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HSBC says it is staying in Thailand

Varanandha Sutthapreeda, vice president for communications at HSBC Thailand, yesterday said the company would continue to conduct wholesale banking in the Kingdom.

The bank recently sold its retail-banking and wealth-management business to Bank of Ayudhya, after which some of its retail customers speculated that HSBC would leave Thailand. One of HSBC's customers told The Nation that he was worried that such a departure would imply that it was not confident doing business here.

Thailand joins meet

Thailand is among 27 economies joining the World Trade Organisation's informal ministerial gathering in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan 28 today.

Hosted after the World Economic Forum, economic ministers of the 27 countries are expected to discuss trade procedures in a follow-up to the eighth WTO Ministerial Conference last month.

From 153 member countries, only 27 were selected because of their significant role in trade negotiations, said Srirat Rastapana, director-general of Thailand's Trade Negotiations Department.

"The host, Switzerland, aims to turn this into a stage where ministers directly exchange opinions and make proposals on proceeding with the Doha issues and others that will concern global trade as a whole," she said, referring to the Doha Round of global trade talks.

Other economies invited to the gathering include the US, the European Union, mainland China, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Representing Thailand is Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.

Amway sales up

Amway (Thailand) yesterday reported that its total sales grew by 8 per cent to Bt15.5 billion last year, of which health and beauty products generated the lion's share.

The company attributed its success to consistent marketing and better outreach to consumers via online media. This year it will focus on presenting innovations in its health and beauty products and continue to strengthen its brands.

Managing director Kittawat Ritteerawee said sales of health and beauty products accounted for 70 per cent of the total. Success was also due to the Amway Business Owners and Amway Members strategy.

"Those two factors helped us achieve our targets and gave us a solid foothold as the leader in Thailand's direct-selling business."

This year, Amway will keep its online and social-network marketing in high gear because these new media are strategic channels to reach the new generation effectively. Last year, the number of Facebook users who hit the "Like" button on the Amway, Nutrilite and Artistry pages more than doubled over 2010.

ID No for tax filing

The Revenue Department is asking taxpayers to use their 13-digit identity numbers instead of the 10-digit tax number for filings from February 1 onwards.

The department yesterday said that from now on individuals would use the 13 digits on their ID cards while corporates would use the 13 digits of their business registrations at the Commerce Ministry for annual tax filings. - The Nation


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