What's new in business news: July 17, 2015

What's new in business news: July 17, 2015

Thailand to apply for membership in Russian-led economic union, drought hits Thailand's farm economy & jellyfish gives Trang fishermen new lease on life.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, during their meeting April 8. (Bangkok Post photo)

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Thailand to apply for membership in Russian-led economic union

Thailand plans to apply for membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) by year-end. In May, Vietnam signed the first free-trade zone agreement between the EEU and a third party and Thailand is said to be preparing the final draft of its proposal, looking forward to possible benefits for Thailand's automobile industry. 

The EEU was launched this year and is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. The economic block is designed to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce within its borders. Armenia joined the bloc last year and on Monday Kyrgyzstan joined also.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev previously said his country would like to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) with 40 countries. He added that a possible currency union with other members of the EEU was also under consideration. The EEU also plans to offer cross-border stock trading in 2016.

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The government ordered farmers to stop pumping water for crops and this is their response, adding that it is simple: Without water, the rice dies. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

AGRICULTURE

Drought hits Thailand's farm economy

Thailand's farm economy shrank 4.2% in the first half of the year as a result of the drought. The severe dry spell prompted the government to persuade farmers to delay planting rice for two months. The postponement is a major reason crops contracted by 7.3% in the first six months. Continued weakness in the crop sector, is expected to cause the Thai agricultural economy to contract this year by 4.3% to 3.3% compared with 1.2% growth in 2014 and a 1.5% gain in 2013.

Second-crop rice production along the Chao Phraya basin and Mae Klong River dropped sharply, while production of other crops such as rubber, pineapple and palm oil were also affected by the drought.

Despite cheap fuel and baht depreciation, Thailand's farm sector could not escape the global slowdown in imports, as Thailand's agriculture exports plunged nearly 10% in the first five months this year. Falling fuel prices also weakened the purchasing power of Thailand's trade partners in Africa and the Middle East.

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A woman shows jellyfish as she and other local fishermen collect this edible marine species from Trang sea to earn income during this monsoon season. (Photo by Methee Muangkaew)

FISHING

Jellyfish gives Trang fishermen new lease on life

Surprisingl, large numbers of jellyfish have appeared in the sea off the coast of Trang and have given a lift to the earnings of Trang fishermen this year. Fishermen can earn from 3,000 to 5,000 baht a day harvesting jellyfish for sale as food.  The name of the jellyfish is maeng krapun jarn, an edible jellyfish of the Aurelia species.

The harvest is usually from March to June, but their sheer numbers have made up for the delay.
 
Traders from other provinces have flocked to Trang to buy the jellyfish from local fishermen, who sell them for 5 baht each. One trader from neighbouring Ranong province, Pramot Suksawat, 51, said he could buy 30,000 jellyfish a day. Jellyfish products are in high demand in Indonesia, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and this year Trang has the biggest crop. The catch is dried before being exported.

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Local fishermen and their children sort the jellyfish they collected from Trang sea. (Photo by Methee Muangkaew)

Vocabulary

  • agricultural (adj): of the science or practice of farming - ที่เกี่ยวกับเกษตรกรรม
  • agriculture: the science or practice of farming - เกษตรกรรม, การเกษตร
  • appear: to be seen; to start to be seen - ปรากฏตัว
  • apply (verb): to make a formal request for permission to do or have something - ขอ, สมัคร
  • as a result of: because of -
  • based on (verb): information or facts used to make a story, calculation, judgement or decision - ตั้งอยู่บน,ยึดเป็นหลัก
  • basin: a large area of land whose surface water all flows into a particular river or lake - ลุ่มน้ำ
  • benefit: an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help - ผลประโยชน์, ข้อได้เปรียบ, ผลดี
  • bloc: a group of people, countries, etc. who work closely together - กลุ่ม
  • border: the official line separating two areas, regions or countries - เขตแดน อาณาเขต
  • capital: a large amount of money that is invested or is used - ทุน, เงินทุน
  • catch: the fish that fishermen catch in one day or journey -
  • cheap: costing little money or less money than you expected - ถูก
  • coast: an area of land beside the sea - ชายฝั่ง
  • consideration: giving careful thought to something before making a decision - การคิดพิจารณา
  • continued: happening or existing for a period of time without interruption - ซึ่งติดต่อกัน, ซึ่งต่อเนื่องกัน
  • contract: to get smaller - หดตัว
  • crop: a plant grown for food, usually on a farm - พืชผล
  • cross-border (adj): of activities which involve going across a border between two countries - เกี่ยวข้องกับกิจกรรมที่ข้ามพรมแดนระหว่าง 2 ประเทศ, ระหว่างประเทศ
  • currency (noun): the system of money, usually, but not always, that a country uses - เงินตรา
  • delay (noun): causing to happen at a later time; happening at a later time than expected - การเลื่อน, ช้ากว่าปกติ
  • demand (noun): the need and desire of people to buy goods - อุปสงค์
  • depreciation: decrease in the value of a currency -
  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • draft: not in a final form and likely to be changed - ร่าง
  • drought (noun): a long period of time when there is little or no rain - ฝนแล้ง, ภัยแล้ง, ความแห้งแล้ง)
  • dry spell: drought; period of time without water -
  • earnings (noun): the profit that a company makes; the money a worker is paid; money received from investments - รายได้, กำไร, ผลกำไร
  • economic block: a group of countries who get together for some economic purpose -
  • edible: fit or suitable to be eaten; not poisonous - ซึ่งกินได้
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • escape (verb): to get away from a place; to leave a place where you are in danger - หนี
  • export: to sell and/or send goods to another country - ส่งออก
  • flock: to go somewhere in large numbers; to gather together in large numbers - แห่กันไป
  • Free Trade Agreement (FTA): an agreement between countries to create "free trade" for some or all goods - เขตการค้าเสรี
  • fuel: to supply something with material that can be burnt to produce heat or power - เติมน้ำมันเชื้อเพลิง
  • gain: to gradually get more of something - เพิ่ม
  • global: world - เกี่ยวกับโลก
  • goods: things that are produced to be sold; possessions that can be moved - สินค้า, สิ่งของ
  • growth (noun): economic growth, an increase in economic activity - การเติบโต
  • harvest (noun): the activity of collecting a crop - การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต
  • harvest: to gather in ripe crops - เก็บเกี่ยว
  • import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า
  • jellyfish (noun): a sea creature with a body like jelly and long thin parts called tentacles that can give a sharp sting - แมงกะพรุน
  • launch: starting something - การเริ่มต้น
  • lift: to move something to a higher position - ยกขึ้น
  • local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
  • looking forward to (idiom): feeling happy and/or excited about something that is going to happen - รอคอย
  • made up for: replaced something that was lost - แทนที่, แทน
  • major: very large or important - สำคัญมาก
  • member: a person, a country or an organization that has joined a particular group, club or team - สมาชิก
  • membership (noun): being part of an organization or club - การเป็นสมาชิก, สมาชิกสภาพ, การเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของกลุ่ม, การเข้าร่วม,
  • neighbouring: located or living near or next to a place or person - ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง
  • new lease on life: something that helps a person to start their life again, after a difficult life -
  • persuade: to make someone agree to do something by giving them reasons why they should - โน้มน้าวใจ เกลี้ยกล่อม
  • plunge: to fall quickly from a high position - ดิ่งลงมาจากท้องฟ้า
  • postponement: delay - การเลื่อนออกไป
  • production: the process of growing or making food, goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต
  • prompted: caused - ก่อให้เกิด
  • proposal: a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ
  • province: one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด
  • purchasing power: buying power; the ability to buy things, i.e., having enough money to buy things - กำลังซื้อ
  • reason (noun): why something happened or exists - เหตุผล
  • rubber (noun): a bouncy, elastic material used in car tires and waterproof gloves - กล้ายาง
  • sector: a part of a country’s economy or business activity - ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ
  • severe: very serious and worrying - ที่รุนแรง ที่น่าเป็นห่วง
  • sheer: used to emphasise the size, degree or amount of something - เต็มที่, ที่สุด, ทีเดียว
  • shrank: when something became smaller smaller หดตัว, เล็กลง -
  • sign: sign agreement, put your signature on an agreement; agree to do something in exchange for something such as money - เซ็นสัญญา
  • slowdown (noun): when the economy moves more slowly and worker incomes and company profits suffer and increase more slowly -
  • species: a kind of food - ประเภท, ชนิด
  • stock (noun): a share that somebody has bought in a company or business - หุ้น, หุ้นทุน
  • third party: a person who is involved in a situation in addition to the two main people involved - บุคคลที่สาม, มือที่สาม
  • trade: the buying and selling of goods and services - การค้าขาย
  • trade partner: another country that your country exports to and imports from a lot -
  • trader: someone who buys and sells things - ผู้ค้า
  • union (noun): a group of states or countries that have the same central government or that agree to work together - การรวมตัวกัน
  • workforce: all the people who work for a particular company, organization, country, etc. - แรงงาน, คนทำงาน
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