Thailand to help develop quality of rice in Vietnam
Thailand has agreed to help develop the quality of rice
in Vietnam by working out a blueprint for a full-circle management system
for Vietnam’s rice production and sales, which will eventually be used as
a model to boost exports and prices of rice on the world market, according
to the Thai Ministry of Commerce.
Rather than viewing Vietnam as a major competitor,
Thailand is choosing to work cooperatively with the leading nation in
The cooperation followed a request by Vietnam’s rice
producers and exporters recently, director-general of the ministry’s
Department of Foreign Trade Rachane Potjanasuntorn told journalists last
“Thailand’s management of rice trade, from harvests
to local sales and shipments overseas, is recognized by Vietnam,” he said.
Thai delegates comprising of senior officials and
representatives of the private sector, led by Permanent Secretary for
Commerce Karun Kittisataporn, will visit Vietnam in June. Their goal is to
meet with their Vietnamese counterparts to discuss and work on a blueprint,
which will detail the development of Vietnam’s rice harvests, as well as
warehouse, sale and shipment management systems and even solutions to rice
“The blueprint will become a model for expanded
cooperation among major rice exporters in the region, including Vietnam,
Thailand, China, India and Pakistan,” he noted.
“It will eventually also help boost global trade of
quality rice and stabilize rice prices on the world market,” he added.
The first cooperative project among the five major rice
exporters is expected to be a joint shipment of quality rice to the Middle
East, a world major rice importer, according to the department’s chief.
BOT may allow baht to appreciate to control inflation rates
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) may allow the Thai baht to
strengthen by market mechanism in a bid to control inflation rates,
according to a leading financier.
Supavuth Saicheu, president of Phatra Securities Public
Company Limited Research Division, said that given the current circumstance,
it is justifiable if the central bank let the baht appreciate by market
mechanism to contain rising inflation rates. Supavuth pointed out that the
average inflation rate in Thailand is higher than that of its 21 neighboring
countries and trading partners.
So, it is likely that the BOT will allow the baht to
appreciate in the same direction with other regional currencies, although
exports will be affected to a certain extent.
Should the BOT be able to keep the inflation rate at an
appropriate level, he said, it would not need to raise its interest rates so
high. He said foreign capital inflow into the country, particularly for the
Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is another reason behind the strengthening
of the Thai baht. It is likely that foreign investors will soon take profits
from their capital gains in the stock market.
On an economic trend this year, he said, Phatra
Securities believed the country’s economy would grow 4.5 percent, boosted
by higher exports in the second half of this year. Should the exports not
expand as predicted, he said, the Thai economy will not reach its target
Additionally, more people may opt to reduce spending and
turn to saving money, which will lead to a decline in consumption. (TNA)
Gasoline prices likely to surge to Bt30 per liter
The price of premium gasoline on the domestic market is
likely to surge to 30 baht per liter if global oil prices continue to
skyrocket, according to an industry executive.
Anusorn Sangnimnuan, president of Bangchak Petroleum
Public Company Limited (Bangchak), said that the current price of premium
gasoline is at 28.34 baht per liter after all oil traders, except PTT Public
Company Limited (PTT), decided to increase the retail price by 0.40 baht
last Wednesday. However, the marketing margin remains in deficit.
Should oil traders set the margin to reflect their actual
costs at 1.50 baht per liter, premium gasoline prices would definitely
exceed 30 baht per liter, Anusorn noted.
Anusorn stated that whether or not fuel prices would be
raised further would depend on the decision made by major oil traders.
He conceded that global oil prices had continued to
increase due to concerns regarding the tension between the United States and
Iran and its nuclear program, as well as unrest in Nigeria. Such unfavorable
incidents are leading to fears that fuel production could decline.
It is also projected that global crude oil prices would
continue to increase throughout this year, particularly in the
September-November period of every year when fuel production capacity often
drops, as natural disasters, such as Hurricanes, normally occur, he said.
Foreign investors pass on ‘small potatoes’ motorway projects
Foreign investors have paid no attention to investing in
the construction of two new Thai government motorway projects worth Bt60
billion (US$1.5 billion) because the total required investment is too small
to interest them, according to the Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning
The office’s director-general, Maitree Srinarawat, said
that Thailand’s construction of additional motorways is part of a number
of state-initiated mega-infrastructure projects under the supervision of the
Maitree said the government may need to implement the
project by itself, however, because foreign investors have shown no interest
in investing so far.
Not one foreign investor has asked for more information
on investing in construction of the proposed motorways linking Bangkok to
northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima Province and Cha-um in the upper-southern
Petchaburi Province since information on the project was released.
He said he thought that foreign investors were
indifferent to the project because they believe that construction of roads
do not rely on high technology.
Many also believe that Thailand has the means to
undertake the project itself since it does not require the same high level
of investment as electric train projects, he said.
Regarding progress on the proposed investment in the
construction of 10 electric train mass transit routes, Maitree said many
potential foreign investors had sought information on the projects through a
website, despite uncertainty about the country’s political situation.