Finance Ministry objects to gold trading controls
Thailand’s Ministry of Finance does not agree with a central bank proposal to
control gold trading in the domestic market, Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt
Na-Ranong said last week.
The concurrent finance minister said the Finance Ministry years ago revised
domestic gold trading regulations in accord with the global market and it would
not be necessary to revise the controls again.
Gold is an asset equivalent to currency and its price scales up when currencies
weaken, said Kittiratt.
The Bank of Thailand, in its proposal to the Finance Ministry, expressed concern
about gold speculation which could negatively impact currency exchange and the
country’s trade balance, leading to a current account deficit.
Kittiratt said a big import of gold could strengthen the baht but it did not
frequently happen, and free trade of gold should be allowed as some people buy
gold as their savings.
Regarding a proposal to set up a futures market for gold, he said related
agencies would have to discuss the issue since gold trading is conducted in many
different forms and locations.
The public sector is willing to support and look after investors, he said.
Professional services from qualified people
Timothy Lock and Craig Muldoon of PFS
visited Chiang Mai on September 30 and October 1, they plan on returning
in November for a further visit.
A recent visit by Platinum Financial Services (PFS) gurus
Timothy Lock and Craig Muldoon was quite enlightening. As an American I
am well aware of the difficulties in having my money in a Thai bank and
that many local banks will not open a new time deposit account for me
because of American regulations requiring reporting. What I wrongly
assumed was this kind of reluctance to take my business was widespread
and that it spread beyond Thai banks.
Craig quickly corrected this assumption stating that they have accounts
in overseas banks, mainly Jersey and other offshore accounts favored by
the British, that will accept Americans and that they actually have some
packages tailored specifically for Americans looking to save on taxes
and keep their money overseas. Given the state of things today in the
U.S. this might be something more people should be looking into!
Another thing I learned tonight was that not all Financial Advisers are
created equal. PFS is an international company headquartered in Hong
Kong with branches in Moscow Singapore, Shanghai, Bangkok and Pattaya.
Between the two men I sat with over 50 years of combined experience in
the financial industry. As Craig pointed out, because they are
headquartered in Hong Kong they are bound by the regulations of their
corporate parent which follows Hong Kong laws which bear a closer
resemblance to U.K. law than it does in Thailand.
Craig said that despite the fact that he now works in Asia he studied
and passed all the regulatory tests in the U.K. “A good adviser never
stops learning,” he pointed out, noting that new tax regulations are
always coming into play and that global financial challenges and changes
require constant updating.
Craig pointed out that there is a lack of knowledge in regards to tax
laws for many pointing out an example, he said for instance some British
people believe that if they are out of the country for more than 5 years
they are no longer in the system. He noted that while that is true for
the government health care it is not true for the tax man who does
expect payment on income. He added that if you die overseas your
property goes into probate and any taxes owed in the U.K. will be
One thing I did learn in my discussion is that Thai law is quite loose
when it comes to foreign financial advisers with the main tenets of the
law being that 1. They cannot advise Thai nationals 2. They cannot
advise on investing in Thailand and 3. They can only advise non-Thai
nationals on investing overseas. Other than that, Thai law does not
require foreign advisers to have any requirements or regulations.
As Timothy pointed out, “It is important that you learn about the person
you are going to before you meet. Find out where they are from, what
qualifications they have, what kind of history and background does their
company have.” An important point given the loose regulation by Thai
Halal Food Fair opens
on Chang Klan Road
MP Tassanee Buranapakorn, is seen here with
local Muslim community leaders, business people and the President of the
Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce to launch the new food fair. (Photo
courtesy of Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce)
The Halal Food Fair opened on September 27, 2013 Baan Hor, on the side
soi off Chang Klan Road in the Night Bazaar area. The Fair is promoting
the foods and products of Chiang Mai’s local Muslim community and is
being organized by the Office of Commercial Affairs Chiang Mai, the
Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, The Central Islamic Council of Thailand
Chiang Mai Office, TAT, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office and
The Halal Science Center Chulalongkorn University. The event was
presided over by Tassanee Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai’s Member of
Parliament. There were demonstrations of roti making, sales of food and
other products. The plan is to hold the fair every Friday. (PR)
Elephants given love and care at conservation center in Lampang
The baby elephant in the nursery had been
adopted by an older female elephant after his mother died.
A trip out to Lampang to the government owned Thai Elephant
Conservation Center is one of those things that often get put off but
are worth the journey. It really isn’t that far and dedication, hard
work and love that the staff feels for the elephants that have been
given into their care, often due to retirement and age, is clear. They
are planning on starting up a one day tour in conjunction with Elephant
Parade House to give people a glimpse into the world of elephants.
The day started off with a very interesting lecture by Dr Taweepoke
Angkawanith, one of the elephant vets about the history and purpose of
the center, the hospital and the elephants that come to live there.
Hearing from a true expert about what causes mental health problems in
elephants (too small of pen, being held in an area without being given
enough space, the behavior of their mahout) to health problems that come
from accidents while logging, overwork at elephant camps and wounds
caused by improperly cushioned chairs was enlightening. We were lucky to
have renowned expert Richard Lair, advisor to the Center, who helped
write the elephant care manual for mahouts and elephant camps with Dr.
Taweepoke and Dr Preecha Phuangkum was a singular honor. One of the
things that the Doctor and Richard pointed out was that elephants have
been working for humans for a very long time but the change is that now
they are viewed as a business commodity and are not treated in the same
careful manner as in the old days.
Richard pointed out that elephants were commonly used for transportation
of both people and goods in the not so long ago days. However, elephants
were not forced to carry too heavy of a burden and were given plenty of
rest along the journey. As the doctor pointed out, they cannot work 8-9
hours a day, they must eat, they must rest.
The other issues that modern day working elephants face is improper
padding on the saddles, leading to sores, poor food quality, and being
forced to perform dangerous tricks. Often the elephant sees their mahout
change too often, or the mahout is improperly trained or not dedicated
to his elephant. The dedicated mahout will take care of his elephant, my
mahout said to me, make sure that she or he is well fed and well
treated. The mahout to the elephant I got to spend time with, Junpen,
had been with his elephant for 14 years, since he was 25 years old and
their bond was clear.
The Center holds a mahout training course annually as well as operates a
mobile clinic. The elephants that cannot be treated at the mobile
clinics are transported to the hospital, often at great distances. One
young elephant was getting treated for a splinter in his nose. Like
human kids, he liked to stick things in his nose and got the piece of
A visit to the hospital to hear about the elephants currently in care
was then followed by a visit to the nursery to meet the baby elephants,
including one whose mother had died when he was very young and had been
adopted by an older and loving female elephant. We also learned how
elephant dung paper was made and got hands on experience on making this
time consuming but environmentally friendly product. Finally, we got to
meet our elephants and got lessons in directions and commands, and
learned about our elephant as a true personality. Mine, I was told, was
“a little bit fat and a little bit naughty”. And this I learned was true
as she preferred to graze on grass on the side of the road as we made
our way to the lake to bathe.
It was a great honor to be invited on this inaugural day out at the
Center, to meet an elephant up close and personal, to chat with my
mahout about his life and his elephant and to realize that these gentle
giants are true personalities.
New direct flight to Incheon
Low cost air carrier Jin Air of South Korea
plans to launch direct flights from Incheon, the Republic of Korea to
Chiang Mai and has already started taking pre-order sales. Flights will
be four times a week beginning October 30 and will be on an 180 seat
B737-800 aircraft. Flights will depart Chiang Mai at 11 p.m. and arrive
at 5:50 a.m. the next day and depart Incheon for Chiang Mai 6 p.m.,
arriving in Chiang Mai at 10 p.m. every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and
Saturday.www.jinair.com.(Photo courtesy of [email protected])