BOT forecasts 3.5-5% growth for third and forth quarter
A recent report by the Bank of Thailand (BOT said the
country’s economic growth in the third quarter is projected at only 3.5-5
percent, a further decline from the first and second quarters. The report
also stated that there is a 64 percent possibility that the economic
expansion in the fourth quarter would also be about 3.5-5 percent.
According to the report, positive factors that could have
impact on the country’s economic growth are private sector consumption and
further export expansion. The central bank projected, however, that these
two vital dynamics would expand at a slower pace than that of the first half
of the year.
The BOT acknowledged that the fourth quarter is winter
season in western countries, which substantially increases the demand for
oil. This in turn could trigger an oil price hike. The report stated if the
price hike is one percent on average, Thailand’s economic growth is
projected to decline by 0.01 percent, the report said, adding that if the
oil price hike is not prolonged, Thailand’s economy would suffer minimum
Businessmen’s confidence in the country’s economy
during the month of July increased to a 54.90 level, signally sustainable
TOT shows 7.58 billion baht net profit for first half of 2003
TOT Corporation Plc President Sitichai Songpiriyakit
recently announced that the firm had a total net profit of 7.58 billion baht
on a revenue base of 30.5 billion baht for the first six months of this
year. He said the biggest contributing factor was the boost in TOT’s
fix-line services and revenues shared by private operators.
Sitichai said, “Fixed-line service brought in 16.7
billion baht revenue for the company over the period, and the concession
fees it charged from private operators amounted to 8.5 billion baht, with
interconnection amounting to 4.7 billion baht.”
“After being transformed to a company limited, TOT’s
operations have been encouraging. So, I expect it to bring in an operating
profit of higher than 10 billion baht by the year-end,” Sitichai added.
Sitichai said the firm will boost its service revenue and
meet customers’ requirements by continuing to focus on its core fixed-line
business and will introduce a variety of supplementary non-voice based
services. He said TOT also plans to add 565,500 new fixed-line customers and
hopes to increase its market share to 52 percent up from its present 51.2
Dog designer clothes seen to have promising prospect in overseas markets
Your family dog’s fashion statement could be the result
of a new growth industry in the kingdom. These days clothes are not now only
for humans. Beloved pets of families the world over are now sharing in the
warmth and diverse designs of clothes made from Thai fabrics. The popular
trend of doggie fashion is on the rise and innovative Thai designers are
jumping on the bandwagon.
‘Noi’, a Thai designer of clothes for both male and
female dogs said, “My orders have been increasing satisfactorily,
particularly from foreign dealers for sale in overseas markets. My customers
are very impressed with the unique styles and designs made from Thai
fabrics, namely cotton and silk.”
“This design work needs a lot of thought. I must take
into account the specific characteristics of different dog breeds, body
structures, behaviors, and sex. The workmanship must be of high quality to
satisfy my customers’ demands,” Noi said.
Noi added that the most promising markets of the product
were located in all regions worldwide, including Japan, the United States
and Europe. (TNA)
Energy ministry ordered to monitor world oil prices
Energy Minister Prommin Lertsuridej recently stated that
although the prime minister has ordered concerned officials to keep a eye on
world oil prices, the current 13.69 baht a liter price for diesel oil is
still lower than the ceiling price of 14.79 baht a liter, set during the US
led war in Iraq, by 1.10 baht. He said the price of benzene oil slightly
increased to a 17 baht per liter level but it is projected that it will not
rise to 19-20 baht per liter and that the government’s intervention is not
The ministry will focus on the price of diesel oil which
is the mainstay of the industrial production and transportation sectors.
Prommin said the current price is not excessive and the 17.29 baht a liter
price of benzene oil will not negatively impact the economy. Seeing no need
yet for government subsidy, the ministry plans to let oil prices move in
accordance with market mechanisms. (TNA)
Poll reveals most people agree with government’s decision on early debt repayment
Most people praise Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra-led
administration for its repayment of remaining debts owned to the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of schedule, according to a poll by
The survey was made on “Public Confidence in
Government’s Attempt to Bail Out Ailing Economy Following Earlier Debt
Repayment with IMF” with a random sample of people in 22 provinces
nationwide during 1-9 August. It showed 79.32% admired the government’s
decision to repay all debts ahead of time, while 4.43% did not, and 16.3%
voiced no comment.
The survey disclosed that 71.8% expressed confidence in
the government’s attempt to solve the country’s economic woes, while
10.3% did not.
It found 30.4% believed it would have to take 1-3 years
for Thailand to strengthen and sustain the economic growth, and 42.7% and
18.4% thought it would need 4-6 and 7-9 years respectively.
On the public’s confidence in the government’s
attempt to cope with the poverty, 46.1% believed it could be achieved with
27.6% expressing no comment.
On positive factors that could contribute to the economic
growth, most people said it depended on an increase in purchasing power,
people’s spending and foreign investment respectively.
On negative factors that could undermine investment
climate and economic growth, most viewed they included bribe-taking,
corruption, traffic woes, protest and violence, bureaucratic red tape,
insecurity in life and property, and poor quality of education. (TNA)
Energy minister says new national oil strategies will turn Thailand into oil exporter
Energy Minister Dr. Prommin Lertsuridej recently
disclosed that the government is preparing national energy and petrochemical
strategies to transform Thailand from an oil importer to one of the
region’s key oil exporters within the next two years.
Speaking during a visit to private sector oil refineries
and gas separation plants based at the Mabtaput Industrial Estate in the
eastern province of Rayong, Dr. Prommin said, “Thailand’s potential to
develop its energy and petrochemical sectors is enormous, and the
development of these sectors will in turn contribute to overall economic
Noting that three oil refineries belonging to Shell, PTT
and Caltex were able to use cutting-edge technology to provide the country
with one-third of its oil needs, Dr. Prommin said, “I will collect
information from the companies to draw up national energy and petrochemical
strategies and discuss with the oil companies how to boost Thailand’s
potential in these sectors, as well as how to amend related legislation, in
particular legislation relating to the tax structure, as tax problems were
currently preventing oil refineries from developing to their maximum
Expressing hope that the strategies would soon lead to
the transformation of Thailand into one of the region’s key oil exporters,
he nonetheless warned that the strategies would only be successful if the
tax structure was amended to allow refineries to order the purchase of more
oil for export.
Dr. Prommin stressed that at the same time, the
supervision of customs regulations and excise tariffs would also have to be
amended to ensure the effective growth of the sector. Voicing optimism, Dr.
Prommin said, “Changes can be made in the near future, as Thailand’s
readiness in terms of oil refineries, gas separation plants and oil storage
facilities means that the strategies can be drawn up quickly.”
On 28 August a seminar will be convened bringing together
representatives from the public and private sectors as a preliminary move to
work on the national strategies. Dr. Prommin also hinted that the use of
land belonging to the Navy where oil storage facilities were located might
be extended for commercial use, with shipyards and ports.
Dr. Prommin voiced confidence that within the next two
years Thailand would leap to the top place for energy and petrochemicals in
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the third highest place
in Asia and the fourth highest place in the world, noting that natural gas
reserves in the Gulf of Thailand were sufficient to bring a huge amount of
revenue into the country. (TNA)
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