One-time royalty fees suggested
for karaoke venues
The Thai government is trying to give the county’s
karaoke venues a break. GMM Grammy Plc, Thailand’s biggest music-recording
company, RS Promotion Plc and their rivals have been asked to stop charging
monthly fees for playing their songs.
Commerce Minister Wattana Muangsook has suggested that in
place of the monthly fee, recording companies levy a one-time royalty fee on
compact discs bought for commercial use. “The companies should separate
CDs for sale to individuals from those sold to establishments,” he
SET ready to support listed
good governance firms
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has allocated a
budget of 30 million baht to support the development of good governance for
Phatriya Benjapalachai, the SET’s vice president, said
that the support would be through the SET’s 50% reduction of annual fees
for two consecutive years to listed firms joining in the good governance
“The project was launched early this year, and was
initially set to end on 31 December, 2003. But the SET has decided to extend
the project for another year and will instead end on 31 December,
Consumerism expected to soar in 2004
Figures show that Thai consumers are feeling their oats -
and 2004 is expected to be a bumper year for domestic spending. A recent
survey taken by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, revealed
that end-of-the year holiday shoppers were expected spend to spend 56
billion baht, up from 36 billion baht last year.
The report said increased job creation, more disposable
income and rising consumer confidence all signal a sustainable consumer
recovery. Strong commodity prices, plus expansion of consumer credit have
boosted disposable income for Thailand’s rural population. This is good
news for retailers.
Higher prices combined with increasingly negative real
returns on bank deposits is expected to continue to encourage consumers to
spend even more in 2004. (TNA)
Pineapple leaf paper proves hit in US
It sounds almost good enough to eat - paper made out of
pineapple leaves, and in the United States, the One Tambon One Product
(OTOP) paper made in a small village in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province is
proving an instant success.
Siriwann Phothiphiphat, Tambon Nong Ta Taem’s resident
who has developed the pineapple leaf paper products, attributed the
popularity of the paper to the fact that it was showcased at the Asia
Pacific Economic Cooperation Meetings 2003 (APEC 2003) in Bangkok in
October. Foreign sales are growing, particularly in the US, with a large
number of purchases made over the Internet.
Siriwann notes that the raw materials for the paper are
easily obtainable locally. While the pineapple leaf paper was originally
produced in the northern region, a relative lack of pineapple plants and the
abundance of pineapple cultivation in this upper-southern province of
Prachuap Khiri Khan soon saw production shifted southward. A group of 30
farmers, operating under the name ‘Native Village Goods’ are now working
together to produce the paper, which is notable for its natural appearance.
Government won’t intervene
in domestic oil market
The government has no current policy to intervene in the
domestic oil market, but will allow oil prices to be in line with the market
mechanism, according to Energy Minister Prommin Lertsuridej.
Prommin said he considered it unnecessary for the
government to implement any measures to curb domestic oil prices at the
moment, although prices were on an upward trend due to decreased supply.
“Although domestic oil prices are on a rising trend due
to decreased supply from China, South Korea and Australia, the government
anticipates it will be a short-run incident. The decreased supply was due to
higher domestic demand for oil in the oil exporting countries, and due to
production cuts of local oil companies caused by reduced supply of some
substances used as raw materials,” he stated.
The ministry is closely monitoring the domestic oil
situation, and its impact on prices of consumers’ products, but says that
the rising oil prices has not yet affected the public’s cost of living.
Oman invited to back energy hub plan
Energy Minister Prommin Lertsuridej has been tasked to
lead a delegation to Oman in a bid to win Oman’s backing for Thailand’s
plan to transform itself into a regional energy hub. After talks with Omani
Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr. Prommin said that he and the delegation
would go to Oman early this year.
Oman has expressed interested in investing in
Thailand’s energy sector and developing strategic energy links between
Southeast Asia and the Middle East. As a leading oil producer, Oman would
feed oil into the program, as well as forge closer links in terms of natural
gas production by exporting natural gas to the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thailand also has investments in Oman, with PTT
Petroleum Surveys and Production having interests in Oman’s oil and
natural gas sector.
Presently the main import from Oman is oil, while
Thailand exports few goods in return, although the government is keen to
open up more trade channels in the future. Thai exports which appear to have
potential in Oman are automobiles and components, air conditioners, and
services, including spas, healthcare and tourism. (TNA)
Dhara Dhevi opening November 2004
A six star hotel and resort for Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai will soon be amongst the few cities in the
world to have a six star resort. The grounds and surroundings of ‘Le Grand
Lanna’ offered the perfect retreat to combine indulgent holidays with a
personal quest for physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. That was
what attracted Mandarin Oriental to come to ‘the rose of the north’.
The ‘Dhara Dhevi’ will have 60 golden teak villas,
each with its own character, in surroundings reminiscent of Thailand’s
most breath taking natural landscapes. It will span over 50 acres of land,
providing stunning views from each private breakfast veranda. The decor will
be functional, with clear lines, smooth polished surfaces but sumptuously
furnished with cushions, covers and drapes. The golden teak wood will
predominate and, in sharp contrast, the color white confirming elegance and
nostalgia. This is the concept for the ‘Dhara Dhevi’.
Planned facilities include landscaped swimming pools set
in tropical gardens, a French restaurant, with aspects of an ancient temple
as well as a state of the art Heath and Fitness Center, complete with
gymnasium, aerobics studio, sauna, Jacuzzi, squash and tennis courts.
For people who need to combine holidays and business, a
Conference Center containing a small area for 80 people and a large
traditional Lanna style building with seating for up to 600 delegates, will
be built with state of the art conferencing equipment and eight translation
‘Dhara Dhevi’ will use the existing ‘Le Grand
Lanna’ restaurant complex that can cater for groups as large as 200. This
facility has many areas and has already received royalty, government
representatives from around the world and many celebrities. Dining in the
great Lanna tradition. There will also be ‘Dhara Dhevi’s own Chinese
Restaurant. This building will be created in Sino-Portuguese style with a
golden teak hand carved stair case and a marble terrace to watch the
bustling market below.
For guests who would like to have an alternative, the
‘Dhara Dhevi’ is setting up a Northern Thai market, based on old
traditions, but with modern amenities. Twelve little houses clustered
together, providing noodle and rice dishes, desserts, Thai coffee and more,
served in the traditional Thai manner.
Unique specialty shops such as an old style barber and
hairdressing shop, but offering the latest hairdressing techniques, an old
photo studio, and an old curiosity shop, complete with a wide range of
Mandarin Oriental believes Chiang Mai is on the way up,
and will be part of it.