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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Email tracking offers new channels of communications to TNT customers

VAT Refunds

Microsoft Corporation partners with eGuide

eGuide launches Thailand’s most comprehensive business CD directory

United unveils onboard enhancements to its international aircraft

Email tracking offers new channels of communications to TNT customers

Global carrier TNT Express launched email tracking services for its customers worldwide. The new service will allow any TNT customer with email facilities to access up-to-the-minute information on the progress of his or her consignment, whatever the time of the day.

The new email tracking service was developed by TNT in response to customer feedback and provides an ideal solution for remote workers or other customers who do not have Internet access to the TNT online tracking system. Customers can also access the email service on the move via mobile phones or handheld devices that offer email facilities. The email service allows customers to keep a copy of the consignment’s details providing extra peace of mind.

Customers can check on the progress of up to 50 consignments at a time by sending details of their shipments via email to [email protected]

Using either consignment numbers or the customers’ own reference, customers send their email enquiries to the central TNT system. Customers then receive email replies that provide a full status report on each consignment, from collection and delivery times to the name of the person who signed for the shipment.

The email service completes a comprehensive portfolio of tracking facilities designed by TNT to empower the customer. Steve Matthews, systems development manager at TNT said, “We are committed to improving communication channels for our customers. Email tracking is the latest in a series of state of the art IT developments from TNT; WAP tracking services and internet tracking have already proven to be valuable and effective tools for our customers.”

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VAT Refunds

The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (“JFCCCC”) have the support of the Board of Trade to submit the issue/problem of (long) overdue VAT refunds to the Revenue Department.

Overdue VAT refunds are a serious problem for many companies in Thailand and it is hoped that this renewed involvement of JFCCCC will be the beginning of some improvement. Each Chamber of Commerce has been asked by JFCCCC to gather information from members on amounts of VAT claimed and the duration or average duration of the claims backlog; the VAT area handling the claim is also of interest as it is clear that some area offices are worse than others. The information presented to the Revenue Department will not be specific as to company names at present.

If your company has suffered, or is suffering from a long delay in obtaining a VAT refund, we should be grateful to receive brief details to include in our summary data. There is now some urgency in this matter as JFCCCC wish to maintain the momentum achieved with the Thai authorities. Accordingly, any information you want to submit should be sent by 29 January 2001. Many thanks for your co-operation.

Please send details to Nigel Robinson (BCCT Executive Committee) by email ([email protected]) or fax ((02) 677 2231) and copy to Greg Watkins at the BCCT ([email protected]) or fax: 651 5354 clearly identified as to “JFCCCC - VAT”.

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Microsoft Corporation partners with eGuide

EGuide Singapore Pte Ltd, regional premier online business directory headquartered in Singapore, has entered into a partnership with MSN Asia to provide its online business directory to users of Microsoft Corporation’s MSN sites in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Thailand upon MSN’s expansion to the Thai market in the near future.

Under the agreement, MSN users both in Singapore and Malaysia can access the directory content from eGuide Singapore and eGuide Malaysia, on and homepages, complete with real-time updates from their main information directory servers. ( and In the near future as MSN expands to Thailand, its users will be able to access the directory content from eGuide Thailand.

EGuide has a comprehensive database of over 80,000 companies in Singapore, 180,000 companies in Malaysia and 150,000 companies in Thailand, searchable via products & services, brands & companies. By year’s end, its online listings, with approximately 12,000 classifications of products & services, brands & companies all catering to a plethora of business and lifestyle needs.

“We are indeed happy that MSN has chosen eGuide as a partner for its MSN site. EGuide’s online directories will provide critical real-time information instantaneously to all MSN users,” said Ricky Koh, CEO of eGuide Singapore. “As a result of this link with the MSN site, advertisers on eGuide Singapore and eGuide Malaysia can also get to benefit from the increase in hit rates and eyeball stickiness for their respective sites,” he continued.

“The MSN strongly believes in helping our customers harness the power of the Internet, and is continually striving to enhance our users’ online experience with value-added services like eGuide’s online directories. We believe that eGuide’s expertise in the area of providing comprehensive regional online directory services will prove highly beneficial to MSN users who want information at the click of a button,” said Andrew Tu, regional director, partnerships, MSN Asia.

EGuide Singapore is also able to provide credit checks on companies from its online directory. Users will be able to pay for corporate briefs of a company listed on eGuide Singapore’s website. As a part of eGuide’s plans to be the region’s premier online business directory, eGuide plans to continuously introduce a range of value added services to further enhance the usage and functionality of its offerings.

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eGuide launches Thailand’s most comprehensive business CD directory, Thailand’s intelligent search directory, revealed its plan to launch in March 2001 the most comprehensive CD directory of Thailand’s products and services providers. The new product will allow local businesses in Thailand to gain exposure from the worldwide distribution networks in addition to the online business directory

The new CD directory is being developed from eGuide’s online business database in response to user feedback and will provide an ideal solution for remote workers or other users who do not have Internet access to the eGuide online directory. Non-Internet users can access eGuide’s business database on a computer that has a CD-drive in order to source products and services all over Thailand.

Joseph Lim, CEO of eGuide Thailand said, “Thailand’s 150,000 small and medium size businesses will greatly benefit from the eGuide CD directory. The 300,000 CDs are planned to be distributed, free of charge, this coming March to businesses, Internet subscribers, universities, embassies, government offices, libraries, associations, bookstores and business centers in Thailand and abroad.”

“Since eGuide is the most well known and credible regional business online directory, the CD directory of eGuide Thailand will be able to attract additional businesses from local and international businessmen who are keen on importing or exporting Thailand’s products and services,” Lim added.

The CD directory is a part of a comprehensive portfolio of eGuide’s Thailand businesses directory. Lim said, “We are committed to improving communication channels for our users. The CD directory is the latest in a series of the most comprehensive business databases in Thailand from eGuide, while the online directory has already proven to be a valuable and effective tool for our users.”

eGuide Thailand, Thailand’s intelligent search directory, was incorporated in May 2000 and headed by Joseph Lim, CEO. EGuide Thailand Directory was fully online in the September 2000.

The web site covers over 150,000 companies in Thailand in a comprehensive database of 12,000 classifications. Users of the website can search in 3 ways: by Products & Services, by Brand or by Company Name, through a search engine developed in-house. eGuide’s database is completely integrated and intelligently cross references all information, linking products and services, brands and company names. The database is maintained and constantly updated by eGuide’s support team.

eGuide presently has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia and will set up more offices regionally. It currently employs about 300 people across the region. In the coming 6 to 12 months, eGuide Group intends to commence operations in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, China and India. Databases for these countries are presently being built. eGuide is also evaluating the business potential for services in other Asia Pacific countries.

The directories are powered by eGuide’s proprietary search engines to provide users with quick and easy access to a comprehensive database containing detailed information about 80,000 companies in Singapore, 180,000 companies in Malaysia and 150,000 companies in Thailand. eGuide’s database provides its users with more than 12,000 classifications of Products & Services, Brands and Companies.

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United unveils onboard enhancements to its international aircraft

United Airlines announced that it is reconfiguring its fleet of three-cabin international aircraft to create an Economy Plus product that provides business travelers and its most loyal customers with significantly more legroom. In doing so, United becomes the first U.S. airline to offer a premium seating area in the front of Economy that offers up to 13 additional centimeters of legroom for both its international and domestic customers. United also unveiled plans to enhance United Business class throughout its international fleet to offer customers an additional seven inches of legroom.

“United is already the clear choice for international travelers with its three-class service featuring an award-winning business class and the state-of-the-art United First Suite,” said Warren Gerig, general manager for United Airlines, Thailand.

“Now we are setting ourselves further apart with the introduction of the hugely popular Economy Plus product throughout our international fleet.”

According to Graham Atkinson, United Airlines’ senior vice president - marketing, the decision to introduce these enhancements in all three classes of its international fleet was driven by customer demand, and a commitment on the airline’s part to deliver comfortable products to customers in a timely and consistent manner.

United First Suite is available on the majority of United’s international aircraft now, and the airline has started a program to deliver the additional enhancements to customers as soon as possible.

“United is committed to improving the travel experience for all of our international customers, and one way to make good on that promise is to offer unparalleled comfort in every class of service,” said Aikinson. “We also recognize that customers expect these products to be introduced in a timely manner. That is why United is launching an aggressive program to complete its entire fleet of three-cable international aircraft at the end of the fourth quarter of 2001.” Two aircraft that feature Economy Plus and enhanced United Business are already in service.

The introduction of Economy Plus and the enhanced United Business cabin will limit United’s year 2001 system-wide capacity growth to between 2.5 and 3.0 percent. International growth will between 4.5 and five percent. Domestic growth is expected to be between one and 1.5 percent.

Economy Plus

Pitch in the Economy Plus seating area will be up to 91.5 centimeters globally versus the standard 78 centimeters in Economy, and will offer customers 35 percent more personal space.

Advance assignment of Economy Plus seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis to United Airlines’ Mileage Plus members who have Premier status or above. Premier status is achieved when Mileage Plus members travel 25,000 paid miles on United or Star Alliance carriers, or 30 or more segments in one calendar year.

Customers who are traveling on a full fare economy class ticket can also receive a pre-assigned seat in Economy Plus. Also qualifying are all Star Alliance Gold and Star Alliance Silver travelers. The number of seats in Economy Plus will vary from 71 to 83, depending on the type of aircraft.

United Business

The enhanced United Business class will offer customers an additional 18 centimeters of legroom and 20 percent more personal space. Seats in United Business will also recline to 150 degrees, providing customers with a more comfortable sleeping environment.

United’s business class seats are equipped with in-seat phones with data transmission ports, laptop computer power outlets, personal video screens that feature 9-channels of entertainment, multiple audio channels that feature a variety of entertainment, and noise-reducing headsets. The ergonomically designed seats have adjustable leg and headrests and lumbar support, and include the patented “back-cycler” mechanism that provides massage-like relief to customers during long flights

United First Suite

More than a seat, the state-of-the-art United First Suite is a personal environment that can convert from an airborne office to a two meter-long bed at the push of a button. United First Suite customers can enjoy unparalleled personal space with 198 centimeters of pitch and a unique herring-born layout that places every suite in the United First class cabin on an aisle.

The United First Suite offers customers personal video screens that feature 9-channels of entertainment as well as personal video selections that are also provided onboard. Multiple audio channels and noise-reducing headsets complete the entertainment offerings.

For customers who choose to work before relaxing or sleeping, the United First Suite has all of the amenities needed for an airborne office including: in-seat phones with data transmission ports, laptop power outlets and generous personal storage and workspace.

The ergonomically designed seats have adjustable leg and headrests and lumbar support, and include the patented “back-cycler” mechanism that provides massage-like relief to customers during long flights.

United Airlines, a member of Star Alliance, is the largest air carrier in the world, operating more than 2,400 flights to 130 destinations in 26 countries and two U.S. territories. From Bangkok, United offers daily nonstop service to Tokyo with onward connections to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu.

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