More Japanese expected to invest in Thailand
BANGKOK, 24 September 2012 (NNT) - Minister of
Industry M.R. Pongsawat Sawasdiwat has disclosed that Japan has shown
interest in investing in the upstream steel industry in Thailand while
promising to use environmentally-friendly technologies.
M.R. Pongsawat said in his statement after meeting with Japanese
Ambassador to Thailand Seiji Kojima that a number of Japanese investors
are keen on investing in the Thai upstream steel industry. On the other
hand, despite the Japanese interest and assurance that only green
technologies will be used, the minister admitted that the expansion of
this industry has led to public protests over the imminent environmental
As little progress has been made in the investment plan for Thailand, an
idea has been raised for the country to act as an agent for Japanese
investors seeking opportunities in Myanmar’s upstream steel industry.
Meanwhile, the Japanese Ambassador has expressed his gratitude to the
Thai government for keeping the flood away from various industrial sites
this year, especially Saharattananakorn Industrial Estate where many
Japanese plants are located.
Flood walls around these sites have already been reinforced, which M.R.
Pongsawat said the Japanese investors are very pleased with. The
ambassador also assured that more Japanese nationals will be investing
in Thailand. The value of investment promotion sought by Japanese firms
during the first 8 months of this year was as high as 300-400 billion
Customs Dept holds seminar on ‘National Single Window’ trade system
BANGKOK, 24 September 2012 (NNT) – The Customs
Department has organized a seminar to educate government officials and
entrepreneurs who deal with import, export and logistics about the
‘National Single Window’ system in preparation for the ASEAN Economic
Director-General of the Customs Department Somchai Poolsavadi presided
over the opening ceremony of a seminar regarding the National Single
Window trade system. The seminar was aimed at educating state agencies
and Thai businesses in the import, export, and logistic sectors on data
link and information exchange in order to prepare them for the AEC
The National Single Window system was launched during the fourth quarter
of 2011. The system is an information center that collects all
information regarding exporting, importing, and logistic transactions
within the ASEAN region. The Customs Department expects 36 government
agencies to fully utilize the National Single Window system for
information sharing before the AEC is established in 2015.
Mr. Somchai said the department will continuously hold more seminars to
help government officers and entrepreneurs reduce operating procedures
between them in a bid to boost their capacities.
Nine companies win government rice auction
BANGKOK, Sept 21 - Nine rice trading companies have
won bids to buy rice from the Commerce Ministry, a senior official said
Soiploy, director general of the Foreign Trade Department (FTP), said
the proposed prices offered by the nine companies were in accord with
the mid-price set by the government.
Price negotiations were made with the bid winners after the auction,
said Mr Manus who expressed satisfaction on the agreed prices.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom is authorised to make a final
decision on the rice deal.
The FTP chief said the auctioned rice has been in stock for a year and
it should be sold to make room for a new batch of rice.
This is the fifth sale of rice from the government’s stock.
Mr Manut said the auctioned rice is mainly for domestic distribution,
and not for export. If the auction doesn’t affect rice price in the
local market, it will be held every week until the end of the year, he
He said the average rice price is US$670 per tonne this year, a US$100
increase from last year. (MCOT online news)
Banpu to appeal court ruling
BANGKOK, Sept 21 - Thailand's leading mining company,
Banpu Plc, said it would appeal the civil court ruling which ordered it
to pay damages to Siva Nganthavee and his associated companies.
Banpu, one of Asia's leading coal and coal energy providers, informed
the Stock Exchange of Thailand about the outcome of the civil court case
Siva Nganthavee and his associated companies (“Plaintiffs”) filed suit
against the company, its subsidiary companies and management
(“Defendants”), demanding payment for damages totaling Bt63.5 billion.
The lawsuit is based on allegations that Banpu, the subsidiary companies
and management had deceptively entered into a joint development
agreement with them for the purpose of gaining information of coal mine
concession and feasibility study reports of the lignite fired power
plant project in Hongsa, Lao PDR (“Hongsa Project”), and that the
company had misinformed the Lao PDR government resulting in the Lao
government terminating their coal mine concession and power project
agreements so Banpu could directly enter into a contract with the Lao
Thailand's Civil Court on Thursday ordered the company and Banpu Power
Limited to pay the plaintiffs damages for information of Bt4 billion
with 7.5 per cent interest per annum from the date of the complaint
until the sum is fully paid, and for loss of opportunity of Bt860
million annually from 2015-2027 and Bt1.38 billion per year from 2028 to
The country's leading miner said it would exercise the right to appeal
the judgment to the Appeal Court.
The company also said the court ruling would not impact on the Hongsa
Project which is currently in progress as planned.
Shares of Banpu closed on the midday trading session at 399 baht, down
43 baht, from yesterday's closing price. (MCOT online news)
Transport: Thailand to focus on rail transport development during 2013-2020 fiscal years
UBON RATCHATHANI, 22 September 2012 (NNT) – The
Transport Ministry is set to continue the development of the country’s
rail transport system during fiscals 2013 and 2020.
Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said on Friday that the ministry
will be playing an important role in the reconstruction and future
development of Thailand.
Mr. Charupong said that, in order to implement such a plan, Thailand
will likely need around 2.2 trillion baht, which can be raised through
domestic and overseas borrowings.
For the Transport Ministry, the construction of the rail transport
system is a focus, as it can be an effective tool in lowering costs in
times that oil prices continue to rise.
The Transport Ministry stated that the rail transport system will also
enhance the country’s transport industry while helping it better compete
with other countries within this region.
However, he conceded that land, marine and air transports are still
needed to perfect the whole system.
Mr. Charupong added that the Transport Ministry is poised to further
develop international transport systems with Bangkok set as the center
in this region.
Special Report: TCEB readies Chiang Mai for “2013 Year of Mice”
Chiang Mai has been recognized as a key city for
meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions or MICE industry in
Thailand. With the help from the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau
or TCEB, Chiang Mai has shifted its focus from “just tourism” to the
MICE industry, enabling the city to have visitors in every season of the
TCEB has held “Meetings Industry Day” in Chiang Mai province in order to
show the city’s capacities and readiness to become a “MICE city” which
is the main goal of Chiang Mai in boosting its economy.
According to TCEB Acting President Thongchai Sridama, Chiang Mai in 2011
alone earned a total of 3.3 billion baht in revenue from both national
and international MICE industries. This was broken down into 82 million
baht from nearly 20,000 domestic MICE travelers, and 3.2 billion baht
from over 40,000 international MICE travelers participating in a total
of 427 MICE events throughout the year.
Meanwhile, Ms. Vichaya Soonthornsaratoon, Senior Manager and Acting
Director of the Meetings Industry Department, TCEB, revealed that Chiang
Mai will focus on distinctive features such as cultural tourism,
environment tourism, and medical tourism, in driving the city’s economy.
Ms. Vichaya added that for the country as a whole, the MICE industry is
expected to boost Thailand’s economic growth by 7-10 percent this year,
with an income of 60 billion baht, and over 750,000 visitors from around
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Woragan Yokying has further stated that
Chiang Mai province is ready in every aspect for the “2013 Year of Mice”
such as infrastructure, utilities, and international standards of
hospitality. He said Chiang Mai’s vision is to be the “city of life and
wealth”. To achieve that goal, Chiang Mai province will have to
emphasize more on conventions, meetings, and exhibitions.
Talking about the recent flooding in Thailand, Mr. Woragan mentioned
that there is no need to worry. The city has already set up disaster
warnings in flood-risk areas.
In conclusion, the MICE industry will play a huge part in Chiang Mai's
economic expansion in 2013 as it will boost income for the tourism
segment in which cultural, environment, and medical tourism will be
focused. For more information on MICE industry, visit www.tceb.or.th
Three-fourths of SMEs don't trust Govt's flood management plan: Survey
BANGKOK, Sept 20 - The latest poll by the Dhurakij
Pundit University Research Center (DPU Poll) indicated that
three-fourths of small and medium-sized enterprises do not trust the
government's flood management plan.
director Kiatanan Luankaew said the survey on the readiness and
preparedness on flood situations of SMEs was conducted Sept 13-17 among
418 entrepreneurs directly impacted by last year's floods in Bangkok,
Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Ayutthaya.
The centre conducted a similar survey once before, in February this
More than half the respondents, 55 per cent, said they do not quite
believe the government's ability to manage flood, 19 per cent said they
do not at all.
One in five --20 per cent-- do trust the government, but only four per
cent said they trust it completely.
Of all four groups, about 75 per cent have a negative attitude towards
the government's ability to deliver its promises, an increase of 23 per
cent compared to the previous poll earlier this year.
On their readiness to deal with possible floods, more than 60 per cent
said they have plans for the situation, while the rest said they don't.
About 90 per cent of those with plans said they have started preparing
for future floods already.
Regarding on how they prepare themselves for floods, 53 per cent said
they have started backing up data of their companies and their clients,
while about half said they have reserved cash. Thirty-five per cent said
they have moved electric wires, electric equipment and tools and
machinery to higher ground.
Mr Kiatanan said SME entrepreneurs have learned lessons from last year.
However, their ability to cope with future floods is limited. The
government should have good measures and an effective water management
plan in order to alleviate possible problems.
Also, government must realise the confidence of the business sector on
its ability to deal with floods reflects a confidence index on political
stability as well.
He added the 23 per cent drop in confidence is a signal the government
should not overlook.
It should understand businesspeople do not give importance to how the
government said it can 'handle' the situation, but how it actually
manages the water situation and whether the flood management is worth
its Bt350 billion budget. (MCOT online news)
Thai industrialists cry foul over steel dumping
BANGKOK, Sept 19 -- The Federation of Thai Industries
(FTI) is seeking Commerce Ministry anti-dumping measures against China
and South Korea for their steel exports to Thailand.
vice chairman Songwoot Graipaspong said Thai industrialists have been
severely affected by the dumping of hot-rolled steel sheet from China
and boron-added coils, or chromium, from South Korea.
More than 300,000 tonnes of hot-rolled steel sheets have been exported
by China to Thailand from January to July this year, and the volume will
be as high as 400,000-500,000 tonnes at the end of this year.
He said 265,000 tonnes of boron-added coils have been imported from
South Korea, adding that the volume is higher than last year and there
is a tendency that it will be much higher, he added. (MCOT online news)
Countdown to 3G auction begins
BANGKOK, 21 September 2012 (NNT) – After years and
years of delay, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications
Commission (NBTC) on Thursday finally started a countdown to the 3G
auction in Thailand, which will take place on October 16th.
NBTC has revealed that the bidding for the 2.1 GHz spectrum will be the
first in Thailand, saying the service will allow the country to uplift
its communication service to a complete third-generation (3G) spectrum.
The countdown will raise public awareness about the long-awaited 3G
service. The NBTC insisted that the process of the bidding will be
fairly conducted in a transparent manner.
The bidding price has been set to start at 4.5 billion baht for a 5-MHz
block of spectrum..
PM Yingluck: Rice-Pledging Project truly aimed at boosting farmers’ income
BANGKOK, 21 September 2012 (NNT) – The Prime Minister
has assured that the state-initiated rice-pledging project is truly
aimed at helping farmers earn sufficient income for living.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, on Thursday, stated that the
government’s rice-pledging project has been initiated to help farmers,
who are the majority of the Thai population.
PM Yingluck said that the project must continue on, as promised to the
However, she conceded that the government has not been able to satisfy
everyone during its first year in office but is still willing to heed
all advices, with the Commerce Ministry already urged to improve and
streamline the project.
The Premier added that the price set for the pledged rice has never been
decided to boost farmers’ revenues at the expense of the private sector.
Finance Minister affirms the 2012 export growth target at 15%
BANGKOK, 21 September 2012 (NNT) – The Finance
Ministry has affirmed that this year’s export growth target will remain
unchanged from its initial estimate.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said on Thursday
that the country’s export growth target will remain at 15 percent.
Mr. Kittiratt said that this target has been set to help encourage
related state agencies to work harder for the country.
In case the 15-percent growth target is missed, a review of all works
must be conducted to find any flaw in order to help perfect the
government’s performance in the future.
Nevertheless, the Deputy PM believes that all parties have been working
their best to date.
FTI: August industrial sentiment index hit the lowest level in 8 months
BANGKOK, 20 September 2012 (NNT) – The latest survey
has shown that Thailand’s industrial sentiment hit the lowest point in 8
months in August.
Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said
on Wednesday that the country’s industrial confidence index stood at
98.5 percent in August, slightly down from the 98.7 mark recorded in
Mr. Payungsak said that the index has fallen below the 100-point level
for 2 months in a row and, last month, hit the lowest level in 8 months.
He stated that such a scenario showed that Thai entrepreneurs have not
been quite confident in their business outlook, partly because of the
global economic slowdown.
The FTI Chairman said that the 3-month confidence index was at 105.7 in
August, up slightly from 104.8 in July, as a result of a number of
factors, from the overall car purchase orders, to the number of cars
produced, the producers’ costs and their earnings.
He added that automakers have suggested that the government try its best
to assure all involved about the readiness of the state-initiated flood
prevention and to introduce more measures to help those hit by the
increase in the country’s daily minimum wage to 300 baht, due to be in
effect on January 1st, 2013.
They also called for more incentives for joint investment with
neighboring countries in order to help boost exports.
Agriculture Ministry ordered to make progress with rubber-paved road project
BANGKOK, 20 September 2012 (NNT) – The government has
instructed the Agriculture Ministry to make progress with the initiative
to pave road with rubber.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Nattawut Saikuar said on Wednesday that
during the joint meeting between the government, representatives from
the state enterprises, and the private sector to discuss the country’s
rubber business, it was agreed that the state-initiated rubber-paved
road project in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat must be executed.
The initiative, intended to find added value to the rubber product by
replacing tarmac with rubber on a 19-kilometer strip, is estimated to
cost 85 million baht to complete.
Mr. Nattawut said that the meeting believes that the project will be
essential in boosting Thai rubber prices and helping turn rubber
producers into processors while promoting the rubber industry
According to the Deputy Agriculture Minister, Thailand’s rubber
production stands at 3.5 million tons a year, with 86 percent of the
output allocated for exports.
He added that the rubber-paved road project will help attract more
foreign investors, who will be invited to witness the launch, expected
within 3-4 months after the work begins.
Mr. Nattawut went on to say that, while the Prime Minister has
instructed the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) to find ways to
promote Thai rubber, she has also ordered the Agriculture Ministry to
start overseas road shows to publicize the rubber-paved road project and
the rubber industry.
Thailand’s auto production grew 37.31% in August
BANGKOK, 20 September 2012 (NNT) – Official data from
automakers showed that Thai auto production expanded while the domestic
auto sales growth shrank in August.
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)’s auto industry club
spokesperson Surapong Paisitpattanapong revealed on Wednesday that
domestic car sales in August totaled 129,509 units, up 63.9 percent
on-year but down 1.62 percent from July.
Mr. Surapong said that the year-on-year increase was a result of the
rise in domestic demand which was larger than that from overseas,
coupled with the automakers’ need to deliver their products to
consumers, who made the purchase under the state-initiated “First Car”
In terms of production, a total of 210,333 vehicles came out of the
assembly line in August, up 37.31 percent from the same time of last
year but down 1.13 percent from the preceding month.
During the months of January and August 2012, Thailand has produced
1,477,888 vehicles, which are 33.02 percent higher than the same period
of 2011, according to the FTI’s auto industry club.
Mr. Surapong expressed confidence that the 2012 auto production will
exceed the 2-million mark, while suggesting that, if nothing goes wrong,
the country’s annual production will stand at around 3 million, which
can pave way for Thailand to become one of the world’s largest
Bad weather affects border trade, seafood prices
CHANTHABURI, Sept 19 - Thailand’s border trade at
Chanthaburi has dropped by half due to the heavy rain in many eastern
provinces, while erratic changes of weather in the southern provinces
has caused the increased price of seafood.
Business and Tourism Association vice chairman Sombat Juengtrakul said
that flooding and rain in the eastern provinces have caused the border
trade between Thailand and Cambodia at Chantaburi to drop by 50 per
Normally Cambodian traders order Thai products on average at Bt30
million per day but orders have fallen to Bt15 million--about Bt500
million per month—because cross border transportation was inconvenient,
Moreover, he said, shopping for Thai products at the border markets also
droped by half due to the weather.
But the number of Cambodian workers crossing border to work in Thailand
remained the same at around 1,000 persons daily.
Meanwhile, fluctuations of the weather has caused the price of fresh
seafood at Maharaj market in Krabi to rise. Rough seas have barred
fishing trawlers from going to sea and fewer fish are being caught.
The price of mackerel has risen from Bt80 per kilogramme to Bt90 per/kg,
banana shrimp from Bt250/kg to Bt300-350/kg.
Maharaj market fresh seafood chairperfson Hava Changrua said the prices
of seafood now are not stable because rough seas have reduced the
quantity of seafood caught by the fishermen.
However, she believed that when the sea was calm, the seafood prices
would return to normal. (MCOT online news)
Thai Industries Sentiment Index in August lowest in 8 months
BANGKOK, Sept 19 - Thai Industries Sentiment Index
(TISI) in August slightly dropped to its lowest level in eight months at
98.5 from 98.7 in the previous month, said the Federation of Thai
Chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol said that entrepreneurs are not
confident in the performance and economic growth forecast cut by many
agencies following global economic slowdown. However, overall sales,
production for domestic sales still grow in the fashion industry,
construction and auto industry.
It is believed that domestic sales promotion will be a key factor to
stimulate the economy in the second half of this year.
The August confidence index projection for the next three months stays
at 105.7, increasing from 104.8 in July due to increasing orders and
production quantity and lower operating costs.
He advised the government to build confidence with its flood prevention
plan and to prepare measures to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
affected by the daily minimum wage hike, and investment promotion in
neighbouring countries as well as promoting exports and domestic
consumption. (MCOT online news)
Thailand to produce 2 million cars by year-end
BANGKOK, Sept 19 - Thailand is expected to
manufacture 2.2 million automobiles and pickup trucks and 2.5 million
motorcycles this year.
Automotive Industry Club spokesman Surapong Paisitpatanapong said a
celebration of producing 2 million cars/year will be held November 30.
He said the club is confident the auto industry will continue to grow.
If expansion continues according to plan for the next five years,
Thailand will have a production capacity of 3 million units/year and the
country will become one of the world's top ten car manufacturers.
In August, automobile sales volume reached almost 130,000 units, or
about 63 per cent increase year-on-year. However, the figure was 16 per
cent less than that of July.
Mr Surapong said the higher sales volume was because car producers
increased their production output for domestic sales more than for
export in order to hand over new cars to buyers under the government's
'first car' scheme.
The total car manufacturing figure in August stood at about 210,000
units, a number which has been continuous for the fourth consecutive
month. Production capacity last month increased around 37 per cent
year-on-year, but lowered from July this year at about one per cent.
From January-August, the total car sales volume reached over 860,000
units, or a growth of 48 per cent year-on-year.
Total production capacity during the first eight months reached more
than 1.4 million units, an increase of 33 per cent compared to the same
period last year. Of that figure, about 830,000 units were for domestic
orders and the remaining 630,000 units were for export.
Mr Surapong believes that the auto industry next year will still see a
bright future, particularly exports of auto parts. The first eight
months of this year saw a growth of the auto and auto parts industry of
21 per cent, he said. (MCOT online news)
Cabinet rejects new Bt405 billion rice pledging scheme
BANGKOK, Sept 19 – A proposal for a new round of rice
pledging scheme for the 2012/2013 fiscal year which will cost the
government Bt405 billion was rejected by the cabinet which openly
expressed concern that it will plunge Thailand into heavy indebtedness.
to government spokeswoman Sansanee Nakpong, the cabinet assigned the
finance ministry, commerce ministry, agriculture ministry and budget
bureau to re-evaluate the volume of rice to be pledged with the
government. The revision must be sent back to the cabinet for approval.
Under the initial proposal, the Bt405 billion budget to pledge 26
million tonnes of paddy will be broken down into Bt240 billion for the
yearly (annual) paddy crop, and Bt165 billion for
second-crop paddy. Jasmine rice will be pledged at Bt20,000 per tonne
and paddy at Bt15,000 per tonne—the same prices as the previous year.
The cabinet, however, approved additional pledging of second-crop paddy
in 2012 from 11.11 million tonnes to 13.31 million tonnes to help
farmers who were hit by last year’s floods. The farmers had to resort to
the second farming and harvest after floods receded.
The cabinet also approved an agriculture ministry’s rubber intervention
proposal by paying Bt30 billion to purchase 300,000 tonnes of rubber
from planters between Oct 1 this year2 and March 31, 2013. The first
allocation of Bt5 billion will be granted. (MCOT online news)
PTT: Global energy price on upward trend
NAGOYA, 18 September 2012 (NNT) – The PTT Public
Company Limited has said that the global energy price at the moment is
on an upward trend, while urging the government to float the diesel
price to reflect the true market price.
PTT President and CEO Pailin Chuchottaworn speculated that the global
oil price would be on a rising trend, following the US issuance of the
third quantitative easing, or QE3 measures, and the European bailout
fund approved by the German court. He said the global crude oil price
should rise from the current 113 US dollars per barrel, however, an
all-year average should remain at 115 dollars per barrel.
At the same time, Mr Pailin urged the government to allow the diesel
price to reflect the real market cost. He added that the marketing
margins for all other types of petrol should not be pegged at between 1
to 1.50 baht per liter, as the move was a drawback for investors, citing
foreign oil companies such as JET and Q8 had already withdrawn their
investments in Thailand.
He explained that with the rise in the minimum wage, many retailers
could no longer stay in the price competition; therefore, wider
marketing margin was needed to attract entrepreneurs to stay in the
game. He added that the reason many businesses managed to be in
operation was that they made a healthy profit from their non oil-related
BoT set to issue measures, handles QE3 impacts
BANGKOK, 18 September 2012 (NNT) – The Bank of
Thailand (BoT) is preparing to issue bonds to stabilize the Thai baht
and to cope with capital inflows, caused by the issuance of US’s
quantitative easing, or QE3 measures.
According to Dr. Somchai Sujjapongse, Director General of the Fiscal
Policy Office, Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Thailand is set to draw
up measures in coping with the impact of the US’s QE3. The BoT has
anticipated that there will be an increase in capital inflow coming into
Thailand, which will likely cause the Thai currency to strengthen,
affecting the export sector. The BoT will, therefore, have to issue
bonds in order to absorb the liquidity and stabilize the Thai currency.
Meanwhile, the Director General added that the interference of the
Finance Ministry is not just yet needed, given the amount of 40 billion
US dollars injected monthly into the system by the US government is
considered insignificant. However, he said the Thai government will have
to keep a watchful eye on the situation.
IEAT certain Thailand’s industrial estates will not be flooded
BANGKOK, Sept 17 – The Industrial Estate Authority of
Thailand (IEAT) is certain the country's industrial estates will not be flooded
this year, particularly those under the care of IEAT in flood-prone areas.
Director-General Somkid Tanwattanakul said the areas under IEAT's direct
supervision such as the Bangchan and Latkrabang industrial estates, both in
suburban Bangkok, will not be flooded, as IEAT believes the volume of floodwater
this year will be less than last year.
Industrial estates will use existing flood prevention and control measures,
which he said are sufficient. Earthen dykes have been reinforced and elevated
for additional strength.
Regarding IEAT's permanent flood prevention measures, a Bt3 billion budget has
tagged for construction of permanent flood embankment walls, the height of each
wall depending on the altitude of the land in each area.
The embankments, however, will be at least as high as last year's flood maximum
height plus another 50cm for flood control.
IEAT also prepared Bt200 million to fund monitoring flood threats and a Bt190
million budget to purchase temporary flood prevention equipment, which can be
The project is currently in a public hearing process and an e-auction to find an
appropriate bidder. A purchase contract is expected to be made by next month,
with construction to follow, which Mr Somkid said will not be in time for this
year's rainy season. (MCOT online news)
Kittiratt: US stimulus package will not affect Thailand
Sept 14 – Thailand will not be battered by an inflow of capital into
Asia from the latest US stimulus package, Finance Minister Kittiratt
Na-Ranong said on Friday, to reassure those who fear the impact of the
Mr Kittiratt, who is also deputy premier, said the US Federal Reserve’s
announcement of a third quarter economic stimulus package on Thursday
will stabilise US and European economies. He warned, however, that
Thailand will however have to cope with a stronger Thai currency.
He said he believed the Bank of Thailand has worked out measures to
ensure that the Thai baht is not too strong while the Finance Ministry
has hinted that current interest rates would not encourage profit making
Mr Kittirat said the government will encourage Thai investments abroad
as one of the attempts to stabilise the Thai currency at a suitable
He added that Thailand’s exports in the remaining months of this year
are at a satisfactory rate given the government’s implemented mechanisms
to eliminate export obstacles.
Asian countries must closely monitor the situation and the impact from
the new US stimulus package, he said, adding that Asian leaders will
possibly meet soon to discuss measures to jointly protect their economic
The Stock Exchange of Thailand's (SET) main stock index (SET index)
gained 18.43 points or 1.47 per cent to close at 1,276.12 in trade of
Bt57.212 billion, a new high in the past 16 years. (MCOT online news)
Finance Ministry to review tax policies in favor of Thai businesses with overseas investment
BANGKOK, 14 September 2012 (NNT) – The Finance
Ministry is poised to review the current tax policies that have caused
Thai businesses with overseas investment to face double taxation.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said on Thursday
that the Revenue Department is now looking into ways to avoid double
taxation, which has led to tax evasion by Thai investors.
In order to rectify the tax hitch, the Revenue Department has been
discussing probable solutions with representatives from the business
sector, especially those from the OUT-OUT group, which is referred to
companies with overseas investment that have already paid taxes in their
These companies are known to have been evading tax payment demanded in
Thailand, due to the fact that such disbursement is duplicated.
Mr. Kittiratt reckoned that the matter is sensitive and requires
thorough consideration as the government cannot allow tax exempt for
On the other hand, the Deputy PM said that Thailand has been active in
attracting foreign investors to invest in the country. In doing so, the
government has agreed to lower corporate tax for eligible companies from
30 percent to 23 percent, with a plan to adjust the rate lower to 20
percent in 2013.
Mr. Kittiratt said that such a policy is not biased and truly intended
to help create employment in the country.
PTT prepares 800 million baht for expansion into Cambodia, Laos
BANGKOK, 14 September 2012 (NNT) – The PTT Public
Company Limited is looking to invest 800 million baht in energy business
expansion in Cambodia and Laos in the next five years.
The PTT planned to open 4-5 more gas stations in Laos and Cambodia each.
The Thai energy giant already has 14 gas stations and 3 oil reserves in
Cambodia. The new move is set to promote ‘PTT’ as a premium brand in the
The company expected that the retail oil business in Cambodia will
familiarize the PTT with doing business in the neighboring country
before it invests more in the future.
Meanwhile, during the 30th ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Energy in
Cambodia, Energy Minister Arak Chonlatanon said the Thai government is
placing an emphasis on developing green energy and is pushing for ASEAN
to use the same alternative energy standard.
BoT urges financial institutions to revise policies for new competitions in AEC
BANGKOK, 13 September 2012 (NNT) – The Bank of
Thailand (BoT) has suggested that financial institutions should revise
their policies in preparation for the formation of the ASEAN Economic
a seminar entitled “Enhancing Thai Industries for the New Future under
the AEC”, Dr. Veerapong Ramangkul, Chairman of the BoT, stated that the
Thai financial institutions needed to speedily adjust their policies in
order to minimize differences and prepare for rising competitions under
the AEC. According to him, the 10 ASEAN members have different financial
policies which could lead to a conflict when the AEC is formed. The BoT
chairman therefore recommended Thai financial institutions to improve
their policies in conformity with those of their counterparts at the
He added that the currency and capital markets will have to be adjusted
as well. Furthermore, some ASEAN countries do not collect taxes in some
businesses like Thailand does, such as income tax on earnings from
He also said the corporate tax in Thailand was still higher than other
ASEAN members, and this could be a disadvantage for Thailand when the
AEC is introduced in 2015.
Finance Minister confident in BoT mechanism to stabilize Baht, believes US’s QE3 will benefit world economy
BANGKOK, 14 September 2012 (NNT) – Mr. Kittiratt
Na-Ranong, the Finance Minister, believes the third round of
quantitative easing, or QE3, policy undertaken by the USA will help
uplift the world economy.
The Finance Minister stated that the policy would contribute positively
to the world economy. However, Asian countries, as buyers, would have to
keep a watchful eye on the situation and draw up measures to tackle
also expressed his belief that the Bank of Thailand (BoT) would be able
to stabilize Thai economy and control the economic fluctuation by using
the existing mechanism such as the interest rate policy, to help control
Mr. Kittiratt elaborated that the capital flowing in and out of the
country is the main influential factor that alters currency values which
will eventually have a tremendous impact on exports. The BoT will
therefore have to stabilize Thai baht so that Thai exporters are able to
compete in the international markets.
Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair held until September 17
BANGKOK, 13 September 2012 (NNT) – The 50th Bangkok
Gems & Jewelry Fair 2012 is now being held at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani
to promote Thai jewelry and accessory industries on the world stage.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today presided over the opening
ceremony of the 50th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, which is being held to
showcase Thai entrepreneurs’ potential in this field.
The Commerce Ministry views that despite the global economic downturn,
the Thai jewelry industry remains strong on the world stage. The
ministry expects that Thailand will export over 12 billion US dollars’
worth of jewelry this year.
Over 3,000 booths have been set up at the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair to
welcome visitors from across the globe. The event is among the world’s
top five best jewelry fairs and the biggest in ASEAN. It is taking place
from September 13-17 at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.
2012 export growth forecast lowered to 4.5%
BANGKOK, Sept 13 – Thailand's ministry of finance
lowered its export growth forecast for this year from 12.8 to 4.5 per
cent, with an economic expansion of 5.69 per cent.
Policy Office Director Somchai Sujjapongse said the percentage in
response to Europe's debt crisis and the world's economic problems.
However, he said the commerce ministry's export growth target remains
unchanged at 15 per cent in order to drive the work of officials to
achieve the goal.
Mr Somchai said he had reported to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on
the German Federal Constitutional Court's ruling Wednesday on the
European Stability Mechanism (ESM) ratification in order to help bring
economic governance to countries in the euro zone.
However, the Thailand's Fiscal Policy Office believes that the ESM fund
would only affect money and capital markets in the short run, while the
European Union should need at least another five years to recover from
its public debt. (MCOT online news)
Rubber panel seeks Bt30 billion to stabilise price
BANGKOK, Sept 13 -- Thailand's Natural Rubber Policy
Committee on Thursday moved to ask the Cabinet next week to approve a
Bt30 billion budget to prevent price fluctuations and stabilise the
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikua said the meeting
of the rubber committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister/Finance
Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong agreed to short term measures to shore up
falling rubber prices with the special budget.
It will be proposed to the Cabinet for approval next week, he said,
adding that it would be withdrawn in Bt5 billion increments.
Mr Nattawut said that the meeting also approved low-interest rate loans
for private sector rubber exporters to offer them liquidity to buy
rubber and stock it to influence the market price.
As for long-term measures, Mr Nattawut said the ministry was assigned to
study a project for building roads from rubber. The study would include
the amount of the rubber to be used and the distance of the road.
Foreign diplomats, the private sector and investors would be invited to
observe construction of the rubber road, he added.
The other measures in the feasibility study included the use of rubber
for making railway sleepers, said the minister. (MCOT online news)
Farmers more satisfied with rice pledging scheme: Survey
BANGKOK, Sept 13 - Thai rice farmers prefer the
government's rice pledging scheme to the price guarantee scheme,
according to an opinion poll by the University of the Thai Chamber of
Commerce (UTCC) Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting.
director Thanawat Polvichai said the poll was conducted September 10-16
among 1,200 farmers nationwide on their attitude toward the rice
mortgage scheme, the price guarantee scheme and solutions to farmers'
Farmers say they are happier with the rice pledging scheme because they
can receive money sooner.
There are about 3.7 million households growing rice, or around 19
million farmers. The overall production amounts to 32-35 million tonnes
of unmilled rice.
The government received 18 million tonnes of unmilled rice under the
mortgage scheme with a budget of Bt280 billion during the 2011/2012
harvest season. As a result, according to Dr Thanawat, farmers were to
receive Bt5,000-7,000/tonne under the condition that the process was not
The poll found that one-third of the farmers said the rice mortgage
scheme should not be cancelled. Those who said if the government was to
cancel the scheme viewed the government should help reduce production
costs. The farmers also wanted a clear answer from the government on
whether the Bt400 billion rice pledging scheme will benefit farmers and
those related in the whole country.
Regarding farmers' debts, the amount of overall debts increased around
Bt114,000 per household, or a rise of 11 per cent year-on-year.
Fifty-nine per cent of farmers are in the formal debt system, while the
remaining 49 per cent have informal debts. Most of the debt increased is
informal, Mr Thanawat said.
Farmers believed if the rice mortgage scheme continued for another three
years, they would be debt-free under the condition that they were
disciplined in their spending. (MCOT online news)
Yingluck vows to fully support export segment
BANGKOK, 13 September 2012 (NNT) – Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra says the government takes it as a challenge to push
for expansion of the export sector amidst world economic uncertainties
which are affecting Thai exports.
Speaking to the “Thailand Competitiveness Conference” organized by the
Thailand Management Association (TMA) and the Thai Chamber of Commerce,
Miss Yingluck stated that the government would give equal importance to
the strengthening of both the export sector and the internal security of
She stressed that to this end, the government could not do it in
isolation. Cooperation from the private sector was needed.
The Prime Minister viewed the fluctuation in world economy as an
opportunity for the government to focus more on the export segment. She
pointed out that it was an opportune time for Thailand to take advantage
of the situation as world business activities were moving to Asia and
the ASEAN region. She said the government has already teamed up with the
private sector and academic institutions to research and find the right
strategy that would answer the need of the export sector.
฿35 million allocated to help prepare SMEs for flood and AEC
BANGKOK, 11 September 2012 (NNT) – The Department of Industrial
Promotion is allocating 35 million baht to a project to help
Thai SMEs prepare for future flood and the advent of AEC.
Director-General of the Department of Industrial Promotion Pasu
Loharjun has stated that since last year’s flood, a number of
Thai SMEs have been recovering slowly, partly due to the loss of
information caused by the devastating flood. Some SMEs were able
to retrieve the lost information, while others could not.
The Department of Industrial Promotion has, therefore, come up
with a project focusing on enhancing the potentials of Thai SMEs
in terms of information technology, which will help SMEs improve
their production capacity and reduce production cost.
The 35-million baht project is also aimed at preparing these
enterprises for future flooding and the formation of the ASEAN
Economic Community, supporting e-marketing, e-supply,
employment, and creating added-value for the industrial sector.
Energy expert: ฿300 minimum wage policy to raise oil production cost
BANGKOK, 11 September 2012 (NNT) – Mr. Manoon Siriwan, an energy
expert, has warned that the 300-baht minimum wage policy that is
to be enforced next year will result in a rise of oil production
Mr. Manoon said that next year, the production costs of oil
retailers will rise due to the government’s 300-baht minimum
wage policy, which will come into effect nationwide on January
1st, 2013, as the oil business heavily relies on labors.
Furthermore, since the oil marketing margin has remained
unchanged at 1.50 baht per liter for several years, he viewed
that retailers should consider increasing the rate soon in a bid
to safeguard against losses even though oil prices will be
affected. The expert went on the say that the government should
speedily conduct a research on the matter in order to adjust the
marketing margin to a more appropriate level.
Additionally, Mr. Manoon also expressed worries over the
government’s NGV price restructuring policy that is still under
study. He noted that if no changes are made within this year,
PTT Plc will have to continue bearing the burden from the retail
NGV price that is lower than the production cost. As a
consequence, the company will need to slow down its NGV
investment, which will eventually have an impact on consumers.
Special Report: Future of Thai Pineapple Business
Pineapple businesses and experts have gathered at a seminar to
discuss the current situation of the industry and a future plan
to make Thailand a center for pineapple trade.
Minister of Commerce Boonsong Teriyapirom has presided over the
opening ceremony of the 'Pineapple Futures' seminar aimed to
address the key challenges faced by the pineapple industry and
to support a new mechanism to help boost the industry's revenue.
According to the minister, the canned pineapple industry of
Thailand reigns at the top of the world as its export value
exceeded 30 billion baht last year while the export volume
accounted for 50 percent of all canned pineapples worldwide.
However, experts say the revenue generated by Thai pineapples is
considerably low compared to the amount of supply produced. The
situation is said to have been caused by the unpredictability of
Vice President of the Pineapple Processors' Group Vorathep
Rangchaikul said that to eliminate such problem and create
certainty, all pineapple businesses should enter the future
market, a risk-reducing platform that guarantees the price and
sales in advance.
According to Mr. Vorathep, the new mechanism will help assure
the buyers and sellers of product availability and committed
price and prevent price bluffing.
He added that the industry will push forward the plan to
establish Thailand as the world's hub for pineapple
transactions, and with the help of the future market and its
trusted program, Thailand will be able to attract other
countries to enter the hub.
Canned pineapple will begin trading in the Agricultural Futures
Exchange of Thailand (AFET) on September 28, 2012.