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Phuket Business: Thailand – US trade reviving

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: More than 700 American companies will have a combined investment of US$40 billion – approximately 1.25 trillion baht – in Thailand by the end of 2012, a business leader recently told the Thai government.

The president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Joe Mannix revealed the figure in a speech given at a thank-you function for the government, hosted by AMCHAM in Bangkok.

Mr Mannix praised the Yingluck administration’s efforts to push the 2012 GDP to a projected 5% growth, which is equal to the anticipated growth for the greater Southeast Asia region.

Thailand has shown strong commitment and potential for continued investments given its strong emergence economically, despite last year’s massive floods, he said.

Mr Mannix went on to describe Thailand’s ambition to manufacture two million vehicles as “historical,” while also lauding the Thai government’s projection for the number of foreign tourists to the Kingdom to exceed 20 million arrivals this year.

He said that American companies regard Thailand as one of the top countries for investment thanks to its economic revival, adding that a survey by AMCHAM found that 65% of US companies have plans to expand their investments in Thailand.

The president noted that US companies, however, doubted if ASEAN will achieve its goal to integrate into one single economic community (AEC) in 2015.

“We do hope that Thailand will be conducive for ASEAN to achieve the goal,” he said.

Also attending the function, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra talked about the government’s water management schemes and infrastructure development plans and their function to boost investment following last year’s floods.

Stressing the government’s anti-corruption policy, the premier said the government will promote transparency in its administration for the benefit of foreign investors in Thailand.
She expressed hope that strong Thai-US relations will give economic benefits by elevating the US to become the Kingdom’s top trading partner.

The US is currently Thailand’s third largest export market behind China and Japan.

Last year, Thai exports to the USA were worth 656mn baht, compared to China-bound exports worth 791mn baht, exports to Japan valued at 719mn baht.

In the first seven months of this year, Thai exports to the US were worth 410mn baht, with exports to China and Japan worth 484mn baht and 422mn baht, respectively.

As for import markets, the USA is the fourth largest supplier to the Kingdom, behind Japan, China and the UAE.

The Kingdom’s imports from the US in 2011 were valued at 408mn baht, compared to 1.28bn baht from Japan, 930mn baht from China and 442mn baht from the UAE.

In the first seven months of this year, American exports to Thailand were valued at 238mn baht, a slight improvement from the same period last year when the exports were worth 235mn baht.

— MCOT / Phuket Gazette

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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