Thailand in the News Week Ending 01/08/11

Bangkok Zoo’s New White Bengal Tiger Cubs

Bangkok's New Tiger Cubs

Apichart Weerawong/AP

Born on November 16th the 50 day old white Bengal tiger cubs were shown to the public for the very first time on Saturday which also happens to be Children’s Day in Thailand. The black and white female cubs appropriately named “One” and “Two” make up the 6th litter their 15 year old mother has given birth to in captivity.

The cubs are said to be doing very well and are being brought up as naturally as possible including being fed on mothers milk.

China To Build Trade Center in Thailand

China has found a new way to skirt Western trade tariffs while taking advantage of free trade agreements it has secured throughout South East Asia. China plans on building a massive $1.5 billion dollar trade complex in Thailand just outside of Bangkok. The China City Complex is expected to house over 70,000 merchants in its immense 5.4 million square foot facility.

Last year China signed a free trade agreement with most South East Asian countries that removes or significantly reduces tariffs on traded Chinese goods. By building a huge complex in Thailand, China will now be able to pass goods made in China through to the U.S. and European Union while avoiding the high tariffs imposed on many Chinese goods.

By selling Chinese goods in this way China will not only skirt high Western tariffs but they will also give the appearance of lowering their trade deficit with the West, which hit $16.8 billion with the U.S. in November and $13.6 billion with the EU. These deficits have become a huge issue in the U.S. and EU. which buy the bulk of Chinese exports each year.

Construction is scheduled to begin in March and take 18 months to complete. Thailand’s Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, is scheduled to chair a ceremony in Bangkok to officially unveil the project on Jan. 18.

Thailand Tourism Targeting the Middle East

Thailand Tourism

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that, despite the economic downturn, Thailand is continuing to attract an increasing numbers of visitors from the Middle East. figures show a sixty seven percent rise in September 2010 compared with September 2009.

While the figures for the final quarter of 2010 are still being confirmed, the Tourism Authority of Thailand expects the overall number of visitors from the Middle East to surpass 2009 levels by at least twenty percent.

For the first nine months of 2010 the total number of visitors from the Middle East stands at 392,294 and has already surpassed the total for the whole of 2009.

Pramoth Supyen, Tourism Authority of Thailand director for the Middle East said;

2010 proved to be a challenging year for all destinations due to various global and international events and Thailand was no exception. However, I am pleased to announce that due to the combined efforts of our travel trade partners and the continuing popularity of Thailand among residents of this region who appreciate the value and quality of experiences Thailand has to offer, that Thailand continues to grow strongly as a favoured destination of choice, and this is something that we are very pleased about. Given the circumstances a projected increase of twenty percent in 2010 is an outstanding result.


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6 Responses to Thailand in the News Week Ending 01/08/11
  1. Catherine
    January 10, 2011 | 1:32 pm


    Question. Does 70,000 merchants = Chinese merchants and their families?

    If so, I wonder how much the 70,000+++ are going to change the face of Bangkok and surrounding areas.
    Catherine recently posted..Winners- Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary iPhone AppMy Profile

    • Talen
      January 10, 2011 | 3:17 pm

      Cat, I believe it will be a mixture of Chinese and Thai merchants all selling Chinese goods and acting as a trade center for merchants from all over…especially the U.S. and the EU.

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  3. Mike
    January 11, 2011 | 2:33 pm

    Talen love the tiger cubs.

    I was reading somewhere the other day that tourist figures are up but down from Europe and the US.
    Which I suppose just reflects the economic trends at the moment.

    Taking a look round locally we seem to have quite a few Europeans visiting PKK which is normal in December/January although none of the expat property owners on my development have visited for over 12 months.
    Mike recently posted..Don’t Sell Land to Foreigners in PhuketMy Profile

    • Talen
      January 12, 2011 | 10:32 am

      Mike, the tiger cubs are adorable. I’m hoping to get a chance to see them next month.

      Definitely a lot of Europeans around in my neck of the woods…I’ll be glad when high season is over.

  4. Lucus
    January 30, 2011 | 8:36 pm

    Those tiger cubs are the cuttest! Just on a side note, China’s economy is in big trouble, they will highly likely experience a recession of their own sometime in the next 12-24 months.