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UN Forecasts Strong Rebound for Asia-Pacific Exports in 2010

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A new United Nations report finds that exports from the Asia-Pacific region could rebound strongly in 2010 and makes a strong case for enhanced intraregional trade to reduce poverty.

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The report looks at such questions as the validity of the trade-led development model in Asia-Pacific, whether China can lift the region out of recession, and what lessons has the crisis revealed to make development more inclusive and sustainable in the years ahead. It also examines how regional integration contributes to development, and whether private enterprise should continue to pursue “business-as-usual.”

escapThe report is ESCAP’s first annual publication dealing with trade and investment, and looks at the role of trade and investment in addressing the most critical issues, challenges and risks facing the Asia-Pacific region – as the global economic crisis slowly draws to an end – and explores the opportunities for Asian businesses provided by global value chains.

The report notes that gains from facilitating trade, including the introduction of “paperless trading systems” could far surpass those of trade liberalization, and explores how trade can play a bigger role in development by making it inclusive and sustainable. For that purpose, the report identifies the changing determinants of business competitiveness.

The Report is the main background document for ESCAP’s Committee on Trade and Investment, which will hold its first session from 4 to 6 November in Bangkok. Keynote speakers include Kasit Piromya, Foreign Minister of Thailand, and Kiat Sittheeamorn, President, Thailand Trade Representative. The Committee meeting is also part of a string of high-level events organized by ESCAP during the First Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Week, to be held from 2 to 6 November, and includes the Asia-Pacific Trade Economists’ Conference and the OECD/ESCAP Conference on Corporate Responsibility.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Marc Proksch

ESCAP Trade and Investment Division

Tel: +(66-2) 288-1680

Email: [email protected]

Ms. Thawadi Pachariyangkun

UN/ESCAP Information Services

Tel: +(66-2) 288-1861

Email: [email protected]

via ESCAP Press Release: UN Forecasts Strong Rebound for Asia-Pacific Exports in 2010.

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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

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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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Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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