Monthly Archives: January 2015

Thailand is trying to sell its huge rice stocks

One million tonnes. Thailand yesterday gave the kickoff to the biggest sale of rice auction since 2004. It is the first of the ten transactions contemplated by the government this year. The idea is to bring to market 10 million tonnes in total by December, still 7.8 million next year.
The world’s largest exporter will attempt to sell huge national reserves accumulated over the past few years, now graze the 18 million tonnes … a level equivalent to almost 40% of world exports.stock of rice in Thailand
The previous government, ousted by the junta in May 2014, was set up in 2011 a subsidy policy to support Thai rice farmers, which he bought their production up to 50% above the market price. But this program has had the perverse effect of driving up export prices, slowing the international sales (costing the country in passing its leadership for two years), and the national rice reserves were piled up.
Nearly a hundred of bidders qualified to participate in this first sale in 2015, said the Ministry of Foreign Trade, speaking of a “high demand”. Four smaller auctions were conducted in 2014, they have enabled Thailand to dispose of nearly 700,000 tons. But they kept the pressure on the price of Thai rice, which declined by 28% since early 2013, and industry experts expect the decline to continue this year. “Official sales continuously on an already well-stocked market will bring lower prices in 2015,” said Hamish Smith at Capital Economics.
Deteriorated stocks
Expectations are similar to the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO. “The sale will irrevocably depress the market,” adds David Dawe and quoted by Bloomberg. “Thailand is not the only country to have the stock on wants to get rid. The world in general has a very high level of stocks, “says FAO economist.thai rice
The major rice importers them either are not missing. In the two largest, China and Nigeria, the current stock status is good, according to FAO. Thailand says she will try to disrupt the market as little as possible.
But soon she will have to sell because the quality of the stored rice deteriorates. The junta has conducted an audit after taking power revealed that 90% of the reserves were damaged, and 20% were now unfit for human consumption.
With these tons of rice dumped on the domestic market, Thailand is expected to export much more than in 2014, according to the US Department of Agriculture. What bolster his return to World in the standings.

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Record nominations to the Board of Investment of Thailand

More than 2,000 investment projects worth 1.4 trillion baht was deposited to benefit from the Board of Investment promotional privileges for the month of December 2014, said Ms. Hirunya Sujinai, Secretary General of BOI.
For all of last year, 3,469 investment projects worth 2.1 trillion baht were the subject of an application to the BoI, which is the highest amount in terms of investment value for 50 years.
The number of projects and their value for 2014 represent an increase of 73% and 117% respectively compared to 2013.
Ms. Hirunya attributed the high number of projects to the willingness of investors to invest in Thailand. Apparently foreign investors were not unduly worried by the coup of May 22, and the prolonged absence of democratic elections.
Since the beginning of this year, the new BOI’s investment policy is in force. The new policy no longer encourages activities that have little added value, require intensive work, or involving little technology and / or simple production process. But she promotes new and interesting activities.

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Thailand is not out of the woods

Restarting in Thailand? This is what promises power from the military coup of May 22, 2014 with a growth of at least 4% for 2015. The World Bank is less optimistic. On January 14, it reduced its previous forecast of 3.6% to only 3%. On 2014, the economy will have grown to the best of + 0.5% or stagnated under the effect of a fall in domestic consumption and tourism and a sluggish exports, the main driver of the economy accounting for 60% of GDP. The automotive sector (Thailand is the first Asian Southeast car maker) has notably collapsed by 25%, the only indoor market plunged 40%. In November, the total industrial production of the kingdom fell for the twentieth consecutive month (- 3.5%).
Production capacity of this beloved country of foreign investors are employed only 60%. In short, if the “order” has returned, the economy is still paying a heavy price for the years 2013 and especially 2014 disturbances This period was marked by the confrontation between Yellow Shirts, ultra-royalists from urban elites and Red Shirts . Representing primarily rural northern populations, the “Reds” argued the former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra deposed a few days before the coup, including the establishment of a disastrous rice subsidy system. Since the arrival of the commander in chief of the army Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister, power promises the return to constitutional order after the adoption of a new constitution. This is being discussed and one of its challenges is banishment from public life of Yingluck Shinawatra. In short, nothing is settled.
Alongside this institutional issue, and while powerful techno continues to manage the country, the government “transitional” tries to revive the economy. In this country of 67 million, posting 334.5 billion euros of GDP, it has taken stimulus estimated at 8.64 billion euros: investment in infrastructure, administrative simplifications and further support to … rice, leaving skeptical observers. Treated with circumspection by much of the international community, the executive also seeks new friends. And turns to China. While traditional support of Thailand are Japan and the United States, Prayut Chan-o-cha began a pas de deux with Beijing. The reciprocal visits of senior leaders multiply. Both countries sealed in December, an agreement in principle for a high-speed train, the project repeatedly adjourned. China became the largest trading partner of Bangkok promises to double rice or rubber purchases. Was the support that can be.

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Thailand Shinawatra prohibited policy

Former Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra was banned Friday from politics for five years and faces up to ten years in prison for corruption, a doublet which may put fire to the powder between his supporters and the military junta. The National Assembly, composed of members appointed by the perpetrators of the coup in May 2014, voted the ban, by 190 votes in favor, 18 against and 8 abstentions. Hours earlier, the prosecution announced its next indictment for “corruption”, ensuring that this calendar coincidence was “fortuitous”.Shinawatra

“The prosecution has studied the testimony and evidence submitted by the Anti-Corruption Commission. We agree on the fact that the file allows to charge Yingluck,” said the prosecutor Surasak Threerattrakul told reporters. “She faces up to ten years in prison,” he added, if the court finds him guilty in the rice subsidy program that led the government to buy rice to 50% above the market prices. Yingluck, 47 years old, could be indicted “early March” and by then banned from leaving the country. Under martial law in a country where justice is deemed close to the ultra-royalist elites such as the military, this announcement sounds like a chopper.

Yingluck had followed the lead of his brother Thaksin, a former telecommunications magnate in exile, taking the head of government in 2011, after the victory of his party in parliamentary elections. Despite his attempts to reconcile the country deeply divided, Yingluck’s opponents have always seen this as a political novice puppet of his brother, sworn enemy of the elite, worried his electoral popularity, particularly in the north and north-east of the farm countries.

Thai junta is now accused of trying to permanently eliminate the influential Shinawatra clan politics, while the question of the succession of King Bhumibol, 87 years old, the supreme taboo in Thailand. Analysts said the ban on political activity Yingluck, coupled with a conviction in court, are part of the process of elimination.

Thailand, deeply divided between pro and anti-Shinawatra, is facing a recurring political crisis since the 2006 coup against Thaksin Shinawatra. It took the path of exile to escape prison on corruption charges already. Yingluck had testified before the National Assembly on Thursday to maintain his innocence and say that prohibit political life was based on “no legislation”, the junta has revoked the Constitution.

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Net reversal of Thai rice exports

Thailand exported a total of 10.8 million tonnes of rice in 2014, with a value of 5.37 billion according to figures from the Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarigalaya.
Thai rice exports in 2014 recorded an increase of 64% in terms of quantity and 22% in value compared to the 6.6 million tonnes exported in 2013 to a value of 4.42 billion.Thai  Rice
2015 provides the Minister for rice exports a number between 10 and 11 million tonnes.
Global rice production this year was estimated at 475.2 million tonnes, a decrease of 0.3% compared to 476.9 million tonnes last year due to the decline in rice production Thailand, India, Japan, Pakistan, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Nigeria.
Rice consumption this year was estimated at 482.9 million tonnes, 7.7 million tonnes more than production. Therefore, the volume of exports this year, estimated at 41.92 million tonnes, will be the highest in history.
Several rice-importing countries such as China, Iran, Nigeria and the Philippines are expected to increase their imports of rice this year, said General Chatchai.
According to the latest estimates published by the TDRI (Thailand Development Research Institute), the losses of the previous Thai government under the subsidized price for rice purchases could amount to a trillion baht (about 24.4 billion euros ).

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A Thailand-billion rail project E10,4 starts in September

BANGKOK, Jan. 18 (Reuters) – Thailand will start a project 400 billion baht (10.4 billion) construction of railway lines in September, announced Thursday the Deputy Prime Minister.

This vast project is the latest initiative of the military government to revive the economy and modernize its railway network.

Bangkok has an agreement with Beijing to build 873 km of tracks from Nong Khai, on the border with Laos, ports and industrial areas of the country. Another line will connect Bangkok to Saraburi province, in central Somalia.

“We think it will cost 400 billion baht and it will be over two or three years after the start of work,” said the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Prajin Junthong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transportation.

Work will start on 1 September.

Prajin Junthong said to the press that from 12 to 15 private companies were interested in funding this project. (Pracha Hariraksapitak; Juliette Rouillon for the French service, edited by Patrick Vignal)

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Tourism: Thailand trying to bounce back

The number of tourists visiting Thailand fell by 6.6% in 2014, mainly because of the political crisis and the fall of the ruble.
Some 24.7 million tourists visited Thailand in 2014, down 6.6% from 26.7 million in 2013 according to official figures.
The decrease in the number of tourists has also represented a decrease of 5.8% of revenues from tourism, according to Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavarangkul.
Political crisis and collapse of the ruble
According to the Minister of Tourism, tourism decline is due to the political crisis that has disrupted Thailand in the first half of 2014, and international economics.
The collapse of the Russian ruble has contributed to a fall of 21% of Russian tourist arrivals in November, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Russians are the second largest group of tourists visiting Thailand after the Chinese.
Phuket is one of the destinations most affected by the decline: according Anoma Wongyai, the director of the Tourism Authority of Phuket, the number of Russian tourists has dropped by nearly 40%.
“Discover Thainess 2015,” the new TAT campaign
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has a new campaign featuring the main aspects of Thai culture to boost tourism in 2015.
January 14, 2015, the opening ceremony of the new campaign “Discover Thainess 2015” is scheduled in Bangkok with a huge parade in the center of the capital from 18 hours, starting at the National Stadium through the intersection of Pathumwan to Lumpini Park Avenue through Rama I Road.

Thailand is a 13% increase in international arrivals in 2015 and 16% of the corresponding revenue. In late November 2014, the French country hosted 566.952 tourists, an increase of 3.5% compared to the same period in 2013.
Competition from Burma
The tourism industry is booming in Burma since the democratic opening began in 2010, and the attitude of increasingly open government to the international community.
Sites such as the temples of Bagan, Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, and archipelagos Myeik become popular destinations for South-East Asia.
An estimated five million tourists visit Burma in 2015 is a very significant increase compared to 2014, which has already registered a record 3.05 million people: a very rapid progression for a country considered a pariah there there is only a few years.
If the predictions come true in 2015, tourism growth will be even more important than between 2013 and 2014 (2.05 million tourists visited Burma in 2013).
The Burmese government plans to open a “development bank of tourism” that lend money to entrepreneurs interested in opening tourism-related businesses to meet the growing flow of visitors.
The Columbus Dispatch, an American online newspaper mentions for the first time Burma, along with other developing countries such as Cuba, as a new “hot spot” tourist destinations this year.
The publication also found that Asian cruises could become an important trend from this year, especially as countries like China are banking on an increase in cruise tourism capacity.
An increase in the number of rich people and the Chinese middle class means in recent years more and more Chinese travelers to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, also believes the Columbus Dispatch.

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Thailand will export less rice than expected to Africa in 2015

Thai rice exports to African countries will drop significantly this year because of the fall of the courses currently facing the oil and African agricultural development policies.

Indeed, this situation since October affects the purchasing power of most African countries, especially those, such as Nigeria, whose income depends mainly on the export of black gold . The country, which is one of the largest importers of cereal substantially reduce its purchases through a combination of factors including further decline in oil prices, the policy of the federal government’s plan to rice self-sufficiency.Thailand's rice

Thus, estimates Oryza, rice weaker than expected part to the increased volume of bilateral trade between Thailand and Nigeria should still spend $ 1.5 billion to $ 3 billion by 2020 according to the desire of the two countries.

Thailand will export about 10.5 million tons of rice, 500,000 tons less than its forecast which projected 11 million tonnes of rice.

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Thailand: a theater troupe in the viewfinder of the junta for defamation against the monarchy

Bangkok (AFP) – Exiled abroad to avoid jail for defaming the monarchy, members of a theater troupe denounce a witch hunt established in Thailand by the military junta that took power in a coup which multiplies the trial for treason.

Two actors are already behind bars for their role in the play “Bride of the Wolf”, covered by a series of complaints on the grounds that slandered the royal family under the guise of being a satire rooted in a fictional kingdom.bangkok

Six other artists of the troupe committed (“Prakai Fai”, “Setting fire” in Thai) is sought under section 112, which provides up to 15 years in prison for anyone found guilty of treason to the king, his wife and their descendants but also his ancestors.

Of the six artists sought, at least two of them have already fled the kingdom, joining a stream of dozens of intellectuals and political opponents in exile to escape the lese majeste cases opened by the military cascade since the coup last May.

“There was a fog over the kingdom,” criticism, on condition of anonymity a member of the troupe, told from exile by AFP.

“But we have to accept that Thailand still has laws that block critical opinions, laws that shut people’s mouths,” he said.

“Bride of the Wolf” was performed in October 2013 in the prestigious Thammasat University in Bangkok for the 40th anniversary of a student uprising, bloodily suppressed by the army. The verdict is expected on 23 February.

The two members of the group arrested the student Patiwat Saraiyaem, 23, and Porntip Mankong, 26, have both pleaded guilty at a hearing last week in Bangkok.

Multiplying the affairs of treason, designed to protect King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 87, the junta is accused of wanting to reshape the political landscape in depth, in order to permanently get rid of the influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin, himself in exile to escape a conviction for embezzlement.

In view of the King’s estate, sick, the lese majeste law “is used as a tool to get rid of the opposition,” complained the member of the theater group told AFP.

– Calls for the denunciation –

And reporting of any crime of treason is encouraged, with reinforced patrols “cyber scouts” tracking offenders on the Internet.

Groups of ultra-royalist volunteers as garbage collection Organisation have numbers specifically dedicated to these denunciations.

According to the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), based in Paris, 18 people have been arrested since the coup.

To this list, add several arrests of senior officers of the police accused of high treason, including relatives of the Srirasmi princess, wife of the crown prince, fallen from its title and separated from the prince.

Among the anonymous fallen foul of section 112, figure a taxi driver sentenced to two and a half years in prison after his passenger recorded his comments on his phone. A leading historian has meanwhile been the subject of a complaint for criticizing a king whose reign dates back over 400 years.

David Streckfuss rare analyst based in Thailand to accept comments on the subject, is expected to emerge “more business” with the use of denunciations by informers among the population.

The business started after the coup are now tried before military courts, further complicating the coverage of these trials by the local and international media, subject to strong self-censorship on the subject.

Unable eg example is what scenes of the Bride of the wolf are considered defamatory might also be prosecuted. The police itself does not say.

A close intellectual Redshirt (powerful pro-Thaksin movement), Jaran Ditapichai, is the origin of the participation of the troop Prakai Fai commemorations at Thammasat University. He also sued him for “high treason” and has received political refugee status in France.

Being prosecuted for treason is a very disabling life marker in Thai society, the message from the military dissidents in exile and more broadly to the public is clear. “When you are accused of Article 112, you can never come back to Thailand,” he said.

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The sumptuous villa holiday Jay-Z and Beyonce in Thailand

Beyonce and Jay-Z are on vacation during the holidays and they headed to Thailand for a new year sun, quiet and away from New York.

They had left Iceland in early December and three weeks later, after crossing the globe, these are in Thailand. Of course, they do not travel in the same way as us. They take a private jet, staying in the most exclusive establishments and eat lobster every meal.beyonce et jay-Z en Thailande ( Phuket )

When we allow ourselves a sunbed, they bask on a luxury beach bed, when we go to the beach, they enjoy a private Olympic pool. If your hotel room is 15m2, for them, it is the size of the toilet. So it’s no surprise that the duo has offered some holidays in Phuket, Thailand, in a sumptuous villa to 25,000 dollars a night.

A villa to 25,000 dollars a night

Yes, you read correctly! But that’s the price of peace, luxury and exclusivity. All research a couple of star holiday. This villa, nestled near the Aman Resort allows its not like other tenants to enjoy everything without worrying about anything. A butler is available round the clock, as the cook and a team that meets their every desire.

These desires, moreover, are very simple, according to local sources, “They make sandcastles with Blue Ivy on the beach”, “Jay-Z makes the bike” and the couple even attended Thai boxing match. Vacation “almost” like everyone else, finally …

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