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BUSINESS
 

Major expansion planned for the Green Bus

Laos and Kunming added to routes this year

Somchai Thongkamkhun, Managing Director of Green Corp. Co., Ltd. announced expansion plans for the upcoming Asean Economic Community.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The luxury Green Bus Co. is planning a 5 billion baht expansion over the next three years in a bid to take advantage of the opening of Asean under the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

The Green Bus will expand routes in 6 neighboring countries; Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and China.

Somchai Thongkamkhun, Managing Director of Green Corp Co., Ltd. announced the company plans to expand personnel and inventory to accommodate the increased traffic that will come with more open borders. He added that although there has been talk of high speed rail that is still in the future and people will always want to travel by road as it is much lower cost than the high speed rail will be and much lower than flying by air.

The company plans to solicit venture capital as well as bank loans to increase their number of buses from 100 to 1,000 and to increase the number of personnel to 1,500. The company will also work to develop language skills of their employees to enable communication as the network expands. Somchai added that the company will be in full cooperation with all Asean regulations and laws in operating the bus concession.

The company will start pilot projects with routes from Chiang Mai to Vientiane and Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai to Kunming in China.
 


Thai Banking Sector Linking Businesses in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Thailand’s banking sector is connecting businesses in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), in order to collectively enhance competitiveness, to promote a sense of community, and to strengthen the subregion in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community.

Speaking at the recent Greater Mekong Subregion Investment Forum, Mr. Prasarn Trairatvorakul, the Governor of the Bank of Thailand, stated that as a member of GMS, Thailand’s financial system could play a role in bridging between the global financial players and the smaller local intermediaries, which would serve the broad-based demands of the economy.

Mr. Prasarn also added that Thai banks had an important role in partnering Thai and GMS corporations in the areas of project evaluation, business set-up, and cross-border financial transactions. By filling this role, the Thai banks have become a natural partner to bring GMS business and investment to Thailand.

Playing the role of connector, Thailand’s banks are also acting as a link or point of reference for the entry of global banks into this subregion.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra earlier expressed Thailand’s strong support for the development of the Greater Mekong Subregion, saying that Thailand regards its development as a major drive for the realization of the ASEAN Community.

The Prime Minister stated that economic development and capacity-building in GMS would contribute to the move toward realizing the ASEAN Community by 2015. The latest GMS summit approved the 2012-2022 GMS Strategic Framework as a foundation and orientation for subregional economic development cooperation. All member countries agreed to organize the fifth GMS Summit in Thailand in 2014. Established in 1992, the GMS summit is held every three years.

Apart from Thailand, the GMS also consist of Cambodia, southern China, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The five countries, besides China, are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is striving to promote its community-building efforts for the integration of the region as a whole. (PRD)


Thailand finally gets iTunes store

Apple Inc. extended its music presence in Asia with the launch of its iTunes Store in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau. The iTunes Store will also available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and will offer more than 20 million songs, Apple Inc. China and India are still missing from the list.

Experts believe that readily available music online will help combat piracy. Prior to this Apple allowed users in Thailand to only purchase mobile application through its App Stores. Now users in Thailand will be able to download and purchase songs and movies directly.

This move is not only expected to see the local digital music and video content market to grow 20% this year but to also allow new musicians and artists a venue to promote their music.

CAPTION: iTunes is rolling out in 12 countries across Asia including Thailand, HongKong, Macau, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. EPA/JEROME FAVRE


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Major expansion planned for the Green Bus

Thai Banking Sector Linking Businesses in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Thailand finally gets iTunes store