Finance Ministry elated by rocketing tax collection
BANGKOK, Dec 22 – Thailand’s revenue from tax collection
in the first two months of the 2013 fiscal year, or
October-November, reached Bt321.2 billion, or 8.5 percent higher
than the target, mainly due to the government’s policy of tax
refunds for first-car owners, the Finance Ministry announced.
Somchai Sujjapongse, director general of the Fiscal Policy
Office, said the collection of excise tax from first-car
purchase was Bt5.89 billion or 58.3 per cent higher than
expected, while the expansion of domestic consumption has
contributed to Bt5.66 billion or a 10.2 percent increase in the
collection of value added tax (VAT) from the original target.
Revenue from the government sector was Bt4.1 billion higher than
targeted, while state enterprises contributed Bt1.8 billion more
Mr Somchai said the state coffer also received Bt1.65 billion
from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission
and Bt1.95 billion from the Communications Authority of Thailand
or CAT Telecom.
The Finance Ministry received revenue from CAT Telecom much
earlier than the expected delivery of May next year, he said.
He said the country’s economic growth and the positive signals
of global economic recovery have boosted the Finance Ministry’s
confidence in achieving the targeted tax collection of Bt2.1
trillion for the 2013 budget year. (MCOT online news)
Thai Jan-Nov rice exports decrease 37% in volume, 25% in value, year-on-year
BANGKOK, Dec 21 - Thai rice exports from January through
November decreased 37 per cent in volume and 25 per cent in
value year-on-year, according to the Thai Rice Exporters
The January-November export volume this year reached 6.4 million
tonnes valued at Bt135 billion, compared to 10.1 million tonnes
at Bt178 billion during the comparable period last year.
The price of Thai rice became higher this year at US$648/tonne,
a 16 per cent increase year-on-year.
Major Thai rice importers are Nigeria, Iraq, South Africa, Ivory
Coast, and Indonesia, respectively.
According to the association, one reason for the reduced rice
exports was that buyers ordered rice only for consumption but
not to keep for stocks.
Also, Thailand now has disadvantages compared to competitors
such as India, Pakistan, and particularly Vietnam, which last
month lowered its rice price to US$410/tonne, the lowest in the
About 500,000 tonnes of rice are forecast to be exported this
month alone. (MCOT online news)
Thailand to designate 2013 as anti-piracy year
BANGKOK, Dec 21 - Thailand's Deputy Commerce Minister Natthawut
Saikua said on Friday that the government has pledged to crack
down on piracy and will set up a centre to monitor the
situation, as well as designate 2013 as the Year of Intellectual
Property Rights' Protection.
Mr Natthawut made his remarks following the latest report of the
Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on
Results of the Special 301 Review of Notorious Markets, in which
this year, Thailand's Red Zones were still listed as notorious
physical marketplaces of pirated and counterfeit goods.
The December 13 report mentioned 12 markets in Thailand in
designated Red Zones, up from four markets last year. The list
included markets in Phuket's Karon and Patong beaches, Pattaya's
IT City, and Aranyaprathet's Rongklua Market.
In the capital Chatuchak Market, MBK Centre, Siam Square, the
Sukhumvit area, Patpong area, Panthip Plaza, as well as other
marketplaces such as Klong Thom, Baan Mor and Saphan Lek were
Mr Natthawut commented that the commerce ministry has not yet
been informed of the reasons and motives of such report as
Thailand has continuously put effort to crackdown on piracy.
He said the ministry will convene a meeting of concerned
officials before deciding whether or not Thailand will seek more
clarification on the matter from USTR.
Mr Natthawut reasserted that the Thai government has clear
approaches to tackle the violations of intellectual property
rights and will set up a national operations centre to crackdown
on piracy, as well as announce 2013 as intellectual property
Apart from the crackdown, Mr Natthawut said the education
ministry will lay out an anti-piracy curriculum among Thai
The minister said he has instructed concerned agencies to
closely monitor piracy in designated Red Zones during the
festive New Year celebrations and those who are found guilty
will be prosecuted.
Mr Natthawut said the National Police Bureau, the Customs
Department and Department of Special investigation made arrests
in 8,416 piracy-related cases during the first nine months of
2012, with more than six million items impounded.
The minister pledged that the government will do its best to
make the United States remove Thailand from the Priority Watch
List which is due to be announced in April next year. (MCOT
Labour ministry seeking cabinet approval to legalise 300,000 illegal migrant workers
BANGKOK, Dec 20 - Thailand's Ministry of Labour plans to seek
cabinet approval to endorse some 300,000 illegal migrants who
failed to go through nationality verification process.
Permanent-Secretary for Labour Somkiat Chayasriwong said the
deadline of the nationality verification process set by the Thai
government has passed but there are still about 300,000 illegal
migrants workers who have not been through the process.
The government earlier extended the nationality verification
procedure which ended in June to December 14 to verify the
nationality of migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao
before registering them to work in Thailand.
Nationality verification is significant in solving the problem
of illegal foreign labour employment.
Mr Somkiat said the labour ministry is now drafting a Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU) with the three neighbouring countries to
issue temporary passports for the migrant workers whose
nationalities have not yet been verified so that they will have
legal status in the kingdom.
As of now, the Lao PDR and Cambodia agreed with the idea, said
Mr Somkiat, adding the ministry is discussing with the Myanmar
authorities on Friday on the matter.
Mr Somkiat said the issue will be proposed for Thai cabinet
approval early next year. The employers will be required to send
the names of employees whose nationality has not yet been
verified to the ministry within a one month timeframe.
He said all the process will be complete within three months
from sending the name list. The illegal migrant workers are
obliged to collect their temporary passports at the locations
determined by their country of origin, such as Lao migrant
workers, who will have to cross a border to get their passports,
while the Cambodians can collect their passports at the embassy
in Bangkok. (MCOT online news)
Bt600 billion cash in reserve for New Year’s holiday
BANGKOK, Dec 21 – The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has reserved Bt600
billion (US$20 billion) in banknotes of various denominations
for this month’s holiday season, it was disclosed.
According to the BoT’s forecast, commercial banks in Thailand
will have a greater demand for cash in December, as the month
filled with holidays.
Commercial banks are expected to withdraw Bt290 billion (US$9.6
billion) in cash and deposit Bt169 billion (US$5.6 billion) in
This year’s circulating cash totals Bt1,331 billion (US$44
billion) – a 7 per cent increase from last year.
Bangkok Bank said it will reserve an additional Bt40 billion
(US$1.3 billion) cash between December 29 and January 1 for
7,600 ATM outlets nationwide.
Customers can also withdraw cash from more than 200 Bangkok
Bank’s micro branches located in shopping complexes during the
According to Kasikorn Bank, its cash reserve at 7,529 ATM
outlets during the New Year’s holiday will be Bt34.5 billion
CIMB Thai said it has reserved Bt1.3 billion (US$43 million) for
over 500 ATM machines nationwide.
Commercial banks will reopen on January 3. (MCOT online news)
November Industries Sentiment Index highest in 5 months
BANGKOK, Dec 20 – The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI)
rose from 93 in October to 95.2 in November, the first positive
sign in five months, a senior industrialist said today.
Payungsak Chartsutipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai
Industries (FTI), said the higher TISI is attributed to purchase
and sales orders, production volume, capital cost and financial
He, however, pointed out that a TISI below 100 reflects an
unsatisfactory level of manufacturers’ confidence.
The index on purchase and sales orders was above 100 which
showed industrialists’ confidence on expanded demand in various
sectors including automotive, construction, food, electrical
appliances, electronics and energy, Mr Payungsak said.
He said TISI in the next three months is forecast at 99.6.
The export index improved in November thanks to increased order
from overseas for the holiday season while negative factors
which impacted manufacturers’ confidence were the global
economic situation, domestic political uncertainty, higher
production cost due to increased expense on raw materials,
energy and the minimum wage increase to Bt300/day from Jan 1,
the FTI chairman said.
Thai industrialists urged the government in November to enhance
cooperation with neighbouring countries to pave the way for
small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand to increase
export and service to those countries before the ASEAN Economic
Community materialises in 2015, he said.
Thai SMEs which will be severely affected by the Bt300 minimum
wage implementation need urgent assistance to stay competitive
in the market while the government should develop skilled labour
to cope with more sophisticated industrial production, he said.
(MCOT online news)
World Bank paints improved economic future for Thailand
BANGKOK, Nov 22 – Thailand’s Amata B. Grimm Power Group plans to
invest over Bt 50 billion (US$1.6 billion) to build 10 more
power plants to cope with augmented foreign investment after the
launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
The group, a subsidiary of the B. Grimm conglomerate, currently
operates three power plants in Amata industrial estate in
Chonburi and one in Amata City Bien Hoa industrial estate near
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Two more plants at Amata industrial
estates in Chonburi and Rayong are under construction.
With the 10 additions, Amata B. Grimm Power will have a total of
16 electricity power plants.
Priyanart Sunthornvata, chief operating officer of Amata B.
Grimm Power, said the independent power production group is
ready to fulfill domestic industrial expansion given liberalised
trade in the Southeast Asian region in 2015 and to alleviate the
burden of the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand (EGAT) which supplies power to more than 800 industrial
To satisfy foreign investor demand, the country’s transportation
system, facilities, infrastructure and electricity supply must
be ready, she said, insisting on the urgency to expand power
plants to feed the industrial sector.
The group currently produces 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity
under a Small Power Producer (SPP) purchase agreement with EGAT.
The remaining electricity and steam are sold to about 300 plants
in the three industrial estates.
The 10 new power plants are scheduled for completion in 2019.
The 16 plants will have a combined production capacity of 2,000
mw to be supplied to over 800 industrial plants in six
industrial estates, Ms Priyanart said.
EGAT Governor Suthas Patamasiriwat said domestic power
consumption has been rising rapidly for several years,
particularly in the industrial sector.
Thailand’s power demand reached its peak of 26,121MW on April 26
this year, an increase of 9.3 per cent from the previous year
and it is predicted that the demand will be greater to 26,950 MW
next year, he said, adding that the nation’s electricity demand
will be as high as 53,000 mw in 2010.
The multiplied power demand has compelled the Energy Ministry to
ensure sufficient power supply through several means: production
by EGAT, purchase of power from domestic and foreign producers
and encouraging production by independent and small power
producers. (MCOT online news)
World Bank: Rice pledging scheme a heavy burden for Thailand
BANGKOK, Dec 19 – Thailand’s financial loss from its two-year
rice pledging scheme should reach Bt247 billion (US$8.2
billion), or 1-1.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), a
World Bank economist said today.
Kirida Bhaopichitr, the bank's senior economist for East Asia
and the Pacific, said the Thai government’s rice pledging
expenditure for the 2012-2013 harvest season will be Bt432
billion ($14.4 billion), or 3.8 per cent of GDP – an increase
from last year’s Bt376 billion ($12.5 billion), or 3.4 per cent
The final loss will not be known until the government sells the
rice in its stockpile, she said.
The government has posted a loss of Bt115 billion ($3.83
billion) last year, while the loss in the new harvest is
projected at Bt132 billion ($4.4 billion), she said.
Dr Kirida said the government’s rice pledging price is 50 per
cent, or $200/tonne, higher than current global prices, adding
that the price of 5 per cent white rice will probably drop from
$550/tonne this year to $520/tonne next year.
She urged the government to spend the national budget on
improving the productivity and quality of rice which will
consequently increase the total yield.
According to the 2000-2010 data, Thailand’s rice yield was 2,877
tonnes/hectare – the lowest compared to Vietnam (4,834
tonnes/hectare), India (3,103 tonnes/hectare) and Myanmar (3,757
The World Bank economist said Thailand's minimum wage adjustment
to Bt300/day, to be effective nationwide January 1, will
increase the overall minimum wage by 22.4 per cent from this
year, which is extremely high compared to an increase at only
2.5 per cent in the past. She called on the government to
improve the quality of Thai skilled labour.
She said the government’s economic stimulus projects at 5.4 per
cent this year and 2.4 per cent next year will motivate domestic
However, financial spending for most of the projects are made
through state financial institutes which will have to bear the
burden of accumulated debts, she pointed out.
She added that Thailand’s public debt situation is far from
worrisome at a predicted 50 per cent next year, a 5 per cent
increase from this year, due to loans for various big projects.
New vehicular excise tax rates depend on CO2 emissions, from 2016
BANGKOK, Dec 19 - The Cabinet yesterday approved a new excise
tax structure to take effect in January 2016 in accord with a
vehicle's quantity of carbon dioxide emissions, and 20 per cent
higher excise taxes on luxury motorbikes and motorcycles to take
The Finance Ministry earlier asked the Cabinet to agree to an
equitable solution to the tax structure's distortion, for
fairness in tax collections, and to support the automotive
The new excise tax structure is divided into seven types
according to the type of vehicle.
A 30 per cent tax collection will be applied to sedans and
vehicles of no more than 10 seats with a cylinder capacity of no
more than 3,000cc and CO2 emission of no more than 150g/km. A 35
per cent tax will be levied on emissions of 150-200g/km, and 40
per cent for emissions of more than 200g/km.
A 25-per cent tax collection will cover automobiles using E85
and natural gas and a cylinder capacity of no more than 3,000cc
and CO2 emissions of no more than 150g/km. A 30 per cent tax
will be applied to the emission quantity of 150-200g/km, and 35
per cent for more than 200g/km.
Hybrid cars with a cylinder capacity of no more than 3,000cc,
emitting CO2 at no more than 100g/km will be taxed t 10 per
cent. Those releasing carbon dioxide at 100-150g/km will be
placed with 20-per cent tax, at 150-200g/km with 25-per cent
tax, and at more than 200g/km with 30-per cent tax.
A 3-per cent and a 5-per cent tax collection are levied at
pickup trucks with no space behind driver and with a cylinder
capacity of no more than 3,250cc, releasing CO2 at no more than
200g/km and at over 200g/km, respectively.
Pickup trucks with space behind driver with no more than 3,250cc
cylinder capacity and less than 200g/km CO2 emission are taxed
at 5 per cent, and those with emissions over 200g/km taxed at 7
Double cab pickups with no more than 3,250cc cylinder capacity
and less than 200g/km CO2 emission are taxed at 12per cent,
while those with over 200g/km emissions taxed at 15 per cent.
Twenty-five per cent and 30 per cent taxes are levied on
passenger pickups with a cylinder capacity of no more than
3,250cc, releasing no more than 200g/km CO2 and over 200g/km,
The Finance Ministry will receive revenues of around Bt25
billion from excise taxes in 2016.
Meanwhile, the ministry also proposed to Cabinet raising excise
taxes on imported luxury motorbikes to 123 per cent for
800-1,000cc cylinder capacity from the current 103 per cent. The
new tax rate takes effect today.
The measure is expected to help the government gain more revenue
of some Bt150 million. The ministry said those able to purchase
such bikes are wealthy enough to pay higher taxes. (MCOT online
PTT elated by LPG price hike
BANGKOK, Dec 19 – The government’s suspension of its subsidy for
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) resulting in a higher LPG price by
Bt.50/kg/month, will benefit PTT , Thailand’s state oil
conglomerate, according to an executive of the firm.
Surong Bulakul, PTT Chief Finance Officer, said the government
had capped the LPG price at US$333/tonne as against global
prices which are much higher.
The domestic LPG price hike will relieve the Oil Fund’s subsidy
burden and reduce LPG import, he said, adding that PTT has
imported 150,000 tonnes of LPG every month while the existing
storage capacity is only 120,000 tonnes/month.
He said PTT needs to speed up construction of LPG storage
facilities to cope with escalating demand and consumption.
PTT must also install pipelines in Thailand’s North and
Northeast for gasoline and natural gas for vehicles (NGV), he
Regarding PTT’s foreign investment as part of preparations for
the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, Mr Surong said some
projects include opening filling stations in Laos, Cambodia and
Myanmar, and investment in a coal mining project in Indonesia.
(MCOT online news)
Manufacturers investment privileges near Bt1 trillion
BANGKOK, Dec 18 – Private sector applications for investment
privileges in Thailand reached almost Bt1 trillion this year, a
senior industry ministry official said today.
Witoon Simachokedee, Permanent Secretary for Industry, said
total investment privileges submitted to the Board of Investment
(BoI) was reported at Bt943 billion in the first 11 months of
The BoI will adjust criteria for investment promotion and
privileges next year to emphasise high technology industries
rather than labour-intensive business, he said.
He said the industry ministry, aware of small- and
medium-entrepreneurs’ hardship following the nationwide minimum
wage increase to Bt300/day, has mapped out measures to alleviate
their problems by encouraging businessmen to turn to technology
and improving labour skills to supply to the local labour
Mr Witoon said the ministry has urged about 10,000 factories
throughout the country to pay more attention to green and
He made the statement after presenting awards to industrialists
who won this year’s “Green Industry” campaign. (MCOT online
Japanese investment in Thailand unchanged despite new political leader
BANGKOK, Dec 18 – The leadership change in Japan, with
ex-premier Shinzo Abe returning to power, will not have an
impact on Japanese investment in Thailand, according to a
high-level Thai industrialist.
Payungsak Chartsuthipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai
Industries (FTT), said the Japanese private sector has increased
their investment in Thailand with some relocating their
manufacturing bases to this country in the past few years.
Many countries are interested in using Thailand as production
centre to supply to Southeast Asian countries, apparently in
preparations for the coming ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, he
Describing Thailand as the hub of Southeast Asia, he said
western China with a population of 700 million is easily
accessible to Thailand while land transport from Thailand to
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is also feasible.
The FTT chairman predicted a favourable economic expansion for
Thailand next year with an economic growth at not less than 5
per cent despite an ongoing economic slowdown in Europe and the
Mr Payungsak said natural disaster, internal political crisis,
impact from higher minimum wage and labour shortage are risk
factors impeding Thailand’s economic growth.
He said 42 industrial categories in the country have been
integrated into 11 clusters to boost their efficiency and
Some of the clusters are rubber and rubber wood, health
products, food, fashion and lifestyle products, he said, adding
that each cluster has its road map for concrete development in
accord with the 11th National Economic and Social Development
Plan (2012-2016). (MCOT online news)
PM visits Myanmar, inspects progress at Dawei Special Economic Zone
DAWEI, Dec 17 -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met Myanmar
President Thein Sein and inspected progress in developing Dawei
Special Economic Zone (Dawei SEZ).
Ms Yingluck led a strong delegation, including Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong
Tovichakchaikul, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister
Kittiratt Na Ranong, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s
Office Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, Minister of Transport
Chadchart Sittipunt, Minister of Energy Pongsak Ruktapongpisal
and Minister of Industry Prasert Boonchaisuk, to follow up on
the latest progress at Dawei and its related projects in
Upon arrival at Dawei airport, Ms Yingluck met Mr Thein Sein and
thanked him for personally leading her delegation of Thai
government officials and potential private sector investors to
visit the site where the Dawei industrial zone and seaport will
The Thai premier stressed that her government has every
intention and readiness to support Myanmar in developing the
She said the visit would benefit the development of the Dawei
SEZ and the Thai business representatives would have a better
understanding of the project.
The Thailand-Myanmar Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC)
Development in the Dawei SEZ, co-chaired by Thai Prime
Minister's Office Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan and
Myanmar Industry Minister Aye Myint still have issues to be
finalised including the form finance for the project, and
special laws on investment promotion within the zone.
It is expected that the JCC can conclude the details of
outstanding issues by February and forward details to the
Thailand-Myanmar Joint High-Level committee for the
Comprehensive Development of the Dawei SEZ and its related
project areas (JHC) to consider and sign a new version of the
Framework Agreement and Sectoral Agreement by next March.
The JHC is co-chaired by Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na
Ranong and Myanmar Vice President Nyan Tan.
Thailand and Myanmar plan to start fundraising and ground
breaking for the project by April.
Thai and Myamnar leaders believe that with full support from
both countries, the project can achieve its objectives.
Thailand and Myanmar accept the environmental issues as
important to the project.
Meanwhile, Mr Thein Sein said that Myanmar agreed to Thailand's
proposal to upgrade the Dan Singkhon border pass in Prachuap
Khiri Khan as a permanent border crossing point.
Ms Yingluck said the Thai government would consider financial
support for a road extension project from Myawaddy-Kawkareik to
Mawlamyine to form the completed network as proposed by Myanmar.
Thailand will also consider redevelopment of the former railway
at Three Pagodas Pass.
As for the nationality verification for migrant workers from
Myanmar, Lao and Cambodia that reached its deadline on Friday,
Ms Yingluck told the Myanmar president that the government has
extended the deadline for another three months to facilitate the
process as many migrant workers have yet to complete the
required formality. (MCOT online news)
'First Car' tax refunds might hit 1 million units: Finance Ministry
BANGKOK, Dec 18 - The number of cars buyers submitting tax
refund requests under the government's 'First Car' scheme might
hit one million units, according to the Finance Ministry.
Deputy Finance Minister Thanusak Lek-uthai said that about
910,000 first-car owners have already submitted documents for
tax refunds totalling around Bt63 billion.
About 35,000 people queue for the process daily on average.
Should such a figure continue through December 31, the last day
for filing applications, over one million first-car owners will
have participated in the plan, resulting in tax refunds of some
Mr Thanusak believed there would be no problem with the refund
process, for the money is transferred to car owners on the fifth
of every month. About Bt2.3 billion has already been paid to
35,000 car users.
He said if the budget is insufficient, the ministry can ask
Cabinet to approve further payment.
The Excise Department will be working until December 31 so that
the public can gain full benefit from the 'first car' scheme,
the deputy finance minister noted. (MCOT online news)
Tesco to sell and export Thai agricultural produce
BANGKOK, Dec 18 – The Commerce Ministry has endorsed an
agreement for distribution of Thai agricultural produce through
Tesco, the British hypermarket chain in Thailand, in an attempt
to help farmers and solve the problem of oversupply.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ministry and the
giant supermarket called for collaboration in the purchase and
export of Thai agricultural produce, merchandise from the
government-initiated One Tambon One Product (OTOP) scheme and
commodities of cooperatives in Thailand.
The Internal Trade Department and Tesco will work closely in
distributing at least 120,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables
through Tesco’s outlets nationwide next year, a 45 per cent
increase from this year.
Tesco will also promote the export of Thai products including
fruit, vegetables, processed foods, OTOP and cooperatives’
products to the United Kingdom, Central Europe and Asia.
Exports to China will be increased by 15 per cent, or at a total
value of Bt15 billion. (MCOT online news)
KINGDOM PROPERTY AND ADDRESSTALK LAUNCH FIRST
SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY FOR HOMEBUYERS
The Overview page: Providing an
informative and detailed description of Southpoint for potential
BANGKOK, THAILAND: Thailand real estate developer Kingdom
Property has signed a ground-breaking agreement with
AddressTalk, a social media platform for multi-unit communities,
to provide interactive communications between the developer and
The tailor-made community platform was launched today for
Kingdom's Southpoint project, a high-quality 672 unit
development on a four-rai plot in the prestigious Prathumnak
Hill area of Pattaya. Southpoint, valued at THB2.5 billion and
scheduled for completion in 2015, is part of the developer's
rapidly expanding pipeline of projects that now stands at a
total value of THB10 billion.
Kingdom Property's collaboration with AddressTalk, available on
all mobile and computer devices, is the latest pioneering
initiative by the developer in its pursuit of better ways of
doing business in the property industry.
It demonstrates Kingdom Property's long-term commitment to its
customers and also offers a level of transparency and
accountability never before seen in the Thailand property
Staying in touch: The AddressTalk
platform's noticeboard facilitates smooth communications between
the project's management and customers.
AddressTalk provides a dedicated social media space for
Southpoint and will allow Kingdom Property to post notices,
documents and photos as an interactive communication tool for
buyers, who, as verified members, are able to post comments, ask
questions, make suggestions and hold open discussions.
There is also a function for 'followers', so anyone interested
in Southpoint can do their own research, ask the views of
customers and have exposure to ongoing debates and discussions.
This means buyers can make an informed decision on their
Upon completion of the project in 2015 and the transfer of
units, the online community will continue to thrive, providing
owners and residents with a platform to discuss issues, share
information and stay in touch with the management whilst
maintaining an ongoing link to Kingdom Property.
Compatable with mobile devices:
AddressTalk's social media tool allows the online community to
share photos with one another at the touch of a button.
Kingdom Property Chief Executive Officer Nigel Cornick said that
the partnership with AddressTalk confirmed Kingdom's long-term
commitment to customer satisfaction, transparency in the
construction process, and after sales service following
"We are delighted to partner with AddressTalk. They have a
powerful social media platform which we are able to customize to
assist our customers in the buying, after-sales and project
handover process in a completely transparent manner," Mr Cornick
"We believe that this will create great value for our customers.
We can keep them informed every step of the way regarding the
on-time delivery of their property, listen to their views and
comments and, in doing so, demonstrate our long term commitment
to them even after the project is completed and handed over."
AddressTalk Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Rob Oldnall
applauded Kingdom Property for demonstrating 'the ultimate
responsibility of a developer' by pioneering interactive
communications with buyers.
"With every buyer comes a new relationship and, with it, the
responsibility for a developer to hold the buyer's trust and
confidence," he said. "By using a third-party platform, Kingdom
has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and
"AddressTalk represents an opportunity for Kingdom to encourage
fact not rumor, be open to addressing the hard questions and
ensure absolute clarity in the process. And most importantly, it
means they can keep their promise to deliver on-time and to all
"We could not have chosen a better partner than Kingdom - and we
are very pleased to be rolling this out for them, especially
given the track record of Mr. Cornick in developing iconic
projects in Thailand with innovation, efficiency and attention
to his customers."
For further information or high-resolution photography,
Mr Nigel Cornick
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +66 (0) 81 812 6401
Mr David Johnson
Delivering Asia Communications
Tel: +66 (0) 2246 1159
Mobile: +66 (0) 89 170 9866
Notes to Writers and Editors:
About Kingdom Property. Kingdom Property was established in 1994
as a property services company. In 2009 Nigel J. Cornick
acquired a shareholding in the company with the intent to use
his extensive real estate experience to invest directly into
development opportunities of which Southpoint in Pattaya is the
first condominium project.
OTOP City 2012 fair kicks off
NONTHABURI, Dec 15--- The OTOP City 2012 fair began today
in order to promote Thai local products and boost sales.
Presiding over an opening ceremony at IMPACT Challenger Hall exhibition
centre in Nonthaburi, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the event
was aimed at promoting Thai local goods from all over the country,
supporting OTOP entrepreneurs as well as celebrating the 10th
anniversary of the OTOP scheme.
The One Tambon One Product (OTOP) project, initiated by the government
of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, was designed to provide direct
means of income in Thailand and export opportunities abroad for tambons,
the local government levels below provincial and district level.
Thailand has adopted One-Village-One-Product (OVOP) movement of Japan’s
Oita Prefecture and implemented the OTOP project in an attempt to help
generate income for local low-income earners.
So far, the overall sales value of the OTOP merchandise reached around
Bt70 billion annually which included exports valued at Bt10 billion.
Currently, there are approximately 30,000 OTOP entrepreneurs.
The government also planned to support entrepreneurs in improving their
products in terms of quality, quantity and design.
Apart from a shopping zone, there is also an international seminar
‘OVOP/OTOP International Seminar 2012.’
The OTOP City 2012 is being held at IMPACT’s Challenger 1-3 and Hall 1-6
in Nonthaburi, a suburb of Bangkok, through Dec 23. (MCOT online news)
Hotels in Hat Yai fully booked during New Year festival
SONGKHLA, Dec 16 - Hotels in Hat Yai, the business center of
this southern province, have been fully booked during the New
Year festival, according to the president of the Tourism
Business Federation of Songkhla president, Somchart
He made his remarks about tourism in Songkhla’s business town of
Hat Yai in December that it is more lively ahead of Christmas
and the New Year.
Malaysian tourists start arriving ahead of Christmas to Hat Yai
by passenger buses and personal cars, while business areas and
hotels are crowded with Malaysian and Singaporean tourists.
More than 12,000 rooms in Hat Yai have been fully booked in
advance to celebrate the New Year countdown festival, he said.
This year, the event "Night Paradise Hat Yai Countdown to 2013"
will be held on December 30-31 in the town centre along with
other festive activities, he added. (MCOT online news)
More money into Asia, Thai currency to strengthen from QE3+
PRACHUAB KIRIKHAN, Dec 16 – A new round of money to be released
by the US into the global economy as part of quantitative easing
measures will contribute to successive monetary flow into Asia
next year and strengthen Thai currency, according to a senior
Bank of Thailand (BoT) official.
Pongpen Ruengvirayudh, BoT deputy governor for monetary
stability, said the US Federal Reserve’s QE3+ plan is not
unexpected but the money inflow in Asia will be smaller than in
Eastern Europe and Latin America, which offer higher returns.
The US Federal Reserve announced in September this year a third
round of quantitative easing, or QE3, which included a plan to
purchase US$40 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) per
month. QE3 was to no avail, compelling it to add larger amounts
of money into the economy.
Ms Pongpen said the Thai currency will be stronger but with
minor movements and the BoT will not intervene.
The Thai currency will naturally move in accord with the market
mechanism and the BoT has never intervened despite stronger baht
in the last several years, she said.
She urged the private sector to be cautious and adopt exchange
rate risk prevention, despite the fact that Thailand will be
spared from economic impact next year.
Thailand has balanced investment, thanks to its ongoing
investments in infrastructure in the state and private sectors,
Foreign investments in the Thai bond market totalled US$10
billion for the first nine months of this year while Malaysia
attracted twice more than Thailand, she noted.
She added that the Thai stock market which enjoys a 30 per cent
increase this year reported an inflow of US$2 billion in foreign
funds. (MCOT online news)
Transport Company inks agreement with Cambodia launching two bus routes
BANGKOK, Dec 14 - Thailand's state-owned Transport Company has
signed an agreement with Cambodia on launching two bus routes
between the two countries, starting Dec 29.
Transport Company President Wuttichart Kalayanamitr said the
deal was signed with Nattakan (Cambodia) Company, Cambodia's
international bus firm.
The two routes link Bangkok-Aranyaprathet-Poipet-Siem Reap and
Mr Wuttichart said the route launch resulted from a bilateral
meeting in May, agreeing to an Exchange of Traffic Rights at the
Aranyaprathet-Poipet border crossing.
He said the first route from Bangkok to Siem Reap is 424km
taking seven hours, to be operated twice daily at an initial
fare of Bt750 (US$25).
The second route, from the Thai capital to Phnom Penh, takes 11
hours for the 719km. One trip will be operated daily at a fare
of Bt900 (US$30).
The launch is expected boost tourism and economic activity
between the two countries.
Mr Wuttichart said it is expected to draw at least as many as
40,000-50,000 passengers annually, a number which he expects to
increase accordingly once the ASEAN economic community (AEC)
takes effect in 2015.
Thailand will open four new bus routes to Cambodia next year,
making six routes in total. It will also provide other bus
routes connecting with other neighbouring countries by 2015.
(MCOT online news)
Thailand faces acute labour shortage; mass repatriation of migrant workers looms
BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Thailand faces an imminent acute labour
shortage with more than one million migrant workers expected to
be repatriated this weekend for failing to have completed
nationality verification as required by the government, a senior
member of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) said today.
TCC Deputy Chairman Pumin Harinsut said the mass repatriation
will greatly affect the manufacturing industry, as well as the
tourism and hospitality sectors, contributing to reduced
possible exports next year by as much as 5 per cent.
Thailand requires migrant workers to pass a complex nationality
verification procedure by the end of the day today, and those
who fail to leave the country will be prosecuted.
Mr Pumin said the TCC is awaiting the government’s immediate
response to deal with the problem now that Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra has acknowledged the issue.
The cabinet earlier announced that repatriated workers could be
re-employed in accord with agreements made with the migrant
workers home countries.
Pote Aramwatananont, a TCC officer, said the government has not
consulted the private sector on the re-employment of migrant
workers regarding agreements reflected in various memoranda of
understanding and that the new procedure will merely facilitate
the Labour Ministry procedures, not the private sector where the
workers are to be employed.
He said the repatriation of migrant workers without privision of
new workers will have a severe negative impact on Thailand’s
industrial manufacturing. agricultural production, food
processing, fisheries, and the construction sector – all of
which rely heavily on migrant labour.
Damage to the construction industry alone may reach 20 per cent
of the sector’s total value, he said.
The Labour Ministry reported that 356.351 migrant workers are
awaiting nationality verification while others working illegally
in Thailand could number 500,000-800,000 persons. They are
mainly from Myanmar, the Lao PDR and Cambodia. (MCOT online
Regional insurance necessary, coming for ASEAN
BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Countries in Southeast Asia need to work on
joint insurance policies, particularly for automobiles, to
prepare for increasing inter-country driving when the region
becomes the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, Thai Deputy Prime
Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said today.
Addressing the15th ASEAN Insurance Regulators Meeting (AIRM) in
Bangkok, he said ASEAN’s state and private sectors will have to
cooperate in facilitating the move.
Regional insurance may also include natural disaster coverage,
Pravet Ong-artsithikul, secretary general of the Office of the
Insurance Commission, said it is necessary to study the
insurance policies of each Southeast Asian country so as to set
a regional standard.
He said that cross country sales of insurance will be possible
in the future while the private sector in Southeast Asia will
have to work closer in alliances.
Thailand’s insurance business has grown steadily with total
insurance premiums of Bt460 billion (about US$15 billion) in the
third quarter, representing an increase of 19.08 per cent. (MCOT
S&P says Thailand’s outlook stable despite political uncertainties
BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has affirmed
Thailand’s stable outlook on long-term foreign and local
currency ratings, citing a favourable external position, light
government indebtedness and the credibility of the country’s
monetary policy as the main rating supports.
Chularat Sutheethorn, director general of the Finance Ministry's
Public Debt Management Office, said S&P’s also affirms the
'axAA/axA-1' ASEAN regional scale rating for Thailand as well as
its ratings on Thailand's outstanding debt issuances.
The rating agency projects Thailand's foreign exchange reserves
at US$190 billion (eight months of current account payments) by
the end of 2012, and indicates that Thailand has run (mostly
small) current account surpluses since 2006.
“We expect this trend to continue at least through 2015. As a
result, we estimate net external liabilities at 14 per cent of
current account receipts at yearend 2012 and expect external
liquid assets of the government and financial sector to be
double that of the nation's external debt,” says S&P’s.
It continues, “Similarly, the general government has run
surpluses or small deficits since its recovery from the Asian
financial crisis of 1997. After steadily declining to 17 per
cent of GDP in fiscal 2008 (ending September 30, 2008), net
general government debt rose to 24 per cent of GDP at the end of
fiscal 2011. We expect the ratio to increase only modestly
through 2015. The general government's interest burden remained
a comfortable 5.5 per cent of revenue.
“Thailand's inflation, as shown by the Consumer Price Index, has
been less than 5.5 per cent per year since 1999. Credit growth
has been in line with nominal GDP growth. We rank the country's
banking system '5' on a scale of 10. Thailand's per capita
GDP--about US$5,350 in 2012--is a credit constraint. The
country's infrastructure, health, and education indicators also
are more in keeping with those of lower-rated sovereigns.”
“Political uncertainties have been an important credit weakness
for Thailand in recent years. Since 2006, frequent and at times
extra-constitutional changes in the government have delayed
structural reforms, hindered government infrastructure spending,
and depressed foreign direct investment. Street protests
opposing the leading government party at times have caused
significant economic disruptions. However, since the new
government took office, political tensions have begun to ebb.”
S&P’s says it could lower the rating if Thailand's fiscal
position and economic indicators worsen significantly due to,
for example, the government adopting strongly populist policies.
(MCOT online news)
Government told to put brakes on populism
BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Thailand’s government should slow down its
lavish populist projects to avoid the undesirable situation of
rocketing public debt, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has warned.
Songtum Pinto, BoT Monetary Policy Office director, said the
populism policy, including the rice pledging scheme and the tax
rebate for first-car buyers, takes up the state’s huge budget
and its successive execution will greatly increase the
government’s spending and public debt.
He urged the government to spend more on infrastructure
development so as to strengthen Thailand’s declining competitive
According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012 published
by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD),
Thailand’s competitiveness is ranked 30th among 59 countries, a
drop from 27th last year.
When Thailand becomes part of the ASEAN Economic Community in
2015, it will have to adjust its competitive strategy, otherwise
it will be overtaken by neighbouring countries or be edged off
the world stage, he warned.
Mr Songtum said the BoT has closely monitored the country’s
rising household debt, particularly personal loans for those
earning less than Bt15,000 a month.
Household debt will not be intense as long as salary earners are
employed, while the skyrocketing stock index at 1,300 remains
manageable and in accord with the strength and performances of
listed companies, he said.
Housing loans have increased at a satisfactory pace but growth
is too rapid in the condominium market, which has seen an
increased rate of failures in debt payment.
Mr Songtum predicted Thailand’s economic growth at 5.7 per cent
this year and 4.6 per cent next year thanks to domestic
consumption but warned of challenges in light of slow economic
improvement worldwide, especially the European debt crisis which
will carry on for at least a decade and risk from the ‘fiscal
cliff’ in the US. (MCOT online news)
Lifestyle products business seeks government help
BANGKOK, Dec 12 - Thai lifestyle products entrepreneurs have
asked the government to find ways to help small-and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs) cope with the government’s minimum wage rise
policy, and other economic situations.
Thai Lifestyle Products Federation (TLPF) chairman Supat
Sriwannavit said entrepreneurs under the federation, which
comprises seven associations, have been affected by the minimum
wage rise to Bt300, the eurozone crisis, and the downward
trending US economy, causing about 100 businesses from about
3,000, to slow down or close their businesses.
Most of them are SMEs and exporters, he said.
To help entrepreneurs, the federation asked the government to
find more funding sources at low interest rates, set up a
funding committee to help those affected within a budget of Bt2
billion, find and support new markets in terms of technology and
Mr Supat said the value of Thai exports has fallen over 50 per
cent due to those factors. TLPF estimated lifestyle products
exports this year to reach US$3 billion from Bt2.6 billion in
the first 10 months, or an increase of only 2 per cent from the
previous forecast of 5 per cent.
TLPF Secretary-General Jirabool Vittayasing said higher
production costs from the wage rise and raw material costs,
entrepreneurs' lack of access to funding sources, China's
dumping measures, unexpanded domestic consumption, and limited
sales distribution channels have been obstacles to Thai
lifestyle product entrepreneurs, particularly SMEs. (MCOT online
Thai CEOs optimistic on country’s economic expansion
BANGKOK, Dec 11 – Most operators of listed companies in Thailand
plan to expand their businesses and boost investment next year,
an independent survey reported today.
The Thai Listed Companies Association (TLC) and Kasikorn Thai
Research Centre (KSC Research) jointly conducted a “CEO Survey –
Economic Outlook” in which 81 listed companies from nine
different industries participated, focusing on the first half of
Executives of 26 companies forecast Thailand’s economic growth
next year at 4.5-5 per cent while only 12 companies are more
optimistic that it will exceed 5 per cent.
Pensri Suteerasarn, TLC director, said the CEOs’ confidence on
economic growth has improved from its April survey when they
forecast expansion at 4-4.5 per cent.
Sixty-one per cent of the high-level businessmen say the global
economic slowdown-- particularly the European debt crisis--will
have a major impact on Thailand’s economy next year while 16 per
cent pinpoint political stability and 10 per cent cite the
government’s economic policy as problem areas.
Risk factors that continue to disturb Thai businessmen are the
economic recession worldwide, Thailand’s political stability and
the across-the-board hike of daily minimum wage to Bt300, she
said, adding that the skilled labour shortage in the
manufacturing sector remains the highest risk factor worrying
Despite the concern, more than half of the businesses plan to
increase employment next year and 44 per cent say they are
prepared to become part of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
Chao Kengchon, chief economist of KSC Research, said America’s
Fiscal Cliff will not be resolved this year, compelling the US
to remain in recession, but the European debt situation will
improve due to an improved industrial index, though full
recovery will not be achieved.
Meanwhile, China’s economy will continue to expand and as will
commodity prices, he said, adding that China still enjoys strong
foreign reserves and there is still room for further cuts in
interest rates, a major economic-stimulation factor. (MCOT
Advance auto orders at Motor Expo 2012 hits record high of 80,000 units
BANGKOK, Dec 10 - The number of advance auto orders at Motor
Expo 2012 hit a record high at 80,000 units, with Honda ranking
first with over 16,000 units ordered during the 10-day event.
Motor Expo organiser Kwanchai Prapaspong said the number of
visitors reached 1.61 million, surpassing the expected figure at
1.6 million, thanks, he said, to an improved economy resulting
higher consumer purchasing power.
He said this year’s volume of auto orders volume was forecast at
only 50,000 units but it soared to a record high at 80,000, the
highest since the event was first begun 29 years ago, counting
for over Bt90 billion in circulation. The previous record was in
2010 with the orders volume at 33,000 units.
Apart from the improved economy, the government's 'first car'
scheme is also a major factor for this year's increased orders,
counting for as much as 40 per cent of all orders. The higher
orders also resulted from a rebound from falling orders,
affected by last year's devastating flood, which hit auto and
auto parts plants in Thailand's industrial estates.
Mr Kwanchai said eco cars' orders volume counted for 20 per cent
of sales, followed by pickup trucks at 10 per cent, while the
rest was for sedans and luxury cars, which amounted to 1,300
Honda City, Suzuki Swift, and Honda Brio are the top-three
models respectively, gaining the best popularity of orders
volume in regard to eco cars.
Mr Kwanchai however said the automobile reservation this year
might slow down the volume next year, which should not exceed 20
Following Honda's highest orders volume of 16,148 units at this
year's Motor Expo, Toyota ranked second at 14,961 units, Nissan
at 6,869 units, Isuzu at 5,587 unit, and Mazda at 4,774 units.
(MCOT online news)
Oil palm planters demand government intervention to shore up falling price
RANONG, Dec 10 – Oil palm growers from Thailand’s southern
provinces plan to submit their demands for government
intervention in Bangkok Wednesday to help farmers facing falling
palm nut prices.
Suwit Rakmai, chairman of Ranong’s oil palm planters on Sunday
said some growers had already gone to Bangkok to submit their
request to the government on Wednesday.
He said oil palm growers demanded that the government shore up
or provide price guarantees for palm nut, which he said has
declined to Bt1.5-2 per kilo, depending on the quality.
The falling price has affected a large number of oil palm
growers as about 4,842 households in the province grow oil palm
on about 31,000 acres.
Luecha Oonyuang, chairman of the Surat Thani palm growers
association said the network of palm growers in seven southern
provinces plans to gather at a co-op in Surat Thani on
Wednesday, calling on the government to help compensate for
falling prices directly through the Bank for Agriculture and
They want the government to have clear assistance measures by
December 18, the chairman said. (MCOT online news)
Reviving Popularity of Thai Hom Mali Rice Abroad
BThe Commerce Ministry is reaching out proactively in a mission
to restore Thailand's Hom Mali Rice exports to China’s special
administrative region of Hong Kong. Facing obstacles such as
price dumping by competitors, the Ministry is embarking on new
business strategies to regain market share.
The Ministry of Commerce has just signed nine agreements --
memorandums of understanding -- with Hong Kong to export Thai
Hom Mali Rice at an average price of US$1,100 per tonne, with
the total sales equivalent to approximately Bt33 billion or US$1
"The government needs to focus on marketing promotion and
incentive programmes in order to retain the present export
prices. In the past, we held up to 91% share of the market in
Hong Kong, now it has dropped to a mere 51%. If we cannot
compete in terms of volume, the alternative is to rely on
marketing programmes," Vuthipol Wanglee, Deputy Manager of
Chaithip Co Ltd, said.
"Our strategy is not to compete with price mechanisms, but to
rely on marketing tools to promote Thai Hom Mali Rice as a
brand. Doing this, we are able to have a selling point that can
further be used to enhance brand value," Commerce Minister
Boonsong Teriyapirom explained.
Rightfully so, as one of the mechanisms currently in place is
the ‘in-store promotion campaign,’ which displays varieties of
Thai Hom Mali rice to attract consumers to ‘buy Thai.’
The Thai government has allocated a budget to stimulate retail
sales of Thai Rice overseas. For instance in Hong Kong alone,
retail sales represent 50 per cent of the total rice market.
This means that promotional offers at major supermarkets are a
main mechanism to reach targeted consumers equipped with high
"We must work together to publicise the advantages of Thai rice.
How is it different to other types of rice? There are countless
brands. Therefore, it is important for consumers to have access
to the right information," Vivat Assawanop, CP Trade assistant
The Commerce Ministry is confident that marketing campaigns such
as this will help revive the popularity of Thai Hom Mali Rice,
and most importantly increase Thailand's competitive edge in the
world market once again. (MCOT online news)
All Sectors Urged to Manage Risks and Challenges for Thailand’s Healthy Economic Growth
The Thai economy next year will continue to grow, but all
sectors need to manage risks effectively and cope with many
Governor of the Bank of Thailand Prasarn Trairatvorakul stated
that since many risks and challenges are lying ahead, the public
and private sectors, as well as individuals, in Thai society
should build “self-immunization” from external threats, for the
sake of the country’s healthy economic growth.
In his address "Managing Risks and Rising to the Challenges of
2013,” Mr. Prasarn said that Thai exports had been adversely
affected by the economic slowdown in major economies. However,
private sector spending and increased income from tourism would
contribute to the growth of the Thai economy in late 2012. He
believed that the Thai economy this year would grow by 5.7
Mr. Prasarn said that the Thai economy would still depend mainly
on domestic drive during the global economic slump. More
investment is likely to be seen, as investors remain confident
in the country’s overall economy. Thailand also needs to be
prepared for the ASEAN Economic Community in the near future,
when more capital would flow in for investment in the
Government’s mega projects. This would create a favorable
investment atmosphere for the private sector. For this reason,
the central bank governor believed that the Thai economy next
year would expand by 4.6 percent.
He pointed out that the implementation of the 300-baht daily
minimum wage across the country would become a domestic
challenge for the business sector, especially small
entrepreneurs who must shoulder higher production costs. If the
business sector is able to adjust to the new situation by
reducing production costs and increasing production efficiency,
it will be ready for greater competition in the soon-to-be ASEAN
In order to deal with tougher competition, Mr. Prasarn suggested
that the business sector improve its risk management and enhance
the quality of products. Now that labor shortages have become a
problem, the country would no longer gain advantage by selling
low-priced products, because of higher labor costs. So the
business sector needs to seek ways to add value to various
As for individuals, the Governor of the Bank of Thailand
suggested that the general public plan to manage risks and be
prepared for the changing situation, as well. He urged the
people to focus on staying disciplined with their savings and
enhancing their potential.
He said that efficient spending by the public sector would help
drive the economy and cope with short-term risks. The
Government’s investment through major infrastructure projects
would also play a key role in stimulating the country’s economy.
By RADIO THAILAND
Mobile phone operators get 3G licences
BANGKOK, Dec 8 – Thailand’s National Broadcasting and
Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has resolved to issue third
generation (3G) wireless licences to three mobile phone
operators with a condition they reduce the service fees by at
least 15 per cent, according to a senior committee member.
Col Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the Telecommunications
Committee which is attached to the NBTC, said the three
companies will receive official letters next week, informing
them to kick off preparations for 3G service which should be
fully launched by April next year.
He said the NBTC will add an addendum to each agreement,
compelling every operator to reduce the service fees by 15 per
cent given a continuous decline of service fee in the market by
at least 10 per cent.
The three mobile phone operators qualified for the 3G wireless
licences are Advanced Info Service (AIS), DTAC and True Move.
Suthipol Taweechaikarn, a member of the NBTC’s
Telecommunications Committee, said the licences will be issued
despite an appeal to the Administrative Court by the Office of
the Ombudsman seeking an injunction to the NBTC’s auction.
He said the NBTC will follow the Central Administrative Court’s
earlier ruling that the Ombudsman was not authorised to file the
injunction. (MCOT online news)
Planters call for government intervention in plunging palm oil price
CHUMPHON, Dec 7 – Oil palm planters in Thailand’s southern
provinces have threatened to protest if the government fails to
help boost the price of palm oil, which has dropped to Bt2.90
per kg, its lowest in seven years.
Planters in Chumphon, Surat Thani and Krabi are upset at the
declining price for palm oil, and have called on the government
to buy their produce at not less than Bt4.50 per kg.
Chumphon Oil Palm Planters Association president Sanya Pansevi
said the association urges the government to intervene through
the Agriculture Institute to maintain the price of palm oil and
create a palm oil stocking system to enhance the private
sector’s existing system.
The sector is also urgently promoting the use of B5 and B7
biodiesel which will consequently boost palm oil consumption.
(MCOT online news)
3G operators to be told: Reduce phone prices or lose the licences
BANGKOK, Dec 6 – The National Broadcasting and
Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has threatened to revoke
the third-generation (3G) wireless licences for any of the three
bid winners who refuse to lower mobile phone service fees by
15-20 per cent, a commission executive said.
NBTC secretary general Takorn Tantasit said the NBTC will meet
today and tomorrow to discuss further actions on the 3G mobile
phone pricing now that the Administrative Court has rejected the
Office of the Ombudsman’s injunction regarding the auction,
clearing the way for the NBTC to issue licences to the three bid
winners within the stipulated deadline.
The NBTC will thoroughly discuss conditions of the licences
which clearly require the bid winners to reduce the rates of 3G
mobile phone service.
Mr Takorn said Friday’s meeting will focus on negotiations with
the three mobile phone operators, Advanced Info Service (AIS),
Dtac and True Move, on price reduction.
The three companies have postponed an NBTC instruction to submit
price reduction proposals by Nov 30, reasoning that they could
not meet the deadline.
Mr Takorn said the NBTC will, instead of waiting for the
operators’ proposals, set a condition for them to reduce the
fees by 15 per cent of the average market rate.
“We won’t wait for them anymore. The NBTC meeting on Friday will
be informed of an imposed rate to be attached with the
to-be-issued licences. If they don’t accept our proposals, they
won’t get the licences,” he said.
NBTC deputy president Settapong Malisuwan said after 3G licences
are issued, the commission will conduct an auction of the 1800
megahertz bandwidth to use with the 4G wireless technology.
A roadmap for the 4G auction including the auction procedure,
starting prices and the transition period for subscribers should
be worked out next month, he said. (MCOT online news)
Thailand’s 3G services to move on after court’s ruling
BANGKOK, Dec 3 – Thailand’s Administrative Court today refused
to rule on a request to suspend the allocation of 3G licences by
the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission
(NBTC) to three bid winners.
The Office of the Ombudsman earlier asked for the court’s
decision not to issue the 3G licences to the bid winners,
charging the NBTC with granting the licences without fair
competition as stipulated by the constitution.
The court said the Ombudsman was not authorised to file a
petition on the case.
In an auction on Oct 16, the NBTC awarded licences for mobile
services on 3G spectrum to Thailand’s three largest mobile phone
companies—Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access
Communications (DTAC) and True Move.
The bid results drew criticism and protests from different
quarters of Thai society, including the Finance Ministry.
The NBTC is obliged to issue licences to the bid winners within
90 days after approving the bid outcome. (MCOT online news)
Private firms jittery as nationwide minimum wage hike looms
BANGKOK, Dec 3 – Thailand’s private sector today
called on the government to take serious action to alleviate
entrepreneurs’ financial burdens after the January 1 nationwide increase
of the daily minimum wage to Bt300.
Payungsak Chartsutipol, president of the Federation of Thai Industries,
said a meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industries
and Banking (JSCCIB) agreed to submit a seven-point proposal to the
government and seek a concrete solution this week—in time to affect next
month’s enforcement of the new minimum wage.
According to the FTI committee proposal, the required employer and
employee contributions of five per cent of employees’ salary to the
Social Welfare Fund should be reduced to three per cent for the next
three years; the government should relieve employers’ financial burden
from the Bt300 minimum wage by setting up a fund with the government
contributing 75 per cent and employers 25 per cent next year,
government:employers at 50:50 in 2014, government:employers at 25:75 in
2015 and 100 per cent contribution from employers after that.
The fund is to assist businesses directly affected by the minimum wage
The FTI committee asked the government to reduce the business tax from
three per cent to 0.1 per cent , reduce water and electricity fees by 50
per cent for three years, reduce room taxed for hotels and resorts
hiring less than 200 employees by 50 per cent for three years, extend
the 2013-deadline for a total Bt20 billion loan to small- and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by another three years, and entitle SMEs
to seek VAT refund for three years.
Mr Payungsak said the requested three-year extension period was to
enable entrepreneurs to adjust their preparations for the ASEAN Economic
Community taking effect in late 2015. (MCOT online news)
MCOT, NBTC sign MoU on digital TV broadcasting trial
BANGKOK, Dec 3 - MCOT Plc, Thailand’s leading public broadcaster, and
the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commissionm (NBTC) on
Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on digital television
Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC broadcasting committee, and
executives from three television channels - Modernine TV, channel 5 and
Channel 11- have signed the deal for a trial of digital terrestrial
The three executives were comprised of Anek Permvongseni, President of
MCOT Plc; Lt Gen Chatchai Sarikalaya, president of Royal Thai Army Radio
and Television Station or TV 5; Theerapong Sodasri, Director General of
the Public Ralations Department which operates National Broadcasting
Services of Thailand or NBT Channel 11.
Under the MoU, the parties would coordinate in the trial of digital
broadcasting, research and study on transmission of digital TV, and to
promote the understanding among public on digital broadcasting.
“The trial will take six months. We plan to have during the test, with
all perimetre and marketing trial,” Mr Natee said. “I think when all
Thai people can see the test, the trial, then everyone will see how
important to move from analog to digital.”
The NBTC believes the transformation from analog to digital system could
run smoothly in accordance with the 2012-16 master plan for
MCOT executive vice president Sura Gaintanasilp said the cooperation
would involve the trial on digital TV broadcasting during the first six
months of 2013, with possibility of extension.
“For the first trial, we are planning for the Bangkok and metropolitan
area. And the period for testing our trial should be 6 months, and may
be extended to another 6 months,” Mr Sura said.
“For the network provider, we think we are ready. For the technical,
content providing side, we have to do something. Big task for us.”
The broadcast would cover three main areas - Bangkok, its perimetre and
the northern province of Chiang Mai.
The MCOT is also planning to launch another 5 television channels that
includes news channel, channel for children and family, and Mondernine
in digital format. The digital broadcast trial run by MCOT beginning
this week. (MCOT online news)
New JICA president visits Thai premier; more development discussions on the table
BANGKOK, Nov 30 - The new president of the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) paid a courtesy call on the Thai prime
minister on Friday, discussing additional development cooperation
between Thailand and Japan.
Akihiko Tanaka visited Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government
The premier congratulated Mr Akihiko on his April promotion and praised
JICA for its commitment to sustainable development in Southeast Asia.
She also thanked JICA for its long-term partnership with Thailand.
The discussion included expansion of cooperation between Thailand and
JICA at tripartite and regional levels.
JICA agreed to the Thai premier's request for Japan to share its
expertise and experience on community development and infrastructure at
train stations and nearby areas, as well as for Japanese technology
transfer to develop personnel to support various industries, according
to the official statement from the Thai government.
Likewise Thailand agreed to JICA's request for cooperation on care of
the elderly and the underprivileged. It was agreed to jointly study and
prepare a format for cooperation.
JICA asked Thailand to support the Japanese private sector as bidders in
Thailand’s water management projects. Ms Yingluck said her
administration will consider the matter fairly.
Meanwhile, JICA showed interest in becoming a partner in the
Thai-Myanmar cooperation on the Dawei megaproject, which Thailand and
Myanmar would provide opportunities to other countries to join the
project's development once settling their conditions.
At a tripartite level, Thailand and Japan cooperate in developing third
countries, particularly in Africa as well as Myanmar.
JICA proposed development in Myanmar in three main issues -- development
of the country's potential, infrastructure development, and
reconciliation among ethnic minorities. (MCOT online news)
Thailand hopes for rice export rebound in Hong Kong
HONG KONG, Nov 30 – Thailand today signed agreements to export
100,000 tonnes of Hom Mali (fragrant) rice worth Bt33 billion to
Hong Kong in an apparent attempt to salvage its dipping market
share in the Chinese special administrative region.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom witnessed the signing of
nine memorandums of understanding to export Thai Hom Mali rice
to Hong Kong at an average price of US$1,100 per tonne.
He said Thailand will specially focus on promoting Thai rice in
the Hong Kong market after losing the leading export position to
Vietnam in the last two years. Thailand’s exports to Hong Kong
of 200,000 tonnes a year has declined to 160,000-170,000 tonnes.
Citing overseas marketing promotion as its priority, Mr Boonsong
said the government has allocated a budget to stimulate retail
sales which represent 50 per cent of the total rice market.
Promotions at major supermarkets and distribution of rice
samples are some of the marketing measures being considered.
The commerce minister expressed confidence that the government’s
marketing activities will revive Thailand’s rice exports to Hong
Kong by 60,000-70,000 tonnes, after which marketing campaigns
will be launched in Singapore.
Vuthipol Wanglee, deputy manager of Chaithip Co—one of
Thailand’s major rice exporters, said the government will need
to focus on marketing promotion and activities if it wants to
retain the present export prices, adding that Thailand’s market
share in Hong Kong has fallen from 90 per cent to 50 per cent.
Cambodia has absorbed Thailand’s lost share of fragrant rice
sales in the Hong Kong market, he said. (MCOT online news)
Thailand resumes rose apple exports to Malaysia after 2-year hiatus
BANGKOK, Nov 30 – The first shipment of rose apples was exported
to Malaysia through Padang Besar checkpoint in Thailand’s
southern province of Songkhla, ending a two-year ban, a Thai
agriculture official said today.
Damrong Chirasuthat, director general of the Agriculture
Department, said the exported fruit was subject to strict
examination and registration under the Good Agricultural
Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) required
by the Malaysian government.
Thai rose apples were banned in Malaysia since October 2010
after the authorities found bactrocera correcta insects in
shipments from Thailand.
Thai and Malaysian agriculture officials met last year and
agreed that rose apples destined for Malaysia must be produced
by GAP and GMP-registered farms while the Malaysian quarantine
checkpoint will strictly examine farm produce from Thailand.
Mr Damrong said Malaysian agriculture officials inspected a rose
apple orchard in Damnern Saduak district of Ratchaburi in
October last year, after which talks resumed and the Malaysian
officials agreed to try their best to facilitate imports of the
Thailand’s exported 4,570 tonnes of rose apples to Malaysia
between January 1 and October 1, 2010, shipments that were worth
22.8 million baht. (MCOT online news)
Finance Minister promises financially-sound Thailand
BANGKOK, Nov 30 – Thailand will achieve a balanced budget within
three years with the budget deficit reduced from Bt400 billion
this year to Bt300 billion next year and Bt225 billion in 2014,
Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong announced today.
The concurrent finance minister said the Bt225 billion budget
deficit will represent less than 2 per cent of the gross
domestic product (GDP), currently at Bt12 trillion.
To strengthen Thailand’s economy, the government will focus on
economic expansion, income distribution, and stability in
currency exchange, interest rates and commodity prices, he said,
indicating that Thailand had previously concentrated only on
economic expansion without action on income distribution and
He said the government aims at achieving the two remaining
factors by moving forward to expand exports, public spendings,
private investment and domestic consumption.
In the past one and a half decades, he said, Thailand has mainly
relied on exports, which has enjoyed a 20 per cent growth, in
its economic expansion but the economy expanded by only 4-5 per
cent while domestic consumption played a very small role.
Mr Kittiratt added that the government is proposing a bill on
infrastructure development for the national transport and
communications system in the next seven years with a Bt2
trillion investment, expressing hope that the development will
link transport routes nationwide, reduce logistics costs and
stimulate a sustainable economy.
Public debt may increase to 50 per cent of GDP but still under
the 60 per cent ceiling set by the Finance Ministry, he said.
(MCOT online news)