Thailand signs MoU with neighboring countries on compulsory insurance
Thailand’s Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) is
cooperating with insurance regulators in the Lao PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia
regarding compulsory insurance for cross border vehicles, OIC
secretary-general Chandra Purnariksha said on Thursday September 24.
The OIC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Lao PDR’s
Department of Fiscal Policy, Vietnam’s Insurance Supervisory Authority and
Cambodia’s Department of Financial Industry.
The detail of the MoU is to support the operation of the National Bureau of
Insurance (NBI) to set up an Insurance Compulsory Centre for motorists to
apply for insurance coverage before leaving to any of the four member
The appropriate insurance agency in each country will proceed with making
the necessary contract. The project is expected to start before the
Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), which is due to be held in Vientiane,
Laos, in December.
The OIC secretary general said the agency expected the scheme to promote
Thai insurance business to expand an investment base to other countries in
Tourists can buy the insurance at the National Bureau of Insurance (NBI) and
will be able to use it in all four countries, she said.
Such cooperation will be expanded to other ASEAN countries such as Singapore
and Malaysia to promote tourism, she added. (TNA)
Overland Thai trade
caravan leaves for Yunnan
On September 24, Thai Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai
presided over a launching ceremony sending a caravan of trucks carrying 15
containers of Thai goods to China’s Yunnan province through Thailand’s
northern province of Chiang Rai, the Lao PDR and Xishungbanna Thursday
The cargoes are destined for a Thai goods fair will be held in Yunnan’s
Xishungbanna October 1 to 5 during the celebration of China’s national day.
The activity is considered the official opening of the route R3A, linking
Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and China. The route was expected to boost
Thai-Chinese trade at the border to grow by at least 25 per cent, the
commerce minister said.
The value of trade between Thailand and China in 2008 was worth US$36
billion, a 19 per cent growth, compared to a year earlier.
The Department of Export Promotion (DEP) targeted to increase trade and
investment value in 2010 to reach US$ 50 billion.
Thai goods caravan to southern China under the “Made in Thailand Exhibition
2009” project is one of the DEP projects to achieve its target.
R3A is considered an important trade route to transport Thai exports to
China. The route will also boost tourism, cultural exchange and relations
between the two countries, Mrs Porntiva said. (TNA)
Education business likely
to grow 10% annually
The education business sector in Thailand is projected to
grow at least 10 per cent annually linked to the implementation of the
Abhisit government’s Thai Kem Keng Scheme (Strong Thailand Project),
according to Thailand’s export chief.
International students currently contribute some Bt50 billion of Thailand’s
Bt70 billion education business sector, according to Director-General
Rachaen Pojjanasunthorn of the Department of Export Promotion (DEP).
Speaking at a press conference to introduce the Thailand International
Education Exhibition for 2009 scheduled for October 9-10 at the Queen
Sirikit Convention Centre, the DEP chief said the private and public sectors
are jointly promoting Thailand as a regional education hub under the Thai
Kem Keng Scheme to be implemented during 2010-2012.
He said more than 300 international education institutes are located
nationwide in Thailand with the capacity to provide Thai and foreign
students from over 100 countries with more than 900 courses.
More than 70,000 foreign students enrol at the international institutes in
Thailand annually, earning the country over 50 billion baht in foreign
Around 20,000 Thai students enrol in courses at the institutes each year,
making over 70 billion baht circulate in Thailand, he said.
Visitors from neighbouring countries include parents and prospective
Joining together with DEP in sponsoring the annual exhibition are the
Ministry of Education, the International Schools Association of Thailand,
the Association of Private Higher Education Institutes of Thailand, the
Association of Private Schools for English Program, and the Association of
the Thai Software Industry. (TNA)
Tourist Authority of Thailand to focus
on religious tourism in 2010
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is planning to publish a
listing of 35 meditation centres in Thailand under the title, ‘Meditation in
Thailand’, with the aim of attracting tourists from Asia, Europe and the
USA. 1,000 copies written in the English language will be distributed to TAT
offices and tourist agencies in overseas countries. The launch of the
publication will be in time for the World Travel Mart event in November.
TAT will also add information in English and other languages including
Korean and Japanese on its website, enabling targeted groups to research
online travel destinations more easily.
The project hopes to establish Thailand as a destination for religious
tourism, attracting travellers from India, China and other Asian countries,
as well as from Europe and America, including CEO’s, business operators,
seminars, academics, workers, pensioners and students. It hopes to also
encourage cooperation in the future among ASEAN countries, Thailand and
India, and to develop religion as a highlight of Asia’s tourism.
The project will focus on trips to 9 specific temples to pray and make
merit, trips for the study of the architecture of religious buildings
including Buddhist temples, Christian churches and mosques, and visits to
meditation centres. Early next year, the press and tour companies from Korea
will be invited to visit Thai mediation centres.
Driver of SRT ill-fated train says he
fainted on duty
The driver of the State Railways of Thailand
Trang-Bangkok train which derailed in Hua Hin on Monday said on Friday
October 9, that he collapsed without warning while he was on duty.
Roengsak Phanthep told the investigators that it happened before the train
approached Khao Tao station.
Mr Roengsak will have a medical examination to confirm his claim, said the
The police will also question a mechanic who was working with Mr Roengsak at
the time. The investigation is expected to finish on Tuesday as the mechanic
was injured and is now in hospital.
The stationmaster at Khao Tao train station told the authorities that an SRT
worker who controlled the rail switching signal went through proper channels
and contacted the train driver by radio but there was no response from the
train driver or any other SRT crew on the train.
Pol. Maj-Gen. Rungroj Saengkram, provincial commander, also questioned the
train driver. The general said the investigators will further investigate
the cause of the accident to determine if it confirms the train driver’s
statement or not.(TNA)
Thailand to examine
American aromatic rice
The Thai government is examining whether America’s
newly-developed aromatic ‘Jazzman’ rice, similar to the famous premium grade
Thai jasmine rice, violates any intellectual property rights, Deputy
Commerce Minister Alongkorn Polabutr said on Wednesday.
The aromatic Thai Jasmine rice, also called Thai fragrant rice, known
locally as Khao Hom Mali, is well-known as the world’s premium grade rice
for its long grain, unique aroma and subtle pandan-like flavor.
The Louisiana State University Agricultural Centre (LSU Agcentre) recently
announced that it successfully developed a new variety of aromatic rice,
known as LA2125 with a very similar fragrance, soft grain and quality as
Thai jasmine rice and named it “Jazzman rice”.
The announcement caused concerns among Thai rice exporters and farmers,
saying that the Jazzman rice may pose a threat to Thailand’s Jasmine rice
industry and the kingdom’s rice exports as consumers may become confused due
to the similar name and quality.
The United States is one of Thailand’s major rice export markets, importing
about 400,000 tonnes of Thai Jasmine rice each year.
Mr Alongkorn said the Thai government has assigned the Department of
Intellectual Property to coordinate with the Department of Agriculture, the
Rice Department and the Thai embassy’s Office of Commercial Affairs in the
United States to determine whether the Louisiana-produced US Jazzman rice
was developed from Thai Jasmine rice.
The deputy commerce minister added that the government will also ask for
cooperation from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in
the Philippines to help verify the origin of the US-bred Jazzman rice.
“If it is found that the genes of Thai Jasmine rice has been used for
production and distribution for commercial purposes,” said Mr Alongkorn.”
The Thai government will take action against what it is considered as
violation of copyrights and intellectual property.”
The minister also affirmed that he would speed up inspection and
investigation of the issue to allay concerns of Thai farmers and rice
Mr Alongkorn added that the Ministry of Commerce plans to boost the export
of Thai Jasmine rice in overseas markets by improved packaging and
value-added products, such as combination of green tea fragrant with Thai
Jasmine rice in a bid to appeal more to Japanese customers. (TNA)