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    Thai Economy Rebounds with a Vengeance...... ?!?!?

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    WTF

    Posts : 163
    Join date : 2010-08-06
    Location : Thailand

    Thai Economy Rebounds with a Vengeance...... ?!?!?

    Post by WTF on 23rd August 2010, 4:33 pm

    The Thai economy and consumer confidence are both showing strong signs of revival, quicker than any other in the region, indicating the feared knock-on effect of the political troubles of April-May were ill-founded. Mathee Supapongse, Director of the Office of Macroeconomic Policy and Analysis, Domestic Economy Department, predicted that the economy will increase by 8% through 2010, a figure supported by the IMF, representing the fastest growth since 1995. Exports, too, are expected to outstrip previous forecasts, with Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai declaring recently “The ministry is confident that exports will grow at least 20% this year, thanks to the global economic recovery.”

    The Asian market will be the main export focus, according to Mrs. Porntiva, particularly ASEAN countries, China, Japan and India. Firm support will also come from APEC (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum), which declared at their recent meeting in Beppu, Japan, their unified intent to work out an unprecedented “growth strategy” for the region at the forum’s annual summit in November in Yokohama, based, however, on boosting domestic demand rather than exports. APEC’s goal is to achieve economic growth that is “balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure,” led by “structural reforms” while inclusive growth features job creation, particularly for women, human resources development and easier access to finance. “Energy efficiency will be the core of sustainable growth, while innovative growth will be driven by an improvement in the research and development environment,” an APEC statement maintained.

    The Thai economy and consumer confidence are both showing strong signs of revival, quicker than any other in the region, indicating the feared knock-on effect of the political troubles of April-May were ill-founded. Mathee Supapongse, Director of the Office of Macroeconomic Policy and Analysis, Domestic Economy Department, predicted that the economy will increase by 8% through 2010, a figure supported by the IMF, representing the fastest growth since 1995. Exports, too, are expected to outstrip previous forecasts, with Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai declaring recently “The ministry is confident that exports will grow at least 20% this year, thanks to the global economic recovery.” The Asian market will be the main export focus, according to Mrs. Porntiva, particularly ASEAN countries, China, Japan and India.

    Firm support will also come from APEC (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum), which declared at their recent meeting in Beppu, Japan, their unified intent to work out an unprecedented “growth strategy” for the region at the forum’s annual summit in November in Yokohama, based, however, on boosting domestic demand rather than exports. APEC’s goal is to achieve economic growth that is “balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure,” led by “structural reforms” while inclusive growth features job creation, particularly for women, human resources development and easier access to finance. “Energy efficiency will be the core of sustainable growth, while innovative growth will be driven by an improvement in the research and development environment,” an APEC statement maintained.

    Tourism in Thailand, too, showed strong signs of recovery. Foreign tourist arrivals at Suvarnabhumi Airport increased 11.5% between July 1 and 21, and Airports of Thailand said passenger arrivals had returned to their average norm of 100,000 per day, whilst the overall number of foreign tourists rose 14.8% to 950,000,in June from May, largely from China and Korea. The Association of Thai Travel Agents is predicting tourist arrivals of between 12.5 to 13 million this year, and the State Tourism Authority is even more positive, optimistically re-evaluating its previous forecasts and now predicting 14.5 million foreign visitors, an increase of 1.5 million on its earlier estimates.
    As for hotel business, at the lower end of the price range, occupancy rates in Bangkok’s Khao San Road are showing an increase of 70%, representing 80% of the norm, after they fell to 10% over the period of the Red-Shirt protests. At the high end, the InterContinental Hotel in Bangkok is now registering 100% occupancy after dropping to 60% when they re-opened in the period immediately following the crisis. Business at other luxury hotels in Bangkok’s main shopping area, the site of most of the disturbances, has also returned to normal. However, although tourism is predicted to reach normal levels by the year’s end, revenue from tourism is expected to be lower this year as the majority of visitors have cut their length of stay on average.

    Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban brought further good news from his recent meetings with officials in China. China has apparently promised to promote Thailand as a tourist destination among Chinese, will consider buying more rice from Thailand and, most importantly, has tentatively agreed to invest in Thailand’s first high-speed rail network and provide funding for the development of the Thai rail-link system.

    These two latter developments are particularly good news for Pattaya as one of the rail-links refers to the monorail extension from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city and the first high-speed line to be built will be the 240-kilometre route passing through Pattaya on its way from Bangkok’s Makkasan area to Rayong and later Laos, eventually forming a network spreading all the way from China to Europe. When completed, this project should bring unprecedented growth and business opportunities to the city.

    The journey time from Bangkok to Rayong will take approximately one hour and the rail service will be equipped with highly advanced Chinese high-speed trains capable of maintaining speeds of up to 338 km. per hour, which Mr. Suthep maintains are superior to any other he has travelled on. The rail infrastructure agreement is expected to be ratified when Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva visits China in the near future.

    As for business revival, consumer confidence increased dramatically in June and shopping malls unaffected by the Red arson attacks are reportedly experiencing business as usual. The blighted Central World Mall is expected to re-open in six months and some of the revenue shortfall was and will be taken up by the Central Ladprao Mall, whose planned closure for renovation was delayed. Central Pattana PCL’s Isetan store has already reopened, however the Zen Department Store, which burnt down, is expected to take 14 months to rebuild.

    Finally, the government has introduced relief measures to aid small businesses affected by the Red violence. These take the form of tax breaks, grants and soft loans of up to Bt4 million to help tourism-related companies, including tour operators. Employees who were laid off will receive Bt7,500 a month for up to six months. Customers buying domestic tour packages will also be able to deduct up to Bt15,000 from their taxable income and businesses which suffered from Red-Shirt arson will receive a Bt50,000 one-time grant.
    The prospects for Thailand as a whole and Pattaya in particularly are definitely looking up. Evil or Very Mad
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Are they talking about another Thailand than I know? I see and hear despair all around. affraid

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