slash import tax for
Commerce Minister Adisai Bodharamik recently announced
that Thailand is poised to slash import taxes on agricultural goods and raw
materials from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar in a bid to stimulate trade and
Speaking after a meeting among government ministers of
the four nations to determine a unified approach to sub-regional trade,
Adisai said that the import tax reductions would see tariffs cut to 0-5
The new measures will see the number of Cambodian import
items subject to the reduced tariffs rise from 48 to 249, while the number
from Laos will rise from 26 to 150 and the number from Myanmar from 72 to
between 300 and 400. Import quotas for the three countries will also be
increased, subject to cabinet approval at the end of this year.
It was proposed that the private sectors of all four
countries cooperate in the establishment of a business council, while each
nation will be encouraged to set up export industrial estates. These
initiatives will be presented to the leaders of the four nations during a
sub-regional leadership meeting on 11-12 November in the Myanmar capital of
MOF pours money
into investment data center
The Ministry of Finance will pour over 20 million baht
into the development of web-based investment data sites to offer advice and
information to foreign investors. Anukul Taemprasert, head of the Thailand
Outlook Investment Data Centre program, said that the scheme was
particularly targeted at providing information to institutional investors.
The program, run by the Office of Fiscal Economics, will
focus on the creation of a data base, investment product research and
development, and the development of an information system to disseminate
information on investment to businesspeople across the world.
As part of the program, which began around three months
ago, investors are able to log on to www.thai landoutlook.com
The ministry used an initial budget of 20 million baht to
establish the system, which is now being developed using more appropriate
technology. The project forms part of the government’s overall aim of
using information technology as a tool to access investment information.
Prospects of the local property business have continued
to be promising given the improved performance of listed property firms and
higher demand in the market, according to leading asset management
Ruengvit Nantapiwat, President of Ayuthaya JF Asset
Management Co, said the firm had planned to set up the property fund next
year to provide investors with an alternative investment channel. Its
maturity would not be fixed like other property funds, he noted.
The company projected the property market would continue
to grow along with the improvement in operating results of listed companies
in the property section, since many developers are launching new projects,
particularly condominiums in urban areas, which are of great demand.
Vivan Tarahirunchoti, President of One Asset Management
Co, said the property fund was a new choice for investors who want to invest
through mutual funds. Holders of unit trusts of the fund will receive
returns in form of dividends and capital gains from investment in the Stock
Exchange of Thailand (SET), she stated.
Pongrat Rattanatavananond, manager of Kiatnakin
Securities’ Stock Analysis Division, said more investors had turned to
speculate on property stocks since they believed performance results of
property firms would improve in the third quarter given lower deposit and
lending rates. (TNA)
jump over 20% from
January through August
Thailand’s imports of products in the first eight
months of this year reached over 2.03 trillion baht, most of which were
shipments from China, accounting for 20.3% of the total imports, according
to the Ministry of Commerce.
Pisanu Rienmahasarn, Director of the Ministry of
Commerce’s Office of the Committee on Import Policy Management, said the
country’s imports of goods in the January-August period increased 12% from
the same period of last year, with shipments of raw materials and
semi-processed goods topping the list, or rising 16.3%, followed by 15.0%,
11.3%, and 7.5% increase of fuel, consumers’ goods, and capital goods
Major sources of imports during the period included
China, Japan, the United States, and the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN), with imports from China topping the list of f the total
imports followed by those from Japan.
Pisanu said, however, that only an appropriate level of
imports would meet the country’s economic equilibrium, cautioning that
rapidly increase in imports, particularly raw materials and consumers’
goods, would affect the equilibrium.
“Locally-produced products are of the same quality of
imported ones; so producers and manufacturers should also support local raw
materials, and should join forces in the form of partnership to expand their
supply bases and to boost the strength of Thai industries”, suggested the
senior Commerce Ministry official. (TNA)