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Government determined to stimulate economic growth and address NPL problem

SOS Targets Chiangmai & Sukhothai Province

Government determined to stimulate economic growth and address NPL problem

Speaking at a recent gala dinner organized by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) at the Sirikit National Convention Center, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told his audience that it was likely that the country’s economic growth rate could reach 4.5-4.8% this year.

“But I’m still not satisfied with the expected growth rate. The government will implement many more policies and measures to generate more economic activities and stimulate economic expansion so that all Thai people can acquire a better living standard. In achieving this goal, the government needs cooperation from all parties,” Thaksin urged.

However, the Thai leader expressed his concern over the problems of non-performance loans (NPLs), which are still high, and of excess liquidity in the banking system because local banks have been reluctant to extend new loans.

Taksin will call a meeting with representatives of local banks soon to discuss ways to address these problems.

“The government will try to use the excess liquidity for economic stimulus purposes. Over the rest of the two and a half years of the government’s term, I believe the government will be able to pull anywhere from 500-600 billion baht from the banking system into real economic sectors. If successful, local production and consumption will be expanded,” Thaksin said.

The government will try to siphon the excess liquidity into the real economic sectors, including introduction of measures which will encourage people to speedily transform their assets into capital. “The government will urge state-run banks to do so first if local commercial banks remain reluctant in the initial stage,” he said.

Annalists predict that local banks will begin to extend new loans to their clients by next year. The government also intends to focus more on research and development projects (R&D) to enhance the country’s competitiveness.

The Ministry of Finance has been told to work out tax incentives to promote R&D, including human resource development by giving tax incentives to local firms and organizations to encourage sending their personnel to further their studies at local or overseas institutes. (TNA)


SOS Targets Chiangmai & Sukhothai Province

In light of recent global events, the world’s leading medical assistance company International SOS, is expanding its marketing drive to the Chiangmai region to meet client demand.

Pipat Kananuwat, International SOS - General Manager

“SOS is simply taking precautious against the higher level of international insecurity,” said Bangkok-based general manager, Pipat Kananuwat.

“Particularly with the resorts popular with foreigners. Personal security is now a priority. This is especially the case with SOS emergency air-ambulance evacuation services,” he said. “The planes are ready to cope with any holiday accidents, at any time of the day.”

International SOS provides medical consultation, intensive medical care assistance, patient stabilization, as well as air evacuation.

“At this time of year, the cool, calm relaxation of a holiday in Chiangmai attracts the maximum number of visitors. We must be prepared, although there is absolutely no imminent danger anywhere in Thailand,” he stressed.

The fine old wooden temples, World Heritage historical parks, untamed jungle, rugged mountains scenery and hill tribes in the remote reaches of north-western Thailand are a ‘must-see’, said K. Pipat.

“But SOS is aware that many motorists take advantage of the wide open spaces, so we are ready if any serious accident occurs.”

Pipat added that the number of people in the Kingdom eligible for the service - mainly through their insurance policies - has increased from 2.7 million in year 2000 to over four million by year-end 2002.

“We are finding a significant number of local firms in Chiangmai, not just international conglomerates, are interested in the diverse range of SOS services.”

More than 50 Thai firms nationwide are signed up for International SOS medical services. Since the beginning of this year, the company has provided 150 to 200 domestic air-rescue flights.

He added that, even on vacation, greater corporate responsibility over staff security was of paramount importance, for both individual members and corporate clients alike.

International SOS wants all holiday makers in 2003 to enjoy the many beautiful and unique attractions of the Chiangmai area, with just a small reminder that prevention is better than cure, he stressed.

International SOS began its services in Thailand in 1990. It has expanded its operations in 42 countries. It has 25 Alarm Centers, 21 International Clinics and more than 160 remote site medical facilities globally.

The medivac company’s major bases are London, Singapore, Johannesburg, Beijing, Sydney and Tokyo. SOS International Clinics operate in Moscow, Beijing, Jakarta, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City among other cities.

For More Information contact Pipat Kananuwat - International SOS, general manager, tel. 02 - 256 7145, fax: 02 - 256 6340, or visit the website: www.internationalsos.com