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Update March, 2015


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Business
 

Stability of northern economy continues

Tourism continues to grow

The Bank of Thailand released their report on the state of the Northern economy for the fourth quarter of 2014. Dr. Singchai Boonyayotin, Senior Director of the Northern Bank of Thailand, said that the economy of Thailand has improved slightly after the political crisis and is still slowly recovering. The tourism sector has been the most important part of expanding the economy as has the release of the budgets for government projects.

The private sectors are doing well but farmers are having financial difficulties due to the drop in prices of vegetables and rice. Private investments are still on the mend, slowly, due to investors’ hesitation to make sure that the economy has fully restored before making further investments.

Agricultural production is stable while the industrial production of beverages has slightly dropped. However, overall the economy at present is still in good shape because both inflation and the numbers of unemployed are low.

Deposits and loans are down, compared to the previous quarter. While expenses in private sectors are slower than expected and consumption was expected to improve but the low income of farmers caused the overall rate to drop.

People in general are still paying debts, so he said that everybody must be careful and watch their expenses, especially investing in motorized vehicles like cars and motorbikes that are dropping gradually. Private investment is slow and dropped 3.8 out of 100 comparing to last year due to the new investors who are waiting for the clarification of the economic status.

Exported products have increased 8.9 out of 100 comparing to last year, especially to ASEAN countries with items such as mobile phones, electronic equipment, gas and alcohol are exported to Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore. Imported products have also increased by 6.8 including raw materials and electronic gadgets and equipment.

Tourism continues to gradually expand and prove itself the most important sector of the Northern economy. Various festivals and events have greatly enhanced the tourism industry while the cancellation of visa fees for Chinese tourist has made a great change according to the recent updates from the previous quarter. The numbers of Chinese tourists have increased over 93,628 people in 3 months. Chinese tourists are arriving in direct flights and also reserved package flights, which has increased up to 29.5% in Chiang Mai International Airport and accommodation up to 62.2%.


BOI approves 700 billion baht worth of investment projects

The Prime Minister revealed that the Board of Investment (BOI) has already approved more than 1,000 investment projects worth close to 700 billion baht.

During his speech on the weekly program "Returning Happiness to the People”, Prime Minister and Chief of the National Council for Peace and Order Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government is accelerating the approval of investment privileges and incentives for all the projects. Thus far, the BOI has approved 1,050 projects with a combined investment fund of 680 billion baht.

Meanwhile, there are more than 2,000 other projects with a total fund of 1.4 trillion baht waiting for the BOI's approval. The Prime Minister has ordered the board to particularly speed up the consideration process for projects on infrastructure and others which would help accelerate the nation's economic growth.

Gen. Prayut emphasized the necessity of developing the country's infrastructure, technology, personnel and also logistics in order to support the growth of investment and trade and increase competitiveness of the industrial sector. (NNT)


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Stability of northern economy continues

BOI approves 700 billion baht worth of investment projects

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