Economy March 08, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Telenor says it will keep investing in Thailand long-term

Norway’s Telenor takes the view that Thailand’s current economic and political problems are just short-term and will not affect its telecommunication business here, Sigve Brekke, group executive vice president and head of Asia operations, said yesterday.
He added that Telenor was a long-term investor in Thailand, which has yielded high returns to the group. Telenor Asia is strategic partner of Total Access Communication (DTAC).
This year the group is focusing on investment in Myanmar and India.
China top trade partner
China edged out Japan as Thailand’s largest trade partner for the first time last year, a research centre said yesterday.
Thai-Chinese trade reached US$64.97 billion (Bt2.097 trillion) in 2013, or 13.6 per cent of the total trade value that year, slightly above the 13.2 per cent accounted for by Thai-Japanese trade, reported the Kasikorn Research Centre, a subsidiary of Kasikornbank.
KResearch warned that Thailand’s trade deficit with China, which was $10.5 billion in 2013, was likely to be even higher this year.
“Exports to China in January 2014 declined 0.77 per cent year on year, while imports from China grew 3.4 per cent year on year,” said the economic think-tank. “As a result, Thailand suffered a trade deficit of $1.34 billion with [mainland China], the highest monthly change in six months.
KResearch also noted that China’s trade surplus with Asean had been on the rise since trade tariffs were eased under a free-trade agreement that came into effect in 2003.
“Chinese shipments to Asean were 16.9 per cent of their total in2013, rising from 8.5 per cent in 2003 when the Asean-China FTA became effective,” the researchers said.
“Thailand’s trade with Asean was 4.3 per cent of the Asean total in 2013, compared with 3.8 per cent in 2003, indicating that its products were losing market share in the region to China.
“Amid an influx of Chinese goods, our main casualties with a pricing disadvantage would include electrical and electronic appliances, textiles and garments, machinery, consumer goods, automobiles and parts, as well as furniture,” the research centre said. – DPA 
SEC, Japan’s FSA cooperate
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission has exchanged letters of cooperation with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to expand business opportunities between the two countries’ capital markets. 
The SEC led members of the Thai private sector on a business trip to Japan last month to meet Japanese executives from both the public and private sectors, aiming to strengthen collaboration with the FSA on regulatory frameworks and to seek cross-border business opportunities. 
SEC secretary-general Vorapol Socatiyanurak said the exchange of letters of cooperation resulted from continual collaboration between the two regulators over the past two years and was expected to create more opportunities for the Thai capital market to connect with its world-renowned Japanese counterpart. It would provide more choices for investors from the two countries and also widen channels for Japanese investors to connect with the Greater Mekong Subregion.
FSA commissioner Ryotaro Hatanaka said the exchange of letters enabled Japan and Thailand to continue and deepen their financial cooperative relationship in the long term.
The FSA is a Japanese government organisation responsible for overseeing banking, securities and exchange, and insurance.