50 Years Ago...

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 May, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 May, 2001, 12:00am

Asian deals lure bloc wheels

Bangkok (May 10): With bicycles and small cars, Russian-bloc countries are trying to wheel into the Far East sales market.

But Western countries led by Britain and the United States, are so far ahead in trade out here that their competition with Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia does not make a lively race.

Siam is the best place to gauge world trade aspirations for the East because the Siamese market is wide open, money exchange is unrestricted and everybody competes on an equal basis here.

That is not the case anywhere else in South-east Asia. Singapore, Malaya and Hongkong are involved with 'sterling bloc' restrictions. Indo-China remains an almost completely French monopoly as far as trade is concerned. Japan's importing is closely regulated by occupation authorities. Indonesia's trade is tied closely with Holland and tightly bound by the country's own restrictions.

Recently the amount of Czech products coming in to Siam has been on the increase, but new Czech cars, for instance, can still be counted as a few dozen in Bangkok.

In the last few weeks, advertisements appeared in local newspapers for bicycles from Hungary, but the campaign appeared to be chiefly advance promotion since large stocks are not yet on hand.

Pray delay

London (May 10): An Israeli airplane was delayed 30 minutes at London airport to-day while a passenger said his prayers.

Airport officials said the plane was about to take off for Lydda when a passenger, a middle-aged businessman, said he had forgotten to say his morning prayers.

While the man prayed at the private lounge at the airport, 36 other passengers sat in the aircraft awaiting his return.

Travel book

Hongkong (May 12): The Philippines Air Lines now provide for each traveller an interesting souvenir of the trip - a flight diary. Not only does it include maps, pictures, information and instructions, but its pandora pockets contain a revolving time-zone chart, a calendar with inch-measure, an attractive fan and a useful pair of sun goggles.

In their consideration for their passengers and in their appreciation of psychological values, the air travel companies display welcome enterprise, and P.A.L. are well up among the leaders in the modern manner of making people comfortable.


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