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Thailand economy plummets Print E-mail

May 25, 2009
by John Le Fevre


Thai EconomyThailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has reported that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 7.1 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009, with the consumer spending index (CSI) falling for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

The government think-tank said Thailand’s GDP declined 4.2 per cent in the last quarter of 2008, but predicted a flattening out to between 2.5 to 3.5 per cent for the entire 2009 year should the political situation stabilize.

More worrying is the drop in the CSI, which fell 2.6 per cent in the first quarter, the first drop since the 1997 Asian economic crisis. In 1998 Thailand’s GDP fell about 11 per cent.

NESDB secretary-general Ampon Kittiampon predicted slower declines in the next three quarters of 2009, if the political scene "stabilized" and the government could go ahead with investments in stimulus programmes.

"If the political situation doesn't deteriorate, I would say we have bottomed out," Ampon said.

The Thailand government is currently putting the finishing touches on a second economic stimulus package worth a reported $US45 billion aimed at enhancing the kingdoms agriculture potential, boosting food exports, and seeing it become a significant producer of alternative fuels.

The package will focus heavily on so-called “mega-projects”, with particular emphasis on infra-structure, schools, road construction, hospitals and residential developments.

The Government has also committed itself to reinvigorating Thailand’s tourism industry, which has suffered a fall in confidence levels following political protests late last year and earlier this year.

Presentation Ceremony of the Indian Sculpture "The Head" at the Central World Plaza, Bangkok Print E-mail

May 01, 2009
by Newsdesk


To mark the handing over of the Indian statue “The Head” by the India-Thai Chamber of Commerce to the Royal Kingdom of Thailand, a presentation ceremony was held at Central World Plaza, Bangkok on Thursday, 30th April 2009. His Excellency Teera Slukpetch, Minister for Culture of the Royal Government of Thailand, Khun M.R. Sukhumpan Baripatr, Governor of Bangkok, Her Excellency Ms. Latha Reddy, Ambassador of India, important Thai and Indian dignitaries and members of the general public were present on the occasion.

The presented sculpture was that of a beautiful Indian face, which had been sculpted by the world famous Indian artist, Shri Ravindra Reddy. India-Thai chamber of Commerce and Central Pattana Group were the sponsors of this project, which had been taken up to mark the 80th birthday of His Majesty, the King and also the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty, the King’s Accession to the Throne.

Mr. Kamal Nath, Commerce & Industry Minister of India, addresses United Nations ESCAP Print E-mail

April 28, 2009
by Newsdesk


Commerce & Industry Minister of India, Mr. Kamal Nath addressed a meeting of 53 countries of Asia – Pacific region at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok on Monday 27th April, 2009.

Participating in the 65th Session of the ESCAP, Mr. Nath called for concerted and coordinated efforts by the countries of the region to effectively tackle on triple crises – food, fuel and financial.  He stressed that the region’s poor must be provided support safety nets and social protection systems.  Referring to the theme topic of the Session – “Towards sustainable agriculture and food security in the Asia and the Pacific”, he mentioned the National Food Security Mission of India, which aims to increase the production of rice by 10 million tones, wheat by 8 million tones and pulses by 2 million tones on a sustainable basis by March 2012.

Help the Environment : Earth Hour 2009 Bangkok Print E-mail

March 24, 2009
by Amrit Rashmisrisethi

Earth Hour LogoOn March 28, the dazzling Bangkok lights will be dimmed, when authorities will call on the public to flick off switches from 8 to 9pm as part of 'Earth Hour 2009'.

Bangkok will be joining 680 cities in 47 countries and even more than twice the number that participated last year;  in a campaign that aims to raise awareness of global warming and the need to save energy.

The switch off will start on Khao San Road, triggering a lights out in other target areas including the Grand Palace and main roads like Silom, Ratchadapisek, Yaowaraj and Petchburi.

Prakob Jirakiti, deputy governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said that last year's campaign had cut electricity consumption by 30 per cent, or 1,348 megawatts.

'We'll work closely with the police to ensure safety in the areas that are switched off,' he added.

Mr Prakob said that the campaign would be extended to the provinces next year, with Chiang Mai a possible target. 

Thailand prescribes bug-free diet for asthma patients Print E-mail

March 23, 2009
by DPA (From Bangkok)


Thailand's health ministry has warned people suffering from asthma and allergies to avoid eating fried insects, a popular street-stall snack in Bangkok and other cities, media reports said Sunday.

A recent study conducted by the ministry found that the fried silk worms, grasshoppers and other six-legged delicacies often contain excessively high levels of histamine that can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks, The Nation newspaper reported.

According to ministry data, some 118 people were hospitalized between Dec 24 and Jan 7 with allergic reactions and food-poisoning symptoms after eating fried bugs from street vendors in seven provincial cities.

Insects have been on the menu in rural Thailand for centuries, but only in the past two decades have improved logistics and bulk bug wholesaling networks made the creatures widely available in urban centres.

Health officials warn that the bugs can pick up high levels of bacterial contamination during storage and transportation, while excessive reuse of cooking oil to fry the critters can also lead to toxic build up.

Thailand announces $39 bn stimulus plan Print E-mail

March 18, 2009
by DPA (From Bangkok)


Abhisit VejjajivaThailand plans to spend 1.4 trillion baht ($38.9 billion) to stimulate the economy over the next three years, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced Tuesday.

Abhisit said the money, to be raised with foreign loans, would be spent on investments in small infrastructure projects in education, transportation, and public health, the Thai News Agency said.

It is the second stimulus programme launched by Thailand this year. In January, the government allocated 116.7 billion baht ($3.35 billion) in cash handouts, tax cuts and subsidies in an initial response to the global financial crisis.

Thailand’s economy is expected to contract 1 to 2 percent this year. Exports, which account for more than 60 percent of gross domestic product, fell 26 percent in January.

Government revenues for the current fiscal year are expected to fall 150 billion baht ($4.2 billion).

Somdev, Prakash crash out, Bopanna advances in Bangkok Print E-mail

March 17, 2009
by IANS (From Bangkok)


Somdev DevvarmanIndia's Somdev Devvarman and Prakash Amritraj crashed out of the first round of $50,000 ATP challenger while Rohan Bopanna advanced to the second round here Tuesday.

Somdev, seeded eighth, blew the first set advantage to lose 3-6, 6-4, 4-6 to Austrian Martin Slanar while Prakash lost 3-6, 2-6 to Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Meanwhile Bopanna, who entered the main draw as a qualifier, overcame a late challenge from American Rajeev Ram to win 6-3, 7-6(7).

Bopanna will next play another qualifier Noam Okun of Israel who upset sixth-seeded Russians Michail Elgin 7-6 (7), 6-4.

In the doubles, second-seeded pair Prakash and Ram beat Thai wildcard pair of Siributwong and Peerakit Siributwong 6-4, 6-1 to enter the quarter-final. 

A bazaar by The Bangkok Caring Group! Print E-mail

March 17, 2009
by Newsdesk


The Bangkok Caring Group is delighted & proud to announce their annual upcoming bazaar scheduled to take place on the 21st March 2009 at the Swissotel Nai Lert Park from 9.30 a.m. To 5.30 p.m. in aid of various Thai Charities for the underprivileged young and elderly.

There will be a variety of selective booths from India, Thai and International countries, selling goods like Indian Saris, shawls, Indonesian Kaftans, jewelry, cosmetics paintings, and decorative items to name a few at extremely bargain prices.  Besides shopping there will be lots and lots of raffle draws and fun and games for children to play and win attractive prizes like Bingo, Darts and Horse Racing.

Last but not the least, not to be missed is the silent auction of some exclusive and beautiful items, with the starting beds of 50-70% discounts.

No admission fee.

Venue : The Swissotel, Nai Lert Park : 2 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: 02-2530123

Wishing you a very happy holi! Print E-mail
Happy Holi
Ancient Hindu sun god bead stolen from Thai museum Print E-mail

March 08, 2009
by Newsdesk/DPA


An ancient bead featuring the Hindu sun god Surya was stolen while on display at Thailand’s National Discovery Museum Institute, media reports said Saturday.

The stone bead, estimated to be 2,000 years old, was stolen Thursday from the Bangkok museum, where it had been on display since December 19.

Police said they suspected the thief removed a magnifying glass that was placed into the top of the glass case so visitors could better view the two-centimetre-wide bead.

Randhawa wins Thailand Open Print E-mail

March 08, 2009
by Newsdesk/IANS (From Phuket)


Jyoti RandhawaIndian golfer Jyoti Randhawa won the $500,000 Singha Thailand Open title at the par-70 Laguna Phuket Golf Club here Sunday.

It was Randhawa’s eighth title on the Asian Tour.
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