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Major Thai private hospitals slow investment plans for 2010

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Leading private hospital chains playing a key role in boosting Thailand as a medical-care destination remain cautious over new investment next year, despite the authorities’ assurance of a better outlook.

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The chains have seen declining business this year due to the global economic crisis, last year's airport shutdowns and type-A H1N1 influenza. According to Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa, the number of foreign tourists coming to Thailand for a mixture of medical care and tourism this year fell 7-8 per cent from 1.3 million in 2008. But he said the ministry expected the outlook for medical tourism next year to improve in line with the global economic recovery.The ministry is seeking approval for a visa fee waiver for medical tourists until the end of 2010 to help the industry.

Nearly 1.3 million foreign patients visit Thailand each year for a range of healthcare services.

Hospitals have been active in investing in buildings and personnel to accommodate more foreign patients in past years. Now they are more cautious, and none are spending extravagantly given the uncertain outlook. The executives from Bangkok Dusit Medical Services BDMS, Phya Thai Hospital or Samitivej Hospital have not committed to big investments in the coming year.

BDMS expects its revenue in 2009 to be around Bt20 billion. It estimates the revenue in 2010 to grow at a single-digit rate. Capital expenditure in the upcoming year will be around Bt1 billion. The investment amount in 2010 is a slight increase from this year, when BDMS allocated only 2-3 per cent of its revenue.

BDMS operates the Bangkok Hospital Group, BNH Hospital, the Samitivej Hospitals and the Royal International Hospital.

Most of the investment budget in 2010 will go to the construction of a medium-sized hospital in Hua Hin in Prachauap Khiri Khan province. The hospital is expected to open in the first half of 2011.

via Major private hospitals slow investment plans – Nationmultimedia.com.

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AstraZeneca Approves Thailand’s Vaccine Factory

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – AstraZeneca has approved safety standards at Thailand’s vaccine factory and will send the first batch of raw materials for vaccine production in June.

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Health

Skin-lightening products market to reach US$31 billion by 2024

In emerging Asian and African economies, the natural aspiration to enhance one’s circumstances has led to rapid growth in the market for skin-lightening products, which is projected to reach US$31 billion by 2024.

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Recent years have seen evolving awareness of systemic inequities including racism, sexism and pro-Western chauvinism.

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

Oxford Business Group

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

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Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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