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Panama’s VP backs the Thailand Kra Canal project

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Panama’s VP backs the Thailand Kra Canal project | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Panama’s Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado – The Nation

The long-running discussions about a canal, linking the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, aka The Kra Canal, has come up again with a visit from Panama’s Vice President.

The Panama Canal changed world shipping when it linked the Pacific and Atlantic oceans when it was completed in 1914. Panama’s Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, said the Krabi Canal would boost Thailand’s role in global connectivity.

“I think it is very powerful in every way for connectivity in the future. It’s a huge potential for growth for Thailand.”

The Vice President was asked if the Kingdom should go ahead with plans to build the Kra Canal, linking the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea.

“I think that is the correct direction.”

Learn more about the Krabi Canal project HERE.

When asked if security was ever a concern for Panama, she said security is always a concern, but strong cooperation with regional allies had helped her country stay secure.

De Alvarado, who is also foreign minister, was in Thailand for a bilateral visit. She met her counterpart, Don Pramudwinai, before making a courtesy call on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss a wide range of subjects, notably air and maritime connectivity.

She said her country plays a significant role as a gateway for Thailand to access Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We are also interested in infrastructure projects in Thailand including deep-sea ports. With deep-sea ports, Thailand will be able to send large ships directly from Thailand to Panama, with local and regional cargo”.

“Thailand could learn from Panama’s experience in establishing a special economic zone, the Colon Free Trade Zone, which can be applied to the Eastern Economic Corridor Project”, she added.

Panama is also interested in signing a free-trade agreement with Thailand, she said, adding that her government will discuss the matter with the government once it has concluded free-trade negotiations with China next year.

“We export some fruit and I know Thailand produces a lot of fruit, so we need to find out what products Thailand does not have. We are also working on the export of meat, so we will need to sit down, discuss and identify the areas of cooperation,” she said.

At a meeting with Thai officials, Panama’s VP also expressed interest in partnering with ASEAN and signing a friendship pact with the group. Since Thailand will be chairing the regional grouping next year, it could back Panama in signing the friendship pact, she said.

Panama's VP backs the Thailand Kra Canal project | News by The Thaiger

ORIGINAL SOURCE ARTICLE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai restaurants and food chains switching to home deliveries

Anukul

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Thai restaurants and food chains switching to home deliveries | The Thaiger
PHOTO: scb.co.th

A difficult time for restaurants as the government rolls out lockdowns across the country. So many of the restaurants and food chains are changing from sit in facilities to home delivery. They’re saying that they need to switch their financial strategy to stay afloat as the spread of Covid-19 becomes more serious in Thailand. So they’re becoming ‘virtual’ restaurants providing the same food but as a home delivery instead.

Smaller restaurants will have the option of either providing their own deliveries and reaching out to their customer base on social media, or registering with some of the App-based service providers like Grab Food and Food Panda. But these services take a whopping commission to be listed.

Otherwise their only other option is to close for now until the current situation passes. (Mr. Google is going to be your best help to find local deliveries at this time)

Nadim Xavier Salhani, CEO of Mudman, the operator of Dunkin Donuts, Au Bon Pain, Baskin-Robbins and Greyhound Cafes, says the company’s sales have already dropped 30%.

“The delivery business has not increased as expected because consumers’ behaviour has changed with the outbreak. Many are opting to cook their own food, while delivery competition is fierce. We are still paying our employees, but may have to make cuts in April. Everyone has to accept the pay cut because it is better than a layoff.”

“I want government announcements to be clear. So far the decisions are very grey and confusing. Communication is very weak. The policy has to be clear.”

Boonyong Tansakul, chief executive of Zen Corporation, the operator of food brands such as Zen, AKA, Tummour, Din’s and Khiang, says…

“The company willtoday start to provide delivery service for Khiang around the clock until April 12. The company will assign some staff to recruit new customers in residential areas such as Sukhumvit, Silom, Sathon, Thong Lor and On Nut, offering customers the option to buy three meals on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to increase sales opportunities.”

For the consumer there is plenty of selection and new protocols for delivery which will guarantee the safety of the delivery service as well as customers.

Thai restaurants and food chains switching to home deliveries | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Opportunities for 2020 export growth in Thailand

Anukul

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Opportunities for 2020 export growth in Thailand | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: bangkokpost.com

Despite the whirlwind of shutdowns, lockdowns and craziness descending on Thailand at the moment, the departments are still churning out numbers and trying to forecast the way ahead.

They say that, due to the Thai baht weakening and massive government interventions around the world for both monetary and fiscal policies, there is still a chance that Thailand could reduce the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak with a resurge in exports.

However, despite exports declining in February the Commerce Ministry still sees room for Thai export growth later this year.

Director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office Pimchanok Vonkorpon, says that Thailand is competent in the food and agricultural industries as well as essential goods, while electronic shipments can recover, which account for 14% of total exports.

“The Commerce Ministry has adjusted its trade promotion strategy for the coronavirus pandemic by organising an online exhibition and online business matching, running from May-August 2020.”

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit also repeats the importance of fruit exports in the ASEAN market, Thailand will continue to facilitate and enhance shipments to those countries.

Yesterday the ministry reported Thailand’s customs-cleared exports fell by 4.47% in February

The contraction was attributed to lower oil prices and a high base from weapons exports last February, Excluding gold, oil and weaponry, Thai exports in February 2020 expanded 1.51% year-on-year reported Pimchanok.

Opportunities for 2020 export growth in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products decreased by 3% to $3.07 billion in February this is led by, rice (-26.6%), fresh, frozen, and processed fruit (-16.2%), cassava products (-11.1%), and sugar (-3.8%).

The Trade Policy and Strategy office forecasts exports will grow 0-2% this year if shipments average $20-21 billion a month.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Cabinet will look at proposal to help with home internet

The Thaiger

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Cabinet will look at proposal to help with home internet | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai cabinet looking at free or upgraded home internet today - Tech Radar

Cabinet today will look at a proposal to help people working from home with 10 Gb free internet for their smartphones, along with other subsidies.

The Thai National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will ask for cabinet approval providing mobile users with 10 free gigabytes of data usage per subscriber, per month up to June 30.

The NBTS say they recognise that the current situation will involve many people working from home.

For fixed broadband service, existing household broadband subscribers would be supported in using a higher capacity package without additional charges. But details are lacking on that proposal at the moment.

Secretary-general of the NBTC, Takorn Tantasith, says the proposals follow Sunday’s special meeting between the NBTC and mobile and telecom operators to come up with ways to assist the public during this ‘lockdown’ phase.

The proposed assistance is expected to cost the Thai government 10 billion baht, or around 3.5 billion baht per month up to the end of June.

The NBTS says the 10GB of data usage per mobile subscriber a month could be funded by the first instalment payments from the 5G spectrum licence auction which was held last month.

“If the proposal is approved by the cabinet, the NBTC will hold a meeting with telecom operators to discuss the assistance.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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