Asean, Norway strengthen relationship
Norway says it is encouraged to support and contribute to the common endeavours of Asean such as regional connectivity and narrowing gaps human-resource development, as well as in the energy field.
Asean secretary-general Le Luong Minh also suggested that Norway share its expertise in mediation and reconciliation. He stated this during a meeting with Stig Ingemar Traavik, Norway's ambassador to Indonesia. Traavik presented his Letter of Credence as ambassador to Asean last week at the Asean Secretariat.
Traavik expressed his government's desire to strengthen relations and pursue practical cooperation between the two parties. He reiterated the intention of the government of Norway to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
As they exchanged views on recent developments in the region and Asean's efforts to forge a regional peaceful atmosphere conducive for economic growth and prosperity, Minh and Traavik expressed their wish to continue working closely and further strengthening the relationship between Asean and Norway.
Joint industrial zone plan
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand will propose to its board on February 28 incentives to draw in private operators for joint development of the Chiang Kong industrial zone in Chiang Rai, said the state agency's governor, Virapong Chaiperm.
Among the proposed incentives is the waiver of fees for operating the zone jointly with the IEAT, while the government would finance the complete construction of buildings in the area.
If the board approves the incentives, the IEAT next month will invite private operators to develop the zone jointly with it. They are expected to spend Bt1 billion on the project, to be completed in two years. The operators will have to conduct an environmental impact assessment.
According to a study, the suitable location of the Chiang Kong zone is close to Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge 4, which is expected to open in June.
Pensions could create 'fiscal crisis'
Pension payments are expected to reach 12 per cent of total government expenditure in the next 15 years and could pose "a crisis in fiscal management", said Finance Ministry permanent secretary Areepong Bhoocha-oom.
In the 2013 fiscal year, the pension cost was Bt159 billion, or 9 per cent of expenditure. This is forecast to rise to Bt552 billion or 12 per cent in 2028 and then Bt800 billion in 2035, based on the current government workforce of 2 million civil servants.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will lead a delegation of economic ministers, officials and 24 business leaders to visit Sweden and the European Union from March 4-7, primarily to promote medical tourism.
During the trip, European insurance firms will be proposed special packages for medical treatment in Thailand.
F&N holding rises
Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi has further raised his stake in Singapore’s Fraser and Neave with a holding amounting to 83.65 per cent as of Friday.
According to a filing to the Singapore Exchange yesterday, TCC Assets bought an additional 415,000 shares, or 0.03 per cent of total issued shares, at 9.43 Singapore dollars apiece. Combined with shares owned, controlled or agreed to be acquired by parties acting in concert, Charoen’s combined holding in F&N hit 1.2 billion shares or 83.65 per cent.
Krungthep Turakij TV will host a certified training session for "value-driven marketing" by Professor Philip Kotler on March 6. It will be the first time Kotler and Suthichai Yoon, chairman of Nation Multimedia Group, have shared their experiences in modern marketing techniques at the same forum. The event will be held at Centara Grand at CentralPlaza Ladprao.
At the evening session, a "CEO exclusive dinner" with Kotler will be held on the topic "Increasing Shareholders' Value".