While bar charts, line graphs and simple numbers are hardly capable of providing the defining answer to many economic, social and political questions, they are certainly a good way of obtaining a general overview of any particular subject.
Each month the Business Supplement will look into a brace of statistical information and provide readers with what we consider to be the central elements of these figures.
Thailand’s urban solid waste generation worst in Asean
According to figures released by the World Bank Group, Thailand’s municipal solid waste (MSW) generation stood at 1.76 kilograms per person per day in 2016 and is projected to rise to 1.95kgs per person per day by 2025.
In 2016, Thailand’s urban population stood at 22.45 million people and they produced the equivalent of 39,452 tonnes of MSW per day.
By comparison, Malaysia’s 14.43 million urbanites produced an average of 1.52kgs of MSW per person per day while Singapore ranked third with 1.49kgs and Vietnam fourth worst at 1.46kgs.
Myanmar was the best of the Asean nations at just 0.44kgs ahead of the Philippines (0.50kgs), Indonesia (0.52kgs) and Laos (0.70kgs).
Looking further afield, India is surprisingly low with its 300-million-plus urban population producing just 0.34kgs of MSW per person per day. New Zealand, of all countries, is one of the worst, at 3.68kgs per day.
The World Bank Group points out that on average the waste generated by urban dwellers has doubled in the last decade. As well, urban waste is growing faster than the rate of urbanisation.
US-China Trade War in numbers
While the US-China trade war may not appear as a direct problem for Thailand, the reality is that its impact is already being felt mong some businesses here and the knock-on effect of these trade battles is not yet widely observed, although there are stories of Thai-based companies closing down because their Chinese buyers can no longer afford to source material from Thailand.
In data supplied via the US Census Bureau and the business channel Bloomberg the United States imported the equivalent of US$506 billion of Chinese goods in 2017. China, for its part, only imported US$130 billion from the US in 2017, a monetary disparity of $376 billion.
By late September this year the US had imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, while China had retaliated and imposed tariffs on $110 billion worth of American exports.
The percentage of the tariffs vary from product to product and can be as low as five percent while most appear to be around 10 percent, this from both the US and China. At the time of writing, a large number of tariffs have been imposed at a whopping 25 percent and this is fuelling concerns on global markets about a potential rapid rise in inflation.