ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai-Myanmar talks due
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak will be leading major Thai businesses to meet a team of Myanmar officials and businesses to seek further cooperation in developing industrial estates in Myanmar and border trade operations on Feb 3-4.
Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the Thai business group, which comprise PTT Plc (PTT), Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Ch. Kanchang Plc (CK), are due to meet the team of Myanmar officials, which includes an adviser to Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mr Uttama said the head of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) will be joining the trip to seek ways to develop new estates in Myanmar.
"We need to amend some Thai laws to allow the IEAT to develop new estates outside Thailand. Prior to that we need to talk with partners in Myanmar partner and understand what they need from us," he said.
He added that the Myanmar economy is entering a new era, where industry will be expected to play a major role in driving the growth and the country needs Thailand's expertise to help improve its industrial sectors.
The Federation of Thai Industries and the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) will also join the contingent and will be meeting with Myanmar businessmen, with the expectation of creating new economic partnerships and business ties that will lead to further investment expansion in the future.
In related news, the Industry Ministry announced that the manufacturing production index (MPI) rose for the second straight month to 105.72 in December, driven by rising demand in the steel and iron industry and continued growth in the electronics sector.
The MPI for the whole of 2016 rose by 0.5% year-on-year to 108.2, said OIE director-general Verasak Supprasert.
The full-year rise in the MPI was slightly below the previous forecast of 1-2% growth, largely due to falling exports.
Mr Verasak said the Industry Ministry expects the MPI for the this year will rise 0.5-1.0%, while the country's industry GDP will grow 1.5%.
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