The environmental case for remote working

During the pandemic, the environmental and societal benefits of working at home quickly became apparent. How can businesses protect these benefits in the future?

Anyone searching for a silver lining to the pandemic should look to the clear, blue skies above them. A reduction in pollution worldwide has been an unintended benefit of the lockdowns and stay-in-place orders imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. 

There have been related societal benefits, too – the result of people cutting the commute and working at home. And while nobody denies that these are good things, the question is whether businesses will choose to protect them once the crisis has passed. 

The environmental impact

When the world went into lockdown in March 2020, the impact on the environment was seen almost immediately. On 19 March, researchers from Colombia University told the BBC that carbon monoxide, mainly from cars, in New York had been … Read the rest

How Thai economy began to be affected by the third wave of COVID-19

In April 2021, the Thai economy began to be affected by the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak according to a report published by the Bank of Thailand.

Private consumption indicators declined from the previous month in all spending categories. Private investment indicators dropped from the machinery and equipment category. Meanwhile, the tourism sector has not recovered as international travel restrictions remained.

However, merchandise exports continued to improve in line with trading partners’ demand which subsequently supported production in the manufacturing sector. Public spending continued to play a role in supporting the economy.

On the economic stability front, headline inflation rate accelerated as the government’s subsidies on electricity and water bills were terminated as well as due to the low level of energy prices in the same period last year.

The labour market remained vulnerable. The current account posted a slightly higher deficit than the previous month.

Details of the

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Asia Pacific: Recovery delayed but not derailed

The ASEAN-6 economies have experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases since the start of 2021, which has led to the reinstatement of social distancing measures.

Thailand has recorded over 120,000 cases since April against less than 7,000 in all of 2020. At the other end of the spectrum Singapore and Vietnam averaged 5 and 1.1 per million new cases a day in May, which is still very low regionally and globally. In the case

This has dimmed, but not derailed the regional economic recovery; we have lowered our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4.9% (from 5.5% previously). Our forecast is for growth to improve to 6.5% in 2022 as countries move closer to herd immunity and the recovery becomes more synchronised across sectors.

After being lauded for their successful containment of Covid-19 in 2020, the ASEAN-6 economies have experienced a surge in cases since the start of the year.

New … Read the rest

Thailand confirms Phuket’s reopening date of July 1st

The Thai government has confirmed its plan to reopen Thailand to foreign tourists, starting with Phuket province as a pilot destination on July 1st, using the Phuket Sandbox model.

Visitors who travel by air to Phuket must provide documents to prove that they have received both COVID-19 vaccine doses. They are required to undergo rapid antigen tests, or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) tests, at their place of origin, and to register on www.gophuget.com and the MorChana application.

129,000 visitors

The TAT aims to attract 129,000 visitors to Thailand in the third quarter of this year, through the “Phuket Sandbox” project, where fully vaccinated tourists, who have tested negative for COVID-19, can visit Phuket for a minimum period of seven days, before travelling to other provinces with airports.

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Thai exports rise 13% in April

BANGKOK (NNT) – Despite the continuing hindrance of COVID-19, expanding exports and state consumption have turned the Thai economic trend positive.

Fiscal Policy Advisor Wuttipong Jittangsakul, reported today that Thai exports rose to over 21 billion USD in value in April, growing 13.1 percent on-year, the highest rate in 36 months.

Best performing goods included vehicles and automotive accessories, agricultural and goods and foods, and related work-from-home items. The nation’s top trading partners continued to be the United States, China, the European Union and South Asia.

Private consumption also improved on the same period last year. New car registrations soared 65.8 percent, in line with a 9.8 percent expansion in agricultural revenue.

Passenger car sales grew a huge 92.4 percent despite dropping slightly from March as consumer confidence fell from 48.5 points to 46, due to concerns to do with the latest wave of COVID-19 infection. Nonetheless, stimulus measures such … Read the rest

What are the 5 most beautiful places in Thailand?

Thailand can be approached from two separate viewpoints, which you can pick. Thailand has been described as a land of beautiful beaches as well as ancient temples and monasteries.

If you like travelling, there is a strong possibility that you can love Thailand’s paradise, which provides you with an intense new environment

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The five most spectacular places in Thailand that you really cannot afford to miss on this holiday are as follows:

1 Bangkok

Wat Pho in Bangkok is
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Climate change raises asset risks for banks in Asia-Pacific

Climate change and related government policies expose Asia-Pacific banks to physical climate risks, as well as risks that stem from sudden changes in asset values as economic priorities shift, according to Moody’s Investors Service in a new report.

New standards and regulations will increase compliance costs for banks, while engaging in or facilitating activities with a significant negative environmental impact can inflict reputational damage on banks and tarnish their brands.

“Asia-Pacific economies with weak infrastructure are particularly vulnerable to physical climate risks, which can hurt banks’ asset quality because a natural disaster can damage borrowers’ assets or disrupt their cash flow. Many banks in the region also face asset risks from large exposures to sectors susceptible to carbon transition risks,”

Alka Anbarasu, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer

In addition, legal and reputational risks are increasing for banks in Asia-Pacific as governments advance guidelines and regulations for sustainable … Read the rest

Latest Covid-19 News in Southeast Asia

Singapore remains far and away the most vaccinated country in Southeast Asia, with nearly 30 percent of residents having received both doses. But the city-state has also seen an aggressive rise in local cases in recent weeks.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies reluctantly announced on May 20 that its marquee event in Singapore, the Shangri-La Dialogue, would be cancelled for the second year in a row due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in the region. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was one of several high profile defense officials set to attend the annual event, which was to take place the first week of June.

Singapore: stricter border screenings and quarantine requirements

This followed the recent cancellations of the World Economic Forum, also set to take place in the city-state, and the Singapore Open, a world renowned badminton tournament. These decisions reflect a grim reality in Southeast Asia: the pandemic is worsening just as nascent vaccine rollouts … Read the rest

Thailand’s Economic Recovery Delayed By Covid-19 Outbreak

Thailand’s economic recovery is set to be delayed by a surge in Covid-19 cases and renewed lockdown measures in April and May.

Thailand’s economy has been gradually recovering from the pandemic shock in H120, on the back of fiscal stimulus and a relaxing of domestic mobility restrictions, growing 0.2% q-o-q in Q121. Indeed, we expected the economic output to only recover to its pre-pandemic level by 2022, following the 6.1% contraction in 2020.

However, with the economy facing an aggressive rise in Covid-19 cases once again (see chart below) and policymakers tightening restrictions on activities, we believe the recovery will face a setback. Officials have forced the closure of restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues, with the severity of measures differing among provinces and varying in lengths of duration.

While not as severe as measures imposed a year prior, the disruptions will send economic activity into contraction once again … Read the rest

How the “four M’s” underpin a bright Asian future

For a look into the future of the global economy, and where the power is shifting, consider technology developments in both China and India.,

In a mere decade, China’s e-commerce market has grown from less than 1% of global sales, into the world’s largest market in 2016, representing more than 40% of transactions by value. Platforms such as Alibaba and JD.com reach nearly a billion eager shoppers, in a market three times bigger than the US’. 

Meanwhile, India’s adoption of mobile technologies is surging at an astonishing rate as Reliance Jio – which became India’s dominant tech firm virtually overnight – brings fast connections to India’s 1.3 billion people. Even as Covid-19 spread, Google and Facebook separately invested billions in this telecoms company (a highly unusual step for rival tech giants) amid projections it would hit 500 million subscribers by 2023. 

Events in the world’s two most populous nations capture … Read the rest