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Mekong countries urged to draw up trade and investment strategies

BOT says NPL’s down 30%

Mekong countries urged to draw up trade and investment strategies

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is urging countries in the Mekong Sub-region to work together in drawing up trade and investment strategies in a bid to attract higher levels of foreign investment.

Chairing a meeting of the Mekong River Commission, Somkid said the regional grouping’s rich biodiversity, whether in terms of agriculture, fisheries, mineral resources, petroleum, or hydro-energy, together with efforts to create intra-regional communications links, has increased the region’s potential. “From now on, the sub-region should work together to lay down in-depth trade, investment and tourism strategies,” Somkid said.

Somkid called for more meetings between the leaders of the six countries in the grouping – southern China, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam – and private sector companies. He also urged the creation of links between the Mekong grouping and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Free Trade Area (AFTA).

Official trade negotiations in the Chinese province of Yunan have already begun. Yunan lies within the Mekong Basin area, and is a gateway to southern China for Thai goods. (TNA)

BOT says NPL’s down 30%

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) Northern Region has released figures on the Non Performing Loan (NPL) problems. By using an offensive strategy to have bilaterala discussions between creditors and debtors, BOT says the NPL’s are down by 30%.

Prapas Sothornnoppabutr, BOT Northern Region operations department director, releases northern operations figures.

BOT Northern Region displays the process of solving NPL problems.

BOT has adjusted its strategy to reduce NPL’s by separating NPL debtors into groups, including one group of NPL debtors that have been charged with legal action. This group currently has more than a thousand cases in the commercial banks and financial institutions.

Prapas Sothornnoppabutr, BOT Northern Region operations department director, said there are currently 111,000 debtors owing approximately 260 billion baht. In the northern region there are 24 cases that have been completely reviewed with 160 million baht recovered, and another 19 cases with 256 million baht of loan values coming up shortly.

Prapas said BOT remains the middleman between creditors and debtors, especially in legal proceedings. It takes between 45-63 days to complete the legal considerations, after reaching an agreement from both parties.

“Generally, both sides haven’t had a chance to talk, so this scheme is aimed at decreasing NPL numbers by creating an opportunity for both sides to talk, and therefore problems can be solved more easily,” Prapas said.

NPL debtors can contact creditors or the BOT Northern Region by phoning 053 931 101, 053 931 107 or 053 931 115.