Economy May 19, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Work begins on road linking Phayao to Xayabouri in Laos

The construction and upgrade of roads linking Huak village in Phayao province to Xayaboury and Bokeo provinces in Laos has commenced and is expected to be completed within 30 months.
The cost of the 110km project is put at Bt1.39 billion, with financial support to be provided by Thailand’s Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA).
The construction contract was recently signed in Vientiane between the Laotian Ministry of Public Works and Transport and contracted companies. The signing was attended by representatives of the Thai and Laotian governments and Sino-Thai Engineering and Nawarat Patankarn. 
There is 110km of existing road from Huak in Phayao to Xayaboury and Bokeo in Laos, but the 3.5-metre-wide road is in poor condition and unsuitable for transport, especially in the wet season. The new road will be nine metres wide and paved with two layers of concrete. – Vientiane Times 
Suvarnabhumi passengers down
Political instability has affected the number of passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport, according to its operator Airports of Thailand.
Suvarnabhumi director Rawiwan Netrakhawesna said that in the May 1-15 period, the number of passengers dropped by 10 per cent from the same period last year. The number has been declining since the Songkran festival, she said, adding that this would probably worsen between June and August. She attributed the drop to several factors including political instability and onset of the low season.
Absent any unexpected factors, the airport serves about 300,000 passengers a day. However, that number has been falling because of disturbances aside from China’s new tourism policy. An earlier forecast said the number of passengers at the airport in 2014 would increase by 5 per cent from last year. But Rawiwan said given the negative factors, that target now seems unachievable, and could even go into negative territory.
Telecom rules relaxed
The telecom committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) recently revised its regulations to give holders of Type 1 licences a year to kick off their services, up from three months.
Coinciding with this revision, it will allow Tesco Lotus to launch a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service in August, said NBTC deputy secretary-general Korkij Danchaivachit. Tesco obtained a licence for such a service last August.
MVNOs do not have their own networks but lease them from telecom operators.
Business registrations slump
The number of new companies registered in Thailand dropped dramatically last month compared with April 2013, mainly because of political unrest, the Business Development Department reported.
The number of new registrations decreased 19 per cent year on year to 4,265 companies. Also, the figure decreased 11 per cent compared with March. Value of initial investment capital also dropped 322 per cent to Bt15.41 billion, compared with Bt72.93 billion in April last year.
“Inevitably, the political impact has caused some hesitation in setting up new business, but with strong economic fundamentals, investment in Thailand should continue,” department chief Pongpun Gearaviriyapun said.
VGI ad agent for Thai AirAsia
VGI Global Media has been selected by Phar Partnerships, which oversees marketing of AirAsia’s in-flight advertising space, as the exclusive ambient advertising agent for Thai AirAsia for three years.
VGI chief executive officer Marut Arthakaivalvatee said that under the partnership VGI would be responsible for advertising space in both the exterior and interior of each aircraft, similar to its role with the BTS Skytrain system, with which its sales team has become familiar.