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Phuket’s Andaman Travel Trade expo draws thousands

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket’s Andaman Travel Trade expo draws thousands | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Thousands of visitors turned out for the opening day of the Andaman Travel Trade 2011 yesterday.

The bustling event, held with the aim of linking tour operators with businesses throughout Thailand’s six provinces along the Andaman seaboard, continues today at the Convention Hall at Phuket Rajabhat University.

Attending this year’s event are 302 tourism operators from 28 countries and 160 operators from throughout Phuket, Phang Nga, Ranong, Krabi, Trang and Satun.

“Most of the Andaman operators are happy with this event. They have had a chance to exchange business cards with foreign tourism operators,” said Phuket Tourist Association President Somboon Jirayus.

“This will give the foreign operators a wider selection [of facilities and travel opportunities that] they can provide to their customers. We expect that their customers will extend the length of their stay because of this.”

The foreign operators have been divided into two groups, each with the opportunity to visit Phi Phi Island.

TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing Juthaporn Rerngronasa, who chaired the opening yesterday, had in the run up to the event highlighted Brazil as an expanding market for incoming Phuket tourism.

In person at the show yesterday confirming Ms Juthaporn’s assertion was Leonardo Capistrano, a representative from PMG Capital Marketing in Sao Paolo.

“I am in a group from Brazil. This is my first time visiting Thailand. It is very nice to have this event. I can now get in touch with local hotels, local suppliers and local service providers.

“We expect to see more new hotels being represented at this event, such as hotels from the northern part of the island or different islands in this area, not just hotels from Patong.

“In our group there are many important tour operators. I think from now on we have more information about Phuket, so we have more alternatives for our customers,” Mr Capistrano said.

“Beaches, jet-skiing, diving, cultural sights, playing in the water, snorkeling, Patong nightlife and eating Thai food are very attractive aspects of Phuket for us,” he added.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan



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Business

BOI approves new rail services, new port investment

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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BOI approves new rail services, new port investment | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Duangjai Asawachintachit, BOI secretary general

The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has laid out strategies to boost the development of rail services and the country’s cruise tourism.

Duangjai Asawachintachit, BOI secretary general, says the latest BOI meeting chaired by the Prime Minister had resolved to instigate measures to attract investment in rail development and related infrastructure for continued economic growth.

According to Duangjai, investment projects for rail development and related sectors will be entitled to a tax break of 50% for the first three to five years of investment.

The BOI also approved measures to stimulate the cruise tourism business, with the aim of attracting more tourists to the kingdom.

Moreover, the BOI has introduced a plan to attract aerospace investment to U-Tapao Airport in 2019 as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project, as the EEC Office is planning to develop an “Aerotropolis” which will stretch over 30 kilometers from the airport.

Additionally, the meeting endorsed the 7-year strategic investment promotion plan, spanning 2015 to 2021, which it is anticipated will contribute 418 billion baht to the country’s GDP.

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Chinese foreign policy – On track

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Chinese foreign policy – On track | The Thaiger

by Nikkei Asia Review

“When Japanese trading house Itochu and train maker Hitachi withdrew from a soon-to-be-decided $7 billion tender for a high-speed rail project near Bangkok, it appeared to be another victory for China and its grand plans to connect Southeast Asia with railways.

Thailand has for decades been the centerpiece of Tokyo’s strategy for Southeast Asia, and long-discussed plans to build extensive shinkansen-style rail lines in the country’s east and north were meant to cement the relationship between the two nations.

But while Japan’s ambitions have been stalled by disagreements about financing and other details, Beijing has managed to push ahead with construction of a separate high-speed rail line in northern Thailand. To some, the rail projects are a symbol of China’s growing influence in a country where Japan had spent decades building ties.”

The article predicts that the Chinese investment into South East Asian rail services is part of its broader ‘belt and road’ policy that is stretching out into new routes and connecting regions, and China, with hitherto remote parts of the asian continent.

“China’s high-speed rail ambitions in Southeast Asia don’t end in Bangkok, however. Under its planned 3,000-km pan-Asian railway network, Chinese rail lines will extend even further south, stretching through Malaysia and feeding into Singapore.”

Chinese foreign policy - On track | News by The Thaiger

China’s reach southwards will allow it to exert greater political influence on places like Singapore which, for now, still retains strong connections to Washington. Investing in high-speed railways all the way from China’s borders to the tip of the Malay Peninsula is a lot more than just an economic investment, it’s a high-profile symbol of China’s new influence in the region where issues such as ‘Taiwan’ and it’s demands in the South China Sea have caused prickly negotiations with the ASEAN countries.

But to reach Singapore, China must first get Malaysia on side…

“A dramatic recent shift in Malaysian politics has put China’s plans for Singapore on hold, however. After his election in May, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to hold up “for now” the $20 billion 688-km east coast rail line connecting southern Thailand to Kuala Lumpur, and postpone for two years a 350-km high-speed rail link between the Malaysian capital and Singapore.”

The article says that these ‘investments’ are actually just loans for high-priced infrastructure that often cannot be repaid by smaller economies….

“China typically provides loans, not grants, for foreign infrastructure projects, and takes possession of the project if the recipient is unable to repay its debt – as happened with a port in Sri Lanka. Such instances have prompted critics in the West to accuse China of practicing ‘debt diplomacy’.”

Read more of this fascinating and important article from Nikkei Asia Review HERE.

Chinese foreign policy - On track | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand opens doors to cryptocurrencies – Thaiger Bites

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thailand opens doors to cryptocurrencies – Thaiger Bites | The Thaiger

Divisions are forming across Asia with regards to cryptocurrencies. Some nations such as China are constantly stomping on anything to do with crypto assets but others, Thailand being the latest, are opening their digital doors to the fledgling industry.

Over the past year Thailand has warmed to crypto and this latest raft of official licenses is a big boost to the industry in the country and region as a whole. Military rulers and the central bank remains wary which is no surprise and have issued warnings to investors. Overall though the sentiment is positive and an official ICO portal has even been proposed by the SEC.

Read more about this story from News BTC HERE.

(Thaiger Bites provides these short snippets for stories we believe of interest to our readers)

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