CHIANG MAI (AFP): Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said today he is considering moving Thailand’s clocks ahead one hour to bring them in line with neighboring nations and to boost the country’s competitiveness. “Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are situated on the same latitude as Thailand but we are seven hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) while these countries are eight hours ahead,” he said. “We have to admit that all these countries’ economies are more prosperous than ours,” he said, adding that Thailand could improve the environment for international business if it made the change. Thaksin said he had instructed relevant ministries to study the pros and cons of changing Thailand’s time zone, and to look at the effect it would have on the stock market and banking operations. The premier said he expected the question to be resolved by the end of this month. Finance Minister Somkid Jatusripitak voiced support for the idea, saying it could make Thailand more competitive, but that factors like the workings of the stock market should be taken into consideration before a decision is made. “To make our market trade at the same time as other regional markets would be beneficial,” he said.
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