ASEAN Indian FTA expected to be signed at Hua Hin summit
A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) and India is expected to be signed during the ASEAN summit
to be held in the Thai resort of Hua Hin from February 27 - March 1, a
senior Thai commerce ministry official said.
Director-General Apiradi Tantraporn of the Foreign Trade Department said if
the FTA is signed India will open up its markets for goods produced by the
10 member countries of ASEAN while tariffs imposed by the New Delhi
government will be reduced to zero for 3,666 items by the end of 2012.
Among the ASEAN-made goods which will gain from zero tariff are
refrigerators, fans, air conditioner parts, jewelry and ornamental goods,
rubber products and plastic resins, Apiradi said.
Thai exporters wishing to receive tax privileges under the ASEAN-India FTA
must ask for certificates of origin for goods from the Foreign Trade
Department because items to be exported to India must contain at least 35
percent raw materials manufactured from ASEAN and India, she said.
Currently, only 82 items fall under the Thai-Indian FTA.
The ASEAN-India FTA, if signed during the summit, will help boost investment
in India and trade among the Southeast Asian bloc member countries because
of using raw materials manufactured by ASEAN members on goods to be exported
there, Mrs. Apiradi added. (TNA)
AustCham Thailand appoints new executive director
The Executive Board of AustCham Thailand announced the
appointment of Brett L Gannaway as executive director.
An Australian professional with some 13 years experience in a wide range of
businesses including sales, marketing and project management in Thailand’s
manufacturing and MICE industries, Gannaway brings with him multiple skills that
can further develop AustCham Thailand on its day-to-day operation, as well as
strengthen business relationships amongst existing members and organisations
Prior to his appointment, Gannaway, held the position of senior sales manager
for corporate at Siam Ocean World Bangkok Co Ltd. Before that he was manager for
special projects of AsiaCongress Events Co Ltd, marketing manager of Creative
Product Enterprise Co Ltd and marketing manager of Austhai Sporting Goods
Manufacturing Co Ltd.
Gannaway has been living in Thailand for 14 years. He is fluent in Thai
communication. He is married and has one son. During his free time, he continues
his studies and enjoys spending time with his family.
PM confident extra budget will boost economy
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he was confident that a
Bt116.7 billion supplementary budget would help cushion impacts of the economic
slump, and that the funds would be injected into the economy as early as March.
The premier made the remarks after the bill won parliamentary approval early
The government pins high hopes on the extra budget to help stimulate the
country’s economy amid global economic downturn.
The bill won the backing of 238 members of parliament out of 455 MPs present in
its first reading.
The passage of the bill came after more than 11 hours of intense debate during
which the Puea Thai-led opposition and the government traded accusations.
A special 35-member committee has been set up to thoroughly scrutinize the bill
which must successfully pass through two more readings before being promulgated.
Among key economic stimulus measures included are cash handouts for low-income
employees and the elderly, tax cuts, government-funded free education for 15
years and free rides on public transport.
Prior to the vote, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dismissed the opposition’s
heavy criticism that the government’s economic stimulus package was tantamount
to buying votes in advance, and that it would fail to spur economic growth.
The government responded that it had allocated the budget in response to
immediate problems and priorities.
Long-term measures covering all sectors would be implemented with an aim to
restore the economy, said the premier.
The Thai economy has slowed sharply in recent months, with the Bank of Thailand
lately revising its 2009 growth forecast to just 0.5 - 2 percent, less than half
the growth rate posted last year. (TNA)
Thai economy slows sharply in Q4 2008
The Thai economy slowed more rapidly in the fourth quarter last year with
both domestic and overseas demand declining sharply, according to the Fiscal
Policy Office (FPO).
FPO Director-General Somchai Sajjapong revealed on Thursday that private
consumption in the fourth quarter slowed clearly as could be witnessed by a
marginal increase in the value-added tax collection by only 0.1 percent
compared 16.1 percent in the previous quarter.
The import of consumer products dropped by 2.5 percent and motorcycle sales
increased by only 8 percent compared with 16.2 percent in the quarter
It reflected declined spending by people in provincial areas now that their
incomes and purchasing power had declined since most farm products had
decreased in parallel with product prices in the world market.
Private investment in the fourth quarter had also slowed, as witnessed by
property tax shrinking by 5.6 percent against a growth of 22.2 percent in
the previous quarter.
Many fiscal indicators showed net revenue collected by the government in the
fourth quarter of 2008 totaled Bt272,800 billion, down 16.1 percent.
Exports totaled US$38.7 billion in value, a decrease for the first time in
seven years, of 10.6 percent, while imports grew by 3.7 percent to $40.20
billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $1.4 billion.
He said the country’s economic stability had improved continuously as the
general inflation rate dropped to 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter the
previous year from 7.2 percent the quarter before.
Reduced inflation stemmed from lower energy and food prices.
The unemployment rate stayed as low as 1.3 percent and the international
reserve as of the end of December 2008 totaled $111 billion. (TNA)
New sports superstore opens
Narat Wongpanich (left), managing
director of BRC Sports Co. Ltd., and Bussba Jirathiwat (right), from Central
Retail Corporation Co. Ltd. escort Mayor Itthipol Khunplome (center) around the
The biggest branch of Supersports in the eastern region opened on
January 23 at Central Festival Pattaya Beach.
Mayor Itthipol Khunplome opened the new branch with Narat Wongpanich, managing
director of BRC Sports Co. Ltd. and Bussba Jirathiwat, senior assistant managing
director of Telecommunications, Central Retail Corporation Co. Ltd.
The chain company of sport clothes and shoes has invested over 50 million baht
in the new Supersports store. This makes number 65 for the company.
Management expects the new shop by the beach to be as successful as the other
five existing branches, two being at the Central Festival Center in North
Pattaya and Royal Garden Plaza in Central Pattaya, and three more in the eastern
Narat Wongpanich said the new beach-themed store has 2,273 square meters of shop
area with 70% sports clothes and shoes, with the remaining 30% being various
items of popular brand names.
BoT chief defends policy, downplays criticism over wide interest spread
Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Tarisa Watanagase on
Wednesday shrugged off mounting criticism over the wide spread between deposit
rates and lending rates, saying the net interest-based incomes earned by
commercial banks remain relatively low in the region.
At present, she said, the interest-based incomes gained by Thailand’s banks
stood at 3.2 percent of total revenue, but the banks must bear the costs of
loan-loss provisioning, personnel, and information technology (IT) as well as
contributing to the Deposit Insurance Institute.
Altogether, they cost the banks around 2.2 percent, which means that their
return on assets would drop to only 1 percent, which is the lowest among five
Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) members.
The rate of return showed that Thailand’s commercial banks must improve their
efficiency and reduce costs even further to increase their rate of return on
Mrs. Tarisa said the interest spread should not be calculated based only on
deposit and lending rates, but that it must include other costs incurred by the
banks as well.
“The efforts by the banks to keep the interest spread wide are not made because
they have suffered losses from overseas investment. Instead, it is one of the
approaches each bank has taken to manage its liquidity.
“Many banks must attempt to take care of debtors to the utmost of their
ability,” she said.
Tarisa said she believed the Thai economy would continue to grow 0.2 percent
this year, and that Thailand will not move into recession as many fear.
She affirmed that the central bank will adopt an easing of monetary policy as
part of its efforts to boost the country’s economic growth.
The BoT chief asserted that liquidity in the Thai banking system remains
sufficient and will improve as economic confidence is restored. (TNA)
News | Business | Features |
Columns | Mail Bag |
Sports | Auto Mania
Our Children | Travel |
Our Community | Dining Out & Entertainment
Social Scene | Classifieds |
Community Happenings | Books Music Movies
Clubs in Pattaya | Sports Round-Up
Pattaya Mail Publishing Co., Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20150, Thailand
Tel.66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax:66-38 427 596
Copyright © 2004 Pattaya Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.