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AGRICULTURE

Thailand to apply to the EU for jasmine rice protection

Thailand is planning to apply to the European Union for geographical indication (GI) protection for Thai jasmine rice from Thung Kula Rong Hai, the country's largest planting area, which would be the first such registration by an Asean country.

Published on October 27, 2007



Intellectual Property Department director-general Puangrat Asavapisit said yesterday that jasmine rice from this famous area had been registered by the department.

Together with the Agriculture Ministry, Foreign Trade Department and the private sector, the agency will draft an application to the EU. The draft is expected to be finished in February or March.

If approved, jasmine rice from Roi Et, Yasothon, Surin, Maha Sarakham and Si Sa Ket would be protected.

Thailand will seek support from France for the registration.

So far, 41 applications for GI registration have been received, of which 34 are from Thai companies and the rest from foreign firms. Already 22 applications have been registered.

Securities

Phatra's Q3 profit down 14%

Phatra Securities' third-quarter net profit was Bt133.56 million, a decrease of Bt22.39 million or 14.36 per cent from Bt155.95 million in the same period last year.

Revenues amounted to Bt442.06 million, a decrease of Bt448.37 million or 1.41 per cent from Bt448.37 million in the third quarter of 2006. The fall in revenues was mainly due to a Bt65.21-million increase in brokerage fees, while fees and services income decreased by Bt60.82 million and interest and dividends by Bt25.12 million.

Net profit for the first nine months was Bt356.6 million, a decrease of Bt230.12 million or 39.22 per cent from Bt586.72 million in the same period last year.

Tin mining

Tonghah Harbour reversal

Tongkah Harbour announced a third-quarter consolidated net loss of Bt42.14 million, compared to a net profit of Bt16.42 million in the same period last year.

The company said the loss was due to the high royalty rate for tin and a steep increase in operating costs, particularly fuel. The company decided to suspend operations pending final review by the government of the proposed reduction in the current level of the royalty rate.

Sales and administrative expenses increase by Bt15.2 million over the same quarter last year, a 50.84-per-cent increase.

 Bank of Thailand

$81.8 bn in foreign reserves

The Bank of Thailand said yesterday that its foreign reserves as of October 19 were US$81.8 billion (Bt2.79 trillion), compared with $81 billion a week earlier.

The central bank said in a statement that its net forward position in the foreign exchange markets was $15.3 billion, compared with $14.3 billion on October 12.

exports to europe

Seminar on EU food standards

The National Bureau of Agricultural Commodities and Food Standards has joined hands with the European Union Delegation of the European Commission to arrange a seminar on "food contact materials", to ensure better understanding by Thai exporters of new standards next year.

The seminar will be held at Siam City Hotel in Bangkok on November 1. Thai and European experts will provide knowledge and details of the new inspection measures.

Sorapol Therapat, executive director of the bureau, said yesterday that the EU new inspection measures, particularly the restrictions on material and cellulose film packages, would be effective next July. The new measures will concentrate not only contamination and residue in foods, but also on packaging under the food contact materials requirement.



Chulalongkorn

ICT upgrade for university


Affirming its vision to take advantage of information and communications technology, Chulalongkorn University has put in place a service-control solution from Cisco to optimise bandwidth usage and prioritise network traffic for researchers, students and staff.

The new solution allows researchers to efficiently use the Internet and Chulalongkorn's own network, which is also built with Cisco equipment, to collaborate with their colleagues in other institutions, while ensuring sufficient bandwidth on the network for students to communicate with their lecturers and peers and to access academic resources.

Datapro Computer Systems, a Cisco Silver Certified Partner, installed and configured the solution.

Kamales Santivejkul, vice president and chief information officer, Chulalongkorn University, said the university was committed to using ICT to continuously improve its research capabilities, academic services and management processes, in order to achieve Chulalongkorn's goal of becoming a reference point for a knowledge-based society in Thailand.

Tourism

Nam Hai 'best new beach resort'

The results of the 18th TTG Travel awards 2007 have been announced and The Nam Hai, a luxury property managed by General Hotel Management (GHM), has been named Best New Beach Resort.

The annual TTG Travel Awards seeks to honour the most outstanding performers in the Asia-Pacific's travel industry. The awards ceremony was held last night at the Sofitel Centara Grand in Bangkok.

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