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Thread: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

  1. #15541
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    ECONOMY

    Holiday tax break redux considered
    Shopping period may be longer than before



    The government is considering its old trick of spurring a shopping spree by offering tax breaks worth up to 15,000 baht during the year-end holidays, says Deputy Finance Minister Visut Srisupan.


    "The measure to stimulate consumption during the festive season may be similar to the tax breaks we used last year, but this time we may extend the period to longer than a week," Mr Visut said.


    Last year, the Finance Ministry offered tax breaks worth up to 15,000 baht per person in the final seven days of 2015, adding 0.2 points to GDP growth.


    The incentive prompted consumers to spend money at shopping centres all over the country, with combined spending estimated to have risen by 150 billion baht during the final week of the year.
    While Mr Visut refused to give concrete details, a senior official suggested that the ministry is considering a period of holiday tax breaks from between two weeks to one month.


    Mr Visut said that over the past year the government has lent support to small and medium-sized enterprises and the farm sector, but consumption has remained stagnant in line with the slow improvement in purchasing power. As a result, it is considering returning to its wheelhouse of holiday shopping tax breaks.


    He said that last year's measure successfully compelled more than 2 million middle- and high-income earners to spend more in order to capitalise on the tax benefits, costing the government a total of 4 billion baht in tax rebates.
    "Also, the measure's conditions forced operators that wanted to get benefits from increased sales to enter into the formal tax system," Mr Visut said.


    Under last year's year-end tax incentive scheme, a person whose income tax rate was 20% was entitled to 3,000 baht in savings if he or she spent 15,000 during the last seven days of the year, while a person who paid 10% in income tax was entitled to a 1,500-baht tax write-off.
    At present, the tax rates are zero for yearly earnings of 150,000 baht or less, and up to 35% for yearly earnings of more than 4 million baht.
    To qualify for the tax deduction, all transactions must be verified with a value-added-tax invoice, as it is meant to attract service or product providers to pay VAT in order to be eligible for the scheme.


    Somchai Sujjapongse, permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, said that if the measure is implemented, it is expected to boost full-year GDP growth to 3.4% from 3.3% projected earlier.
    "It is good to use the excess budget to temporarily boost spending," Mr Somchai said. "In the mid-to-long term, the government has already given support through public spending on both small projects and megaprojects."
    Krisada Chinavicharana, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said that apart from the holiday tax breaks, the Finance Ministry is also considering reducing import tariffs for cosmetics and perfumes, as requested by the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
    The import tax cut for cosmetics and perfumes is intended to boost spending from locals and tourists alike.
    After initial discussions between the two ministries, the Finance Ministry agreed that it would be possible to lower the tax on particular goods, but the measure must be temporary.
    "So far, we have talked about a two-week period, but the timing of the measure depends on the Tourism and Sports Ministry's decision," Mr Krisada said, adding that it must have a purchase limit of 1-2 items per buyer in order to prevent bulk buying for the sake of commercial resale.


    The Finance Ministry has asked the Tourism and Sports Ministry to discuss the details with operators before making a final decision.
    Currently, excise and import duties for cosmetics and perfumes are 15% and 30%, respectively.
    Annual revenue from the duties averages 200 million baht.


    Amornthep Chawla, head of research at CIMB Thai Bank, said that the holiday tax breaks and lower tax for cosmetics would affect two groups of buyers: Thai middle- and high-income earners, who are normally able to afford these goods anyway, and tourists who travel to Thailand.


    He said that as Thai middle- and high-income earners have not been affected much by the economic slowdown thus far, their purchasing power remains strong, though poor confidence in the economy may have limited their spending.
    "These people don't just consider the prices of these goods, but also the future prospects of the economy and their incomes," Mr Amornthep said.


    He said it's more likely that the policy will help increase the spending of tourists travelling to Thailand, since right now neither their spending per person nor length of stay is great.
    "The government will have to also consider that other countries can also lower their tariffs for these goods to help attract tourists," Mr Amornthep said.
    He said these goods are mostly imported, so only a small portion of sales will go to Thai companies or Thai people.
    "I recommend not only lowering the tariffs, but also supporting or investing more in Thai brand names and luxury products to help generate income for Thai people," Mr Amornthep said.


    Paiboon Kanokwattanawan, chief executive of The Mall Group, said the stimulus scheme is good for the retail sector, but the timing might be better if the government implemented such measures during the low season as opposed to the holiday season, when people are already in the mood for shopping.
    "The spending ceiling of 15,000 baht seems a little too low to make a big impact," he said. "As for lowering the taxes on select products, the government should do more homework and learn which products are popular among tourists. They should also learn for which products Thailand won't be able to compete with rival countries.
    "That way, they'll know which goods to throw their support behind, benefiting the country," Mr Paiboon added.

  2. #15542
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    Prince Vajiralongkorn Proclaimed King Rama X
    By Teeranai Charuvastra, Staff Reporter -


    A file photo of then-Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn

    BANGKOK — Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn on Tuesday became the new monarch of Thailand, succeeding his father King Bhumibol who died seven weeks ago at 88.

    Ending nearly two months of royal interregnum, the prince assumed the kingship as the 10th King of his dynasty just three days before a public holiday commemorating the birth of his late father, who was widely revered as a national father figure. His Majesty the King Vajiralongkorn, 64, has been the designated heir since 1972.

    Full story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politi...d-king-rama-x/

  3. #15543
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    This Father's Day was the first without Father

  4. #15544
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    -This train is stuck in Phattalung and the 12-province killer floods have forced cancellation of all rail services to the lower South.

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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    Life in Cebu is like a beautiful ride. ABOVE ALL.

  6. #15546
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand ? Feasible?

    A passenger car was burnt as a husband reportedly torched his wife after a fight on their love life on Sukhumvit 22 Rd, Bangkok.PHOTO BY WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKU


  7. #15547
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand ? Feasible?

    Elephant in the Room?





  8. #15548
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    Drove to Hua Hin (again) over last few days. The Cicada night market (only weekends) is a nice do, with handicrafts and lots of makan. Realised there are 2 sections, besides the main section there's a 2nd part with majority locals. The main section requires prepaid coupons, but the 2nd local section's makan is noticeably cheaper with easier cash handling.

    Did this nice Lamers seafood restaurant on hillside with great views.




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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    Noodles back in Bangers, comes with interesting pork bone in side soup





    And my fave snack mango sticky rice for lunch at Suva before flight home. Costs only thb80 ($3.20) for a full mango at stall, vs the outrageous 2-3X pricing at airport.


  10. #15550
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    hwau khwang night market





    finally at phuket patong



    jungceylon



    pretty good food there





    famous tiger disco



    bonus pic


  11. #15551
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    time to visit phuket town

    only 30 bht on this damn bus











    MK






  12. #15552
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    New ferry service Pattaya to/fro Hua Hin, 2 hours


  13. #15553
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    hard rock cafe just opposite my hotel. Everyday is noisy



    promthep cape















    Elephant ride









    Big buddha





    chalong temple





    Tiger show




  14. #15554
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    outside hotel day time



    look at the number of beer bars just outside my hotel









    at night hardrock cafe is blasting away





    NYE on patong beach









    club sandwich at 3am


  15. #15555
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    Time to head down to tiger disco

    It's a giant beer bar thing at the ground floor and on the top it's a dance club

    Since it was NYE the entire bangla road and the surrounding areas were packed till 4-5am















    bonus palm restaurant and bar




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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    2017 OUTLOOK
    Thai economy set to hold steady
    The economy is gaining traction. From meagre 0.7% growth in 2014, when the country was in a political mess, expansion is expected to have reached 3% or even a bit higher in 2016. The pace of recovery, however, is still uneven.

    • Bangkok Post Published: 4/01/2017 at 04:00 AM

    The Thai economy looks poised for modest growth in 2017 as domestic strengths are expected to cushion larger downside risks from external headwinds, the central bank and economists say.

    The Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has maintained its economic growth forecasts of 3.2% for 2016 and 2017, noting that downside risks to the Thai economy largely come from external factors.

    External risks include potentially weaker-than-expected growth of Thailand's trade counterparts -- China in particular -- uncertainties over the soon-to-be US president's protectionist campaign promises and the recovery pace of Chinese tourist arrivals.

    The coming general elections in a number of European countries, which could shift their policy directions and wild swings in the financial markets resulting from the divergence of monetary polices for advanced economies, will contribute to greater downside risks in 2017.
    The Bank of Thailand has estimated that the government's harsh measures to curb illegal tour operators will knock off 1.2 million and 2.2 million foreign tourist arrivals, most of them Chinese, to Thailand in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

    The tourism sector, accounting for 10% of the country's GDP, has played an important role in driving Thai economic growth over the past several years in light of anaemic exports, private investment and domestic consumption.

    Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob has been sanguine that Thai economic growth will continue in 2017, although that growth will be trammelled as some sectors, including farming, continue to struggle.

    The possibility of protectionist US trade policies being imposed on China by President-elect Donald Trump has fanned fears among economists that it could lower the Chinese export value to the US and, in turn, put pressure on Thailand's shipments of raw materials to China for re-export.
    "Even though the US has no plans to directly impose trade protection measures on Thailand, its stance towards China could lower Thailand's and other Asean members' exports of raw materials to China in 2017," says Amornthep Chawla, head of research at CIMB Thai Bank.
    Whether the protectionist US trade measures will be implemented remains uncertain and this will compel importers to reduce their merchandise orders from Thailand in the first half of 2017, he says.
    "While risks of a drop in Thai merchandise exports in both 2016 and 2017 still loom, that contraction will be smaller than Thailand's exports to the fast-growing CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar Vietnam) countries, which will provide a buffer," Mr Amornthep says.

    Thailand's outbound shipments have shrunk since 2013 and its picture in 2016 remained fragile, moving back and forth between growth and contraction territory.

    Exports bounced back strongly in November to 10.2% growth after falling 4.2% year-on-year in October and against growth of 3.4% and 6.5% in September and August, respectively, according to the Commerce Ministry. For the first 11 months of 2016, exports totalled $197 billion (7.05 trillion baht), down marginally by 0.05% year-on-year, with imports shrinking 5.1% to $177 billion. The trade surplus for the period totalled $19.7 billion.

    With November's surprise growth in exports, the Commerce Ministry is more upbeat that exports for 2016 will stay in positive territory or in a range of -0.1% to +0.2%.

    "We're also worried about private investment, which has been tepid over the past three years, as poor confidence both domestically and globally could have made it fall further in the fourth quarter of 2016 and also in 2017," Mr Amornthep says.
    He says prolonged low private investment has caused structural issues in the manufacturing sector such as excessive production capacity, lack of labour development and low innovation, which could weaken the country's competitiveness in the long term.

    As external risks loom large in 2017, CIMBT's research house has revised down its forecast for Thailand's economic growth by 0.3 percentage points to 3.2% in 2017, marginally below 3.3% forecast for 2016.


    Southeast Asia's second-largest economy surprisingly expanded at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first quarter and 3.5% in the second quarter before slowing down to 3.2% in the third quarter. Economists and policymakers voiced some concerns about the economic growth in the final quarter of 2016 due to sagging domestic consumption and the impacts from the government's crackdown on illegal tour operators.

    Mr Amornthep was pessimistic that exports of Thai goods would shrink by 1.2% in 2016 and 0.6% in 2017, marking a fifth-straight year of export contraction if the forecast holds.
    "We expected the Thai economic recovery in 2017 would be more broad-based, instead of relying largely on government spending, like in 2016," says Sarun Sunansathaporn, an economist at the Bank of Ayudhya (BAY) research department.

    On the domestic front, private consumption, for which growth was strong in 2016 due mainly to a flurry of short-term government stimulus measures, is expected to improve in 2017 as farm income is gaining momentum.

    Mr Sarun says an increase in the minimum wage, improvements in farm income, the end of instalment repayment of car buyers under the first car scheme, a new personal income tax structure and improvements in household debt will be positive factors supporting private consumption in 2017.

    Public spending and investment are also expected to remain solid in 2017, especially from the government's big-ticket infrastructure projects, he says.

    The Finance Ministry recently estimated that 220 billion baht set for infrastructure development will be pumped into the economy in 2017. The ministry has also instructed state enterprises to front-load investment spending earmarked over the next two years in 2017 to boost the country's economic growth amid lacklustre private investment.
    Mr Saran says private investment, which has been stubbornly tepid since the country's devastating floods in 2011, is expected to gain some speed in 2017 on the back of the global demand rebound and the government's infrastructure investments.
    BAY's research unit forecast that private investment will grow by 2.5% in 2017, after no growth in 2016.
    "Public spending will remain the mainstay of economic growth. But the government is also conservative, as evidenced by the fact that it plans to inject an additional 190 billion baht [from the mid-year budget] into the economy in 2017," Mr Saran says.

    The government set up a mid-year budget worth 190 billion baht, the bulk of which will be splashed into 18 provincial clusters in an effort to improve their competitiveness and also support the country's economic growth.

    The bank projected the Thai economy will come in at 3.3% in 2017, up from 3.2% growth expected in 2016.

  17. #15557
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    outside bliston suwan near lumpini




  18. #15558
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    zipline in phuket didn't do this activity



    banzaan fresh market





    bangala boxing stadium



    The famous tiger hotel and no it's not connected to the tiger bar




    San sabai food eatery at patong

    https://www.google.com.sg/maps/place....2958244?hl=en







    at patong a relook



    A patong magician






    Time to fly to bkk

    Flew on thai smile look at how empty the queue is




    Look at the air asia line



    Thai lion



    inside plane



    flying off



    Arrived at suvarnaphumi airport long waiting time for luggage



    Not staying in Bkk yet.

    Time to go to pattaya.

    My driver




  19. #15559
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    Met a sinkie friend who lives in pattaya jomtien for some beer.

    Everyone in here is old. Even the bar girls.





    Centara pattaya



    no need to use hotel laundry services when you have one right beside the hotel



    Leaking toilet bowl at centara pattaya hotel



    bed



    swimming pool



    notice something. The sign is only in 1 language shit skin language most likely hindi





    Time to head down to walking street.

    Insomnia club







    They have a eatery below



    Police line up ROFL




    Anyway 2 nights is enough to stay in pattaya. Visited bkk afterwards

    Pickup at another hotel. Notice the sign specifically for shit skins no Chinese signage.






    On the way to bkk


  20. #15560
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    Default Re: A Singaporean's guide to living in Thailand

    Bliston suwan park view

    Amazing 4 star hotel







    it's near lumpini



    Oyster at the fifth MBK



    SGD rates 3 days ago



    Central world





    Siam discovery centre











    Some wine



    crappy sandwiches in the airport



    On thai airways going back to SG


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