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Giant balloon will take visitors high above the city during JJ festival

Thai investors should look abroad, says official

Thailand prepared for global financial liberalization

Giant balloon will take visitors high above the city during JJ festival

Kittiyaporn Kanjan Student Trainee (MFLU)

Aphiradee Thunthiwetchakul, director of the JJ Market Project, at a press briefing to announce the festival (Photo: Pinutda Suwanchaisri Student Trainee MFLU)

A giant air balloon 8 meters in height will form the centerpiece of the 1st JJ Chiang Mai Festival.

Director of the JJ Market Project Aphiradee Thunthiwetchakul said shops in the designer market zone will be arranging a series of activities with low prices, gifts and souvenirs. The festival will be held from December 2 to 11, between 10.30 a.m. and 10.30 p.m. at JJ Market close to the new street near Kamthiang Market. The opening ceremony, complete with parade, will be held on December 2.

More than 300 shops and stalls will be displaying goods, there will be a concert by Grammy singers, theater performances from several universities, and a fashion show staged by boutiques in JJ Market.

The giant balloon will take visitors aloft so they can enjoy a panoramic view of Chiang Mai and its environs. The balloon will remain at JJ Market for three months.

This giant balloon marks the spot where the 1st JJ Chiang Mai Festival takes place.

Thai investors should look abroad, says official

Private business investors should be looking to Thailandís neighbors as a way of diversifying their investments away from the domestic economy, according to a senior Industry Ministry official.

Speaking at a seminar, Ministry Permanent Secretary Chakramon Phasukavanich said investment in Thailand was expected to soar to about 700 billion baht this year largely due to increased investment in the steel industry. He also said manufacturers were currently using about 70 percent of total production capacity, an indication of high confidence in the economy.

But Chakramon said Thai investors ought to be putting more focus on investing in neighboring countries such as Laos, which has good opportunities in textiles, auto parts and farm produce, and is well-situated for the China market. Myanmar and Cambodia are also good investment targets.

He said the Industry Ministry was willing to provide information and other necessary facilities to those wishing to embark on investment in those countries. Current risks facing business operators are changes in technology and international currencies, he added. (TNA)

Thailand prepared for global financial liberalization

Thailand is prepared for global financial liberalization and will develop local banks to be on par with foreign banks within the next three years.

Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya urged local commercial banks on Tuesday to accelerate adjusting themselves in preparation for anticipated stiffer competition now that many countries are pushing for financial liberalization.

He said the business environment has rapidly changed amidst pressure from the financial liberalization.

So, local financial institutions must accelerate modernizing themselves to prepare for fiercer competition by adopting efficient risk management and developing personnel skills.

He said whether or not the countryís financial system would become stable depends on the strength of the local financial institutions.

To develop themselves, the financial institutions would need to have both local and foreign alliances to share their experiences and use them to boost their strengths.

He believes that local financial institutions will be as developed as foreign banks within the next three years, following the Bank of Thailand (BOT)ís move to have local commercial banks comply with the new international agreement on capital, known as Basle 2.

Under the new rule, local commercial banks will have a clearer guidance on lending and supervision of non-performing loans (NPLs), said the finance minister. (TNA)