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Power Generation: What are the options for Thailand?

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam plan to build nuclear power plants in the next decade and others in Southeast Asia hope to follow them.

Following the emergency in Japan, the Thai government said it would also take into account concerns about nuclear safety as it became more of a public focus.

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smoke ascends from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear

The nuclear emergency in Japan has renewed debate about the safety of nuclear power in the Asia Pacific, possibly the world’s most natural-disaster prone region. Southeast Asia has no working nuclear power plants, but most countries there plan to develop nuclear power despite the emergency.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam plan to build nuclear power plants in the next decade and others in Southeast Asia hope to follow them.

Following the emergency in Japan, the Thai government said it would also take into account concerns about nuclear safety as it became more of a public focus.

But Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn says it would not delay their nuclear power development.

“Until we know for sure what happened in Japan, I think several governments may require more information on this issue,”

said Panitan.

“So, I think ‘yes’, certainly it raises some concerns, but these concerns are not new. Hopefully, our committee who are working on this issue will come up with a comprehensive picture of this.”

 

But the nuclear emergency caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has raised concerns about the safety of developing nuclear power, especially in countries vulnerable to natural disasters. The Asia Pacific region is every year struck by earthquakes, tropical storms, monsoon floods and landslides.

Following the disaster in Japan, some officials and activists in the region are urging a re-thinking of pursuing nuclear energy.

via Southeast Asia Nuclear Power Plans Unfazed by Japan Emergency | News | English.

Electricity Generation: What are the options for Thailand?

Today, it is generally accepted that electricity is a major factor in driving a nation’s economy and improving people’s living. Given the continuous economic growth of Thailand in the past 30 years, the country’s annual electricity demand has greatly increased from 14,000 million units or gigawatt-hour (GWh) to 150,000 GWh at present, or at an average annual growth rate of 8.2 per cent.

Electricity demand has increased sharply in the industrial sector as a result of the policy of successive governments trying to scale up investment in the industrial sector. In addition, Thailand’s economic development has resulted in growing electricity consumption by the commercial and residential sectors driven by higher income levels of consumers whose consumption characteristics have shifted towards greater convenience and modernization.

Consequently, the government has to work out the power development plan of the country to increase the generating capacity of the system so as to adequately meet the rising demand. In 1979, the peak demand of power was 2,964 megawatts (MW) while that in 2009 amounted to 22,596 MW. Meanwhile, power transmission and distribution systems have been so much expanded, particularly in the service areas of the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), that they can presently cover almost all areas nationwide.

 

 

 

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Ecommerce

Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN PEETATHAWATCHAI:

PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point. 

As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.

In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?

PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
 

 

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Youth unemployment hits new highs in Thailand due to COVID-19 restrictions

BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO news) – Joblessness among young men and women in Thailand has reached a level unseen in recent years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new brief from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) WHO Thailand Situation Report - 22 February 2021

The Thailand labour market update  found that youth employment fell by 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 (from the fourth quarter 2019). The youth unemployment rate increased by 3 percentage points for both men and women, reaching a high of 6 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.

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