China is expected to grow by about 9.5 percent in 2010, state media has quoted a government think tank as saying, exceeding forecasts made by outside experts for the new year.
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Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand
The performance of Thailand’s telecommunications sector has come a long way in the last decade, particularly in terms of availability and use of affordable telephone service and growth of internet access. The telecommunications sector in Thailand is dominated by mobile communications. There are about 43 million mobile subscribers versus approximately 7 million fixedlines. Furthermore, growth in the mobile market remains strong compared to the fixed market, which is stagnant. Broadband network infrastructure is growing rapidly; however, it is still insignificant.
The government also uses tariff measures as a tool to promote energy policy. To encourage the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles, the government has exempted import duties of many natural gas-related tools and equipment such as bio-fuel conversion kits, natural gas containers, and chasses.
Externally, the trade balance in January 2009 recorded a 1,688 million US dollar surplus. Export value contracted for the third consecutive month while import fell even more rapidly. Export value dropped 25.3 percent (yoy) to 10,382 million US dollars. This was due mainly to contraction across the board except for labour-intensive industries which still expanded from gold export. Import value contracted 36.5 percent (yoy) across the board to 8,694 million US dollars. When accounting for the net services, income, and transfers surplus of 601 million US dollars from lower investment income transfer compared to the previous month, the current account balance registered a 2,289 million US dollar surplus.
Revenue has fallen well below target during FY2009 as the domestic recession eroded government income from sources such as import duties and value- added tax. Parliament in June passed emergency legislation authorizing additional government borrowing beyond limits set under the budget law and it approved new debt issues of up to B800 billion. Monetary stimulus came from aggressive reductions in interest rates by the Bank of Thailand: from the start of December 2008 to April 2009 it lowered its policy rate by 250 basis points to 1.25%.
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