Vol. VII No. 30 - Tuesday
July 22 - July 28, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


BUSINESS & TRAVEL
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

PM: Thailand to import low-priced diesel from Russia

World Bank ranks Thailand as 15th best place for business

PM: Thailand to import low-priced diesel from Russia

The Thai government is negotiating the possibility of importing diesel fuel from Russia, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said on Sunday.
Samak told viewers and listeners during his weekly TV and radio address that although the quality of Russian diesel is slightly lower to that of the diesel currently on the market in Thailand, its price is about Bt8 per litre cheaper than the current retail price here.
Presently, diesel sells at a retail price of Bt44.24 per litre.
The first batch of Russian diesel is expected to arrive in Thailand during the next two months and will be sold only to cooperatives, he added.
Meanwhile, Theerachai Saenkaew, deputy minister for agriculture and cooperatives, said the cabinet had allocated a budget of Bt25 billion to be used to promote the growing crops used to manufacture ethanol and bio-diesel.
Of the total budget, Bt13 billion will be spent on promoting the growing of sugarcane for ethanol and bio-diesel production, Bt9 billion to grow cassava and the rest of the budget for growing palm oil, said Theerachai.
Currently, eight ethanol plants in Thailand are producing 1.22 million litres daily. The number of refineries will increase to 17 with a combined production of 2.7 million litres daily by the end of 2008.
The present demand for ethanol in the country is about 700,000 litres daily, while the balance is exported. (TNA)


World Bank ranks Thailand as 15th best place for business

Residents gather at monthly meeting

Thailand is now ranked 15th out of 178 countries throughout the world by the World Bank as the most attractive place to conduct business, according to Gianni Zanini, a leading economist of the World Bank.
Zanini said Thailand’s ranking was obtained from the World Bank’s world trade indicator for 2008, launched recently and covering global trade.
However, despite the relatively high ranking there are also obstacles in the Kingdom including too many rules, a lack of skilled personnel and poor infrastructure, especially in areas outside Bangkok.
According to Zanini, Thailand’s trade and service growth in 2007 earned 7.8 per cent and was ranked at 69th out of 160 nations.
Thailand’s market share in global trading in 2007 fell 1.5 per cent due to the appreciation of the Thai currency, the baht, between 2006-2007, but its exports, especially electronics goods, were still impressive as the country was able to penetrate new markets including the Middle East and Russia.
Zanini said countries that practiced fewer trade protectionisms and imposed low tariffs enjoyed better trade earnings. (TNA)



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