HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai OTOP distribution achieves 1.7 billion

Make your own bio-diesel using lard and vegetable oil

Chiang Mai targeted to become center for computer animation but still lacks skills

Chiang Rai OTOP set to beat this year’s 2.2 billion baht target

Thailand tops list of foreign investors in Lao PDR

Chiang Mai OTOP distribution achieves 1.7 billion

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Chiang Mai province’s OTOP distribution this year reached 1,776 million baht while the target was 1,554 million baht.

Best selling Chiang Mai OTOP products.

Somsak Suthisan, head of Chiang Mai Community Development Office disclosed that there were 1,758 products registered with the province. The best sellers were decor items, souvenir handicrafts and clothes.

Next year, the province will continue to support its OTOP products and will emphasize quality to meet the market’s requirements.

Make your own bio-diesel using lard and vegetable oil

Fill up with fish-fry!

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Residents of Chiang Mai can be trained in the production of bio-diesel from waste materials with the intention of saving on energy costs and conserving the environment.

The Energy Management and Conservation Center at Chiang Mai University has organized the training program, showing attendees how to produce the fuel from used lard and vegetable oil.

Director of the center Assoc. Prof. Prasert Rerkkriangkrai said that the bio-diesel when used as 80 percent petroleum and 20 percent bio-diesel can be used to power motor vehicles.

“The center will train residents in the techniques, methods, and all processes concerned in the manufacture and expects that attendants will be able to produce bio-diesel by themselves afterwards,” he said.

The training project began in late September and will continue through to July 26 next year. Three groups are trained at a time, with no more than six persons in each group. After successful training, attendees with receive a production machine and a certificate.

Those interested can ask for more information at the Energy Management and Conservation Center, CMU, or call 053 942007-9 # 106 or 108 during weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Training is held on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the faculty of engineering, and lasts a complete day. Application fee is 1,000 baht which includes lunch and coffee breaks.

Chiang Mai targeted to become center for computer animation but still lacks skills

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai is to be promoted as a center for the software industry, particularly in the field of animation, but the number of skilled personnel available is causing concern.

Chaitawat Saowapon, chairman of the board of Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) Chiang Mai branch said that a target had been set to develop the province.

Animation multimedia will be the focus, mainly because the sector is already well advanced, but the Thai software industry lacks human resources. SIPA has therefore initiated several projects such as a pre-professional training program to produce skilled animation makers in the North.

This program is projected to train 200 people per year, said Chaitawat, with a second program set to train 80 people as animation professionals.

He said that IBM had offered to train 3,000 persons in Thailand to Java certification standards, but SIPA was doubtful that this number of people could be found at present. Java training is also being provided, he said, and the first intake has already completed the course. However, there are at present only 50 certified to Java standards, whereas the province was expecting to have 300 persons.

Chiang Rai OTOP set to beat this year’s 2.2 billion baht target

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

With Chiang Rai on the way to beating its OTOP sales target for this year, the 3rd OTOP Fair, displaying more than 100 products and staged on Phahol Yothin Road in Muang, Chiang Rai, was both timely and successful.

The fair was opened by Deputy Governor Worachai Uttamachai, who was joined by Akhom Wongsawang, head of the Chiang Rai Provincial Development Office.

Akhom told the gathering that OTOP sales since January this year had reached 2.202 billion baht, and that the target of 2.2 billion baht has already been exceeded.

Best seller amongst Chiang Rai OTOP lines is tea, representing 30 percent of sales. The high figure is due to the tea being exported, primarily to the United Arab Emirates. Next most popular products are fabrics and handicrafts.

Chiang Rai Governor Worakiart Somsoi has approved an OTOP budget of 8 million baht and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Yongyut Tiyapairat will add extra funding for the setting up of an OTOP distribution centre near Chiang Rai International Airport. Completion is scheduled within six months.

Thailand tops list of foreign investors in Lao PDR

Thailand was the largest-scale foreign investor in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic for the first nine months of this year. Chalermpon Pongchabubnapa, Thai commercial counselor in Vientiane said that from January to September this year, Thailand topped the list of foreign investors in Laos, with its approved investment in 25 of the country’s major projects amounting to US$ 450 million (Bt 18,430 million), or 36 percent of total investment. Ranking after Thailand on the list are France, Vietnam, Australia and South Korea.

Promotions for foreign investment has mostly been made in generating electricity, which accounts for 85 percent of total investment, while the balance of investments have gone into mining, agriculture, handicraft, hotels, restaurants, wood industry, construction, and textiles.

This year’s total foreign investment has increased 133 percent, compared to last year’s total foreign investment of US$ 533 million (Bt.21.3 billion) (TNA)