Consumer Confidence up for 3rd month in a row

Consumer confidence rose for the third straight month in February, boosted by rising exports, continued growth in tourism and commodity prices. This is the highest level in 14 months and reflects views on the economy, job opportunities and income. Exports rose for the third straight month in January and the Bank of Thailand is forecasting 3.2% growth in the GDP for 2017.

The government is confident that Thailand will be removed from the Intellectual Property (IP) Priority Watch List in the United States next month as the government has continued efforts tackling intellectual priority violations. The government has cracked down on markets in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and on the Thai – Cambodian border. Building owners have been asked to not renew contracts for vendors selling pirated goods, most of the pirated goods are brought in from foreign countries via border areas. The government is working to rein in pirated goods sold through social media sites as well and plans on conducting random inspections on delivery services to ensure they are not shipping pirated goods. The government will be working with US authorities to map out a plan to stimulate IP creation, commercialization of IP as well as law enforcement and to raise awareness of the harm of purchasing pirated goods among consumers. Last year the government seized 3.6 million pirated goods valued at 1.7 billion baht.

Qatar Airways announced plans to start direct Chiang Mai – Doha flights on October 31, 2017 and will be using the A330 wide body jet in the scheduled four flights a week. The airline started direct Doha – Krabi flights in December 2016 and will become the first Middle Eastern airline to fly to Chiang Mai. Most international airlines flying to Chiang Mai are local low cost carriers and Asian carriers including China, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. Last year Chiang Mai International Airport saw 4.6 million arrivals, second to Phuket in provincial airports. Chiang Mai International Airport also took third place in the airports of its size category in the 2016 Airport Service Quality Awards. It was the only Thai airport to make the list. The awards were based on the responses of 600,000 flyers in 41 languages in 84 countries in 2016. The survey measured passengers’ views on key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants. Each airport used the same survey which is given by the Airports Council International; a trade association of the world’s airports founded in 1991 to foster cooperation among member airports and aviation partners including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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