Dec 30, 2012

A Bangkok taxi-driver discovered a dropped bag with 3.3 million Baht cash and returned

At 3 a.m. today, a taxi driver in Bangkok found what looked like a Bank's bag dropped on a road. He found that there was cash of around 3.33 million Bahts inside and decided to inform Jor Sor 100 radio station (traffic news) and returned the bag to the police.  The bag came out from a security van of Brinx when its rear door accidentally popped up and the driver and guards were not aware of it until a following motorcyclist informed them later of the opened door.

Ref:- news from Manager Online

Dec 29, 2012

New major conference center for Chiang Mai will start in 2013

A big Chiang Mai International Conference Center, funded by the government of Thailand will be operational from April 2013. This is in line with 2013 being declared as Thailand's MICE year.

ref:- Chiang Mai news

Thailand to expand reforestation plan in the north

News from Royal Initiative Project (under HM the King). ML Disnadda Devekula, Secretary of the Pidthong Foundation indicated that the foundation has a reforestation plan to plant 800 million tree saplings, and 150 million Vetiver shrubs, and 2810 water-retention mini-dams in Northern Thailand. The Mae Fah Luang Foundation and Pidthong Foundation (whose name means affixing gold leafs behind a Buddha image, i.e. even others can't see upfront) plan to use own budgets in producing the seedlings in preparation for the government expanded project starting 2013.

The secretary suggested that we have to take holistic approach. Local communities must also get benefits, i.e. people must be able to use or harvest some (fruit) products from it otherwise local people would not look after the newly reforested areas.

ref : news from Isranews

Thailand projected public debt will peak in 2016 at 49.9% GDP

Office of the Public Dept indicate that it has projected Thailand's public debt status for the next 7 years. Future needs included fund for water management at 350 Billion Baht, and fund for development of public infrastructures at 2 trillion Bahts. The projected public debt would be highest in fiscal year B.E. 2559 (2016) at 49.9% of GDP, from the current level of 43.27% of GDP. That figure is still below a sustainability threshold level at 60% of GDP.

Ref :- news from Thai Post

Thailand's public finance and debt status as of 2012

The Fiscal Policy Office of the Ministry of Finance indicated that, for fiscal year B.E. 2555 (startging October 2011-September 2012), the government's expense had a deficit of 264.5 Billion Baht (2.2% of GDP), an increase of 8.9 Billion Baht year on year. 

Office of the public Dept revealed that the public debt as of October 31, B.E. 2555 (2012), was at 4,827.3 Billion Bahts, or about 43.27% of GDP, a reduction of 109.9 Billion Baht year on year.  Of this, the debt which belongs to the government amounted at 3,402.4 Billion Baht, a reduction of 112.5 Billion Baht, and the debt for non-finance public agencies amounted to 1,052.3 Billion Baht, a reduction of 11.9 Billion Bahts.

Details in the link below (in Thai language) :-

Thailand's Person of the Year 2012

The Nation newspaper of Thailand declared "Anti-corruption organization (Thailand) to be the person of the year for B.E. 2555 (2012). The anti-corruption coalitions currently has 46 organization members, from private commpanies, media, trade unions, business organizations. 

Ref :- article from

Dec 24, 2012

Thai company to invest 4.5 Billion USD for petrochemicals

PTT Global Chemical Plc. (PTTGC) plans to invest 4.5 billion USD for the next 5 years (2013-2018) for new and on-going projects, including 2 downstream projects in Malaysia.

Currently PTTGC has an annual production capacity of 8.4 million tons for aromatics, olefins, and related chemicals, plus bioplastic, and selling 62% of its products to Thailand domestic market and 38% exporting.

Ref: Manager Online news

Thai MOF lost 76 Billion Baht for 2011 rice price pledging

News from the Fiscal Policy Office of the Ministry of Finance indicated that financial net lost for the MOF due to rice grain price pledging project for fiscal year 2011-2012 was estimated 'only' around 76.377 billion Bahts.  There was 21.6 million tons of rice grain in the last year project. The estimated lost was based on a projection of selling the grain stock within 1 year.

Note: The pledging policy is highly criticized by some economists, including scholars from TDRI

Ref: Manager Online News

Thailand's high speed train project to bid in Q3 2013

Minister of Transportation indicated that bidding for Thailand's high speed train project would probably be held in Q3 of 2013. In addition, Bangkok's remaining 7 subway routes, totaling 118.4 km. would be called for bidding in 2013, as well.  

Dec 23, 2012

Number of Thai farmers decline and average age is up

News from the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that the number of Thai farmers nationwide will be reduced to only 30% in the near future, with their average age higher than 55 years old.

A 5 year collaborative project between MOA and Ministry of Education to train new generation of young farmers spanning 2007-2012 has just ended. However, there was an agreement to extend the project which have various curricula to train young farmer leaderships, to promote sustainable agriculture practices, and to produce more agricultural vocational graduates. New institutions will be invited to be new partners, including Thailand Research Fund (TRF), Agricultural Research Development Agency (ARDA), Bank for Agriculture and Cooperative, Chulalongkorn University, King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Nakhon Panom University.

Ref : news excerpt from Sugar Zone in Thailand

Thai Government policy on first car's tax break will cost 73 Billion Bahts

Director General of the Excise Department said that he projected the number of people filing for reimbursement of vehicular excise tax for their eligible first cars by December 31, 2012, would be for around 1.2 million vehicles (mostly small cars and pickups), and would cost the Thai government over 73 Billion Bahts to return the money to consumers.

The controversial policy was aimed at jump starting the economy afflicted by last year's major flood but some critics have said that it would hurt the economy in following years. Moreover, traffic jams in Bangkok and major cities would get worse.

Ref: Thai Insider news

Thailand would reduce personal income tax next year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said that the Thai Cabinet has just passed a resolution on December 18, 2012, to reduce personal income tax rate in order to 'narrow income gaps between the rich and the poor'.

Although the tax intervals will be increased from 5 to 7 levels, while the highest income tax bracket would be reduced the rate from 37% to 35%, lower income people will pay less tax or be exempted. The projected tax revenue for the next fiscal year is expected to decline by 7 Billion Baht. If the new tax rates pass the parliamentary approval in 2013, it would be enacted in-time for tax filing of  March 2014.

My comment is that the reduced maximum tax rate seems to give benefit to the few 'rich' people. I don't understand the logic of how this would 'narrow' the income gap between the rich and the poor. Yes, some lower income people would see reduced tax money, or be exempted at higher threshold than before, but richer people will save more.

Details (in Thai) are in the link below.

Ref: Thai Insider news

Dec 22, 2012

Thailand's new businesses projected to 60,000 in 2012

A Thailand-based English newspaper, the Nation, quoted the Deputy Minister of Commerce saying that the projected number of new registered business firms by the year's end would be around 60,000, making 2012 the year with highest registration number so far.  Details of the numbers were given in the linked news source below.

I notice that the number is not only for new companies, but likely include 'limited partnership' firms, and '(unlimited) common partnership' firms as well.

Ref : The Nation

Thailand's Sahafarms will invest 10 Billion Bahts new poultry facility expansion

Sahafarms, Thailand's largest exporter of frozen chicken meat, has just opened a new facility in Chiang Rai. Its aim is to increase production capacity by 200,000 chicken per day, with an investment of 10 Billion Baht in 2013. The increased production has already been booked for the next 7 years by buyers from Malaysia.  A plot of land around 4,000 acres (10,000 Rais) in Chiang Khong district was planned in total. So far, the company has obtained around half of the area they seeked. A corn silo has been built in order to purchase corns from farmers in the area, and possibly from Lao farmers as well.

Last year, the company produced around 365 million hatched chickens, 456 million eggs, and 350 million grown up chickens.

Ref: - Chiang Mai Business News

Bridge no. 4 across Mekong river will be completed in 2013

The 4th road bridge linking Thailand and Laos across Mekong river, under construction at Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai province, is now over 90 % complete. The bridge was jointly funded by the Thai, Chinese, and Lao governments at a cost of 1,486.5 million Bahts.

Private enterprises have developed supporting facilities on both countries, including office buildings and convention center in an area of 10 acres (25 Rais) in nearby Chiang Saen district. On the Lao side, an area of 1,200 Rais (480 acres) has been developed, with resorts, hotels, duty-free market place being constructed.

The bridge is expected to be completed and opened in 2013.

Ref : Chiang Mai Business News

Thailand government plans to fund 5,000 to 10,000 startups in 2013

The Office of the Higer Education Commission (OHEC), Ministry of Education, planned a 5 Billion Baht venture capital fund (VC) for young startups, starting next year (2013), according the a speech of Dr. Olarn Chaipravat, Thailand's Trade Commissioner and advisor to the current Prime Minister.

Eligible applicants seeking funding from this VC must be Thai citizens, who are either students enrolling in vocational colleges or universities or recent graduates within the past 5 years. They must also have good initiatives, with 'support' from their families to become entrepreneurs, and lastly the projects must be deemed feasible.

Currently, there are 9 authorized business incubators in Thailand, developed from university business incubators (UBI). Some banks might be involved in this project, not demanding asset collateral but required only innovative ideas, sound business plans, and financial feasibility.  Former alumi of respective education institutes would be invited to serve advsory roles.

The Thai government would like to see 5,000 - 10,000 entrepreneurs in the first year, perhaps funding 1 million Baht per project.

Ref : - Isranews news piece

Thai primary school education to face another reform

From a 'poor' result of accomplishment by Thai students on TIMSS 2011 tests (for grades 4, and 8), esp. those from schools administered by local administration agencies, Thailand's Ministry of Education is going to overhaul the primary education one more time. Discrepancy between level of accomplishments between students form large Bangkok schools and students from remote provincial schools are of a major concern.  A proposal is expected to come out in January 2013. Minister of Education has indicated that an emphasis will be given to teachers' development.

Ref : It 's time to overhaul Thai education before we have no place to stand (in the ranking)

Thailand plans to have 48 digital TV channels starting 2013

In 2013, Thailand would add 48 new land-based digital free TV channels. Out of these, 12 has been earmarked as public channels.

Thai PBS will start testing a new channel in January 2013, in collaboration with TV channel 5 (Army TV). The emphasis of Thai PBS will be on youths' development, education, science, and public health.

Source : news from Thai PBS

First post for Thailand Development Chronicle

I have been interest in keeping track of progress of development of my community and country in order to look forward to a better future.  So this blog should serve as a central location of information, data and news I found interesting from heterogenous sources where I (we) can easily keep track of agendas and go back to the original references for details.

Summary in English that I plan to write will help make the original contents in Thai language more accessible to international audience. The English summary will also benefit Thai people as well since data mining in Thai language is still at its infancy compare to a much advance stage in English. So having the summaries in English for Thai full-text information will facilitate information locating and retrieving of original Thai text by simply searching for them in English in this blog.

Please note that I intend to write my own English summary in order to not violating others' copyrights.  Proper citation to the source I use will always be given in the form of web-links whenever possible. If you use my summaries in your writings, I would appreciate if you kindly provide proper citation credit to me in your article or web.

The scope of this blog will include not only Thailand's mega projects on infrastructures, hardwares but also human development, education, and abstract issues such as moral values. I may add some politics related news to give ideas to outsiders on the current situation and development (or de-development) of political situations.

I currently think it will cite online (and perhaps some offline) sources.
If I can't resist, I might add some short remarks on top of a summary, in italics.

I hope in the future, there would be others who might share similar interests would come by to give useful, positive, and sincere comments on various issues that I post.

Please feel welcomed to give comments in either English or Thai, but please patiently wait for my moderation before your message appears to filter out spams.  Abusive / non-constructive / hatred comments will also not be accepted, otherwise I have no intention to edit your remarks.