Legfrisebb Hírek

Bird flu not affecting poultry supply

The bird flu epidemic will not cause a substantial shortage of poultry meat in the domestic market this year; however, the situation in the sector has been aggravated by export restrictions and the coronavirus epidemic, the Ministry of Agriculture has said.

Hungary’s level of self-sufficiency in poultry products averages out at 180%, which is between 130-140% for chickens, 150-160% for turkeys, and 200-220% for aquatic poultry.

This means that domestic companies produce much more than the Hungarian population consumes, and in addition to meeting domestic needs, the sector carries out significant exports every year.

Meat and chicken in a supermarket and on the market

  • Meat usually costs about 3,2 USD = 1000 HUF per kilogram, up to 6,4 USD = 2 000 HUF depending on the part
  • Chicken, thighs and legs 1,8 USD = 565 HUF per kg.
  • Chicken breasts 3,8 USD = 1 200 HUF whole chicken 2,2 USD = 700 HUF
  • Ready-made grilled chicken 3,8 USD = 1 199 HUF per kg.

The outlook for Hungary poultry for the rest of 2020 is relatively positive, but under more volatile conditions due to coronavirus. Products will be sold more in supermarkets and home delivery. Supply will be increasingly impacted by disruptions in distribution and reduced labour availability, given the rise in coronavirus cases and government interventions to reduce the spread.

Source: Budapest Business Journal

Special Skin Care Solutions for Babies

Nednaphit Rungthanakiat, Managing Director of Lamoon Baby, explains how she started her own business eight years ago.

In 2011, she launched the brand Lamoon Baby, offering organic baby products for infants with sensitive skin. The first six products were a baby and hair wash gel, laundry liquid, baby accessories cleanser, bottle and nipple cleanser, sanitizer spray, and a cotton baby blanket.

After that, she has added more product lines, such as an organic baby wet wipe, a breastfeeding cover, a breast therapy pack for nursing mothers, a baby powder made from rice flour and baby toothpaste.

“Our products have 100% organic natural ingredients, and are chemical, fragrance and paraben free. They are certified by USDA from the US and Ecocert from France.” Rungthanakiat says. “Our customers can feel certain they will get high quality products for their beloved babies and themselves because our products are suitable for everyone with sensitive skin.”

She adds that her customers are well-educated mothers who are seeking the best for their babies. Once they feel satisfied with her products, they tell their friends, who may later become customers too..

Rungthanakiat believes the success of her business is due to her understanding her customers’ requirements, and her never compromising on quality.

“I am a mother, I know what mothers want for their baby. My company carefully selects high quality natural ingredients to make our products,” she says. “A convenient distribution channel is also key to business success. Customers can purchase our products through online or offline channels. We have a 24-hour customer service on Line applications because we know many mothers are online around the clock.”

Rungthanakiat plans to extend her distribution channels into leading supermarkets in Thailand, as well as exploring opportunities in target overseas markets.

For more information about Lamoon Baby, please visit www.lamoonbaby.com

Source: DITPTHINKTHAILAND

DITP Encourages Circular Economy Products

The DITP is encouraging entrepreneurs in the textiles, garments and lifestyle industry to implement the circular economy concept in designing and developing products.

They should utilise technology, innovation and creativity to lengthen the product lifecycle and maximise efficiency of resource use without creating waste and pollution throughout the production process.

“This will help Thai entrepreneurs to grow their businesses sustainably by cutting costs and increasing revenue as well as boosting their competitiveness, conserving the environment and protecting consumers,” DITP Director-General Somdej Susomboon said on June 16.

Initially, about 30 products are being developed under this programme and they will be launched at the TEXWORLD PARIS in September 2020 in France.

Source: DITPTHINKTHAILAND

OECD: COVID 2nd Wawe Would Mean 10% hit to Hungary’s Economy

The OECD has predicted Hungary’s economy will suffer a contraction of between 8-10% this year, depending on whether there is a second wave of the COVID-19 virus (the so-called “double-hit” scenario), the organization says in its latest Economic Outlook, entitled “World Economy on a Tightrope”.

In its chapter on Hungary, the OECD report acknowledges the actions taken by the government to try and alleviate the crisis, and makes suggestions for future policy steps, noting that “the pandemic is causing severe economic disruptions due to closures in manufacturing and large parts of the service sector, and an abrupt decline in international trade.”

In both the single- and double-hit scenarios, the OECD predicts a recovery in economic activity in 2021 “bolstered by the release of pent-up demand”, although it notes it would be faster in the former than latter case.

COVID Contained

The OECD says the COVID-19 outbreak reached Hungary relatively late, with the first cases reported only in early March. “Strict measures have helped to contain the number of new cases […]. The capacity of the health system has been scaled up rapidly. This helped to keep the health crisis under control,” the report says

It notes that the government introduced restrictions in parts of the economy on March 29 to fight the virus. In consequence, large parts of the services sector remained closed in April. Moreover, a large part of manufacturing ceased or slowed production as foreign demand weakened.

Short-term indicators show that economic activity was already slowing before the shutdown, OECD says. Business and consumer confidence fell to all-time lows in April, before picking-up in May. The number of registered jobseekers rose sharply,by 26.5%, in April compared to the same month in 2019.

“The automotive sector accounts for nearly a third of manufacturing output and was particularly hard hit, with production ceasing as international supply chains were disrupted and demand collapsed,” the OECD finds.

Automotive wasn’t the only important field badly hit, however. “The tourism and supporting sectors, which have a high share of small firms and employ around 10% of the workforce, are heavily affected, notably hotels and hospitality services.”

The OECD says the COVID-19 outbreak reached Hungary relatively late, with the first cases reported only in early March. “Strict measures have helped to contain the number of new cases […]. The capacity of the health system has been scaled up rapidly. This helped to keep the health crisis under control,” the report says.

Prompt Policy

The report praises the government for reacting “promptly.” Under its emergency law (in place until June 20), the government has introduced measures amounting to HUF 223 billion and announced a HUF 663 bln Epidemic Prevention Fund to step up healthcare capacities.

Indeed, the OECD says the government has put together a fiscal package worth 4.4% of GDP, including wage and investment subsidies, tax deferrals, and cuts to employers’ social security contributions. In addition, a HUF 3.6 trillion moratorium on loan payments offers debt relief until the end of 2020.

“A total of HUF 2.5 tln (5.4% of GDP) in state loans and guarantees were made available to struggling businesses,” OECD says.

Outlook Uncertain

In the double-hit scenario, GDP will fall by 10% in 2020, with a recovery to 1.5% predicted in 2021, largely based on a projected release of pent-up demand. However, the OECD also warns “as international supply chains will be difficult to restore, the economy will be left with large under-utilized resources by end-2021.”

In the more optimistic single-hit scenario, economic activity is projected to decline by 8% in 2020 but then rapidly grow by 4.6% in 2021.

“A strong rebound is projected for investment, which is supported by higher inflows from European and national funds.”

The difference between the two is wide, which has led some to think the OECD is being too cautious.

For both OECD scenarios, the main downside risks are longer lockdown periods and more lasting harm to the economy through unemployment and business closures.

“A sharp contraction of the global automotive sector would hit Hungary hard, given the economy’s dependence on the sector,” the report warns.

“Labor misallocation risks becoming a larger problem as the short unemployment benefit period may encourage jobseekers to take on less qualified jobs.”

Upside risks include a faster-than-expected recovery of international supply chains, which would help restore production faster.

 

Source: Budapest Business Journal

Kaufland Horvatska Introduces Insect-Based Food Items In Croatia

Kaufland Horvatska has introduced insect-based products in Croatia which, it claims, is enjoyed by over a billion people worldwide.

Kaufland  Horvatska retailer has advertised its offer in its catalogue with the slogan, ‘Instead of chips, nibble on crickets, instead of grilled minced meat opt for insect burgers’.

The assortment includes crispy crickets with spices or natural flavours, burgers made of cricket flour as well as protein cookies from bugs in almond, chocolate or brown sugar flavours, and protein snack bugs.

‘Eco-Conscious’ Food

Kaufland Horvatska described the new products as ‘healthy, eco-conscious, and highly nutritious foods’ and shared data on sustainability.The production of 1 kilogram of insect food requires 1 litre of water and emits 1 gram of CO2, while 1kg of beef needs 22,000 litres of water with CO2 emissions amounting to 2,850 grams.

In addition, 100 grams of beef contains only 19.4 grams of protein, while 100 grams of insects offer 69 grams of protein.

Source: Tportal Croatia

DITP champions Thai digital content in time of lockdown through the first online virtual exhibiton

DITP (Department of International Trade Promotion) under the Ministry of Commerce is committed to lead the digital content industry of Thailand through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the department acted quickly to organize the MOVE event (Multimedia Online Virtual Exhibition) – the first event of its kind in the world.

Through an online platform which hosted Thailand’s top content producers and service providers, visitors had an opportunity to gain valuable information about the industry in Thailand, the opportunities available, and the companies operating. The three-day business matching event from 25th to 27th May allowed registrants to engage in one-on-one meetings using video-conferencing technology.

The results for this inaugural event were impressive. There were over 30,000 visitors to the site. 354 online business meetings were conducted, and generated revenue was estimated at over $56m (1.8 billion Baht) Mr. Somdet Susomboon, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion, said –

Mr. Somdet Susomboon, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion

“A crisis can also bring opportunity. The situation created by the COVID-19 outbreak has required many industries to respond rapidly in adapting to the new business environment. A key element is to identify and implement new marketing strategies.With this aim, the department initiated a virtual trade show event to bring Thai and international companies together via a dedicated platform MOVE.DITP.GO.TH.

We modelled the event on successful international trade shows, and aimed to simulate the experience by providing information, interaction, and a showcase of content and services. All sectors of the digital content industry were included – film, TV, animation, characters, VFX, games, production, and post-production services.

The three-day business matching event used video conferencing technology to allow private one-on-one meetings, in which participants could not only interact, but also view trailers, send files, and review product information.

The success of this event is encouraging, as it clearly demonstrates the potential of virtual exhibitions as a marketing technique in the new business environment that will emerge as a result of COVID-19.”

Visitors to the site came from many countries; the top five were the United States, France, Thailand, Vietnam, and Germany.

The business matching meetings found most participants from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore. The total estimated value of these negotiations is estimated at over $56m (1.8 billion Baht).

Amongst the successful negotiations were:

  • Benetone Films are in discussions to bring productions from Australia to film in Thailand
  • Kantana Motion Pictures has found a new partner in Hong Kong to collaborate on a major esports tournament in Asia
  • Sahamongkolfilm International is in negotiations with a company in Uruguay to distribute its content throughout South America
  • M Flow Entertainment found a partner in Myanmar to create a combined talent representation.

“We are delighted to have demonstrated the enormous potential of the on-line platform as a component in our ongoing mission to lead the digital content industry through the COVID-19 situation. It provides an exciting opportunity for Thai entrepreneurs to connect to international investors, clients and partners, and adapt their business strategy to keep in step with a changing world.”

Media Contact
Company Name: Office of Service Development and Promotion Department of International Trade Promotion
Website: http://move.ditp.go.th

Source: ABNewswire.com

 

Weekly eco news as of June 2, 2020

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved the proposal of the National Security Council to extend the country’s current state of emergency until the end of June

Thailand hopes to produce COVID-19 vaccine next year 

The Thai government has approved the second phase of the easing of lockdown measures from May 17 as the country logged zero new cases for the second time.

The government also allowed stores in department stores or communities mall such as consumption, computers, electrical appliances, bedding, building materials, furniture, office supplies, flowers, clothes, cosmetics and sport equipment to reopen from May 17th onwards.

But restrictions on transportation – no regular international transport, and strict screening of inter-provincial transport, remain unchanged.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha

Thailand hopes to produce COVID-19 vaccine next year

The vaccine, developed by Thai researchers, is an MRNA vaccine designed to help the body create immunity against the new coronavirus could be available as early as next year.

Thai researchers have completed a trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine with rats, to be followed by a trial in monkeys. The team coordinated with North American manufacturers to produce the first batch of the vaccine.

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, said  regarding the development of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 in Thailand, that the vaccine had passed its trial in rats, with the next step being a trial in monkeys.

The vaccine, developed by Thai researchers, is an MRNA vaccine designed to help the body create immunity against the new coronavirus. It could be available as early as next year, provided that all tests are successful. The Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, has ordered the development to progress urgently.

Dr Taweesin said, “Chulalongkorn University’s Vaccine Research Center has joined forces with the National Vaccine Institute and the Department of Medical Sciences in this vaccine development, in which initial tests on lab rats have been successful. The vaccine will be tested on monkeys. The Minister of Higher Education said the Prime Minister has ordered the project to move along urgently, ensuring that Thailand would be among the first countries to have a vaccine available.

“This is good news for Thai people, and deserving of praise for Thai scientists.”

CCSA spokesman said today that researchers have coordinated with manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada to produce the first batch of the vaccine, which will be used in clinical trials with human volunteers.  After a promising outcome from trials in rats, an anti-virus vaccine prototype developed by Thai researchers is now being tested in monkeys, with the results expected by September.

Weekly eco news as of June 2, 2020

35% of Hungarians shop online more than ever, Mastercard says 

The COVID-19 crisis will result in permanent change to our shopping behavior

The popularity of e-commerce is on the rise in Europe, with approximately 35% of Hungarians saying they have never shopped as much online as in the last few weeks according to research by Mastercard.

In Europe as a whole, some 32% of respondents say they have bought books online during the coronavirus pandemic. The second and third most popular categories are hair care products (19%) and fitness equipment (13%).

Books are also the most popular among Hungarians (23%), followed by kitchen utensils (21%). According to the research, many of the surveyed have purchased hair dyes and IT equipment as well (12% both).

Approximately 30% of Europeans are spending more money on virtual entertainment than before. Nearly 58% of Europeans use streaming services to watch movies, 26% of them take part in online workout sessions, while 24% visit museums and other locations virtually.

Various forms of online entertainment are popular in Hungary too, with 40% of respondents saying they use streaming services. Virtual workouts (20%) and museum visits (15%) are nearly as popular as in Europe. Watching concerts (35%) and standup comedy shows (30%)  online are also among the favorite forms of entertainment in Hungary.

Some 28% of Europeans say that they have donated to the charity of their choice online, with 14% doing so for the first time ever. However, online donations are somewhat less popular in Hungary, with only 18% of respondents answering that they have made a donation in the last few weeks, with 7% doing so for the first time.

People across Europe also use the extra time they spend at home to learn new online skills: 37% of respondents started banking online, more than 28% are trying to learn how online healthcare and ordering medicines work, and 31% of them are learning how to cook with the help of an instructor.

In Hungary, 39% say they have started online banking for the first time, while 25% are learning how to cook. The third most popular activity in the country is studying online, with about one in five respondents looking for an opportunity to do so.

Discount hunters remain discount hunters online as well

According to Mastercardʼs findings, oneʼs shopping habits are likely to remain unchanged when looking at products online. About 81% of Europeans and 83% of Hungarians who are normally on the lookout for special discounts in real-life stores say that they continue to do so online as well. About 51% of new online shoppers in Europe remain loyal to their favorite real-life stores even online. In Hungary, this rate is even higher at 65%.

Some 65% of Europeans and 59% of Hungarians are afraid of being scammed online. In order to ensure the security of online transactions, approximately 81% of Europeans and 84% of Hungarians only purchase products by sellers they already know. In addition, 80% of Europeans and 85% of Hungarians also check customer feedback. Circa 31% of Europeans contact new or unknown sellers, while 33% of Hungarians do so.

“We are all adjusting to a new way of living and are understandably shopping more online, though it’s not just for essentials but for virtual experiences ranging from films to fitness too,” says Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard Europe.

The COVID-19 crisis will result in permanent change to our shopping behavior and ways of conducting business in Europe including Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria as well.  While some businesses have experienced a temporary shortterm peak in demand, other categories will be moving online for good. Why?

  1. Convenience beats price as the #1 reason for online shopping: We are getting used to online convenience, and new habits quickly become persistent. Last year, convenience topped the list of reasons for online shopping. Essential product categories, such as beverages and fresh food, may be particularly susceptible to the convenience wave.
  2. The risk of a pandemic blowback leads to continued social distancing: There is an underlying concern in society about a pandemic blowback in the midterm, and the increased focus on personal hygiene and social distancing will encourage continued online shopping, reinforcing behavioral change in the longer term.
  3. Intensified online competition: E-commerce players seeing a surge in volume will do everything in their power to retain their newly acquired customers through loyalty programs, subscription models, promotions, and expansion of the product range. The competition intensifies with consumers using price engines and referral sites to find the best deals online.
  4. New distribution and logistics capacity: Distribution companies are experiencing an overwhelming demand for last-mile and contactless package delivery, which has enabled them to build up new capacity.
  5. Elderly consumers go online: As the elderly population is in self-imposed quarantine (and for longer time), their online shopping is expected to further increase as the existing behavioral trend is accelerated. The population aged 65 years and above consists of relatively high proportion of the society in Europe, thus making up a sizable customer segment for companies to serve digitally in the future.

Source: Budapest Business Journal

Weekly eco news as of May 25, 2020

Thailand BOI Approves Steps to Ease COVID-19 Impact, Accelerate Investment in Medical Sector

As Asian supply chains reshuffle in the wake of the pandemic, the government is focusing its efforts to attract foreign investors in need of a new manufacturing base around the medical devices sector, a promising industry in light of the health crisis.

Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, said at a press briefing after a board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha in Bangkok. “The measures for the medical sector aim to enable a rapid response to the situation, while paving the way for longer-term development.”

The Board of Investment (BoI) aims to set up joint ventures or convince foreign firms to move their manufacturing base for medical devices here.Sonklin Ploymee, executive director of industrial linkage development at BoI, said the group is focusing on developing the country’s subcontracting sector to serve new targeted industries in the future. “Initially the BoI will focus on the aerospace, medical devices, electric vehicle, smart electronics and the railway system sectors,” she said.

The division has successfully conducted several programmes to assist foreign assemblers and manufacturers with sourcing high-quality parts and components from Thai small and medium-sized enterprises.

Suthiket Thatpitak-Kul, in charge of investment promotion for bio- and medical industries under the BoI, said the government aims to develop Thailand as the medical devices hub of Asean.

The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) approved a series of measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak on business, including steps to encourage rapid investment in the manufacturing of medical equipment.

The board also approved incentives to promote technology-based “smart farming” solutions as well as research and development in a broader range of sectors.

To address the increased demand for medical equipment and supplies resulting from the outbreak, the BOI approved amendments to BOI-eligible businesses and enhanced benefits related to the medical sector with a view to accelerating investment in the production of important medical equipment and supplies. Moreover, support will also be given to the modification or transformation of existing production lines to increase the domestic availability of medical supplies.

The measures approved  include the following:

  • Accelerate investments in the medical sector
    • (1) Apart from the 3 to 8 year tax holidays, a reduction of 50 percent of corporate income tax for an additional 3 years will be given to qualified investments in the medical sector.
    • (2) A measure to support the adjustment of existing production lines to manufacture medical devices or parts by exempting import duties on machinery on the condition the equipment is imported within 2020 and the application for production line adjustment is filed by September 2020.
    • (3) Adjustments to the benefits granted for the production of raw materials used in the manufacture of medical products to encourage a more complete value chain in Thailand.
  • Temporary relaxation of investment conditions 
    The board agreed to relax deadlines in cases such as the duty-free importation of machinery and the full operation start-up, as well as waivers for applications for temporary cessations of operations for a period of more than two months.

More information are available at:  www.boi.go.th

Weekly eco news as of May 25, 2020

How did Covid-19 change the consumption of Bulgarians?

The Covid-19 situation in the country and the realities of the global pandemic have changed consumers and their behavior. There is a strong rationalization of the consumer model, shrinkage of spontaneous purchases and selection of specific objects according to convenience criteria.

The data show a lower frequency of visits to retail outlets, while increasing the size of the basket for a single purchase. There is also a keen interest in neighborhood stores, and collective shopping is shifting in the direction of self.

In general, there is no drastic contraction in consumption in Bulgaria, but rather selective changes in relation to different types of products.

„The consumer is changing his behavior, but given the situation, he is also looking for familiar principles to streamline his choices. Whether and how this will change in the next few months depends on various factors. But one thing is clear – the Bulgarian will continue to shop, and his choice of brand and product will largely depend on the provocations that will be addressed to him, “said Julian Dobrev from BluePoint Reasearch Co.Ltd.

What goods does the Bulgarian buy?

Consumption of food products is growing, with 1/5 of consumers declaring the preservation of their consumption, but switching to cheaper brands. There is a serious decline in snacks, chips and chocolate and  alcohol products.

The reductions in consumption are most serious among the oldest respondents. There are also declines in the purchase of clothing and footwear, which is most pronounced in the two pole generations – baby boomers and generation Z.

The majority (66%) of consumers feel insecure. 75% of respondents trust familiar products, and the way brands react in the current situation adds to the importance of choosing 64% of respondents.

“The study and subsequent discussion with representatives of leading companies from different sectors showed that proper analysis of consumer change could now unlock business opportunities for new products that meet much more accurately the future needs of consumers in the country.  ”, commented Maria Slavova, Executive Director of All Channels Group.

Interest in online food orders will continue to grow. This is a global trend, and the extraordinary measures related to the pandemic have given an additional impetus to online trade.

According to representatives of Fantastico retail chain there is a big decrease in the sales of beer, soft drinks, confectionery, but the most serious decrease is at the culinary stands, the oven and the unpackaged products – salads, confectionery showcase, the stand with sausages.

Fantastico retail chain had some difficulties with delayed deliveries of imported goods due to the situation at the borders, but stocks allowed them to respond to consumption. At the beginning of the crisis, there was a more serious problem with the supply of disinfectants, but later many new such products appeared on the market. Fantastico retail chain has been operating on the market for 29 years and owns 42 supermarkets in Sofia, Elin Pelin and Kyustendil.

The Bulgarian  government has adopted a decree recently introducing an obligation for outlets representing chain stores to offer Bulgarian products to local (regional) producers at their outlets. The places of sale should have an area sufficient to expose and sell the foodstuffs concerned and be appropriately labeled to show that the products offered are regional production.

Milk and dairy products from Bulgarian raw milk should be offered at these locations; fish and fishery products; fresh meat and eggs; honey; fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables produced by regional producers. A requirement has been introduced that dairy products should be produced entirely from Bulgarian raw milk.

Bulgarians have cut their spending the most because of the pandemic compared to other European Union countries. In March, the retail trade turnover in Bulgaria decreased by 18.1% compared to the previous month, according to Eurostat data. This puts us in first place among EU countries in this indicator.

In the EU as a whole, retail trade in March 2020 decreased by 10% compared to a month earlier.

In total for the EU countries in March the biggest decrease of 40% was registered in the sales of textile products. The overall decline in non-food sales was 21.3%.

In the retail sale of electrical appliances and furniture, the average reduction for EU countries is 16%.

Fuel trade registered a decrease of 19.3%.

There is a growth of 4.7% in food purchases.

An increase in sales of 4.4% on average in the EU is understandably reported by supermarkets and online stores – an increase of 2.2%. In contrast, other stores reported a decline in sales of 17.8%.

Source: Economy Bulgaria News

Weekly eco news as of May 12, 2020

Latest development in Hungarian economy 

Surplus on external trade in goods amounts to EUR 436 million in March

In EUR terms, the value of exports decreased by 7.3% and that of imports by 5.5% in March 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year. The balance of external trade in goods deteriorated by EUR 208 million. The decline in global demand caused by the corona virus epidemic resulted in a substantial deterioration in Hungary’s external trade performance. The effect of the corona virus epidemic on external trade in goods can be examined in the second estimate, by when the detailed data will be available.

Industrial production decreased by 5.6%

In March 2020 the volume of industrial production declined by 5.6% year-on-year. Based on working-day adjusted data, production fell by 10.0%. The economic effects caused by the coronavirus epidemic were already significant in this period.

Out of the largest weight carrying subsections in manufacturing a significant fall was observed in the manufacture of transport equipment, while the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products slightly grew. However, the rate of growth accelerated in the manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco products. The production volume decreased in the majority of the other subsections.

Production was 0.1% higher in the first three months of the year than in the same period of the previous year.

Industrial output in March – according to seasonally and working-day adjusted indices – was 10.4% below the level of the previous month.

Prices increased by 3.9 % in March

Consumer prices were 3.9% higher on average in March 2020 than a year earlier. Significant price rises were measured over the past year for food as well as alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Food prices rose at a higher rate than usual compared to February, which may have been caused by the effects of the corona virus epidemic. Motor fuel prices went down in effect over a month as a result of significantly falling oil prices.

In 12 months, compared to March 2019

Food prices went up by 7.6%, within which pork prices became 27.4%, the price of other meat preparations 20.8%, salami, sausages and ham prices 12.2%, the price of seasonal food items (potatoes, fresh vegetables and fruits) 11.9%, sugar prices 10.1%, the price of milk 9.1% and bread prices 8.4% higher. The price of alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 7.2% on average, within which tobacco prices by 11.3%. Consumers paid 3.8% more for services, within which rent increased by 8.7% and the price of recreation in the country by 8.1%. Motor fuel prices were cut by 2.1%.

Sales of retail shops grew by 3.5%

Due to the worsening epidemiological emergency, regulatory restrictions were gradually introduced, which also affected retailing, with an impact on the turnover of all business types. In March 2020, the volume of sales in retail shops increased by 4.4% according to raw data and by 3.5% when adjusted for calendar effects compared to the same period of the previous year. The volume of sales, adjusted for calendar effects, rose by 12.7% in specialized and non-specialized food shops, by 0.5% in non-food retail shops and decreased by 16.7% in automotive fuel retailing. In January–March 2020, the volume of sales – also according to calendar adjusted data – was 7.2% higher than in the corresponding period of the previous year.

In March 2020, compared to the same period of the previous year, adjusted for calendar effects

The volume of sales in the national retail trade network as well as in mail order and internet retailing increased by 3.5%.

The volume of sales increased by 12.7% in specialized and non-specialized food retailing. The volume of sales grew by 15% in non-specialized food and beverages shops accounting for 77% of food retailing and by 4.8% in specialized food, beverage and tobacco stores.

The turnover of non-food retailing increased by a total of 0.5%. Sales rose in non-specialized shops dealing in pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetics goods (38%), as well as in manufactured goods (0.9%). The volume of sales fell in textiles, clothing and footwear shops (-51%), second hand goods shops (-26%), books, computer equipment and other specialized stores (-14%), as well as in furniture and electrical goods stores (-9.3%).

The volume of mail order and internet retailing accounting for 7.9% of all retail sales and involving a wide range of goods rose by 41%, continuing a multi-year expansion.

The volume of sales in automotive fuel stations decreased by 16.7%.

Sales in motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories stores not belonging to retail data decreased by 4.6%.

Source: Budapest, Business Journal, Central Statistical Office

Weekly eco news as of May 12, 2020

Thailand and smart electronics

Smart industries

Lifestyle changes are driving new demands for a growing array of intelligent products

The global trends are driving demand for consumer electronics products such as health promoting electronic devices, care robots, mobile communication devices, and smallbut-smart home appliances. These products are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Moreover,they are equipped with smart technologies that use computation and connectivity to access and share information in real time in almost any place.

The industrial sector is quicklyadopting these technologies to become “smarter” and more efficient in managing resources, improving productivity and reducing costs. The electrical and electronics (E&E) industry is the foundation for all smart industries.

National industry agenda

Thailand’s E&E industry is already the world’s second largest air conditioner exporter, as well as a major producer of refrigerators, cellphones, electronic integrated circuits (IC) and microassemblies,

and hard disk drives. In 2019, Thailand’s forecasted E&E export value was US $59.52 billion, equaling 24 percent of Thailand’s total exports. The E&E industry, and its supporting supply chain, employ more than 750,000 workers, making it one of the largest industrial employers in Thailand.

The government selected Smart Electronics to be one of the 12 targeted growth industries under the Thailand 4.0 economic model because it is a fundamental building block that enables many other growth industries.

Strong E&E industry

Thailand is well positioned to be a prominent manufacturing base of smart E&E products. The Thai E&E industry is highly proficient in the production and development of sophisticated E&E products. Thai manufacturers, as well as MNC’s such as Bosch, Siemens, Daikin, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital that have manufacturing operations in Thailand, are trusted by global partners because of their skill in precision manufacturing, as well as electronic manufacturing services such as IC design. Thailand has an extensive E&E supply chain, and companies are equipped with well trained technicians and engineers who are capable of harnessing the benefits of factory automation systems.

Various government targeted growth industries, from next-generation automotive to the digital industry, are creating large market opportunities for providers of electronic industrial parts and systems with applications ranging from private smart factories to government smart city initiatives. In addition to the domestic consumer and industrial markets, Thailand has convenient links to ASEAN, China and Japan, providing easy access to a large regional demand.

BOI Incentives for smart E&E

Committed to facilitating investors business success, the BOI constantly works with ministries and industry experts to enhance policies and incentives. Investment in the manufacturing of E&E products,parts or equipment used for E&E products, including material for microelectronics, may be granted corporate income tax exemption up

to eight years. The more advanced embedded software developer and electronics design business, including microelectronics design and embedded system design, could also receive the generous eight-year holiday on corporate income tax with 8-year CIT exemption (No CIT exemption ceiling).

Opportunities for investors in the smart electronics industry go far beyond the E&E sector. The smart technologies will also transform other growth industries, including the digital, robotics, aviation, automotive, agriculture, food, and healthcare industries. With supportive incentives from the BOI, along with the existing expertise of the domestic E&E supply chain, Thailand is an excellent choice for investors in this industry segment.

Source: BOI Thailand, The Nation Thailand

Weekly eco news as of April 20, 2020

The Restriction on Shopping Centers Activity Affects Over 9,000 Stores in Romania

Retailers in Romania’s closed shopping malls lose revenues of over EUR 15 min per day

The decision of the authorities to temporarily suspend the purchase of goods considered non-essential from the shopping centers affects more than 9,000 stores and each day when they are closed equals with between 15 and 20 million euros lost from unearned income, according to an analysis made by the real estate consulting company Cushman and Wakefield Echinox.

The military ordinance issued in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic makes an exception for suspending the stores that mainly sell food, electronic, pharmaceutical and pet shop products, as well as cleaning and optical services.

The modern retail stock (malls, retail parks and commercial galleries) in Romania sums up about 3.9 million square meters, of which 23% is represented by supermarkets and hypermarkets, the main category of stores that remain open, according to Cushman & Wakefield Echinox data. The estimated unearned income takes into account an average level of sales in a normal activity timeframe for a shopping center, at around 2,000 euros / sqm / year respectively.

In the international social and financial context, for each day of non-operating stores, the big retailers and the fashion houses with tradition have started to seriously get involved in the fight against the spread of virus, in order to reopen their stores sooner. The largest retail groups, such as LVMH or L’Oreal, have started the production of disinfectants, while H&M or Inditex reoriented towards the production of medical equipment for protection. As this happens, at the moment the fashion and beauty retailers have huge stocks of unsold products. Suspending the program for the fashion week or the 2020 autumn-winter collection launching events is unprecedented and the market must adapt to it.

As a long-term impact of the shopping malls remaining closed, Cushman & Wakefield consultants see as possible a change in consumers’ preference for e-commerce.

“Apart from the food, pharmaceutical, maintenance and pet shop products, online commerce is currently the only option for consumers. Thus, depending on how long the social distancing will last, it is possible that the habit of ordering from the home comfort could change the way people purchase products in the future, especially food or other common products,” commented Bogdan Marcu, Partner Retail Agency, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.

Source: Romania Journal, Romania-Innsider

Weekly eco news as of April 20, 2020

PM Prayut urges ASEAN’s joint efforts to fight Covid-19

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called on ASEAN countries to mobilize the energies and efforts of all sectors to jointly fight the novel coronavirus which is ravaging more than half of the countries in the world.

He proposed that ASEAN and its three major dialogue partners – China, Japan and South Korea — jointly establish a COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. The fund will be used to procure test kits, personal protective equipment and medical tools as well as support research and development in medicines and vaccines to help ASEAN become more self-reliant.

The money for the fund will be diverted from the ASEAN Development Fund and Cooperation Funds with China, Japan, the ROK and ASEAN Plus Three.

Prayut made the proposal during a teleconference of the ASEAN leaders, chaired by Vietnam, which was followed by a summit with China, Japan and South Korea to discuss concerted and coordinated efforts to deal with the deadly virus.

During the current crisis, Prayut suggested that ASEAN should build understanding and empathy in its cooperation to facilitate transport of goods and logistics, customs clearance, and border trade.

“This will ensure that our consumers will have access to a sufficient supply of medical tools and equipment, medicines and essential goods in a timely manner during this crisis,” he said.

Prayut also pointed out the importance of the role of technology in providing innovative solutions to tackle challenges.

The prime minister also urged ASEAN to use this opportunity to strengthen regionalism and multilateralism by enhancing multi-stakeholder cooperation within ASEAN and with external partners to address global challenges with unity under the banner of “Team ASEAN”.

“Today, we will survive and tomorrow, we will become stronger and more resilient,” Prayut said.

Source: Thai PBS World

Weekly eco news as of April 9, 2020

Techtex company to produce the first accridited medical masks in Romania

HOM MALI NAMED BEST RICE IN WORLD

The Minister of Economy, Virgil Popescu, announced on March 30, 2020 that production of the first accredited medical masks in Romania has begun. Techtex company can produce 150,000 medical masks per day, and from April 15, the production will increse to 500,000 masks per day.

The masks are produced by a Romanian private company from Bihor, Techtex, whose main activity is the manufacture of non-woven textiles and articles. They will also produce surgical suits, having a current capacity of 1,000 pieces daily.

Last week, The European Commission adopted decisions on harmonised standards which will allow manufacturers to place on the market high performing devices to protect patients, health care professionals and citizens in general.

Once implemented, the use of these standards will allow manufacturers of medical devices and other concerned economic operators, to comply with the health and safety requirements of the EU legislation, taking into account the most updated technical solutions. These standards, once referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, grant conformity of devices with the requirements of the three Directives on medical devices.

The decision to adopt these harmonised standards for medical devices represents an additional measure taken by the Commission to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The complete information about this harmonised standards is available here.

Source: Business-Review Romania

Weekly eco news as of April 9, 2020

Thai rice exports get a boost from global Covid-19 scare

HOM MALI NAMED BEST RICE IN WORLD

„Thai Hom Mali Rice was named the world’s best rice at the World Rice Conference held in Macau, The second-place award went to Cambodia’s fragrant rice, and the third to ST rice from the Vietnam.” Thailand is the second biggest rice exporter in the world.

The Covid-19 situation has led to many countries stocking up on food supplies, boosting orders for Thai rice, Chookiat Ophaswongse, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said.

„These importers want our exporters to be ready to deliver 100 per cent of the order quantity immediately,” he said. “Previously, the importers preferred delivery of 50 per cent of the order, such as 50 per cent in March and the rest in April.”

The spurt in demand has been a boon for rice producing countries, and also increased the rice price in the global market.

White rice 5 per cent exported by Myanmar is currently selling at $400 per tonne, up from the previous range of $330 to $340 per tonne.

Meanwhile, the price of rice exported from Thailand rose from $410 per tonne to $450 to $460 per tonne.

Due to the recent rise in demand, Thailand’s rice exports in February were estimated at 630,000 tonnes.

“The growth of rice exports at this time depends on the Covid-19 situation. If the situation recovers, the rice orders will decrease,” the president said.

“Another related factor is export of rice by China,” he added. “The country would suspend its exports to reserve stocks for its own food security.”

Overall Thailand’s rice exports this year would be near the targeted 7.5 million tonnes, he said.

Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Prapat Potasuthon urged the Rice Department to speed up seed production, aiming to export soft rice to better compete in global markets in the next two years.

Source: The Nation

Weekly eco news as of February 25, 2020

Thailand to Produce 2.5 Million Vehicles in 2030

Today there are about 15 million vehicles in Thailand and the Energy Ministry expects to see 1.2 million BEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles within 2036.

The Thailand Automotive Institute expects the country will produce 2.5 million vehicles in 2030 and about 200,000 of them will be battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Adisak Rohitasune, acting president of the institute, said in its seminar on Thailand’s Vision on Future Mobility that at present Thailand was producing about 2 million vehicles a year and most of them had petrol engines.

In 2030, the country would become an important production base of modern vehicles in the region. It would produce 2.5 million vehicles a year and of them, 1.5 million would be for domestic markets.

Of the domestic vehicles, 15% or 225,000 would be BEVs and 60% be vehicles with petrol engines and autonomous vehicles.

Electric Tuk Tuk and motorcycle taxis

Public transport vehicles such as buses, Tuk Tuk rickshaws and motorcycle taxis would be electric vehicles, Mr Adisak said.

Today there about 15 million vehicles in Thailand and the Energy Ministry expects to see 1.2 million BEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles within 2036.

Mr Adisak said that in 2030 the value of automobile production and related services would reach US$1 trillion and Thailand should develop itself to cash in on the trend. His institute proposed many measures for the purpose including vehicular tax restructuring and incentives in favor of clean vehicles and their buyers.

Thailand Auto Parts and Accessories (TAPA 2020) – the largest auto parts trade fair in ASEAN

TAPA 2020 will be held at BITEC Bangna, Bangkok, Thailand between April 2-5, 2020. Thailand has the largest and most innovative OEM and REM parts industries in the whole region. The fair offers great opportunities for automotive business sectors to discover the latest products, energy saving and environment friendly innovations that meet consumer expectations, all under one roof. Following the success of the previous TAPA fairs which attracted the leading auto parts manufacturers and wholesale buyers of the world, the forthcoming fair also offers excellent opportunities for the business visitors. The TAPA 2020 fair anticipates over 600 leading local and international exhibitors on 20 000 sq.m. and more than 10 000 foreign and local visitors from 64 countries around the world.

Briefly about Thai automobile industry:

  • Third-largest sector in the country accounts for 12% of GDP
  • Thailand’s second-largest export industry
  • Ranks the first among ASEAN countries
  • World’s biggest producer and exporter of one-ton pickup trucks
  • The country is also a major motorcycle hub
  • There are approximately 1,800 automotive suppliers already in the country, of the top 100 auto parts manufacturers in the world 50% have factories in Thailand
  • The majority of Thailand’s automotive parts exports are OEM parts comprising 75% of all exports, this is followed by engines at 15%
  • Being the world’s largest rubber producer offer a large scale rubber products for automotive industry

More information are available: http://www.thailandautopartsfair.com or call TTC Budapest

Tel: + 261 212 2738; E-mail: thaitradebudapest@thaicomm.hu

Source: Thailand – Business – News

Weekly eco news as of February 11, 2020

Best Countries to Start a Business

Starting a business can be daunting as investors and entrepreneurs have a wide array of places to choose from, but also things to consider when beginning their activity.

The 2020 Best Countries to Start a Business ranking draws from the results of a global perceptions-based survey and ranks countries based on scores from nearly 6,000 business decision-makers in a compilation of five country attributes: affordable, bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, connected to the rest of the world, and easy access to capital.

These are the top five countries.

No. 5: India

Starting a business in India takes 18 days and 10 procedures, according to the World Bank. In 2019, India made starting a business easier by fully integrating multiple application forms into a general incorporation form. India also made the process faster by replacing the value added tax with the Goods and Services Tax.

No. 4: Singapore

Starting a business in Singapore takes about one and a half days and two procedures, according to the World Bank. In 2019, Singapore made starting a business easier by abolishing the corporate seals. Just above Hong Kong and South Korea, Singapore provides one of the world’s most business-friendly regulatory environments for local entrepreneurs.

No. 3: China

Starting a business in China takes nine days and four procedures, according to the World Bank. In 2019, China made starting a business easier by launching online company registrations and by simplifying social security registrations. Beijing is one of only two cities in the world where the process of starting a business is completely free.

No. 2: Malaysia

Malaysia moves up substantially from its No. 5 ranking last year to rank No. 2 in 2020. Starting a business in Malaysia takes about 17 and a half days and eight and a half procedures, according to the World Bank. In 2019, Malaysia made business easier by introducing an online registration system for the goods and service tax.

No. 1: Thailand

Thailand maintains its No. 1 ranking from 2019. Starting a business in Thailand takes six days and five procedures, according to the World Bank. In 2019, Thailand made starting a business cheaper by introducing fixed registration fees.

Source: US.News

Weekly eco news as of February 11, 2020

Why Digital Business is so important

Technology today is no longer seen as a facilitator of everyday business practices. It has now become the heart, the centre of every business strategy.

Digital business offers companies and individuals new ways to connect, collaborate, conduct business, and build bridges between people. It impacts upon business functionality and the way business is managed today.

To imagine how far the Internet and digital technology have helped support business just think of an email. It helps companies reduce the cost of contacting customers, and generates more trade in less time compared with sending a letter by mail in the past. It helps us get connected instantly without waiting for days.

The advent of Facebook has helped businesses reach customers more easily and created more trade. Facebook has also helped business owners better understand their customers.

Google helps us spend less time researching information. Today, if you want to find something out, you just Google it, generating more results in the fraction of the time needed for traditional research methods.

Thanart Chamnanyantarakij, an affiliate marketer who prefers carrying out e-commerce with SEO affiliate marketing supported by social media channels, reveals that in the affiliate marketing world more traffic means more money.

“In my view, e-commerce helps make entrepreneurs become more productive. Because e-commerce helps us reach out to a wider range of customers,” he says. “We are not limited to the area where we opened our store or physically operate our business.”

Chamnanyantarakij has been involved in e-commerce for 10 years using SEO techniques to sell goods to buyers all over the world via Amazon.

According to him, data and statistics can be utilised by companies to produce, store and analyse relevant information in order to achieve a competitive advantage.

“If you want to start a business, but are not sure what to start, just search keywords on online tools such as Google Keyword Planner or www.semrush.com. There, you will find statistics that inform you which products are likely to be more interesting [to potential buyers]. For example, from the word ‘Thailand’, you will find the top three Thai products, namely jewelry, muay Thai and herbs. Anything related to these three will have good sales statistics in Amazon until now.

“I think Thai entrepreneurs should find more information to create channels for their products in order to penetrate deeper into overseas markets. Actually, there are online tools and technology around the world which are ready to support businesses and entrepreneurs. But Thai people seem not to realise that they can use all that. These tools and techniques are already in the world, just start and learn how to use them.”

Source: DITPTHINKTHAILAND

Weekly eco news as of January 28, 2020

Keeping Food Safe and Fresh with Eco-Friendly Wax Wraps

SuperBee owner tells how her innovative and colourful wraps are good both for her customers and the planet.

Plastic waste has become a major problem in countries across the globe, exasperated by the fact that plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. Meanwhile, a report by the World Economic Forum states that worldwide plastic use has risen 20-fold in the past 50 years. By 2050, people will use three times as much plastic as we did in 2014.

To help tackle this problem, many businesses have come up with an alternative product for plastic items. Among them is SuperBee, a manufacturer of re-usable wax wraps.

“I decided to make beeswax wraps, as a plastic alternative for food storage because I love nature but hate plastic and want to reduce single-use plastics,” Australian Antoinette Jackson, the founder of BeeConscious that manufactures SuperBee explains what inspired her to start a business in Chiang Mai, Thailand. “Adopting the idea from my grandmother, who used beeswax to wrap food, I started making the wraps for my own use before setting up a company to produce and distribute beeswax wraps, and launched an online shop in July 2016.”

The beeswax wraps are handmade from high quality, locally sourced materials – 100% cotton fabric, pure OTOP-certified beeswax, organic coconut oil and tree resin. Beeswax is a natural antifungal and antibacterial. The wraps can be reused for up to two years when proper care is taken to clean them by hand with water and chemical-free detergent.

“By using these wax wraps, consumers can keep their food fresh longer and safe, as well as reducing food and plastic waste,” Jackson says, adding that the company has FCM, FDA, BPA Free, GMP and Food Safe certifications, so consumers can be assured about its quality.

Although there are many other wax wrap producers in the market, Jackson believes that few, if any, offer products as high quality as hers or can match her ethical business model.

“Our key customers are people or shop owners who want to reduce plastic waste. They love our products because we provide more colourful designs in many sizes,” Jackson says. “The quality of our products stands out from our competitors, according to feedback from our customers.”

Currently, SuperBee wraps are available at the brand’s online shop and retail outlets in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, as well as through distributors in many countries including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.

SuperBee has displayed and distributed its products at DITP’s trade fairs, STYLE Bangkok April 2019 and THAIFEX-World of Food Asia 2019.

As for the future, Jackson would like to see her business grow and provide more people a fair and happy workplace after she has created employment in rural areas in Chiang Mai for several years.

“From the company’s profits, I would like to spread the knowledge of producing eco-friendly products, as well as setting up a way to help Thai entrepreneurs succeed in business. My dream is to build a co-creative space where business and local creativity meets,” she says.

For more information, visit www.superbee

Source: DITPTHINKTHAILAND

Weekly eco news as of January 27, 2020

Bird flu detected in eastern Hungary, 115,000 ducks destroyed

A second outbreak of bird flu has been found at a large duck farm in eastern Hungary., the National Food Chain Safety Authority (NEBIH) said on 15 January, two days after the first such case in the country in years.

The flu has spread in recent days in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. It is a highly pathogenic strain of the virus that reappeared in Poland in early January.

Hungarian food safety authority NÉBIH on 15th of January, 2020 said it detected avian flu virus at a duck farm in Hajdú-Bihar County (about 215 km east of Budapest), marking the second major discovery of the H5N8 strain of the virus in the country in the last few days, state news wire MTI reports.

NÉBIH said it had started to destroy the 115,000 ducks on the farm. It will also establish a 3 km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone around the site.

The authority said the ducks were probably infected by wild birds from a nearby lake and advised poultry farmers to keep their birds in enclosed areas. NÉBIH made the announcement of the discovery of the H5N8 strain of the virus days after finding the same strain at a turkey farm in Komárom-Esztergom County (approximately 80 km northeast of Budapest). .All 53,500 birds were destroyed at the turkey farm.

Hungary will also restrict transport to contain the virus, the authority said earlier this week, adding that the H5N8 strain had so far caused no human infections in Europe.

Hungary was responsible for about 3.5% of the European Unionʼs total poultry meat production in 2018, according to Eurostat, the European Commissionʼs official statistics directorate-general.

Hungary is net exporter of poultry meat. More than 95 per cent of the poultry export and  import turnover are  realised with EU countries, but Hungary exported poultry meat  to some Asian countries  as well like Hong Kong (2932 tons), Vietnam (2324 tons) , Japan (1958  tons), Republic of Korea (236 tons), Singapore (91 tons) and Thailand (83 tons) in 2019.

Proposal: If the bird flu makes serious shortage in poultry meat supply in Hungary in next months, Thai poultry meat exporters can consider to extend their export to Hungary.

Source: Budapest Business Journal

Weekly eco news as of January 21, 2020

Leading the Food Industry through Technology

A manufacturer of non-dairy creamers and beverages says product quality is key, while packaging is also another factor that can boost sales.

Thailand is a strong exporter of a wide range of food and agricultural products. Consumers worldwide are increasingly looking for innovative new beverages, reflected in the growing exports of beverages from Thailand in 2018 which totalled over 59.5 billion baht or US$1.8 billion.

Kornthai, established in 1982, is a manufacturer of non-dairy creamers and other powder beverages. Wacharalak Tunskul, Managing Director of Kornthai, says the company’s goal is to produce quality products that are hygienic and safe for consumers, while also focusing on developing existing products to ensure the highest customer satisfaction.

“Most KornThai products are made by converting liquids into powder using the latest technology and machinery. Today, Kornthai is one of the leading producers of non-diary creamers, and we also use the creamer in other three-in-one beverage products in a variety of flavours,” says Tunskul.

The company’s products are sold under several brands such as Co-Cof non-dairy creamer and coffee creamer, Co-Lett cocoa beverage mix and Co-Gin ginger beverage mix.

“One of the company’s most popular products for both the domestic and international markets is Chao Thai coconut cream powder,” says Tunskul. “With cutting-edge know-how and innovation, the coconut cream powder tastes the same as fresh coconut cream but has a longer shelf life and is also easier to use in the kitchen.”

Apart from Kornthai’s own brands, the company manufactures food and beverage products to the specific requirements of their customers.

“We export to over 40 countries in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa,” says Tunskul. “Now there is more demand for food and beverage products, thus, we are developing new products to cater to the preferences of Thai and international customers, as well as considering important trends in the industry worldwide.”

Kornthai has won many awards that guarantee its determination for achieving excellence, including the Standard of Corporate Social Responsibility from the Department of Industrial Work, Green Activity Certificate from the Ministry of Industry, and the Prime Minister’s Export Award for Best Halal in 2017, as well as for Best Exporter in 2018.

“For the future, we are focused on keeping up with the changing trends and adding value to our products,” says Tunskul, adding that design and packaging is important as these demonstrate the products’ unique image, and help with market expansion, which will ultimately bring in more sales for both domestic and international markets. Certification is also another crucial requirement for exporters.

“Applying for international standards, which are accepted worldwide is also an important step as it ensures the company can distribute products to markets around the world.”

Words by Pimsirinuch Borsub

Weekly eco news as of December 17, 2019

Unesco heritage: Traditional Thai massage added to ‘cultural heritage’ list

The back-cracking traditional Thai massage has been added to a prestigious Unesco heritage list.

Nuad Thai is now part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which features traditions and practices passed across the generations. By being part of the list, Thai massage has been recognised as something to be preserved for future generations.

Unesco is the United Nations’ agency for education, culture, and science. The intangible cultural heritage list is separate from the world heritage list, which recognises buildings and sites of prominence. There are 550 items on the cultural heritage list – split into three categories – from 127 countries. Items are added every year, with this year’s committee meeting in Bogota, Colombia.

Unlike conventional massages, Thai massages involve a lot of movement and typically sees people assuming a series of different positions.

The practice of Thai Yoga Massage is said to be thousands of years old but it is still part of Thailand’s medical system due to its perceived healing properties at both emotional and physical level. Traditional Thai massage uses no oils or lotions. The recipient remains clothed during a treatment. There is constant body contact between the giver and receiver, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked.

The concept of metta (loving kindness), based on Bhuddist teachings, is an integral part of this practice. Well known practitioners also emphasize meditation and devotion on part of the practitioner as integral to the effectiveness of this practice.

A full Thai massage session may last two hours and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body. This may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking knuckles, walking on the recipient’s back, and moving the recipient’s body into many different positions. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which the giver will adjust to fit the receiver.

According to Unesco, the practice has its “roots in self-care in Thai peasant society of the past, [where] every village had massage healers whom villagers would turn to when they had muscle aches from working the field”.

According to Unesco, the intangible culture heritage list seeks to recognise things that are “important to preserve for future generations.

Source: BBC news

Weekly eco news as of December 17, 2019

Food, alcohol spending well above EU average

Research by Eurostat on household expenditures across the European Union in 2018 reveals that Hungarians spend a larger than average proportion of their expenses on food; alcohol and tobacco; fuel and maintenance of personal transport; and communications.

Spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages made up more than 15.5% of household expenditures in Hungary in 2018, similar to fellow members of the Visegrád Four, with the figure being 14.5% in the Czech Republic, 14.8% in Poland, and 15.9% % in Slovakia.

Similarly to last year, the highest proportion was registered in Romania, where people spent 16.4%, Eurostat noted. The EU average stood at 11%, down 1.2% since last year.

Once again, Hungary was a leader in the alcoholic beverages and tobacco category. Hungarians spent 7.6% of their expenditure (up 0.2% year-on-year) on these products, almost double the EU average of 3.9%. Among the surveyed countries, only the citizens of Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, and Estonia spent even more on such items. Compared to last yearʼs figures, Hungary managed to overtake Latvia in this category.

Hungarians also spent a higher than average amount on lot on communications (3.3%), as well as fuel and maintenance of personal transport (8.6%), the data show.

At the other end of the scale, Hungarians spent a lower portion of their expenditures on clothing and footwear, only 3.7% compared to the EU average of 4.7%. This is less than half of what they spent on alcohol and tobacco in 2018. The only member states spending less on clothing and footwear were France, the Czech Republic, Romania, Iceland, and Bulgaria.

Spending on housing-related costs was 18.1% of the total, well below the EU average of 24%.

Insurance costs amounted to only 1.2% out of total household expenditure, below the EU average of 2.6%.

Other categories, including spending related to furnishing, purchase of vehicles, transport services, hotels, and restaurants did not deviate significantly from the EU average.

Source: Budapest Business Journal

Weekly eco news as of December 10, 2019

Retail sales up 6.2% in October

In October 2019, the volume of sales in retail shops, according to both raw and calendar-adjusted data, grew by 6.2% compared to the same period last year, according to a report by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

Compared to October 2018, the volume of sales increased by 3.4% in specialized and non-specialized food retailing. The volume of sales grew by 3.1% in non-specialized food and beverage shops accounting for 75% of food retailing and by 4.3% in specialized food, beverage and tobacco stores.

The turnover of non-food retailing increased on the whole by 9.8%. Sales also rose in non-specialized shops dealing in manufactured goods (14%); textile, clothing and footwear shops (6.5%); book, computer equipment and other specialized stores (6.4%); second-hand goods shops (6.2%); as well as pharmaceutical, medical goods and cosmetics shops (4.6%). Sales rose by 2.2% in furniture and electrical goods stores (2.2%).

The volume of mail order and internet retailing, accounting for 6.2% of all retail sales and involving a wide range of goods, rose by 38%, continuing its multi-year expansion.

The volume of sales in automotive fuel stations increased by 5.4%. Sales in motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories stores not belonging to retail data increased by 29%.

In October 2019, sales in the national retail trade network as well as in mail order and internet retailing amounted to HUF 1.098 trillion at current prices.

Food, beverages and tobacco stores accounted for 44% of all retail sales, while non-food retail shops had a share of 39%. The network of petrol stations accounted for 17% of the total.

In the first ten months of 2019, the volume of retail sales increased by 5.9%, compared to the same period of 2018. The volume of sales rose by 3.2% in food, beverages and tobacco shops, by 8.8% in non-food retail trade and by 6.8% in automotive fuel retailing.

Source: Budapest Business Journal

Weekly eco news as of December 10, 2019

Thai Cabinet approves new economic stimulus measures  

The Thai government has rolled out new stimulus measures intended to boost full-year economic growth to 2.8%

The Thai Cabinet approved three new stimulus packages to prop up the softening economy, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.

The government expects the measures to propel full-year economic growth to 2.8% from a projection of 2.6% recently announced by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).

The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has recently announced that Thailand’s Q3 2019 GDP growth came in at 2.4 percent, adjusting the overall GDP growth this year down to 2.6 percent, citing negative factors from the trade war affecting the export sector.

“The aim is to boost the economy during the remainder of this year and the first quarter of next year” -*said he Finance Minister, Mr Uttama Savanayana

1. Grassroot economy  booster

The first package is to boost the grassroots economy and is divided into three sub-projects, namely a village fund for 71,742 villages graded A, B and C.

Each will receive 200,000 baht to invest in community rice barns, space to dry crops, rice mills, organic fertilizer, water sources or machinery for processing farm products.

There is also the Credit for Community Business project under which the BAAC will provide credit lines, amounting to 50 billion baht, to Village Funds and urban communities for investment in small businesses. The credit line will be for three years at an annual interest rate of 0.01%.  The program will start on December 1st and end on November 30th 2023.

2. Helping farmers to reduce costs

To help farmers cover harvesting and rice quality improvement costs for the 2019-20 crop year, each household will receive 500 baht per 0.06 hectares, up to a maximum of 1.2 hectares or 10,000 baht.  About 4.57 million farming households will benefit from this package, with payments to commence September 30th 2020. The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will make the payments, totalling 28 billion baht, and will be refunded later by the government.

3. Home buyers 50000 baht giveaway

The third package is intended to help real estate developers sell their surplus units by offering a 50,000 baht “giveaway” down payment incentive to buyers, each of whom must have a monthly income not exceeding 100,000 baht, and must be listed in the Revenue Department’s record of taxpayers.

The number of buyers will be limited to 100,000 and the 50,000 baht “giveaway” will be on a first come first serve basis. The program will start on November 27th and last until March 31st 2020.

Finance Minister Uttama said this housing stimulus package will cost the tax payer about 5 billion baht, and refunds will be wired into the accounts of the buyers through the PromptPay application by the Government Housing Bank.

Source: Thailand Business News

Weekly eco news as of December 3, 2019

Thailand’s FDI applications up 69% in the first nine month of 2019 

The total value of FDI applications received by the BOI (Board of Investment)  in the nine months to September increased 69% from the year earlier period, to a total value of 203.37 billion baht, according to the latest data from the BOI

Thailand continued to attract rising foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of 2019, with increased number of investment project applications according to public agency Thailand Board of Investment (BOI).

Applications for investments in the targeted industries, led by electronics and electrical sector, digital sector and automotive sector, represented 131.78 billion baht, or 65 percent of the total.

The total value of FDI applications received by the BOI in the nine months to September increased 69% from the year earlier period, to a total value of 203.37 billion baht, according to the latest data from the BOI.

In terms of the source of the foreign direct investment applications, out of a total of 689 projects, Japanese companies, which have long been the largest source of Thailand’s FDIs, ranked first with applications for 167 projects worth 59.19 billion baht, followed by China, with 139 projects worth 45.44 billion baht, and Switzerland, with 15 projects worth 11.71 billion baht, BOI data showed.

“The data for the applications we received in those nine months confirms Thailand’s continued attractiveness as an investment destination, despite the fluctuations seen in the global economy,”  –  MS DUANGJAI ASAWACHINTACHIT, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE BOI.

“With the recently-rolled out investment promotion privileges under the Thailand Plus Package aimed at investment acceleration and further measures to improve the country’s investment ecosystem and ease of doing business, we expect the growth momentum of FDI and overall investment in Thailand to continue to expand into 2020.”

Meanwhile the overall investment applications, including domestic investments, submitted to the BOI in the nine-month period amounted to 1,165 projects, an increase of 11% from the same period last year. About half of these applications or 585 are for projects in the targeted industries, including the digital sector, which came on top with 143 projects, followed by agriculture and food processing with 132 projects, and the electronics and electrical sector, which saw 103 projects.

Source: Thailand Business News

Motivive wins special award at NATO Innovation Challenge

Hungarian startup Motivive won a special award at the NATO Innovation Challenge with its software solution that helps soldiers develop physical, mental, and emotional resistance, the company tells the Budapest Business Journal.
The final of NATO Innovation Challenge was hosted on October 29, within the framework of Defense Innovation Day. The competition was organized by the Institute of Modernization of the Hungarian Defense Forces in cooperation with the NATO Allied Command Transformation.
Hundreds of teams from around the world registered for the challenge, with the top 10 getting the opportunity to introduce themselves in Budapest. Participating teams sought solutions to current problems identified by NATO. The main topics were leadership improvement, decision-making, psychological resilience and the optimization of human-machine interaction. Motivive was the only Hungarian team in the final.
During the presentation, Tamás Gáll, managing partner of the company, explained how NATO soldiers can become and stay resilient in a fast-paced, complex and insecure world with the help of Motivive’s gamified system.
“Personally, what I found the most interesting was the solutions and ways we can develop soldiers cognitively,” Colonel Imre Porkoláb, Deputy National Armament Director for Defense Innovation Research and Development at Prime Ministerʼs Cabinet Office, said.
“There’s a lot of talk about the digital soldier in the military and many people think that it only means technological development. Let’s just think about what would happen if the latest advances were suddenly given to soldiers. No, first, they have to be prepared for future wars. The solutions that support this process are what NATO is interested in,” he added.
The audience had the opportunity to see the details of the Motivive project, as well as a live presentation and demo system of the interface, which was designed specifically for the event.
Gamified training
Motivive says that the teamʼs project may like a well-executed web-soldier game, argues that there’s a lot more to it. The program is able to connect real-life to the online platform, using it as a motivational tool. This way, soldiers can be prepared for unexpected situations and changes with the help of the software. Motivive platform guides users through an energy-focused resilience training, which has been developed with the involvement of a variety of professionals, such as neuroscientists, psychologists and military experts.
The program has been built on the four pillars of resilience, according to its creators, meaning that NATO soldiers will face physical, emotional and mental challenges. The interface can be customized for different NATO countries, taking into consideration their cultural characteristics and differences as well.
The competitionʼs jury highlighted that Motiviveʼs solution can be utilized by civil organizations as well. The software can be used for developing formal and informal communication, increasing sales activities, supporting the implementation of immediate feedback culture or the recruitment and selection processes, as well as conducting professional trainings.

Source: Budapest Business Journal

Thais use wearables, biometrics more than other consumers in region

Thai consumers are more aware of or use wearables and biometrics to make payments more than their counterparts in other Southeast Asian nations, digital payments company Visa stated, referring to findings from the Consumer Payment Attitudes study.
The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2018 was conducted by Intuit Research on behalf of Visa in 2018 across eight Southeast Asian countries – Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. The study was conducted on at least 4,000 consumers, including 500 working adults in Thailand aged 18-65, covering all education groups with a minimum income of Bt15,000.
The study tracks payment habits and attitudes as well as explores emerging topics related to payments in the eight Southeast Asian nations. According to the study, 65 per cent of Thai consumers are aware of or currently use wearables to make payments, the highest percentage in the region.
Singapore and Indonesia rank second at 60 per cent, followed by Malaysia and Vietnam at 52 per cent, and the Philippines at 44 per cent. In addition, Thai consumers have also recorded the highest level of awareness – 66 per cent – in Southeast Asia in using biometrics for payment and authentication. Vietnam and Singapore follow close behind with 60 and 55 per cent, respectively.
“We are heartened that Thai consumers recognise the benefits of innovations and how it contributes to making payments more secure, faster and more convenient,” Visa Thailand manager Suripong Tantiyanon said. “The findings can be attributed to how everyone in the payment ecosystems collaborate, make progress and transform the way consumers and businesses in Thailand make payments.”
Thai respondents also displayed the most comfort across the region in using wearables to make payments. More specifically, they include smartwatches (84 per cent versus the regional average of 71 per cent), wrist bands/bracelets (71 per cent vs 59 per cent) and smart rings (66 per cent vs 52 per cent).
When asked about the most preferred wearable option, Thai respondents indicated smartwatches as their top choice (55 per cent), followed by wrist bands/bracelets (22 per cent), microchip implants (11 per cent), rings (8 per cent) and smart glasses (4 per cent).
At the same time, biometrics are becoming a more preferred method for consumers to authenticate themselves for access and payments, in place of a traditional password. For Thai consumers, 2 in 3 (66 per cent) are aware of biometric payments, the highest level in Southeast Asia.
When asked about the comfort level in using biometrics, Thais expressed the most comfort across three categories, including finger scanning (87 per cent vs the regional average of 78 per cent), retina scan (88 per cent vs 61 per cent), and facial recognition (80 per cent vs 65 per cent).
Further findings show Thai respondents most prefer finger scanning as their top option for biometric payments and authentication (56 per cent), followed by retina scan (26 per cent), facial recognition (12 per cent) and voice recognition (6 per cent).
“In Thailand, we have taken the lead in introducing innovative payment solutions, such as Visa QR payments, contactless technology and cross-border business solutions, while working with our clients and partners to expand the adoption of digital payments. While we are proud of the progress, we remain committed to leveraging our global network and payment innovations to contribute to Thailand’s transition towards a cashless future,” Suripong added.

Source: NATION THAILAND

Romania insists it has the best offer in the region for Volkswagen plant

Romania’s automotive market has been growing by an 18 per cent year-on-year average since 2009 and is forecast to exceed 20 billion Euro by 2020. It is the fourth largest automotive manufacturer in the CEE region, according to the Association of Automobile Constructors in Romania (ACAROM).
In 2018, Romania’s automotive industry had a 13 per cent share of the GDP. Last year, Romania’s exports accounted for approximately 63 billion Euro. In 2018 almost half of Romania’s exports were related to the automotive industry and analysts estimate that Romania’s car production will follow an upward trend, mainly due to competitive salaries and Romania’s strategic positioning between Asian and European markets.
According to local experts Romania’s automotive industry’s development can head in several directions, either by attracting new investors or by expanding already created ecosystems in the production facilities in Craiova(Ford) and Mioveni (Renault).

Romania made the best offer to Volkswagen for hosting the planned new car plant, Paula Pirvanescu, a state secretary in the Ministry of Business Environment (MMACA), said at the Auto Industry Forum 2019 in Bucharest. The race for hosting Volkswagen’s new plant resumed with Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia all of them renewing their interest or even contacting the German group – after the German group announced it put on hold the investment in Turkey (their initial choice) amid political and military developments.
The Romanian Government can offer Volkswagen only EUR 37.5 mln as state aid, without breaching EU regulations, but up to 35% of the whole investment in a new car plant (estimated at above EUR 1 bln) can in principle be financed with EU funds, if located in the region proposed by Romania, according to business environment minister Radu Oprea.

In the future plant, Volkswagen will produce the next generation of VW Passat and the future Skoda Superb, in annual volumes of about 300,000 units. Production should start in 2022.

Source: Romania-Insider.com

Connecting Asean – DEPA launches “Digital Thailand Big Bang 2019: Asean Connectivity” 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was the guest of honour at the recent launch of the “Digital Thailand Big Bang 2019: ASEAN Connectivity,” an international digital technology symposium that on the concept of ASEAN Connectivity organized the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) as part of the activities marking Thailand’s chairmanship of the ASEAN Summit.

The premier formally opened the event and gave the keynote speech on the role of Thailand in ASEAN Connectivity before presenting the Prime Minister’s Award. He also took part in the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on international collaboration in the digital economy and society. The four-day event is being held at BITEC Bang Na and stretches over three exhibition zones covering 40,000 sqm offering a variety of digital-driven activities.

The Prime Minister reminded participants that the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy emphasizes the adoption of advanced digital technologies and taking advantage of the government’s big data in order to develop human capital, society and key business segments, including farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which represent the largest proportion of the country’s population. Through the use of digital technology, the Thailand 4.0 economic development model will help leverage incomes across segments of society. If the policy is successful, the problems of inequality and disparity will be solved and Thailand will move forward to become an advanced country in accordance with the national strategic plan.
The premier added that the “Digital Thailand Big Bang 2019” was being hosted as part of to match Thailand’s ASEAN chairmanship, adding that its objective was to create an ecosystem that benefits the digital economic development in collaboration with ASEAN member countries.

The event demonstrates Thailand’s readiness for the digital transformation, increasing the efficiency of high-speed internet, creating skilled digital manpower through the lifelong-learning approach, the development of digital or electronic payment systems and enhancing the efficiency of logistics to drive the growth of the e-commerce industry.

Source: The Nation Thailand

Leading the Food Industry through Technology

Thailand is a strong exporter of a wide range of food and agricultural products. Consumers worldwide are increasingly looking for innovative new beverages, reflected in the growing exports of beverages from Thailand in 2018 which totalled over 59.5 billion baht or US$1.8 billion.
Kornthai, established in 1982, is a manufacturer of non-dairy creamers and other powder beverages. Wacharalak Tunskul, Managing Director of Kornthai, says the company’s goal is to produce quality products that are hygienic and safe for consumers, while also focusing on developing existing products to ensure the highest customer satisfaction.
“Most KornThai products are made by converting liquids into powder using the latest technology and machinery. Today, Kornthai is one of the leading producers of non-diary creamers, and we also use the creamer in other three-in-one beverage products in a variety of flavours,” says Tunskul.

The company’s products are sold under several brands such as Co-Cof non-dairy creamer and coffee creamer, Co-Lett cocoa beverage mix and Co-Gin ginger beverage mix.
“One of the company’s most popular products for both the domestic and international markets is Chao Thai coconut cream powder,” says Tunskul. “With cutting-edge know-how and innovation, the coconut cream powder tastes the same as fresh coconut cream but has a longer shelf life and is also easier to use in the kitchen.”
Apart from Kornthai’s own brands, the company manufactures food and beverage products to the specific requirements of their customers.
“We export to over 40 countries in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa,” says Tunskul. “Now there is more demand for food and beverage products, thus, we are developing new products to cater to the preferences of Thai and international customers, as well as considering important trends in the industry worldwide.”

 

Hungary to set up port, logistics base in Trieste

Hungary will set up a port and a logistics base in Trieste with a view to facilitating and speeding up the shipping of Hungarian goods overseas, the foreign affairs and trade minister said on Friday. The 60-100 million euro investment, to be carried out on a 32-hectare plot, will allow Hungarian companies to ship their goods out to sea within 24 hours, Péter Szijjártó said at the opening ceremony of the V4+ Logistics Forum in Mogyoród, near Budapest.

On another subject, Szijjártó said that in light of the ever stronger economic cooperation between Hungary and Poland, Polish state carrier LOT has chosen Budapest as its second base of operations. The two countries are in the middle of finalising a deal that will see LOT launch a direct flight between Budapest and Seoul, he added.

Meanwhile, the minister said Hungary would have to reduce the gap in infrastructure with western Europe in order to improve its logistical competitiveness. To do this, he said, Hungary must develop its north-south infrastructure corridor, increase its number of border crossing roads and railways, address the absence of a high-speed rail line in central Europe and make use of China’s goals with the Eurasian trade area. Concerning the necessary infrastructure developments, Szijjártó noted that the Hungarian government will carry out an upgrade of Hungary’s entire public road and railway network by 2024. The state will spend 3,200 billion forints (EUR 9.9bn) on the road upgrades and 1,500 billion on the railway upgrades between now and 2022, he added. As regards the north-south infrastructural developments, he said Hungary will complete its own 229-kilometre section of the planned Via Carpathia transnational highway network stretching from Lithuania to Greece by 2022.

Source.MTI

 

Nature-Friendly Soap Created from Thai Wisdom

A family business reveals the secret ingredients in their organic soap brand that has won over many customers across the globe. With fierce competition in the health and wellness industry, only the best producers can capture the hearts of customers. Soap Villa is a soap brand designed to nourish the skin with local Thai ingredients, as well as reduce waste in the manufacturing process.

Gun Hopornsiri, Creative and Marketing Manager of Soap Villa, reveals that Soap Villa started out over ten years ago when his mother became interested in health and wellbeing, at a time when natural and organic products made in Thailand were rare.

“Our family worked together to develop a soap that integrated traditional Thai herbs as natural ingredients into an environmental-friendly production and packaging process, with simple designs aimed for long-term use,” says Hopornsiri.

The simple yet creative packaging has won accolades, including Demark and Gmark awards, while the brand’s quality is guaranteed by the Thailand Trust Mark, which demonstrates Soap Villa’s commitment to environmental issues, and giving back to society.

“The base for all our soap is rice bran oil – which is something we are proud of – because Thailand is one of the world’s leading exporters of rice,” says Hopornsiri. “With Soap Villa, we wanted to add value to Thai agricultural products as well as incorporate Thai wisdom. Local ingredients, such as kaffir lime, mangosteen, tamarind, butterfly pea and lemongrass are just some of the herbs and plants used to make Soap Villa products.”

Soap Villa has generated a customer base in the US, Canada, the UK, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, due to its natural ingredients and uniqueness in presenting Thai wisdom.

However, with changing consumer behaviour in the last few years, many businesses have had to adapt to stay relevant to their consumers. Hopornsiri believes that, as today people around the world can search the internet for any product, brands must change from traditional marketing to becoming more active online, as well as on social media platforms.

Still, Hopornsiri says that tradeshows, such as by the Department of International Trade Promotion’s STYLE, provide another way to meet new customers.

“Our brand has been participating in BIG+BIH as well as STYLE every year since 2012, and we will definitely be there again this year.”

For more information, visit www.soapvilla.com

 

DITP Hosts Business Matching for Thai Herbs

 

DITP invited 81 international buyers and importers from 53 companies to participate in a business- matching activity with 97 Thai producers and exporters of herb and herbal products at Thailand’s 16th National Herbs Expo, which took place at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani on March 6.

The business-matching event generated US$506,167 (16 million baht) in purchase orders, and at least $3.16 million (100 million baht) in potential sales are expected over the year. Thai products of most interest included skincare products, herbal medicine, food and seasoning, cosmetics and spa products.

“We expect this activity will help boost the exports of Thai herbal products, extend distribution channels to overseas markets, as well as promot the positive image of Thai herbal products on the global market,” DITP Director-General, Banjongjitt Angsusingh, said. “This will motivate Thai entrepreneurs to develop the products to meet the needs of international buyers.”

 

การทำเกษตรอินทรีย์และการบริโภคในฮังการีเติบโตอย่างรวดเร็ว

ปัจจุบันประเทศฮังการีให้ความสำคัญกับการผลิตสินค้าออร์แกนิกเพิ่มมากขึ้น เนื่องจากมีนโยบายการเกษตรต่อต้านการดัดแปลงทางพันธุกรรม (GMOs) ที่ชัดเจน อีกทั้ง ยังเป็นผู้นำด้านการเกษตรที่ปราศจากจีเอ็มโอในสหภาพยุโรป ฮังการีมีพื้นที่เกษตรอินทรีย์ที่ได้รับการรับรอง 130,609 เฮกเตอร์ซึ่งคิดเป็น 2.3% ของพื้นที่เกษตรกรรมทั้งหมด โดยมีผู้ประกอบการผลิตอาหารอินทรีย์ที่ผ่านการรับรองมากกว่า 1,900 แห่ง ผลผลิตมูลค่าประมาณ 25 ล้านยูโรต่อปี

การผลิตสินค้าเกษตรอินทรีย์ของฮังการีในปัจจุบันเป็นการผลิตเพื่อส่งออกประมาณ 85% ของการผลิตโดยรวม ส่วนใหญ่เป็นการส่งออกวัตถุดิบหรือผลิตภัณฑ์ที่ผ่านขบวนการแปรรูปในระดับต่ำ ลูกค้าหลักสำหรับอาหารออร์แกนิกของฮังการีคือ เยอรมนี ออสเตรีย เนเธอร์แลนด์และสวิตเซอร์แลนด์

สินค้าออร์แกนิกที่จำหน่ายในร้านอาหารของฮังการีส่วนใหญ่เป็นการนำเข้า หรือประมาณการได้ว่าการบริโภคอาหารอินทรีย์ภายในประเทศ 90% มาจากการนำเข้า

จากการที่ตลาดสินค้าออร์แกนิกในฮังการีกำลังได้รับความนิยม แต่กำลังการผลิตอาหารอินทรีย์ในประเทศไม่เพียงพอ จึงถือเป็นโอกาสที่น่าสนใจสำหรับบริษัท แปรรูปอาหารอินทรีย์ ที่ต้องการเข้ามาทำตลาด

สำหรับช่องทางจำหน่ายสินค้าเกษตรอินทรีย์ กลุ่มซูเปอร์มาร์เก็ตมีบทบาทมากขึ้น โดยมีสัดส่วนประมาณ 60% ร้านค้าเฉพาะทาง (Specialized shops) ประมาณ 20% งานแสดงสินค้าและกิจกรรมต่างๆ 6-10% ออนไลน์ 6-7% และจากฟาร์มโดยตรง 2-3% คาดว่า ซูเปอร์มาร์เก็ตจะมีบทบาทสำคัญในการขยายตลาดอินทรีย์ในประเทศ อย่างไรก็ตาม ในปัจจุบันมีผู้ผลิตอินทรีย์ท้องถิ่นเพียงไม่กี่รายที่สามารถตอบสนองความต้องการในด้านปริมาณ คุณภาพมาตรฐานและความสม่ำเสมอของการส่งมอบสินค้าที่เครือข่ายซูเปอร์มาร์เก็ตต้องการได้

สินค้าเกษตรอินทรีย์ที่มีจำหน่ายในฮังการีประกอบด้วย

  • ผักและผลไม้
  • เนื้อสัตว์ นม ไข่
  • ถั่วและธัญพืช
  • อาหารกระป๋อง
  • น้ำผลไม้
  • ชา กาแฟ
  • อาหารสำหรับทารก
  • ขนมขบเคี้ยว แคร็กเกอร์ คุกกี้ ช็อคโกแลต

นอกจากนี้ ตลาดอาหารออแกนิกสำเร็จรูปบรรจุห่อ (organic packaged food) กำลังขยายตัว จากปัจจัยหลายประการ อาทิ ความต้องการผลิตภัณฑ์เพิ่มขึ้นตามแนวโน้มการใส่ใจต่อสุขภาพ และช่องทางการจัดจำหน่ายหลายแห่งเริ่มวางขายหรือขยายชั้นวางสินค้าเหล่านี้ เพื่อตอบสนองความต้องการของผู้บริโภคและเพิ่มยอดขาย นอกจากนี้ผู้ผลิต Private label รวมถึง Tesco, Spar, Lidl และ Aldi ได้ให้ความสำคัญกับอาหารออแกนิกสำเร็จรูปบรรจุห่อ ด้วยการเปิดตัวผลิตภัณฑ์ใหม่ สร้างความหลากหลายให้กับตัวสินค้าเพื่อเป็นทางเลือกแก่ผู้บริโภคเพิ่มมากขึ้น

การเติบโตของกระแสการดูแลสุขภาพและแนวโน้มของคนกินเจ (vegan)  ช่วยกระตุ้นยอดขายของอาหารออแกนิกสำเร็จรูปบรรจุห่อ (Organic Packaged Food) แต่อย่างไรก็ตาม เมื่อเทียบกับอาหารทั่วไปสินค้าเกษตรอินทรีย์มีส่วนแบ่งตลาดเพียงเล็กน้อย (น้อยกว่า 1%) จากการวิจัยของสถาบันวิจัยการตลาดในประเทศพบว่า มูลค่าการซื้อขายอาหารออร์แกนิกของฮังการีมีมูลค่าประมาณ 340 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐฯต่อปี

ที่มา: www. BBJ, Central Statistical Office

 

The 63rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair Presenting Thai Jewelry Craftsmanship With the Theme of “Thailand’s Magic Hands” Pushing Thai SMEs to the World Jewelry Market

Ms. Banjongjitt Angsusingh, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce at the press conference.

Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, announces the readiness to host the 63rd edition of Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair (BGJF) under the theme of “Thailand’s Magic Hands”, which highlights Thailand’s cultural heritage and the exquisite craftsmanship of Thai artisans that are internationally renowned to become the Jewelry Hub serving the global gem and jewelry trade. This event will be an important platform to promote potential Thai entrepreneurs and SMEs to expand their business to the global market. It is expected to attract more than 20,000 businessmen and buyers from 130 countries across the globe. The fair will be held during 20 – 24 February 2019 at Challenger Hall 1-3, Impact Muang Thong Thani.

Photo Release: Crowning Vector Headband, Ring, Bracelet in Gold Plated Sterling Silver inspired from royal design of Cesar Augustus of the Roman Empire, by Karen Silver Design from Silver Jewelry Zone

Ms. Banjongjitt Angsusingh, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, reveals that “Last year, Thai gems and jewelry industry was one of the most important sectors of the country’s economy. It helped create jobs for the industrial workforce and generate income to the craftsmen up to 1.2 million people. In 2018, the exports of gems and jewelry products, including gold, valued up to 383,713 million baht, or accounted for 4.74% of all exports of the country.”

The 63rd Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair is held under the theme of ‘Thailand’s Magic Hands’, which honors Thai craftsmanship in creating the exquisite work pieces to meet the needs of international consumers. DITP is determined to promote the exceptional craftsmanship to be led to the global gems and jewelry trade or Jewelry Hub that builds from skillful craftsmanship to global design, innovation and international trade excellence.

Photo Release: Spring Blossom USD 1.4M (3,797 diamonds, 342 precious stones) by Beauty Gems from The Niche Showcase Zone

At the 63rd Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair, there will be over 800 leading Thai and international manufacturers, exhibitors and exporters to display over 1,800 booths covering all types of products. This event is expected have approximate 20,000 businessmen and foreign buyers attending the event, with approximate on-event orders valued 2,400 million baht. At the fair, buyers and visitors will experience inspirational activities and exhibitions as well as new trading opportunities, from The New Faces that highlights Thai SMEs from all regions, The Niche Showcase that exhibits niche jewelry trends, The Jewelers that presents a group of designers who focus on creative jewelry-making, and Innovation and Design Zone offering products with innovation and special materials. There will also be other interesting activities such as knowledge sharing seminars, business consultancy, including gem and jewelry making demonstration as well as quality check services, etc.

Photo Release: Key industry people from public and private sector at the at the press conference for The 63rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair (BGJF)

The 63rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair will take place from February 20 to 24, 2019 at Challenger Hall 1-3, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. For more information and pre-registration, please visit www.bkkgems.com or dial DITP Call Center 1169.

 

 

GDP ของฮังการีเพิ่มขึ้น 4.8% ในไตรมาสที่ 2 ของปี 2561

 

สำนักงานสถิติแห่งชาติฮังการี รายงานว่า ในไตรมาสที่ 2 ของปี 2561 GDP ของฮังการีเพิ่มขึ้นถึง 4.8% สูงกว่าการประเมินในเบื้องต้นที่ 0.02% รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงการคลัง Mr. Mihály Varga ระบุว่า จากสถิติยืนยันได้ว่าเศรษฐกิจฮังการีขยายตัวสูงขึ้น ซึ่งเป็นอัตราการเติบโตสูงสุดนับตั้งแต่ปี 2548 เป็นต้นมา อย่างไรก็ตาม ตั้งแต่ในช่วงกลางทศวรรษที่ 2000 เศรษฐกิจของฮังการีมีการเติบโตค่อนข้างมีเสถียรภาพและยั่งยืน การขยายตัวไม่ได้มาจากการกู้เงินแต่มาจากความสามารถในการจัดหาเงินทุนจากนอกประเทศ อีกทั้ง อัตราส่วนหนี้สินต่อ GDP ของรัฐบาล (government debt-to-GDP ratio) มีการปรับตัวลดลงอย่างรวดเร็ว

ส่วนสำคัญของการเติบโตเกิดขึ้นในตลาดบริการ การปรับขึ้นค่าจ้างไม่เพียงสนับสนุนภาคการค้าปลีกเท่านั้น แต่ยังสนับสนุนภาคบริการสาขาอื่นๆ อาทิ การท่องเที่ยว การบริการที่พักอาศัยและการเงิน

ในด้านการผลิต แม้ว่าการขยายตัวของผลผลิตในภาคอุตสาหกรรมจะชะลอตัวลง (+3.6 เปอร์เซ็นต์) แต่ภาคเศรษฐกิจเกือบทุกสาขามีการเติบโตเพิ่มขึ้น เช่นเดียวกับมูลค่าเพิ่มของภาคการก่อสร้างขยายตัวถึงร้อยละ 23.7 เมื่อเทียบกับช่วงเดียวกันของปี 2560

เมื่อพิจารณาทางด้านการใช้จ่าย การบริโภคยังคงเป็นแรงผลักดันสำคัญของการเติบโต การบริโภคของครัวเรือนเพิ่มขึ้นร้อยละ 5.3 ปัจจัยที่อยู่เบื้องหลังแนวโน้มเชิงบวกนี้คือการเพิ่มขึ้นของค่าจ้างและอัตราการจ้างงานที่สูงเป็นประวัติการณ์ นอกจากนี้ การสะสมทุนถาวร (Gross fixed capital formation) ขยายตัวถึงร้อยละ 15 ซึ่งสาเหตุหลักมาจากกิจกรรมการลงทุนของภาคเอกชนและภาครัฐที่เติบโตอย่างแข็งแกร่ง โดยได้รับเงินสนับสนุนจากกองทุนสหภาพยุโรป

จากมุมมองของนานาชาติ นโยบายเศรษฐกิจของฮังการีประสบความสำเร็จอย่างยอดเยี่ยม และจากการประมาณการของ Eurostat ในไตรมาสที่สอง ของปี 2561 การเติบโตของประเทศสมาชิกสหภาพยุโรปเฉลี่ยอยู่ที่ร้อยละ 2.2 ของ GDP ขณะที่ฮังการีเติบโตร้อยละ 4.6 หรือเป็นสองเท่าของค่าเฉลี่ยในสหภาพยุโรป

Mihály Varga กล่าวย้ำว่า ในช่วงครึ่งหลังของปี 2561 คาดว่าเศรษฐกิจฮังการีจะยังคงมีแนวโน้มที่ดีต่อไปและอัตราการเติบโตอาจสูงกว่า 4.3% ตามที่คาดไว้

Source: Ministry of Finance

 

การลงทุนของฮังการีขยายตัว 15% ในช่วงไตรมาสที่ 2 ของปี 2561

 

ในช่วงไตรมาสที่ 2 ของปี 2561 ปริมาณการลงทุนในประเทศฮังการีเพิ่มขึ้นร้อยละ 15 ในสาขาเศรษฐกิจของประเทศมีการลงทุนเพิ่มขึ้นเกือบทุกสาขา ขณะที่ในช่วงครึ่งแรกของปี 2561 การลงทุนเพิ่มขึ้นร้อยละ 13 เมื่อเทียบกับช่วงเดียวกันของปี 2560

ในช่วงไตรมาสที่ 2 ของปี 2561 การลงทุนในประเทศฮังการีเพิ่มขึ้นร้อยละ 15 โดยมาจากการลงทุนด้านก่อสร้างซึ่งขยายตัว 15% หรือมีสัดส่วนร้อยละ 54 ของการลงทุนโดยรวม และการลงทุนด้านเครื่องจักรและอุปกรณ์มีสัดส่วนร้อยละ 45 ขยายตัว 16 %

สาขาเศรษฐกิจของประเทศมีกิจกรรมการลงทุนเพิ่มขึ้นเกือบทุกสาขา การขนส่งและคลังสินค้า เป็นสาขาที่มีปริมาณการลงทุนสูงสุด เติบโต 22% ซึ่งเป็นผลมาจากโครงการก่อสร้างและซ่อมแซมทางหลวง ทางด่วน และทางรถไฟที่มีการดำเนินงานอย่างต่อเนื่อง เช่นเดียวกับบริษัทดำเนินธุรกิจด้านการขนส่ง เพิ่มการลงทุนเพื่อรองรับงานปริมาณงานที่เพิ่มขึ้น

ด้านอสังหาริมทรัพย์ซึ่งมีสัดส่วนการลงทุนประมาณ 16% เติบโตร้อยละ 7.9 จากการขยายตัวของการก่อสร้างและการปรับปรุงที่อยู่อาศัย ตลอดจนการก่อสร้างอาคารให้เช่าแห่งใหม่ (เช่น อาคารสำนักงาน โกดังสินค้า เป็นต้น)

การลงทุนด้านการผลิตขยายตัว 3.2% สาขาที่เติบโตสูงที่สุดได้แก่ การผลิตอุปกรณ์ไฟฟ้า ผลิตภัณฑ์ยาง พลาสติก แร่ธาตุที่ไม่ใช่โลหะ และเครื่องจักรและอุปกรณ์

ในส่วนของการค้าส่ง ค้าปลีก การซ่อมแซมยานยนต์และรถจักรยานยนต์ มีการลงทุนเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างต่อเนื่อง ขยายตัว 9.7%  นอกเหนือจากร้านค้าปลีกและเครือข่ายค้าส่งแล้ว ผู้ประกอบการค้ายานยนต์และรถจักรยานยนต์ ขยายการลงทุนเพิ่มขึ้นเช่นกัน

เนื่องจากเศรษฐกิจในประเทศขยายตัวสูง การลงทุนด้านการบริการที่พักและอาหารเติบโตถึง 21% มีการปรับปรุงสถานบริการและก่อสร้างโรงแรมแห่งใหม่อย่างต่อเนื่อง

ในช่วงครึ่งแรกของปี 2561 สาขาธุรกิจที่มีปริมาณการลงทุนขยายตัวสูงสุดได้แก่ การขนส่งและคลังสินค้า  (16.1%) อสังหาริมทรัพย์  (10.8%) และค้าส่ง ค้าปลีก การซ่อมแซมยานยนต์และรถจักรยานยนต์ (7.5%)

Source: www.ksh.hu

Upgrading the Standards of Thai Herbal Products

The use of herbal medicine is now popular worldwide. The Thai Industrial Standards Institute is accelerating the setting of standards for Thai herbal products in order to upgrade them and create more confidence among consumers. The Government places an emphasis on developing Thai herbs and is seeking to add higher value to them by processing them into medicine, food supplements, and health products. About 1,800 kinds of herbs are known in various local communities in Thailand for their medicinal properties. Out of this number, 300 have been used as raw materials to develop herbal products for sale in the market.

Aware of the importance of herbal plants, the Thai Industrial Standards Institute has joined hands with the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, under the Ministry of Public Health, in launching a project for developing the standards of the Thai herb industry. The objective is to improve the quality of Thai herbs, so that they will become more competitive in the international market. Thailand has set a target that, by 2022, it will become a leading exporter of raw materials for herbal production in the ASEAN region. Demand for herbal plants is still high, as they can be used as raw materials for many industries. Thailand’s first Master Plan on Thai Herbal Development, 2017-2021, comprises four strategies. In the first strategy, Thai herbal products with good potential will be promoted in response to the market demand in the country and overseas.

The second strategy seeks to develop the country’s herbal industry and market, so that Thai herbs will be competitive in the international market. The third strategy seeks to promote the use of herbal plants for medical treatment and health promotion. In the fourth strategy, health service administration and policy will be strengthened. Many Thai herbal plants have been developed to higher standards and integrated into primary health care. The promotion of herbal medicine also aims to reduce the people’s medical expenses and the Government’s production costs for public health services.

Source: The Government Public Relations Department