Air France-KLM has launched a joint programme in Thailand called “BlueBiz”, providing corporate benefits to small and medium-sized businesses.

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Air France/KLM launches benefit scheme for SMEs

Until now, the airlines – which merged in 2004 – have had their own corporate-benefits programmes aimed at the SME segment.

As a member of the BlueBiz programme, a company earns Blue Credits each time one of its employees travels with Air France or KLM. Blue Credits are valid for at least 24 months – up to a maximum of 36 months – and are granted according to the route and the booking class.

For the Blue Credits to be credited on its account, a company just needs to give its BlueBiz number when making a booking.

In addition, members of Flying Blue – the Air France-KLM frequent-flyer programme – continue to earn miles when travelling on the two carriers.

Blue Credits can be converted into award tickets and upgrades to any destinations in the extended global network of Air France-KLM using a simple scale of one Blue Credit equals Bt1. Any company employee can use the awards.

Air France and KLM planes
Membership is simple and free of charge, with no conditions required concerning a minimum number of trips to be made. Membership is valid for a minimum of two years and then as long as company members continue to travel.

Public investment will expand only slightly next year as the Thai Kem Kaeng Program will just about compensate for the reduction in the government’s on-budget investment in 2010.

The medium-term outlook is sobering, with growth expected at 3.5 percent in 2010 and likely remaining below potential for the next three years. Because the Thai economy is largely dependent on final demand in advanced economies, a return to pre-crisis rates of economic growth (a full recovery vs. a rebound to pre-crisis levels) will require a combination of (a recovery of demand from advanced economies and a rebalancing of the sources of growth to reduce Thailand’s dependence on demand from advanced economies. Neither process is likely to be swift. Recovery from a financial crisis is a lengthy process that involves the rebuilding of balance sheets, and the IMF estimates that half of the losses in the financial system in advanced economies are yet to be recognized.

Thailand performs well compared to other countries in the region on many aspects of government regulations and regulatory procedures that facilitate business. According to the latest annual World Bank’s Doing Business report, in 2008 Thailand ranks 13th among over 180 countries and 4th in East Asia in the ease of doing business. The ease of doing business is measured by quantitative indicators of regulatory requirements and procedures in ten areas in the life cycle of typical small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the largest city in a country. They include, for example, the number days, steps, and cost needed to obtain business licenses, registering property, clear customs, pay taxes, and close a business. It only takes 2 steps and 2 days to register property in Thailand, on of the fastest in the world. Progress over the recent years has been particularly on the improvements in the customs process after the introduction of the internet-based customs clearance system, which has reduced the number of required documents and time taken to clear customs for exports.

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