THAI taps Laos
Thai Airways International (THAI) and Lao Aviation (OV)
have signed a memorandum of understanding in an attempt to boost business
and tourism between the neighbors.
The move is also designed to attract Lao expatriates living abroad. The
agreement initially involves a double-prefix cooperation on the
Bangkok-Vientiane route, before being developed into a full code-share
Cupertino on the Bangkok-Vientiane and Luang Prabang-Chiang Mai routes for
the winter schedule.
The airlines are also considering operating flights as domestic connections
rather than international connections to reduce airport taxes and fees. THAI
currently operates one daily flight between Bangkok and Vientiane on a
248-seat A300-600 aircraft, but plans to increase its frequency to two daily
flights. OV uses a 70-seat ATR for its daily Vientiane-Bangkok flight. (TTG
Thailand-ADB to jointly help
develop Mekong Sub-region
Thailand and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed
to cooperate in developing countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS),
according to Naris Chaiyasoot, director-general of the Ministry of Finance’s
Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
The agreement was made during a meeting of both parties earlier last week,
Naris told journalists, adding that the accord would help develop the
economy and social activities in Thailand and other GMS’s member countries
on a sustainable basis.
The mutual assistance would cover various fields, including eradication in
trade and investment problems among the countries, and environment and
disease control, he added.
The GMS includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China’s
southern province of Yunnan.
All six countries share the Mekong River, recognized as a lifeline of
Southeast Asia. (TNA)
Deposit rates pushed up by sharp fall in bank liquidity, says BOT
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) said last Tuesday that there
had been a marked decline in liquidity in the banking system, citing as
evidence, stiff commercial bank competition for depositors’ funds.
However, BOT Governor M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula said he believes the major
banks’ move to offer more attractive deposit rates would not affect the
performance of smaller banks, which seem to be able to adapt to the more
The governor also commented on the possible economic impact of the latest
political developments, saying that regardless of whether Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra stepped aside or not, the country’s exports would
continue to expand. Export growth in February was approximately 23.3
percent. However, he did say Thaksin’s decision to step down would bring
about national reconciliation, which could restore investor confidence.
The BOT chief added that he could not yet assess the overall economic
direction as he had not seen the latest economic figures. (TNA)
Thailand-Myanmar clinch hydropower deal
Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to jointly build a US$6
billion hydropower plant on Myanmar’s Salween River in the southern part of
The bilateral agreement on the establishment of a joint venture for the
project was signed between the Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power and
Thailand’s MDX conglomerate in Yangon this week.
The 7,110-MW Ta Sang Hydropower Plant, the biggest one in Myanmar, is set to
be completed over the next 15 years. Electricity generated from the plant
will be mainly sold to Thailand. (TNA)
TAT introducing the Standard Thai Hotel Program to achieve international standards
Chanin Thonawanik, committee chairman of Thailand Hotel Standard Foundation,
invited hotel owners to apply for Hotel Standard Certification 2006 in order
to improve Thai hotel standards to be equal to universal standards, and to
promote certified hotels for Thai and foreign tourists.
Hotel owners or hotel entrepreneurs who are interested can submit their
application form for this program from now on. For more information, contact
Thailand Hotel Standard Foundation and personnel at the service and tourism
industry, 203-209/3 Rajadamnern Klang Bor Worn Niwet, Bangkok 10200 Tel.
0-2281-9496 Fax. 0-2281-4188. This program is sponsored by the Tourism
Authority of Thailand.
Thailand Hotel Standard Foundation is an organization for cooperation
between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thai Hotels Association
(THA), and Association of Thai Travel Agents.
Overall economy to pick up after PM’s decision to step down
Thailand’s overall economy is set to pick up following
caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s decision to step down from
office, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
FTI Vice Chairman Santi Vilassakdanont said that the premier’s announcement
made all parties feel relieved, and following that, anti-Thaksin
demonstrators should disperse.
Thaksin’s move served as a solution to all conflicts that would enable the
government to go ahead with its economic policies and an acceleration of the
constitutional amendment, he projected.
He said he was confident investment in the industrial sector would regain
momentum after a slowdown due to political woes.
He suggested the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) take this opportunity
to attract foreign investors without any delay.
Santi believes that the private sector still wants the new government to
forge ahead with the implementation of mega-projects such as the extension
of electric train sections.
He stated that the new premier should be a person with a lot of experience
in economic affairs, and one who is able to form a competent economic team
to help him manage the country’s economy. (TNA)
PM’s decision to step aside will help boost Thai stock market
Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra’s decision not
to accept the premiership in the new government will lead to an end of all
political conflicts and have a positive effect on the stock market,
according to a veteran stock analyst.
Kongkiarte Opaswongkarn, president of the Federation of Thai Capital Market
Organizations, said that Thaksin’s decision last Tuesday evening showed his
sacrifice for the sake of the country and he believes that all conflicting
parties will now turn to each other to solve national problems.
He believes that the announcement of Thaksin to step down is a proper one,
especially since the ruling Thai-Rak-Thai (TRT) Party still enjoys the
support of 16 million votes from the April 2 general election, and could
form the new government. More importantly, it could forge ahead with its
economic policies on a continual basis, he noted.
Dr. Kongkiarte said he wants to call on all parties to participate in the
constitutional amendment process to ensure no more problems arise, and the
country’s administration would be smooth.
He said that Thailand can readily recover from any economic damages caused
by the political standoff since impact from the political disturbances were
He conceded that the Thaksin administration had proven its ability to boost
the country’s competitiveness and had a strong point in trade and business.
He, therefore, wants the new government to pursue the existing policies. He
projects that the improved political climate would help boost stock
investment in terms of volume and value. (TNA)