Vol. IV No. 38 - Saturday September 17 - September 23, 2005
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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thai economy OK but personal debts worrisome

Thai economy OK but personal debts worrisome

Time to apply for an NPL?

Saksit Meesubkwang

On August 24, associated private sector committees of Chiang Mai jointly with Bank of Thailand, held a seminar titled “Economy Problem Solving Methods” to let organizations and sectors concerned know about the real economic situation.

Narong Tananuwat, president of Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce said that even though the Thai economy had slowed down, businesses could ride out the recession by analyzing the situation and competing for opportunities.

Yuttapong Jiraprapapong, president of The Federation of Thai Industry, Chiang Mai Chapter, complained that prices were affected by fuel oil costs and this directly affected production. However, producers should be ready to compete by finding methods to reduce capital as much as possible, while maintaining the quality of products.

Warin Keunkai, president of Chiang Mai Banker Club said that nobody could predict what direction the economy would go and thus new investments had dropped. However, this slow down was changing, as an economic cycle and the overall image of the economy was not too bad and could be better soon, a tribute at to government stability he claimed. The government had plans to stimulate the Thai economy and had supported private sector businesses to reduce deceleration during this period. Even though export value had decreased, it was still better than other countries, Warin added. However, this is cold comfort for those in financial difficulties, attempting to trade their way out of the slump.

Personal debt situation was worrisome because most debts were from finance institutes not banks and thus out of the control of the Bank of Thailand. An efficient credit checking process was not in place and that involved risk and non-performing loans (NPLs).

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