Vol. III No. 33 - Saturday August 14 - August 20 2004
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BUSINESS NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Economy continues to expand in June

Cabinet approves construction of Northern SME Center

Why hire a PR firm?

Lanna Palace Hotel appoints new PR manager

Economy continues to expand in June

The country’s economy continued to grow in June, boosted by a steady increase in private consumption and investment, according to the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO). Somchai Sajjapong, deputy director-general of FPO, disclosed the economy continued to expand although the consumer confidence index edged down to 98 points in June because of concern on higher gasoline prices and a southern unrest. The value-added tax collection in June expanded 17.3% year on year and that of the excise tax on durable goods grew 28.8%. He noted the tax collection on property business transactions surged 85%, reflecting the strong recovery in the property business.

According to the Finance Ministry’s study, the demand for houses, particularly in the medium- and low-end level, will continue to increase in the next five years. But for houses priced at 10 million baht or up, close supervision is needed to prevent speculation, which could lead to the repetition of the bubble burst like in the past.

Somchai said that private investment expanded satisfactorily along with the economic growth and the state spending continued to rise in June as could be witnessed by an increase of expenditure budget by 13.5% year on year.

Exports surged by 28% from June last year to US$8.5 billion baht, driven by a considerable rise in the shipment of rice by 169.4% and electricity-circuit boards by 87.3%.

Imports totaled $8.2 billion, up 41.6% from the same month the year before, driven by a surge in the shipment of fuel by 112.3% and machinery by 45%. It resulted in a trade surplus of $239 million in June.

Somchai said lending by commercial banks in May expanded 7.9% year on year in parallel with the greater investment demand and that by specialized financial institutions remained stable. (TNA)


Cabinet approves construction of Northern SME Center

But not the budget

Autsadaporn Kamthai

The proposal to build a new SME Center at the 33rd Military Circle was given the nod; however, the budget proposal for the construction plan is still under consideration and review by the Cabinet.

Before the construction starts, the Cabinet has assigned the Industrial Promotion Department to run a pilot scheme for OTOP and SME promotion and development at the former handicraft center of the Industrial Promotion Center.

The SME Center provides information technology and services, advice, and product showrooms. The center also assists the entrepreneurs by supporting research and development, supporting and producing qualified designers, since the Ministry gives priority to this group by aiming to add value for the entrepreneurs’ products.

It also assists in product distribution to overseas markets and advertises their products through an e-commerce system.

All services furnished by the SME Center are under the concept of One Start Service (OSS). The service starts from examining and evaluating the needs of entrepreneurs and giving primary advice to them. If the entrepreneurs want detailed information, the center will assist them with information and contacts with other government offices or private sector.


Why hire a PR firm?

Survey suggests ‘strategic thinking’

Tom Van Blarcom, TQPR Thailand

The Worldcom Public Relations Group, an international consortium of independent PR firms, has announced the results of its quarterly survey of its global PR network in which 42 percent of respondents reported ‘strategic thinking’ as the number one reason they were hired by new clients this year. Only 14 percent of respondents reported ‘publicity’.

Other numerically minor reasons reported were marketing communications, thought leadership, event support, media tours and crisis management.

“Agencies are now viewed as true strategic partners providing tactical input and counsel on a variety of issues across the marketing cycle,” said the chairman of the Asia-Pacific region of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, representing 35 PR firms on four continents.

For more information contact: Tom Van Blarcom/Surat Tantanawiwat, TQPR Thailand, email [email protected] ksc9 .th.com


Lanna Palace Hotel appoints new PR manager

Jirathiporn Sukantha

Lanna Palace Hotel General Manger Phisit Pongphanngarm announced the appointment of Jirathiporn Sukantha as public relations manager at the Lanna Palace Hotel in Chiang Mai. Jirathiporn gained extensive experience in the hotel industry as well as the media business in Chiang Mai before she joined the Lanna Palace Hotel.



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