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About MartinKal

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  1. 1. A common-sense understanding is that the thai authorities want foreign residents to have health insurance. And more specifically, for health expenses of up to 40,000b outpatient and 400,000 inpatient. 2. Then the part concerning the target group: only those applying for a retirement visa. So those on an extension of stay are not subject to this requirement. I get point 1, but cannot understand why existing residents would be exempted, pt 2. Any ideas?
  2. The baht is a great place for investors to park the money they want to keep safe. Returns on other safe currencies are lower, in Germany negative. The track record is good. Staedy strengthening since the Tom Yum Gung crisis 1997. What makes it safe is the backing: balance of payments surplus (exports more than imports, in value); foreign exchange reserves significant (200 to 250 billion dollars). The Thai economy is slipping, but arent they all while China (the real offender) is being sorted. In summary. Why is the baht so strong? Because it is a safe place for international investors to park their money. It is worth noting that the Thai Central Bank has its hands tied as to manipulating the currency by fear of reprisals from the United States. ( doesn't want to be accused of being a currency manipulator and getting hit by sanctions.)
  3. The starting point could be to ask what brings tourists to Thailand? And whether their expectations are satisfied. Then, at least, we have an idea of Thailand's strengths and weaknesses. But we also need to identify and work through the threats, such as Vietnam or the strong baht. Not to mention the many emerging opportunities sich as a serious effort to create centres offering meditation, yoga and personal development. We need quality journalism to cross check those tourist numbers with airline stats and MoT stats. After seeing to the marketing effort and infrastructure, surely that is more than enough for the government to organise? Offering subsidies to hotels and guest houses can only lead to more dereliction of duties that belong to business owners. I feel that this report does not reflect what happened in that meeting. I feel sure discussion would have been more intense, deeper and structured. If you watch the PM on Friday evenings, you can see straight away that he is a methodical and organised strategist, as well as a politician. No way, for example, would he overlook tourist motivations and experiences, or issues of pollution and safety, or measures of the impact of FX or Immigration location tracking or indeed the important role of expat residents as informal ambassadors for Thailand.. Tourism is maybe 20% of GDP and this 20% is to a greater extent than for other sectors of the economy, the livelihood of the little people living in the cities many of them. Rather than scoffing at government activity in support of tourism, we could instead take a greater interest and get the hoteliers and tour operators and Grab and AirBnB people etc etc more actively involved in making and implementing government policies. Help the government. A national effort is required or Thailand once the world's number one destination will sink further and its economy flounder. Involve the people, not through coercion, but by giving them a role in their futures. No?
  4. Street food is central to Thai culture and the everyday lives of folk, tourist or not. I trust there is a complete unit in the Architecture course encouraging students how to take account of this requirement in their studies. The villain is not the leadership or rhe police, it is the un-uccommodating urban environment, the existing street furniture piled on and poor state of sidewalks.
  5. It is a small problem and small sums of money, but very big inconvenience for residents and government staff. It is a symbol of the unwelcome ex-pats receive. Better to make the expat population feel wrlcome, every one is an ambassador. And better to put government staff on much higher priority work. For example, deal with the pollution that hits the northern thai economy so hard for three months of the year and shortens citizens' lives by four years on average.
  6. We have to remember that the audience is The Thai Nation and so readers who assets are in baht.
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