Representatives of TOT Pcl, formerly the state-owned Telephone Organization of Thailand but now corporatised, submitted a letter to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday clarifying the suspension of the third generation (3G) wireless service auction after it filed a complaint against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
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Implementation of Reforms in Thailand
It is of vital importance to the health of the Thai economy and Thailand’s 65 million citizens that the state of affairs in Thailand is depicted as accurately and as responsibly as possible around the world.
People watching the news from their home in the US or Europe need to have a balanced understanding of events taking place in Thailand. This is where I strongly feel that the foreign diplomatic community and the media, who play a major part in framing the message, have a leading role to play.
The major factor weighing down growth next year is the sharp slow down in the global economy, particularly the contraction of the economies that are Thailand’s major export markets – US, EU, and Japan.This will have a large negative impact on Thailand’s exports of both goods and services which has been the major source of income and the driver of the output growth in the past few years. The US dollar value of exports of goods is expected to expand by only 8 percent in 2009, compared to around 20 percent this year.
Private consumption will benefit from a gradually firming labor market and forecast gains in prices of agricultural commodities. Strengthening economies abroad will raise demand for Thailand’s exports of automobiles, electronic and electrical goods, and agricultural products. Afer falling by a projected 18.0% in 2009, exports are forecast to recover by around 15% in 2010. Merchandise imports will rebound strongly if the public investment projects get under way as planned and if private investment rallies. A 28.0% bounce is forecast for imports in 2010. In services trade, tourism is expected to improve, with the pace of recovery depending in large part on the rebound in the international economy and on global eforts to contain the swine fu (H1N1) pandemic.
Efforts continue to move forward to strengthen Thailand’s financial markets. Last November, the second Financial Sector Master Plan (FSMP), and the Capital Market Development Master Plan (CMD) were approved by the government. These will not only encourage competition in the market, but will reduce operating costs and strengthen the infrastructure. Those companies that had listed on the Stock Echange of Thailand or on the MAI are reported to have done well throughout 2009, “posting net profits of 446 billion baht which is a 42-percent increase over 2008.”
In line with what Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said regarding the need to transition Thailand’s economy to become a knowledge-based creative economy, the Bank writes that “Thailand’s long-term challenge is to move a large share of the labor force currently in agriculture or otherwise performing simple, low value-added tasks into the dynamic parts of the economy.”
Thailand should take the opportunity during the next few years to strengthen its productivity and competitiveness so that when demand resumes, Thailand will be in a position to jump the band wagon of global recovery. To do so requires serious efforts of all stakeholders in Thailand including the government, private sector, and academia. As these improvements take time, for Thailand to achieve them in time for the projected global recovery, the efforts must start right away.
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Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent
China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.
BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.
The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand
50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension
BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.
The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.
Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.
The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.
The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.
The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.
Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.
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