Agricultural Futures Exchange to raise liquidity
The Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) is
preparing to raise its liquidity levels and build an online trading system
in order to attract more foreign investors, according to AFET president
The move follows a highly successful workshop by the AFET
at a recent Asia-Pacific securities and derivatives conference in Singapore,
when AFET officials were able to talk with some of the world’s leading
rubber traders and automobile tire producers.
Napaporn said that global traders were showing increasing
levels of interest in the AFET, as shown during talks with the executives of
some of the top global futures exchanges.
The AFET’s major strength lies in the fact that it is
the world’s first and only futures exchange for rice. Napaporn said that
the AFET would work to boost the confidence of foreign investors and raise
investment liquidity to act as an encouragement for more investment.
The exchange also hopes to attract more foreign investors
through the creation of an online trading system, designed to speed up and
facilitate trade. Foreign investors will, likewise, be wooed by the AFET’s
new Omnibus Account system for foreign brokers.
By the end of this year, the AFET aims to boost trade to
at least 500 contracts per day, a figure expected to increase further next
year. The exchange’s expansion plans include the introduction of new
commodities, such as cassava and semi-cooked rice. (TNA)
Thailand to export crocodile meat to China
Thailand hopes to export crocodile meat to China. The
government plans to provide information on Thai crocodile products to the
Chinese authorities, the Deputy Director-General of the Fisheries
Department, Charanthada Kannasutra told reporters after meeting with Chinese
Thailand has asked China to allow Thai exports of
crocodile meat as there is a great demand for crocodile products in China,
which are believed to be healthy and have aphrodisiac qualities.
“Thailand’s crocodile farms are highly developed and accepted
internationally,” said Charanthada.
With four main producers and small-scale farmers,
Thailand produces more than a 100,000 crocodile a year. Thailand currently
exports most of its crocodile products to the European Union. Fresh
crocodile meat fetches around 600 baht a kilogram, while dried meat earns
around 3,000 baht a kilogram. (TNA)
Spa industry revenue soars
Thailand’s booming spa industry has seen annual
revenues soar to 7 billion baht this year, Public Health Minister Sudarat
Keyuraphan recently stated.
Speaking at an award ceremony on November 5 for 390 spas
and massage parlors which have passed the Ministry of Public Health’s
quality certification program, Sudarat said that the government’s strategy
of transforming Thailand into a regional healthcare hub over the next five
years looked set to pull in at least 100 billion baht for the country next
Although much of this revenue is projected to come from
foreign visitors undergoing medical treatment in Thai hospitals, services,
such as massage and spas are also being used to attract foreign tourists.
Sudarat noted that the global popularity of traditional Thai healthcare
practices was now on the rise, with people across the world increasingly
recognizing the importance of a practice which deals with mind as well as
While the years 2001-2003 saw Thailand earn 3.6 billion
baht from the spa sector, spas have already earned the nation 7 billion baht
this year, generating employment for around 4,000 Thai nationals.
So important has the spa industry become that it is now
being included in international investment negotiations, with many countries
around the world keen to encourage Thai spa businesses to set up operations.
According to Dr. Rewat Wisarutwet, the director-general
of the Department of Health Service Support, there are currently 1,562
registered spas and massage parlors across Thailand.
Under new regulations, spas and massage parlors are
required to gain government certification, to be renewed annually, and must
be open for constant inspection by state authorities. The Ministry of Public
Health is also working to train spa and massage professionals, and has
already seen 9,188 trainees pass through its skills advancement program. (TNA)
SME estate planned
for Samut Prakan
Industry Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal has promised
operators at the Bang Poo Industrial Estate that he would give his support
on the establishment of a small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) estate
to strengthen their businesses, and would support the building of an
industrial network throughout the country.
Pongsak said, “I have discussed problems faced by the
operators, and will take into consideration their proposal to establish the
SMEs estate, which would be located near large-sized industrial plants to
save transport costs. I have instructed the Industrial Estate Authority of
Thailand (IEAT) to set up the SMEs estate, and am encouraging experts of
each industry at the Bang Poo Industrial Estate to become their own boss by
setting up new enterprises in order to build new supply chains and networks
to support large-scale industries, and to develop the logistic system.”
Currently, there are 323 plants with a combined
investment of over 48 billion baht within the Bang Poo Industrial Estate
premises. Exports by these factories total about 67 billion baht annually
and more than 56,000 people are employed in the factories. (TNA)
Thailand to host quality
The Ministry of Industry will host an international
convention on quality control next month, the director-general of the
Department of Industrial Promotion, Pramode Vidayasuk, announced.
The meeting, to take place on December13-15 in
Bangkok’s Shangri-La Hotel, will look at the development of quality
control personnel, and will give experts an opportunity to exchange
knowledge and experience. The Department of Industrial Promotion will use
the convention to showcase its work on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
Pramode said that the convention would be hugely
beneficial in helping local businesses upgrade their administration and
boost their competitive edge in the global marketplace. (TNA)
Confidence growing in Thailand’s corporate governance
Foreign investors are beginning to accept that the Thai
public and private sectors have made considerable improvements in the field
of corporate governance, according to the president of Siam Commercial Bank
Public Company Limited.
Jirayu Isarangkura Na Ayutthaya said that efforts by the
public and private sectors to boost transparency in Thai business operations
were now largely paying off. However, he admitted that several companies are
still in the process of introducing good governance. He said that foreign
investors are acknowledging the progress being made by Thai institutions,
although he conceded that the violence in the country’s southern border
region was denting Thailand’s reputation abroad. (TNA)
Drought in upper Northeast
destroys rice crops
The drought which has hit Thailand has severely affected
much of the rice crop in the country’s upper northeastern region. There is
no exact estimate yet of the extent of the damage wrought by the worst
drought to hit the country in more than two decades. “It is expected to be
large enough to badly affect Thailand’s rice exports,” chairman of the
Udon Thani Rice Mill Club Vichien Theerathananont, told reporters.
The Thai Rice Mill Association shares this concern and
met to discuss the issue with the rice mill clubs from all seven upper
northeastern provinces. There has been no rain in these areas since
September 21. This has severely affected the harvest of the sticky rice crop
in late October. The provincial rice mill club usually buys 30 truck-loads
of sticky rice a day. However, this year it has plunged to a maximum of
According to the Association’s recent survey, more than
20% of the rice crop in the area is likely to be completely destroyed by the
drought. The rice millers have urged the government to provide additional
water to the farmers before the damage extends to the entire upper northeast
FTI brokers investment deals with China
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has recently led
business delegations to China, aimed at forging investment deals between the
two countries, FTI’s vice-president Santi Vilassakdanont recently
Santi said that during a recent trip to China, the FTI
signed a memorandum of understanding with the business councils of several
Chinese cities, including Nanning. The FTI also led a delegation of
gemstones dealers from Thailand’s eastern province of Chantaburi to China
to sign investment deals there.
Noting China’s rapid economic growth, Santi said that
business opportunities for Thai companies in China remain huge. Under the
River Pearl Plan, China’s nine southernmost provinces are to form trade
links with the ASEAN Free Trade Area bringing southern China within reach of
the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Santi said that China’s growing interest in the ASEAN
region was reflected in the recent China-ASEAN Expo held in Nanning of
China’s Guang Xi Province on November 3-6. (TNA)
Cambodia’s Kampongsome Port surveyed for economic development
In a move to cement economic relationships between
Thailand and its neighbor Cambodia, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
ordered a survey of Cambodia’s Kampongsome Port with intentions of further
The port needs upgrading of its facilities, including
electricity and communications, but could be instrumental in trade and
tourism between the two countries.
Suwannchot (left), director of East Asia Department, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, and officers survey the Kampongsome Port and Friendship Road
supported by Thailand.
The port is located in “Sihanoukville” and is ideally
situated to become a conduit for trade and cultural exchange. The port is
also easily accessed by the famous Friendship Road.
Thailand plans to play a key role in the development of
this area by providing technology and expertise in culture, education, the
textile industry and electronics.
The plan comes under the title of “Two Kingdoms One
Culture” which is particularly appropriate because both countries have
monarchs and are predominately Buddhist nations.
The port is already supported by an airport and rail system. Upgrading
the port’s amenities would allow it to become a regional hub for
international cargo destined for Southeast Asian countries.
Internet in rural areas to improve business prospects
Thailand’s national flagship telecom company has
started constructing Internet networks for people in rural areas to help
improve their channels of communication. Villagers in only 16 provinces
across the country are currently able to communicate through the Internet
under the project which started last year.
The CAT Telecom Company plans to extend its Internet
services to cover more than 6,500 sub-districts across the nation. The
project was launched to boost the ability of rural dwellers to communicate
and to help reduce the learning gap between city and country residents, CAT
boss, Chusak Kanakasai, told participants in an Internet seminar in the
country’s northeastern province of Loei.
The local authorities arranged the seminar to help
educate young people and community representatives of the province on how to
communicate on the Internet. The provincial authorities also plan to use the
internet to promote local products under the One Tambon, One Product (OTOP)
scheme. The telephone and Internet networks have improved the villagers’
business prospects, and have increased their standard of living.
Thai-German Institute marks another training milestone in India
Consultant/Training Manager - Communications
and Inter Cultural Management.
In continuation of efforts to strengthen technical
vocational education and training in India, GTZ (German Technical
Cooperation) initiated a program for the Promotion of Training and Services
in advance Technology. One of the key components of the program is to
promote the Indo-German Network of Industrial Services (IGNIS) to provide
superior quality services to industries through combined resources and
expertise of the Indo-German institutions.
German director, Walter Kretschmar talks with some of the participants.
Taking into consideration that marketing strategy and
approach for taking products, services, or even an entire institution
network to the market is crucial for the success of the IGNIS project, a
workshop was organized for the purpose by the experts in the field from
Thai-German Institute, Thailand (TGI).
participants give their professional presentation.
This also falls in line with GTZ’s objective for TGI to
form a network of all German Technical Institutes in developing and
developed countries, such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia,
China, India, and Germany.
here obeys the traffic rules.
The benefits of such cooperation are famous from the
workshops organized earlier this year in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. The concept
will be presented at the Asia Pacific Conference in November.
The German director of Thai-German Institute, Walter
Kretschmar, and Supa Kukarja; “Sue”, the communications and
intercultural management trainer jointly conducted the four-day seminar that
took place in Jaipur, India in October.
successful session, workshop graduates and their trainers take time to pose
for a group photo.
Training content included the introduction of brain
storming tools, organization awareness, sales attitude, customer and
competitor analysis, development of product/market matrix, key success
factors, policies on product-place-promotion-price, and finally leading up
to development of decision papers and business plan.
Participants were mainly directors, managers, scientists,
engineers, and consultants from various technical institutes and government
organizations from all over India.
In the four days filled with hard work, some time off for
a get together between the participants and trainers was squeezed in.
A daily, hearty and homemade lunch in the canteen was
truly appreciated by all, thanks to S.K. Singh who personally supervised the
chefs. An evening at the Traditional Rajasthan Fair was a night to remember.
Elephant and camel rides, traditional dances, along with an old custom of
eating with plates and bowls made from dried leaves.
It was, for all, an experience filled with traditions,
cultures, customs, technology, innovation, team building, understanding, and
most of all, networking.
Planning of the next steps of such cooperation is in progress, which
ensures that the success in establishing Thailand as a Technology
Institution Network hub is within close reach.