APEC smoothes the way for Thai silk
The recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
hosted by Bangkok has served to boost international recognition of the goods
produced under the One Tambon One Product (OTOP) scheme, in particular silks
and silk products.
In a recently published report, the Kasikorn Research
Center (formally the Thai Farmers Research Centre) noted that OTOP goods had
attracted the interest of the 21 APEC leaders, their spouses and journalists
who met in Bangkok for their annual summit last month.
Describing silk and silk products as goods which were
uniquely Thai, the research center noted that silk clothing had been thrust
into prominence by the silk suits tailored specially for the APEC leaders.
In addition, silk clothing had been showcased during the APEC Investment
The report predicted a promising future for the export of
Thai silk and silk products, saying that the images of Thai silk shown by
the international media during the APEC summit would inevitably boost
international interest and confidence in Thai silks.
Forecasting export earnings of 1 billion baht from Thai
silk in 2004, the report said that silk exports would also benefit from the
government’s establishment of free trade areas (FTAs) with various
countries, and with the establishment of distribution centers for Thai goods
in other countries.
The research center called on Thai silk manufacturers to
make continued developments in terms of production and marketing, in
particular by introducing new designs, colors and patterns to ensure that
designs were modern and met global tastes. In addition, the report called
for a diversification of products, noting that competition in the fashion
sector was already high. (TNA)
TOT to expand basic
The cabinet has endorsed a plan to expand home phone
services nationwide by over 500,000 lines. The plan, which requires an
investment of 8.04 million baht, was proposed by TOT Corporation (TOT).
TOT, the privatized firm of the Telephone Organization of
Thailand (TOT), will take all responsibilities solely for the investment
project. The investment plan will take about 15 months to be completed, with
490,830 lines out of the total of 565,500 lines to be provided for users in
provincial areas. (TNA)
Development of IT
to solve poverty
The government is preparing to harness sophisticated
information technology (IT) systems to help in the fight against poverty,
according to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin said that the Interior Ministry is now developing
its IT systems, and will apply the Global Information Highway (GIH) system,
and databases to finding solutions to poverty.
Developments would be based on four principles - easy to
use, convenient, up to date and economical, he said, adding that DVDs and
videos of the databases would be produced for all provincial governors and
Pledging to wage a battle against poverty similar in form
to the recent ‘war on drugs’, the prime minister said that a ‘poverty
fighting committee’ would be established to assess the information
gathered and to set up a ‘war room’ to solve all aspects of poverty. He
expressed confidence that this would ensure that poverty was solved rapidly
At the same time, the government will introduce smart
cards which would be used for information relating to all ministries,
including the issuance of driving licenses, land title deeds, health
insurance cards and social insurance cards. The data from these cards will
be collected in order to identify problems and assess the poverty situation,
in order that problems could be addressed quickly. (TNA)