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TOT ready to lead road to recovery in Thailand
01 March 1999
Thailand was adversely affected by the Asian economic crisis in 1997. To raise investment levels and restore market confidence, the Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT), founded in 1954, is scheduled for privatization in 1999, after over 40 years as a state-owned monopoly. TOT's president Thongchai Yongchareon comments on recent developments to Mark Holmes.
In 1995 the Thai government embarked on a privatization and
liberalization programme, passing new legislation - the
so-called Telecommunications Master Plan - to direct the
privatization of both the Communications Authority of Thailand
(CAT), which handles international services, and the Telephone
Organization of Thailand (TOT), the government agency
responsible for domestic calls. However, implementation of the
plan was repeatedly delayed. The economic crisis that swept
over the country in 1997 - and led the International Monetary
Fund to play a key role in the drafting of macro-economic
policy - appeared to give a new impetus to liberalization in
The government has announced plans to privatize TOT. The
operator needs to restructure now. In an interview with Global
Telecoms Business, TOT's president Thongchai Yongchareon
describes the steps that the operator is taking prior to
privatization and developments in Thailand.
Thongchai believes that the operator may be partially
privatized in 1999: "If...
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