Load em Up

OK Here is one for you I think we were driving to Bangkok. This is a typical load on a truck.

Loading up Trucks and Ute's (Pick-ups ) is the norm here It really doesn't seem to be a problem

as there is never a great deal of wind

& the Thai people most of them very bad drivers in the respect of knowing the rules

Do drive slowly and carefully most of the time

I have an other one too of a Ute that was loaded

to the hilt I took this photo in Makro in Khon Kaen (First Picture)

These sights are about to change though

The ASEAN is upon us, This will change everything Rules will be enforced

Standards will be much higher than they are now People will have to comply

as the rest of the ASEAN nations will be looking at their neighbours & making sure they do the

things they are being forced to do themselves

This will be a very good thing for Thailand in the sense of Transport, Cars, Motorbikes, Buses,

Tuk Tuk etc.

As there shouldn't be as many deaths on the roads as there are now

Hahahah Drivers may even stop at Pedestrian Crossing as the should be

Here is a copy of what we are in for


Prior to 1997, the several countries located in South-East Asia were known as the Asian Tigers because of the rapid growth in their economies as indicated by their GDP growth which was averaging above 10% per annum. The currency crisis of 1997 caused a major re-evaluation of their business models and forced a five year pause in their development as most struggled under IMF imposed financial constraints. Today there is a renewed confidence as these countries now recognize the increasing importance of intra-national trade within the 10 countries that made up the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The member states are:

Brunei Darussalam Myanmar

Cambodia Philippines

Indonesia Singapore

Laos Thailand

Malaysia Vietnam

The ASEAN region has a population of about 500 million, a total area of 4.5 million square miles, a combined gross domestic product of US$ 737 billion, and a total trade of US$ 720 billion.

Partially as a consequence of the success of both the European Union (EU) and the North American Treaty Agreement (NAFTA), the ASEAN countries decided to develop a ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) which involves the removal of obstacles to free trade among member states.

In addition to trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration is being pursued through the development of Trans-ASEAN transportation network consisting of major inter-state highway and railway networks, principal ports and sea lanes of maritime traffic, inland waterway transport and major civil aviation links.

Why Thailand?

Thailand has been chosen due to its central location. It represents the largest non-island, politically stable, democratic market based economy of all the original ASEAN countries. It is not the most important economy, nor the most populous nation so avoids the extremes that those nations represent. It is also not the least developed, smallest or least populated. It is however geographically central to all ASEAN member countries. And that feature will increase in importance as proposed transportation extensions are completed. These include amongst other developments, completion of the East-West Corridor, the construction of the Kra Canal and the establishment of the South East Asian standard gauge rail system.

Thailand is no longer ranked amongst the Non Developed Countries of the world. But much of its infrastructure and administrative systems are either new or in transition. This is true of its Land Title system which while well established in the major cities, is only slowly evolving in the outer areas. The problems are (a) lack of formal aerial surveys, the existence of mainly uneconomic small land holdings, (c) a rapidly changing tradition of unregistered ownership, and a bureaucracy not yet able to adapt totally. As each of these problems are addressed, land values increase. And great effort is being undertaken to correct each such problem.

The small uneconomic land holding is a result of the prior custom of giving each child a share of the parent’s holdings. Over time this resulted in smaller and smaller lots until the holding could no longer sustain a family. The answer is a national policy of consolidation that encourages the amalgamation of small holdings into economic units. As this policy gains strength, the problem of unregistered ownership will reduce. Progressively existing land titles will be upgraded as a result of that process, as fewer parties are involved, and the land parcels are larger. As the titles improve, so too does the value of the land. Partially because Banks are then willing to lend against the improved titles resulting in more potential buyers. Also because the land areas itself is now more economically able to be developed.

Thus investors should seek out those opportunities that enable the acquisition of large areas of land capable of (a) consolidation, (b) upgrade of titles and (c) ideal for commercial exploitation.

It is believed that there is a window of opportunity starting now as Thailand welcomed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in order to assist it assume a leadership role in the future consolidation of the AFTA.

The Importance of Khon Kaen

Already Thailand has a divided multi-lane heavy carriage highway running from Singapore in the south to Vientianne (Laos) in the north. This is currently being extended into Yunnan Province of China with completion due by 2012. This highway is called the Friendship Highway or in Thai Mittrapharb Highway. A second major highway running from Da Nang (Vietnam) in the east to Yangon (Myamar) in the west is under construction. Thailand’s section is the largest distance, and was completed in December 2008 with the opening of the Muhktaharn Bridge between Thailand and Laos. Already the road from that bridge to Da Nang exists and work is progressing to widen and straighten it so that it too can carry 40 foot container transports. Only the relatively short stretch from Thailand through Myanmar remains to be started. The route has been mapped by the responsible consortium and funding by the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Assistance Corporation (JICA) have been approved. This project is earmarked to be the first major development project to kick-start Myanmar as soon as its political system has changed and it rejoins international society.

These two highways intersect at Khon Kaen, which incidentally is the geographic center of South East Asia. Khon Kaen has been identified as the administrative center for trade along those routes. As China and India are the world’s most populous nations and because both are in need of a huge array of goods and services as they struggle to emerge as major trading nations of the world, their goods must flow through Khon Kaen.

It is the vision of Khon Kaen that it does not attract industry with its concomitant problems, for its growth. Choosing instead to position itself as the central administrative location for ASEAN. It will attempt to house the Parliament and Administrative offices such as the ASEAN Court, the ASEAN Central Bank, and similar ancillary entities. Thus over time Khon Kaen hopes to become the Brussels or Luxemburg of Asia.

Its population is expected to grow from 250,000 at present to 750,000 within 20 years, with 150,000 coming from each of India and China (mainly business families looking after their goods) and 200,000 from surrounding rural areas as the process of land ownership consolidations and city job opportunities encourages urbanization to occur.

Thus Khon Kaen will be a major administrative center emphasizing Education, Health Care, Government and Trade rather than manufacturing.

The rail system from Bangkok through Khon Kaen to Vientianne will be upgraded in two ways. First a twin track freight line from Khon Kaen to the sea ports on the Gulf of Thailand will be constructed. Thus all freight south of Khon Kaen will be carried by rail. Next a high speed service will be introduced and will effectively replace the existing 45 minute air service. This will run from Bangkok to Vientiane stopping at Korat, Khon Kaen, Udonthani and Nong Khai. Finally a new standard gauge freight service connecting Khon Kaen with all of South East Asia will be introduced as the existing systems are standardized and modernized.

Dr. John Nigel-brownlee
Lexens (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

The information in this e-mail is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. Access to this e-mail by anyone elese is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful.


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