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  • Commerce Ministry sets Thailand’s export growth target at 4% for 2021
    BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand has seen export growth of 0.35 percent in the first month of the year. The Commerce Minister has ordered the Department of International Trade Promotion to advance an action plan to accelerate growth, which is set at 4 percent this year. An advisor to the Commerce Minister, Malika Boonmeetrakul, has revealed […]

    BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand has seen export growth of 0.35 percent in the first month of the year. The Commerce Minister has ordered the Department of International Trade Promotion to advance an action plan to accelerate growth, which is set at 4 percent this year.

    An advisor to the Commerce Minister, Malika Boonmeetrakul, has revealed that Thai commercial attaches in 43 countries around the world have been working to boost the export growth of Thailand within a framework that focuses on three objectives: working with the private sector to evaluate the export situation of each Thai product in each country, boosting the number of participants at trade fairs, and expanding trade through online platforms in foreign markets, especially India, the United States, ASEAN countries and China.

    Thai products with potential for export include agricultural and food products; products associated with the “new normal” way of living; fashion products, and heavy industry products as well as service businesses.

    Malika said the department was set to organized more than 100 trade fairs this year, and the ministry also aimed to push Thailand to become a world center for high quality food and agricultural products. The framework and its three objectives will be the key to driving Thailand’s export growth to reach 4 percent as targeted this year.

    Information and Source
    Reporter : Suwit Rattiwan
    Rewriter : Hugh Brammar
    National News Bureau & Public Relations :
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    3 March 2021
    Economics
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=83026
  • Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
    – Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative  Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its […]

    – Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
    – Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
    – Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
    – Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

    Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

    As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

    Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

    By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

    However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

    In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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    3 March 2021
    Ecommerce
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/health/83024-has-covid-19-prompted-the-belt-and-road-initiative-to-go-green.html
  • InMobi partners with Gojek to offer brand solutions to SEA clients
    Mobile marketing firm InMobi announced it has partnered with Southeast Asian super app Gojek to develop its advertising, consumer intelligence, and identity resolution for brands in the region.


    Mobile marketing firm InMobi announced it has partnered with Southeast Asian super app Gojek to develop its advertising, consumer intelligence, and identity resolution for brands in the region
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    3 March 2021
    Tech
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=83015
  • Is there a Happiness gap in the Land of Smiles?
    With the coronavirus pandemic, the global economic slowdown, and domestic political tumult, if the government refuses to be responsive to people’s feelings, our famous Thai smiles won’t be able to return anytime soon.

    How happy are people in the “Land of Smiles?” Not too happy. In fact, the Thai people’s spirit was at its lowest last year, and things don’t look much brighter in 2021.

    According to the World Happiness Report which ranks countries around the world by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be, Thailand’s level of happiness has been steadily declining since 2012 with 2020 being the worst year in the past decade.

    The report also shows Thais’ life satisfaction is increasingly lagging behind other countries in the region. People in the Philippines, for example, used to have a lower self-rating of happiness than the Thais. It is no longer the case now.

    The World Happiness Report stems from the premise that although material development and income are significant for physical well-being, they alone cannot make people feel happy.

    Many countries agree and have started conducting their domestic surveys to have a more accurate pulse on how their citizens feel about their lives and the country’s development.

    Germany started happiness and life satisfaction surveys in 1984; the United Kingdom started in 1991 and Australia in 2001.

    The UK, for example, asked its citizens four questions to assess their well-being in its Annual Population Survey organised by the Office for National Statistics.

    The first question is: “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?.” It aims to assess the respondents’ overall satisfaction with their lives.

    The second and third questions: “Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?” and “Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?” aim to assess the respondents’ emotional states.

    The fourth question: “Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile” aims to assess the respondents’ values.

    People are asked to rate their feelings on a scale of 0 to 10. 0 is “not at all” and 10 is “completely”.

    Many organisations have adopted these questions designed by the Office for National Statistics for their surveys.

    There are now more than 33 well-being surveys conducted by educational institutions, state agencies, and independent organisations in the UK. The surveys are done monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually. These surveys have expanded extensively since the David Cameron administration.

    Last year, the Public Policies and Life Satisfaction Project, supported by the National Research Council of Thailand under its Integrated Strategic Research Program on Social Sciences: Khonthai 4.0, conducted a happiness survey between May 1 and June 15, 2020, which revealed the gap of life satisfaction between the young and the older generations.

    The survey used the same set of questions from the UK to assess people’s life satisfaction. Interestingly, the findings expose the generation gap that may well explain why the young are taking to the streets and demanding change.

    On a scale from 0 to 10, about 48% of the 3,880 respondents gave a generally high rating for their happiness from 8 upwards. But the devil is in the details.

    When divided by age groups, those who gave the highest happiness ratings are the baby boomers who are between 56 and 74 years old. The least happy are the the young generation aged between 15-23 years old.

    About 36% of the baby boomers rated their life satisfaction highly at between 9 and 10. Only 20% of Generation Y (24-39 years old) gave the same rating. Interestingly, only 7% of Generation Z, youngsters born between 1997 and 2012/15 said they have the same level of happiness.

    On the respondents’ overall emotional states, the findings also show the baby boomers are happier and less stressed than other generations.

    Generation Y and Z, in particular, are frustrated that their quality of life is lower than their parents and grandparents’.

    Self-empowerment through active social participation and youth movements may be part of these young generations’ efforts to make their lives more meaningful.

    Will Thai people’s happiness grow or sink further in the next two years? Predictions based on common sense or wishful thinking are often ridden with biases.

    What we need is consistent and systematic surveys every year to assess how the Thai people feel about their lives to gauge their happiness, anxiety, and what they see as a meaningful life.

    We need to know what makes Thai people happy, unhappy, and why. We need to know what the government did which increased or lowered people’s life satisfaction.

    The surveys will help provide some answers to what the government should do or refrain from doing to increase the people’s level of happiness. The government’s primary duty, after all, is to serve the citizens the best it can.

    For a nationwide and systematic happiness survey, Thailand’s National Statistical Office should include the four personal well-being questions in its various annual surveys.

    For example, the Socio-Economic Surveys, Labour Force Survey, Children and Youths Survey, Health and Welfare Survey, Elderly Population Survey, People with Disabilities Survey, as well as Society and Culture.

    Including these questions in national surveys will shed light on how people feel about their lives which are closely linked to the government’s policies on economics, public health, the environment, and culture.

    The annual monitoring on how people assess their happiness – or lack of it – will also urge policymakers to pay attention to other aspects in life other than the economy that influence the populace’s physical and mental well-being.

    “Returning Happiness to the People” was the government’s political slogan after the coup d’etat in 2014. This begs the question: Why is the perceived happiness of the Thai people steadily sinking?

    If the government wants to achieve its goal, it must know first and foremost how happy or miserable people feel, and what it must do to increase their life satisfaction.

    Confronting reality is the first step the government must make. National well-being surveys are necessary because statistics don’t lie.

    With the coronavirus pandemic, the global economic slowdown, and domestic political tumult, if the government refuses to be responsive to people’s feelings, our famous Thai smiles won’t be able to return anytime soon.

    Worawan Chandoevwit

    Worawan Chandoevwit, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Khon Kaen University, and an adviser for the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI).

    Policy analyses from the TDRI appear in the Bangkok Post on alternate Wednesdays.

    More in TDRI insight

    3 March 2021
    Opinion
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=82964
  • Cross-border trade is expected to grow up to 3-6%
    BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to recover to growth of 3-6% this year, helped by COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the global economic recovery. Foreign Trade Department Director-General Keerati Rushchano said cross-border trade, which includes transit trade, is likely to generate 1.36 to 1.40 trillion baht, up from 1.31 trillion baht in 2020. […]

    BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to recover to growth of 3-6% this year, helped by COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the global economic recovery.

    Foreign Trade Department Director-General Keerati Rushchano said cross-border trade, which includes transit trade, is likely to generate 1.36 to 1.40 trillion baht, up from 1.31 trillion baht in 2020.

    According to Mr Keerati, the key risk factor that may derail border trade growth is the political chaos in Myanmar that will weaken purchasing power there and cause a delay in goods transport.

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    3 March 2021
    Economics
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/economics/83008-cross-border-trade-is-expected-to-grow-up-to-3-6.html
  • We’ll meet again: business travel changed – but not forever
    Now the future is looking brighter, will businesses stay loyal to Zoom, or will we return to the old ways of travel and doing business face-to-face?

    In the thick of the pandemic, it seemed hard to imagine that we would ever travel for business again. Health and hygiene concerns coupled with global lockdowns, conspired to take all our meetings online. However, now the future is looking brighter, will businesses stay loyal to Zoom, or will we return to the old ways of travel and doing business face-to-face?

    Business travel pre-pandemic

    Pre-COVID-19, business travel was booming. Between 2018 and 2019, US travellers alone took 462 million domestic business trips, with predictions putting this figure at nearly 500 million by 2022. In Europe, business travel accounted for 22.2% of travel and tourism’s GDP contribution. 

    And business travel was increasing disproportionately. When surveyed in 2018, 77% of travel managers in India expected their company to spend more on business travel in 2019, while in Spain, 25% of travel managers shared the same view. At a global level, business travel was expected to grow to $1.6 trillion in annual spend by 2020.

    Now boarding: COVID-19

    This all stopped abruptly when the pandemic started. By April 2020, 99% of business trips by European companies had been cancelled or suspended, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and it wasn’t much different across the world. In Europe, the global business travel sector is expected to take a £655bn revenue hit by the end of 2020.

    And it wasn’t just international business travel. Travel at a national level, between cities – especially for consultants and agencies who would usually travel to see their clients – all stopped, too. The majority of organisations implemented work-from-home policies, and nearly half restricted office access completely.

    Suddenly it was the age of the Zoom call and virtual meetings. Videoconferencing, messaging, collaboration tools and document sharing all became common for facilitating remote working. At the end of March 2020, Slack had added 9,000 new customers in Q1 – up from about 5,000 in each of the previous quarters. Zoom saw its shares go up 112% on the year. Meanwhile, in China, there was a surge in demand for video-conferencing apps such as Tencent’s WeChat Work and Alibaba-owned DingTalk, reported the BBC.

    Technology enabled people to stay connected, keep working, and ensure business continuity. In China, an IDC survey of CXOs in March found the top three positive impacts of the pandemic were ‘improved corporate ability of long-distance collaborative work’, ‘gaining ability of online marketing and business development’, and ‘wide recognition of the value of digital transformation and information technology among all employees’.

    New horizons

    Now, with the world beginning to reopen, things are starting to look more positive for business travel – though experts are keen to state that won’t look quite the same as before. “[In terms of carbon emissions from aviation] people were already thinking about traveling smarter,” says Suzanne Sangiovese, commercial and communications director, Riskline.

    “[Post-pandemic] not only will employers be looking for a way to limit their carbon footprint, but they will now also be operating on slimmer budgets and with a more comprehensive mindset regarding the effectiveness of virtual interaction.”

    Suzanne Sangiovese, commercial and communications director, Riskline.

    Yet, while Sangiovese suggests that business travel will shrink, not everyone agrees. “People have ‘had it up to here with Zooming,’” says Scott Solombrino, executive director and COO of the GBTA, speaking to Wired in May 2020. “It’s going to have to end sooner or later. I’ve seen this picture in the financial crisis, I saw the same picture after 9/11, and in 1987 when the stock market crashed.” 

    In fact, a recent survey by consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that around three-quarters of business travellers expect to travel the same amount or even more after the pandemic. Mark Manduca, aviation analyst at CITI suggests that business trips will still happen – they’ll just be less frequent and structured differently. “Eight individual trips to New York, for example, could be swapped for one three-month-long, meetings-filled stint,” he says

    Human connection 

    One thing that business trips still have in their favour is the human connection, which is good not just for employees’ mental health, but also for business profits, too. According to Harvard Business Review, a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email. A video call comes closer, but it’s still not as effective. “The travel people will win in the end because people still want human interaction, it’s a business style that’s not just going to change,” explains Solombrino. “You might not shake hands, but you’re still going to do the meeting.”

    If business travel looks like it could be revived, and people are still keen to meet – at least sometimes – what does this mean for the future of meetings and where they take place? 

    Conde Nast Traveller recently reported on several frequent corporate travellers from various industries including retail, finance, and entertainment who say virtual options such as Zoom and teleconferencing won’t meet their needs in the long term. They point to the million-dollar deals that require in-person conversations, to the logistics of coordinating a global conference and accommodating many different time zones.

    We’ll meet again

    If business travel looks like it could be revived, and people are still keen to meet – at least sometimes – what does this mean for the future of meetings and where they take place? 

    Some experts are proposing the concept of ‘meetings on a mission’ – focusing on streamlining the meetings process to get the most value from a shortened timeframe. Invitation lists are also likely to become shorter, with only the necessary people at future meetings to help minimise costs and allow people to stay closer to home whenever possible. 

    Knowing how to hold an effective meeting will be a valuable skill – being able to manage the many variables and provide advice on the best locations and partners. CEOs may want to consider appointing a ‘meeting tsar’ from within the business to advise on best practice as the landscape continues to shift. Some companies will rely on full-service meeting companies for ongoing professional assistance.

    Overall, it’s likely the definition of ‘basic requirements’ for meetings will evolve. These requirements will include not only access to technology, such as video conferencing, but also keeping attendees safe, improving communication and retention of information, minimising costs and managing potential health risks.

    Regus has established a meeting room safety protocol to ensure you can continue to use our meeting rooms in accordance with health and safety guidelines. This includes spaced seating arrangements to allow for physical distancing, moving around clockwise, and maintaining a safe distance for catering – all indicated with signage. Find out more and book your next meeting.

    The post Business travel changed– but not forever appeared first on Magazine Hong Kong.

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    3 March 2021
    Corporate
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=82973
  • Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry
    Last year, Thailand removed cannabis and hemp leaves from its list of banned narcotics (seeds and buds remain banned).

    Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry over the next five years, but farmers stand to make little from growing the herb, experts say.

    Last year, Thailand removed cannabis and hemp leaves from its list of banned narcotics (seeds and buds remain banned).

    Individuals are still prohibited from growing marijuana for sale, though universities, community enterprises, medical professionals and traditional medicine practitioners can seek a licence to grow it commercially.

    “We believe marijuana has great potential as a cash crop because more patients will start using marijuana-based drugs soon,” said Ravissa Suchato, an economist at Kasetsart University’s Agricultural and Resource Economics Department.

    Ravissa led a study titled “Economic Impact of Commercialised Cannabis Cultivation in Thailand”, which was funded by the Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TSRI) and covered both traditional and modern medicine.

    The study found that modern medicine has used marijuana to treat patients suffering from three key conditions – cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

    Two natural compounds found in plants of the cannabis genus, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are used in both traditional and modern medicine.

    THC produces a sense of euphoria (a “high”), while CBD has been shown to help patients suffering from anxiety, depression and seizures.

    In Thailand, cannabis-based medication is used for palliative care of cancer patients, not as a cure for disease, said Ravissa, adding that almost 1 million (996,743) patients are believed to have taken marijuana-based medicines in Thailand last year.

    The post Multipurpose marijuana could light up another economic engine for Thailand  first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

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    2 March 2021
    Business
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=82969
  • COVID-19 situation in Thailand as of 2 March 2021
    The post Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 2 March 2021, 11.30 Hrs. appeared first on TAT Newsroom. Read More here
    2 March 2021
    Tourism
    https://www.thailand-business-news.com/?p=82974