EEC committee reviews 86 investment projects
Bangkok - The Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee reviewed 86 projects worth 13 billion baht
in a meeting on Friday.
Chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha, the EEC Policy Committee tabled investment proposals from the
Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Science and
Technology, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment.
The committee was informed of the
projects being developed along Thailand’s east coast between 2018 and 2021
and a plan to produce as many as one million skilled workers over the next
12 years to meet the demand of industries in the EEC zone and other special
economic areas. The 86 projects require a budget of 13 billion baht.
In addition, the committee acknowledged
other investment projects including the high-speed rail project connecting
three major airports - Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, and U-Tapao - as well as
phase three of the Laem Chabang Port expansion and the establishment of an
aviation maintenance facility in Thailand’s east.
More auctions to be held for high-speed rail project
Bangkok – The Ministry of Transport will be
accepting bids for the much-anticipated high-speed rail project in March.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said that
the construction of the Klang Dong-Pang Asoke railtrack, which is the first
phase of the high-speed rail project, is 50% complete while the second
phase, the Sikhio-Kut Chik route, will see a contractor appointed sometime
He added that more auctions will be held this month and
next, with 12 contracts up for grabs, amounting to 235 kilometers of
high-speed railway to be constructed.
To further improve the country’s transportation system,
the ministry will push for more infrastructure projects in Ayutthaya
province including the expansion of Highways 3053, 309, 3477, and 356, the
construction of a new road linking Rojana Road and Rojana Train Station, a
bridge construction project, a new bus terminal in Ayutthaya, and the
expansion of Ayutthaya Port.
In Sara Buri, the minister said several construction
projects are expected to be carried out including an overpass project in
Kaeng Khoi district, the extension of Highways 360, 3222, 3034, 3048, 3188,
and 362, and a road project connecting the Sara Buri Government Complex and
Sara Buri Train Station.
Thailand-Cambodia GBC reaches mutual border security, economic deals
Phnom Penh - The
Thailand-Cambodia General Border Committee (GBC) has reached an agreement to
enhance mutual border security and economic deals without taking border
issues as disputes.
The Spokesman for Thailand’s Ministry
of Defense, Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantravanich, said the Deputy Prime Minister
and Defense Minister, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, led government and military
officials to attend the 14th Thailand-Cambodia GBC session in Phnom Penh,
Cambodia, on February 13th and 14th, 2019.
During this visit, Gen. Prawit met with
his Cambodian counterpart, Gen. Tea Banh. The two sides praised the
development in the Thai-Cambodian relations and tight cooperation between
both governments and armed forces.
Both sides have agreed to enhance
cooperation between the armed forces on land and maritime security, with
regular joint military chief meetings to be held annually, and to promote
areas that used to be battlefields to become mutual development areas,
especially at Chanthaburi and Trat - Pursat, Pailin, and Battambang borders,
where regional border committees will be established to facilitate further
talks regarding developments for mutual benefits.
Gen. Prawit and his Cambodian
counterpart then chaired the 14th GBC meeting, which emphasized on social
and economic development at border areas as a way to promote security and
stability, without taking border issues as a dispute between both countries,
and to take peaceful actions when conflicts arise.
The Thai and Cambodian officials have
agreed on the enhancement of cooperation with other neighboring countries to
suppress drug manufacturing and distribution rings, international crimes,
and criminals at large.
Commerce Min eyes more exports to USA
Bangkok – The Ministry of
Commerce is optimistic that Thai food exports to the US could rise this
year, according to its deputy minister.
Deputy Minister of Commerce Chutima
Bunyapraphasara says the US will increase the quantity of food imported from
overseas to meet rising demand as Americans are looking to hoard food in
preparation for natural disasters. Products that will be popular, according
to her, are frozen chicken, corn, soya beans, and other agricultural goods.
She added the ministry expects US food
production to lessen, hence an opportunity for Thailand to export more
agro-products to the American market.
The ministry said Thai food exports to
the US will be generally stable during the next couple months, but will boom
later this year due to harsh weather conditions in the US which will hinder
its domestic output.
Sukhothai Provincial Prison helps exemplary prisoners
Sukhothai - The Sukhothai Provincial Prison has
held an occupational training program and offered financial assistance to
the inmates participating, lending them a helping hand in reintegrating back
into the society.
Sukhothai Governor Maitree Traitilanan presided over
the workshop with 200 inmates attending the event.
The program to provide prisoners with job training and
funding is to mark the auspicious occasion of His Majesty King Maha
Vajiralongkorn’s birthday anniversary on July 28th, 2019.
The governor handed out the financial assistance to
three inmates at the event. A total of 31 inmates are shortlisted to benefit
from the 760,000 baht fund.
Governor Maitree then personally returned citizen ID
cards to prisoners who are about to complete their sentences. He is also
overseeing the correction facility’s campaign to encourage inmates to quit
Ministry of Commerce is organizing 63rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Commerce is organizing the 63rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair to serve as a
trading platform that brings together businesses involved in the gem and
jewelry industry from around the world.
The fair will underscore the attention
to detail by Thai craftsmen and the quality of Thai products in order to
push Thailand to be a global jewelry hub. Over 800 businesses are registered
to set up over 1,800 venues featuring a variety of products.
In addition, the fair has also selected
123 SMEs from 21 provinces nationwide to showcase their expertise that has
been passed on through the generations and handmade skills that even modern
machinery cannot replace.
Director-General of the Department of
International Trade Promotion, Banjongjitt Angsusingh, said the industry
employs over 1.2 million people, with revenue in 2018 reaching 38.3 billion
baht or 4.74% of total exports. Furthermore, the industry has been able to
expand amidst global uncertainties, being the country’s 3rd largest export
after electronics and automotive parts.
The 63rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair
will be held at IMPACT, Muang Thong Thani from February 20-22 for businesses
and the 23-24 for the general public. The fair expects an attendance of
around 20,000 people, resulting in cash flow of no less than 2.4 billion
baht, up from last year’s 2 billion.
Historic candidacy of Princess Ubolratana as prime minister of Thailand
Princess Ubolratana (AP Photo)
BANGKOK (AP) – A
Thai political party on Friday named Princess Ubolratanaas its nominee to be
the next prime minister, upending tradition that the royal palace plays no
public role in politics and upsetting all predictions about what may happen
in next month’s election.
The selection on Friday of the
67-year-old princess by the Thai Raksa Chart party marks a shock realignment
of Thai politics and pits her against the preferred candidate of the
military, which is considered one of Thailand’s most royalist institutions.
Current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha,
who led the 2014 coup that ousted Thailand’s last elected government, on
Friday accepted his selection as candidate to lead the next government by
PalangPracharat Party, widely considered a proxy for the military.
Leader of Thai Raksa Chart party PreechaPholphongpanich,
center, holds a picture of Princess Ubolratana at election commission of
Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. The political party has
selected the princess as its nominee to serve as the next prime minister,
upending tradition that the royal palace plays no public role in politics
and upsetting all predictions about what may happen in the March election.
Princess Ubolratana is
the first-born child of the late King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit. She
married a fellow student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and
lived in the United States, where she and her husband had three children.
She moved back permanently to Thailand in 2001.
Since then she has
thrown herself into charity work, especially her “To Be No. 1” foundation to
fight youth drug abuse. She also frequently promotes Thai tourism and movies
at international forums. In general, like most of the royal family, she
publicly kept herself aloof from Thailand’s recent political turmoil.
Thai politics for more
than a decade has been shaken by violent street protests, coups and
comebacks, but those are familiar events in Thai history. However, the death
in 2016 of HM King BhumibolAdulyadej added a major element of uncertainty,
as he had served as a stabilizing force since taking the throne in 1946.
The other destabilizing
element in Thai politics was the 2001 election as prime minister of
telecommunications tycoon ThaksinShinawatra.
His populist policies
delivered him unmatchable electoral majorities, but he was resented by the
traditional ruling class, including royalists and the military, and the army
deposed him in a 2006 coup. Has been in exile since 2008 to avoid serving
jail time on a corruption conviction he insists was politically motivated.
political machine returned to power twice since and is seen as the key
element in arranging for Ubolratana’s selection because she cast her lot
with a Thaksin-affiliated party.
Gong Xi Fa Cai
Year on Tuesday, February 5, marks the Year of the Earth Pig, the last
animal in the Chinese zodiac. Every year, 130 million migrant workers in
China make their way home for New Year celebrations creating the world’s
largest human migration. Many events are planned here in Chiangmai, a list of
which can be found on page 2. Gong Hei Fat Choy is the traditional greeting
in Cantonese, which is spoken in parts of southern China and Hong Kong. It
directly translates to “wishing you great happiness and prosperity.” In
Mandarin, the official language of China, the same greeting is “Gong Xi Fa
Cai” (pronounced gong she fa tsai). Whichever you prefer, we at Chiangmai Mail
wish you a most healthy, happy and prosperous Chinese New Year. (AP Photo/Achmad
UTCC expects 58 bil baht cash flow during Spring Festival
Bangkok - The University of the
Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) forecasts 58 billion baht will be spent
during Chinese New Year festivities.
Thanawat Polvichai, director of the
Economic and Business Forecasting Centre at the UTCC, said the university’s
latest survey conducted on a sample of 1,207 people found that 39% of the
respondents will be traveling during the Spring Festival, between February 5
Up to 56.1% said this year’s spending
will be different from last year, with 24.8% believing that businesses will
achieve better profits this time around given the increased prices of
consumer products, with only 19.1% saying spending will be lower due to
political instability and economic recession.
Thanawat expects the upcoming Chinese
Festival to generate no less than 58.39 billion baht, a 2.7% increase year
on year, adding that tourism is unfazed by the ongoing smog situation.
Somkid hails Govt’s economic achievements
Bangkok - Deputy Prime Minister Somkid
Jatusripitak believes the current administration has done a praiseworthy job
to sustain Thailand’s economic growth over the past four years.
The deputy premier in charge of economic affairs
commented on Friday that the incumbent government was able to stabilize the
Thai economy during its first year in office and has been able to stimulate
growth continuously through reform, while calling on all sides despite their
differences to work together towards sustainable development.
For the past four years, the government has placed an
emphasis on the eradication of social inequality which has plagued Thailand
for decades, and the government has consistently avoided using unsustainable
solutions to address the agricultural price slump, but instead employed
constructive forms of assistance including pushing for a structural change
in the agricultural industry.
The deputy prime minister also pointed to the
government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project, saying the country has
seen a huge influx of investment capital flooding into the east coast, along
with the development of new gen industries such as robotics, aviation
maintenance, automation, and advanced agriculture.
B20 fuel goes on sale in five provinces
Bangkok - PTT stations in five
provinces started selling B20 biodiesel on Friday, to help the country fight
air pollution caused by diesel engines.
The five stations are located in Pathum
Thani, Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chonburi, and Chumphon. B20 is a blend of
20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel. Not only does it combat the
prolonged smog situation in various provinces including the capital city,
but the production of biodiesel also helps absorb the oversupply of palm oil
Chairing the launch of the B20
distribution at PTT Gas Station in Pathum Thani, Energy Minister Siri
Jirapongphan said the utilization of biodiesel in the logistics industry and
public transport, will assist the country’s endeavor to resolve air
pollution stemming from particulate matter generally smaller than 2.5
microns in diameter, known as PM2.5.
Citing a recent study, the minister
said B20 can reduce the emission of black fumes from vehicles by 15-20 per
cent, while it also helps drivers and logistics operators save 5 baht per
liter on fuel.
Vehicles able to use B20 include six
wheelers, ten wheelers, and public buses, according to Minister Siri.
Cherry trees blossoming in Nan
Nan - Cherry trees have begun to
blossom in Nan province and are likely to remain in bloom until the middle
The Khun Satahn Water Research Center
in Khun Satahn National Park of Nan province has reported cherry trees have
begun to blossom, with the entire area almost completely covered in pink
flowers, kicking off what is considered to be Thailand’s own Sakura season.
It has been noted that weather conditions caused the phenomenon to begin
early this year.
The station is home to over 300 cherry
trees with many more blossoming throughout the province of Nan. Tourists
have already begun to arrive to view and photograph the blooms. Authorities
have created areas for visitors to enjoy seeing the flowers up close, but
ask that visitors not attempt to pick them or climb the trees. The blooms
are expected to last until mid-February.
Bangkok flies drones as PM warns of costs in pollution fight
A water-spraying drone is flown over the Suthat
Temple in Bangkok, Thursday, Jan. 31. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — A fleet of drones, trucks and
small planes sprayed water to try to reduce air pollution around Bangkok on
Thursday while the city's governor invited critics to brainstorm better
ideas to improve the air quality in the capital.
Unhealthy pollution levels forced city schools to close
Wednesday for the rest of week, and many residents are wearing air-filtering
masks while they're outdoors.
Faced with public discontent as well as a possible
health crisis, Bangkok's governor, Police Gen. Asawin Kwanmuang, has
declared the city a "pollution control zone," allowing firmer measures such
as road closings and limits on diesel exhaust, outdoor burning and
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered inspections of
factories to measure the pollution they are emitting. But he warned that
implementing radical solutions could cause inconveniences that people might
be unwilling to accept.
"To ban vehicles or to ban vehicles on odd and even
dates, will people accept that?" he said. "If we provide (more public)
transportation, will people use it?"
Even long-term measures raise questions, he said. "At
the moment, we can improve the efficiency of cars and convert buses to use
NGV gas. Are we ready to spend the budget for whatever it will cost?"
The measures proposed this week would focus on what are
generally considered the main sources of Bangkok's air pollution,
particularly vehicle exhaust, especially from diesel engines. Open burning
and emissions from factories and power plants also are major problems, along
with dust from construction sites.
Some scientists have speculated that smoke and haze
from Thailand's less-developed eastern neighbor, Cambodia, also drifted into
Bangkok, stirring up a bit of eco-nationalism, but the government's
Pollution Control Department said evidence did not support this theory.
Parts of northern Thailand, however, do suffer an annual air pollution
crisis due to fires from slash and burn agriculture and other causes in
remote rural areas and in another neighbor, Myanmar.
In Bangkok, the crisis-level pollution, along with
public awareness, has been spurred by meteorological events that trap the
noxious pollution. These include a thermal inversion, which keeps the
dangerous particles closer to the ground, and weak winds which fail to blow
Governor Asawin acknowledged that drones aren't a
long-term solution but said he thinks every bit of effort helps. At a news
conference, he said critics calling the drones a meaningless stunt would
otherwise criticize him for doing nothing.
Asawin invited private-sector experts and academics to
share ideas to improve air quality.
"Those who are knowledgeable on this issue, don't give
opinions to others, tell me. I am the one who is working on the issue,
please give me advice," he said. "Do I know everything? No, I don't. Because
I do not know everything, that's why I will hold a meeting. Please join us
Critics say the authorities' attempt to combat
pollution by using drones to spray water is ineffective.
The director of Greenpeace Thailand, Tara Buakumsri,
said at best, the attempt will have a psychological impact on city dwellers,
but it won't improve air quality. Tara said the government should determine
the sources of the pollution and come up with long-term strategies to reduce
emissions from those sources.
Police announced Thursday that they have arrested the
operator of a website that falsely claimed that a woman had died as a result
of tiny "PM 2.5" particulate matter that experts say is one of the most
dangerous constituents of air pollution because it can penetrate deep into
the lungs. A photo of a woman whose skin was swollen accompanied an article
on the man's website.
The man was arrested last Sunday and charged with
violating the Computer Crime Act by uploading false information that could
alarm the public. The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Police said they are trying to track the operators of two other websites
that published the same article, and have asked government
telecommunications authorities to block them.
Inventors set to showcase their products
Bangkok - The National Research Council of
Thailand (NRCT) is gearing up to showcase innovations on Thailand Inventors’
The event is held in commemoration of His Majesty the
late King Bhumibol Adulyadej being granted the first patent on the
Chaipattana aerator. His achievement has set an example for Thai inventors.
More than 1500 inventions will be in seen, including
robot bartenders, edible coatings, and artificial bones made from rice field
The event will also feature exhibitions in seven
categories: agriculture, energy, industry, medicine, the environment,
education and national wisdom, and security. There are also award ceremonies
for researchers and contests for young scientists.
“Thailand Inventors’ Day 2019” takes place at BITEC
Bangna on February 2-6.
Thailand eyes economic opportunities
Bangkok - Following
Thailand’s assumption of the ASEAN chairmanship, the ASEAN Trade Promotion
Association has stressed emerging economic opportunities for the region,
despite the uncertain global market.
Former director general of the World Trade Organization
(WTO) Supachai Panitchpakdi said the volatile global economy and trade
barriers will encourage trading partners of European countries to purchase
products from ASEAN countries. Moreover, local resources could meet the
growing demands of up to 8 billion people in the future.
He noted that most people and entrepreneurs are not
aware of the situation or related legislation that could potentially impact
their lives and businesses.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Boonyarit
Kalayanamit indicated that ASEAN trade accounts for 100 billion baht or 25%
of global trade. Thailand, as the ASEAN chairman this year, will promote
local currencies for business transactions to mitigate foreign volatility,
and the Single Window System for cross-border trade.
Gen Prawit reviews programs in southern border provinces
Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan..
Bangkok - The committee
responsible for solving the southern border insurgency crisis has
approved a program to install CCTV cameras and expand on the triangle
urban development program for security, prosperity, and sustainability.
The meeting, led by Deputy Prime
Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, approved the 2018-19 CCTV camera program
and expansion to the urban development scheme to Chana District in
Songkhla as a model industrial city of the future. The meeting also
approved the 2019-21 overseas field trip program for students based in
the southern border provinces.
Gen Prawit emphasized efficiency in
ensuring the safety of the lives and property of the public by
integrating efforts across agencies to meet the needs of the public
while also preventing misuse of government funds.