Lanna products for exhibition in Chengdu, China
A Lanna group and entrepreneurs from four provinces in the lower part of the
Northern region have planned a marketing strategy in advance of
participating in a roadshow in Chengdu, China.
Chuchok Thongtaluang, Head of Chiang Mai Public Relation office said that
the Office of Commerce, Chiang Mai had arranged the conference before “The
7th Western China International Economy and Trade Fair” which will be held
on May 25-28, 2006 in Chengdu, China.
The exhibition will show banana conversion products, handbags, handmade
cotton shoulder bags, soap flowers, paper products, sofa models, and fresh
fruit and vegetables. This product exhibition focuses on investment,
trading, communications; trade areas, cooperation, marketing development,
and offers a great chance for doing business with China. There will be a
total of 3,000 product exhibition booths from 73 countries, and it is
expected that there will be more than 800,000 visitors and 9,000 investors.
As well as the product exhibitions, there will also be a conference between
both Chambers of Commerce, Chengdu and Thai; and an MOU will be signed
between Chengdu’s Chamber of Commerce and the Lanna group; including a
marketing study, and cross-cultural tourism.
Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Sheng, the center of government, trading,
and important Chinese culture, with a population of approximately nine
Higher gasoline cost and stronger baht affect exports
Sukin Wongsa, president of NOHMEX disclosed that the export value of
products made by his members in 2005 was about 3 billion baht. This year it
is predicted that export would be about 2-3 billion baht, with 700-800
million baht already made during the first trimester. The reasons the
exports remain relatively flat are attributed to the stronger baht currency
and increasing fuel oil costs, so the export value instead of rising as
predicted, has remained relatively similar to last year.
Producers have faced higher capital costs this year so they have been forced
to increase the price of their products, resulting in overseas clients
seeking cheaper goods from Vietnam and China. Vietnam is developing products
to catch up with Thailand, but Thailand is concentrating on ensuring that
their products are superior to the Vietnamese ones in both design and
quality. In long term Thailand must improve product design, or customers
might purchase products from neighboring countries instead of Thailand.
Consequently, NOHMEX is considering opening new markets in Russia,
Scandinavia and South Africa.
At the moment, there are 210 companies who are members of NOHMEX, 90 percent
of whom are in the Northern region and the rest scattered throughout
Thailand. Hand carved products such as furniture, toys and decoration
supplies form around 40 percent of NOHMEX exports, with 20 percent coming
from clothes, including ready-made dresses and suits; while 10 percent are
paper products, ceramics and jewelry with the remainder toys made from
plastic and resin.
Sirikan Tawarat, manager of the Bank of Import and Export of Thailand,
Chiang Mai branch said that the head office had set a target for the Chiang
Mai branch to authorize credit of 150 million baht for export business
owners this year. It is the target that was put in place when the bank was
established in its first year in Chiang Mai, offering cheap loans to export
business owners, especially those producing modified-agricultural products
and handicrafts. The branch in Chiang Mai has every confidence that
entrepreneurs will take advantage of this cheap capital.
The bank has taken huge steps to promote its organization to be better known
by exporters of the Northern region and has joined in activities with
various organizations such as BOI by opening a booth to advise the local
business owners on how to obtain credit and how to run an export business.
Cabinet approves short-term economic stimulus package
Concerned over possible impacts from oil price hikes on
the Thai economy, the cabinet approved short-term measures aimed at
stimulating the country’s economy in the remaining eight month of this year
as proposed by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).
Government Spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said that NESDB reported the
overall picture of the Thai economy in the first quarter of this year to the
cabinet at its weekly meeting last Tuesday.
The national think tank viewed that the economy in the first quarter of this
year continued to expand more satisfactorily than in the same quarter of
last year due to higher exports.
However, the Thai economy is still in a path of slowdown due to risks from
surging oil prices and an upward trend of inflation and interest rates.
Should the global oil price stay at around US$70 per barrel in the remaining
eight months of this year, the average price for the whole year would be
US$66 per barrel, up US$17 from US$49.20 per barrel last year, the NESDB
The inflation rate surged to 5.7 percent in the first quarter and the
short-term repurchase rate stood at 4.75 percent.
Dr. Surapong said private consumption grew roughly 3.5-4 percent in the
first quarter, compared with 4.4 percent the same quarter last year.
Private investment in the first two months of this year increased 5.1
percent, compared with 8.4 percent the same period the year before.
Dr. Surapong said NESDB had proposed short-term measures to stimulate the
Thai economy within the remaining eight months of this year as follows:
On energy conservation measures, NESDB saw a need to encourage local
consumption of natural gas for vehicle (NGV), increase the number of NGV
service stations to 180 within this year and motivate consumers to use NGV
by offering an attractive service cost for equipment installation and
low-interest loan sources.
As well, it is necessary to accelerate production of alternative gasohol to
the amount of eight million liters per day within this year.
State agencies have been instructed to help save energy by 10-15 percent
NESDB suggested an acceleration of the export promotion campaigns to
increase state revenues.
The measures are aimed to make export growth, particularly for farm
products, electronics and vehicles, reach 17 percent as targeted.
Other measures are to promote tourism concretely, accelerate opening of the
Suvarnabhumi Airport in July and speed up disbursements of budgets. (TNA)