Myanmar gives green light to economic road link
A Thai private sector company has begun construction on a
2.8 billion baht road linking the southern province of Prachuap Khiri Khan
in Thailand with Tenasserim and Myeik in Myanmar, following authorization
from Myanmar’s Mon State.
Phisan Nakho, coordinator for Vantage Co. Ltd., which has
won a concession from Myanmar’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
for the construction of the 195 kilometer road, announced that Myanmar had
given authorization for Summit Grade Co. (otherwise known as Sam Prasit Co.)
to bring personnel, machinery and equipment into Myanmar in order to build
the cross-border route passing through Baan Moo Dong, opposite Thailand’s
The governor of Myeik Province laid down plans for the
development of Moo Dong, allowing the Thai company to invest in the
construction of all public facilities, including schools, a police station
and a hospital. Phisan said that in the future the company would also invest
in the construction of a five-star hotel and a casino.
Noting that the company had already won a 20-year
concession to build a road linking the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman
Sea, Phisan said that it had also set aside a budget of 160 billion baht to
invest in the construction of a 4,000 megawatt gas and coal fired
electricity generating plant 130 kilometers from the Thai border in the town
The generating plant would use Finnish technology and
machinery, and cables would link it with the electricity system in Thailand,
and operate to strict environmental standards. This plant would replace
proposals to construct power stations at Hin Krut, Bo Nok and Thap Sakae in
Thailand, all of which have been derailed due to intense local opposition. (TNA)
Baht appreciation will not push exports off target, says MOC
Commerce Minister Adisai Bodharamik has expressed
confidence that the appreciation of the baht will not prevent this year’s
export figures from hitting the government’s target of USD76 billion,
saying that even if the baht strengthened to 40 baht to the US dollar the
export target would be unaffected.
Adisai said that the government was not overly concerned
about the continual appreciation of the baht, which has seen it hit 41 baht
to the dollar, saying that the government was keen to see a short and medium
term strengthening of the Thai currency in order to boost confidence in the
Thai economy as a whole.
While conceding that in the long term the government
wanted to see greater currency stability, he said that minor fluctuations at
the present time would not pose any significant problems.
“The current appreciation of the baht should not
generate any major problems overall, but will rather serve to stabilize the
economy over the next 3-4 months. The government wants to see the baht
stabilize, even if it will lead to a slight drop in exports. But looking at
the overall picture, I am confident that the Thai economy will grow by no
less than 5.5 percent this year,” Adisai said.
Adisai also dismissed suggestions that the Ministry of
Commerce’s announcement of both unofficial and official monthly export
figures would confuse exporters or analysts, saying that the announcement of
unofficial figures was designed to display overall export trends to the
general public and to give the public the latest information in line with
rapid national development.
Although he admitted discrepancies between the figures
released by the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and those issued by the National
Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), he said that these
differences were minimal and did not pose a problem. (TNA)
Many countries keen to invest in Islamic Bank of Thailand
Many countries have expressed their interest in jointly
investing in the Islamic Bank of Thailand, which was inaugurated on 18
August, according to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The Thai leader said
that the Brunei government, through Brunei Investment Agency, had invested
in the bank; while other countries had also expressed their interest in
becoming partners with the kingdom’s first Islaamic bank.
Brunei had also extended technical assistance to support
the Islamic Bank of Thailand by sending its specialists to share their
expertise and experiences, Thaksin noted. “This is a very positive sign
for the Islamic Bank of Thailand.”
Thailand’s first Islamic bank was legally established
under the Islamic principles, and the government plans to quickly expand its
branches to Muslim communities throughout the country. (TNA)
Chamber of commerce sets up
entrepreneurship development center
The Thai Chamber of Commerce has established an
entrepreneurship development institute in a bid to boost national
competitiveness, which it hopes will train 5,000 Thai entrepreneurs in its
first year and hopes to be up and running by the end of September.
The chamber’s president, Art Taolanonda, said, “The
Thai Institute for the Development of Entrepreneurs, an independent agency
under the auspices of the TCC, has been set up in order to promote the
development and creation of entrepreneurs in various areas and to boost
their business competitiveness. This is in line with the government’s
strategy of raising the competitiveness of Thai entrepreneurs in response to
growing competition on the global market.”
The institute will target a wide range of businesses
across the country, from TCC members to non-members and anyone interested in
becoming an entrepreneur. In provincial areas the TCC will liaise with
provincial chambers of commerce to provide training.
The institute will emphasize the practical application of
knowledge rather than theoretical training and organize specialist courses
in business legislation, business opportunities and marketing channels to
small and medium enterprises (SMEs), such as marketing and sales strategies
and administration. (TNA)
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