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Aug 25. 2014
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By The Nation

AIS, Microsoft agree cloud partnership
Advanced Info Service (AIS) and Microsoft have signed a partnership agreement to provide a public cloud platform for businesses, allowing them to take advantage of cloud services without requiring significant investments while also enjoying quality IT infrastructure management and security by Microsoft.
AIS chief executive officer Somchai Lertsutiwong said services on this joint cloud platform would be launched in the near future. 
Haresh Khoobchandani, managing director of Microsoft (Thailand), said: “We are proud to be the cloud partner of Advanced Info Service, Thailand’s leading mobile operator. This partnership will support the Thai corporate business sector and SMEs by expanding their capabilities through the cloud.” 
Fairs book more mortgages
Three jointly held events – “NPA & Resale Home”, “Home Loan & Consumer Credit” and “Home Buyers’ Expo” – took applications for Bt18.02 billion worth of mortgages, up 50 per cent from last year’s events, and Bt3.37 billion worth of homes were sold, up 3 per cent. 
The three events began last Thursday and ended on Sunday. More than 80,000 people visited them over the four days, Housing Finance Association president  Kitti Patpongpibul said.
Hertz renews franchise
The Hertz Corporation, the world’s largest general-use car-rental brand, recently renewed its agreement with its franchise partner Paragon Car Rental Co, which has been operating Hertz in Thailand since 2003. 
The renewed partnership agreement was signed by Chartchai Panichewa, Paragon’s executive board chairman, and Wong Soon Hwa, vice president of Hertz Asia.
Michel Taride, group president of Hertz International, said the company was delighted to renew its 11-year partnership with its Thai franchisee.
Chartchai added: “As a proud member of the Hertz family for the past 11 years, we share the company’s vision for growth and the commitment to deliver quality service to our customers with a touch of Thai and distinctly personal approach. 
“Our growth and expansion strategy is geared towards supporting the Asean Economic Community’s goal of regional economic integration by 2015, so our popular cross-border services as well as in-country mobility solutions are a key opportunity for us.” 
Panel on defunct pledging scheme to meet tomorrow
The subcommittee assigned to close the books on the ousted elected government’s rice-pledging programme will hold its first meeting  tomorrow, according to its chairman, Finance Ministry permanent secretary Rungsun Tamanakijprasart.
The subcommittee, which was set up after an order by issued by junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha on August 9, has the authority and duties to manage loans and related repayments until competed and summarise the debts (principal, interest and other expenses) related to the pledging programme, as well as lay the guidelines for obtaining funds to repay the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives; appoint working committees and consultants to proceed with the undertakings deemed appropriate by the subcommittee; invite relevant people to clarify the facts, including submission of documents and/or evidence for consideration; undertake other duties as assigned by the Government Pension Fund; and report the results to the GPF accordingly. 
As for the report by the Thailand Development Research Institute that the five rounds of the pledging scheme from 2011 until this year were plagued by widespread corruption, resulting in a loss of up to Bt519 billion, that finding will have to be compared to the accounting figures, Rungsung said.  
SMEs’ move into Vietnam backed 
Sanan Angubolkul, a vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, says it plans to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to expand their footholds in Asean, especially in bordering countries.
He said the TCC, in cooperation with the Institute for Management Education for Thailand Foundation, had initiated a pilot project to encourage SMEs to invest in Vietnam. About 16 enterprises that have successfully set up operations in Vietnam will serve as escorts for other SMEs wanting to start doing business in that country. About 48 new SMEs will participate in the project.
About 500 Thai businesses have invested in Vietnam over the past four to five years, but 400 of them have already shut down because of financial fluctuations. However, Sanan said the situation was getting better with stronger currency stability. 


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