Thailand is set to become a production base for right hand drive Daimler cars, sources from Daimler-Chrysler Thailand revealed. The decision came out of a February meeting with Daimler right hand drive car distributors from England, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
These Daimler dealers currently get their cars from assembly plants in the U.S.A., whose production capacity currently does not meet with demand for right hand drive cars. Daimler dealers from the 7 countries agreed to have Thailand fill their demand for 20,000-30,000 cars annually.
Daimler U.S.A. also has a plan in accordance with the dealers to have a production base in Thailand. After Daimler-Chrysler purchased a 34% share in Mitsubishi Corporation, the cooperation between these 3 partners became closer in developing and improving cars, and the 3 partners in the company foresee becoming the leader in all groups of automobile markets.
Sources from the Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) revealed that, beginning this month, TOT is changing its billing structure, offering users of its 2.6 million phone numbers a choice from one of 3 new forms of service charges.
The first alternative is to remain with the current form of billing structure - 100 baht monthly fee, 3 baht per call in the same area, long distant call charges of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 baht per minute depending on the area. The 2nd alternative is to pay a 120 baht monthly fee, 3 baht per call in the same area, with long distant call charges of 3, 6, 9 and 12 baht per minute. The 3rd alternative is for users to pay a 90 baht monthly fee, with time metering of 1 baht per minute for same area calls, and long distant call charges of 3, 6, 9 and 12 baht per minute.
All users are currently under the 1st form. Users who wish to shift from regular form no. 1 to another need to submit their request to the TOT office. The new service charge will be activated by the following month.
Reports from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) revealed that the BSA, along with 11 policemen and 8 technicians, investigated a plastic manufacturer in Samuthprakarn and found pirate software installed in 73 PCs. BSA is investigating the details before proceeding further with legal issues against that manufacturer.
Sources from Department of Intellectual Property added that the investigation and arrests were joint activities between government agencies and copyright holders to eradicate marketing and using pirate software.
However, BSA expressed worry that there are still many companies that do not pay attention to software management and use pirate software. These companies risk arrest and being fined by authorized investigators.
Somporn Jitpenthum, Business Promotion Director of EXIM Bank, said that the bank is set to begin offering loans to domestic hotel businesses under the same interest rate as exporters’ loans. The loan project has been delayed over last 18 months, but is now ready to proceed.
To qualify for EXIM Bank’s loan plan, the number of foreign tourists must be more that 60% for Bangkok-based hotels and 50% for hotels in the provinces. Loans must be used for hotel maintenance and improvement activities.
EXIM Bank will take in to consideration each hotel’s payback ability, experience in hotel management, and creditability background. In general, EXIM Bank does not make mention of a limit for the amount of a loan. However, a loan for new hotel construction is not supported under this plan.
The hotel and resort associate COO of the Central Group revealed that the management of Central have decided to sell the Central Floating Hotel Myanmar to the Intership Co., an investment group from the UK. The hotel has been in operation for 2 years.
The transaction is valued at USD4.5 million, or around 171 million baht. Representatives for the buyers and sellers have signed an MOU, which indicated a 3-year leasing term with an option to buy at the beginning of the 4th year. Intership Co., the buyer, plans to take the floating hotel to East Timor where the company already has 2 cruise lines.
Sources in management at the Central Group said that the seller and buyer are studying the details of the contract, especially how and when the buyer would be able to move the hotel out of Myanmar.
Aims to capture 30% ecommerce market share in Thailand
TNT Express Worldwide, a company aiming to take a 30 percent share in the ecommerce market in Thailand, is to supply unique ecommerce solutions for Internet Thailand’s eagerly-awaited Thai.com website.
The ‘Mega Mall’ website to be launched this month will be supported by TNT’s revolutionary systems that will make it one of the most sophisticated websites in Asia, delivering mechanisms for complete global distribution.
TNT’s system - iConnections - is a newly-designed solution using new XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) technology that enables full integration of the shipping function in the website, allowing greater flexibility and quicker time to market.
While other companies offer ad-hoc solutions, TNT’s development enables customers to create a site which fully integrates TNT’s web functionality and business processes into their own business processes. TNT is leading the pack on global ecommerce distribution because of iConnections, which offers tracking by consignment number, tracking by customer reference, pricing per service selected, shipping including document printing, and collection booking.
Thai.com, the pilot project for the iConnections system, will be Thailand’s first real cyber mall and will feature over 100 brand name companies, supported by six banks offering electronic payment systems.
“This is a great opportunity for TNT to establish TNT e-business in Thailand and that is why we are using it as a pilot project for our revolutionary ecommerce package. We will be able to leverage our strengths and leadership position in this sector and capitalise on the growing demands from within Thailand,” says TNT country manager James Oden.
“Everybody knows that ecommerce is not just a trend but the true future of trading. However, to make ecommerce really work it requires logistics companies with the right systems in place. Shipping is the final piece of the ecommerce jigsaw - with its systems TNT has now completed the picture and will take ecommerce to a new level of development,” says Oden.
He believes that Thailand is in a prime position within Asia to take advantage of the transformation within the business community and the company has no intention of missing out on the opportunities in Thailand.
Adds Oden, “Every company talks about ecommerce and how important it is going to be but very few are actually doing it in Thailand. That’s about to change with the launch of Thai.com, which will be heavily supported by TNT and several banks’ electronic payment systems.
“This project will lead the way and will be a benchmark for other ecommerce sites in Thailand,” adds Oden
Thailand now seems to be springing back from the recession faster than a lot of countries and revenue growth in Thailand could rise dramatically, says Noud Leussink, TNT’s regional manager for ecommerce solutions.
“With our XML technology and wide range of products, TNT is pioneering the ecommerce effort in the logistics sector and we will be at the forefront of ecommerce development within Asia.
“Physical goods need to be delivered and that’s what we specialise in and we fully intend to target Asia as a strategic market and use our XML technology and wide range of solutions to put us at the leading edge of the industry,” says Leussink.
Copyright 2000 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek, assisted by Boonsiri Suansuk.