Vol. VIII No. 52 - Tuesday
December 29 2009 - January 4, 2010



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


BUSINESS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Bright investment outlook for Chiang Mai

Bright investment outlook for Chiang Mai

The global economic downturn coupled with political turbulence has marred the investment atmosphere in Chiang Mai, but the northern city’s investment outlook seems brighter in the year to come thanks to the government and private investments.
In the public sector alone, at least five big projects are set to get off the ground next year, including an international exhibition and convention centre project on a piece of land covering over 300 rai. There is also a development project for road expansion to facilitate agricultural transport, a logistics system and a project to improve a local bus terminal in the provincial seat to support millions of incoming tourists.
All these will have a budget of over Bt3 billion from the government’s Strong Thailand Project, of which Bt18 billion is allocated for the province, while provincial authorities expect to generate more employment and income to stimulate the local economy.
According to the president of Chiang Mai’s Chamber of Commerce, the budget from the Strong Thailand Project is one factor that will help improve the economy of Chiang Mai.
“As the budget for this project has been allocated mainly at the local level here in Chiang Mai, there’ll be more investment and construction for the primary infrastructure. Now Bt4 billion has already been distributed to various projects here,” said Narong Kongprasert, president of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, the vice president of the Real Estate Entrepreneur Association of Chiang Mai and Lamphun believe that real estate in the region is outstanding and continues to grow during the last quarter following signs of economic recovery.
“The tendency of the housing development market in Chiang Mai this year hasn’t actually gone down,” said Paisan Phucharoen, the association’s vice president.
“Although there were problems with Thailand’s internal politics and color codes in the beginning of the year, the economy in Chiang Mai in 2010 could in fact be vigorous, for I heard that there are two big companies from Bangkok which came to buy and plan to develop land here in the province.”
An example of the positive investment trend in real estate, around Bt1.2 billion has recently been invested in a housing development project, set to be completed early next year on a piece of land connecting Chiang Mai’s provincial seat and Hang Dong district, an area considered a prime location for real estate developers, and where several other projects are also under construction.
Also, as a city of undoubted potential, Chiang Mai has recently attracted a group of Dutch investors to extend about Bt3 billion for construction of a large department store to be targeting over 14 million northern Thais.
From all investments planned ahead, the city has guaranteed itself that for the year to come it is still a jewel for many who love to discover more of this land called the ‘Rose of the North’ filled with its Lanna culture. (TNA)



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