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Phuket entrepreneurs join hands to boost investment

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket entrepreneurs join hands to boost investment | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Two dozen private entrepreneurs have come together to form a new company aimed at boosting investment and promoting seamless business operations in Phuket.

Named Phuket City Development Co Ltd (PKCD), the new conglomerate aims to develop the province into a functional and successful ‘Smart City’ under three ‘core values’: innovation; green infrastructure; and green mobility for sustainable development.

PKCD was registered on October 15 with 25 shareholders and a registered capital of 100 million baht. The focus of its operations lies mainly on infrastructure, smart public transport, smart city initiatives, and security and economy.

The owners are keen to “build relationships and ease connections between private and government sectors” regarding major development projects.

“First of all, we will ease the process of investment for foreigners. Those from outside Phuket or Thailand who want to invest in any project in Phuket – let’s take a bus business, for instance – have ‘no idea’ about how to deal with the government and tackle all the applicable rules and laws. Additionally, the process is very time consuming.

“These types of difficulties make investors lose interest quite quickly, which causes them to withdraw and invest elsewhere,” says shareholder Suradech Taweesaengsakulhai, co-founder of Khon Kaen City Development Co Ltd and one of the shareholders of PKCD.

“PKCD will work as the ‘middleman’ in these cases. We are a local organization and we know how the government sector works. We will help these investors with the laws and requirements. Once permission is obtained, we will open the project for investors. They will no longer have to worry about the law, and we will get more investors this way,” he adds.

The PKCD board expects to register the company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in future if all goes well.

“We do not expect any investors to start handing us money immediately. We want to earn their trust first and to know who we are. After seeing the results, we will attract more investors for sure. If they trust what we are doing, they will automatically come to us,” says Mr Suradech.

He emphasizes that their goal is not only to create projects but to work with the government to help push through projects that are already in motion.

“We can either join the project ourselves or help to ‘expedite it’ by coordinating with the government and the developers,” he says.

At this stage, there are five plans on the agenda. The first is to help Phuket become a “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Neighborhood Development” (LEED-ND) city within 20 years.

The second is to cooperate with the OrBorJor in order to improve bus services in Phuket, including smart buses with front and back CCTV cameras, a strict schedule of departures and arrivals, and a system to keep track of the drivers.

Third: to create a mobile app to help tourists. The application will feature tourist attractions, food, accommodation, and land, marine and air maps. This app will be a cross between Grap, Wongnai, Agoda and TripAdvisor.

Fourth: to turn Phuket into a “Smart Innovation Hub” to boost creative thinking, especially among youth, and help them to generate income.

Finally, to promote Phuket as a venue for an Asian Expo that will help the island to become a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) center, and to promote tourism throughout the Andaman provinces.

PKCD is using Khon Kaen City Development Co Ltd, which has been in operation for many years, as a business model to follow, but with a long-term focus. At present, company representatives could not provide details as to when the first project is expected to start.

“In Phuket, the first thing that we want to do is to improve the bus system in cooperation with the OrBorJor. The exact date is not yet decided. We still plan to keep the local buses (Pho Thong) functioning, as they are a unique part of the identity of Phuket. However, we also intend to incorporate a more modernized transport system,” says Montawee Hongyok, one of the shareholders of PKCD.

Additionally, the company intends to work closely with the Software Industry Promotion Agency and other related offices to help promote their agenda.

“We are doing this for the benefit of our future generations. I don’t want to say exactly who will reap the benefits, as no one will trust me on this right now. But please wait to see the results yourselves. All the shareholders of the company are ‘Phuket people’, and we all want to come together and improve Phuket,” Mr Suradech insists.

“From an economic point of view, if the whole of Phuket improves and becomes a developed city, it will certainly help every business in Phuket to get better as well. Not only big businesses, but the whole system, including the locals, will also reap the benefits,” he adds.

Phuket Governor Chokchai Dejamornthan commends the company on its plans and says he hopes to see their vision become a reality before long.

“I am happy to see that business people and rich people in Phuket want to help their hometown. I completely support the idea. If Phuket people themselves will not do anything for Phuket, then who else will,” asks Governor Chokchai.

“However, all I see right now is a plan. I have seen a lot of plans already, but what I really want to see is plans being turned into reality. I am glad to offer help and support on behalf of the government, as long as it’s legal and above board,” he added.

— Kongleaphy Keam

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Drugs

Early morning drug busts in Phuket yield 9 arrests

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Early morning drug busts in Phuket yield 9 arrests | The Thaiger

An early morning drug bust in Rawai, Phuket has yielded 9 arrests. The first raid yesterday consisted of 30 task force members who raided a sea gypsy shack near the beachfront in Rawai.

43 year old Saroch Homhuan, and 34 year old Juree Bangjak, were arrested and charged with posession of a Category I drug with the intent to sell, after police found 9 pills of methamphetamine, or yaba in Thai, over 6 grams of crystal meth, or ya ice in Thai, and 3 other “items of evidence.”

31 year old Suriyan Na Takuathung, and 29 year old Prathip Areerop, were arrested and charged with possession of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell, and possession of a Category 5 drug respectively. Police say they found 20 pills of methamphetamine, 0.92 grams of dried marijuana and 5 items of drug paraphernalia.

Police also raided 2 houses in Moo 2, arresting 5 suspects, named as 21 year old Vikrom Kongwiriyakul, 32 year old Narunat Chanthamuwong, 18 year old Chanchai Damrongkaset, a woman named Chantha Hansaithong, and 21 year old Warut Rodphan.

Warut was allegedly found with a bottle containing 500 millilitres of kratom juice. Police also say they seized 150 grams of kratom leaf dregs which are used to boil leaves in order to make the juice. Police charged him with posession of a Category 5 drug.

Police say they confiscated a total of 13 litres of kratom juice from 4 other suspects, which was contained in 10 bottles along with other ingredients and equipment to produce the drug cocktail called ‘4×100.’

All 9 suspects were taken to the Chalong Police Station in which only 1 agreed to undergo drug rehabilitation.

The raids come after the Phuket Provincial Government ordered officers of the Muang District Office to target villages where drugs are prevalent. A spokesman for the government said police will continue to remove drug traffickers from the community while working to improve the quality of local people’s lives so they don’t have to use drugs anymore.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Thailand to introduce “area quarantine” for international visitors from April

Maya Taylor

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Thailand to introduce “area quarantine” for international visitors from April | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Andreas M on Unsplash

From next month, foreign visitors to the Kingdom will be able to experience the delights of “area quarantine”, after the government confirmed the scheme for 5 provinces. Following a meeting with the Public Health Ministry, the Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn confirmed that Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Surat Thani (Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan) have been chosen to pilot the scheme.

Foreign tourists opting for area quarantine will be required to remain in their hotel rooms for the first 3 days of their stay. They will be tested for Covid-19 and, if negative after 3 days, will be allowed to leave their room and roam freely around the resort for the remainder of their 14-day quarantine. At the end of the 14-day period, they will once again be tested for the virus and, if negative, allowed to travel around the quarantine area.

In order to avail of the scheme, tourists will still need to fulfil the other requirements for travel, including obtaining a Certificate of Entry, a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to travel, and adequate health insurance. Nation Thailand reports that the area quarantine plan will be run by 29 travel agencies, under TAT supervision.

The area quarantine scheme comes as the TAT hails the success of the first “golf quarantine” scheme, which operates in a similar manner. Travellers from countries considered “low-risk” for Covid-19 can come to Thailand for a golf holiday at approved golf resorts in the Kingdom. Conditions are similar to those attached to area quarantine, with the golfers having to spend the first 3 days in their room, test negative for the virus, and then enjoy free rein of the resort, with a few rounds of golf thrown in.

Thailand’s economy has been decimated by the fallout from the pandemic, in particular the loss of international tourism. The current mandatory 14-day quarantine period is seen as the biggest hurdle to overcome in order to re-ignite the sector. In 2019, international tourism contributed 2 trillion baht out of a total 3.01 trillion baht tourism trade. In the same year, tourism made up 17% of Thailand’s GDP.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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