Kbank invests 6.5 billion baht to hold a total share of 67.5% of Bank Maspion 

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https://www.nationthailand.com/business/corporate/40022917

Kbank invests 6.5 billion baht to hold a total share of 67.5% of Bank Maspion 

Kbank invests 6.5 billion baht to hold a total share of 67.5% of Bank Maspion 

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Kasikorn Vision Financial Company Pte. Ltd. (KVF) has completed the acquisition of additional shares of PT Bank Maspion Indonesia Tbk, with an investment value of USD 186.5 million (THB 6.528 billion), increasing Kbank’s total shareholding of Bank Maspion to 67.5%.

This investment is expected to generate new opportunities and help business entities access financial services while fortifying customers’ networks across Indonesia, thereby reiterating Kbank’s prominent leadership as a regional bank of AEC+3 in financial services offerings and technological capabilities.

Pattarapong KanhasuwanKVF‘s Chairman, has asserted that Kbank never ceased its zealous efforts to continue to expand and lead the financial panorama of Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia where the market has plenty of room for growth.

With such commitment, KVF, upon the approval of Bank Indonesia (BI), has successfully purchased additional shares of Maspion Bank to hold no less than 67.5 % of its total shareholding, with an investment value of USD 186.5 million (THB 6.528 billion). This accomplishment has subsequently led Kbank to become the controlling shareholder of Bank Maspion.

The acquisition of Bank Maspion, with an asset size of USD 888 million (THB 31.106 billion) including its 50 branches across Indonesia, has become Kbank’s first Merger and Acquisition deal within the group’s regional expansion strategy.

The success of the deal has taken place at the right time and the right moment not only in terms of the exponential growth in Indonesia’s loan demand, the recovering stage of the Indonesian economy during the post-covid pandemic, but also the promptness of the country to provide basic infrastructure thanks to increasing domestic investment, consumer spending, and exports. 

Therefore, Kbank has profoundly pledged to be part of the steering mechanism that drives Indonesia’s economy by bringing to the table its unequivocal 77-year of experience, along with its cutting-edge technology and banking expertise of Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG), a technological arm of Kbank, to solidify banking landscape of PT. Bank Maspion and drive it to become the largest bank in East Java, which, in turn, will meaningfully support Indonesia’s long-term economic growth.

In doing so, Bank Maspion has pursued multifaceted strategies in three different customer segments, including corporate/large businesses (Corporate), medium-sized businesses (Commercial) and retail customers (Retail).

Corporate/Large Corporate Segment
PT. Bank Maspion has witnessed the growth potential of large local corporates (LLC) as an essential driving mechanism that deliberately gears Indonesia’s industrial sector. Essentially, the Bank aims to become a major funding source for such LLC customers by accelerating corporate lending offerings, in accordance with the industrial transformation and a unified domestic market.

Furthermore, PT. Bank Maspion supports foreign direct investment and economic development of Indonesia enabled by the National Development Plan. Not only will the plan help bring about a buoyant economy to the country, but it will particularly form an enabling investment environment that would lure capital and opportunities, particularly from Thai businesses (TDI) and foreign companies from AEC+3 countries. 

Kbank invests 6.5 billion baht to hold a total share of 67.5% of Bank Maspion 

Commercial Segment 
PT. Bank Maspion has placed an emphasis on providing lending support by promoting financial credits to serve the unmet needs of medium-sized businesses, thereby helping them unlock their potential and efficiently operate their businesses. Moreover, the Bank will leverage Kbank’s technological capabilities to bolster transactional banking services, which is strategic to levelling up the business playing fields of commercial customers while propelling them to grow into large-scale businesses in the future. 


Retail Segment
Finally, PT. Bank Maspion seeks to address the needs and provide accessibility for the larger pool of customers, the Indonesian people. In doing so, the Bank will employ mobile banking services, with developed functions and features, to additionally grasp a better understanding of customers’ behaviour. Thanks to the increasing usage of digital channels in Indonesia, PT. Bank Maspion believes that such a strategy will enhance the overall customer experience in all spectrums of financial services and eventually serve the evolving digital landscape of Indonesia.

In all, Pattarapong addressed that Kbank’s strengths in financial services and technological capabilities, together with Bank Maspion’s local banking expertise, are believed to bring about new prospects and enable businesses in Indonesia to access suitable financial services and efficiently grow their businesses.  More importantly, Kbank will leverage its vast pool customer base in Thailand and in the region to create business networks in different aspects of the value chain and trade and investment spectrums—all of which are strategic to support business operations in Thailand, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries going forward.

The acquisition of Indonesia’s Maspion Bank in 2022 is recent Kbank’s key strategy to advance its position as a regional bank of AEC+3 following the launching of its operations in Lao PDR in 2014, obtaining of an operating license in China in 2016, the opening of Phnom Penh branch in Cambodia in 2017, and the inaugural of the Ho Chi Minh City branch in Vietnam in 2021. 

17,000 workers wanted on Phuket as tourism rebound sparks labour shortage

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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/economy/40022916

17,000 workers wanted on Phuket as tourism rebound sparks labour shortage

17,000 workers wanted on Phuket as tourism rebound sparks labour shortage

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Phuket now has more than 17,000 job vacancies amid a serious labour shortage sparked by the post-Covid-19 tourism boom.

The holiday island is welcoming about 8,000 foreign tourists per day, Phuket governor Narong Woonciew told a press conference on Friday.

He said the number of tourists is expected to increase until the start of next year, swelled by a 41.34% rise in Thai visitors compared with 2019.

The Phuket Provincial Employment Office reported that 1,423 local businesses vacancies for 17,173 workers.

The office said the hotel business has the highest demand for workers, followed by service and retail businesses.

“Receptionists are in highest demand, followed by food and beverage service staff and spa masseurs,” the office said.

17,000 workers wanted on Phuket as tourism rebound sparks labour shortage

The labour shortage in the province is severe with only one worker for every five tourists, Phuket employment officer Pichit Singthongkham said.

The employment office has organised a press briefing to attract more workers from around the country. It will also hold a recruitment drive at Central Phuket on December 27, Pichit said.

17,000 workers wanted on Phuket as tourism rebound sparks labour shortage

Patong Hotel Association president Supattra Jaruariyanon urged the government to relieve Phuket’s labour shortage as quickly as possible.

“Hotel operators are handing employees overtime and hiring student interns on daily and monthly terms to tackle the issue,” she said.

17,000 workers wanted on Phuket as tourism rebound sparks labour shortage

The association is also urging Phuket recruitment agencies to take on local university students to work in the hotel sector.

17,000 workers wanted on Phuket as tourism rebound sparks labour shortage

Related stories:

Baht opens stronger against dollar on Friday but all eyes on US data

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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/economy/40022908

Baht opens stronger against dollar on Friday but all eyes on US data

Baht opens stronger against dollar on Friday but all eyes on US data

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

The baht opened at 34.70 to the US dollar on Friday, strengthening slightly from Thursday’s close of 34.79.

The currency will likely move between 34.60 and 34.80 against the greenback during the day, Krungthai market strategist Poon Panichpibool said.

Poon said that the baht is likely to swing sideways, bounded by a range of 34.50 to 35.20 to the dollar.

A risk-on market may pressure the dollar to weaken or swing sideways, supporting strengthening of the baht.

However, any baht strengthening would be hampered as investors had not yet adjusted their holdings of risky assets, bonds and currency to take account of new US economic data.

Poon warned of possible baht volatility when the market reacts to the latest US producer price index, due today, and US inflation data.

If these numbers do not reflect market expectations of an economic slowdown, the dollar may strengthen and breach its resistance level of 105 points on US Dollar Index (DXY). This would trigger market concern that the US Federal Reserve could hike the interest rate, Poon said.

However, he doubted the baht would weaken much, projecting its key resistance level at 35.20, supported by foreign investors who are still buying Thai short-term and long-term bonds and concern about a slow economy.

He forecast exporters would wait until the baht dropped close to its resistance level before selling dollars.

He also advised investors to use hedging tools such as options to manage risks in a highly volatile currency market.

Related stories

Thailand set to overtake Vietnam as world’s No 2 rice exporter

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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/economy/40022904

Thailand set to overtake Vietnam as world’s No 2 rice exporter

Thailand set to overtake Vietnam as world’s No 2 rice exporter

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Thailand is on course to overtake Vietnam as the world’s second-biggest rice exporter this year, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA).

India tops the list of rice exporters in the first 10 months with 17.06 tonnes million, while Thailand is second with 6.02 million tonnes, the TREA reported on Thursday.

Vietnam, which was the world’s No 2 exporter last year, was pushed into third with 6.01 million tonnes. Pakistan and the United States are in fourth and fifth places, with 3.4 and 1.9 million tonnes, respectively.

The list of biggest rice importers so far this year is led by Iraq with 1.3 million tonnes, followed by South Africa (0.64 million), the US (0.54 million), China (0.53 million), and Benin (0.3 million).

TREA added that in October, Thailand exported 0.79 million tonnes of rice worth 13.97 billion baht, up 24.7% and 20.5% from the previous month, respectively.

It projects exports in November of 0.8 million tonnes, rising higher in December due to demand during the Christmas and New Year holidays. TREA is confident that Thailand’s total rice exports this year will hit the target of 7.5 million tonnes, significantly higher than last year’s total of 6.12 million tonnes.

Thailand’s biggest rice markets are Iraq, South Africa, the US, China, Benin, Japan, Senegal and Angola.

Related Stories

Thai rice exports rise 33%, closer to 7.5-million-tonne target for 2022

Surge in rice exports puts Thailand on track to becoming 2nd largest global supplier

Thailand’s rice exports boom, Iraq emerges as largest customer

Thai business survey finds optimism about economy despite headwinds

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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/economy/40022884

Thai business survey finds optimism about economy despite headwinds

Thai business survey finds optimism about economy despite headwinds

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2022

Thailand’s economy will face several challenges in the first quarter next year, including inflationary pressure and the ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine, according to the latest survey of 200 leading executives by the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce released on Thursday.

Despite headwinds, the survey of chamber members was generally optimistic: more than half of respondents forecast that the Thai economy’s performance will improve in the first quarter of next year.

Chamber president Narongsak Putthapornmongkol said respondents were most worried about inflation and the fallout from the war.

Thai business survey finds optimism about economy despite headwinds

Narongsak said the survey, which was conducted from November 24 to December 1, aims to “predict the economic direction in the first quarter of next year”.

He said respondents were less worried about rising fuel prices because they believed they were likely to drop.

The survey also found concerns about household debt, non-performing loans, currency exchange volatility, and a decline in exports.

Still, respondents were optimistic about the return of foreign tourists and more foreign investment.

“Respondents believe that the return of foreign tourists, especially Chinese tourists, and the potential to draw foreign investors into ‘new industries’ will help Thailand’s economy recover quickly,” Narongsak said.

The survey found that foreign investors are most interested in Thailand’s electric vehicle, e-commerce, agriculture and foods, renewable energy and tourism industries.

Narongsak said the survey also found that rising consumer confidence and the government’s investment in utilities are seen as additional drivers of future growth.

Moreover, 57% of respondents expect Chinese companies to increase their investment in Thailand as they select the country as a production base for Asean.

Thai business survey finds optimism about economy despite headwinds

Key responses to the survey include:

When asked if they were confident that the return of foreign tourists will help the Thai economy recover, most respondents expressed optimism:

24.3% very confident

58.6% moderately confident

When asked when inflation would stabalise, slightly more than 50% of respondents said in the first half of next year:

33.2% second quarter

23.7% third quarter

21% first quarter

When asked to forecast China’s economic health in the first quarter of next year compared to this year, the majority of respondents said it would either improve or remain the same:

37.6% better

32.6% remain the same

When asked about Thailand’s exports to China in the first quarter of next year, about half of respondents said they would rise:

50.3% increase

33.7% remain the same

When asked about Thailand’s imports from China in the first quarter next year, respondents said:

44.8% increase

32.6% remain the same

When asked about Thailand’s economic performance in the first quarter next year, more than half of respondents said it would improve:

55.3% better

31.5% remain the same

10.5% slow down

When asked about Thailand’s stock market in the first quarter next year, respondents were mixed:

37% rise

33.1% remain the same

27.1% drop

Related stories:

Banpu NEXT and PlanetComm team up to expand smart safety platform

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https://www.nationthailand.com/more/pr-news/40022888

Banpu NEXT and PlanetComm team up to expand smart safety platform

Banpu NEXT and PlanetComm team up to expand smart safety platform

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2022

Smart energy provider Banpu NEXT has signed a memorandum of understanding with digital technology provider PlanetComm to jointly expand its smart safety platform.

The platform provides data analytics and energy management solutions and numerous other features to help businesses improve security and performance. It also provides users with swift updates about developments in Thailand’s digital economy.

Thailand has seen an increase in both Thai and international tourists following the country’s reopening starting from the middle of this year.

At the same time, the country is heading towards the development of Smart City. Recently, the government has approved a total of 30 locations in 23 provinces as designated Smart Cities and is pushing for Smart City development, resulting in the rising demands for smart city technology and solutions. These technology and solutions are key for 7 Smart City development areas which are Smart Environment, Smart Energy, Smart Economy, Smart Living, Smart Governance, Smart People and Smart Mobility.

Banpu NEXT and PlanetComm are therefore committed to driving forward the use of digital platform for city management especially in terms of safety, not to mention making the city more livable and boosting the country’s economy

Mr. Sinon Vongkusolkit, Chief Executive Officer of Banpu NEXT Co., Ltd., said, “Banpu NEXT and PlanetComm share a similar business vision to use high-performance solutions and expertise from each organization in support of Thailand’s Smart City development and to promote digital economy. 

The success of Phuket Smart City is a solid proof of a long-term strategic partnership between Banpu NEXT and PlanetComm in response to the expansion of Smart City across the country. The collaboration will enhance the capability of each organization to offer good and helpful solutions for people in the society and to serve as a much-needed assistance for the sustainable development of Smart City.”

“With that said, Banpu NEXT introduces “Smart Safety Platform”, an end-to-end security solution that connects and allows seamless operations between hardware, software, and digital platform. Importantly, data collected by the Smart Safety Platform will be analyzed and processed by AI and IoT and will be sent to War Room in real-time for officials’ planning and management via both website and mobile application.

Mr. Prapat Rathlertkarn, Chief Executive Officer of Planet Communications Asia PLC., said “PlanetComm has offered technology and hardware system in support of city development in various areas. One of the flagship projects is Phuket Smart City which is carried out in partnership with Banpu NEXT. We incorporated our safety devices and Banpu NEXT’s Smart Safety Platform for the improvement of Thalang Road and Rommanee Alley, Phuket City Municipality and Laem Phromthep to be safer and much more livable.

“We are confident that the platform will help with the development of smart city in various locations given its customizable features and ability to fix pain points”. Mr. Sinon concluded.

Festive Feast in the City at Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok

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https://www.nationthailand.com/pr-news/more/pr-news/40022871

Festive Feast in the City at Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok

Festive Feast in the City at Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2022

Bangkok, December 6, 2022: Make Christmas & New Year’s festivities a breeze by taking the families and loved ones out for a festive feed. Check in and be merry with us at the Greenhouse Restaurant and Terrace of the Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok Hotel (directly accessible from BTS On Nut station exit 3).

Nothing beats a great Christmas meal with great drink. Our culinary delights and many delectable festively inspired desserts awaits you. A roasted turkey, an oyster bar, fresh seafood on ice, a wide selection of meat and seafood, and live cooking station are among them. A live band and Christmas carols are planned to round out your special evening.

Continue to welcome those who are looking forward to enhancing the end-of-year celebration with delectable cuisine. An oyster bar, pan-seared foie gras, fresh seafood on ice, a cheese and coldcuts selection, a BBQ on the terrace with lamb, beef, and seafood, and a live cooking station with BBQ duck, soft shell crab curry, steamed black crab, and sweet treats are among the delectable dishes created by our Executive Chef. Your dinner will be complete with an entertaining live band and DJ.

As the countdown begins, toast to a new beginning on the sky-high terrace with our free-flow drinks. Share joy and best wishes with loved ones for a fantastic start to the new year. Come and enjoy the magic of the season with your family and friends over delicious food and a wide range of exciting events, sparkling entertainment, and fun things to do all throughout the holiday season, no matter what your holiday traditions are or what kind of food you like. We promise to make your Christmas and New Year’s Eve unforgettable.

The choice of time and price for each celebration is shown below.

Christmas Eve Dinner
December 24, 2022 – : 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. 

-THB 1,250++ per person for buffet dinner*
-THB 1,850++ per person for buffet dinner with free-flow drinks*

Christmas Day Lunch
December 25, 2022: Noon – 3:00 p.m. 
– THB 1,150++ per person for buffet lunch*
– THB 1,750++ per person for buffet lunch with free flow drinks*

New Year’s Eve Dinner
Saturday, December 31, 2022: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

– THB 1,850++ per person for buffet dinner*
– THB 2,450++ per person for buffet dinner with free flow drinks*

New Year’s Eve Countdown
Saturday, December 31, 2022: 10:00 PM – Midnight
-THB 999++ per person for 2-hour free flow drinks*

Remark: *The rates are subject to a 10% service charge and applicable 7% government tax

Children under the age of 12 receive a 50% discount. Get a 20% discount on food only for groups of six or more (excluding children). Early bookings and payments received before December 18, 2022 will receive a 20% discount off the original price!

For more information about the food and beverage menu, as well as reservations, visit https://mhg.to/zmgm7 or call 02-079-7555.

Shopee stops internet bank transfers ‘to streamline payment method’

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Shopee stops internet bank transfers ‘to streamline payment method’

Shopee stops internet bank transfers ‘to streamline payment method’

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2022

E-commerce platform Shopee has stopped internet bank transfers as a payment method for purchases, as it wants to improve user experience, and the move is unrelated to the case of a buyer’s account being allegedly hacked, the company said.

In its press statement issued on Wednesday, Shopee said its “initial findings suggest that the individuals are likely victims of phishing scams”.

In a message at 11am on Monday, Shopee said it was permanently removing the option of paying via internet bank transfers from Tuesday.

The statement issued on Wednesday was referring to a Facebook post that a customer had lost 50,000 baht after she tied her bank account to purchases from Shopee.

On Saturday, a Facebook user going by the name Guft Sichol said her Siam Commercial Bank account tied to her Shopee account had been nearly emptied. She said she had more than 50,000 baht, but on Saturday she found only 400 baht in her account.

Her statement showed that nine transfers had been made from her account to Sips Shopeepay (Thailand) Co Ltd on December 1 and 2. The total amount transferred was 49,396 and there was no sign of the money in her ShopeePay e-wallet either.

The complainant said she had made no purchases from Shopee on those days.

She said she had searched and found that several other Shopee users faced similar issues.

“We understand the distress this may have caused. We are in contact with the individuals, and we are committed to supporting them and the relevant authorities in any investigations. Our users can continue to shop safely and securely on Shopee. Our platform is compliant with all relevant regulations,” Shopee said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The phasing out of internet bank transfers as a payment method on Shopee is completely unrelated to this matter. To improve the user experience, we have been streamlining our payment methods by phasing out redundant options, including payment via offline bank transfers such as bank’s counter.

“This was communicated to our users in November. Users may continue to shop as usual on Shopee using various popular payment methods, including ShopeePay wallet, Direct Debit, Promptpay and credit cards.”

Thailand’s automakers offering staff up to 8-month bonus for New Year

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https://www.nationthailand.com/business/corporate/40022878

Thailand’s automakers offering staff up to 8-month bonus for New Year

Thailand’s automakers offering staff up to 8-month bonus for New Year

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2022

Major automobile manufacturers in Thailand have announced impressive New Year bonuses for employees after profits grew amid the recovery from Covid-19.

A survey by Thansettakij found that large automakers are offering bonuses of several months pay plus special allowances in line with sales growth.

The first 10 months saw 698,000 vehicles sold in Thailand, up 17.1% from the same period last year.

Automakers are offering the following bonuses:

– Isuzu Motors (Thailand): 8-month bonus plus special allowance of 27,000 baht

– Toyota Motors (Thailand): 7.5-month bonus plus special allowance of 34,000 and allowance to mark 60th anniversary of 16,000 baht

– Honda Automobile (Thailand): 5.4-month bonus plus special allowance of 50,000 baht.

Thansettakij also found that major suppliers of parts to automakers are also paying their workers high bonuses:

– Denso (Thailand) Co Ltd: 7.4-month bonus plus special allowance of 32,500 baht

– Yokohama Tyre Manufacturing: 5-month bonus plus special allowance of 25,000 baht.Thailand’s automakers offering staff up to 8-month bonus for New Year

Major industrial manufacturers that have followed suit include:

– Daikin Industries (Thailand): 7.2-month bonus plus 23,700-baht special allowance and 4.8% salary increase

– Thai Union Group Plc: Considering 1- to 2.5-month bonuses

Thailand’s automakers offering staff up to 8-month bonus for New YearThansettakij has also surveyed the following hotels for their bonus policy this year:

– Oakwood Residence: 9,018 baht

– Ibis Bangkok Riverside: 15,186 baht

– Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok: 26,218 baht

– U Sathorn Bangkok: 16,832 baht

– Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit: 22,243 baht

– Mercure Samui Chaweng Tana: 8,696 baht

– Mandarin Hotel: 34,000 baht

Industrial Estate Authority expects to sell/lease 2,500 rai next year as FDI rises

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https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/economy/40022892

Industrial Estate Authority expects to sell/lease 2,500 rai next year as FDI rises

Industrial Estate Authority expects to sell/lease 2,500 rai next year as FDI rises

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2022

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) estimates it will sell or lease about 2,500 rai (400 hectares) of land to investors next year, its governor said on Thursday.

Wiris Amrapal said he expects the recovery of the global economy coupled with development of IEAT estates to draw more foreign direct investment (FDI) to Thailand, resulting in more sale/lease of estates.

Wiris said the IEAT fast-developing industrial estates had already drawn attention from foreign investors.

FDI is starting to rise again, with overseas companies seeking opportunities in the Eastern Economic Corridor since September 1 after Thailand began issuing long-term residency visas, he said.

The increasing number of foreign investors could be seen from the steep rise in leasing and sales on IEAT estates, Wiris said.

From September 2021 to October 2022, the IEAT sold or leased 2,016.14 rai on estates, up 65.1% from the same period a year earlier.Industrial Estate Authority expects to sell/lease 2,500 rai next year as FDI rises

Wiris said major IEAT development projects making significant progress this year include:

– Third phase of the Map Ta Phut Industrial Port project, where construction is 30.33% complete.

– Smart Park Industrial Estate (1,384 rai), where construction is 38.65% complete for the September 2024 deadline.

– Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sa Kaew Industrial Estate (660.56 rai) in Aranyaprathet, where construction is 100% complete and six investors have moved in.

– Two industrial estates on Corrections Department land – one developed by Sivachai Co Ltd on 4,131 rai, and the other by Green Utility Holding.

– Project to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which now covers 31 factories.