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Finance and Insurance - International Dragon Awards in Chiang Mai

Investment in Northern Thai industry in trouble

Finance and Insurance - International Dragon Awards in Chiang Mai

Nopniwat Krailerg

2,500 businessmen from all over the world gathered at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew for the presentation of the Chinese Annual International Dragon Award 2005 (IDA), an award presented to those who performed remarkably in finance and insurance during the year.

Liang Tien Lung (3rd left), president of Insurance Marketing Management International (IMM) and Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn with delegates.

Liang Tien Lung, president of Insurance Marketing Management International (IMM), and the representative of Taiwan IDA, said that he was pleased to join the award presentation and CEO Forum in Chiang Mai, and was happy to see symbolic culture and ceremonies and Chiang Mai was seen to be a suitable place to hold these. Before Chiang Mai was chosen to organize the activities, four other countries were considered, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippine and Australia.

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn and Chiang Mai Tourist Business Association were involved in the organizing of the event.

Investment in Northern Thai industry in trouble

Investment parameters falling behind Malaysia and Singapore

Saksit Meesubkwang

A seminar at the Empress Hotel Chiang Mai, arranged by the National Production Development Institute and the Office of National Socio-economic Development was told that the Thailand investment atmosphere was not as rosy as some people would have you believe.

Dr. Phanich Laosirirat, director of the Production Development Project survey said the project surveyed data provided by 1,518 industrial companies and service providers from March 2004 onwards which was then analyzed by the Office of National Socio-economic Development and experts from the World Bank. The survey was carried out in 40 countries at the same time and completed in August.

It was found that investment in Thailand was at international standards and better than neighboring countries like Cambodia and the Philippines, but not Malaysia. However, Thailand business is suffering from lack of foreign investment due to strict government regulations and lack of skilled labor, especially in the field of IT. This also affects the country’s ability to compete.

Furthermore, the country’s basic infrastructures are not enough to meet the needs of the small, mid and large businesses, which is considered the most important factor.

“Over the past four years the government has paid no interest in industrial management efficiency to compete with foreign businesses, but instead wasted resources and lacked on skills development. The survey showed that the increase in GDP was not an indicator of a good strong Thai economy or a good investment atmosphere. “Compared to Singapore, with a population of only 4-5 million, the GDP is 1.5 times higher than Thailand,” said Dr. Phanich.

He also added that regional investment is still not viable in the eyes of foreign investors and domestic business owners even though industry has expanded, especially in the East and the Central regions. If the government supports this area the investment picture might improve overall. As for the North and South, there is a lack of efficiency in industry but strong in other areas like service. There is not much interest in investment in these areas.

The government needs to urgently evaluate the business environment of the industrial sector compared to competitor countries which will require new policy implementations and new strategies to benefit future regional level investment.