What's new in business news: September 20, 2013 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: September 20, 2013

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Thai-EU trade talks stay away from drug patent expansion, Taiwan pushes for Thai trade deal & corruption cause of recent rash of disrailments alleges Chuwit. 

Activists led by FTA Watch yesterday continue their rally in downtown ChiangMai where the Thai-EU free trade agreement talks are being held. The protesters are voicing their concerns over the potential negative impacts of the FTA on public health and basic services. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 

Thai-EU trade talks to stay away from drug patent expansion 

Thai negotiators are currently holding discussions with the European Union (EU) on a free trade agreement (FTA). About 100 police in anti-riot gear blocked the road outside the hotel where the negotiations were being held. 

Activists were concerned that the EU might put pressure on Thailand over its medical procurement policies which might cause problems for medical treatment but FTA discussions will not go beyond the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (Trips). The EU's has its own proposal on drug patent expansion, data exclusivity and tougher intellectual property rights known as Trips-Plus.

There is also a special concern over the issue of international arbitration of sensitive cases. A framework set by parliament in 2010, states that environment, public health and macroeconomic policy issues should not allow a dispute to go to international arbitration.

Sensitive issues in  FTA negotiations should be handled according to parliament' s resolution to protect the people's interests as the government can't implement any healthcare campaigns or other public services if an EU company files a case in international arbitration. Last year, Phillip Morris filed a lawsuit for international arbitration against the Australian government which had issued regulations to control smoking. 

[Read full story here ]

INTERNATIONAL TRADE 

Taiwan pushes for Thai trade deal

Taiwan is pushing for a bilateral economic partnership with Thailand. Singapore is now the only Asean member to enter negotiations for such a partnership with the country.

Three years ago, Taiwan and China established the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ecfa), covering investment and services. The two partners want to expand Ecfa to include trade, hopefully by year-end or in 2014. Thailand could enjoy greater access to China via Ecfa if it has a bilateral free trade agreement with Taipei. Taiwan also looks forward to participating in regional integration under the the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in late 2015.

With combined investment of US$13.2 billion, Taiwan is the third-largest foreign direct investor in Thailand after Japan and the US, with 5,000 Taiwanese companies operating here. Taiwanese ICT products include Acer with a 33% share in the Thai notebook market and HTC is a popular smartphone brand. Taiwanese auto-parts makers have also built up a presence in Thailand. 

[Read full story here ]

TRANSPORTATION 

Chuwit: Graft cause of SRT derailments

Use of low-quality structural steel and track ballast by railway contractors is behind the derailments that have plagued the SRT in 2013, MP Chuwit Kamolvisit has claimed. Between January and September of this year, 114 trains have derailed and went off the tracks, 11 times a month on average, compared with 89 derailments in the whole of 2012. 

In one suspicious transaction, steel for rails was allegedly ordered from a small steel plant in China at 20,000 baht a tonne, 25,000 baht lower than the set price but the factory has no record of exporting steel for use in the construction of a train track.

In another example, a contractor allegedly dug up stone near the track and sold it  to the SRT for use in maintenance of the northern railway tracks. The company allegedly sold what belonged to the State Railway of Thailand back to the state railway.

[Read full story here ]

Learn from listening

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Vocabulary:

access: the opportunity or right to have or use something - โอกาสในการใช้ หรือ ได้รับสิทธิ์

activist: someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation - นักกิจกรรม

allegedly: stated without giving complete proof - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา

anti: against - ตรงกันข้าม, ต้าน

arbitration: the official process of settling an argument or a disagreement by somebody who is not involved อนุญาโตตุลาการ - อนุญาโตตุลาการ

bilateral: involving two groups or countries - สองข้าง, เกี่ยวกับกลุ่มทางการเมืองสองกลุ่ม

bilateral relations: relations involving two countries - ความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างสองประเทศ

bilateral trade: trade between two countries; the buying and selling of goods and services between two countries -

block: to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else - ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง

brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ

campaign: a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์, การกระทำการหรือวางแผนเพื่อให้บรรลุตามเป้าหมาย

case: a matter that is being officially investigated or heard by a court - คดี

claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

combined: counted together - รวมกัน

concern: a worry - ความกังวล

concerned: worried about something   - มีความกังวล

construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง

contractor: a person or company whose job is to do work for another person, organisation, company, etc. - ผู้รับเหมา

cooperation: working together to achieve a result that will benefit all sides - ความร่วมมือ, การทำงานร่วมกัน

derail: (of a train) to come off the railway tracks - ตกราง

derailment: when a train goes off the railway tracks it travels along - ตกราง

dispute: a serious disagreement; a conflict - ข้อพิพาท

environment: the natural world including plants and animals, land, water, air, especially as it is affected by human activities - สิ่งแวดล้อม

establish: to start a company or organization that will likely continue for a long time - สถาปนา, ก่อตั้ง, จัดตั้ง

expand: to make or become larger - ขยาย เพิ่ม

expansion: when something increases in size, number or importance - การขยายออก

file: to take official action, in this case, to make an official complaint - ยื่นคำร้อง

foreign direct investment: FDI, money that people or companies of one country invest in another country by buying property, building factories, buying businesses, etc -

framework: a system of rules, ideas or beliefs that is used to plan or decide something - ขอบข่ายงาน, โครงร่าง

Free Trade Agreement (FTA): an agreement between countries to create "free trade" for some or all goods - เขตการค้าเสรี

graft: corruption - การฉ้อโกง

handle: to deal with a situation, a person, an area of work or a strong emotion - ควบคุม, ปฏิบัติ,จัดการ

implement: to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used - นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ, นำมาใช้

integration: the process of combining with others to create a single unit or system - การรวมเข้าด้วยกัน, การผสมผสาน

intellectual property: something that someone has created or invented and that no one else is legally allowed to make, copy, or sell - ทรัพย์สินทางปัญญา

interests: an advantage for everyone or for somebody/something - ประโยชน์ส่วนร่วม, ประโยชน์ส่วนบุคคล

international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

investment: the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน

investor: a person or organization that invests money, i.e., uses money with the aim of making a profit from it, for example by buying property or buying shares in a company - นักลงทุน

issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น

lawsuit: a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups - คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล

look forward to: to feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen - ตั้งหน้ารอคอย

maintenance: the act of keeping something in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly - การซ่อมบำรุง

medical: connected with illness and injury and their treatment - ทางการแพทย์, ด้านการแพทย์, เกี่ยวกับการแพทย์

member: a person, a country or an organization that has joined a particular group, club or team - สมาชิก

negotiations: formal discussion in which people or groups try to reach an agreement - การเจรจาต่อรอง

negotiator: a person who to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - ผู้เจรจา

on average: calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts - โดยเฉลี่ย

operate: to carry out an activity like running a business - ดำเนินการ

order: to officially request a company for some product you want to buy - สั่ง

parliament: the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country; the building where members of parliament meet. - รัฐสภา

participating: taking part in something - เข้าร่วม

partner: one of the people who owns a business and shares the profits, etc or works together with another business in an activity - หุ้นส่วน, ผู้ร่วมมือ,

partnership: when a company owns and runs a business and shares profits, etc or with another company - หุ้นส่วน, ความร่วมมือ, ห้างหุ้นส่วน, ห้างหุ้นส่วนจำกัด

patent: an official document that gives someone who has invented something the legal right to make or sell that invention for a particular period of time, and prevents anyone else from doing so - สิทธิบัตร

plagued: caused a lot of problems for someone or something for a long period of time - ทำให้ยุ่งยาก ลำบากมานาน

plant: a factory that produces power or processes chemicals, etc. - โรงงาน

policy: a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย

popular: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

presence: the fact of being in a particular place, thing or situation - การเข้าร่วม, การมีอยู่

pressure: to try to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way - กดดัน

procurement: the process of buying supplies or equipment for a government department or company - การจัดซื้อวัสดุ เครื่องมือสำหรับบริษัท หรือหน่วยงานของรัฐ

proposal: a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ

public health: the health of all the people in a country, city or community and their health issues; also the name of a government department - การสาธารณสุข

quality: the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is - คุณภาพ

record: a written account of something that is kept so that it can be looked at and used in the future - บันทึก, รายงาน

regional: of or relating to a region - เกี่ยวกับภูมิภาค

regulations: official rules that control the way things are done - ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ

resolution: an official decision that is made after a group or organisation have voted - มติ

right: something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have - สิทธิ

riot: a violent protest by a group of people - ความไม่สงบ การจลาจล

riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล

sensitive: needed to be dealt with very carefully to not cause anger or offence - ที่ละเอียดอ่อน

service industry: an industry in that part of the economy that creates services rather than objects for sale - ธุรกิจบริการ

set: fixed, not changing, already decided or scheduled - จัดไว้, กำหนดล่วงหน้า

steel: A variety of iron intermediate in composition and properties between wrought iron and cast iron (containing between one half of one per cent and one and a half percent of carbon), and consisting of an alloy of iron with an iron carbide. Steel, unlike wrought iron, can be tempered, and retains magnetism. Its malleability decreases, and fusibility increases, with an increase in carbon. - เหล็ก

structural: having to do with structures such as buildings, bridges and roads - เกี่ยวกับโครงสร้าง

suspicious: making you believe that something is wrong, dangerous or illegal - น่าสงสัย

talks: negotiations; when two sides that disagree get together and "talk" to reach some agreement - การเจรจา, การเจรจาต่อรอง

track: the two long metal strips that a train travels along - รางรถไฟ

trade: the buying and selling of goods and services - การค้าขาย

transaction: a business dealing - การติดต่อทางธุรกิจ

treatment: the process of providing medical care - การรักษา

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