Bangchak to import oil products to replace fire-related losses
BANGKOK, July 9 -- Bangchak Petroleum plans to import
100 million litres of oil products per month to substitute for product
losses from equipment damaged at its Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) No 3
that caught fire last week, according to Bangchak President Anusorn
Bangchak informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand on July 4 that the fire
started at a kerosene stripper at CDU No 3 in its refinery and oil
distribution centre in Bangkok’s Phra Khanong district, but the blaze
was brought under control in a short time.
Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti ordered the refinery to close for 30
days to allow a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire.
Mr Anusorn it was still unclear what caused the fire last Wednesday, and
is awaiting further examination by the insurance company. The
fire-damaged stripper will then be removed and replaced with a new one
in a process that would take around three months.
He said that CDU No 3 has a maximum crude processing capacity of 80,000
barrels per day so that the company will import oil products to absorb
its loss of product sales.
Bangchak will start importing oil products including gasoline, diesel
and aircraft fuel from Singapore this week, in a volume of 100 million
litres monthly, he said.
Although Bangchak must carry the burden of higher cost oil products, the
company's insurance has covered the damages, including the substitution
of imported oil, he said.
Mr Anusorn said that the Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation and
Amortization (EBIDA) would be reduced by Bt400-600 million or 6-7 per
cent from the target of Bt7 billion this year.
He apologised to the communities around the refinery which were affected
by the accident and said the company would take responsibility for all
Some 107 households have so far requested compensation, he said, adding
that most of the damages were broken glass windows and fallen ceiling.
Mr Anusorn pledged that Bangchak would improve their inspection
processes to ensure no similar accident occurs in the future. (MCOT
1,000 projects totalling Bt480 bln seek privileges from Jan-June 2012: Board of Investment
BANGKOK, July 9 - In the first half of 2012,
investors have sought incentives for 1,057 projects from the Board of
Investment with a combined investment value of Bt478.5 billion, an
increase of 97 per cent from Bt242 billion recorded last year.
Atchaka Sibunruang, Secretary-General of the Board of
Investment, said of industrial investment this year that it is likely to
continue growing and that the value of investment projects is expected
to surpass the target of Bt630 billion.
The growth resulted from investor confidence in the government’s water
management and flood prevention plan, she said.
The number of investment projects in the first half of this year rose 26
per cent to 1,057 from 836 projects last year.
Service and public utility industries recorded most projects of 277
seeking investment privileges with a total investment value of Bt116
billion, followed by 264 projects from the auto, machinery and metal
industry sectors with a cumulative investment value of Bt62.5 billion.
Meanwhile, the petrochemical, paper and plastic industries showed the
highest amount of investment value at Bt119.5 billion.
Among all 1,057 projects seeking BoI privileges in the first half of
this year, 83 projects with investment value of Bt35.7 billion submitted
applications for BoI investment promotion as flood-affected
entrepreneurs, while 22 projects with investment value of Bt13.6 billion
represented new investment in industrial zones, affected by last year’s
flood. (MCOT online news)
Measures on rice from neighboring countries to be enforced
BANGKOK, 9 July 2012 (NNT) –The Department of Foreign
Trade is to enforce measures aimed at preventing rice fromThailand’s
neighboring countries coming into the country.
According to Director-General of Foreign Trade
Department of Commerce Ministry Manus Soiploy, as Thailand will be
required by the agreement of ASEAN Free Trade Area or AFTA to reduce
tariffs and do away with import quotas on rice from neighboring
countries, the Department of Foreign Trade has come up with measures to
prevent those countries from dumping their rice into the country;
allowing rice to be imported only between the months of May to July and
August to October, during which local rice production and is usually
As for pro-active measures, since Thailand and Vietnam, the 2 major rice
producers in the world, which together export over 50 percent of rice to
global markets, have joined hands to establish the "Organization of Rice
Exporting Countries" or OREC in order to control and stabilize global
In addition, the Department of Foreign Trade has drawn up a rice market
strategy focusing more on export value than volume exported. The
strategy will be divided into 2 parts: Jasmine rice strategy and white
rice strategy. These two strategic plans will emphasize on creating
added-value , long-term marketing, production cost reduction, and
consumer group specification.
For further information, please log onto www.dft.go.th.
Export-Import BOT to assist entrepreneurs regarding European crisis
BANGKOK, 9 July 2012 (NNT) – Export-Import Bank of
Thailand, or EXIM Thailand, said it is prepared to support and assist
Thai entrepreneurs if the Euro-zone debt crisis affects their businesses
According to President of Export-Import Bank of
Thailand Kanit Sukonthaman, the EXIM is ready to support Thai exporters
who have been or might be affected by the European economic crisis.
Currently, the bank is ready to provide up to 100 billion baht to
enhance the import-export sector's liquidity, as well as another of 40
billion baht in terms of export credit guarantee.
The president added that the EXIM will take special care of SME
businesses by offering loans at the minimum interest rate of only 5
percent ; and for shipments to Europe, the bank will charge a premium
equivalent to 0.3-0.7 percent of the shipment value. There are
approximately 26,000 exporters in Thailand at present.
However, the bank has not received any request for assistance so far,
given the European crisis is not expected to affect the Thai exporters
in the short run, but if it drags on, the sector will definitly be
impacted directly or indirectly.
MOC to hold “Towards a More Stable Global Economic System” seminar
BANGKOK, 9 July 2012 (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry,
along with Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Monetary Fund
(IMF), will be holding a seminar under the topic of “Towards a More
Stable Global Economic System.”
According to Director of Fiscal Policy Research
Institute Foundation Kanit Sangsubhan, the Ministry of Commerce will
play host to a seminar of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) or “Thailand ADB-IMF conference; under
the topic of “Towards a More Stable Global Economic System” in order to
find a way to cope with the global economic downturn situation.
The seminar will be held on July 12 and will be joined by both leaders,
ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda and the IMF Chief Christine Lagarde. It
will be the first time that these 2 leaders have a chance to exchange
opinions and ideas regarding roles of Asian countries in the world
economy. In addition, experts from central banks all over the world will
partake in the seminar as well as those from the Commerce Ministry and
other important international organizations.
Three issues will be on the agenda,: 1) stability and growth of the
economy in general, 2) capital inflow and outflow management, and 3)
prevention and cooperation during the global economic crisis
SCG plans on spending 200 billion baht in ASEAN
BANGKOK, 9 July 2012 (NNT) – SCG is planning on
investing up to 200 billion baht in ASEAN countries within 5 years
Khun Kan Trakulhoon, President and CEO of Siam Cement Group (SCG), has
disclosed that the company plans to invest between 150 to 200 billion
bath in the next five years, from 2012-2016. The plan will increase the
proportion of the company's foreign investment from 20 % at present to
50%, focusing on investing mainly in the ASEAN member countries; the
rest will be invested in the country. He added that Asia has a promising
growth after becoming a single market or AEC, which bosts a population
of over 600 million people.
The investment will be in the forms of stocks and Merger and Acquisition
or M&A rather than Greenfield due to the fact that Greenfield has slower
Mr. Kan also added that the company has to be extremely careful in
implementing this plan due to the economic crisis in Europe. However,
the investment plan will be cautiously thought through, taking 3 main
businesses including petrochemical, cement and construction materials,
and paper into consideration.
Reportedly, SCG' assets in ASEAN are worth 1,800 million US dollars or
54 billion baht, accounting for 14 percent of the total assets worth 12
billion US dollars or 360 billion baht
He went on to say that Myanmar currently has a very high demand for
cement, and SCG is considering investing in a cement production plant
capable of producing 1.8-1.9 million tons per year in order to meet the
demand in Myanmar
Thailand to host 3rd SEOM this month
BANGKOK, 9 July 2012 (NNT) - Thailand will host the
3rd ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) later this month,
during which the attending delegates will discuss the imminent ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC) and other trade agreements.
Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations Srirat
Rastapana said on Monday that the 3rd SEOM would take place from 15-20
July 2012 in Chiang Rai province. The meeting will discuss progress of
the AEC based on a report by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN
and East Asia about the member states’ preparations for the integration.
Ms. Srirat said ASEAN wanted to expedite the establishment of the AEC by
reforming laws and regulations in the region, promoting equal economic
development, making Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for each group
of industrial products and self-accrediting product origins.
In addition, ASEAN will hold talks with the countries involved in its
free trade agreements, including China, South Korea, Japan, India,
Australia and New Zealand, during the SEOM this year. More agreements
with these countries will be discussed. The US and the EU as well as
organizations in the business sector will also participate in the
Thailand hosting 6th Ar-Rahnu Serantau Meeting in Pattani
PATTANI, 8 July 2012 (NNT) - One of Thailand's
southernmost border provinces is playing host to the 6th Ar-Rahnu
Serantau General Meeting, which is set to prepare all involved for the
arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
Justice Minister Pracha Promnog, on Saturday, chaired the official
opening of the 6th Ar-Rahnu Serantau General Meeting, a major gathering
of the Islamic credit facilities-related agencies within ASEAN, in
This year's meeting is set to prepare all related parties in ASEAN for
the realization of AEC, which will take place within less than 3 years.
Mr. Pracha said that Ar-Rahnu, or micro credit facilities, is a type of
business transactions assisting the public and low-income members, who
could be in need of short-term or emergency funds for their businesses.
He said that the goal of this service is to provide quick and
non-complicate financial service with low fees for the general public,
which complies with the teachings in the Koran.
The biennial meeting in Thailand sees the participation of
representatives from 6 ASEAN nations, including Malaysia, Indonesia,
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia and Timor Leste.
Labor Ministry to help match unemployed to jobs available
BANGKOK, 8 July 2012 (NNT) – The Labor Minister has
made known that the prime minister has urged the ministry to keep a
close watch on the Eurozone debt crisis, and to also match up unemployed
workers with available jobs. Workers are also to be trained before they
enter the labor market.
Mr. Padermchai Sasomsop, the Minister of Labor, spoke of the measures
set in motion to prepare for the layoff of workers in Thailand by
industries that have been hit by the European economic crisis. He stated
that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered the Labor Ministry
to gather data on unemployed workers and available jobs, so they can be
matched up. This pairing of jobs to workers will be in accordance with
the unemployed workers’ needs and abilities, as well as their desire to
work at certain occupations.
The Department of Employment will take on the responsibility of matching
jobs to employees. Furthermore, the Department of Skill Development will
help train unemployed workers to help them better fulfill employers’
Thailand to negotiate with EU on generalised system of preferences
BANGKOK, July 5 - Thailand's Trade Negotiations
Department has been assigned to speed up its negotiations with the
European Union (EU) on its new generalised system of preferences (GSP)
in order that some Thai merchandise items should still be listed under
such a system.
The EU's new tariff under the new GSP will take
effect in 18 months. Fifty-seven Thai items are likely to be dropped
from the new GSP.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said Thai delegation will travel
to Europe at the end of July in order to clarify to its delegates that
some of the Thai goods should still be maintained in the GSP list for
the Thai entrepreneur ability to compete.
Thailand's income per capita currently exceeds US$3,700/year, the amount
indicated by the EU for countries to receive its generalised system of
Regarding the ongoing H1N1 pandemic in China which might affect Thai
chicken exports to the EU, Mr Boonsong said he believed such goods will
not be impacted. Thailand's poultry farming is managed under a closed
system with controllable prevention, he said.
The European Union re-started importing Thai chicken from July 1 after
imposing a ban since 2004 due to the pandemic at that time in the
country. (MCOT online news)
Economic expert forecasts Thai GDP at 5-5.5% due to Eurozone crisis and Thai political conflicts
BANGKOK, 6 July 2012 (NNT) – A leading economic
expert has predicted that the fallout from the Eurozone debt crisis and
worries about local political conflicts may push the country’s GDP down
slightly this year.
Rangsit University’s Economics Faculty Dean Anusorn
Tamajai said on Thursday that the financial crisis within European Union
will inevitably affect the global economy and Thailand.
He stated that, with the pressure from worries over the political
situation in the country, Thai GDP in 2012 will likely end up at 5-5.5
percent, slightly lower than the previous estimate of 5.8-6.5 percent.
Mr. Anusorn also forecast that the export sector will see a smaller
growth of 7-8 percent this year but the inflation rate will ease from
the earlier prediction of 3.5-4.5 percent to 3-3.5 percent.
But with risks from the Eurozone debt crisis fallout at bay, he urged
the government to come up with effective measures to protect Thai
exporters and importers.
Mr. Anusorn also suggested that, in the worst-case scenario, the impact
of the crisis in Europe will force Thai economic growth down to less
than 3 percent in 2012, although such chances are very slim.
Travel business expert predicted Thai purchasing power to drop 30%
BANGKOK, 6 July 2012 (NNT) – A travel business expert
has predicted that the purchasing power of Thai consumers will soon drop
significantly due to a number of risk factors.
Mr. Krit Patarapal, Managing Director of P.K. Exhibition Management
Company and the organizer of the tourism promotion event “Thai Teaw
Thai”, said that Thailand will likely be under the pressure of deflation
at least until next year.
He believes that Thai consumers’ purchasing power will drop around 30
percent, mainly due to 3 worrying factors. They are natural disasters,
economic conditions and political uncertainties.
Mr. Krit suggested that travel business operators and related
entrepreneurs should come up with more appealing events, which focus on
respective seasons, in order to convince travelers that their money will
He also called for new holiday destinations as alternatives to existing
locations while easing on the pricing strategy.
And as a boost during the low travel season, Mr. Krit said that a
special tourism promotion event has been scheduled from July 5th to 8th
at Queen Sirikit Center in Bangkok.
He expects as many as 100,000 visitors, who will spend around 200-300
million baht altogether, during the 4-day event.
Moreover, a big holiday extravaganza is set to take place either in
August or September, with more than 400,000 visitors likely to check out
some 1,300 booths of travel-related businesses and spend approximately
500 million baht on holiday plans.
Finance Minister presides over Asian Development Forum
BANGKOK, 6 July 2012 (NNT)-Kittirat Na Ranong,
Minister of Finance delivered his speech in the 3rd Asian Development
Forum “ODA & Green Growth in Asia” conference at Intercontinental Hotel
Finance Minister Khun Kittirat yesterday delivered his speech following
the opening ceremony of Asian Development Forum “ODA & Green Growth in
Asia” conference led by Dr. Somchai Sujjapongse, Fiscal Policy Office
The conference was co-hosted by the Fiscal Policy Office, the Public
Debt Management Office, and the Neighboring Countries Economic
Development Cooperation Agency (Public Organization) or (NEDA), held at
Intercontinental Hotel in Bangkok.
It is the third Asian Development Forum after the first and the second
in Seoul and Tokyo respectively. The agenda of the meeting were on
Official Development Assistance or ODA for the government, private
sectors, and international organizations.
There were discussions and information exchange among the Asian members
regarding roles of each member and the approach of the ODA to
environmentally friendly economic development in line with the Green
Growth Economy, given the smaller contributions from developing
countries and increasing funds from the private sectors as well as
investors' intersest in environmentally friendly businesses.
10th ASEM Finance Ministers’ Meeting
BANGKOK, 6 July 2012 (NNT) – Finance Minister
Kittirat Na Ranong has revealed that the Finance Ministry will be
hosting the 10th Asia-Europe Finance Ministers’ Meeting or ASEM Finance
Mr. Kittirat stated that the Finance Ministry is holding the 10th ASEM
Finance Ministers’ Meeting this month. The meeting will be participated
by Finance Ministers and Deputies of 46 countries (27 from Europe, 16
from Asia, 3 from the Temporary Third Category), 2 organizational
leaders consisting of the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat,
as well as Senior Executives of the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank, and the Asian
Development Bank (ADB).
It is hoped that the meeting will urge Asia and Europe to cooperate and
exchange ideas and opinions on economy and finance between the two, as
well as stabilizing Asia-European economic and financial status.
Mr. Kittirat also said that apart from the benefits of economy-related
information exchange, Thailand will also benefit from the European
countries' experiences and measures applied by them to cushion the
impact of the crisis. In addition, Thailand will have an opportunity to
show the world its potentials and its role as a leader in the global
economic and financial arena.
The 10th ASEM Finance Ministers’ Meeting will be held at Siam Kempinski
Hotel, Bangkok on October 14 2012
Thai shrimp exports drop 2.2%, impacted by eurozone debt crisis
BANGKOK, July 6 – Thai frozen shrimp exports in the
first five months shrank 2.23% year-on-year, affected by the eurozone
debt crisis, according to the Commerce Ministry.
Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol said that in
the first five months of this year, Thai frozen shrimp exports were
valued at US$552 million, a 2.23 per cent drop year- on-year.
Exports to the European Union countries alone, worth US$79 million,
shrank 16 per cent. The EU market is Thailand’s third biggest market
after the US and Japan.
In 2011, Thai shrimp exports were valued at US$1.7 billion and exports
to the EU alone were estimated at US$260 million, an increase of 7.9 per
cent, compared to the previous year.
The deputy commerce minister said that to achieve the growth target at
15 per cent, the ministry has supported retail department store chains
to boost buying shrimp directly from the Federation of Shrimp Farming
Cooperatives of Thailand by 20 per cent to reach the total amount of
12,000 tonnes, worth two billion baht.
Frozen shrimp will be distributed to supply chains in six major markets
including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, China, South Korea and
Turkey. (MCOT online news)
Thailand to discuss tariffs on 57 product items with Europe
BANGKOK, 3 July 2012 (NNT) – Thailand will have
discussion with the European Union over tariff on 57 items that will be
disqualified effective after this month.
Mr. Boonsong Teriyapirom, Minister of Commerce has revealed that the
European Union is currently considering the “Generalized System of
Preferences” or GPS and he is expecting the 57 commodity products of
Thailand to be disqualified. He has ordered the Department of Trade
Negotiations to meet with the European Union and discuss the matter late
The reason for the future disqualification is that Thailand’s per capita
income is over 3,700 US dollars per year, the maximum amount allowed by
the GPS policy for a country to be eligible for the GPS.
It is unlikely that the bird flu outbreak in China will affect
Thailand’s frozen chicken export to Europe, given the birds in Thailand
are raised in an enclosed farming system to avoid bird flu infection,
according to the Minister, adding that Europe has started ordering Thai
chicken since the 1st of July this year.
Moreover, Mr. Boonsong has also paid a visit to Altering Risk to
Opportunity or AFET and has ordered AFET to take part in and be
responsible for future agricultural products of the country.
Finance Minister rejects call for “Foreign income tax reduction”
BANGKOK, 5 July 2012 (NNT) – Mr. Kittiratt Na-Ranong,
the Finance Minister has rejected a call submitted by the private
sector, for tax reduction on corporate income earned from overseas
investment, saying that large companies with subsidiaries are already
entitled to corporate income tax exemption.
Mr. Kittiratt has insisted that the Ministry of Finance will not accept
the request, because most of the large companies which have subsidiaries
in foreign countries are already entitled to corporate income tax
exemption, so there is no need for the Finance Ministry to reduce tax on
their revenue remitted home.
He went on to say that Finance Ministry has scrupulously considered the
request, but unfortunately it could not be approved, because the current
law of Thailand is already exempting dividend tax for registered
subsidiaries in Thailand and allowing the 50 percent dividend tax
reduction for those subsidiaries whose mother companies are based in
Furthermore, many private companies have their subsidiaries in foreign
countries due to the intention of outsourcing and cost saving, because
those countries have lower tax policy than Thailand. As a result, income
tax exemption will have to be carefully thought through, plus Thailand
is already reducing its corporate income tax to only 23 percent which is
expected to drop down to 20 percent in 2013.
Customs Department prepares for AEC
BANGKOK, 5 July 2012 (NNT) – Deputy Minister of
Finance Tanusak Lek-uthai has assigned the Customs Department to get
ready for the ASEAN Community by adjusting its working system and
eliminating obstacles to cross-border trade.
Speaking at the celebration of the Customs Department’s 138th
anniversary, Mr. Tanusak said with the AEC approaching, the Customs
Department, as a primary institution in charge of trade facilitation and
taxation, has to immediately adjust its working standard to the
international level, provide faster trade services, and eliminate
obstacles to cross-border trade. In delivering his policy, Mr. Tanusak
said the Customs Department will need to develop its staff and apply the
right technology to current situations in order to ensure Thailand’s
competitiveness in the international arena as well as prevent and
suppress unauthorized or smuggled products that could jeopardize the
public and environment.
He stressed the need for the Customs Department to adopt the concept of
“Quality staff, Modern law, and Advanced technology” by improving its
employees' potentials simultaneously with obtaining modern technologies.
Economic Cabinet busy with finding ways to help exporters battle crisis fallout
BANGKOK, 5 July 2012 (NNT) – The economic Cabinet has
been discussing approaches to help exporters handle the fallout of the
Eurozone debt crisis and ways to boost Thai tourism revenue.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said that
the economic Cabinet meeting on Wednesday looked into the conditions
surrounding the Thai export industry amid growing worries about the
impact from the debt crisis in Europe.
He said that the meeting has suggested exporters to gear more efforts
towards markets without financial or economic problems and to have
related state financial institutions provide necessary assistance.
The Deputy PM stated that such approaches are intended to help the
government diligently utilize the 140-billion-baht special budget for
this cause while preventing any possible problems from the current
Mr. Kittiratt added that the economic Cabinet agreed that 3 product
groups need close supervision and they are apparel and textiles, jewelry
and accessories, and electronics.
It also suggested that related state agencies will need to discuss with
rubber exporters in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam to determine
acceptable prices in the world market to help Thai producers.
In addition, he stated that the current exchange rate of the Thai
currency against the greenback at 31 baht per US dollar is appropriate
and doing good to the export industry.
Lastly, the economic Cabinet meeting has affirmed that the government
will put more focus on the tourism industry as the country’s major
money-spinner. In doing so, it has decided to officially reopen Don
Muang Airport for full commercial use on August 1st instead of October
1st as originally planned, in hopes of providing more convenience and
boosting confidence among international travelers.
UTCC: June consumer confidence index at 9-month high
BANGKOK, 5 July 2012 (NNT) – The latest study showed
Thai consumer confidence has strengthened to a 9-month high in June.
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) Rector, Ms.
Saowanee Thairungroj, said that, in June, the consumer confidence index
rose to the highest level in 9 months, at 78.6.
Ms. Saowanee stated that the higher index was brought on by easing
political standoff and falling global oil prices.
Moreover, the overall economic confidence index improved from 62.8 in
October 2011 to 68.5 in June this year
The UTCC Rector noted that Thai consumers were still worried about the
local political conflicts and the debt crisis in Europe, which could
hurt Thai economic growth and exports.
In addition, the UTCC's Economic and Business Forecasting Center has
forecast that the export industry will expand about 8-9 percent this
year, considerably lower than the Commerce Ministry's prediction of 15
Ms. Saowanee said that even though Thai exports to Europe make up only
10 percent of the whole year's trade, the industry will likely see
indirect impacts from business with some countries which are European
market's active trade partners.
However, with high domestic spending and private investment and the
return of the manufacturing sector to normalcy, Thai GDP in 2012 should
end up at 5.5-6.0 percent.
Shell, Caltex and Esso up pump prices today
BANGKOK, 4 July 2012 (NNT) – Petrol station operators
Shell, Caltex and Esso have announced a fuel price hike for all grades
of retail petrol and diesel by 50 satang per liter, effective from July
Global oil prices reportedly surge following international sanctions on
Iranian oil, causing New York's light sweet crude for August to soar
$3.91 to settle at $87.66 a barrel yesterday.
The new Gasohol 91 price at Shell, Caltex and Esso stations in Bangkok
and its vicinities will be 34.48 baht per liter while Gasohol 95 will be
sold at 36.23 baht per liter.
Benzene 91’s price is adjusted to 40.55 baht per liter while the price
for diesel will jump to 30.33 baht per liter.
It is the second time this week that pump prices in the country have
seen an increase after an oil price adjustment was announced on July 2.
Economic ministers adopt measures to cope with Europe's debt crisis
BANGKOK, July 4 – Thailand’s economic ministers,
meeting Wednesday, agreed to prepare six measures to cope with possible
adverse impacts from the eurozone debt crisis, according to Deputy Prime
Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
The ministers resolved to maintain the country's
economic stability on currency exchange rates, interest rates, inflation
rates, and energy prices. Speeding up the budget disbursements of
government departments and agencies as well as supporting and finding
new markets for Thailand's export sector to replace markets in the
European Union was also discussed.
The government’s top economic officials also agreed to provide
employment for new graduates.
Other measures include promoting tourism as well as using Don Mueang
Airport for low-cost flights.
They also agreed to help entrepreneurs at risk of being negatively
impacted from the European crisis such as those dealing in textiles and
garments, jewellery and accessories, as well as electronics.
The Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM) was assigned to grant Bt100
billion credit to boost liquidity in the system and a credit guarantee
for exports of Bt40 billion.
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and the Commerce Ministry were
assigned to monitor and support agricultural products such as rubber,
where prices fluctuate according to oil prices.
Mr Kittiratt however admitted that the country's political problems
could undermine the government's efficiency to implement its economic
policies in responding to the world economic crisis. (MCOT online news)
Consumer confidence hits 9-month high in June
BANGKOK, July 4 - Thailand’s Consumer Confidence
Index (CCI) in June rose to 78.6 from 72.6 last October, marking its
highest level in nine months since the megaflood last October, the
University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) reported.
The improvement in the index was attributed to the
country’s eased political atmosphere and lower oil prices, UTCC Rector
Saowanee Thairungroj explained Wednesday.
In addition, the confidence index among Thai consumers on the overall
economy also hit a nine-month high, rebounding from 62.5 in October to
68.5 in June.
However, consumers remain concerned about the risks of domestic politics
as well as the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis which might impact economic
expansion, exports in particular, Dr Saowanee said.
Meanwhile, the university’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting
projects that this year’s exports will grow only in the range of eight
to nine per cent, lower than the 15 per cent projected by the commerce
Although Thai exports to European markets are only 10 per cent of total
exports, the country's exports may experience possible indirect impact,
particularly regarding exports to China and other markets which are
major exporters to European countries.
The rector expressed confidence that domestic spending, resumed
post-flood industrial operations, more private investment as well as the
country’s economic stability would favour growth by an average of 5.7
In the meantime, the government must invest in the country’s basic
infrastructure in order to boost Thailand’s competitiveness in
preparation for economic integration into the ASEAN Economic Community
(AEC) in 2015.
In the second half of this year, the UTCC foresees an improved Consumer
Confidence Index rebounding to pre-flood levels. Political factors,
however, have not been taken into account.
Dr Saowanee noted that the Thai economy has been dramatically recovering
from last year’s devastating flood, which should continue unless
political disturbances arise. (MCOT online news)
Bt300 billion budget approved to hire water management consortium
BANGKOK, July 3 -- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a
Bt300 billion budget to hire a consortium to manage Thailand’s overall
water management and flood prevention projects, and the terms of
reference (ToR) for hiring Thai and foreign consultants was also
approved, Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi said.
Mr Plodprasop, who also chairs the Water Resources
Management and Flood Control Committee (WRMFCC), told a news conference
after the weekly Cabinet meeting that after the approval, the government
will publicise the details through varied media to invite Thai and
foreign companies to join the selection.
The Foreign Ministry will be assigned to invite foreign firms, he said,
adding that the ambassadors of foreign missions in Thailand will be
invited to be briefed on the matter this week.
The government will use Bt300billlion to finance the flood and drought
prevention and water resource management projects, the minister said.
The projects will be divided into14 major projects - eight located in
the Chao Phraya River Basin and six projects are situated in six other
river basins, he said.
Under the ToR, a qualified consultant should have worked on a project
valued at more than Bt30billion with any government. The interested
companies may collect documents which will be available at the Science
and Technology Ministry next week.
The minister said that the government will work over the projects
transparently and foreign firm would be invited because the government
needs advanced technology for water management.
Every country will have equal opportunity to be selected as the
consortium for the projects, he said.
After the selection, consultants will have to put forward their plans in
three months. After the plan selection, project designs will take four
to five months, followed by cost appraisals. Construction is expected to
start next year.
The projects would cover rehabilitation plan for reservoirs, canals,
water sluice gates, emergency response plans, water retention areas,
water diversion, town planning, and the establishment of new
organisations such as a water ministry. (MCOT online news)
NFI: Food price & safety remain AEC obstacles for Thai SMEs
BANGKOK, 4 July 2012 (NNT) – The National Food
Industry is worried that there remain a number of serious issues that
small food business operators in the country will have a hard time to
surpass to compete strongly after the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is
National Food Industry (NFI) Executive Vice President Amorn
Ngammongkolrat said on Tuesday that, with the AEC due to be realized in
less than 3 years, the issue of Thailand’s food safety is now being
brought up for broad discussion now.
He said that such an issue is imminent because regulations in many
countries, such as the US and within ASEAN, continue to be improved or
Mr. Amorn stated that while large Thai food business operators will
likely have no problems meeting stricter requirements, medium and
small-sized businesses are still to struggle with the problems of safety
and pricing, which may put them in a weak position without timely
The NFI Executive Vice President went on to say that all food business
operators are also to instill and boost confidence among their foreign
clients and partners.
He said that one case with damaging impact on a single product may
jeopardize other similar items. Therefore, strict standards for Thai
food for the export industry must be clearly set and implemented to
prevent future undesirable consequences.
Cabinet discussed plans to help Thai exporters handle Euro-zone debt crisis fallout
BANGKOK, 4 July 2012 (NNT) – The Cabinet has
discussed at its weekly meeting the plans to help Thai exporters handle
the fallout from the financial crisis in Europe.
Deputy government spokesperson Pakdihan Himathongkham said that the
Cabinet, on Tuesday, was updated with the progress from the
state-initiated workshop on measures to boost Thai exports.
Mr. Pakdihan said that the Prime Minister has noted that, with Thai
exports facing problems from both outside and inside the country, the
government has instructed all related agencies to come up with various
emergency measures to help entrepreneurs cope with both direct and
indirect impacts from the Eurozone debt crisis.
He stated that long-term measures, focusing on the finding of new
markets and production bases within ASEAN, have been mulled.
In addition, the Cabinet has recognized many problems faced by flood-hit
businesses, which ranged from liquidity problems, labor and raw material
shortages, logistics-related issues to marketing glitches.
The deputy government spokesperson said that 5 committees have,
accordingly, been set up to follow up on these problems, especially in
the areas of new overseas production bases, which are to be completed by
the end of this year.
Government urged to pass tax exemption law for overseas Thai investments
BANGKOK, 4 July 2012 (NNT) - Mr. Kittipong
Urapeepatanapong of the Thai Chamber of Commerc is urging the government
to quickly pass the law on tax exemption for Thai businessmen investing
overseas to prepare the country for the ASEAN Economic Community in
Mr. Kittipong said he had conveyed his call to Deputy Prime Minister and
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong asking the latter to speed up the
amendment of the royal decree no. 442, which stipulates tax exemption on
Thai investments in overseas countries.
Mr. Kittipong explained how the amendment would encourage Thai
businessmen to seek investment opportunities beyond Thailand, the notion
which, he claimed, is also the government’s policy.
He said the introduction of tax privileges will help promote the
business sector in Thailand to become part of the AEC in 2015. According
to him, the amendment draft was introduced by the last government, but
has not received attention until these days.
He revealed that currently under the Thai Revenue Code, Thai companies
whose investment is in holding companies in Singapore, Hong Kong or
other tax haven countries, will have to pay corporate income tax of 23%
in 2012 and 20% next year when those companies bring their profits into
According to Mr. Kittipong, investors have been calling on the
government to accelerate the tax exemption proposal for a few years now.
He stated that an overseas investment by Thai companies is an urgent
matter that the government needs to pursue quickly. The tax exemption
will encourage Thai investors to exploit the Euro-debt crisis, during
which European businesses can be bought at a much cheaper cost.
Thai central bank: Inflation in 2nd half of 2012 likely to drop
BANGKOK, July 3 - Inflation in the second half of
this year is likely to drop thanks to a global economic slowdown, as
well as falling goods and energy prices, said Bank of Thailand (BoT)
Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul.
As a result, the BoT reduced its estimate for average
inflation to 3.3 per cent from 3.5 per cent.
The governor said the next meeting of the monetary policy committee on
July 25 will discuss the euro zone debt crisis and the US economy as key
factors influencing the bank's decision on its interest rate policy.
Related factors must also be considered thoroughly, he said.
The central bank governor reaffirmed, however, that the current policy
interest rate at three per cent helps stimulate the economy and is
appropriate with current inflation. Thailand’s inflation is closely
similar to others in the region, said Mr Prasarn.
The BoT chief pledged that the central bank will keep inflation at bay
to ensure that Thailand will not lose its edge in terms of cost
He conceded that capital inflows and outflows are volatile and said that
the BoT is closely monitoring them.
Mr Prasarn said he was confident that this year, Thailand will record a
greater foreign capital inflow than outflow. (MCOT online news)
East Water plans more supply for Thailand's Eastern industrial estates
SINGAPORE, July 3 - Eastern Water Resources
Development and Management Plc, or East Water, plans added water supply
to industrial estates in Thailand's east, following higher water usage
in the area, the company president said.
Praphant Asava-aree, at Singapore International Water
Week July 1-5 at Marina Bay Sands, said that his firm is discussing with
eastern customers to support expanded investment at up to six industrial
estates there, creating a higher use of water in industrial parks and
for general consumption both business and tourism.
More plants moved or expanded their production base of thousands rai of
farmland to the eastern part of the country after last year's mega
floods in the central region, he noted.
Mr Praphant expected a water usage estimation can be done within two
months, which will further be discussed with the government sector for
joint plans for supply provision.
Before last year's flood, his company forecast that water usage in the
region would reach about 400 million cubic metres (MCM) annually in the
next 10 years, or a rise of about 30 per cent from this year's usage of
East Water's current investment plans include a reservoir construction
project in Rayong's Tab Ma with a budget of Bt2.7 billion for a water
supply of 55 MCM/year, and a water supply distribution development
project in Chon Buri's Laem Chabang with a budget of Bt800 million for
70 MCM/year more.
There are also concerns regarding the insufficient amount of rainfall
collected and retained in eastern reservoirs, which Mr Praphant said
could cause a water shortage next year.
The volume of water kept and used this year are similar to last year at
about 283 MCM.
Meanwhile, East Water's untreated water price adjustment in the eastern
region followed its prior announcement, Mr Praphant said. Prices are
adjusted upward yearly during 2012-2014 from Bt9.25/cubic metre (CM) to
Bt10/CM this year, and will reach Bt11/CM in 2014.
The 3R strategy of reduce, recycle, and reuse is being promoted by the
firm to save water. (MCOT online news)
Central bank unveils banknote marking Queen’s 80th birthday
BANGKOK, July 3- The Bank of Thailand (BoT) on
Tuesday introduced a Bt80 commemorative banknote to celebrate Her
Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 80th birthday anniversary and a Bt100
commemorative banknote to mark His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn’s 5th Cycle Birthday.
BoT Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul announced that
the commemorative banknotes were to pay tribute to the Queen and the
Crown Prince for their incomparable contributions to the country.
The BoT will issue 2,000,000 commemorative banknotes to mark Queen
Sirikit’s 80th birthday, which falls on Aug 12.
Mr Prasarn explained that the special features incorporated in the
banknote honouring The Queen are its 80mm width representing 80 years of
age and the colour blue to mark the Queen’s birthday on Friday. The
front of the banknote is a portrait of Their Majesties the King and
Queen. The watermark features HM the Queen’s crowned monogram “ส.ก.”.
With a special translucent effect, the electrotype letter “ก” is clearly
visible from both sides when the banknote is held up to light.
Meanwhile, a ‘windowed’ security thread is seen on the paper’s surface
at regular intervals. Each window contains the number ‘80’ and a rose,
which changes when the banknote is tilted.
Encased in a hard-paper presentation cover, each Bt80 commemorative
banknote is sold at Bt120 and will be available from Aug 9 onwards at
all commercial bank branches, the Government Savings Bank, the Bank for
Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Government Housing Bank,
and the Islamic Bank of Thailand.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be presented to the Queen
for royal charity purposes, the BoT governor added.
In addition to the Bt80 commemorative banknote marking the Queen’s 80th
birthday, the central bank will issue 10 million Bt100 banknotes to
commemorate the Crown Prince’s 5th cycle birthday on July 28.
The banknotes marking the auspicious occasion are to be put into
circulation on July 27.
Mr Prasarn said that the image at the face of the banknote is identical
to the 15th series of the Bt100 banknote now in circulation. The special
design depicting the portrait of HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
and the scene of His Royal Highness being conferred the title of Crown
Prince is illustrated on the reverse of the banknote.
This is the first time in Thailand’s banknote operations that the BoT
will produce and print an Bt80 banknote, Mr Prasarn said. A number of
the Bt80 commemorative banknotes is expected to meet the demand of the
public. (MCOT online news/ Bank of Thailand)
MOAC pushes for Thai silk conservation and development
BANGKOK, 3 July 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives has confirmed its support for Thai silk
development, conservation and protection as well as the provision of
related know-how to silk farmers.
After presiding over a seminar on sericulture at Asia Airport Hotel in
Pathum Thani province, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and
Cooperatives Supatra Thanaseniwat disclosed that the Department of
Sericulture has been assigned all responsibilities concerning silk
farming in the country, including silk gene conservation and protection,
standard verification, uniqueness promotion and maintenance, and value
creation, in order for Thailand to carry on its culture and tradition of
Thai silk farming.
Furthermore, the Department of Sericulture will focus on academic
development, technology, innovation, and exchange of knowledge between
Thai experts and foreigners in the hope to educate Thai silk farmers and
improve the silk products as well.
As for the silk research of the year 2013-2014, the Department of
Sericulture will strive to ensure an efficient dissemination of useful
information acquired from the research to silk farmers in a bid to help
them improve the quality of silk threads and silk genes and reduce their
production costs accordingly.
GLO to proceed with online lottery project ahead of AEC
BANGKOK, 3 July 2012 (NNT) – The Government Lottery
Office (GLO) is preparing to push forward the online lottery project in
order to develop the Thai lottery system in preparation for the ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC).
On his first day of duty as GLO Director, Police Major General Atthakrit
Thareechat delivered his policy to GLO executives and officials. On this
occasion, he declared that the online lottery project will be continued
in an effort to upgrade the country’s lottery system and at the same
time to prepare for the upcoming establishment of the AEC in 2015.
The Director also expressed his readiness to fix the problem of
overpriced and counterfeit lottery tickets for the protection of buyers.
He said the lottery systems of other countries will also be studied in
order for Thailand to improve its own system effectively.
India and Myanmar’s MOU to boost Thai economy
BANGKOK, 3 July 2012 (NNT) – India and Myanmar have
signed an MOU on economy, commerce, and investment, which is expected to
help boost Thai economy.
Deputy Minister of Commerce Poom Sarapol(ภูมิ สาระผล) has revealed that
India and Myanmar have signed an MOU on 12 issues regarding economic
relations, commerce, and investment. The content of the agreement covers
development of Myanmar’s several main roads, which will later be
upgraded to highways connecting 3 countries; called “Tripartite
Highway”, scheduled to be completed by 2016.
Mr. Poom added that the logistic system created as a result of the MOU
would support and benefit Thailand’s trade with other countries in the
region. The deputy Minister believed that theThai economy still has
plenty of room to grow. In addition, the Indian government has been
trying to promulgate laws that would benefit agriculture and sustainable
food production. India also wants to invest in information technology,
which will enable it to minimize the damage to agricultural products; in
order to do so, India will need assistance from the country that has had
experience in production and agricultural products.
For more information, please call 1169 or visit www.ditp.go.th
Commerce Ministry: June’s inflation rate as low as 2.56%
BANGKOK, 2 July 2012 (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry
has revealed that the rate of inflation in June was as low as 2.56
percent thanks to the decrease in prices of oil and food.
According to Permanent Secretary of Ministry of
Commerce Yanyong Phuangrach, the inflation rate in June was at 2.56
percent, increasing by 0.16 percent from that of the same period last
year, but slighly decreasing from last month's figure. The decline was
mainly attributed to the drop in the prices of food such as beef,
vegetables, and seafood; and no less to the decrease of oil prices and
the pegging of LPG price for another three months. This indicates that
Thailand’s overall economy is stable in line with the Commerce
Ministry's control mechanism.
The rate of inflation in the second quarter is 2.51 percent on an
average, resulting in the first 6 months’ avearge inflation rtate of
2.95 percent. The third quarter's is expected to be under 3.3 percent.
Mr. Yanyong was confident that Ministry of Commerce would be able to
keep the inflation at no more than 3.3-3.8 percent; however, it would
have to keep an eye on the global economy, natural disasters, and
exchange and interest rates; all of which would have an impact on
investments and the cost of living
Thai trade representative says garments and textiles need to adopt new technology to improve
BANGKOK, 2 July 2012 (NNT) - President of Thailand
Trade Representatives OlarnChaipravat has suggested that Thai
entrepreneurs avail themselves to new technology to improve the quality
of their products, especially those in the garment and textile industry.
Mr.Olarn said during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s weekly TV
program last Saturday that the products that were facing tough times and
in need of adjustment include ready-to-wear clothes and textiles. He
remarked that it was necessary for the entrepreneurs to raise the
standards of their products through the use of technology, so that they
would be of better quality and more fashionable.
The president has further suggested that those entrepreneurs having
difficult times coping with higher minimum wages in Thailand should
consider relocating their production bases to the neighboring countries,
where labor costs are lower.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Arak Chonlatanon has talked about the
government’s assistance measures for energy entrepreneurs, saying that
the government has already set up an energy conservation fund aimed at
helping the entrepreneurs through many projects. As for the energy
restructuring program, he said it would take another two months to
consider the program in detail.
Industry Ministry to crack the whip on waste treatment plants
BANGKOK, 2 July 2012 (NNT) – Industry Ministry of
Thailand is to strictly enforce law on industrial waste treatment
plants, starting with 96 of them this month.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry President Witoon Simachokedee,
disclosed that he had assigned the Federation of Thai Industries of each
province to conduct a survey on the waste treatment industry to
categorize treatments of both general and dangerous residues, for the
purpose of database management after having found that only 50 percent
of all the residues are being proper4ly treated.
For a starter, beginning on July 1st. until the end of the month, waste
treatment systems of 96 plants will be regularly examined by the
Department of Industrial Works. The examination which includes indoor
environment control as well as personnel will be strictly carried out.
When the examination is complete, the Department will come up with
measures for the companies to follow, including the installation of the
GPSdevice on vehicles in order to enable the Department to keep track of
the vehicles to prevent them from illegally dumping waste residues. The
installation of the tracking device is expected to be completed in 60
Transport Ministry: Euro crisis could delay transport projects
BANGKOK, 2 July 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of Transport will propose a
debt restructuring plan to the Prime Minister while admitting that the
Euro-zone crisis could have an impact on Thailand’s aircraft procurement
and electric rail route construction.
Permanent Secretary for Transport Silpachai Jarukasemratana said that
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be summoning all ministers for a
meeting to discuss preparations for possible effects from the Euro-zone
crisis on July 4. He expressed belief that the transport sector will not
be affected as much as tourism, industrial production and commerce.
Nonetheless, to not underestimate the situation, Mr. Silpachai revealed
that the Transport Ministry has ordered all of its agencies to collect
related data in order to draw up a restructuring plan for debts incurred
by financial transactions or trading with European countries. An
emergency plan will also be formulated for any imminent circumstances,
such as a drastic decrease in revenue by 10-30 percent.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the transport-related company to
be most affected by the Euro-zone crisis is Thai Airways International,
given most of the loan held by the company is in the Euro currency. He
thus suggested that Thai Airways convert the money into other currencies
otherwise Thailand will be in debt.
Other issues to be worried about also include delays in aircraft
delivery to Thai Airways as well as in the construction of seven
electric train routes, which will likely come as a consequence of the
economic crisis in Europe.
In order to reduce the future risk, the Transport Ministry is set to
gather information and present it to the Ministry of Finance, so that
Thailand is able to cope with the crisis effectively.
Commerce Ministry pushes for agricultural produce price intervention
BANGKOK, 2 July 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce has vowed to
continue with its price intervention measures on agricultural produce in
the hope of increasing income for Thai farmers.
Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Puangrach said on Sunday that
the crops the ministry’s price intervention scheme would target included
rice, tapioca, Para rubber, corn, and fruit. He was confident that the
price guarantee scheme would help prevent produce prices dropping and
lead to price adjustments by both domestic and foreign traders next
According to the director-general, 16 million tons, well below the
targeted 30 tons, of rice have entered the current price guarantee
scheme; with the intervention price set at 16,000 baht per ton.
Mr.Yanyong said the scheme had helped increase the prices of rice by
40-50% compared to the prices of the previous year.
The next price guarantee scheme will start in August 2012. The
intervention prices are set at 15,000 baht and 20,000 baht a ton for
rice paddy and jasmine rice respectively.
June consumer confidence index edges up
BANGKOK, 2 July 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce
has reported that the consumer confidence index in June slightly
increased but the future sentiment index dropped following the public’s
lack of confidence in the economy.
Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Phuangrach said on Monday that
the overall consumer confidence index in June 2012 stood at 27.6,
increasing from the May figure of 27.4. The current sentiment index is
20.9, rising from 18.5, whereas the future sentiment index is 32.1,
lower than the previous score of 33.4. The index on future income in the
next three months is 46.3, dropping from 51.2.
The positive factors that contributed to the higher consumer confidence
index in June included the decreasing global oil price, the Thai
government’s extension of assistance measures for low-income people, the
extension of diesel excise tax cut as well as the Euro 2012 football
The negative factors were the volatile global economy, lower energy cost
assistance and concerns over natural disasters. These factors undermined
the public’s confidence on future income.
Japanese investors satisfied with Thai flood prevention plan: Industry Minister
OSAKA, July 1 - Japanese investors are satisfied with
Thailand’s flood prevention plan and recovering economy with more
investment likely in Thailand, said Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti.
The minister travelled to Japan on a roadshow mission
to Osaka from June 28-30.
About 400 Japanese investors attended a seminar on Thailand’s investment
promotion policies held by the Board of Investment (BOI), the Japan
External Trade Organization (JETRO), and the Osaka Chamber of Commerce
Japanese investors were satisfied with the Thai government’s water
management and flood prevention plans and Thailand’s recovering economy,
said the minister, adding that he was confident that more Japanese
investors will invest in Thailand.
The Thai minister also met Eikei Suzuki, governor of Mie prefecture
during the trip and learned that Japan will set up an office to assist
Japanese investors in Thailand. This will help boost more investment of
Japan’s small and medium enterprises (SME) in Thailand.
He said in the first five months of 2012, investment projects worth 370
billion baht sought privileges and it is expected that investment
projects are expected to reach 600 billion baht for the whole year.
Meanwhile, Board of Investment (BoI) Secretary-General Atchaka
Sibunruang said that governors of Mie will lead Japanese investors to
seek investment opportunities in Thailand in July.
However, what Japanese investors are worried about is a lack of skilled
laborers, so the BoI has worked with universities and vocational
colleges to cooperate with Japanese companies to produce graduates that
meet the qualifications of the labour market. (MCOT online news)