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Durian drives southern economy with new Chinese 700 million baht factory

The Thaiger

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Durian drives southern economy with new Chinese 700 million baht factory | The Thaiger

A Chinese company has invested 700 million baht to establish a durian processing factory in Songkhla’s Thepha district. The establishment of the Kunming-based company in southern Thailand is an indication of the growing love for durian in China and a growing export potential for the ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ fruit.

Manguwang Food Company will employ up to 1,200 workers at its 700 million baht (US$24 million) factory in Thepa. The factory will freeze dry and package durian grown in the region for export to China, where products made from the fruit are in increasing demand.

The company started freezing and exporting local south Thailand durian at the start of July.

The target is to export 12,000 tonne of durian each year, roughly a third of the total output from the southern provinces, growing the business to 20,000 tonnes in exports in following years.

Good news for the local farmers is that the factory is buying quality durian product at higher prices than local buyers. The factory produces freeze-dried durian and quick frozen durian pulp.

Durian became even more popular around the region when Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma showcased the magic of digital commerce when he visited Bangkok in April 2018, selling 80,000 ‘golden-pillow’ durians within a minute on his retail website T-mall.

Thailand exported more than 600,000 tonne of fresh durian and durian products such as candy bars last year to China, according to the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

In Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat – the three southernmost provinces on the Malay border – there are about 50,000 rai of durian plantations, mostly in highland areas. The greater southern region produces between 120,000-150,000 tonnes of durian per year.

Durian drives southern economy with new Chinese 700 million baht factory | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Central opens first luxury outlet at Suvarnabhumi on August 31

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Central opens first luxury outlet at Suvarnabhumi on August 31 | The Thaiger

Central Village, “Thailand’s first international luxury outlet”, located near Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, will officially open on August 31.

The Nation reports that the design of the 5 billion baht facility, owned by the Central Pattana group, will “highlight Thai architecture and cultural identities” and shoppers will find at least 130 well known international luxury and lifestyle brands.

“More than half of the brands are opening their first outlet shop in Thailand, and over 60 have chosen to open their exclusive outlet store only at Central Village, with discounts of 35-70% every day.”

Dr Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, the executive vice president for marketing at CPN, says that Central Village is pioneering the new segment of ‘Luxury Outlet’ for the first time in Thailand.

“We intend to establish this new retail platform, filling the gap in the market, by making it one of the world’s leading shopping destinations, similar to other popular tourist cities such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, which also have leading outlets in Asia.”

“We are expecting to attract 6-10 million customers per year, which can be divided into 65% domestic, focusing on the young and mass affluent nationwide, and 35% international tourists, focusing on those who fly into Bangkok.”

The facility will also boast restaurants, a Tops Market, a children’s playground and tourist service points.

CPN also plans to promote creative Thai brands at the Thai Pavilion Zone, where Thai products and contemporary art fairs will be held throughout the year, promoted as “Thai Signature Cultural Events”. CPN will join hands with governmental organisations led by the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Internal Trade to hold events in a modern Thai theme presenting gifts and souvenirs, and local handicraft or OTOP items will be on sale.

Central Village will also provide convenient transportion to and from the facility, which located near Suvarnabhumi Airport, using a shuttle-bus service available at three pick-up points: CentralWorld, Udomsuk BTS Station and Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. Tourists will be at ease in dropping by at Central Village on their way to and from the airport, according to a release on Wednesday.

SOURCE: The Nation

Central opens first luxury outlet at Suvarnabhumi on August 31 | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Former finance minister says government shouldn’t bail out Thai Airways

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Former finance minister says government shouldn’t bail out Thai Airways | The Thaiger

Former Thai Finance Minister and current Democrat list MP Korn Chatikavanich is voicing his concerns over the financial crisis gripping Thai Airways and objects to any plan to use taxpayer money to rescue the ailing legacy airline.

Korn says Thai Airways’ financial current troubles are similar to the situation in 2008, when the company struggled to find money to repay its debts.

He says he agrees with Banyong Pongpanich, a veteran investment banker, that the national carrier must cut costs.

Korn, when acting as Finance Minister a decade ago and asked by Thai Airways to help bail them out, said at the time he would not guarantee new loans, that the company must have a rehabilitation plan and that they must cut costs.

The Democrat MP said the government at the time brought in a new management team and professional board members to Thai Airways and the airline made profits in 2009 and 2010, but the airline went back into the red a year later and has remained in debt ever since.

He noted in a Thai PBS World article that tourist arrivals in Thailand have increased every year and other local airlines have made profits, except Thai Airways.

Former finance minister says government shouldn't bail out Thai Airways | News by The Thaiger

Democrat MP Korn Chatikavanich – Facebook

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Executives at Thai Airways asked to take pay cut

May Taylor

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Executives at Thai Airways asked to take pay cut | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai Airways and Thai PBS World

“An unnamed source in the Transport Ministry says the airline’s financial predicament is very serious and puts it at risk of bankruptcy.”

The country’s national flag carrier, Thai Airways, could be in deep financial trouble and may need to delay repaying its debt or seek new loans.

Thai PBS World reports tat the airline’s president Sumet Damrongchaitham says he has asked senior executives at the airline to voluntarily reduce their meeting allowances and salary in order to help the airline survive this latest challenge.

Mr Sumet includes his own remuneration in the proposed cuts.

“This is just one of the measures to cut costs so that THAI will be able to compete in the aviation industry. The spirit of the board and executives will inspire others in our organisation to realise that it is high time that we join forces in all ways to survive this crisis. Whatever can be sacrificed must be sacrificed.”

Mr Sumet also reassured staff that the cuts would be applied to management only and would not affect the quality of Thai Airways’ services.

An unnamed source in the Transport Ministry says the airline’s financial predicament is very serious and puts it at risk of bankruptcy. The source puts Thai Airways’ total debt at around 245 billion baht.

Purchasing a new fleet of planes, worth an estimated 156 billion baht, would make it the world’s most indebted airline, should permission for the purchase be granted.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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