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PTT HAS predicted that clean energy will adversely affect the oil industry over the next decade. The country’s largest energy firm is moving fast to remodel the oil retail business, including helping the small business owners who run gas stations to survive the coming threat from electric vehicles.

“While the government has estimated that a new wave of clean energy demand worldwide will have significant impact on the fossil fuel business in the next 1520 years, we think it would come sooner, maybe in the next 10 years,” said Suchat Ramarch, PTT Public Co Ltd’s executive vice president for retail marketing of oil.

“So we have to move early in order to cope with the coming change,” said Suchat.

Some countries have already announced a phasing out of diesel and petrol cars. France and the United Kingdom, for example, are planning to ban them from 2040 in order to reduce greenhousegas emissions and decrease air pollution.

Gas station owners, the business partners of PTT, “are worried about a decline in their future income” as customer demand for oil declines, said Suchat. “We have to help them seek new sources of income,” he said.

PTT now has gas stations – 1,577 of them in Thailand and 186 abroad, mostly in Laos and Cambodia. PTT’s dealers own 80 per cent of the gas stations in Thailand.

An average PTT gas station’s revenue comes mainly from selling oil products, but nonoil business contributes about 5060 per cent of total profit, Suchat said.

In the near future, even more income will come from nonoil products and services around the gas station, including convenience stores, food courts, budget hotels and Amazon coffee shops, he said.

PTT also plans to install electricity charge points for electric vehicles at gas stations but the service would not generate a lot of income as drivers could also charge their cars at home, said Suchat. Moreover, the margin for providing an electrical charge service would be thin.

PTT have sought business partฌners as gas stations reinvent themselves as resting points for motorists. Some station operators already provide budget hotel rooms for motorists. PTT is now selecting a hotel partner to operate budget hotels at PTT stations.

PTT also recently partnered with Hua Seng Hong, a wellknown Chinese restaurant that retails its dim sum products at gasstation convenience stores.

The Cafe Amazon coffee brand, owned by PTT, recently gained popularity due to its perceived value for money relationship in comparison to other brands. The Amazon coffee brand has also proved popular in Cambodia, which hosts the top three Amazon branches, said Suchat. Each sells more than 1,000 cups a day.

Amazon has grown from a coffee brand selling in PTT gas stations. Now Cafe Amazon coffee has spread to department stores, community malls and other prime locations nationwide. People have even queued to obtain franchise rights from PTT.

Coffee is blue ocean business

“A coffee franchise in Thailand is a blue ocean business, there is much room to grow,” said Tharatip Nutteesri, senior analyst at Cafe Amazon’s business planning and development division.

An investment of about Bt2.5 million is required of a Cafe Amazon franchisee. PTT would help a potential owner to evaluate business viability before investing.

A cafe is likely to survive if it can sell about 250 cups a day, said Tharatip.

PTT is negotiating with a Chinese businessman who wants rights to the Cafe Amazon coffee brand in Shanghai, said PTT executives.

Amazon has just increased its coffee and tea production capacity in order to meet demand for its products and plans to expand Cafe Amazon branches from today’s 1,862 to 2,000 by the end of this year.

The Amazon factory, also known as the Amazon Inspiring Campus, offers training for those who want to run a coffee shop under the Amazon brand. It is located in Wang Noi disฌtrict, Ayutthaya province near PTT’s Oil Business Academy, which provides training services for prospective gasstation owners.

 

B10,000 limit on incoming duty free

Posted by pakin On July - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Duty free limits being strictly enforced

The 10,000 baht duty-free limit on new personal items purchased overseas by incoming air passengers is now being strictly policed, the Customs Department announced on Tuesday.

The warning was carried on new signs posted at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

The Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Control Customs Bureau will calculate the value of all personal items – souvenirs, gifts or brandname goods – purchased overseas. If the combined value of those products exceed 10,000 baht, passengers and airline crew will have to pay import duty.

Signs announcing enforcement of the  limit were placed at the airport, explaining that “personal goods” includes new clothes, shoes, socks and bags in non-commercial form.

If goods being brought into Thailand exceed the limit, they must be declared to customs officials  and the duty paid before their baggage go through the X-ray machine. Any undeclared items will be seized and the owners may have to pay up to four times of the value including plus the duty.

The department said food, food supplements and cosmetic will not get the duty waiver. Travellers are limited to 200 duty free cigarettes and one litre of duty free liquor or wine.

Gifts prepared to give to other people, donated items, collectable items, second-hand goods, empty watch and brandname bag boxes are not considered as personal items. Individuals bringing in these products have to inform customs officials before the baggage X-ray.

Expensive new watches or bags worth more than 10,000 baht will be liable to duty, even if being worn.

Somchai Asawadtriratanakul, the bureau’s chief of investigation and suppression division, said the regulation was an existing one, but enforcement will be stricter. The bureau found many people brought in new products for resale in Thailand without paying import duty. Action had to be taken to prevent this.

Initially, signs were posted at arrival and departure areas. If duty-payable goods are found undeclared in possession of a passenger who refuses to allow the goods to be seized, the case will go to court, he said.

If the passenger loses the case, the smuggled goods will be seized and they would be liable to a fine of four times the assessed value, including the import duty, and/or a prison term of up to 10 years.

GLO execs should quit, activists say

Posted by pakin On June - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Government Lottery Office (GLO)’s executives are failing in their duty to solve the problem of inflated lottery ticket prices, activists say.

Thanakorn Khomkrit, a coordinator for the People’s Network for the Reform of Lottery, said yesterday the GLO’s executives should resign as they admitted they cannot keep the retail price of tickets at the correct price of 80 baht a pair nationwide.

Lt Gen Anantaporn Kanchanarat, head of the state budget monitoring and scrutinising committee assigned by the National Council for Peace and Oder (NCPO) to tackle inflated lottery ticket prices, held talks with GLO executives.

He asked them to seek cooperation from wholesalers and retailers to sell the tickets at the correct market price. At present, most sell their tickets for 100-110 baht.

As an immediate step, the NCPO said people will be able to buy tickets at 80 baht a pair at makeshift pavilions set up in front of GLO headquarters on Samambin Nam Road. However, the price of lottery tickets elsewhere may be higher.

Mr Thanakorn said overpriced tickets cannot be tackled easily as vendors who are not given a quota to buy tickets directly from the GLO have to buy from retailers at a higher price.

He suggested the Anantaporn panel seeks advice on how to deal with the problem from academics at Chulalongkorn University’s Centre for Gambling Studies, and from his network. The resignation of GLO executives would allow the NCPO to get to the root of the problem.

Mr Thanakorn said he will lodge a complaint with the Office of the Auditor-General to examine the GLO’s expenditure and its organisational transparency.

Each year, the GLO earns revenue in excess of two billion baht from the sale of the lottery tickets.

Cambodians get cheap passports from Thursday

Posted by pakin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Officials in Cambodia’s O’samach district in Udon Meachay province are preparing venues and documents for issuing passports to Cambodians wanting to find work in Thailand.

A high number of Cambodians are expected to apply for passports from tomorrow following the initiative introduced by the Cambodian authorities that sees passport fees reduced from Bt6,000 to Bt120. Once in possession of their passports, they are expected to cross into Thailand to search for work.

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