Commerce Ministry targets 15% export growth
BANGKOK, 18 February 2012 (NNT) – The government is set to push the
export growth this year to 15 percent in its latest bid to retrieve the
In the Saturday talk show, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom
disclosed that the export which slowed down during the first quarter due
to the flood crisis was showing signs of recovery. Related agencies will
be invited to evaluate the situation after the second quarter so as to
map out strategies to achieve the 15 percent economic growth target.
The Commerce Ministry has instructed the Export Promotion Department and
commercial counselors to Thai embassies worldwide to be more proactive
in promoting Thai exports and to explore overseas markets where Thailand
can import capital goods at lower prices.
At the same time, Thai operators will be urged to expand their business
to neighboring countries. The value of cross-border trade currently
totals THB900 billion and is expected to go over THB1 trillion this
In addition, the government will foster ties with neighboring countries
to prepare the country for its entry to the ASEAN Economic Community
(AEC) which is expected to help expand the country’s trade
Mr. Boonsong revealed that Thai exports to ASEAN nations and those
having FTA with Thailand represent 60 percent of the overall
international trade. The Commerce Minister explained that exports to the
U.S. and European countries which were once major customers have been
lowered because Thai operators have decided to cut down on their trade
to avoid risks in those markets.
The government is now planning to penetrate new markets in South Africa
and the Middle East where many countries still have not signed any trade
deal with Thailand.
Public Health Ministry to amend law on puffer fish meat sales
BANGKOK, 18 February 2012 (NNT) - The Public Health Ministry is poised
to make the sales of puffer fish meat legal in the near future.
Mr. Surawit Khonsomboon, Deputy Minister of Public Health, said that the
Health Ministry has been informed that fishermen in Samut Songkhram
Province have continually caught 100-150 tons of puffer fish as the
bycatch every day.
Sold at between THB70-300 a kilo, this bycatch can translate into a huge
amount of revenue for fishermen, Mr. Surawit said.
However, laws have forbidden the sales of puffer fish meat, due to the
poison the fish produce.
But, the Deputy Public Health Minister stated that the poison in puffer
fish is technically seasonal and found during certain times of the year
and the Department of Medical Sciences has successfully developed a test
kit that can be used outside the laboratory and takes only 20 minutes to
verify the presence of the poison.
Therefore, the Public Health Ministry is planning to discuss with
related agencies about the possible amendment of the law to allow the
puffer fish meat sale in the future, in order to turn this catch into
something that has economic value and benefit the fishing industry.
Myanmar to import 60,000-80,000 pickup trucks from Thailand each year
BANGKOK, 17 February 2012 (NNT) - Myanmar has
revealed its plan to make an annual import of at least 60,000 pickup
trucks from Thailand.
The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(UMFCCI) Secretary-General Hla Maung Shwe said on Thursday that 90% of
the cars in Myanmar are Japanese used cars imported from Japan, and
currently, there are around 380,000 cars running on the streets.
According to the UMFCCI Secretary-General, around 90% of these cars are
more than 5 years old now.
Maung Shwe disclosed the information of Myanmar's auto market during a
meeting between 40 Myanmarese civil servants and businessmen and
Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI) in Bangkok.
He has noted that the visit to Thailand this time is the first of its
kind and aims at studying the possibility of a plan to import 1-ton
pickup trucks from Thailand.
Considering Myanmar's expectedly-high demand for automobile and its
current situation, Maung Shwe has requested that the BOI make a
suggestion on the planned annual import of 60,000-80,000 pickup trucks.
At present, Thailand is Myanmar's second-largest source of goods next to
China, with an annual gross import value of US$800 million.
Meanwhile, BOI Deputy Secretary-General Chokedee Kaewsang said that his
meeting with visiting Myanmarese entrepreneurs and Thai auto-part makers
has reached a preliminary estimate that Thailand should be looking at an
opportunity to export around THB1.8 billion worth of parts to Myanmar.
Singaporean businesspeople hold trade talks with Thai counterparts in Chiang Mai
BANGKOK, 17 February 2012 (NNT) - The Thai export
promotion agency has organized a meeting between entrepreneurs in Chiang
Mai and their counterparts from Singapore, ahead of an international
exhibition in the City State later this year.
The Department of Export Promotion's Thai Trade Center has recently led
representatives from 20 Singapore-based companies to meet producers in
The Singaporean delegation comprises trade representatives, members of
the Gift Association (Singapore), and purchasing teams from ISETAN
Department Store in Singapore.
Ms. Bunika Jamsai, Minister-Counsellor on Commerce at the Bureau of
Trade and Investment Cooperation of the Thai embassy in Singapore, said
that the annual cross-border trade value between Thailand and Singapore
stands at US$25 billion and the figures tend to rise further each year.
According to Ms. Bunika, Thailand's major export items are electronic
parts, electrical appliances, engines, food, vegetables, fruit, and Thai
Hom Mali (Jasmine) rice.
She added that Singapore's rice import from Thailand accounts for 80% of
the country's total rice import.
Many products from Chiang Mai such as ceramics and home decorative items
have proved popular in Singapore due to their uniqueness and artistic
beauty . Longan and tea are another two products Singaporean consumers
buy from this northern capital of Thailand.
The meeting between Singapore's clients and Thailand's vendors also
focused on the selection of products that will be put on display at the
Thai product promotion and PR booth at ISETAN Department Store in
Singapore, during June 5-14.
BoT unfazed by heavy capital inflow & impact on baht
BANGKOK, 17 February 2012 (NNT) - The central bank is
not worried about reports of continued capital inflow into Thailand,
which some fear will cause fluctuation to the value of the baht.
Mr. Prasarn Trairatvorakul, Governor of the Bank of Thailand, conceded
that there has been more foreign capital flowing into the country in
recent days, as reflected in significant gains in the Thai stock market
and bond market.
However, Mr. Prasarn is not worried about the continued capital inflow
and stated that such an issue has not had any serious impact on the baht
He stated that, with the Thai economy still in the post-flood recovery
stage, it is understandable that the private sector will be needing more
foreign currencies for the imports of machinery and equipment to replace
those damaged by last year's inundation.
Mr. Prasarn added that the inflow of capital fund is also acceptable
because the export sector has yet to fully return to normal, the
scenario that has also led to Thailand's trade deficit in recent months.
BoT offers soft loans to financial institutions to help flood victims
BANGKOK, 17 February 2012 (NNT) - The Bank of
Thailand is offering low-interest loans or soft loans to financial
institutions in order for them to provide loans to flood-affected
BoT Assistant Governor Pongpen Ruengvirayudh revealed that the BoT has
begun offering the soft loans on Friday, with a budget of 300 billion
baht. The loans will carry 0.01% interest for commercial banks, both in
and outside of the country, and six state-owned financial enterprises.
The BoT expects to allocate the budget to those financial institutions
within two weeks. The financial institutions will then offer the money
as loans for flood rehabilitation.
Qualified loan seekers are SMEs and individuals whose houses or
workplaces were in the flooded areas. They have to directly be affected
by the flood. The maximum loan amount for each SME is 30 million baht
and 1 million baht for individuals, carrying an interest rate of not
more than 3% per year.
Vietnam one of top 10 best destinations for 2012
Hanoi , Feb. 9 (VNA) – The world’s renowned travel
guide, the Lonely Planet, has rated Vietnam ’ Mekong Delta region ninth
out of the 10 best value destinations for 2012. “Vietnam’s rice basket,
the Mekong Delta is a watery landscape of green fields and sleepy
villages, everywhere crisscrossed by the brown canals and rivulets fed
by the mighty Mekong River ,” the Lonely Planet said in its website. The
inhabitants of this region – friendly and easygoing people – have long
toiled on the life-sustaining river, with the fruits of their labour
depending on natures cycles that govern the waterways. The delta, which
produces enough rice to supply the domestic market and a sizable
surplus, was formed by sediment deposited by the Mekong River over many
years. The process continues today, with silt deposits extending the
shoreline by as much as 80m per year. The river is so large that it has
two daily tides. Lush with rice paddies and fish farms, this delta also
nourishes the cultivation of sugarcane, fruit, coconuts and shrimp.
Although the area is primarily rural, it is one of the most densely
populated regions in Vietnam and nearly every hectare is intensively
farmed. “The uniquely southern charm with its welcoming introduction to
life along the river is the real draw, and visitors can explore quaint
riverside towns, sample fruits bartered in the colourful floating
markets or dine on home-cooked delicacies before overnighting as a
homestay guest,” it said. Other highlights include visits to local
orchards, flower markets and fish farms. There are also bird
sanctuaries, beach getaways and impressive Khmer pagodas in the region.
In addition to highlighting the Mekong Delta as one of the tope ten best
destinations, the travel guide also said that Vietnam is always a good
value destination for tourists. The nine other top destinations include
the northeast of the US , San Francisco , Japan , Tajikistan , Porto in
Portugal , Lesotho in southern Africa, Iquitos in Peru , Ohrid in
Macedonia and Merida , Mexico . Earlier, the US Tourism Association
(USTOA) named Vietnam as top destination for 2012./.
EU diplomat pledges to expand EU-VN ties
Hanoi (VNA) - The Head of the European Union
Delegation in Vietnam, Franz Jessen has stated he will make every
possible effort to broaden and strengthen ties between Vietnam and the
European bloc. At a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Feb. 14,
Jessen said many EU businesses operating in Vietnam see the country as a
market with huge potential. In 2011, the EU and Vietnam renewed their
cooperation agreement, which was first signed in 1995. 2011 was also a
fruitful year for bilateral economic cooperation as Vietnamese exports
to the EU reached 16.5 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 45
percent. According to the diplomat, the EU and the Vietnamese government
held a series of seminars on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at working
level and are now going to hold more at ministerial level. He said that
if a FTA is signed, both the EU and Vietnam’s economies will benefit and
relations between both parties will be significantly enhanced. Jessen
also advised Vietnam to improve its investment environment so the
country can attract more foreign investors, not only those from the
Thai auto production rises to 4-month high in January
BANGKOK, Feb 15 --- Thailand’s automobile production
in January significantly increased to 140,404 units, marking the highest
level in the past four months since the megaflood submerged a number of
provinces in October, according to the Federation of Thai Industries
FTI Automotive Industry Club spokesman Surapong
Paisitpattanapong announced on Wednesday that January’s figure was up
41.21 per cent from December but fell by 3.98 per cent year-on-year.
Last year’s devastating flood in the central provinces, where many
industrial estates are located, led to a shortage of parts to be
supplied to automobile assembly plants and slashed the country’s auto
The rise was due to to higher imports of auto parts from other countries
in January as plants in the country which were earlier hit by the
flooding, have not yet been able to resume operation.
Meanwhile, 64,022 car units were manufactured for export, or 45.6 per
cent of overall production, Mr Surapong said, explaining that the
percentage dropped by 18.98 per cent compared to the same period last
Domestic car sales in the first month of this year totalled 76,246
units, a 11.47 per cent increase year-on-year, resulting from higher
auto production for domestic sales which climbed to 76,382 units, up
from December last year.
Last month alone, automakers delivered 26,054 passenger cars and 47,377
one-tonne pick-up trucks to customers who had earlier reserved their
In a related development, the FTI projected that a number of automobiles
manufactured from February to April will grow to 465,266 units, up 12.95
per cent compared to the output in February to April 2011 when auto
production stood at 411,926 units.
Overall auto production this year is targeted at 2.1 million units, the
spokesman said. (MCOT online news)
Commerce Ministry opens 500 new Blue Flag food shops across Thailand
BANGKOK, 16 February 2012 (NNT) - The Commerce
Ministry has reintroduced the state-sponsored economically-priced food
products throughout the country.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said on Wednesday that the
ministry has just opened 500 new 'Blue Flag' food shops across the
The 'Blue Flag' campaign has been introduced to consumers as a
state-sponsored destination for cheap but quality products.
Mr. Boonsong said that the Commerce Ministry plans to open a total of
8,000 'Blue Flag' food shops within 1 month.
In order to achieve this goal, the ministry is collaborating with
suppliers and the Public Warehouse Organization in procuring
specially-priced materials for participating shops, such as rice, palm
oil and seasoning products.
At the 'Blue Flag' shops, a plate of meal must cost only THB25 or charge
the prices stated in the Commerce Ministry's announcement.
The minister went on to say that the latest inspection has shown no
fresh products that have been overpriced yet.
In addition, Mr. Boonsong added that he believes the Tuesday blasts in
Bangkok will not have any serious impact on the country's trade.
However, he has instructed all overseas trade missions to explain the
situation in the country to foreign businesspeople, in order to maintain
their confidence in Thailand.
BoT worries possible blacklisting of Thailand by FATF may affect financial industry significantly
BANGKOK, 16 February 2012 (NNT) - The central bank is
worried that an international anti-money laundering agency's possible
blacklisting of Thailand may hit the local financial industry
Mr. Krirk Vanikkul, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Thailand (BoT), has
confirmed that Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF)
has put the country on its Gray list, alongside other countries,
including China and Myanmar.
FATF is an inter-governmental body, which develops and promotes national
and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist
Being on the Gray list would not have a significant impact on the
country and its financial sector, according to Mr. Krirk.
However, earlier, there has been news about the FATF's plan to move
Thailand to the Black list.
According to Mr. Krirk, such a report has not been verified. However, he
is worried that if Thailand is moved to the Black list, the punishment
may be severe. The BoT Deputy Governor said that, to his knowledge, only
a few countries are now on this list.
He stated that the only agency which has the knowledge of the FATF move
on Thailand is the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO).
Industrial confidence in January highest in five months
BANGKOK, 16 February 2012 (NNT) - The Federation of
Thai Industries (FTI) has announced that the industrial confidence index
in January is at its highest in five months, after the flood crisis is
FTI Chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said the industrial sentiment in
January has improved to 99.6 from 93.7 in December. He explains that the
index has risen for two consecutive months, as several flood-affected
industries have resumed their operations.
Regionally, he said the central region has the lowest industrial
confidence, given it has been hit hardest by the flood, while the
confidence figures in the Northeast ranked highest because many crops
including para rubber have been in high demand since the crisis is over.
According to him, factors influencing the entrepreneurs’ confidence are
oil prices and domestic political situation, while their worries over
the global economic uncertainties have tapered off.
Mr. Payungsak added that most entrepreneurs wanted the government to
delay the 300-baht minimum wage increase, solve labor shortage in some
industries, and come up with a clear water management plan.
Automotive industry targets car production at 2.1 million units
BANGKOK, 16 February 2012 (NNT) – The Automotive
Industry Club (AIC), under the Federation of Thai Industries, has set
its this year's production target at 2.1 million units after flooded
assembly factories have begun to resume their operations.
AIC Spokesperson Surapong Paisitpatnapong revealed that the figure of
car production in January stood at 140,404, the highest in four months.
When the industrial sector was hit by the flood late last year, car
companies were obliged to import automotive parts from other foreign
countries to compensate for the flooded factories' lack of production.
With the current rate of production, the automotive industry believes
that this year's car production figure will be as high as 2.1 million
due to the continuously increasing demand, both domestically and
Initially, the AIC predicted a 2 million-unit production, but given the
speedy recovery of assembly factories combined with consumer demand for
cars, it is certain that the new target of 2.1 million units will be
achieved. However, this estimation excludes Honda, which is in the
process of recovery, and Suzuki, which has yet to forward its plans to
the AIC. Mr. Surapong claimed that if these two companies were taken
into account as well, the total production figure might even reach 2.3
million units, given Honda’s annual production capacity of 200,000 units
and Suzuki’s mid-year plan to launch a new line of eco-cars.
Car production in January saw a 3.98% decrease from the same period last
year, standing at 140,404 units. Meanwhile, January car sales figures
have increased by 11.47% to stand at 76,246 units.
Housing prices to increase mid-year
BANGKOK, 16 February 2012 (NNT) – President of the
Housing Business Association Issara Boonyoung has announced that house
prices will be adjusted upwards during the middle of the year thanks to
the higher cost of material and labor.
Mr. Issara revealed that during the transition period between the second
and the third quarter of 2012, prices of detached houses, town houses
and condominiums will see a gradual increase of 5-10%, as a result of
the rising costs of construction materials and labor. In addition, the
installment of a more efficient flood prevention system in new housing
projects also contributes to price hike.
Mr. Issara claimed that condominiums prices might be raised higher than
that of detached houses given that the construction of the latter
requires more material and workforce, leading to a higher initial cost.
However, despite an upward adjustment in prices, Mr. Issara speculates
that the sales figures of 2012 would be similar to that of the previous
PTTEP supports hornbill conservation research
BANGKOK, 15 February 2012 (NNT) - The country's top
oil and gas explorer pledges to provide more support to the conservation
research of a rare type of birds.
Mr. Anon Sirisaengtaksin, President and CEO of PTT Exploration and
Production Plc (PTTEP), said on Tuesday that the company has been giving
its support to a project of the Faculty of Science at Mahidol University
for some time.
The project focuses on the conservation research of hornbills in
Thailand's natural parks declared the World Heritage sites.
While such a research is intended to help boost the rare bird's
population, it is also hoped to help improve the ecological setting of
Thai forests too.
Mr. Anon said that, so far, the research has found useful information
about the hornbill population in the country and the status of the
“World Heritage” forests.
In order to enable researchers to achieve more results, PTTEP is
offering a sum of THB15.62 million to support the project. This amount
is the third provided by the company, to date.
The President of PTTEP noted that the company hopes its endeavor will
make the public become more aware about the value of the research and
bring about more cooperation to sustainably conserve Thailand's
invaluable natural resources.
Industry Minister visits industrial estate in Ayutthaya
PHRA NAKHON SI AYUTTHAYA, 15 February 2012 (NNT) –
The Industry Minister has ordered officials to speed up the
rehabilitation process of the Saha Rattana Nakorn Industrial Estate in
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province, after the works have been found to be
After visiting the Saha Rattana Nakorn industrial estate, Industry
Minister MR Pongsawat Sawasdivat expressed his worries over the slow
rehabilitation progress, especially the construction of floodwalls. He
says he will make sure that the construction will be finished before
August. Problems and findings from his visit will be presented to the
prime minister on Thursday.
Five industrial estates in Ayutthaya province damaged by the devastating
flood last year include Saha Rattana Nakorn, Rojana, Ban Wa, Bang Pa-In,
and Factory Land.
Japanese insurance companies to pay 5.7 billion US dollars for Thai flooding
BANGKOK, 15 February 2012 (NNT) - Three Japanese
insurance companies have assessed that they will have to pay 5.7 billion
US dollars to flood claims in Thailand.
The MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Tokyo Marine Holdings, and NKSJ
Insurance said that the compensation will be the third largest amount
they have to pay after the tsunami incident in March 2011 and the
typhoon incident in 1991.
As a result of the huge insurance claims, the MS&AD and NKSJ are each
expected to experience a loss of at least 1.3 billion dollars.
UTCC: 70% of SMEs not ready for AEC
BANGKOK, 15 February 2012 (NNT) – The University of
the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) revealed that over 70% of SME
entrepreneurs are not ready for the ASEAN Economic Community whereas
nearly 93% of large-scale businesses are.
UTCC’s International Trade Studies Centre Director Aat Pisawanich
disclosed the result of a survey on the readiness and comprehension of
Thai businesses towards the AEC. The survey, which was conducted on
1,000 entrepreneurs in the production and service sectors, indicated
that 73.3% of SME entrepreneurs are not yet prepared to compete in the
AEC while only 26.7% say they are. On the other hand, 92.6% of
large-scale businesses are ready for the upcoming competition, while
only 7.4% stated the opposite.
The survey found that businesses related to finance, tourism, food and
accommodations are ready for the AEC in terms of capital, personnel,
technology and management quality. Meanwhile, the agricultural sector is
partly prepared in the areas of produce quality, service,
retail-wholesale trade and logistics. In contrast, such sectors as
industry, construction, telecommunication, transport, education, health
and spa are not at all prepared for the regional economic integration.
When asked about their knowledge about the AEC, 87.7% of large
enterprises indicated that they understand the details of the AEC. The
ratio was an increase from the 24.7% in 2010. However, more than half of
SME entrepreneurs still lack knowledge about the AEC, especially the
Regarding the reason as to why they lack knowledge on the subject, 49.6%
pointed their fingers to the lack of information provided by relevant
authorities, followed by the difficulty of the information (13.5%) and
the ambiguity of the information (13.5%).
In addition, Mr. Aat stated that if no action were taken to educate SME
entrepreneurs, by 2015 Thai SMEs would be overtaken by ASEAN businesses
while only large-scale Thai businesses would remain in the ASEAN
BAAC: Debt moratorium to be extended
BANGKOK, 14 February 2012 (NNT) – The Bank for
Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has announced a
two-month extension to the debt moratorium programme, currently
participated by 300,000 farmers.
BAAC Executive Vice President Boonthai Kaewkhuntee has announced that
the expiry date of the debt moratorium for farmers, whose debt is under
500,000 baht each, has been postponed from 15 February to 15 April,
given that there are still up to 180,000 clients who have yet to join
the programme. Mr. Boonthai stated that the BAAC will work hard to
ensure that all farmers have access to the assistance measures provided
by the government.
Currently, 340,000 farmers have joined the debt moratorium programme,
with around 43 billion baht's worth of debts.
Meanwhile, a reconstruction and development project will be set up for
farmers participating in the debt moratorium. The two-year project,
which will take place from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2015, will be
carried out through a model community, based on self-sufficiency and New
Theory Agriculture, as well as the 3,500 knowledge centers soon to be
established. The BAAC has targeted that at least 70% of the debt
moratorium participants will join the reconstruction and development
Cabinet green-lights budget for floodwalls around industrial estates
BANGKOK, 14 February 2012 (NNT) – The Cabinet has
approved a 4.8 billion-baht budget for the construction of floodwalls
around industrial estates, which are scheduled to be finished by
Deputy Government Spokesperson Chalitrat Chandrubeksa has revealed that
the cabinet has acknowledged the Ministry of Industry's progress in
reviving the flood-damaged industrial sector. Currently, 328 out of 838
factories in the 7 affected industrial estates have resumed operation.
Meanwhile, 1,009 large-scale projects as well as small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) situated outside industrial estates have also
undergone full recovery.
Additionally, the cabinet has also acknowledged the Ministry’s project
to construct floodwalls around six industrial estates at the cost of 4.8
billion baht. The floodwalls are to be built around Rojana Industrial
Estate (77.6 km.), Bang Pa In Industrial Estate (11 km.), Navanakorn
Industrial estate (18 km.), Hi-tech Industrial Estate (13 km.),
Saharattana Nakorn Industrial Estate (13 km.) and Bang Kradi Industrial
Estate (8.4 km.). All construction projects are scheduled for completion
by September 2012.
Finance Ministry to collect fees from commercial banks at 0.47%
BANGKOK, 14 February 2012 (NNT) - The Finance
Minister has concluded that the government will collect fees from
commercial banks and Specialized Financial Institutions at the fixed
rate of 0.47%.
After discussing with the Bank of Thailand (BoT), the Public Debt
Management Office (PDMO), and representatives from the Thai Bankers’
Association, Finance Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong announced that all
sides agreed with the fixed fee rate collection at 0.47%. The new fee
collection will take effect from 31 July onwards.
According to the Minister, 0.01% fee collected will be put in deposit
insurance funds, while the rest, or 0.46%, will go to the BoT, for the
repayment of the 1.14 trillion baht national debt incurred during the
meltdown a decade ago.
Debt moratorium for 80% of participating farmers: Agriculture Bank
BANGKOK, Feb 13 - The Bank for Agriculture and
Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has extended a debt moratorium to
342,879 farmers or about 88.88 per cent of all eligible participants
with debts together totalling some Bt43 billion.
BAAC Assistant Manager Boonthai Kaewkhantee said the
number of farmers currently eligible to seek delayed payment for their
debts—a debt moratorium--amounts to 567,331 with total debts amounting
to some Bt70.6 billion.
To assist low-income farmers with debts less than Bt500,000, the
project, which began in Dec 2011, was extended to April 15 from the Feb
15 date set to end earlier.
Mr Boonthai said that there are still 181,545 bank customers who have
not yet applied to join the project or have not yet received assistance,
with debts amounting to more than Bt22 billion.
The bank will ask for more voluntary participants and will extend the
application period for the 2011 debt moratorium project in line with the
Regarding rehabilitation and occupational development for participating
farmers, the BAAC will do that through prototype communities adopting
the His Majesty the King’s self-sufficiency
economy philosophy and he monarch’s new theory agriculture and the
BAAC’s 3500 learning centres.
The development is aimed at helping farmers to depend upon themselves in
a sustainable manner based on the self-sufficiency economy model.
The bank targets to train at least 70 per cent of all participating
farmers with the budget of Bt1.1 billion in three years from April 1,
2012 to March 31, 2015. (MCOT online news)
World Bank advises Thai government on flood prevention
BANGKOK, Feb 13 - The World Bank has suggested flood
guidelines for Thailand for flood prevention and management as a method
of managing expanding cities and a growing population.
The guidance came in a form of a handbook on a 21st
century integrated approach to flood management in urban areas, which
applies also on flood risks and the long-term changing global weather.
World Bank Thailand's Environmental Specialist Waraporn Hirunwatsiri
said the number of floods in Asia accounted for 40 per cent of the
world's flood situations in the past three decades, while over 90 per
cent of the world's population has been affected by floods.
She said developing countries in the Asian region are transforming to
larger urban societies, where flood management is difficult and more
expensive, while the local economy is directly impacted. Opportunities
in education are limited as a long-term result, and diseases arriving
with the floodwaters could be obstacles to the local development goal.
The World Bank's report suggested that highly
effective and integrated measures for risk management of floods include
measures on infrastructure such as building flood sluice gates,
floodways, and allowing for green areas in the cities. They applied also
to having a flood-warning system, planning land usage to avoid flooding,
and creating a water retention area.
All public and private sectors and communities at local and national
levels are to be involved in the integrated measures, while the
government must have a prompt and absolute decision when dealing with
Other problems needing solutions for better sewerage
are garbage management in canals and ‘canal invasions’, Ms Waraporn
said, adding that online flood-warning systems will be effective in
distributing hydrographic and meteorology information to investors and
the general public.
She said she believed the Thai capital in the future will be ready to
manage flood situations efficiently, as the government is active on the
matter. Good flood management will be part of building confidence in
Thailand among foreigners, she noted. (MCOT online news)
January Consumer Confidence Index rises for 2nd consecutive month: UTCC
BANGKOK, Feb 9 – Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index
(CCI) edged up in January for the second consecutive month, according to
a survey by the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the
University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).
Khuntaweetep, an academic at the centre, announced on Thursday that the
CCI on the overall economy in January increased to 64 from 63.1 in the
previous month while the Consumer Confidence Indices on job
opportunities and future income rose to 65.4 and 93.1 from 64.2 and 92.1
respectively in December.
The growth in indices in all categories was due to the recovery from the
late 2011 flood crisis which had returned to normal as well as to the
government’s post-flood economic rehabilitation measures, which were
expected to drive the country’s overall economy in 2012 to expand by
4.5-5 per cent.
Meanwhile, Thanawat Ponwichai, centre’s director, added that risk
factors for the economy included lower confidence in political
situations, followed by consumers’ concern about the high cost of living
due to rising energy prices.
As the consumer confidence index in January did not rise significantly,
Mr Thanawat said, explaining it reflected the unstable economic
However, the overall Thai economy was projected to improve in the second
quarter or the second half of this year owing to the Bt300 daily minimum
The centre viewed that Thai economy this year is likely to grow 4.5-5
per cent. The 7-per cent growth targeted by the government is possible
thanks to the satisfactory growth of the global economy and exports.
If the government can implement good policies and manage energy policies
effectively, the economy in the second half of this year is likely to
grow 6-8 per cent.
Currently, the fund flow can be seen in the robust Thai stock market.
(MCOT online news)
Finance Ministry expects 2013 budget deficit to ease significantly
BANGKOK, 10 February 2012 (NNT) - The Finance
Minister is hopeful that the government budget in fiscal 2013 will see
smaller deficit, while predicting an economic growth of at least 8% for
Mr. Kittirat Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance,
said on Thursday that he and other state offices in charge of economy
agreed that the fiscal 2013 budget deficit will be smaller than in 2012.
Mr. Kittiratt made the prediction after his meeting with representatives
from the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and the
Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
He stated that a small deficit is likely due to an expected drop in tax
collection after the Revenue Department announced a reduction of
personal income tax from 23% to 20% in fiscal 2013.
The Finance Minister added that the growth of the 2013 GDP is forecast
at no less than 8%, a consensus from the Bank of Thailand, the FPO and
the NESDB. At the same time, next year's inflation rate is pegged at
When asked about the economic recovery in 2012, Mr. Kittiratt said that
the NESDB and the FPO both estimated that local economy will start
recovering at the end of the first quarter, or in the second quarter at
the latest. But the Bank of Thailand believes the pick-up should begin
only in the third quarter.
Amata prepares more lands for foreign investors
BANGKOK, 10 February 2012 (NNT) - The Amata
Corporation Public Company Limited has revealed that it is receiving
good signals from foreign investors who say they are interested in
moving their production base to Thailand.
According to Amata Corporation Managing Director Wiboon Kromdit, more
foreign investors, particularly Japanese automakers, are expected to
invest in Thai industrial estates in the first quarter of this year.
The Amata has this year set an investment budget of 2.5-3 billion baht;
of this 1.5-2 billion baht will go to land development. At present, the
corporation is developing 14,000 rai of land for foreign investment. Mr
Wiboon said nearly 3,000 rai are waiting to be transferred to investors.
He expects Amata’s land sale this year to top 10 billion baht, the
highest since the company was established.
2011 flood costs Don Mueang Airport Bt200-300 million revenue
BANGKOK, Feb 7 -- Don Mueang Airport lost Bt200-300
million (US$6.6-10 million) in revenue during the flood crisis last year
which forced the airport to halt its services, Don Mueang Airport
General Manager Group Captain Kanputt Mungklasiri said here on Tuesday.
Capt Kanputt, who is also Airports of Thailand (AoT)
Executive Vice President said flight operations at the airport ceased on
Oct 25 after its runways were flooded. The closure affected income by
Bt50-60 million monthly with an accumulated loss of Bt200-300 million
for four consecutive months.
He said the airport has expenditures of around Bt70 million per month
which AoT would shoulder.
Civil Aviation Department (CAD) Director-General Woradet Hanprasert said
last week that the CAD and AoT would jointly officially reopen Don
Mueang Airport on March 2 to show the facility’s readiness for
commercial use and that flights would begin on March 6.
As for the progress on commercial use of the airport, he said, the
Business Development Department is studying the plans and he believed
that if they are implemented, they could generate more revenue for the
Under the development plan, there are six activities for the airport
including maintenance centres for narrow-bodied aircraft, and for medium
and small aircraft, an international trade centre, a regional flight
simulation centre and a chartered flight terminal. (MCOT online news)
Consumer Confidence Index rises in January for 2nd consecutive month
BANGKOK, Feb 6 – Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index
(CCI) in January rose for the second consecutive month after the
situation returned to normal following the flood crisis last year, said
Yanyong Puangrach, Permanent Secretary for Commerce.
Today he announced the results of the CCI survey for
January, conducted among 3,024 people from all walks of life.
The survey found that all indices, including consumer confidence indices
on the current and future situation as well as index on future income,
rose for the second consecutive month in January, Mr Yanyong said.
The increasing indices were attributed to the rise in start-up salaries
for civil servants, the government’s rehabilitation measures for flood
victims and consumer spending during the Chinese New Year.
The Consumer Confidence Index in January stood at 24.2, higher than the
21.2 listed in the previous month. However, as the index is still lower
than 50, it indicates that the public are still concerned over the local
economy--in particular the cost of living, oil prices and the volatile
Meanwhile, those surveyed urged the government to control prices of
consumer goods and the cost of living to ensure that they are in line
with current income. They also wanted the government to speed up
tackling rising energy prices, unemployment problem and minimum wages.
Respondents also urged the government to build confidence among
investors, lay out systematic water management plans to prevent possible
massive flood this year and speed up the country’s post-flood
rehabilitation. (MCOT online news)
Commerce Ministry targets Thai exports to grow 15% this year
BANGKOK, Feb 7 – The Commerce Ministry has targeted
pushing Thai exports to grow 15 per cent this year while in the first
quarter they are projected to expand by 1-5 per cent.
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the
Department of Export Promotion (DEP) said that exports in the first
quarter are likely to shrink following last year’s flood crisis which
heavily impacted industrial estates and the manufacturing sector.
The senior official however said she was confident that Thai exports in
the first quarter will not be negative but will grow by 1-5 per cent
because many factories can resume production faster than earlier
Although many parties are still concerned that the European Union debt
crisis will affect Thai exports, Ms Nuntawan said she believed that
there is still high demand for Thai fashion products and food in the
Thailand still needs to maintain European and US markets despite slow
growth, while at the same time targeting emerging markets in Asia, Latin
America, Russia and Africa, Ms Nuntawan said.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and Deputy Commerce Minister Poom
Sarapol are scheduled to meet the heads of Thailand’s trade
representatives’ offices based overseas on Friday to assess Thailand’s
overall export outlook for this year and in each quarter.
The minister will give guidelines for key policy implementation and
review this year’s marketing strategies to push Thai exports to reach
targeted growth at least 15 per cent.
In addition, the director-general said the Department of Export
Promotion will gear up to promote small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs)
as there is still high demand for foods, beverages and handicrafts and
these SME businesses still have room to grow, in particular in ASEAN
markets. Exports of these products in three categories to the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations market were valued at more than
Bt240 billion in 2011.
The DEP will instruct the SMEs to expand their markets to serve the
integration of the ASEAN Community in 2015.
She conceded that some Thai exporters did not understand tariff
preferences under the ASEAN framework.
In fact, she said, they need to register their businesses with the
commerce ministry in order to exercise their rights under the agreement.
(MCOT online news)