Thai-Cambodian border trade cooperation to be enhanced
BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 (NNT) The Thai and Cambodian
Ministries of Commerce have agreed to join forces in driving cooperation
in border trade further, aiming to achieve trade growth of 30 percent in
Deputy Commerce Minister of Thailand Apiradee Tantraporn revealed after
meeting with her Cambodian counterpart Kem Sithan that the two sides
have concurred to further expand their trade cooperation at all levels
after last year’s total trade value exceeded 5 billion US dollars.
Emphasis will be placed on trade along the shared border which is
believed to have the potential to meet the target growth of 30 percent
by the year 2020.
The two neighbors also agreed to the joint development of special
economic zones, hoping to attract more trade and investment to their
countries. Cambodia was reportedly supportive of Thailand’s suggestions
for the trade strategy, which will be discussed at the 5th
Thai-Cambodian Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting to be hosted by
Thailand this year.
In the meantime, Ms Apiradee said the Thai Ministry of Commerce is
organizing a border trade fair in collaboration with Cambodia in
Aranyaprathet district of the border province of Sa Kaeo from now until
Samut Sakhon to hold its first Kaset Fair
SAMUT SAKHON, 26 Mar 2015, (NNT) Samut Sakhon
Province is holding its first ‘Samut Sakhon Kaset Fair’, which will be
officially launched on April 1st and conclude on April 5th. The event
offers quality agricultural products ranging from fresh vegetables to
meat, poultry, fish, and OTOP handicrafts.
Samut Sakhon Governor Police Lieutenant Athit Boonyasopat yesterday led
a press conference in Muang District which was also joined by his deputy
Winit Piyamethang, and heads of the provincial Livestock Office, and the
Tourism & Sport Office.
The fair is being divided into zones, such as maritime, livestock,
vegetables, orchids, OTOPs, canteen, and exhibition zones.
The governor said the fair would be open on April 1st at 6p.m. He
invited all to visit the event, saying that participants would have a
chance to get their hands on the province’s famous products, such as
fragrant coconut, mangoes, and longan. He stressed that not only the
event-goers would be able to purchase goods at a discount, they would
also help boost income of local agricultural operators in the province.
Prime minister assures handicapped vendors will be allotted lottery tickets
BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 (NNT) The government is not
looking to stop allocating lottery tickets to handicapped lottery
vendors even though it was looking to allot some tickets to convenience
stores in order to keep the selling price at 80 baht, according to Prime
Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
General Prayut said on Wednesday the government was not discontinuing
allotment of tickets to handicapped vendors, but was re-distributing the
allocation quotas – currently provided to large vendors – so that
smaller sellers and convenience stores would also get lottery tickets to
sell. The prime minister reasoned that providing buyers with
alternatives would also ensure that the tickets would be sold at 80
baht, making it more likely that all tickets would be sold out, even
ones with undesirable numbers.
Gen. Prayut said the selling price in Bangkok and in the provinces
should be only slightly different. He added that online sale of
lotteries would take place in the future.
Export-grade mango grown in Phichit damaged by recent stormy weather
BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 (NNT) Authorities in various
provinces continued to carry out drought mitigation work on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, storms have caused extensive damage to mango grown for export
in Phichit province.
Almost 10,000 rai of mango plantations in Wang Thap Sai Sub-district,
Sak Lek district, Phichit have been pummeled by heavy rain, gusty winds
and hail caused by the tropical storm prevailing over Thailand. Losses
totaling about 100 million baht have been reported, after the mangoes
became blemished as well as severely damaged.
Meanwhile, provincial authorities in Phrae have been pumping water into
the local irrigation system. A total of 20 mobile water pumps have been
recently deployed at five spots to pump water into the irrigation system
that feeds all eight districts in the province. The effort is expected
to alleviate the effect of the drought on no less than 22,000 rai of
Pichet Durongkaveroj ( พิเชฐ ดุรงคเวโรจน์ ) , Minister of Science and
Technology, revealed on Wednesday that the ministry was developing water
filters that employ nanotechnology, as well as water filtration machines
that can convert salt water into drinking water. According to the
minister, these technologies are being developed to help mitigate the
effects of the drought.
17 cab drivers penalized on first day of re-organization of Bangkok taxi service
BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 (NNT) 17 cab drivers were
penalized on the first day of the government's drive to 're-organize'
the taxi service in Bangkok.
Department of Land Transport Deputy Director-General Chirute
Visalachitra inspected the work of officials in front of Siam Paragon
Department store on Wednesday, after which he disclosed that checks on
taxi drivers had been carried out at four spots within Bangkok's
Ratchaprasong area, namely MBK, Siam Paragon, Central World and Platinum
Ten of the 17 offending taxi drivers were fined for turning down
passengers, four for not turning on the meter, two for being improperly
dressed, and one for failing to pay for the annual car tax.
According to Mr. Chirute, cab drivers who are first-time offenders would
be fined no more than 1,000 baht and must undergo training arranged to
improve service-mindedness. Second-time offenders would have their
licenses suspended for 30 days and must undergo another training.
Third-time offenders would have their licenses suspended for six months
and must undergo yet another training. Any driver who commits three
offenses within one month will have their license revoked.
Passengers may download the "DLT Check in" application for mobile
devices to rate each taxi driver's quality of service and to give their
feedback for the service. The information will be sent directly to the
Department of Land Transport's database so improvement to service can be
made and offenders can be penalized.
King Bhumibol sends condolences to Singapore over the Passing of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.
BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 (NNT) His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej has sent a message of condolence to the President of
the Republic of Singapore, on the demise of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.
The royal message said His Majesty the King, as well as Her Majesty the
Queen, was deeply saddened by the news of the demise of His Excellency
Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore.
Their Majesties on this occasion extended to the President and members
of the bereaved family as well as the people of the Republic of
Singapore their sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences for the
irreparable loss of the Founder of the Republic whose sacrifice and
dedication led to the birth and prosperity of the nation.
FTI to reevaluate its 2015 GDP projection next month
BANGKOK, 25 Mar 2015, (NNT) The Federation of Thai
Industries President has indicated that the Joint Standing Commission on
Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) would reevaluate its 2015 GDP
projection next month if the economy remains sluggish.
President of the federation Supan Mongkolsuthee yesterday admitted that
the local economy has yet to recover as he expected. Despite the poor
performance in the export sector, the economy has been performing better
in the first quarter of 2015 than it did in the last quarter of 2014, .
Although the majority of the products in the export sector have been
affected by the slowdown in the global economy, auto exports continue to
show positive signs, according to the FTI president.
Mr. Supan said the JSCCIB would wait and observe the situation for
another month before revising its GDP growth rate. It had earlier
projected that the GDP growth would reach 3.5% and the export sector
would expand by 2-2.5%.
Another factor that has a direct bearing on the projection is the
government’s budget disbursement progress, Mr. Supan said, adding that
administration should have been able to disburse up to 40 % of the
budget in the past six months but managed to disburse only 20% of it.
Haze situation in North starts to lift
BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 (NNT) The situation of forest
fires and haze in the North has started to resolve, although military
units will continue to carry out anti-smog operations.
Deputy government spokesman, Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, told
press members after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's teleconference
with provincial governors of northern provinces that the haze in the
North was lifting and that the airborne particulate matter readings for
each province have dropped to acceptable levels. In the meantime,
incidence of forest fires has declined thanks to cooperation from
various agencies and members of the public. The haze is expected to lift
completely soon, according to Maj. Gen. Sansern.
Meanwhile, Colonel Kongcheep Tantrawanich, the spokesperson to the
Ministry of Defense, indicated after Tuesday's meeting of the Defense
Council that anti-forest fire patrols and aerial firefighting operations
by military units were still ongoing in the North. The military would
also continue to provide manpower and equipment for drought-mitigation
efforts in 26 provinces, said the spokesman.
Ministries will report work progress much more frequently starting April 20.
BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 (NNT) All government
ministries will be making daily reports on the progress of their work,
starting on April 20.
According to Captain Yongyuth Mayalarp, government spokesperson, each
ministry will, beginning on April 20, report its work progress daily,
except on Tuesdays when Cabinet meetings are held. Ministers will also
take turns to make televised reports on the progress of work under their
respective ministry, through state-run NBT Channel starting on April 27.
Capt. Yongyuth also disclosed that the presentation of the government's
6-month work progress would be moved to April 17, pending the approval
of the prime minister.
On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, General
Prawit Wongsuwon, quelled rumors of conflicts between the prime minister
and the economy-related ministers, saying that General Prayut, M.R.
Pridiyathorn and General Pravit himself have been exchanging ideas
constantly to ensure that various affairs proceed according to the
established roadmap. The prime minister has also reiterated that no
reshuffle of the Cabinet is in the pipeline, said General Prawit
Details of solar roof drive to be sent to Cabinet for approval in 30 days
BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 (NNT) – The National Reform Council is
proposing that the government issue a bill on alternative energy
to support Thailand's foray into the green energy sector.
Professor Dr. Dusit Kruangam the deputy chairman of the NRC's
subcommittee on reform of alternative energy, re-usable energy
and energy conservation spoke on Tuesday about the project to
promote installation of solar roofs. He said the subcommittee
had already forwarded the matter to the Ministry of Energy for
further studies. The final findings will be presented to the
Cabinet for approval within 30 days.
Dr. Dusit said the subcommittee was proposing the use of the
Energy Savings Company (ESCO) model in the management of state
agencies' energy use, as the model has proven effective in
reducing expenses and optimizing energy use among state
agencies. The subcommittee was also proposing the issuance of
energy usage regulations for state- and private-owned buildings
and large homes, under the belief that doing so would contribute
to the reform of energy use and the reduction of environmental
Dr. Dusit added that in order to allow Thailand to become the
ASEAN region's center in green energy, development of renewable
energy must be undertaken, especially for biofuels such as
ethanol and biodiesel. This effort would be augmented by the
issuance of an alternative energy bill, and by creating a green
energy network among the member countries of ASEAN.
KResearch trims economic growth projection to 2.8%
BANGKOK, 24 Mar 2015, (NNT) Kasikorn Research Center
yesterday cut its nation's economic growth projection from 4% to 2.8%,
thanks to the slow economic recovery rate and shrinking exports.
According to the center, the less-than-expected global economic growth
and dropping commodity products prices are the main factors behind the
sluggish performance in the export sector. The center anticipated
exports to decline 3.9% growth in the first quarter.
Other reasons affecting the first quarter's economic growth included
weak consumer spending, and slowdown in investment from the private
However, KResearch predicted that tourism, the government’s economic
stimulus policies, and low inflation would likely help the nation’s
economy to recover sooner than expected.
The center predicted no growth for exports this year, down from 3.5 %
projected earlier. Imports would also be down from 5% to 3.5 %, and
inflation down to 0.5% from 1.5% predicted earlier.
Foreign minister sends letter of condolence to Singaporean counterpart over Lee Kuan Yew's death
BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 (NNT) The minister of foreign
affairs has sent a letter of condolences to his Singaporean counterpart
for the passing of Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew.
The letter from Minister of Foreign Affairs, General Tanasak
Patimapagorn, states: "Excellency, I wish to express my deepest
condolences to you and through you, to the people of Singapore on the
passing away of His Excellency Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the Founding Father of
Singapore and the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore. His
Excellency Mr. Lee Kuan Yew has left behind an everlasting legacy on
Singapore and the region at large. He will always be remembered for his
bold and visionary statesmanship in developing Singapore into a stable
and prosperous nation. We in Thailand are very grateful to Mr. Lee Kuan
Yew for his significant role in the establishment of the diplomatic
relations between Thailand and Singapore fifty years ago, in which the
seeds of friendship have fully blossomed today. We also pay tribute to
Mr. Lee Kuan Yew for his contribution to the formation of ASEAN. My
thoughts and prayers are with the Singapore nation and its people during
this difficult time. Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my
General Tanasak Patimapragorn Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand" Mr. Lee, who was Singapore's
prime minister for 31 years and who oversaw the island nation's
independence from Britain and its separation from Malaysia, passed away
on Monday after spending weeks in hospital on life support.
Central data center for all state agencies expected to be up and running in 1-2 years
BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 (NNT) The government expects
it will be able to set up a central data center for all state agencies
within 1-2 years' time, in an effort to reduce redundancies associated
with data center investments in the public sector.
According to Deputy Prime Minister M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, the
promotion of the 'digital economy' model emphasizes five development
areas, namely physical infrastructure, services, legal infrastructure,
economic development promotion, and digital society development.
Significant process has been made in all the five areas, according to
the deputy prime minister.
M.R. Pridiyathorn indicated that all areas of the country will have
access to fiber optic networks by 2017. Meanwhile, it will be 1-2 years
before the databases of all state agencies can be merged into the
central data center. He explained that the private sector will be
invited to invest in the central data center.
Gen. Prayut: tax structure revamp necessary to provide for future governments
BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha asserted on Monday that a revamp of the tax structure is
necessary, while the government will only raise the VAT rate when the
time is right.
General Prayut said the revamp of taxation was necessary as it would
provide future governments with additional tools for reducing disparity
and fostering fairness. The value added tax (VAT) is a tax that allows
every member of the public to contribute to national development. He
added that the VAT rate would only be raised under appropriate
According to General Prayut, the less-than-expected amount of revenue
collected by the state partly has to do with the decline in exports.
Exports, which make up as much as 70% of the country's GDP, has
contracted in line with the global economy. He also noted that
Thailand's manufacturing cost is higher than her competitors'.
The government's working team on economic affairs has been performing
well, but improvements have to be made in the aspect of disseminating
information to the public, Gen. Prayut added.
CDC Chairman: Next election will take place by 2016
BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 (NNT) The Chairman of the
Constitution Drafting Committee has assured that Thai people will go to
polling booths before the end of 2016.
CDC Chairman Borwornsak Uwanno told the meeting of charter drafters that
his trip to Germany during March 15 and 20 has allowed him an
opportunity not only to get first-hand information on the German-style
election system but also to discuss the business of the Constitutional
Mr. Borwornsak said that he has also acquired some information about the
party-list proportional representation and the administration of the
He has also learnt that, in Germany, any protest to the election result
needs to go through the House of Representatives, which will set up a
committee to review the petition while the petitioner can also opt to go
to the Constitutional Court for help.
According to the CDC Chairman, Germany has had problems with electronic
ballots due to the failure to keep tracks of the votes cast.
In any case, he is confident that Thailand will see a new election no
later than 2016.
NRC’s political reform committee to debate draft charter Mar 26-27
BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council’s committee on the reform of politics will meet to debate the
draft charter later this week.
Spokesman of the NRC’s political reform committee Wanchai Sornsiri said
that the committee has agreed to be more participating in the review of
the first draft of the new charter that the Constitution Drafting
Committee will present to the reform council on April 17.
Accordingly, the committee has decided to hold a workshop in Chon Buri
province during March 26 and 27 to discuss and plan the debate agenda
related to all political issues including the parliamentary system and
the origin of members of parliament as well as their duties.
Other political issues to be raised during the workshop is the election
of the prime minister, the format of the political party and the
election system — all of which the committee considers key problems of
Meanwhile, chairman of the committee Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, who is a
part of the delegation visiting Germany to get first-hand information on
the country’s election system, has informed his committee members that
the German-style election does have an issue of complication in the
vote-counting process that may be problematic if adopted in Thailand.
NLA’s Vice President suggests detailed planning for public referendum of new charter
BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 (NNT) - A vice president of
the National Legislative Assembly has suggested more attention be paid
to details when planning the public referendum of the draft charter.
NLA’s First Vice President Surachai Liengboonlertchai said that if the
public referendum of the new Constitution is to be organised, there will
be many issues to be considered.
In his opinion one of the issues is whether the public will need to
approve the entire draft or individual articles.
Mr. Surachai said that it is also to be decided whether the entire
drafting process will have to start all over again if the referendum
result shows the disapproval of the charter.
The NLA’s First Vice President added that he is confident the Five
Rivers — all the bodies set up after the coup in May 2015 — will find an
agreeable way-out for Thailand without allowing conflicts to get in the
NRC’s public administration reform committee proposes passing of national strategies as organic law
BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 (NNT) A committee under the
National Reform Council has proposed the formulation of national
strategies that are passed as organic laws of the new Constitution.
Chairman of the NRC’s committee on the reform of public administration
Theerayuth Lorlertrat told the committee meeting on Tuesday that in
order for the national strategies, which are both short-term and
long-term reform plans, to be truly in line with the intent of the
Constitution and practical for everyone in Thailand, they should be
passed into organic laws.
Mr. Theerayuth stated that effective national strategies should also be
accurately measured and accepted by all stakeholders.
According to him, all strategies should be in the form of a long-term
plan to be executed over 20 years through the collection of public
opinions and academic analyses before a medium-term strategy, which runs
for five years can be designed.
Members of the NRC have agreed with the suggestion to formulate the
national strategies while advising the downsizing of government bodies
to help materialise all plans and allocating special strategic budgets
for all provinces to help facilitate the reform process.
Tourism Min in search for ways to boost popularity of Thai brands
BANGKOK, 23 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Tourism
and Sports is preparing to hold a workshop with an aim to find effective
measures to promote Thai products to international visitors.
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul revealed that her
ministry will organize a workshop with the Tourism Authority of Thailand
and tourism entrepreneurs, with a view to brainstorming measures to
upgrade Thai products and brands and gain higher recognition for them,
especially from high-end foreign tourists.
The workshop is prompted by a survey of the Pacific Asia Travel
Association, which indicated a downward trend in tourism activities as
well as spending. The Tourism and Sports Ministry sees the need to push
up the average per-capita spending of tourists on each trip from 48,000
baht currently to 60,000 baht within the next five years.
As for hotel occupancy, Ms Kobkarn stated that the occupancy rate this
March is rising by 36 percent from the same month of last year. A growth
rate of 14 percent is predicted for April.
Gen Prayut to attend the state funeral of Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Mar 29
BANGKOK, 23 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen.
Prayut Chan-o-cha will travel to Singapore on March 29 to pay his last
respects to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, who
died early Monday.
Gen. Prayut said that he had received an official invitation from the
government of Singapore to join the state funeral and pay respect to Mr.
Lee Kuan Yew.
The Prime Minister said Mr. Lee was widely known as the founding father
of Singapore who turned the small port into a wealthy global hub.
However, Gen. Prayut denied a report that he was scheduled to meet with
self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on March 28 in
Singapore. The Premier said he had nothing to do with Thaksin in the
upcoming trip and he expressed his belief that the Singapore government
would try its best in arranging different schedules for him and Thaksin
in order to avoid an awkward encounter.
NRC to review more reports and work progress Mar 23-25
BANGKOK, 22 March 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform Council is set to
meet next week to review more committees’ reports and hear the update on
the work of the cabinet.
NRC President Tienchay Kiranant has issued an order calling for a
sitting of council members during March 23 and 25.
On March 23, the NRC will get an update on the progress of the promotion
and the liberalization of the installation of solar rooftop system
implemented by the cabinet as suggested by the council’s reform
The NRC will also review a report from the committee on public
administration reform, related to the strategy and the reform of local
administration’s budget and finance, and a report from the
anti-corruption reform committee.
On March 24, the council is set to review more reports from the legal
and justice reform committee, and the virtue, arts, culture and
religious reform committee.
On the last day of the meeting, the NRC will consider a report on the
reform of public health system submitted by a related committee.
CDC’s spokesman: Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) election may help clampdown on electoral irregularities
BANGKOK, 23 March 2015 (NNT) - The spokesman to the
Constitution Drafting Committee suggested that calls for the Mixed
Member Proportional or MMP election system may help clamp down on the
problem of electoral irregularities.
CDC spokesman Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich, who is also chairman of the
sub-committee on the drafting of organic laws on general elections, said
that the suggestion that Thailand should adopt the MMP system reflects
the true desire of voters.
Gen. Lertrat added that such a system will likely be able to promote
justice in the election system and eliminate electoral fraud while
avoiding the problem of duplication.
He added that there have been calls for the imposition of 0.5% minimum
votes for party-list election — calculated from the number of voter
turnout — that must be achieved or those votes will be removed from the
Anyhow, Gen. Lertrat stated that all of these remain suggestions and if
the majority of the CDC members do not agree, they can still be amended
to suit Thailand.
Thai Women's Empowerment Fund exhibits good performance at all levels
BANGKOK, 22 March 2015 (NNT) - Miss Kanitta
Kanjanarangsrinon, Deputy Director of the Thai Women's Empowerment Fund,
is satisfied with the performance of the funds’ networks at local,
provincial and regional levels.
She expressed satisfaction after she attended several workshops held in
Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Nayok and Kalasin, in connection with a
survey of the fund's management. The last workshop will take place in
the mid-north of Thailand in Nakhon Sawan between Mar 29-31.
She said all of the workshops were successful as a venue for members of
the women's network to share experiences, problems and solutions,
resulting in better mutual understanding among them and more confidence
in moving the missions forward on the same track.
After the four observations have been done, the results will be
summarized and revised by a national committee in order to improve the
fund's regulations and practices before it is transferred from the
Secretariat of the Prime Minister to be under the supervision of the
Community Development Department, in the Interior Ministry.
On 24th-25th March, nationwide provincial staff of the Community
Development Department will be asked for further efforts on the fund's
‘Thai Rice: Thainess’ fair taking place with much public attention
BANGKOK, 22 March 2015 (NNT) – The ‘Thai Rice:
Thainess’ fair at the Padung Krung Kasem canal in Bangkok recorded a
high purchase of low priced high quality rice by the visitors to this
Many people have flocked to the Thai Rice: Thainess fair taking place at
the Padung Krung Kasem canal next to the government house to purchase a
variety of rice from all regions that are being sold with discounted
prices. Top sellers include brown rice, riceberry, and Hom Mali jasmine
The event also features the exhibition of His Majesty’s contribution to
Thai rice development, the Wonders of Thai rice exhibition, skills
development workshops, cultural and traditional performances, folk
recreations, and rice cooking workshops.
At this event, Miss Bowornrat Komwet, a visitor from Pathum Thani
province, said that she attended this event to learn more on the various
kinds of rice being exhibited in this event, because some hard to find
and are cheaper than the regular market price here. She also hopes that
the event will be held every year to encourage farmers to produce high
The Thai Rice: Thainess fair exhibits and sells rice
strains from all over the country. The public can attend the exhibition
during 11am until 8pm everyday. The event will conclude on 5 April 2015.
MOAC promotes Thailand’s ornamental fish market at an international level
RATCHABURI, 22 March 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) is eyeing an upgrade of Thailand’s
ornamental fish market to become the intentional hub of breeding and
trading in high-quality fish by 2016.
The country's goal was revealed today by MOAC's Permanent-Secretary
Chavalit Chookajorn when he presided over a national seminar on
ornamental fish breeding and marketing at Fish Village Ratchaburi.
He said that the industry has a clear path in Thailand, as the country
produces a wide range of the world’s standard ornamental fish bringing
in a total of THB 2,000m in export revenue.
Thus he asked all operators in the industry to unite in a comprehensive
effort to drive the industry forward and create innovations as well as
build connections between the government and private sectors both
domestically and internationally.
According to the Director-General of the Fisheries Department Joompol
Sanguansin, the objectives of the seminar were to enhance Thai
competitiveness in the industry and to strengthen connections between
fish breeders and marketers at a national level.
The Fisheries Department also signed a memorandum of understanding with
the Fish Village Ratchaburi, Thai Qian Hu Co.,Ltd., the Mall Group and
Siam Ornamental Fish Cooperatives in order to achieve its goal to become
the prime intentional ornamental fish market by next year.
Police pursue extradition for suspects of Criminal Court bomb
BANGKOK, 22 March 2015 (NNT) – The police are now
coordinating the extradition of the Ratchada Criminal Court bombing
suspect currently living abroad, while all related perpetrators will be
prosecuted, said the Commissioner-General.
The Royal Thai Police Commissioner-General Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang
has revealed the progress of the Ratchada Criminal Court bombing
incident case that the police are now in the progress of requesting for
the extradition of Mr. Anek Chaichana (Anek San Fran), a suspect for
this case. in accord to the extradition treaty.
He has said that the procedures will require official documentation from
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be sent to the United States, the
location of the suspect, after an arrest warrant has been issued by the
The Police Commissioner-General has warned that the suspect may choose
to depart the United States to a country that does not share an
extradition treaty with Thailand. This matter must be proceeds as
quickly as possible, says the Police Commissioner-General.
The Police Commissioner-General also mentioned the tracing of Mr.
Weerasak Towangjorn (Yai Pattaya), another suspect of this case, that
the police is following the suspects and will be making the arrest.
Other related suspects' arrests will be considered based on the
He has added that all suspects and those who are related to the case
will be prosecuted to maximum degree, while the evidence is being
checked for completion in the presentation for this case by the inquiry
Tak business operators urge governor to loosen oil export rules
TAK, 22 March 2015 (NNT) – Business operators in Tak
province have submitted a letter asking the governor to review the rules
and regulations regarding the export of petrol to neighboring countries
as the current legal system is affecting border business.
According to local business operators, the strict verification of the
legality of benzene and diesel destined for neighboring countries has
led to scores of oil trailers containing over two million liters of
petrol being impounded and stranded at the border.
Local operators said inability to export their goods has resulted in a
severe shortage of gasoline in Myadwaddy town, which is the major
importer of petrol from Thailand. They added that the shortage has
caused oil prices in the Burmese town to double, prompting worries about
a possible rift between the two countries, among Thai operators.
Tak provincial Governor Somchai Hatayatanti said he would talk about the
matter with the Myadwaddy Governor tomorrow to address misunderstandings
and dissatisfaction that might arise as result of the current export
procedures. He added that the impounded petrol would soon be allowed to
leave for Myanmar to alleviate the difficulties of people residing in
the border areas.
Public Health Ministry testing drinking water for bacteria this summer
BANGKOK, 23 March 2015 (NNT)-The Ministry of Public
Health is making sure drinking water sold in Thailand is clean, as
around a million Thais become sick from consuming contaminated water
Public Health Minister Dr. Ratchata Ratchatanawin is having all drinking
water available in the market tested for bacteria and heavy metals.
Most of the drinking water products that failed the test last year were
found to contain bacteria. Other samples reportedly contained particles
and had a metallic taste.
Only 33% of them were deemed consumable and harmless to humans. Dr.
Ratchata has also said less than half of the water vending machines
available to the public were clean enough to provide water safe for
Meanwhile the World Health Organization has revealed that as many as
500,000 people worldwide die from drinking contaminated water annually.
Pre-owned car market shows signs of recovery
BANGKOK, 23 Mar 2015, (NNT) - Based on the number of
used vehicles in dealers' stock, the Thai Hire-Purchase Association has
indicated that the used car market is showing signs of recovery.
According to the president of the association, Anuchart Deprasert, used
car dealers have been suffering between 23-28% loss from each vehicle
sold, thanks to the number of cars being repossessed pulling down their
value. Most of these repossessed cars were purchased under the former
government's first car buyer policy.
However, the prices of used cars have begun to rise lately, said
Anuchart, adding that the economic slowdown also makes pre-owned carts
more appealing to the public.
As for new cars, the president said that approximately 60,000 cars were
sold each month during the past two months. The the figure is expected
to increase this month, given a motor show, to be held at the end of the
month, will likely see auto makers come up with campaigns to attract
their prospective customers.
Auto importer to be importer and distributor of Italian yachts
BANGKOK, 23 Mar 2015, (NNT) - Master Group
Corporation (Asia) Company Limited, one of the country’s largest motor
investing companies, has unveiled its new affiliated GMC Marine (Asia)
Company Limited. The new firm will become the first inclusive importer
and distributor for Italy's Azimut Yachts in Thailand.
According to Managing Director of Master Group Sanhawut
Thammachaunwiriya, the move is in response to the government’s new
policies promoting Thailand as a hub for marine tourism.
The company has allocated an investment of 300 million baht for purchase
of AZIMUT’s luxurious yachts, along with the construction of the ‘AZIMUT
Lounge’ in Pattaya and Phuket.
The company has launched 3 yacht models in different sizes: 50-, 64- and
84-foot long. An AZIMUT yacht has a starting price at 50 million baht.
Mr. Sanhawut said.
Thailand-Australia Parliamentarians’ Friendship Group meeting with Australian Ambassador.
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The chairman of the
Thailand-Australia Parliamentarians’ Friendship Group has met with the
Australian Ambassador to Thailand and discussed closer ties between the
Member of the National Legislative Assembly Gen. Marut Patchotasingh,
who is the chairman of the Thailand-Australia Parliamentarians’
Friendship Group, on Thursday had a meeting with H.E. Paul Robilliard,
during which they discussed several issues related to the longstanding
relationship of the two countries.
Topics brought up during the discussion included bilateral trade and the
upcoming 10th year anniversary of the signing of the Thailand-Australia
Free Trade Agreement which is said to have helped boost trade by 158.75%
Gen. Marut and Mr. Robilliard also touched on the issues of agricultural
cooperation and tourism as well as education.
As much as Australian travelers are considered major visitors to
Thailand, Australia is also the number-one destination for Thai students
to further their education.
And while the government of Australia has been granting scholarships to
Thai students each year, it has recently also awarded financial grants
to 160 Australian students to study and work in Thailand.
NRC to debate new draft charter April 20-26
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council is scheduled to open a week-long session to deliberate the draft
Constitution in April.
President of the NRC Tienchay Kiranant said that, after the Constitution
Drafting Committee hands over the completed draft of the charter on
April 17, the reform council will convene to deliberate all details
during April 20 and 26.
Mr. Tienchay assured that the NRC will be thorough in the deliberation
and will allow all members to freely share their opinions while all
information and suggestions collected from all public forums will be
brought up for review in order to perfect the draft as much as possible.
However, he declined to make any comment about the public referendum of
the draft charter, saying if all agree to do so, there must be an
amendment to the interim charter to allow such a process to take place.
CDC deputy chair: Public Referendum for new charter to be decided by government
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) A deputy chairman of the
Constitution Drafting Committee states that whether or not a public
referendum for the draft charter will be conducted is up to the
According to CDC deputy chairwoman Nareewan Chintakanond, the charter
drafters have always recognized the importance of public voices and
opinions because the committee has intended to draft the new
Constitution that the people understand and can enjoy their rights to
Mrs. Nareewan said that the new charter will be truly beneficial for the
country and the public while promoting reconciliation and peace.
She added that while the CDC is still reviewing each article of the
draft Constitution and some of them are yet to be concluded, the process
will be finalized by the end of the month before the draft is shared
with Thais across the country.
Concerning the public referendum, Mrs. Nareewan said that the decision
to conduct the process is entirely within the power of the government,
adding that this stage will take three to six months before an election
can really take place.
PM: 46% of investment budget has been allocated
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has revealed that the disbursement of investment funds by the
government is nearly halfway completed.
Speaking on his weekly TV program, Gen Prayut reported that up to 46
percent of the government’s investment budget for the current fiscal
year has been paid out so far. The rate is higher compared to the same
period in previous years. The premier added that contracts have been
signed for investment projects worth 280 billion baht altogether while
expecting 90 percent of the planned projects to go through the contract
signing process within this month.
Gen Prayut said the allocated funds have already reached a number of the
projects, including road maintenance by the Department of Highways and
the Department of Rural Roads worth 40 billion baht, improvement of
water management and irrigation systems in the dry season worth 38
billion baht, and construction of railway infrastructure.
In addition, the premier affirmed that the government has constantly
devised measures to reduce the people’s living expenses and stimulate
domestic consumption in the face of economic problems. Special attention
has been paid to agriculturists in order to lower their production costs
and increase their income. Several assistance measures have also been
implemented to safeguard Thai SMEs against impacts from the global
Gen Prawit: Less violence in far South
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister
and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said unrest in Thailand's three
southernmost provinces has substantially declined.
Gen Prawit said the number of violent incidents in the region is down
50% when compared to the same period of 2014.
In addition, the government's security agencies are working on
preparations for peace talks with militant groups in the deep South. To
bring about sustainable peace and order, the government has to make sure
that the counterparts who will take part in future negotiations have
actual power and influence in the region, he said.
Between January 2014 and March 2015, about 6,000 people have been killed
and about 10,000 others injured in the insurgency, mainly in Narathiwat,
Pattani and Yala.
Prison officials transferred after inspections
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Justice
has transferred 33 prison officials after military officers carried out
inspections in 143 prisons throughout the country without prior notice.
According to the ministry's Department of Corrections, narcotics and
mobile phones were found during the surprise inspections.
Songkhla Central Prison head Suchin Damkaden has been transferred to be
an inspector at the Department of Corrections, while the remaining 32
wardens have been moved to different prisons.
The transfers were approved by the department on Wednesday and took
The department said many inmates tested positive for drug use.
Commerce Minister: Next rice auction delayed
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The third auction of
rice from the government stockpile has been postponed to prevent the
price from decreasing further during the second-crop harvest, Commerce
Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said on Friday.
Gen Chatchai said the Ministry of Commerce expected rice process would
increase soon as the country has received an order to deliver 200,000
tons of rice to the Philippines. The government is also planning to sell
two million tons of rice to China.
60 central farm markets will be established across Thailand so farmers
can have a direct marketing channel. The markets will also help farmers
get fair prices, the minister added.
Voluntary Bike Patrols for tourist safety are now active around Chiang Mai
CHIANG MAI, 20 March 2015 (NNT) "Voluntary Bike
Patrols” teams have been officially in action around Chiang Mai Province
to ensure safety of foreign tourists who are making holidays in the
The new effort in maintaining security for tourists is initiated by the
Chiang Mai Provincial Police and held with cooperation from twenty-seven
foreigners of various nationalities who have lived in Thailand for a
long time and usually serve as voluntary translators at police stations
in the city.
These volunteers have already been trained in basic laws, cycling rules
as well as ways to address tourists while on duty.
The patrol teams work every evening from 5.00-9.00 p.m. They will ride
their bicycles through the main tourist attractions in the province such
as Tha Phae Gate, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra
Sing, in order to watch out for crimes and accidents and keep foreign
tourists confident in their safety while they are in the province.
Mixed-Member Proportional Elections can strengthen Thai politics, CDC spokesman believes
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) Gen Lertrat Ratanavanich, spokesman of the
Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) believed the German-based
Mixed-Member Proportional Elections system will strengthen Thai politics
and the political party system in Thailand as well as eliminate vote
His comment came after he returned from a visit to Germany to observe
the election system, together with members of the National Reform
Council (NRC), the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the Election
Commission (EC) visited.
As for the proposed establishment of the Election Organising Committee
(EOC) to replace the EC, General Lertrat said, the approach is proposed
to enhance transparency and fairness in an election, leading to highest
benefits for the whole country.
Gen Lertrat confirmed that Prof. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, a NRC member
who holds a different point of view on the German-based election system,
can still re-discuss with the CDC. Meanwhile, he vowed the CDC always
listens to voices from all parts of the society in order to optimize the
efficiency of the constitution bill.
If the Prime Minister orders a referendum on the bill, the CDC can
organize the move right after the NRC has approved the first draft of
the constitution, the spokesman added, saying the process will last
Natural Resources Min aims to end northern haze problem within April
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Natural
Resources and Environment has established a war room on the haze
situation in the North while setting a target to restore normalcy by the
end of April.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Dapong Rattanasuwan has
convened an urgent meeting with six relevant ministries and two
organizations in a joint effort to find solutions to the smoke haze
problem in the northern region which has been threatening the health of
local residents. As the situation is expected to worsen, the meeting
agreed to open a war room to specifically oversee the matter.
The war room will begin its duty on March 23 and sets out to bring the
particulate matter reading in the upper part of the country back to its
normal level before April 30. It will also be required to submit a
progress report to the Prime Minister on a daily basis. After the first
week of operation, the war room will be evaluated on its ability to
mitigate the problem.
In the meantime, the Third Army Area is to continue mobilizing its
personnel and helicopters to extinguish forest fires while provincial
governors and district chiefs will be responsible for preventing burning
activities in their respective areas.
Officials from the Interior Ministry have been dispatched to raise
residents’ awareness of the dangers of the slash-and-burn practice. At
the same time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is
temporarily prohibiting villagers from entering local forest reserves
for foraging purpose, on fear that they would trigger more fires which
would exacerbate the smog problem.
Facebook launches its new feature preventing users from suicide
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 (NNT) Facebook launches its
new feature that may help its users from suicide. This new feature will
be available for both computer and mobile users.
Facebook creates the function to help people who are likely to commit a
suicide. This feature prevents facebook users both with computers and
mobile from suicide by cooperating with various suicide preventing
sectors in USA and providing optional feature that will be able to tell
that the user is in need of help.
To apply this feature, other facebook users can click
'report this' when seeing any post/status that leads to suicide and the
system will offer options such as contacting the user or his/her friends
and suggesting suicide preventing hotline.
Now this new function is applied to 50% of facebook users in USA and
will be 100% in next couple months.
Deputy PM content with developments in Deep South
YALA, 19 March 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister
for Security Affairs Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has
expressed satisfaction with the progress made by
security officials in the Deep South and
disclosed that delegates for the next peace
dialogue are being chosen.
Gen Prawit paid a visit to the three southern
border provinces today to follow up on the works
of local security units. The deputy premier
announced that he was content after discovering
that the number of insurgent activities has been
reduced by more than half. He said the
improvement signifies higher effectiveness of
the cooperation of police, soldiers, state
officials and residents.
Nonetheless, the Deputy Prime Minister admitted
there are still insurgent members active in
certain areas but he pointed out that the
situation is heading in a better direction.
Regarding the ongoing peace dialogue with
separatist groups, he said related agencies are
in the process of selecting the most suitable
representatives to take part in the upcoming
While visiting Yala, Gen Prawit also chaired a
meeting of the Committee to Mobilize Policy and
Strategy to Solve Problems in the Southern
Border Provinces, with attendants including the
Army Chief, related ministers, military
commanders, heads of security agencies and
provincial governors. During the meeting, the
Deputy Prime Minister stressed the necessity of
conducting security operations in parallel with
development works and the promotion of public
understanding and acceptance.
Public referendum hinges on NCPO’s discretion
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The spokesperson of the
Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has stated that the decision
whether to hold a public referendum on the new constitution rests with
the government and the National Council for Peace and Order.
CDC Spokesperson Kamnoon Sithisaman revealed to the press today that the
charter drafting committee has reviewed 205 out of the 315 articles in
the first draft of the new constitution.
He affirmed that the CDC has coordinated with and taken input from the
National Reform Council (NRC) throughout the entire process. Furthermore
the committee will convene from May 25 to July 23 to consider the input
compiled from all groups.
In accordance with the interim charter currently in place, the new
constitution must be approved by the NRC before it is enacted.
Mr. Kamnoon said while the majority of the CDC agrees that the new
constitution must also be approved by the public, the decision on
whether to hold a public referendum ultimately rests with the government
and the National Council for Peace and Order.
Labor Ministry lays foundation stone for a new skill development building
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) Labor Minister General
Surasak Karnjanarat has laid a foundation stone for a new skill
The new building, which belongs to the Department of Skill Development,
serves as a comprehensive center for people wishing to improve their
vocational skills. It will provide such services as vocational training,
skill enhancement training and certification.
Once completed, the building will house different agencies under the
Department of Skill Development to enable those bodies to work more
closely and systematically. The top floor will function as the meeting
hall with a fully-equipped audio visual room. The ground floor will
consist of a large parking lot and a multi-purpose area.
General Surasak said that the launch of this building was aimed at
boosting Thai laborers’ skills in preparation for the emergence of ASEAN
Economic Community, adding that development of productivity and quality
of Thai laborers would be the key to the country’s competitiveness in
the global arena.
Civil servants urged to help eliminate corruption in the sector
SAMUT PRAKAN, 20
Mar 2015 (NNT)
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Interior Minister orders urgent response to smog problem
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Interior has instructed the Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) to
expedite the operational plans to prevent and
solve the smog crisis in the North.
Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda has
ordered quick response to the ongoing haze
situation in nine northern provinces. The DDPM
is expected to work with other relevant units to
solve the issue systematically and promptly.
The Minister said local authorities should raise
public awareness about the cause and effect of
the slash and burn practice. Residents will also
be encouraged by the government sector to use a
milder approach of clearing lands instead of
burning them down. Farming equipment will be
made available to help farmers deal with land
preparations for a new production season.
Gen Prawit: Thailand committed to tackling human trafficking in fishing industry.
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime
Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit
Wongsuwan is poised to reiterate to the
international community that Thailand has been
putting its best efforts into the fight against
human trafficking in the fishery sector.
During his visit to the three southernmost
provinces, Gen Prawit commented on the incident
where 500 Thai fishery workers were stranded on
Indonesian islands and victimized by human
traffickers, saying he is preparing to travel to
Indonesia to partake in a bilateral discussion
on the matter. He insisted that help is being
coordinated urgently for the group in an attempt
to bring them home safely.
In regard to a speculation that the European
Union is considering issuing a yellow card
against Thailand for its non-compliance with the
regulations on illegal, unreported and
unregulated (IUU) fishing, the Deputy Prime
Minister said it is still unknown if the
information is true. Nonetheless, he gave
assurances that the government has been placing
its priority on solving the human trafficking
problem in the Thai fishing industry and he is
ready to convey the message to the EU.
Gen Prawit, who has been appointed by the Prime
Minister as the chairman of the human
trafficking prevention committee, elaborated
that several measures have already been
implemented in accordance with international
standards, including registration of fishing
vessels, installation of GPS system on board,
registration of crew members and verification of
each vessel’s information before leaving the
Market for paddy rice producers proven successful in Nakhon Pathom
NAKHON PATHOM, 20 March 2015 (NNT) A market for
paddy rice producers held in Nakhon Pathom has
proven successful with 700 tons of rice sold to
silo owners on the opening day of the market.
The 3-day market provides farmers an optional
channel to sell their grains at negotiable
prices. Government officials also took part in
the program to assure transparency in humidity
measurement and purchase of paddy among buyers.
According to the Department of Internal Trade,
silo operators bought 700 tons of paddy worth
nearly five million baht on the opening day of
the market on March 18.
Prices have been bargained to the range of 6,500
- 7,000 baht per ton as the humidity levels of
the rice were found to be higher than 20%.
Farmers were reportedly satisfied with the
prices. It is expected that more than 2,000 tons
of paddy will have been sold by the end of the
Surin joins hands with Buriram bringing their OTOP goods to Cambodia
SURIN, 20 Mar 2015, (NNT) The provinces of Surin and Buriram
have joined hands bringing their OTOP products to Cambodia, as
they plan to expand the market to neighboring countries.
More than 100 OTOP producers from the 2 provinces and
Nakhonratchasima traveled to Allongweng District of Udonmechai
Province in Cambodia yesterday to take part in an exhibition
showcasing their products to the locals.
The efforts is part of the the Interior Ministry’s OTOP
promotion policy which highlights the expansion of the products’
distribution channel, while promoting ties with neighboring
The event is the first of its kind in 2015. Officials strongly
believe that the fair would also cement the already strong ties
between Thais and Cambodian.
The event has opened up rare opportunities for Thai vendors to
conduct business matchmaking with their Cambodian counterparts.
The most popular Thai OTOP items among Cambodian are foods,
closely followed by herbal products, cosmetics, silk, and
clothes. The fair will be concluded on Sunday, March 22nd.
CDC’s public participation sub-committee assures new charter will empower people.
BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 (NNT) The chairperson of the Constitution
Drafting Committee’s sub-committee on public participation has
assured that all opinions will be incorporated into the drafting
of the new charter that empowers the people.
Chairperson of the sub-committee Dr. Thawinwadee Bureekul on
Thursday took part in a seminar that invited around 130
academics from state and private universities across the country
to hear their opinions on the draft charter.
According to Dr. Thawinwadee, all ideas and suggestions will be
viewed by the charter drafters who are currently reviewing each
of the 315 articles of the draft Constitution — the process that
is to be completed before April 17, after which the National
Reform Council will have 10 days to deliberate the entire draft.
After the NRC’s review, any suggested changes will be passed
back to the CDC to work on until the end of June. During this
period, the public is also encouraged to send in their ideas for
Dr. Thawinwadee stated that the CDC has intended to offer a new
charter that really empowers the people, delivers clean politics
and promotes justice in the society.