An average of 5,000 to 10,000 luxury cars are smuggled into Thailand or imported off authorized dealers each year, according to Suparat Sirisuwannangkura, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries' Automotive Industry Club. The four brands most affected by smuggling and tax avoidance scams or imports through independent dealers are BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Rolls Royce. The schemes result in billions of baht in lost import and trade tariffs. Some foreign auto makers are considering moving production bases to neighboring countries if the practices continue. The Department of Special Investigation is currently conducting inspections to verify authentication of ownership and import registration documents of 548 luxury cars whose ownership or purchase has arose suspicions.

 Thousands of Thais who have lost their jobs are flocking to Impact Arena, where the government is holding a career workshop to help retrain workers with vocational skills.  As many as one million people have lost their jobs so far, as the global economic recession forces businesses to close down. The career workshop provides free training for up to one month. Those who sign up will also receive a living and transport allowance for the duration of the course. Workers who choose to return to their hometowns after completing the course will also be entitled to receive up to 4,800 baht per month for three months to help them stand on their own two feet. The government’s multi-billion baht stimulus package includes cash handouts to low-income earners, those over 60 years of age, and investment in infrastructure projects to create more jobs. 
Bangkok Post

 Delegates attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit this year in Thailand's seaside resort town of Hua Hin are expected to put the economic slump at the top of the meeting's agenda, while human rights issues will only be on the sidelines. Burma is likely to dodge criticism from its neighbors about its refusal to comply with the United Nations' demand to release political detainees , including its high-profile prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi. Host country Thailand might also be able to steer the spotlight away from the Thai army's alleged mistreatment of Rohingya refugees.  ASEAN is hopeful that it will be able to establish a single market within the region by 2015 and achieve what the European Union has. However, leaders of some member countries are doubtful much will be achieved wihtout help from China, Japan and Korea.  The summit was originally scheduled for December in Bangkok, but had to be postponed because of the political turmoil in Thailand and the closure of the country's largest  international airport.