourfold jump from 6.44 billion baht during the same time a year ago.

    Thai Airways International’s bankruptcy was mainly caused by the national flag carrier’s own mismanagement, graft, widespread corruption and workers ripping the company off, an investigation panel commissioned by Thailand’s Ministry of Transport found earlier this month.

    In addition, some disturbing discrepancies have also been pointed out by the Ministry of Transport, like the two billion baht registered in the 2019 financial results as overtime for repair and maintenance employees. One employee claimed 2.95 million baht ($94,000) for working 3,354 hours, or 419 days, of overtime. This is more than twice Thai Airways’ overtime cap of 1,500 hours. There were 567 repair and maintenance employees who exceeded this cap in 2019 according to a Nikkei report.

    The rehabilitation plan will be primarily conducted by EY Corporate Advisory Services, a global financial advisory services company, and six Thai Airways Directors including Air Chief Marshal Chaiyapruk Didyasarin, Chakkrit Parapuntakul, Piraphan Salirathavibhaga, Boontuck Wungcharoen, Piyasvasti Amranand, and Chansin Treenuchagron.

    As Reuters reported last month , the national airline company appointed auditors, firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Co Ltd, said it could not reach a conclusion on the statements due to issues including a lack of liquidity and debt defaults and declined to sign off on the accounts.

    Kudun and Partners has been officially appointed to represent a total of 87 savings co-operatives in their capacity as creditors of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited in Thailand’s largest-ever business rehabilitation proceeding to date.

    THAI is carrying a total debt burden of approximately THB 350 billion, in which the debenture debt consists of approximately THB 74 billion (21% of the total debt). Together, the 87 savings co-operatives sum up to a total debenture debt of approximately THB 46 billion (62% of whole debenture debt), making it the largest group of creditors of Thai Airways’ rehabilitation, which could potentially give them the power to set the guidelines for Thai Airways’ rehabilitation.

    The post Thai Airways Debt Restructuring Plan Approved Amid Corruption Allegations appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    15 September 2020
    Companies
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80754
  • Developing Asia’s Economy to Contract 0.7% in 2020 (ADB)

    Economies across developing Asia will contract this year for the first time since 1960, according to a report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today.

    The post Developing Asia’s Economy to Contract 0.7% in 2020 (ADB) appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 Update forecasts -0.7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for developing Asia this year—marking its first negative economic growth since the early 1960s. 

    Growth will rally to 6.8% in 2021, in part because growth will be measured relative to a weak 2020. This will still leave next year’s output below pre-COVID-19 projections, suggesting an “L”-shaped rather than a “V”-shaped recovery. About three-quarters of the region’s economies are expected to post negative growth in 2020.

    Key Messages

    • Developing Asia will contract by 0.7% this year, its first contraction in six decades. Growth will rebound to 6.8% in 2021.
    • The downturn is broad-based—three-fourths of the region’s economies are expected to contract this year. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is an important exception.
    • Depressed demand and low oil prices offset supply disruptions, keeping regional inflation at 2.9% in 2020, and trimming it to 2.3% in 2021.

    Thailand to contract 8% this year

    Thailand’s economy is expected to shrink by 8%, compared to 6.5% in the previous ADB assessment.

    Strict quarantines and travel restrictions inflicted brutal second-quarter economic declines in the subregion, requiring steep downgrades to GDP growth forecasts for almost every economy.

    The quarter featured double-digit contractions in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, all of which are now expected to shrink by or more this year.

    “Most economies in the Asia and Pacific region can expect a difficult growth path for the rest of 2020,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada. “The economic threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic remains potent, as extended first waves or recurring outbreaks could prompt further containment measures. 

    Consistent and coordinated steps to address the pandemic, with policy priorities focusing on protecting lives and livelihoods of people who are already most vulnerable, and ensuring the safe return to work and restart of business activities, will continue to be crucial to ensure the region’s eventual recovery is inclusive and sustainable.” 

    A prolonged COVID-19 pandemic remains the biggest downside risk to the region’s growth outlook this year and next year. To mitigate the risk, governments in the region have delivered wide-ranging policy responses, including policy support packages—mainly income support—amounting to $3.6 trillion, equivalent to about 15% of regional GDP.

    Other downside risks arise from geopolitical tensions, including an escalation of the trade and technology conflict between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as well as financial vulnerabilities that could be exacerbated by a prolonged pandemic.

    The post Developing Asia’s Economy to Contract 0.7% in 2020 (ADB) appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    15 September 2020
    Economics
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80737
  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) put together exclusive travel deals for expats

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in collaboration with relevant tourism units, has put together a special fair for expats and foreigners living in the kingdom to gain access to exclusive tourism deals

    The post The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) put together exclusive travel deals for expats appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    BANGKOK (NNT) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in collaboration with relevant tourism units, has put together a special fair for expats and foreigners living in the kingdom to gain access to exclusive tourism deals similar to what Thais’ are receiving with the ‘We Travel Together’ scheme.

    As a result of collaboration between the TAT with the Association of Thai Travel Agents, Thai Hotels Association, Thailand Golf Association, the Thai Spa Association and various other sectors, the ‘Expat Travel Deal 2020’ event at Emquartier Shopping mall in Bangkok is running from September 11-13, 2020.

    Visitors regardless of nationality are able to find ultra exclusive deals offering heavy discounts.

    “With support from the TAT, businesses participating in this event were able to provide their services at an exclusive discount and at a rate similar to the ‘We Travel Together’ program,” said Chamreon Visavachaipan, Committee Member of the Association of Thai Travel Agents.

    The event is gathering crowds of foreigners and expats living and working in the country, many of whom said they were looking to take a trip to various provinces of Thailand.

    The post The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) put together exclusive travel deals for expats appeared first on Thailand Business News.

    14 September 2020
    Tourism
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=80731