Auto production projected to exceed 2.2 million units this year
BANGKOK, May 17 – The Federation of Thai Federations
(FTI) projected Thailand’s automobile production will reach 2.2 million
units this year, resulting from resumption of full capacity operations,
FTI Automotive Industry Club spokesman Surapong Paisitpattanapong said
April auto production was recorded at 142,312 units,
an increase of nearly 60 per cent year-on-year. Production for domestic
sales accounted for 86,886 units or 61 per cent of total production.
Auto production for the first four months of this year was nearly
642,000 units, an increase of 15 per cent from the same period last
year. Fifty-six per cent or nearly 360,000 units were built for domestic
sale while 39 per cent or 55,000 units were produced for export. Auto
exports from January to April accounted for 282,225 units or nearly 44
per cent of all output.
Auto sales in April were some 87,800 units, an increase of 30.5 per cent
year-on-year but a drop of 21 per cent compared to the previous month.
Increased sales were supported by more production for orders.
In the first four months, sales rose to more than 367,000 units, up 20
per cent, compared to the same period last year. (MCOT online news)
BoT: Asian investors continue to invest in Thailand
BANGKOK, 19 May 2012 (NNT) – The Thai central bank
has affirmed that investment from within Asia still continues flowing
into the country.
Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said on Friday
that, at present, the amount of investment from Europe to Thailand is
However, Mr. Prasarn assured that the current scenario regarding
European investment is not worrying.
He reasoned that, during the past few years, major investment amounts
into the country have appeared to be from within Asia, particularly from
Japan and China, while signs of continuation of such a trend are still
The BoT Governor also believes that Thailand will experience more
foreign investment inflow after the realization of the ASEAN Economic
Community in 2015.
He went on to comment that the present economic condition in Thailand is
good enough to enable local businesses to make more overseas investment,
especially as the Thai economy is more stable and the baht becomes less
volatile while foreign assets are more affordable.
Thailand confident in benefiting greatly from the hosting of WEF on East Asia
BANGKOK, 19 May 2012 (NNT) – The government is
confident that Thailand’s hosting of the World Economic Forum in Bangkok
will add more economic opportunities for the country and the entire
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said on
Friday that Thailand’s hosting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East
Asia from May 30th to June 1st will help boost foreign confidence in the
country’s economy, society and politics.
Mr. Kittiratt said that the upcoming international gathering is a
continuation of the meeting in Davos, Switzerland and will discuss a
number of issues, including the handling of risks in Asia and regional
connectivity, which are believed to help strengthen both Thai and Asian
He added that the meeting will also raise the issue of economic problems
and debt crisis in Europe.
According to Mr. Kittiratt, 4 leaders have confirmed their
participation. They are Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
Myanmar President Thein Sein and the prime minister of Laos as well as
the prime minister of Bahrain.
Moreover, senior representatives from leading international
organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, UNCTAD and the IMF
will also join the 3-day meeting.
The Deputy PM stated that around 700 participants from the private and
the business sectors will be in Bangkok for the gathering, which will be
officially opened by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on May 31st.
Commerce Ministry to open 10,000 “Thook Jai” shops by early June
BANGKOK, 19 May 2012 (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry is
confident that it will be able to open as many state-initiated cheap
grocery stores as planned within the expected timeframe.
Department of Internal Trade (DIT) Director-General Vatchari
Vimooktayon, on Friday, made an inspection visit to the
government-initiated “Thook Jai” grocery stores in Bangkok and found
that the project has been well-received by the public.
The ”Thook Jai” store project is the brainchild of the government, which
is aimed at offering low-priced consumer goods to help ease the impact
of rising cost of living.
Mrs. Vatchari said that nearly 8,000 existing grocery stores across
Thailand have expressed their interest in joining the project. Around
1,500 of them are in Bangkok and nearby provinces, while about 50
percent are now operational.
She added that the Department of Internal Trade has solved all technical
glitches covering the order placement and goods delivery systems, and it
is expected that as soon as the entire system is perfected, the delivery
will be easily executed twice a week.
The DIT Director-General is confident that there will be 10,000 “Thook
Jai” stores throughout Thailand by the beginning of June, as planned.
Thai-Cambodian Joint Trade Committee agrees to set up special economic border zone
BANGKOK, May 20 – The Thai-Cambodian Joint Trade
Committee (JTC) on Sunday agreed to set up special economic border
zones, aiming to increase trade volume by 30% annually, said Thai
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom.
Mr Boonsong met his Cambodian counterpart Cham
Prasidhat for the third Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in Bangkok.
The Thai commerce minister said he would assign the permanent secretary
for commerce and the director general of the department of trade
negotiations to speed up the task, which will also bolster trade along
The special economic zones could be initiated in Surin, Si Sa Ket, Ubon
Ratchathani and Buriram. Such cooperation could be later expanded for
other neighbouring countries.
Thailand and Cambodia also agreed to establish a joint rice mill and
trade federation to boost food security, as both countries are net
exporters of rice.
Similar federations for other groups of farmers growing tapioca and corn
will be set up later to allow Thailand and its neighbouring country to
better negotiate with trade partners in East Asia and in other regions.
Mr Boonsong affirmed that Thai –Cambodian relation was going smoothly
and past strains were probably caused by misunderstanding. From now on,
it will improve in a positive direction.
Last year, Thai-Cambodian trade was recorded at about 90 billion baht
and will exceed 100 billion baht if both countries can increase trade
volume by 30 percent as targeted in the agreement. More Thai investors
started business in Cambodia in 2011, a report said. (MCOT online news)
Cabinet mulls projects to develop Thailand's western province
KANCHANABURI, May 20 – An on-site upcountry Cabinet
meeting on Sunday pondered many projects intended to develop the economy
and support the future growth of the western province of Kanchanaburi,
bordering neighbouring Myanmar.
The Regional Joint Public/Private Sector Consultative
Committee would propose to the cabinet meeting held in Kanchanaburi to
support a Thai concessionaire in the Dawei deep sea port and 68,000-acre
industrial estate project in Myanmar, with an investment budget of 190
billion baht, in order to ensure tangible results in 2015.
The cabinet would also consider Thai infrastructure development
projects, including a 90-kilometre motorway connecting Nonthaburi’s
Bangyai adjacent to the capital to the western province of Kanchanaburi,
with an investment of 45 billion baht, as well as a 70-kilometre
extension route to Baan Phunamron at the Thai–Myanmar border.
The committee also agreed that three border checkpoints -- Three
Pagodas, Baan Phunamron and Singkorn – should be designated permanent
border checkpoints to facilitate freight transportation and tourism.
Regarding tourism along the Gulf of Thailand, the committee would
propose that both Cha-am in Phetchaburi and Pranburi in Prachuap Khiri
Khan provinces be announced as special zones to monitor tourism
development standards. (MCOT online news)
PM pledges to tackle rising consumer product prices
NAKHON PATHOM, May 19 - Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra on Saturday pledged that her government will speed up solving
the problem of rising consumer prices, saying she believed the prices
would soon drop due to the lower cost of agriculture produce.
The premier made her remarks as she visited a fresh
produce market in Nakhon Pathom province on her way to Kanchanaburi for
Sunday's cabinet retreat meeting, inquiring with vendors on both retail
and wholesale prices of vegetables.
Ms Yingluck said the vendors told her that vegetables prices have
dropped by 20 percent from last week but still remained high. The
vendors also urged the premier to urgently solve these problems.
The premier said that oil price is one of factors which has led to
rising consumer costs, but was not the main reason as there are still
additional costs charged by middlemen and services.
She said her government will speed up control of product prices and that
the prices will decrease so the agricultural produce prices will lower
due to the increasing volume of seasonal products.
The government however has to maintain so prices of agricultural produce
is not too low, according to the prime minister.
Ms Yingluck also met with representatives of some 200 pomelo growers
from Nakhon Chaisri and Sam Phran districts who called for compensations
of Bt50,000 per rai as their pomelo orchards were damaged by flooding.
Altogether, 600 rai of pomelo gardens were affected by floodwaters and
until now, no financial assistance has been granted to them.
The premier reportedly told the gardeners that she would consider their
Ms Yingluck later headed to Kanchanaburi province where she met with
leaders of the Thai Women Empowerment Fund.
PM cancelled plan to board helicopter to inspect water situation in
Sirikit dam and forest in Kanchanaburi because of weather and she was
The premier will later chair a meeting of the Regional Joint
Public/Private Sector Consultative Committee in which the private sector
will propose various development projects for Cabinet consideration.
On Sunday, Ms Yingluck will chair the Kanchanaburi Cabinet session and
then return to Bangkok in the afternoon.
The Kanchanaburi retreat is the fourth upcountry cabinet meeting
following Chiang Mai in January, Udon Thani in February, and Phuket in
March. (MCOT online news)
Cabinet approves Bt33 bln in investment for development of 8 central provinces
KANCHANABURI, May 20 – The mobile Cabinet meeting on
Sunday approved a Bt33-billion investment for the development of eight
lower central provinces, while supporting other development projects
linked to Myanmar’s Dawei deep sea port.
Acting Government Spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said
the Cabinet approved investments into 200 projects in Thailand's central
region, of which 60 projects are ready to proceed.
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry was assigned to find channels
to support farmers planting pomelo and other potential produce in the
central provinces of Samutsongkram, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom, Mr
The Commerce Ministry was also assigned to closely monitor middlemen's
profits at no more than 50 percent at each distribution process after
surveys discovered prices of fruits and vegetables in the market had
been found marked up for 40-50 percent at each stage of distribution.
On a related matter, the Cabinet approved projects for economic
development and future growth of the western province of Kanchanaburi
bordering Myanmar, particularly to support the Dawei deep sea port
project. Deputy Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong was
assigned to be in charge of related projects, which are to commence in
2015. Trade and investments in the area is forecast to help Thailand's
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by around 1.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Prevention bills
were passed at the mobile meeting. Proposed drafts will be forwarded to
the Council of State and Parliament for consideration and the processes
are expected to be finished by year-end to assist the country's business
sector, as transactions in trade and investments with other countries
became more difficult when Thailand was blacklisted by the USA's
Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).
The next mobile Cabinet meeting was set for June 18-19 in the eastern
province of Chonburi. (MCOT online news)
Cabinet resolved to postpone oil tax increase by another month
BANGKOK, 20 May 2012 (NNT) - The Cabinet has resolved
to further delay its planned increase in the excise tax on diesel to
help ease consumer burden.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Pakdihan Himathongkam said on Sunday that
the Cabinet meeting today resolved to keep the current excise tax rate
for diesel unchanged for one more month.
Initially, the government has planned to adjust the tax rate up on June
1st. The adjustment will now take place on July 1st.
Mr.Pakdihan said that the postponement is intended to allow the
government to monitor the direction of global crude price for some more
time, in hopes that the world price may ease.
He added that the delayed upward adjustment is also aimed at helping
consumers cope with the higher cost of living, induced by rising world
Eurozone debt crisis limits economic growth of Thailand
BANGKOK, 20 May 2012 (NNT) – An economic expert has
projected that Thailand’s GDP this year should reach 5.9%; although the
Eurozone debt crisis has an impact on Thai economic growth.
Director of the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting of the
University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), Thanawat Polwichai,
shared his view that the sovereign debt crisis in Greece would cause a
minor indirect effect on Thailand thanks to a small number of Thai
exports to Greece.
Mr. Thanawat said however that the ongoing Eurozone debt predicament has
restricted an expansion of the Thai economy. Without it, Thailand’s
trade, investment, exports as well as tourism business could have been
more robust. However, he said, a drastic negative impact from the crisis
has yet to come to Thailand.
Despite that, the economic expert said that the UTCC has not yet revised
its projection for the country’s GDP growth of 5.9%, which is also in
the same range as those predicted by the Bank of Thailand, the office of
the National Economic and Social Development Board, and the Ministry of
Finance which range between 5.5-6 %.
Mr. Thanawat also expressed his concern over a problem of insufficient
labor in the future once the AEC is in effect, saying Thailand would
inevitably face labor shortage.
Money Expo kicks off at IMPACT
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) – The Money Expo 2012
kicked off on Thursday at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, with 120 billion
baht expected to be in circulation.
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong presided over the opening ceremony
amidst a lively atmosphere. Over 200 leading banks, financial
institutions, securities firms, gold companies, and gold futures traders
are offering their best promotions during the Money Expo 2012. The
organizer said it has expanded the area for the event from the previous
year's in order to accommodate more visitors.
Mr Kittiratt explained that the Money Expo directly benefits the private
sector, lenders, borrowers and depositors as well as investors; the
event will eventually benefit the nation’s economy.
The financial institutions are offering low interest rates, beginning
from zero %, for auto, housing, personal, SMEs, and students loans.
Investment options in stocks, funds, bonds, gold, futures exchanges,
insurances, and savings are also available.
The Money Expo 2012 is held from now until May 20th at IMPACT Muang
Thong Thani. The organizer expects 900,000 people to visit the four-day
event, with 120 billion baht in circulation.
FTI: April industrial confidence index recorded 3rd consecutive month of rise
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) – Thai industrial
sentiment has continued to improve for the third consecutive month in
April due to a number of positive factors.
Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol
said on Thursday that the country’s industrial confidence index stood at
104.0 in April, up from 102.1 recorded in March.
Mr. Payungsak stated that the continued rise in the index was attributed
by an increase in overall sales, production, and earnings.
He said that the index has been rising for 3 consecutive months and such
a scenario showed that the manufacturing sector should have completely
returned to normal.
However, the FTI chairman warned that higher oil prices have caused the
biggest worry to industrial operators, followed by foreign exchange
volatility, global economic conditions, domestic political situation and
the country’s lending rates.
He went on to say that the 3-month index was at 112.6 in April, also up
from 109.5 in March.
Mr. Payungsak added that industrialists have been urging the government
to speedily boost local consumption and sales while reducing the cost of
They also want the government to come up with additional measures to
help operators cope with rising costs, particularly after the new
300-baht minimum wage has been implemented, and to introduce more
clear-cut disaster prevention policies.
Commerce Ministry confident Thai exports to EU will continue to grow
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry is
unfazed by Greece’s failure to form a new government, stating that
Thailand has been preparing plans to cope with possible hit to its
Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) Deputy
Director-General Wuttichai Duangrat said that the DITP has been keeping
a close eye on the situation in Greece for some time and aware that the
country’s failure to form a new government could exacerbate the debt
crisis, which may affect the overall image of Thai exports.
Mr. Wuttichai stated that related agencies have been mulling back-up
plans and looking at additional markets for Thai exports to cushion the
impact from all problems in Greece.
According to the DITP Deputy Director-General, new markets Thailand has
been penetrating include China, India and Russia.
In addition, he said that statistics showed Greece’s importation of Thai
products represented only 2-5 percent of the country’s exports to EU.
As a result, he believes that any fallout from Greece will not hurt Thai
Transport Ministry to turn Nakhon Ratchasima Airport into new maintenance center
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) – The Transport Ministry
is preparing to turn the Nakhon Ratchasima Airport into a new aircraft
Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan said that he has assigned
the Department of Civil Aviation to consider transferring the operations
of some regional airports to Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited
Mr. Chatchart said that the AOT is likely to be able to administer and
fully utilize the capacity of several local airports, such as the Nakhon
Ratchasima Airport, which locates on a 4,000-rai plot of land not far
The Deputy Transport Minister recommended that the Nakhon Ratchasima
Airport should be turned into the aircraft maintenance and service
center as it has only been serving charter flights nowadays.
Mr. Chatchart said that the planned transformation of Don Mueang Airport
into another service center may not be feasible now, as there have been
talks of a plan to transfer some commercial flight services to this
airport due to an increasingly crowded situation at Suvarnabhumi
Gold prices to continue to drop, says expert
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) - A gold expert believes
that gold prices will continue to drop, saying long-term gold investment
is not recommended.
According to Gold Traders Association President Jitti Tangsithpakdi, the
precious metal price has declined by 2,000 baht per-baht weight of gold
ornaments since the beginning of the year. He further explained that the
drop is not that drastic, saying it once, in the third quarter last
year, dropped by 2,000 baht in one day.
Mr Jitti suggested long-term speculators to avoid buying gold at this
time, as the price is expected to fall further.
He cited that the global gold prices are on a downward trend and could
drop to as low as 1,500 dollars, down from the present 1,530 dollars per
BOI: Jan-Apr foreign direct investment worth THB155 bil
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) - The Board of Investment
of Thailand (BOI) has revealed that 407 investment projects, worth 155
billion baht altogether, have been carried out in Thailand by foreign
investors during the first four months of 2012.
Speaking about the overall situation of the foreign direct investment
(FDI) during January-May 2012, BOI Investment Adviser Hiranya Sujinai
has revealed that more foreigners have expressed their interest to
invest in Thailand both in the number of projects and investment value.
A total of 407 projects, with an investment value worth 155.49 billion
baht, have requested investment promotions from the BOI. The number of
investment projects has increased by 21% year-on-year, while there is
also a 44% rise in the investment value.
Japan still holds its position as the largest foreign investor in
Thailand, with a total of 228 projects, worth 93 billion baht. Other
important foreign investors include Malaysia (10.74 billion baht), USA
(9.11 billion baht), the Netherlands (9.8 billion baht) and Hong Kong
(5.46 billion baht).
Finance Ministry predicts 15% growth for 2012 export
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Finance Kittiratt Na Ranong has insisted that the Thai
economy is still strong, while expressing confidence that the export
sector will enjoy a 15% growth this year.
Mr. Kittiratt said that the decrease of energy price in the global
market has relieved pressure from domestic product prices, which is
considered a good sign for the country's economy. Meanwhile, export,
which serves as a vehicle to stimulate the economy, is still active in
many parts of the world despite the European financial crisis. Thus, it
is believed that a 15% growth could still be achieved for 2012.
However, he admitted that the price of certain goods, particularly
ready-to-eat meals, may not be reduced once the initial costs start
dropping in the near future. This is partly due to the small number of
entrepreneurs in the country, thus, leading to little market
Additionally, Mr. Kittiratt has expressed confidence that the Thai
economy is still strong and has already recovered from last year’s flood
crisis. He added that many economic forecast centers have begun to make
positive adjustments to Thailand’s economic growth.
20 business giants join BTS’ Rabbit pass
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) - The Bangkok Mass Transit
System, commonly called ‘BTS’ by its short name, has drawn in 20
business giants to offer special promotion for Rabbit pass holders.
The new ‘Rabbit’ ticket, which has been on sale since late April, allows
holder to benefit from the use of just one ticket to commute on the BTS,
the underground train (MRT) and the Bangkok Rapid Transit (BRT).
With the hope of selling up to 1.5 million Rabbit passes in one year in
the initial stage, the BTS is cooperating with 20 other companies, who
agree to offer special discounts to Rabbit pass holders.
Joining the campaign are all the big names including McDonald’s, Star
Bucks, Black Canyon, Au Bon Pain, Burger King, Mister Donut, Oishi Group
and other shops in Siam Paragon and the Emporium.
According to BTS, 600,000 people use the BTS each day on working days
with the highest passenger number in March at 710,000 per day. Around
3-400,000 passengers are recorded on weekends.
The Rabbit pass will entirely replace the old smart cards. Passengers
can now use the Rabbit pass to travel in the entire BTS system.
Taxis to delay fare hike under govt scheme
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) - Under a
government-initiated scheme, tens of thousands of cab drivers have
agreed not to raise the fare for 3 more months or until energy price has
Taxi cooperatives in Bangkok and the vicinities, comprising over 50,000
members, have gathered at the Royal Plaza to show support for the
government-initiated project for taxis nationwide to collectively delay
fare adjustment for a period of 3 months or until the government has
decided to adjust energy price.
Agriculture and Cooperatives Deputy Minister Nattawut Saikua, in his
capacity to oversee the operation of taxi cooperatives, said that after
a 3-month peg on the taxi fare, the ministry and taxi cooperatives will
re-evaluate the energy price and cost of living. If both are still high,
the government will come up with assistance measures to lessen the
expense of taxi cooperative members.
Meanwhile, Vice President of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) Pornsilp
Patcharintanakul said that the scheme is only a short-term assistance
measure, which does not provide a direct solution to the problem, since
the global energy price is already starting to fall.
It is estimated that the global fuel price will further drop to under
100-110 baht per barrel. Consequently, the country's energy price should
also be seeing a declining trend.
Govt prepares measures to shore up fruit prices during oversupply period
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – The Agriculture and
Cooperatives Ministry has laid in store measures to prevent a drop in
fruit prices during the oversupply period in August and September,
including encouraging people to consume Thai fruit.
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Theera Wongsamut talks about ways
to tackle the low fruit price crisis during the plentiful season in
August and September, particularly in the South and the North. Over
360,000 tons of fruit from seven southern provinces, namely Chumphon,
Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, and
Narathiwat are expected to be in the market in the months. Mr Theera
said the ministry will help release around 31,500 tons of these fruit to
markets in other regions.
Meanwhile, the North is expected to produce 470,000 tons of longan. The
government is prepared to support farmers and fruit dealers with
transportation, marketing, and fruit preservation costs.
Provincial Waterworks Authority allocated THB4.9bil for 20 projects
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – The Provincial
Waterworks Authority have been allocated billions of baht to carry out
20 pending projects.
Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) Governor Ratana Kitchawan said
that the Cabinet has allocated 4.9 billion baht worth of budget for the
PWA to execute 20 projects.
The budget is earmarked for the enhancement of water production and
distribution in areas hit by disaster and crises.
Ms. Ratana stated that new piping system measured more than 1,100
kilometers will replace the existing one.
Moreover, the PWA will use the budget to increase its production
capacity to 278,400 cubic meters of water per day by constructing a new
pumping system, a new water treatment plant, a new chemical discharge
system, and other supporting systems.
Once all projects are completed, residents in the municipal areas and
surrounding localities will greatly benefit from all developments and
enjoy clean water supply.
NFI: Thai food exports grew 5.3% in Q1-2012
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – The National Food
Institute has set this year’s food export growth target at 5.1 percent
after the figures from the first quarter came out impressively.
National Food Institute (NFI) President Petch Chinabutr said that Thai
food export value in the first quarter of 2012 totaled 234.288 billion
baht, a 5.3-percent year-on-year increase.
Mr. Petch said that sugar, chicken and poultry, cassava and food
seasoning exports have registered an outstanding growth, while the food
industry suffered a 1.6-percent contraction in the first quarter of this
year due to a slowdown in Thailand’s major markets, including the US and
For the entire year of 2012, the NFI President believes that total food
export value will exceed 1 trillion baht, or a 5.1-percent on-year
growth rate, because of high prices that have been driven up by rising
In addition, Mr. Petch said that the food business confidence index in
April 2012 stood at 55.0 while entrepreneurs remained concerned about
the cost of raw materials, which may hinder future growth.
Moreover, the NFI survey on the readiness of Thai food producers towards
the emergence of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 found that around
63 percent of medium- and large-sized entrepreneurs are not quite
prepared due to worries about language barriers and different
They are also waiting for the government to provide more information and
news on the issue.
DPM Kittiratt: Thai economy is not to worry over European financial crisis despite local stock losses
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – The deputy prime
minister in charge of the economy has assured that Thai economy will be
safe from the financial crisis in Europe, despite heavy stock market
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said on
Wednesday that the Thai stock market has suffered serious losses because
of investors’ worries about the financial crisis in the EU.
However, Mr. Kittiratt is confident that such issues will not have any
serious impact on the Thai economy, whose fundamentals remain strong.
He said that the market losses will be short-lived while expressing
belief that the Thai stock market will end up offering impressive
returns over the long term.
The deputy prime minister is also convinced that Thai export growth will
hit its target of 15 percent this year, despite problems in the EU, due
to high purchasing power in Asia and Thailand’s timely adjustment of its
Mr. Kittiratt went on to say that the government is speeding up the
disbursement of its 2012 fiscal budget, as nearly 60 percent of the
allocation remain in the state coffer while less than 5 months remain
before the current fiscal year ends.
He also assured that the state revenue collection target of 1.98
trillion baht will be achieved before the end of October, even though
the country’s tax restructuring plan has not been implemented.
Finance Ministry confirms sufficient supply of coins in the local system
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – The Finance Ministry has
brushed aside calls for the issuance of more coins to help ease the
pressure of rising goods prices.
Deputy Finance Minister Wirun Techapaiboon has assured that all types of
coins are sufficiently circulating in the system and will not fall short
of public demand.
Mr. Wirun is imploring local producers to stop their claims of coin
shortage and not to relate such an issue to the current issue of rising
goods prices and, at the same time, not to use it as a pretext to raise
goods prices by 5-10 baht instead of 1-2 baht.
He said that the Treasury Department has been adding more coins of all
types and sizes to the local system, and merchants can always change
banknotes for needed coins at all state-run banks.
According to the Finance Ministry’s data, around 1.58 billion pieces of
10-baht coins, about 2.4 billion pieces of 5-baht coins, approximately
996 million pieces of 2-baht coins and roughly 12 billion pieces of
1-baht coins are now available in the Thai economy.
Thai food exports projected to decline this year
BANGKOK, May 16 – Thai food exports in the second and
third quarters of 2012 are projected to decline owing to the slowing
global economy and higher Thai production costs, according to the
National Food Institute (NFI).
In April-June, the production is likely to slow in
tandem with exports. Food exports in particular are forecast to drop 2.3
per cent valued at nearly Bt250 billion, said NFI Director Petch
Exports of rice, frozen shrimp, processed tuna and processed fruit and
vegetable are projected to decrease.
Food exports are likely to continue slowing into the third quarter, but
will rebound in the fourth quarter.
Overall in 2012, food exports are projected to drop in quantity but
prices will tend to rise, so that Thai food export value is likely to
surpass one trillion baht, an increase of 5.1 per cent.
Risk factors that should be monitored are global energy costs, effects
from the minimum wage rise and higher prices of raw materials for
Regarding the increase of the daily minimum wage in April, most
entrepreneurs experienced higher production costs but 75.9 per cent of
those still capped the prices while 20.3 per cent will increase prices,
and another 38 per cent may raise their prices in the next three months.
The Thai food production industry in the first quarter of this year
dropped 1.6 per cent, resulting from global economic slowdown,
particularly in major Thai food importing countries such as the US and
the European Union.
Fish, vegetables and fruit-processing industries produced less and the
dairy industry shrank 43.3 per cent as it has not yet recovered from
last year’s severe flood impacts.
Food exports in the first quarter of this year rose 5.3 per cent, worth
Bt234 billion. Exports of sugar, chicken, poultry meat, tapioca powder
and seasoning rose.
Export values were up due to rises in goods prices. However, exports of
rice, shrimp, tuna, vegetable, processed fruit fell. (MCOT online news)
Number of foreign investors seeking investment promotion surges in January-April: BoI
BANGKOK, May 16 - The number of foreign direct
investment (FDI) projects applying for investment promotions for
January-April reached 407 with a total investment value of Bt155.4
billion, according to Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI) adviser
She said the number of projects rose 21 per cent
year-on-year from 336, while the investment value grew 44 per cent from
Ms Hiranya noted foreign direct investment (FDI) promotions during the
first four months were mainly (59 per cent) businesses already invested
in Thailand wanting to expand their holdings, counting for 240 projects
with an investment value of Bt113 billion. There were 167 new projects
seeking promotion with an investment value of Bt42 billion.
Businesses with the highest investment value included electronic
products and electrical appliances with 94 projects valued at Bt51
billion; vehicle manufacturing, machinery and metals with 131 projects
and value of Bt37.3 billion; chemical products, paper and plastic with
60 projects and investment value of Bt22.1 billion; service and public
utilities with 72 projects and investment value of Bt17.6 billion; and
processed agricultural products with 18 projects and a value of Bt13.4
Japanese investors remained the top group of players in terms of the
number of projects and investment value. The number of Japanese projects
seeking investment promotions reached 228 with an investment value of
Malaysian investors ranked second, seeking 12 promotions valued at
Bt10.7 billion, while American investors came third with 17 projects
having an investment value of Bt9.1 billion.
Investment from the Netherlands ranked fourth, with 11 applications
valued at Bt9.8 billion.
Investors from Hong Kong came last with nine applications valued at
Ms Hiranya said such investment values in all sizes of businesses
reflected both Thailand's potential and investors' high confidence on
investing in the country, which she believed would help push the
investment outlook to Bt600 billion as targeted.
She added BOI recently welcomed more than 20 groups of foreign investors
from Indonesia, China, South Korea, Sweden, and Poland and other
countries to seeking advice on BOI investment promotions and channels.
(MCOT online news)
Thailand number 6 in the world to suffer from high fuel price
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) - With the unproportional
relation between fuel price and average daily income, Thailand has been
ranked as the sixth country in the world where people are suffering from
"pain at the pump".
Leading business and financial news provider Bloomberg has recently
released a list ranking 55 countries by their average fuel price and by
"pain at the pump," which is measured by the percentage of average daily
income needed to buy a gallon of fuel.
Norwegians pay the highest amount of money for fuel, at 9.69
dollars/gallon, followed by Denmark (9.37 dollars/gallon), Italy (9.35
dollars/gallon), Netherlands (9.35 dollars/gallon) and Greece (9.23
dollars/gallon). However, the countries which tops the fuel price list
are not those suffering most from the soaring rate given the high income
The number one country on Bloomberg's "pain at the pump" list is India,
where the fuel price is deemed slightly high at 6.06 dollars/gallon in
comparison with the average daily income of only 4.50 dollars. The low
income combined with the pricey fuel has resulted in the country's
energy poverty and the people's limited access to electricity and clean
Meanwhile, Thailand ranks sixth on the "pain at the pump" list, with
fuel priced at 4.96 dollars/gallon in relation to an average daily
income of 16 dollars.
Commerce Minister speeding up details of new price-controlled product list
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) – The Commerce Minister is
pushing to draw a conclusion on the details of the government’s list of
price-controlled items, which will include ready-to-eat meal.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said on Tuesday that the Cabinet
has agreed in principle the proposed revision of measures to rein in the
problem of rising goods prices.
He stated that the weekly Cabinet meeting concurred with the notion
that, currently, prices of ready-to-eat meal are too expensive and to be
included in the list of price-controlled items.
The state-appointed central committee on goods and services prices
resolved last week to include ready-to-eat food into the list of
controlled-price items, raising the total number of such products to 42.
The resolution has suggested 10 popular menus to be included in the
implementation, which should be executed only in certain areas.
The Cabinet has instructed the Commerce Ministry’s Permanent Secretary,
who chairs the sub-committee in charge of prices of ready-to-eat foods,
to conduct a study to determine where the price control policy should be
implemented, what standard each menu should carry, and the pricing for
different areas, which the policy will be enforced.
Mr. Boonsong hopes that the details of the study will be completed in
time for the Cabinet Retreat in Kanchanaburi Province on May 19th, in
order to allow the central committee to make an official announcement on
the new addition as soon as possible.
Producers to maintain prices of more than 200 items to shore up consumer burden
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) – Business operators have
expressed their support to the government’s scheme to help shore up
consumer burden by offering to control prices of hundreds of goods.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said that the Commerce Ministry
has recently held a meeting with producers to discuss the government’s
price control policy.
At the meeting, all participating producers were asked to consider
putting a cap on the prices of items, essential to daily life.
Mr. Boonsong stated that he has specifically solicited help from more
than 200 business operators to hold their prices. He said all of them
have agreed to collaborate with the Commerce Ministry’s request and will
put a hold on the price adjustment from June to September.
The Commerce Minister added that all producers said that they will
review their pricing policies again after the 4-month period has passed.
Meanwhile, participating producers have inquired that the government
issues more coins to help slow down the price rise, which could be
caused by the alleged lack of small change.
They also called for a state campaign to encourage the public to think
carefully before spending and deciding on items to purchase.
American multi-millionaires to visit Vietnam
Hanoi , May 15 (VNA) – Billionaire Mike Ryan from the
Cayman Islands and Bob Livingston, the founder and chairman of
Livingston Group LLC will visit Vietnam to seek out investment
opportunities. The Dau tu (Investment) newspaper cited Link World
Unlimited Events LLC as saying that during their nine-day stay, the two
investors will tour Hanoi , the central province of Ninh Thuan , Phu
Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang and Ho Chi Minh City
. The areas they are interested in include heavy industry, finance and
banking, shipbuilding, the transport sector, ports and the construction
of hotels and resorts. They also plan to meet with a number of
Vietnamese businesses during their visit. Mike Ryan is the owner and
developer of the Grand Cayman, the Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons in
the Cayman Islands . He also owns a number of international conference
centres around the world, the Condominium Hotel chain and a string of
exclusive resorts. Bob Livingston, who is the 106 th Speaker of the US
House of Representatives, is also an envoy for many world famous names,
including Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, the European Aeronautic Defence
and Space Company, the US Chamber of Commerce, Verizon, John Wickerman
and the George Washington University.
An Giang fair boosts trade ties with Cambodia
An Giang, May 15 (VNA) – The 2012 Mekong Delta
Trade-Tourism and Investment Trade Fair at the Xuan To Industrial Zone
in Tinh Bien District, in the Mekong delta province of An Giang ended on
May 14 after six days. As part of the trade promotions programme in
border areas, the fair is the foremost trade promotion in An Giang
province in 2012. It has also created many opportunities for businesses
in the province to showcase their products and services to potential
customers in the Mekong Delta region as well as in Cambodia . The fair
witnessed a total revenue of 18 billion VND in transactions and a great
number of contracts, agreements and memoranda of understandings were
signed between participating enterprises. The event is expected to
increase the import-export turnover to Cambodia at the Tinh Bien border
BoT: European economy will not affect Thailand
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT) - Despite the worrisome situation of the
European economy at present, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) is confident
that the Thai economy will not be affected.
Director of the BoT's Office of Macroeconomics Songtham Pinto stated
that the situation of public debt in European countries is still a cause
for concern, particularly for the financial market. However, it will not
produce any significant impact on Thailand’s economy, given that the
country’s export to Europe stands at only 10% of its total export
Meanwhile, it has been estimated that Thai export will see a 9.2% growth
this year. Even though the delayed recovery of foreign economies has
brought about the current slowdown, the export sector is expected to
enjoy a decent growth after the production sector has returned to
normal. This will serve as a driving force for the economy and domestic
spending in 2013.
EXIM supporting Thai investors to compete on global scale
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT)-Deputy Finance Minister
Mr. Tanusak Lekuthai said his Ministry is fully supportive of the
Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM) to promote oversea investment, job
opportunities, and industrial growth as well as to provide business
The Finance Ministry has resolved to provide the EXIM Bank the support
it needs after the meeting with its executives. Investors as well as
exporters will be able to seek loans from the EXIM to get their
businesses off the ground.
The Deputy Minister also said, in addition to loans, the government will
support SME businesses across the industry to enable them to become
competitive in the global market. It will focus on, he added, improving
cash flows for SME owners and insuring their exports with flexible
According to him, companies eligible for the flexible criteria should
not have export value in excess of 200 million baht a year. Important
information useful for Thai businesses will also be made available to
help investors prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
Thai ambassador: Qatar wishes to boost trade ties with Thailand
DOHA, 15 May 2012 (NNT) - On the eve of Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra’s visit, Thailand's Ambassador to Qatar Panyarak Poolsup said
that the State of Qatar is looking to strengthen trade and investment
cooperation with Thailand.
Mr Panyarak said that in response to the Thai government’s bid to foster
relations and cooperation with Qatar, visitor numbers from the gulf
state to Thailand are on the rise, particularly for medical tourism.
Medical cooperation is also on the agenda for discussion between Ms
Yingluck and Qatari leaders, as Thailand's health care services are
considered of high standards.
Among the key areas of cooperation, the Thai ambassador elaborated that
Qatar's business community has expressed interest in investing in the
kingdom’s mega-projects and in increasing food imports from Thailand.
Ms Yingluck is scheduled to arrive in Doha this evening. Once in the
capital, the premier will be welcomed by Mr Panyarak and a team of
During her visit, Ms Yingluck will pay a courtesy call to Sheikh Hamad
bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar, at Al
Wajbah Fort before holding bilateral discussions with the Prime Minister
and Foreign Minister of Qatar.
Following the talks, the two PMs are expected to co-chair a ceremony for
the signing of a Thai-Qatari MoU on labor cooperation.
Labor Ministry: Nearly 8,000 workers laid off in first quarter
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT) – The Labor Ministry has revealed a
staggering number of workers being laid off. Reports from the Department
of Workers Protection and Welfare indicated that 7,900 workers were laid
off in the first quarter this year, a huge increase from last year’s
figure, which was reported at only 40 workers.
According to the report, 15,900 people applied for social benefits for
the unemployed in the first quarter this year, a 200% increase
year-on-year. The Social Security Office also indicated that the number
of new employees joining the social security system has been on a
decline for the past five months.
The Department of Workers Protection and Welfare urged people not to
panic about the numbers, saying it is analyzing the effects of the
300-baht minimum wage policy, to see whether it will lead to higher
Thai entrepreneurs urged to open restaurant business in Myanmar
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT) - The National Food Institute (NFI) has
advised Thai entrepreneurs to invest in the restaurant business in
Myanmar as more tourists are expected to flow into the country. BR> The
NFI has encouraged Thai entrepreneurs to seek opportunities in the
restaurant business in Myanmar to accommodate the increasing number of
tourists expected to be traveling to Thailand's neighbour after it has
finally opened its door to the world. Due to its low production quality,
lack of technology, and basic infrastructure, the Burmese government has
allowed foreign investors to help develop the country's food industry.
The institute has pointed out that the most appropriate business to
invest in Myanmar are SMEs, such as restaurants, tea shops, and
distributors of low-priced product such as betel nuts.
The NFI has also found that investment in processed food production and
distribution, agricultural products, machinery and technology for
agriculture and food processing will benefit from the Burmese
government's policy. Myanmar is currently undergoing a major development
in its agricultural policy to encourage the expansion of the public
irrigation system, agricultural terrains and foreign investment in the
Myanmar is also reforming its policies to draw foreign investors into
the country; for example, the drafting of a new investment law, which
exempts investors from paying income tax for the first 8 years, and
allows a 50% corporate income tax reduction for profits derived from
Labor Ministry integrate works to tackle illegal migrant workers
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT) – The Labor Ministry has
held a seminar on tackling illegal migrant worker problems, integrating
the works of different agencies to prevent the influx of illegal
Officials from the committee on illegal alien workers administration and
local Department of Employment participated in the seminar to exchange
ideas, knowledge and experience to enable them to work together in the
The committee on illegal alien workers administration, which was newly
established on May 3rd, has been working on arresting and preventing
illegal immigrants entering the country and tackling local gangs that
smuggle in illegal workers.
The committee makes arrests, finds out the nationality of, and deports
the illegal immigrants. Over the past 10 days, the committee has
captured over 900 illegal workers from 6 employers.
Most immigrants are from Myanmar, followed by Cambodia and Laos.