Monetary committee set to reduce export growth projection
BANGKOK, Aug 31 – Thailand’s Monetary Policy
Committee (MPC) will likely reduce the 2012 export growth projection
from the earlier projected seven per cent, an MPC member said Thursday.
Narongchai Akrasanee said the possible export growth
at less than seven per cent will consequently impact GDP growth which
was earlier set for 5.7 per cent.
The MPC, chaired by Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor Prasarn
Trairatvorakul, will meet Wednesday. The monetary committee is a major
central bank panel, responsible for setting its stance on monetary
Finance Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong last week adjusted the export growth
projection from 15 per cent to 9 per cent but the National Economic and
Social Development Board (NESDB) projected a 7.3 per cent growth.
The government’s spending is not lower than its target, particularly the
Bt350billion investment fund for sustainable water management, Dr
No projects have yet received investment funds. Dr Narongchai said he
hoped the government will speed up spending during the remaining months
to substitute for declining exports.
The government’s upcoming policy report and statement to Parliament to
mark its first year in office, especially on water management projects,
should be clear and create confidence among investors, Dr Narongchai
“From earlier data of the NESDB and the Bank of Thailand, it is known
that export growth will not reach 15 per cent,” he said. “The latest
data does not assure us that it will reach [even] seven per cent.”
Dr Narongchai said the MPC’s upcoming meeting may need to reduce the
export growth and GDP targets. The monetary committee earlier reduced
the GDP projection from six per cent to 5.7 per cent.
He said the risk on economic growth is higher than inflation and the MPC
would be ready to ease the monetary policy from the present policy
interest rate of three per cent.
If the MPC decides to lower the policy interest rate Sept 5, the
decision will be based solely on the country’s economic figures, and not
due to political pressure, Dr Narongchai said, admitting that foreign
investors are concerned with the rocky relationship between the armed
forces and the government which recently resulted in the transfer of
high-ranking officers in the Defence Ministry.
From the investors’ experiences, the government is always in a hot seat
when the armed forces are unhappy, he said.
He insisted on using interest, and not the exchange rate, as the primary
tool in setting monetary policy, indicating that Thailand has learned
the lesson that it is impossible to set an exchange rate target. (MCOT
Thailand’s ‘mega’ transport infrastructure plan takes shape
BANGKOK, Aug 31 – The Transport Ministry on Thursday
concluded a Bt1.9-trillion plan for the development of Thailand’s
transport infrastructure system to cope with the country’s future growth
to the year 2020.
Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said the plan
includes transport development projects to be readied for when the 2015
ASEAN Economic Community takes effect.
Government agencies concerned have been instructed to submit details of
their respective projects to the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy
and Planning for consolidation.
There may be some slight changes but the major projects will be the
same, he said.
The infrastructure investment will include various categories including
road transport at Bt479 billion for the third ring road, rail transport
at Bt1.28 trillion for dual-track rails and mass transit rail links,
Bt128 billion for dams on the Chao Phraya and Nan rivers, and for deep
sea ports and air transport, Bt83.9 billion for the second phase of
Suvarnabhumi Airport expansion, the construction of the third runway and
infrastructure development for aerial service system.
By 2020, the cost of goods transport will remain less than two baht/kilometre--Bt1.8699/km
but possibly increasing to Bt1.9949/km--if no investment is made
infrastructure development, he said.
The investment will boost Thailand’s overall transport capability from
Bt700 million tonnes a year to Bt900 million tonnes a year, he
concluded. (MCOT online news)
Nissan aims for 10% domestic market share
BANGKOK, Aug 30 - Nissan Motor (Thailand)’s president
on Thursday said the company aims to achieve a 10 per cent of the
country’s domestic automobile market share this year.
Nissan executive Takayuki Kimura spoke on Thursday at
the official launch of the Nissan Sylphy in Thailand.
He said the country's automobile market is still bright and continues to
grow, due to the government's 'First Car' scheme.
The company estimated the total sales volume of cars this year will
reach 1.2 million units, of which Nissan aims to achieve 10 per cent of
the market share, or around 120,000 units. About 20,000 units of the
Nissan Sylphy are expected to be sold. The rest is aimed for other
models, while around 140,000 units are aimed for export.
In total, the company expects to sell 260,000 cars produced in Thailand,
hoping around 20,000 will be sold in markets in the Middle East and
Mr Takayuki said Nissan has been warmly welcomed by the domestic market
with a high volume of orders placed. Buyers must wait for up to three
months to receive their cars.
Due to the continuous growth for the car markets, Nissan is studying the
possibility to expand its auto production in Thailand. (MCOT online
Thailand’s DTAC mobile phone network down twice Tuesday
BANGKOK, Aug 28 – DTAC, Thailand’s second largest
mobile operator, was bombarded with complaints Tuesday when its network
was down – its second service disruption in less than a year.
The network went off the air late this morning due to
a failure in DTAC’s switching system in suburban Rangsit.
Service at the DTAC call centre was suspended, while DTAC's Facebook was
bombarded with complaints from furious mobile users.
Thakorn Tantasith, secretary general of the National Broadcasting and
Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), said an urgent letter was
immediately delivered to DTAC seeking an explanation.
NBTC will set up a committee to discuss the fine DTAC must pay which,
according to Mr Thakorn, could be up to eight figures, and the company
must also provide compensation to 130 million customers as it did last
December, when a similar incident occurred.
A preliminary survey found that the 3G network was completely down while
the 2G network suffered partial disruption.
NBTC earlier warned DTAC against another network failure. The
Telecommunications Act B.E. 2544 (2001) imposes a daily fine of
Later in the day, DTAC (Total Access Communication Plc) issued a press
release saying an MPLS signalling router at its switching centre in
Rangsit failed to operate, affecting about 20 per cent of DTAC users in
various areas for a total of 65 minutes, between 11.06am and 11.26am and
from 12.00 noon until 12.45pm. (MCOT online news)
Thailand’s July exports continue to drop
BANGKOK, Aug 29 – Thailand's deputy commerce minister
said the country's exports in July continued dropping by 4.46 per cent
year-on-year, about US$19.5 billion in value, due to the eurozone debt
Poom Sarapol said the main industrial exports fell
about 4 per cent on average --electronics (15 per cent), electrical
appliances (3 per cent), textiles (14 per cent), rubber products (0.9
However, for auto parts and equipment export rose 22 per cent, and
construction materials expanded by 15 per cent.
Overall exports in the agricultural sector fell to 6 per cent for rice,
rubber, and frozen and processed prawns.
Other types of goods saw a decrease of almost 3 per cent for export.
Thai exports to major markets in Japan and the European Union declined
in July at almost 5 per cent on average, and at 3 per cent and 13 per
The export figure in the past seven months reached US$131 billion in
total, or a 0.40 per cent drop year-on-year.
Meanwhile, Thailand's imports in July reached US$21 billion, or an
increase of 35 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Electric machinery import rose 105 per cent, followed by capital goods
at 40 per cent, and other machinery and equipments at 39 per cent.
The import figure from January to July reached US$143 billion in total,
or a 10 per cent increase year-on-year.
In July, Thailand experienced a trade deficit of US$1.7 billion, while
the country saw a trade deficit of US$12 billion in the first seven
Mr Poom said a further estimate on the export situation and a new
forecast figure for 2012 exports will be made in September after a
meeting between the Commerce Ministry and entrepreneurs from the
industrial sector, as well as a meeting among heads of trade
He said it is possible the monthly export figure after August could
reach US$19 billion, lower than the previously projected amount of up to
The deputy minister said he hoped Thailand's export in the fourth
quarter will improve, for it will be at the Christmas and New Year
holiday and gift-giving season.
He asserted that all the figures he announced are true. (MCOT online
Thailand, Iran agree to expand trade
TEHRAN, Aug 29 -- Thailand and Iran mutually agreed
to foster bilateral trade with a barter trade deal which could be
carried out in the near future, according to Thai Foreign Minister
Mr Surapong held bilateral talks with Iranian Foreign
Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi on Monday on the sidelines of the 16th summit
of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in the Iranian capital.
During the discussion, both ministers stated their eagerness to foster
closer bilateral relations, particularly in trade and tourism as Iran is
the centre of the Middle East region and is the largest market in the
region. Meanwhile, Thailand is a major food producer and plays important
role in world food security.
Thailand and Iran will increase their volume of trade, particularly the
basic necessities, in particular barter trade to exchange Thai rice for
Iranian oil or gas.
Mr Surapong said that in the past, Iran imported rice from Thailand at
about one million tonnes annually but the importing was done every other
The Thai minister said that he persuaded Iran to consider importing more
rice from Thailand for its food security.
He said the Iranian foreign minister agreed with the idea and that Thai
embassy officials in Tehran would coordinate the barter trade agreement.
Mr Surapong said he was confident that the barter arrangement, if
agreed, will not affect trade sanctions against Iran as rice would be
exported to Iran for the people's consumption.
The ministers also agreed to organise the 9th Thai-Iranian Joint
Commission on Cooperation (JC) and Iran agreed to host the meeting.
They agreed to exchange visits by the foreign ministers in the future. (MCOT
Thailand moves ahead with ambitious mega-infrastructure project
BANGKOK, Aug 29 – Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong
stood firm Wednesday that the government will go ahead with an ambitious
plan of mega-infrastructure investment without exceeding the
public-debt-to-GDP ratio of 60 per cent.
Speaking on “The Changing Face of Thailand,” Mr
Kittiratt, also deputy premier, expressed his confidence in Thailand’s
economic growth despite global economic volatility, saying the
government is emphasizing infrastructure investment, valued at two
trillion baht, which will become a tool in connecting low-income and
high-income countries in the ASEAN region to work together for
communication, trade and investment development.
He called on the Thai Parliament to pass the government-proposed law on
public-private sector partnership to enable public-private investment
for the country’s infrastructure projects. The government is currently
working on an infrastructure fund to be submitted to the Securities and
Exchange Commission to be listed in the stock market.
Mr Kittiratt was a key speaker in a seminar on “Thailand Focus 2012”
organised by the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on Wednesday.
SET President Charamporn Jotikasthira, addressing the seminar, said the
impact on Thailand from the European Union’s economic crisis, including
SET-listed companies, has been slight.
He said executives of major companies in ASEAN countries including Laos,
Cambodia and Vietnam were invited to the seminar so that the Indochina
economies will be adjusted to the direction beneficial to SET-listed
companies in Thailand.
Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul, in his speech on
“Thailand’s Monetary Market vis-à-vis Global Funds,” warned that the
impact of the EU crisis towards Thailand’s trade will arise next year.
However, Thailand will be able to cope with it thanks to her strong
economy and fundamentals. (MCOT online news)
Uphill challenge for Thailand’s projected 7% export growth
BANGKOK, AUG 29 –Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor
Prasarn Trairatvorakul said Wednesday that the government faces a major
challenge and will have to work hard and persistently to achieve the
2012 export growth target of seven per cent, based on the country’s
export performance in the first half of this year.
He said the country's monthly export value in the
first six months of this year was less than US$20 billion with July
being the best-performing month at US$19 billion.
If the government aims for a seven per cent growth rate, monthly exports
in the five remaining months this year must be at least US$22 billion,
he said, expressing doubt that Thai exports can achieve that goal, and
will eventually expand at only four per cent per month.
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong last week adjusted Thailand’s
export growth projection from 15 per cent to nine per cent but the
National Economic and Development Board (NESDB) predicted a 7.3 per cent
growth at the most.
Mr Kittiratt, concurrently deputy prime minister, admitted he made a
'white lie' when he projected an export growth of 15 per cent early this
year. He claimed that the announcement was meant to strengthen
confidence in the public and private sectors. The public response has
resulted, however, in reduced confidence for both the finance minister
and the economy.
Meanwhile, the governor of the Bank of Thailand predicted an economic
growth of 5.7 per cent for this year, giving assurances that the BOT has
mapped out measures to shore up the economy in case the world economic
crisis more deeply affects Thailand.
The current three per cent policy interest rate which could be cut
further and a flexible exchange rate policy to cope with the influx of
foreign currency are two of the measures cited by the BOT chief.
In August, foreign inflows continued into Thailand while the Thai baht
has become less volatile at Bt31.20-31.70 per US$1 – a rate comfortable
for the business sector, he said, adding that Thailand’s foreign
exchange reserves are sufficient in case of an outflow of foreign funds.
Thailand is well-prepared in its risk management, he said and, if
necessary, the measures can be implemented.
Referring to Thailand’s readiness for the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community
(AEC), Mr Prasarn said executives of the national banks of ASEAN member
countries will jointly work out proposals for an ASEAN free monetary
system within this year.
The proposals will be submitted to a meeting of ASEAN national bank
governors next year to set the qualifications of financial institutes
wishing to do business in the region. (MCOT online news)
2012 investment promotion applications expected to hit record Bt800 billion
BANGKOK, Aug 24 - Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti
said Friday that he was certain investment promotion applications would
hit a record Bt800 billion, higher than this year's target of Bt630
His certainty came as a result of the fact that
investment promotion applications in the first seven months were already
valued at Bt570 billion, 61 per cent higher than the same period last
Mr Pongsvas said the reasons why there have been more applications this
year were because investors believe in Thailand, while the government's
infrastructure construction with a several hundred billion baht budget
helps drive the domestic economy.
Meanwhile, Thailand's Board of Investment (BoI) secretary-general
Atchaka Sibunruang said investors have continued applying for investment
promotion at BoI.
Currently, BoI is adjusting a new policy for investment promotion. It
will provide the highest benefit to provinces with low development
levels and low income per capita. Twenty provinces are the target of
this policy adjustment. Tax benefits will also be adjusted, Ms Atchaka
noted. (MCOT online news)
Finance Ministry not proposing changes in vehicle tax structure
BANGKOK, Aug 24 - Deputy Finance Minister Thanusak
Lek-uthai said the ministry will not yet propose vehicular tax structure
changes for Cabinet consideration linked to the quantity of carbon
dioxide (CO2) released by newly-produced vehicles.
Such a method of tax adjustment is intended to reduce
Mr Thanusak said that the auto industry has only just recovered from
last year's flood, and is installing new machinery in its production
lines, and the government recently launched its 'First Car' scheme to
boost sales and car ownership in the auto sector.
Changing the vehicular tax structure should not be done now, he said, as
it could require the auto industry to change its production lines, which
will be a burden for the sector.
In case of a structural change, the Excise Department has studied how to
collect motor vehicle excise tax in accordance with the quantity of
carbon dioxide released.
A 50 per cent tax collection applies to an engine higher than 3,000cc,
while a 30 per cent tax would be applied to vehicles with an engine
smaller than 3,000cc.
In that case, the tax collection structure for vehicles with the usage
of ethanol, gasohol (a gasoline and ethyl alcohol mix), and electric and
eco cars will be annulled. (MCOT online news)
Real estate business improves after last year's floods
BANGKOK, Aug 23 - Housing Business Association
chairman Isara Boonyang said the real estate business has expanded some
10-15 per cent after last year's floods, thanks to remedial measures
implemented by the government.
The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is offering Bt300 billion
in soft or low interest loans for those affected by floods, while the
government's 'first house' scheme provides home buyers with
interest-free loans for three years.
The expansion of so-called horizontal residential projects has been
overtaken by vertical housing, high rises or condominiums, for many
pieces of land have not been developed, he said.
The construction cost for a residence as well as real estate prices have
moved up about 5 per cent as a result of higher prices of land and the
minimum wage rise of Bt300.
Many housing projects have adjusted home planning designs to be able to
cope with future floods, he noted, such as dyke construction.
Mr Isara believes Thailand will not face a flood crisis this year, for
he thinks the government has measures to deal with such situations
despite its as yet unclear water management plan.
Chairman Kitti Pattanapongpiboon of the Housing Finance Association said
the overall amount asked for in applications for loans in the second
quarter reached Bt270 billion, which was an improvement. The whole-year
figure is expected to reach Bt300 billion.
The Housing Finance Association and Home Buyers' Guide Company have
joined together to sponsor a 'Home Buyers' Expo 2012, NPA Grand Sale
2012, and Home Loan 2012' to boost the housing market at Queen Sirikit
National Convention Center from today through Sunday with special
conditions offered to potential buyers.
Around 80,000 visitors are expected to join the four-day event. (MCOT
Industry Minister worried over readiness of Thai logistics sector ahead of AEC
BANGKOK, 24 August 2012 (NNT) – The Industry Minister
has expressed concerns over the readiness of the country’s logistics
sector before the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in
Industry Minister M.R. Phongsawat Svastiwat said during the seminar “AEC
and SMEs Challenges: Next steps (Phase 3) that the Industry Ministry has
been worried about the logistics industry because competition will be
fiercer once the AEC is active.
M.R. Phongsawat stated that the Thai logistics operators still lack
concrete service standards and he would like them to quickly improve the
speed of their operations for this cause.
Moreover, he urged related businesses to focus on cost management along
with the development of their organizations, employee effectiveness and
customer relations as well as to penetrate new markets in the region.
The Industry Minister also said that other service industries appear
strong enough to compete under the AEC. Among these industries is the
software service sector, which has registered a 50-percent growth in
2011 and is aiming for a minimum growth rate of 20 percent or 30 billion
baht in monetary value in 2012.
He is confident that, if improved, the logistics industry will add as
much as 400 billion baht in revenue for the country, or about 3 percent
of the Thai GDP.
Foreign Ministry to push for the opening of more northern border trade areas with Myanmar
BANGKOK, 24 August 2012 (NNT) – The Foreign Ministry
is poised to push for the opening of more Thai-Myanmar border trade
areas in Chiang Mai Province.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul revealed on Thursday that he
is planning to hold talks, on Friday, with national security-related
agencies to discuss the opening of the Pang Tong and the San Ton Doo
checkpoints in Chiang Mai Province.
Mr. Surapong said that the opening of the new border checkpoints is
intended to help boost border trades, given the San Ton Doo checkpoint
was once an active trade area between Thais and Myanmar nationals until
its closure in 1995, due to national security reasons.
However, citing opinions from locals, the Foreign Minister is confident
that the reopening of the checkpoint will not have significant impact on
the security affairs in the area.
Home Buyers’ Expo 2012 held at Queen Sirikit Center
BANGKOK, 24 August 2012 (NNT) - Three grand-scale
in-one housing exhibitions are being held at Queen Sirikit National
Convention Center from August 23-26.
The Housing Finance Association, in conjunction with Home Buyers’ Guide
Co., Ltd., is organizing the Home Buyers’ Expo 2012, Non Performing
Asset (NPA) Grand Sale 2012, and Home Loan 2012, at the Queen Sirikit
Convention Center from now on until this Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The organizers are expecting around 80,000 visitors at the event. The
Housing Finance Association has anticipated more housing loan requests
than last year’s, which saw 270 billion baht worth of total home loans.
It said the first-home tax deduction scheme helps stimulate home buying
and the purchasing power has increased throughout the year.
According to Housing Business Association President Issara Boonyang,
many prospective buyers hesitated to purchase a house earlier in the
year; however, the housing business is expected to grow in the fourth
quarter. He advised people to buy their houses this year before prices
of single homes and condominiums go up by 3-5% and 10% respectively next
year, as a result of the minimum wage hike and construction material
Democrat MPs want Govt to tackle falling rubber price
BANGKOK, 23 August 2012 (NNT) - The Opposition
Democrat Party has urged the government to come up with measures to
shore up the falling rubber price, which has dropped from 140 baht a
kilogram to just 76 baht a kilogram.
Democrat MP Chinnaworn Boonyakiat and 20 other MPs from the southern
provinces with rubber plantation on Thursday travelled to the Government
House to submit a letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, calling
on the government to urgently assist rubber growers affected by the
rubber price drop, which has caused damage to the planters to the tune
of 150 billion baht.
The Opposition MPs suggested that the government buy rubber from growers
at no less than 120 baht a kilogram.
Prime Minister Office Deputy Secretary General Dr. Prasit Chaiwirat was
on hand to accept the letter on behalf of the Premier, which upset the
Democrat MP, who said the Prime Minister was turning a blind eye to the
plight of the people and vowed to question the her in the House.66666
Kitiratt says Q2 economic figures reflect administration’s work
BANGKOK, 23 August 2012 (NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister
and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong has remarked that the economic
figures in the 2nd quarter are in line with the government’s work while
indicating the government's readiness to further stimulate domestic
Mr Kittiratt delivered a speech during a seminar on the government’s one
year in office and the future of the Thai economy on Thursday. He said
despite contraction in the export sector, the Thai economy could still
grow at 4.2% mainly due to a 5.3% expansion in household spending and an
11.8% growth in private investment. He disclosed that there was decent
growth in other sectors as well, resulting from the government’s policy
to reshape the Thai economy without depending on exports.
The deputy premier expressed his confidence that the export sector still
stood a chance at thriving in the latter half of the year. He said the
government was determined to make the economic growth exceed its
forecast of 5.5-6% through effective budget management and export
Mr Kittiratt said the government considered Thai exports’ continuous
growth, albeit shrinking, as a sign of sustainable economic development
and an opportunity for the private sector to expand. He affirmed that
the government would make sure that the public have high purchasing
power, which would eventually result in higher growth of the overall
Thai massage industry expected to blossom in AEC
BANGKOK, 23 August 2012 – The Ministry of Public
Health has reported that the Thai massage industry last year generated
up to 30 billion baht of income for the country and it is expected to
expand further when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is opened.
Minister of Public Health Wittaya Buranasiri recently held a press
conference on the 9th National Herb Expo, which will be held from
September 5-9 with an aim to support the Thai massage industry. During
the conference, he stated that related authorities are now campaigning
for people to get a Thai massage when they experience body aches,
instead of taking analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs.
He also disclosed a financial overview of the Thai massage industry,
which showed that as much as 20-30 billion baht was generated for the
country last year. It has also been discovered that nearly 2,000 people
are working in this field.
Mr. Wittaya said the Ministry of Public Health is aiming to make
Thailand the world’s ultimate destination for massage, with plans to
improve the quality of the workers, offer more massage classes to the
public and set up a massage center in every hospital.
With the AEC to be established in three years’ time, the minister
expressed confidence that the Thai massage industry will flourish and
bring in even more income for Thailand.
Gov't passes economic performance test: FTI chairman
BANGKOK, Aug 22 - Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)
Chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol said today that the Pheu Thai party-led
government has passed the test on its economic performance for the first
year of its administration.
The government’s evaluation was judged by criteria
such as its response to last year's flood crisis and the world economic
The FTI chairman said the government has been working with and trying to
fix problems as identified by the private sector, while the prime
minister and her Cabinet are determined to conduct the affairs of the
country, partly thanks to the Pheu Thai MP majority in Parliament which
decided quickly on varied matters.
Problems with neighbouring countries have also been reduced, for the
government has good relations with Thailand's neighbours, he added.
Regarding export challenges, Mr Payungsak advised that the government
not give priority only to the country's top-ten listed exports, as the
remainder of the merchandise for export still counts for 50 per cent of
Thailand's export value each year.
Thailand teams, with several agencies working together abroad, were
advised to find new markets for more export channels for Thai
entrepreneurs. The private sector must also adjust to become more
competitive, proactively offering, for instance, that Thailand
manufacturers produce new product lines for clients, and not only
waiting for orders.
In regard to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)
lowering Thailand's export target to 7.3 per cent from 15.1 per cent due
to the global economic slowdown, the FTI chairman said performance must
be monitored in the third quarter in order to project the fourth quarter
figure, and then overall Thai exports this year can be estimated. (MCOT
PM asks economic ministers for urgent remedies to support exportss
BANGKOK, Aug 22 – Thailand’s export-concerned
government agencies and functionaries are under pressure from the prime
minister to produce tangible results for the currently declining sector.
Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Puangrach said today the prime
minister urgently asked the economic ministers' meeting for urgent
remedies for flagging exports. PM Yingluck also asked for new markets to
support Thai exports.
Exports provide Thailand's main revenue and drive the
economy, so the government will provide tax exemptions to help the
private sector by reducing import tariffs for raw materials in the food
and jewellery sectors, value added taxes for uncut and imported
gemstones, and duties for imported auto parts.
Thailand's four main types of goods supporting exports are textiles and
garments, leather, jewellery, and food, with frozen chicken spotlighted
by the premier following the European Union green light to import Thai
chicken, and the impact on chicken from the eurozone debt crisis.
Mr Yanyong said potential new markets being considered include China,
India, and Russia.
For the past six months, most Thai entrepreneurs, already affected by
last year's flood, cannot produce in sufficient volume needed for
exports despite ready markets. The government must help support their
higher production capacity for both the domestic and international
The Commerce Ministry reported to the premier that the government must
speed up budget disbursement for further investments, which are
currently slow, to help drive the economy.
While this year’s export target was set at 15 per cent, Mr Yanyong said
the goal is too high and cannot be reached.
But he believes Thailand's exports will reach US$20 billion in
September. If exports continue to grow and reach US$22 billion in
October, growth could reach 9 per cent as previously targeted by Deputy
Minister/Finance Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong.
Meanwhile, Somkid Jatusripitak, former deputy prime minister/finance
minister said Wednesday in a speech on 'Building Thailand’s prosperity
in the next decade' that Thailand must maintain its domestic economy by
supporting consumption which depends less on exports, which will be
continously weaker in the next ten years due to the world economic
In the coming decades, Thailand must set a goal and an export direction,
he said, indicating which clusters of industrial goods will be driving
the country's economy along with creating new innovation and technology
in Thai products for better competitiveness. (MCOT online news))
Thailand wants regional body to boost rice value
BANGKOK, Aug 23 - Permanent Secretary for Commerce
Yanyong Puangrach said Thailand will join with four neighbouring
countries to set up a federation of rice traders with the objective of
pushing up regional rice prices.
Prior to the ASEAN Summit in October, commerce
ministers of five Indochina countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos,
Cambodia and Myanmar will discuss the establishment of a world rice
federation to keep a lookout for rice trading in the global market.
The five rice-growing countries currently sell 20 million tonnes of rice
overall -- two-thirds of the total global trading volume of 30 million
Mr Yanyong said he strongly believes that the rice federation will raise
the standard and value of rice in the ASEAN region. He was also
confident that free trading in ASEAN in the future will consequently
increase the sales volume and value of rice in the five countries.
Thailand remains the largest rice exporter in the ASEAN community,
followed by Vietnam.
In early August, the Thai government projected 2012 rice exports at
8.5-9 million tonnes while Vietnam set an export target at 6-7 million
tonnes annually until 2015. Vietnam’s annual export projection was close
to its recorded export of 7.2 million tonnes in 2011.
With huge export volumes from Thailand, India and Vietnam, rice prices
in Asia may decline compared to the highest value of US$1,000 per tonne
in 2008 when a food crisis affected many countries.
The permanent secretary of commerce said the government’s bidding of
about 700,000 tonnes of rice in the near future is aimed at helping
exporters while rice in government’s stock will be sold on a
government-to-government basis at cheaper prices.
China, Indonesia, Iraq and Iran are keen to buy rice from Thailand, he
added. (MCOT online news)
Energy Business Dept: Less than 1% of oil vendors sell substandard supply
BANGKOK, 23 August 2012 (NNT) – The Department of
Energy Business’s latest survey found that there is less than 1 percent
of oil vendors selling substandard supply.
Director-General of the Department of Energy Business Viraphol
Jirapraditakul said that the department’s latest inspection, conducted
during October 2011 and July 2012, on oil quality sold across Thailand
by 6,275 vendors found that only 44 of them, or 0.70 percent, sold
Mr. Viraphol said that the inspection found 29 samples of substandard
benzene, which was mixed with gasohol in both northern and northeastern
regions. It also found 19 samples of substandard diesel, believed to be
smuggled, mostly, into the country’s southern part.
He stated that the Department of Energy Business has filed legal actions
against all unscrupulous vendors.
Mr. Viraphol added that consumers should only buy fuel from vendors,
which have passed the department’s inspection and could display a
verification sticker at their fuel dispensers.
Commerce Ministry: 5 global rice traders to push price up by 10%
BANGKOK, 23 August 2012 (NNT) – The Thai Commerce
Ministry has claimed that the world’s leading rice trading countries are
poised to collaborate in pushing the price up by 10 percent.
Permanent Secretary to Commerce Yanyong Phuangrach revealed on Wednesday
that that the commerce ministers from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia,
Myanmar and Laos will hold a meeting during the months of October and
November to discuss ASEAN’s rice trading system.
All are known as leading rice-exporting nations, with the combined
annual export supply of 20 million tons from the world’s total rice
exports of 30 million tons.
Mr. Yanyong said that, at the meeting, Thailand will continue to play
the role of the price leader and to raise the issue of ASEAN Free Trade
Area for rice, which is set to be designated along the border areas.
He stated that the collaboration of the 5 countries will help boost the
price of rice in the global market by 10 percent each year.
The Permanent Secretary to Commerce cited a report by the US Agriculture
Department in suggesting that the world’s demand for rice in 2012 will
stand at around 467 million tons, slightly more than the total
production capacity of 465 million tons.
He said that Thailand should try to sell more rice during the remainder
of this year before the price goes down.
Thai petroleum committee awarded 2 new concessions
BANGKOK, 23 August 2012 (NNT) – Thailand’s Petroleum
Committee has approved to award 2 new concessions to energy companies,
in hopes of boosting the country’s wealth.
Permanent Secretary to Energy and Chair of the
Petroleum Committee Norkun Sitthiphong led a committee meeting for the
month of August to discuss Thailand’s petroleum exploration and
development in the past month.
At the meeting, the committee agreed to open 2 more petroleum fields
after the feasibility study stated that both new fields have the
potential for further development.
The first is the Dong Mun field of Apico (Korat) Company Limited, which
covers the area of 31.91 square kilometers, with expected gas reserve of
96 billion cubic feet. The field is scheduled to begin production in
2015 and is anticipated to produce about 14 million cubic feet of
natural gas per day.
The second field is the 118.1-square-kilometer West Pakarang field of
Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production Limited, which is expected
to have the gas reserve of 100 billion cubic feet and the crude reserve
of 8.97 million barrels, with production to start in 2015 as well. If
things go as planned, the field is projected to pump the maximum amount
of 4,300 barrels of crude per day and 59 million cubic feet of natural
gas per day.
According to Mr. Norkun, Thailand’s crude product stands at 849,144
barrels per day, or 43 percent of domestic demand.
Govt expects OTOP Midyear sales to hit target of THB650mil
BANGKOK, 23 August 2012 (NNT) – The government is
confident that its OTOP extravaganza will hit its sales target.
Deputy Director-General of the Community Development
Department Pison Prathanchawano said on Wednesday that the OTOP Midyear
2012 event has been planned to help Thai OTOP producers and
entrepreneurs get ready for a liberal Southeast Asian community in the
Mr. Pison said that the event is also aiming to promote local products
and to encourage OTOP business operators to find more channels to make
their items meet buyers as well as to make Thailand’s local creations
widely-accepted on the world market.
He went on to say that more than 2,000 shops have been showcasing their
best products at the event, while various interesting activities related
to OTOP from all over the country have also been presented to visitors
until the end of the event on August 26th.
Mr. Pison said that, since the start of the event on August 18th, an
average of 100,000 visitors showed up each day at OTOP Midyear 2012 at
Challenger Hall 1-3, Muang Thong Thani, bringing in more than 300
million baht in revenue to date.
He is confident that total sales will exceed the 650-million-baht target
by the time the curtain falls on the OTOP Midyear 2012.
PM attends celebration of TCCI’s 36th anniversary
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra has attended the celebration of the Thai Chamber of
Commerce & Industry (TCCI)’s 36th anniversary and has given the letter
of appointment to the 18th TCCI President.
Prime Minister Yingluck participated in the event to mark the 36th
anniversary of the TCCI at Plaza Athenee Hotel. The event was joined by
over 300 TCCI members. Other important participants include Mr. Yong
Suksudprasert, Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce President, Mr. Zhang
Yiming, Charge d’Affaires of the People's Republic of China to Thailand,
and President of the TCCI Sadawut Taechaubol.
Ms Yingluck gave the letter of appointment to the 18th TCCI President
and also gave credentials of appointment to 23 TCCI Vice-Presidents. She
congratulated them on the anniversary and expressed her wish for the
continued good relations between Thailand and China. The PM also had
lunch with the participants in the event.
Economic experts: Infrastructure development key in expanding economy
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) - On the occasion of
the Commerce Ministry’s 92nd Anniversary, 3 special speakers were
invited to deliver a speech about the current economic downturn and to
predict the future economic situation.
In their speech on “Global Trade Change: How can
Thailand step forward?”, Supachai Panitchpakdi, head of the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), said the global
economy will face a serious downturn next year and he expects the global
economic growth next year to be lower than 2.5 per cent. The reason
being that the the problems in the US economy and the financial problems
in Europe would lower the possibility of global economic expansion.
He added that Thailand needs to prepare for a much more competitive
market, therefore, he suggests the government to hold talks with its
trading partners, particularly the Asean countries to minimize the
effect of the non-tariff barriers impact and also to find a common
ground in creating a stronger regional community.
Meanwhile, National Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future
Development chairman Virabongsa Ramangkura, said that problems
concerning the eurozone debt crisis and economic downturn are still
on-going, the Thai government should focus on developing the
infrastructure of the country such as looking into the connection of the
deep sea ports. The connections are between the Laem Chabang and Map Ta
Phut deep seaports on the Eastern Seaboard and the Dawei deep seaport in
Burma. If this plan succeeds, it will definitely change the Thai
economy, even though it might take a few years.
As for his comment on the rising inflation, Mr. Virabongsa said, the
government should allow product prices to increase in line with the
market mechanism. He added that the correct way to settle the high cost
of living problem is to increase the people’s income; however, the
central bank disagrees with this idea and focuses more on keeping the
inflation level suitable for boosting the economy.
Moreover, Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman of the Charoen Pokphand Group
agreed with Mr Virabongse about infrastructure development. Mr. Dhanin
warned that next year's economy will be worse than this year's, the
country now has a very high reserve level and should speedily spend the
money for developing infrastructure in order to facilitate trade and
investment growth for both the government and private sectors. The
spending should be spent on areas such as port development,
transportation, logistics, dual-track railways and irrigation, he added.
Mr. Dhanin also said that he personally believes that the rice pledging
scheme is better than the income guarantee of the previous government,
as it has helped to increase the farmers’ incomes. He added that,
Thailand’s future rice rival is not Vietnam or Cambodia but will be
BoT affirms current monetary policy suits Thai economic expansion
BANGKOK, 22 August 2012 (NNT) – The central bank
chief has assured that the bank’s current monetary policy is suitable
for the country’s economic growth momentum.
Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said on Tuesday
that the BoT is confident in its monetary policy, which entails a
flexible inflation target, as an appropriate move to go along
withThailand’s economic growth momentum.
Mr. Prasarn added that the current policy is also supporting domestic
consumption and the expansion of local loans.
He stated that Thai interest rate has been relatively low, when compared
with the country’s inflation.
The BoT chief went on to say that the present monetary policy is
effective in stabilizing and supporting the economic growth, as seen
from the continued rise in private loans granted by commercial banks in
spite of inflationary pressure from some domestic factors.
Mr. Prasarn conceded, anyhow, that the BoT is to keep monitoring
overseas inflationary pressure on the country for some more time.
Govt raises alcohol and tobacco taxes
BANGKOK, 22 August 2012 (NNT) - The Excise Department
revealed that the Cabinet has agreed to raise taxes on alcohol and
tobacco. As a result, the Excise Department expected to see an increase
in its revenue by 10 billion baht each year.
The Cabinet has given the approval to the request of
the Finance Ministry to increase taxes on alcohol and tobacco, effective
since yesterday. As a result, taxes of 8 brands of tobaccos have been
raised by 6-8 baht per pack. Tax rates for blended liquor have been
adjusted up to 120 baht per litre, imported whisky is taxed at 400 baht
Excise Department Director-General Benja Louichareon stated that the
adjustment will result in an increased revenue collection by 10 billion
baht per year.
Meanwhile, Mr. Thaksaphon Thamarangsi, Director of the Center for
Alcohol Studies has praised the goventment over the decision to increase
taxes on alcohol and tobacco. He said it is the most productive tool to
reduce the problems caused by alcohol and tobacco. However, Mr.
Thaksapon added that the prices of alcoholic beverages in Thailand are
only half the price of those in foreign countries.
Kittiratt: GDP growth no less than expected
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister
and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong has indicated positive signs in
the Thai economy in the first half of the year while assuring that the
2012 GDP will grow by 7% as forecast.
Mr. Kittiratt said the Cabinet on Tuesday expressed no concern after the
National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) had cut the
export growth target this year from 15.1% to 7.3%. He explained that the
board saw that there were other factors apart from export that
influenced the country’s economic growth and also believed that export
in the 2nd half of the year would improve.
According to Mr. Kittiratt, the 2nd quarter GDP has managed to expand by
4.2% despite little growth in export during the first half of the year.
The deputy premier said the government still had four months before the
end of the year to make the economy grow beyond the forecast figure. He
was confident that the 2013 Appropriation Act would facilitate the
government’s work in increasing income for the people and that this
year’s GDP would grow by 7% as targeted now that domestic consumption
had started to improve.
BoT: 2012 GDP can achieve 5.5-6% growth
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) - The Bank of Thailand
(BoT) is confident this year’s GDP can expand by 5.5-6% while promising
to monitor inflation after the government decided to end its commodity
price control policy next month.
BoT Governor Prasarn Trairatworakul said on Tuesday that the central
bank would monitor commodity prices to see how they affect inflation
when commodity producers are allowed to raise the prices of their
products this September.
Although it had been reported that the 2nd quarter GDP grew only 4.2%,
Mr Prasarn said he was still certain that this year’s overall GDP would
record an expansion of around 5.5-6% as forecast earlier, mainly due to
the increase in domestic demand. He added that this growth rate would
not mean that interest would be on the rise as feared by the National
Economic and Social Development Board.
Cabinet extends diesel levy cut for another month
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – The Cabinet has
agreed to extend the diesel levy cut for one more month until September
According to Government Spokesperson Ms. Sansanee Nakpong, the cabinet
has agreed to extend the diesel levy cut, which is due to expire on
August 31, for another month.
The cut - from over 5 baht per litre to 0.0050 baht - has been in effect
for over a year. The policy aims to keep the retail diesel price below
30 baht per litre in the face the oil price rise.
Instant noodle brand considering raising price by one baht
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – The Department of
Internal Trade (DIT) has told an instant noodle producer to submit a
request for price adjustment to the department if it can no longer
shoulder the high production costs.
Thai President Foods, producer of Mama, earlier stated that it was
suffering from rising production costs. It is thus reviewing the costs
in order to determine whether it is necessary to raise the instant
noodle price by one baht per pack, from six baht to seven.
In response, DIT Director-General Vatchari Vimooktayon revealed that
although the price pegging scheme by the Commerce Ministry is effective
until September 30, any entrepreneurs feeling the need to increase their
prices can file a request to the department for permission to do so. She
said at the moment no requests have been received yet.
On the other hand, Ms Vatchari believed most instant noodle producers
can maintain their prices for now as the price of wheat flour, which is
the main ingredient, has not been raised much. In addition, she stated
that many of them might not want to increase their prices because, once
the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) takes effect in 2015, they will have
to compete with low-priced products from China and Vietnam.
Excise Dept: 10,000 new cars registered for first-car scheme each week
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – The Excise Department
has revealed that after the first-car tax rebate scheme was launched,
the number of new cars registered for the privilege has been on the
rise, reaching 10,000 units per week recently.
Excise Department Director-General Benja Louichareon announced that the
number of cars signed up for excise tax refunds under the government’s
first-car scheme has been rapidly increasing from 100 units per week at
the start of the scheme to 1,000 and eventually 10,000.
Ms Benja said currently up to 145,000 cars are already eligible for the
tax rebate totaling 10 billion baht in value. She believed that by the
end of the year, 500,000 cars will be under the scheme, with over 30
billion baht worth of taxes to be returned.
According to the Excise Department’s statistics, so far 80,000 passenger
cars, 32,000 trucks, and 31,600 double cabs have been entered into the
first-car scheme. The Excise Department is planning to request a
7-billion-baht budget from the 2013 fiscal year to repay the taxes. If
the amount does not suffice, the department will ask the government to
spare the remainder from its central budget.
PM presides over OTOP Midyear 2012 to boost Thai products in ASEAN market
NONTHABURI, 20 August 2012 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
presided over the opening ceremony of OTOP Midyear 2012 at
IMPACT arena, Muang Thong Thani on Monday, showing the
government support for local SMEs.
According to the Premier, the government is focusing on the
development of OTOP products to enable them to compete in the
ASEAN market and aiming to raise the nation's product quality
making it on a par with its international competitors'.
The government will make use of the operating plan of the
'Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand', a
centre initiated by HM Queen Sirikit, as its paradigm, she said.
The Prime Minister also disclosed a plan to co-operate with
leading department stores in order to make the products
available to wider markets, as well as to urge Thai envoys to
seek new markets for the OTOP products in their host countries.
Over 3,000 SME's participated in the event where a number of
three- to five-star Otop products, which are popular among both
foreign and Thai consumers, were available at quite reasonable
Thai economy to grow 7-9% in second half of 2012
BANGKOK, Aug 21 – The Kasikorn Research Centre projected that
the Thai economy in the second half of this year will likely to
grow 7-9 per cent despite risks such as export slowdown,
inflation and a possible higher production cost.
In the second half of this year, the centre sees the Thai
economy expanding within a range of 7-9 per cent, compared to
last year’s low economic performances impacted by a devastating
The Thai economy has been driven by government spending but
exports are still at risk. Private sector spending may slow down
after having sped up during the post-flood period in the first
half of this year.
Meanwhile, production cost and inflation may rise, so the centre
has retained its projection of Thai economic growth at 4.5-5.5
The centre saw the Thai economy growing only 2.2 per cent in the
first half of this year due to accelerating spending of the
government and private sectors and recovery of industrial
The industrial production in the first half of the year grew 4.2
per cent, compared to the same period last year, higher than the
0.4 per cent growth registered in the first quarter.
The growth helped offset negative impacts on exports from the
global economic slowdown. (MCOT online news)
Rubber growers demand help on falling rubber prices
SONGKHLA, Aug 20 – Thailand’s rubber growers network from 14
southern provinces converged on Songkhla provincial hall on
Monday afternoon to press the government for help to shore up
falling natural rubber prices.
Police were deployed to ensure law and order around the
provincial hall while the growers gathered to demand government
intervention on falling rubber prices.
Growers said they have asked for government help many times
since January but until now there has been no progress.
They said the raw rubber sheet price has fallen to Bt70 per
kilogramme, and they wanted to see the price stay at Bt120 per
The network used a truck with loud speakers as their makeshift
stage to attack government measures to resolve the price
They planned to submit a letter to Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra asking her to issue meaningful actions to help the
growers and remove those who have caused the problem.
Meanwhile, in Ranong, some 100 rubber growers gathered at the
Office of the Rubber Replanting Aid Fund (ORRAF) to demand its
urgent coordination with agencies concerned to deal with the
falling rubber price problem.
The group threatened to carry their protest to Bangkok to demand
the government shore up the rubber price to at least Bt120 per
kilogramme. (MCOT online news)
Amata Corporation to develop Dawei industrial estate in Myanmar
BANGKOK, Aug 20 - Thailand's leading developer and manager of
factory estates, the Amata Corporation, is negotiating with
partners to develop an industrial estate at a 200,000 rai-site
in Dawei, Myanmar.
Wiwat Kromadit, senior construction manager for AMATA
Corporation Plc said building can start within five years, as
the firm is talking with potential partners with expertise and
investment interest in industrial estate development from Japan
Mr Wiwat said if completed the industrial estate in Dawei would
be “the largest” of its kind in the world, because Myanmar is
resource-rich and the site is strategically located and the
industrial estate will enable heavy industries to operate around
Another major attraction for foreign companies keen to invest in
Dawei is the planned deep sea port, which once operational would
change the face of sea cargo routing in Asia, he said. (MCOT
Government has 15 days to resolve rubber price problem
SONGKHLA, Aug 21 - Rubber planters in Thailand’s southern
provinces on Monday set a 15-day deadline for the government to
resolve the declining price of rubber.
The planters earlier rallied at the Provincial Administration
Office in the southern province of Songkhla for several hours
and later dispersed after negotiating with Songkhla Governor
They demanded the government resolve the problem of decreasing
price of rubber and call off the Bt15 billion scheme to support
the price of rubber at Bt120 baht per kilo..
The governor immediately sent an urgent letter to the secretary
general of the prime minister's office seeking government
The rubber planters threatened to travel to Bangkok to air their
grievances if the government failed to take action.
Preecha Sukkasem, coordinator of the Southern Rubber Planters
Network, said the government-initiated scheme, costing Bt15
billion, has failed to shore up the price of rubber to the
projected 120 baht per kilo.
Worse than that, the scheme has benefited only 10 per cent of
rubber planters, he claimed, calling on the government to scrap
the scheme and find a new measure to solve the problem. (MCOT
NESDB urges Thailand to keep an eye on Chinese economy
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – The Strategic Committee for
Reconstruction and Future Development, National Economic and
Social Development Board (NESDB), has revealed that the European
economy will take some time before it recovers, and has urged
Thailand to keep an eye on China as it is trying to promote
domestic consumption in the country, which will bode well for
the Thai economy.
During the speech delivered on the 92nd anniversary of the
Commerce Ministry under the topic of “Economic Turning Point,
What Should Thailand Do?", Chairman of the Strategic Committee
for Reconstruction and Future Development Dr. Veerapong
Ramangkul said Thailand has to liberalize trades as the Thai
private sector’s production capacity exceeds domestic demand,
and Thailand’s commercial value accounts for 1 percent of the
world’s commercial trade value. This is to help cushion theThai
economy due to the fact that the USA and the European
Union,Thailand’s main trading partners, are facing an economic
Mr. Veerapong added that China will soon have to speedily
increase its domestic consumption and accelerate the government
spending in order to compensate for a slowdown in its exports.
China has the ability to trigger its economy, because it has
plenty of reserves and investment diversification in many
countries. This will have a positive impact on the Thai economy
as she will greatly benefit from trading with China, given
Thailand is considered a gateway to the ASEAN nations.
OAE: Thailand still has upper hand in FTAs on farm products
BANGKOK, 20 August 2012 (NNT) - The Office of Agricultural
Economics (OAE) has disclosed that Thailand this year still has
an edge over its dialogue partners in the free trade agreements
(FTAs) on agricultural products.
Mr. Apichart Jongsakul, Secretary-General of the OAE, said the
FTAs made with 7 countries concerning farm products have put
Thailand at an advantage and have yielded trade surplus for the
country during the first half of this year.
According to him, Thailand has earned 23 billion baht in surplus
from trading through the FTA with China, a 22% increase
year-on-year, and 9.1 billion baht from trading with South
Korea, an 11% rise. As much as 70 billion baht worth of surplus
has also been recorded from trading with Japan, 8% higher than
However, Thailand is running a trade deficit worth 6.5 billion
baht against India, 4.3 billion baht against New Zealand, 4.2
billion baht against Australia, and 584 million baht against
Mr. Apichart noted that the overall trade volumes of farm
products between Thailand and FTA partners have been fluctuating
due to both external and internal factors, such as the current
global economic climate, higher import values of raw materials
and declining export values of Thai rice and grains.
Thai-Cambodian border trade thriving
SURIN, 20 August 2012 (NNT) – The border trade between Thailand
and Cambodia from January to April this year is worth over 26
billion baht, which is an increase of 25.5 percent year-on-year.
According to Mr. Sittiporn Bangkaew, Director of the Surin
Provincial Office of Commercial Affairs, Surin province shares a
border of over 120 kilometers with Cambodia at Buachet, Phanom
Dong Rak, Kap Choeng and Sangkha districts. He said ahead of the
formation of the ASEAN Community in 2015, the border trade in
the area has flourished, with approximately 900 million baht
being generated each year at the Chong Jom border checkpoint.
As for the overall situation of the Thai-Cambodian border trade,
about 70 billion baht was circulated along the border for the
whole year of 2011 while more than 26 billion baht has already
been seen from January-April this year, up 25.5 percent from the
same period last year. Thailand is recording a trade surplus of
around 20 billion baht.
Trades over the border have been continuously supported and
promoted by Surin province, Mr. Sittiporn said, which is also in
line with Thailand’s commercial policy aiming to strengthen
bilateral trade relations with its neighbors and other nations
in the ASEAN region.
Mr. Sittiporn said in addition that trade, tourism and
investment conferences have also been set up in Cambodia in a
bid to raise understanding among stakeholders and reduce
business barriers between the two countries.
Govt generates more income this year than last fiscal year
BANGKOK, 20 August 2012 (NNT) – According to the Finance
Ministry, state agencies have generated altogether 1.57 trillion
baht of income in the first 10 months of the 2012 fiscal policy
year, a 77 billion baht increase year-on-year.
Director-General of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Somchai
Sajjapongse has announced that the government financial status
in the first 10 months of the 2012 fiscal policy year, which
started from October 2011, remains strong. He said the
government has collected 1.57 trillion baht in revenues, which
is 77 billion baht more than what it did in the first 10 months
of the previous year.
At the same time, the government has 1.9 trillion baht in
expenses, which is a 67-billion baht or 3.7% increase
year-on-year. Mr Somchai reported the government is running a
340 billion baht budget deficit. Plus or minus other loans and
spendings, which were excluded from the regular budget, the
Finance Ministry has around 402 billion baht in treasury
reserves by the end of July.
The FPO Director-General said the government has enough cashflow
for regular expenses and to deal with economic fluctuations that
may occur in the future.
Commerce Minister reaffirms rice mortgage scheme a success
BANGKOK, Aug 18 – Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom
reaffirmed that the government is still pressing ahead with the
rice mortgage scheme because of its success in shoring up rice
Under this controversial scheme, the government fixes the price
of paddy to be mortgaged at Bt15,000 per ton and jasmine rice at
Bt20,000 per ton.
Mr Boonsong said with the scheme in force since late last year,
market price for paddy during January to August averaged at
Bt11,000 per ton, in comparison with the price range of
Bt7,000-8,000 per ton under the “price guarantee scheme”
implemented by the previous government.
He said the government tasked the Ministry of Agriculture and
Cooperatives to identify measures to help farmers reduce
production costs per acreage because the “price guarantee
scheme” is not needed if that problem is solved.
Until now the government has received 16.9 million tons of paddy
pledged, and spent Bt260 billion to date under the scheme. The
budget for this scheme was partially funded by the Bank of
Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) and the
government, which lent to BAAC, so that BAAC to extend credit to
farmers, said the Minister.
Regarding the paddy in stock, Mr Boonsong said once processed
the stock would be equivalent to 10 million tons of rice. The
government has been making efforts to sell the stock, either
through government-to-government agreements or open bidding to
Regarding criticism that the government risked wasting Bt260
billion in case it could not sell such massive stockpile, the
Commerce Minister said he is optimistic that the government will
manage to sell it off to earn cash to offset the cost of
operating the scheme.
On criticism that the scheme might be abused by importers of
cheaper foreign rice to mortgage, Mr Boonsong denied such
criticism. He conceded that there might be small-scale
cross-border smuggling operations of rice but affirmed that any
significant import for this purpose was highly unlikely.
Amid criticisms of corruption, Mr Boonsong said the next round
of rice mortgage scheme to start from October 1 will introduce
measures such as deploying officers and farmers’ representatives
to monitor inputs into rice mills participating in the scheme.
Such details, among others, are expected to be approved by the
cabinet in early September.
The Commerce Minister said he believed that Thailand will remain
the world’s number one rice exporter this year, with overall
export volume projected at 8 million tons. (MCOT online news)
THAI eyes 10% revenue increase per year
BANGKOK, Aug 18 – Thai Airways International (THAI) set a target
of 10% revenue increase per year over the next three years
(2013-2015) with a new fleet in service later this year,
according to the airline’s Executive Vice President for Strategy
and Business Development Department Chokchai Panyayong.
Mr Chokchai currently serves as Acting President of THAI.
Speaking after a Board of Directors’ meeting, Mr Chokchai said
THAI aims to earn Bt200 billion in revenue this year, with an
annual average of 75% in passenger load factor.
Operating results for the first half of this year revealed
revenue to be 3% below target due to impact from the floods last
However, the Board believes that earnings will pick up based on
the projected strength of third and fourth quarters of the year,
thanks to increased passenger loads and lower fuel cost as a
result of the company’s fuel management policy.
Revenue and profit were robust in June and July this year. In
July 2012 for instance, passengers’ cabin factor increased to
79.8%, compared to 77.2% in July 2011. This would make THAI
strong enough to expand its flight route to Abu Dhabi later this
THAI set a target of 10% revenue increase over the coming years,
or combined revenue growth of 30% to 2018, to reflect an
increase of annual “Available Seat-Kilometer” rate from 79
billion to 83 billion seats. This will be achieved when the new
fleet of Airbus A-380 is put in service by end of this year. The
Airbus A-380 can accommodate up to 507 seats per flight and THAI
plans to put it into service for popular destinations such as
Hong Kong and Singapore. (MCOT online news)
Surin works to increase household incomes
SURIN, 19 August 2012 (INN) - The province of Surin
is quickly working to solve the problem of households earning
Mr. Pipop Damthongsuk, deputy governor of Surin, made known that in
2011, there were 1,605 households in Surin whose average income is lower
than 23,000 THB per person per year. The finding makes the province the
tenth poorest in the country.
In 2012, the province has appointed a working group comprising heads of
21 relevant government units to supervise the carrying out of a census
on basic needs of its people. The data gathered will be used in the
planning of solutions and ways to improve Surin citizens’ quality of
life. The working group is to inspect the accuracy and thoroughness of
the collected data, so that it will be effectively used to better the
Surin has also tasked various agencies to move quickly to promote
agriculture-related careers, so that agriculturists will earn higher
income sufficient to support their families. Citizens will be encouraged
to maintain vegetable gardens, to reduce household expenses as well.
Thailand's auto production hits record high
BANGKOK, Aug 17 - Thailand's auto production in July hit a
record high of 212,727 units, an increase of 44.48 per cent
year-on-year, according to Surapong Paisitpattanapong,
Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Automotive Industry Club
The country's auto production in the first seven months totalled
1.2 million units, an increase of 32.63 per cent from the
Auto sales in July hit a record high of 131, 646 units, an
increase of 80.6 per cent year-on-year. Sales in the first seven
months amounted to 738,189 units, an increase
of 46.2 per cent from the same period last year.
Exports in July hit a record high of 94,838 units, an increase
of 25 per cent year-on-year with export values of Bt46 billion,
an increase of 37 per cent year-on-year. Auto exports in the
first seven months of this year were recorded at 551,707 units,
up 15.73 per cent year-on-year with an export value of Bt263
billion, up 25.32 per cent year-on-year.
Thailand's auto production this year is expected to exceed the
target of 2.2 million units to 2.3 million units. (MCOT online
Hat Yai locals welcome inaugural flight by Firefly Airline
SONGKHLA, Aug 17 - The inaugural flight of Firefly Airline to
Hat Yai International Airport bringing 90 tourists from
Malaysia's Subang Airport in Subang, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur,
was warmly welcomed on Friday by Hat Yai residents.
deputy governor Surapol Panasampon led representatives from the
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Hat Yai office, and the
Tourists Business Federation of Songkhla, along with a Thai long
drum procession to welcome the travellers of Firefly's Flight
No. FY3614 to make a good first impression.
Jasmine garlands and small bags were also provided for them as
The Subang-Hat Yai route operates return trips four days a week
in the hope of boosting tourism in Songkhla province and
increase travellers there by at least 10 per cent.
Tiger Airways and Firefly Airline are two foreign carriers
providing services at Hat Yai International Airport for
Singapore-Hat Yai and Subang-Hat Yai routes, respectively. (MCOT
Don Mueang Airport ready to open for service on October 1
BANGKOK, 18 August 2012 (NNT) – The Transport Ministry has
affirmed that the Don Mueang Airport will be ready for full
commercial operation again at the beginning of October, as
Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said on Friday that 14
airlines and aviation-related agencies, including Airports of
Thailand PLC (AOT), Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd, the
Immigration Bureau, and the Customs Department, are ready to
move or expand their operations to Don Mueang Airport on October
1st, as planned.
Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan added that the
latest meetings of all concerned parties found there were as
many as 98 issues to resolve.
He said that, until Don Mueang Airport is officially reopened,
the AOT is responsible for the follow-up of all progresses in
solving every problem.
Commerce Ministry will convince EU to keep Thai products under GSP
BANGKOK, 17 August 2012 (NNT) - The Commerce Ministry is set to
enter negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European
Union in an attempt to maintain the Generalized System of
Preferences (GSP) privileges for Thai goods sent the European
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom disclosed that he has
instructed the Department of Trade Negotiations to plan talks
with the EU on the FTA deals for fears that many Thai products
would be excluded from the GSP system.
He explained the EU has revised its GSP criteria on import
products, which may cause Thailand to be left out in 2014. Mr.
Boonsong said the negotiation agenda is currently being drafted
and will be presented to the cabinet for consideration within
According to the Commerce Minister, top priority on the agenda
will be Thailand’s attempt to put Thai goods facing GSP cuts in
2014 to be entitled to an Early Harvest scheme which will
subject imports from Thailand to a zero percent tax. Tariffs
will be exempted completely once the free trade deal is made.