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Update September 2017


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Thailand News
 

Update September 16-17, 2017

PM approves cancellation of arrival/departure card for Thai citizens

BANGKOK,(NNT) - According to the Government spokesperson, the Prime Minister has approved the exemption of Thai travelers from having to fill in the arrival and departure card. The PM used provisions of Section 44 of the interim charter to effect the change, which will take effect this month.

Government Spokesperson and acting Director-General of the Public Relations Department, Lt. Gen. Sansern Keawkamnerd said today that the decision came following a joint meeting between the Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order. Their discussions indicated that cancellation of the TM6 document for citizens, would significantly shorten the time taken for processing at the immigration office. The new regulation allows Thai citizens to present only their passports when traveling in and out of the country, without the need to fill in an arrival and departure card.

However, Lt. General Sansern stressed that foreign travellers still need to fill in the TM6 form.

The policy is expected to be issued in the Royal Gazette today.


Thai, British ministers discuss security, defense ties

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand and the United Kingdom have discussed plans to strengthen bilateral security and defense cooperation.

The Ministry of Defense released a statement summarizing Deputy Prime Minister/Defense Minister Pravit Wongsuwan's visit to the UK during 12-15 September 2017 saying that he held talk with his UK counterpart Sir Michael Fallon about the enhancement of security and national defense cooperation in such areas as military training, education, intelligence exchange, amended military logistics, peacekeeping operations, and defense industry.

The British defense minister praised Thailand for its participation in the UN peacekeeping operation in South Sudan, and in arranging a Panther Gold military exercise between both countries which will be launched for the first time during 30 October - 1 December 2017 in Kanchanaburi.

The Thai defense minister reassured Thailand is willing to extend the cooperation with the UK in all aspects as both countries have long enjoyed good relationships.


Business Traveller Awards 2017 names Bangkok Best Leisure Destination in Asia Pacific

Bangkok,TAT – The Business Traveller Awards 2017 named Bangkok the ‘Best Leisure Destination in the Asia Pacific‘ for the second straight year, marking a record sixth time Thailand’s capital city has received this prestigious international accolade.

Ms. Sarima Chindamat, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Hong Kong Office, was on hand to receive the award from the magazine’s representative, Mr. Willian Tang Tat Chi, a Hong Kong-born veteran fashion designer, at a ceremonial luncheon that took place on 8 September in Hong Kong. Other awards for Thailand included The St Regis Bangkok that won the Best Business Hotel in Bangkok honour.

According to Ms. Sarima, the Best Leisure Destination in the Asia Pacific and the Best Business Hotel in Bangkok awards reflect the hard work and close cooperation between Thailand’s private and public sectors plus an ongoing commitment to the highest standards of service and product excellence.

Ms. Sarima said, “I am delighted that Bangkok has once again been rightly recognised as the Best Leisure Destination in the Asia Pacific. We thank all involved in this award. No one will be resting on our laurels. Even after receiving the accolade for the sixth time, we intend to constantly strive to improve for many years to come.

“Bangkok has superb hotels and improving mass transit infrastructure that helps visitors conveniently move around the city. The destination offers no shortage of entertainment options ranging from superb restaurants, excellent shopping and unique Thai local experience.”

This marked the 26th edition of the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards. Each year Business Traveller Asia-Pacific magazine confers the Awards based on votes cast by its readers and subscribers. These include frequent travellers who use airports, airlines and hotels services to visit a variety of regional destinations.

Next year, TAT will continue to maintain the destination’s competitive edge in line with its ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ marketing plan by providing quality leisure offerings to travellers.

These include but are not limited to ‘Gastronomy Tourism’ highlighting local Thai culinary experiences; ‘Ladies’ Journey’ focusing on the needs and interests of female travellers and ‘Sports Tourism’ for adrenalin enthusiasts who are keen on diving, running marathons or viewing Thailand’s first MotoGP World Championship motorcycle races starting in October 2018.


Bangkok launches clean, cheap community food campaign

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has launched a campaign for clean and cheap food in four communities and may increase it to 10 within this month.

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang visited the clean and cheap food spot near Lotus shopping center in Pathumwan district, which is one of the four locations for the campaign started today.

The food markets are provided for street food vendors in designated and regulated areas at Lotus shopping center in Pathumwan district, Lumpini Park parking lot, in front of Koong Luang restaurant in Pinklao district, and ner Somdet Chaophraya Hospital in Bangkok Noi district. The campaign is aimed to help street food vendors currently affected by restrictions along the Bangkok streets.

Participating vendors are not entitled to any lease, but can only open their stall according to the time limit at each location, and must ensure the food of its quality and safety. The BMA aimed to open 10 more locations by the end of this month.

A total of 8,007 street merchants are being affected by the street food regulations, 6,334 of whom being food vendors, 681 clothes vendors, and 992 traders of other items. The affected vendors can register at respective district offices to be able to trade at the designated locations.


PM Office Minister accepts cash aid for flood-torn provinces

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Prime Minister’s Office has accepted aid funds for flood-torn provinces raised by actors and singers.

On behalf of the government, Minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office, Omsin Cheewapruek has received 501,107 baht in cash from Lt Pimdao Panichsamai who represented the fundraisers involved in the donation activity held in August at Siam Paragon shopping mall.

The donation will be added to the Office of the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund and will be distributed to Sakon Nakhon and other flood-stricken provinces in the Northeast. Minister Omsin has expressed thanks to all the philanthropists, saying the cash would be disbursed in accordance with the donors’ purposes.


Thailand and Malaysia agree to step up joint border patrol

BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Thailand-Malaysia Regional Border Committee has agreed to push for joint border patrol by officers from the two sides to increase the efficiency in tackling national security problems of the two countries.

Commander of the 4th Army Area Command Lt.Gen.Piyawat Nakwanit led Thai officials to attend the 106th Thailand-Malaysia Regional Border Committee meeting in Penang, Malaysia. The meeting followed up on Thai-Malaysian joint operations and expressed satisfaction with solutions to border problems in the regional level.

Apart from joint border patrol, the meeting agreed with Thailand’s idea to send border patrol police officers to patrol the Thai-Malaysian border areas with military officers. The meeting said it hoped that joint border patrol will efficiently prevent border problems especially drug trafficking, smuggled goods and cross-border criminals. The results of this meeting will be submitted to high-ranking officers of Thailand and Malaysia.


Update September 15, 2017

Deputy PM Wissanu says election roadmap will be followed

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has expressed confidence that organic laws relating to the election will be passed in time to adhere to the election roadmap.

Dr. Wissanu disclosed today that the government has submitted three organic acts for royal approval, which govern the Election Commission of Thailand, political parties, and the judicial process for holders of public office. He said that the Election Commission Act is now in effect, while the other two are being deliberated by the National Legislative Assembly.

Dr. Wissanu expressed confidence that the acts will be passed in time and will not delay the election timeline.

The deputy premier gave a talk during a seminar on reform, saying reform efforts will be met with obstacles and will impact stakeholders. The government must therefore compensate those who will be affected, and all sides must exercise patience in order to see the agenda through to its completion.

All reform committees must submit their preliminary plans to the government. If the plan is rejected by the Cabinet or otherwise meets with opposition, it must be revised. Dr Wissanu said he will follow up on the work of each committee on September 30th.


Interior Ministry promises action if fraud found in Khon Kaen land use

 

KHON KAEN,(NNT) –The Minister of the Interior has asserted action will be taken if any forging of documents is discovered in the process that allowed private use of a public area in Pa Huay Mek of Khon Kaen province, with local residents stating they had filed opposition to the approval.
Chairman of the Community Council of Baan Dong sub district of Khon Kaen province, Paiboon Boonla has confirmed the group filed a petition against KTD Property Development using public land in their area for business purposes. He pointed out the petition was passed onto authorities in the district, at provincial and even ministerial level with no tangible results. He has now presented the letter to Land Department agents investigating the matter as well as the media.

Minister of the Interior, Gen Anupong Paojinda said today a panel of investigators has been sent to the area to look over all documentation and to see whether permission for the company followed due process. He assured the residents that if any failings are found, the permission will be revoked and punitive action will be taken against those involved.


Long-endangered snow leopard upgraded to 'vulnerable' status

In this Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, photo, an endangered snow leopard cub explores it's enclosure the Los Angeles Zoo, in California.(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

By Katy Daigle, Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — The elusive snow leopard — long considered endangered — has been upgraded to "vulnerable," though conservations warned the new classification does not mean they are safe.

The animals still face serious challenges including poaching and loss of prey in their high Himalayan habitat.
"The species still faces 'a high risk of extinction in the wild' and is likely still declining — just not at the rate previously thought," said Tom McCarthy, head of the snow leopard program at the big cat conservation group Panthera.
Snow leopards had been listed as endangered since 1972.

The reclassification announced Thursday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, followed a three-year assessment that determined there are not fewer than 2,500 mature snow leopards in the wild, and that their numbers are not in steep decline — the two criteria for being considered "endangered."

Using improved methods for assessing the cats' population, experts estimated about 4,000 live in the wild, though there could be as many as 10,000.

Scientists have managed to survey only a small fraction of the animal's high-mountain range, an area covering some 1.8 million square kilometers (695,000 square miles) crossing into 12 countries in Asia.

Doing the research "is difficult," said Peter Zahler, coordinator of the snow leopard program at the Willdife Conservation Society, who was involved in the multi-agency team's assessment. "It involves an enormous amount of work in some of the most remote and inhospitable regions of the world."

New technologies, including camera traps and satellite collaring, are "giving us better information about where snow leopards are and how far they range," he said.

Some positive developments included an increase in the number of protected areas, as well as stepped-up efforts by local communities to protect the animals from poachers.

Communities were also working to prevent cases of local herdsmen retaliating for lost livestock by building predator-proof livestock corrals, team member Rodney Jackson of the Snow Leopard Conservancy group said in a statement.

Still, the animals are hunted for their thick fur and bones. They also face declining numbers of wild prey, as domestic livestock have degraded grasslands.

Whether they might be impacted by global warming remains uncertain. But scientists agree the Himalayas are one of the world's most susceptible regions to climate change.

"Saying snow leopards are now 'vulnerable' rather than 'endangered' doesn't mean they're safe," Zahler said. "It doesn't take much to make large predators disappear from landscapes. We've seen it happen over and over again around the world."
___
Follow Katy Daigle on Twitter at twitter.com/katydaigle


Update September 14, 2017

Nong Nooch Garden begins decorating royal cremation site with flora

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Plants of all sizes are being put up in Sanam Luang by Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Pattaya for the royal cremation ceremony in October.

Mr Kampol Tansajja, Director of Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Pattaya, which has been put in charge of gardening in Sanam Luang, stated that the agency is currently in the process of planting large perennial trees around the Royal Merit-Making Pavilion in accordance with the landscaping design by the Fine Arts Department. The trees include 50 ebony trees and over 100 Siamese rough bushes, which are species commonly found in palaces and temples around Thailand. All of them are expected to be put in place within two days.

Small to medium-sized ornamental and flowering plants will be put in the ground around the royal crematorium when the structure is finished, expectedly in early October. Among the selected plants are golden leaved liana, orange jessamine, marigold and ground orchid, most of which have yellow leaves or flowers. Saplings have already been grown beforehand so that the flowers will be in full bloom when they are brought to Sanam Luang for the royal cremation ceremony.


Thailand promotes EEC project in CAEXPO 2017

NANNING,(NNT) – Prime Minister's Office Minister Ormsin Chivapruck opened Thailand's booth in the City of Charm Zone at China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in China and promoted Thailand's EEC project to Chinese investors.

The Thailand booth in the City of Charm Zone of CAEXPO currently opens in Nanning, China.

He said Thailand has brought entrepreneurs in tourism and businesses to participate, especially those in Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong, in which the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project is located.

The Thai government is now providing great benefits to investors in the EEC project, and plans to promote a special economic zone which is an epicenter of industries and the government's effort to facilitate investors.

The PMO minister said many Chinese investors were keen to invest in heavy industries, while the Thai government is working to improve the logistics in the country.

Some 163 Thai entrepreneurs open their booths at the 14th CAEXPO, showcasing a variety of products such as food and beverages, health and wellness products, automobile parts, gems and orchids.


EEC well-received by Japanese investors

CHONBURI,(NNT) – Thailand’s Minister of Industry Uttama Savanayana on Wednesday led Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Economy, Trade and Investment Minister of Japan, and other Japanese delegates to the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to learn more about the government’s policy and related measures to boost development in the area.

The delegation was briefed on the government's EEC development plan, including updates on the government’s investment projects in the economic zone, the overall investment situation, and the joint venture agreements with large companies like Boeing and Airbus.

Following the briefing, the group paid a visit to Laem Chabang Industrial Estate, Hemaraj Industrial Estate, Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization) and Vidyasirimedhi Institute.

Minister Uttama said the Thai government was strongly committed to propelling industrial reform, trade and investment promotion as well as connecting Thailand with the world’s economic leaders. The EEC is used as a key area to further develop the country’s economic infrastructure.

After the establishment of the EEC Office early this year, the development of the area has become more consistent. The government has accelerated spending on basic infrastructure projects to ensure that the EEC becomes a prime location for strategic investment in Asia. With a supportive ecological system, the EEC has tremendous potential to become a major production hub of ASEAN with an extensive transportation network and pleasant accommodations.

The five infrastructure projects currently underway to support the EEC are the expansion of U-Tapao Airport; the Construction of high-speed train system linking Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang Airport and U-Tapao Airport; the development of Laem Chabang – Sattahip – Map Ta Phut seaports; measures to attract investments in the 10 targeted industries; and the eco-city project.


Update September 13, 2017

PTT employees grow 99,999 marigolds in honor of His Late Majesty

BANGKOK,(NNT) - A group of PTT employees have collaborated in growing 99,999 marigolds in honor of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

PTT Chief Executive Officer Tewin Wongwanich led a group of executives and employees in a tribute activity for His Late Majesty, where they planted 99,999 marigold saplings in a garden in front of PTT headquarters.

The saplings, which were also arranged to form the Thai number nine, are expected to bloom in time for the royal cremation ceremony of His Majesty King Rama IX, which is scheduled to take place from October 25th to 29th.

The CEO also said that provincial PTT offices will be encouraged to grow marigolds in tribute to His Late Majesty.


Interpol releases fugitive Red Bull heir's 'wanted' listing

This image made from the website of the international police network, Interpol, shows the "wanted" listing for the billionaire Thai heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (Interpol via AP)

BANGKOK (AP) — Interpol has released a "wanted" listing for a Thai heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune who is accused in a car crash that killed a Bangkok police officer five years ago.

The international police network made the "red notice" for Vorayuth Yoovidhya viewable to the public on Monday. Law-enforcement officials have been able to access the listing since last month.

Interpol says a red notice is a request to police forces around the world "to locate and provisionally arrest an individual, pending extradition."

Vorayuth, better known by his nickname "Boss," is wanted in connection with a hit-and-run incident in Bangkok in September 2012, in which a Thai policeman on motorbike patrol was struck and killed by a driver in a Ferrari.

He has avoided meeting prosecutors ever since, and his case has raised allegations that Thai authorities are lenient with wealthy suspects.

Vorayuth left Thailand in April, days before authorities finally issued an arrest warrant, and his Thai passports were later revoked. He went to Singapore and then to Taiwan, but his whereabouts since early May are unknown.

The suspect originally faced three charges, but only one remains because he has avoided authorities for so long. A speeding count expired in 2013, and a hit-and-run charge expired early this month. The statute of limitations for the last charge, causing death by reckless driving, runs out in 10 years.

Vorayuth's family owns about half of the Red Bull empire, which was co-founded by his grandfather. For more than four years after the crash, he lived a high-flying and even public life. Relying in part on public social-media posts from his family and friends, the AP found that Vorayuth had gone to Formula One races, snowboarded in Japan and cruised Venice, often flying in private Red Bull jets, and all while failing to show up for court dates.


Thai villagers win 10-year lawsuit over mining pollution

 

BANGKOK (AP) — The lawyer for a group of villagers in Thailand who won a 10-year lawsuit against a mining company for polluting their land and water says he is prepared to take further legal action if the company does not pay up.

Surapong Kongchantuk, the lawyer for 151 ethnic Karen villagers living near Klity Creek in Kanchanaburi province, said Tuesday he is not confident that Lead Concentrates Co. will pay the 36 million baht ($1.1 million) in compensation ordered by Thailand's Supreme Court because its representatives did not even show up for the court's verdict.

The court on Monday ruled in favor of the villagers, whose lawsuit charged that the company's mining waste polluted the creek, contaminating soil and harming villagers and aquatic animals. The lead mine and treatment factory was established in 1967.

"According to the process, they (the plaintiffs) should be compensated immediately but I'm not sure whether they (the defendants) will pay," Surapong said. "They have not cooperated with us. They did not even come to court yesterday."

The case against Lead Concentrates Co. was first filed in 2007, Surapong said. A separate court ruling in January 2013 ordered the Thai government to oversee the creek's rehabilitation and pay nearly $4 million in compensation to villagers.

Surapong said the 2013 ruling instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Pollution Control Department to clean up the creek within three months.

"But four years have passed now and the Pollution Control Department has not even begun the rehabilitation process yet," he said.

An official at the Pollution Control Department, who works on the issue but declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said department officials will go to the village, 300 kilometers (180 miles) west of Bangkok, later this month to inform residents how the rehabilitation process will be conducted.

The official said the creek's rehabilitation has been delayed because of budgetary reasons.


Update September 12, 2017

Prime Minister hosts reception for Japanese investors

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Thai Prime Minister has presided over an official ceremony to welcome the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment and representatives of the Japanese business sector, who are on a three-day investment trip in the Kingdom.

At Santi Maitree Building, Government House, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha hosted the event to celebrate the 130th anniversary of Thai-Japanese diplomatic relations. Among those attending the ceremony were members of the Thai Cabinet, the Board of Investment of Thailand, and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee, as well as Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment, trade organizations and nearly 600 Japanese investors.

In his address, Mr Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment of Japan, expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to meet the Thai Prime Minister and government. He noted that Japan had maintained long-standing cooperation with Thailand as the Kingdom was considered the manufacturing hub of ASEAN. The Minister voiced his hope that this visit to Thailand by the Japanese entrepreneurs would bring the existing relations and friendship between the two nations even closer.

Prime Minister Prayut then gave his welcoming speech to the Japanese businesspersons, referring to Japan as one of the closest and oldest friends of Thailand. With a large number of Japanese investors joining in this visit, he thanked them for their interest in Thailand, affirming that Thailand as well as the rest of ASEAN would always welcome them with open arms.

The Prime Minister insisted that the Kingdom placed importance on its cooperation with Japan and had adopted various mechanisms to accommodate Japanese investments, especially the Thailand 4.0 policy and the EEC development project, which would be implemented over the long term in line with the 20-year national strategy.

In addition, Gen Prayut cited Japan as a model for the development of SMEs and startups and asked the country to consider transferring know-how, technology and innovation to Thai entrepreneurs as they geared up for the 4.0 era. The premier also assured the Japanese businesses that they could have confidence in the potential of Thailand and should not hesitate to invest in the Kingdom.


Protective measures for women approved

A meeting of the national committee on women's rights on Monday approved measures to protect women from sexual abuse and workplace harassment and an action plan to eradicate violence against women.

The meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Narong Pipatanasai, was held to follow up on the progress of the four-year national strategy for women development (2017 to 2020). The resolutions will be submitted to the cabinet for consideration.

In addition, the committee followed up on the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. The convention has been developed to promote gender equality, improve women's quality of life, as well as provide remedial measures.


Officials to look into 'zero-dollar' tours

Deputy Prime Minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn said he has not received reports of "zero-dollar" tours - a scam where tourists buy inexpensive package deals but will later be pressured to purchase overpriced products from certain outlets introduced by their tour guides.

After Gen Thanasak discussed tourism development and confidence-building with members of the Tourism Social Press Association (TSPA) on Monday, he told reporters that officials in legal sector will look into the "zero-dollar" tour issue and may take action if the tour operators have been found to launder money, exploit tourists, and engage in corruption.

He said no complaints against "zero-dollar" tour operators have been lodged with authorities at this time.


Update September 11, 2017

Upper North to hold third Unseen Lanna

CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - Provinces of the upper North are preparing to hold the third Unseen Lanna fair this month to foster trade in the region.

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, officials of the provincial community development offices and representatives of the Chambers of Commerce of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Lamphun have organized a press conference on the third Unseen Lanna fair at Khum Khan International Convention Center in Chiang Mai.

The fair, which will be held on the theme of HM the late King’s self-sufficiency philosophy, will consist of an exhibition of 12 outstanding self-reliant communities, a business forum, a display of industrial innovations and award-winning products from the One Tambon One Product (OTOP) project.

The event will take place from 15th to 24th September at the International Convention and Exhibition Center Commemorating His Majesty’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary in Chiang Mai.


Royally-designed piggy banks bestowed on students in Hua Hin

 

BANGKOK,(NNT) - His Majesty the King has graciously bestowed piggy banks with royal designs to volunteer students in Hua Hin.

HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has designated a royal representative to present the piggy banks to 88 students from Wang Klai Kang Won School, who have spent their days-off this year working in local state offices as interpreters.

All the students have used their language skills to help foreigners, who have visited any government office or the police station needing assistance.

HM the King also passed along a message of appreciation to all the students, who have made use of their free time to help others, while hoping their actions will inspire other students and youths to do good things for society.


Replicas of royal crematorium to be finished by October 15

THAILAND,(NNT) – Various provinces are building replicas of the royal crematorium to be completed by mid-October.

Nakhon Ratchasima Governor, Wichian Chanthonnothai recently officiated at a religious ceremony to inaugurate the construction of a crematorium replica. The ceremony was witnessed by local government officers and members of the public. The governor said the construction of a steel frame will take about two days while the entire pyre will be finished by October 15th.

In Chumphon province, Governor Narong Pholla-iad recently led local administrative officials, police officers, soldiers, and the general public in a religious ritual to commence the construction of an exact replica of the royal crematorium in Bangkok being built for the state funeral of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct 26. The construction is expected to be completed by October 8th.

In Chonburi province, Robinson Shopping Mall and Central Plaza are giving away marigold trees for members of the public to grow at home. The city is hoping to grow a total of 199,999 marigolds which will bloom during the royal funeral. The yellow plants can be picked up at the two shopping centers on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout September.


Update September 9 - 10, 2017

SESA 35 showcases research findings and innovations

LAMPANG,(NNT) - The Secondary Educational Service Area Office 35 (SESA 35) recently held the “Show & Share SESA 35” event, showcasing research findings and innovations from secondary schools in the provinces of Lampang and Lamphun.

The fair was staged on the first floor of Central Plaza Lampang, with the deputy Lampang governor chairing the opening ceremony.

According to the SESA 35, all schools in the two provinces were encouraged to present their academic achievements to the general public.

Participants in “Show & Share SESA 35” showcased interesting research findings, and educational innovations related to science, food, environment and plants.

The organizers hope that event-goers will adopt what they've learnt to improve their health and well-being.


Samut Sakhon EXPO 2017 promotes Thailand 4.0 agenda

 

SAMUT SAKHON,(NNT) - Samut Sakhon EXPO 2017 is now underway, showcasing various goods and manufacturing innovations.

The exposition, the 8th of its kind, is being held in line with the government’s Thailand 4.0 agenda, with a focus on the Industrial Economy 4.0 policy.

The event is being held from now until September 13th near Tha Chin bridge in the capital district of the province.

According to the Samut Sakhon Governor, the event highlights cooperation between provincial government units and private companies in the development of the local economy through fisheries, tourism, handicraft products, agriculture, and cultural activities.

The expo serves as a platform for goods distribution and the promotion of tourist attractions.

There are more than 350 vendors and six different zones for visitors to enjoy.


Pattani’s premium durians featured at Songkhla fair

SONGKHLA,(NNT) - The Pattani goods fair, which is being held at the Central Festival Hat Yai shopping mall in Songkhla province, which concludes on Tuesday, September 12th.

The highlight of the event is “Sai Khao” durians which are well-known among Thai and foreign consumers for their soft golden texture, sweet taste and aromatic smell. Sai Khao durians are also low in carbohydrates.

The fruit is grown in Sai Khao sub-district of Khok Pho district in Pattani province and ranks among the top five strains of durian in Thailand.

The fair also offers other processed agricultural goods including organic salted fish from Nong Chik district, which is a premium product with a hefty price tag of between 1,500 - 1,700 baht a kilogram.


560 Japanese investors to visit EEC project next week

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Ministry of Industry will lead some 560 investors from Japan on a tour to the Eastern Economic Corridor project next week.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the Ministry of Industry is welcoming the 560 Japanese investors led by Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, to visit Thailand during 11-13 September 2017.

The Ministry of Industry will led the visiting group to meet with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to hear a briefing on the government's policy to promote investment and the development in 10 key industries. The visiting group will be attending the Symposium on Thailand 4.0 towards Connected Industries held by the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Commerce at the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Office and the Office of the Board of Investment of Thailand on 12 September 2017.

The visiting Japanese investors will have the chance to meet with Thai businesspersons for business matching, and the opportunity to visit the EEC development site to observe the progress of infrastructure development to accommodate investments.

Regarding the D5 meeting, the industry minister said that the group had ordered the making of an action plan to attract investors from specific countries in each industry, while legislation on the EEC project is expected to be submitted to the cabinet for approval later this month.


Military steps up anti-smuggling measures along Thailand-Myanmar border

 

RANONG,(NNT) - The 5th Infantry Division Commander, Maj Gen Sitthiporn Musikasin has instructed his troops to step up land and marine security measures and to be on the lookout for illegal smuggling and illegal entry into Thailand via Chumphon and Ranong provinces.

The commander’s order came during his visit to Ranong province. Officials there are tasked with patrolling the 254-kilometers-long Thailand-Myanmar border linking Thailand’s Chumphon and Ranong provinces and Myanmar’s Tanintharyi and Kawthaung provinces.

According to the commander, there have been no reports of irregular migration of Rohingyas from Rakhine State of Myanmar into Thai territory over the past two years.

Nevertheless, the commander said, in case the issue resurfaces, strict land and marine measures have been put in place to handle the situation.


Phuket takes traditional approach to Ghost Festival

PHUKET,(NNT) – Phuket province is celebrating its unique take on the Chinese Ghost Festival by holding Por Tor activities.

Deputy Phuket Governor, Sanit Sriwihok and Phuket City Mayor, Somjai Suwansupapana have led locals of the province in praising Por Tor Kong, a deity revered by residents of Phuket with Chinese heritage.

The festivities in front of Muang Phuket’s Fresh Market 1 attracted large crowds and received support from private agencies. The festival is an expression of honor to ancestors and is observed during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar, during the period more widely known as the Ghost Festival. Locals in the area have been putting out offerings of Chinese sweets, fruits, Chinese liquor and traditional Phuket desserts.

Mayor Somjai said that in addition to honoring ancestors, Phuket’s interpretation of the festival also preserves its local traditions and supports cultural tourism. She stated that by combining cultural tourism with Phuket’s natural attractions, the province can maintain its status as a world class travel destination.


Update September 8, 2017

New Excise Tariff Act to be enforced on September 16th

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Excise Department is set to propose new excise duties on tobacco and alcoholic beverages to the Cabinet next week before the Excise Tariff Act, B.E. 2560 is enforced on September 16th.

Excise Department Director-General Somchai Poonsawat has announced that manufacturers of tobacco and alcohol products will be taxed on the product prices and the alcohol content when the new legislation takes effect.

In the Meantime, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha believes vendors will try to hoard the products until the enforcement day. Those who do, he warned, will face legal consequences.

Gen Prayut added that the new excise tax collection, which will be carried out in a step-by-step approach, would not benefit any particular group of people.

In response to a report that many cigarette and alcoholic beverage companies would suffer a profit loss due to the new tax collection, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said it is impossible to know if those companies will encounter a loss in profit because the new rates have yet to be determined.


Tourism and Sports Min to boost sports industry

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has organized a 4.0 sports event to encourage people to exercise while planning to implement its 2018 sports development strategy.

Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Pongpanu Svetarundra, said today the 4.0 sports for people campaign was in line with the 6th National Sports Development Plan aimed at making sports part of people’s lives.

More than 10,000 people in Bangkok have joined the campaign in which daily group exercises are organized at various spots throughout Bangkok. Similar events have also been held regionally where at least 50,000 people have participated since its inception 12 weeks ago.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has also made 2018 the year of traditional Thai tourism and is planning to boost the country's revenue through sports activities.


Creative Lamphun Festival held to showcase province’s tourism appeal

Bangkok,-The weekend of 2 -3 September, 2017, saw the Creative Lamphun Festival take place in Lamphun, a key date among regional events & festivals, which was aimed at showcasing the Northern province’s appeal as a creative tourism destination and to highlight some of the various activities and attractions on offer to tourists.


Update September 7, 2017

Ban on international flights complies with ICAO standards

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has affirmed its ban on some airlines which are yet to be certified for international flights is a normal policy according to the ICAO standards.

CAAT Director-General Chula Sukmanop said the prohibition to certain airlines which are yet to pass evaluation tests for the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to operate international flights effective from 1 September 2017 complies with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) standards.

The ICAO will conduct an evaluation test in Thailand, for which the CAAT has made preparations, during 20-27 September 2017.

He said nine Thai-registered airlines have so far received the AOC, with a few more expected to follow in September, and a few others in October. The flight prohibition comes from the incompletion of the evaluation process which may have occurred due to delays in the submission of a case from the affected airlines and the shortage of eligible officials.

The CAAT is now processing the AOC cases based on the number of passengers the airline carried in 2016. The CAAT has ensured all airlines have sufficient safety standards to operate domestic flights for the time being and that measures for compensation to affected airlines will be issued after the ICAO has removed the significant safety concern (SSC) status from Thailand.


DLT issues smart driving licenses

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Land Transport (DLT) is issuing new driving licenses encoded with QR code with an aim to promote road safety.

DLT Director-General Sanit Promwong revealed that the DLT wanted to raise the quality of driving licenses to a global standard. The QR code is added to the card to prevent counterfeiting. This technology will be included in new driving licenses nationwide.

The new smart cards are being issued to people applying for a driver's license and will enable the DLT effectively promote road safety.


Samui Festival 2017 tops Thailand events calendar with action packed programme

TAT
BANGKOK,– This year’s ‘Samui Festival 2017’, which will be the second time, highlights the 120th anniversary of the island’s founding in 1897 with two marque sport events – a full marathon and bike race – headlining an action packed programme from 7 to 11 September.

Thailand’s Prime Minister H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha is personally granting the trophies for both sport events, while the opening ceremony duties will be handled by a Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT), said that, “The high-profile presence of leading government officials shows the Samui Festival 2017 is one of the most significant happenings on the Thailand events calendar for this year. This is a celebration of Southern Region culture and style.

“The grandeur and spectacle celebrates Ko Samui’s rich history and its evolution into one of Asia’s top beach resorts, with TAT joining forces with leading local public and private sector players jointly pitching in to help organise the event.”

The five-day festival includes a diverse and family-friendly programme of events, in addition to the sports events, that offers something for everyone.

It includes a traditional island-wide merit-making ceremony, an ‘Art Lane’ and cultural fair plus concerts by famous Thai singers and bands, and ‘Samui Fight’ kickboxing matches.

In addition to the Samui Festival Marathon 2017 and Tour of Samui 2017 bike race, there will also be many unique Thai local sports events and a not-to-be-missed beach buffet that celebrates the Southern Region’s unique food culture.
These and other events will be at three of Ko Samui’s best beaches including Nathon, Bophut and Chaweng:

*Opening procession: a ‘Flower Float’ parade almost two kilometres long on 7 September.

*Marathon (42 kilometres, 10.5 kilometres and 5 kilometres) on 9 September.

*Bike race (25 and 50 kilometres) on 10 September.

*Art Lane showcasing work of Thai famous artists as well as local handicrafts.

*Food Street: Seafood and signature Thai dishes of Surat Thani (Southern Region).

*A 2.5-kilometre-long beach buffet (free and open to the public).

*‘Samui Fight’ nights.


Update September 6, 2017

TAT supports ‘The Royal Delights – Pheasant Festival’ at Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong District

Ms. Padari Bunnag, Head of Royal Project Cuisine (left), Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, Mr. Chai Srivikorn, President of Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) (2nd right), Mr. Amorn Suvachittanont, Senior Vice President, Retail Payment and Foreign Exchange Products Management Department, Kasikorn Bank (right)

TAT

Bangkok, 31 August, 2017 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is offering its support to the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) in organising the ‘Taste it all 2017 @Ratchaprasong: The Royal Delights – Pheasant Festival’ from now until 31 October.

This gastronomic event, also supported by the Royal Project Foundation, will see top culinary arts presented by eight celebrity chefs from hotels around Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong, using Royal Project ingredients to offer an exceptional experience for food lovers. ‘Pheasant’, as the name of the festival suggests, will be the key ingredient of the event’s signature dishes.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications said, “In the TAT’s marketing plan 2018, Gastronomy Tourism is identified as one of the key highlights to motivate local and international travellers to discover the many unique Thai local experiences around Thailand. Related food festivities; such as, the Taste it all @Ratchaprasong, helps us in our efforts to promote the Kingdom as a preferred destination for food lovers.”

Pheasant has been chosen as the highlight of this year’s Taste it all 2017 @Ratchaprasong due to its unique flavour and aroma. It is lean meat which is chewy but tender, and the meat is quite dense while the bones are smaller. When roasted, the skin is crispy and the meat is pleasantly chewy. It is considered an excellent choice for health lovers. In some countries, pheasant meat is only available at premium supermarkets.

In Thailand, the supply of pheasant in the market comes from the Royal Projects, which began experiments with pheasant farming in 2004. Currently, an average of 1,200 pheasants are raised for their meat every year and are sold out quickly.

This year, all of the Royal Project’s pheasant meat will be used to create signature dishes for the Taste it all 2017 @Ratchaprasong: The Royal Delights – Pheasant Festival. The specially-created dishes, using pheasant meat, are available at eight hotels in Ratchaprasong District including the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, InterContinental Bangkok, Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, The St. Regis Bangkok and the Paste Bangkok at Gaysorn Village.

Taste it all @Ratchaprasong is an annual festal that celebrates its 14th anniversary this year. Each year, from September to October, the festival offers amazing dining experiences to local and international visitors and helps the district earn its current popularity as being ‘The Best Dining Destination’ in Bangkok.
 


Thais continue to mourn HM King Rama IX

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thais from across the country have journeyed to the Grand Palace to pay their respects to His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Dusit Throne Hall welcomed Thais from all walks of life from Bangkok and distant provinces such as Phayao, Ranong, Chumphon and Samut Songkhram. All are united in their gratitude for His Majesty's dedication to his people throughout his 70-year reign. Visitors received a framed image depicting His Majesty King Rama IX as a memento of their visit, as well as food and water.

Meanwhile, people have begun volunteering for various functions during the royal funeral. Citizens in the Kingdom can register at their local district offices, while those living abroad can register with a Thai embassy or consulate. Registration is open from now until September 30th from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Registrants must bring their national identification cards, while children under seven years old can use their birth certificates.

In Yala province, officials from the provincial NBTC office have signed up to volunteer during the province's royal funeral ceremony to provide general services, accept funeral flowers, or serve in a public relations capacity. In Uthai Thani province, local residents and government officials have also registered at their local district offices.


Ministry of Industry partners with UNIDO to develop EEC to 4.0 standards

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Industry has invited UN organizations to help modernize the country's industrial sector to satisfy its Industry 4.0 agenda and accommodate investment in 10 target industries in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The committee on developing the EEC has signed a memorandum with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to develop Thailand's industrial sector to 4.0 standards.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana expressed confidence that the agreement will bring about a positive development for the EEC program, which emphasizes the efficient use of technology and innovations in industries such as motor vehicles and robotics.

He said UNIDO is an organization with comprehensive knowledge in industrial development and has experience working with technologically advanced countries. The agreement also aims to promote environmentally friendly development in the EEC.


Update September 5, 2017

Interpol issues Red Notice for Vorayuth Yoovidhaya

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Interpol has issued a Red Notice for Vorayuth Yoovidhaya, who is wanted for reckless driving resulting in the death of another.

Metropolitan Police Commander Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahataworn has provided an update on Vorayuth Yoovidhaya, or Boss, an heir to one of Thailand’s major energy drink producers who is wanted for fatally crashing into Thonglor police officer Police Senior Sergeant Major Wichien Klungprasert in 2012. He said that a charge of failing to stop his vehicle after being involved in an accident and failing to notify authorities of a possible casualty has reached its statute of limitations, leaving only the charge of reckless driving resulting in the death of another standing.

Deputy Spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Pol Krisana Pattanacharoen disclosed that Interpol has issued a Red Notice for Boss, enlisting help from 190 nations worldwide to find him.

Foreign media recently indicated Boss was spotted in Taiwan, which has mechanisms in place to apprehend and extradite him to Thailand.


Chao Phraya Dam prepares irrigation plan into the Gulf of Thailand

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Rainfall in the northeastern region has caused flooding in the city of Bueng Kan province, while the Chao Phraya Dam prepares to funnel water through the western and eastern regions and into the Gulf of Thailand.

The Meteorological Department reported today that the southwestern monsoon over the Andaman Sea and southern Thailand will result in higher precipitation until September 7th. Heavy rainfall will occur in certain areas of the northern, northeastern, central, eastern, and southern regions, while waves in the Andaman Sea are expected to rise to 2 meters. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Marwar has made landfall in China, but is not expected to affect weather conditions in Thailand.

In Chai Nat province, water has flowed into the Chao Phraya Dam at a rate of 1,876 cubic meters per second. The dam is maintaining its discharge rate of 1,498 cubic meters per second to prevent exacerbating the impact on waterfront areas downstream of the dam.

The dam plans on channeling water into the Makhamthao-U Thong Canal and the Tha Chin River, which will then flow through Suphan Buri and Nakhon Pathom provinces into the Gulf of Thailand to the west. To the east, the dam plans on channeling water into the Chainat-Ayutthaya Canal and the Chainat-Pasak Canal, which will then flow through Lopburi and Pathum Thani provinces. The water diversion plan will help reduce the effects on downstream provinces, such as Sing Buri, Ang Thong, and Ayutthaya.

Meanwhile, Pathum Thani province is releasing water from Rangsit, Prem Prachakon, Hok Wa Sai Lang, and Peerapat Yaek Tai Canals to facilitate the drainage of water from the Chao Phraya River into the Gulf of Thailand.

In Bueng Kan province, persistent rain has caused flooding in the capital district's communities and roads, some of which are 30-50 centimeters under water. Flooding has also affected the staff homes of Bueng Kan Hospital personnel, and Bueng Kan Pitak Suksa School. Military and hospital officials have installed water pumps, which are expected to demonstrably relieve the area within a day.


Launch of waste management learning center in Lamphun

LAMPHUN,(NNT) - The Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP) has opened a waste management learning center in Ban Nam Phu Community in Lamphun province.

DEQP Director-General Sakol Thinakul presided over the opening ceremony of the waste management learning center in Pasak sub-district. The ceremony was witnessed by local government officials and residents.

Sakol said the objective of the waste management learning center is to educate interested individuals and nearby communities about waste management, and to reduce the amount of waste to zero.

There are 10 stations within the learning center where people can learn about community rules, the work of the community financial institution, how to recycle plastic, how to treat toxic waste, how to make fertilizers, and how to produce alternative energy.


Update September 4, 2017

Royally-bestowed relief bags sent to flood victims in Nakhon Sawan

BANGKOK,(NNT) - HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has graciously granted relief aid to residents of Nakhon Sawan, who had earlier been affected by severe flooding.

The Tambon Bang Phra Luang Administrative Organization in Nakhon Sawan Province, on Saturday welcomed the arrival of Maj. Gen. Suriyon Chiangtawan, who HM the King has designated to represent the Ratprachanukhro Foundation in the delivery of royally-bestowed relief bags and necessities to flood victims.

Residents of Tambon Bang Phra Luang were among 25,248 households in Nakhon Sawan, who were hit hard by severe flooding on May 7th of this year.

The floods hit 11 districts and damaged 325,000 rai of farmland, according to Nakhon Sawan Governor Thanakhom Jongjira.

He said that the situation in some flood-hit districts has already returned to normal while some low-lying farmland remains inundated.

In addition HM the King has instructed a mobile kitchen to provide meals to all, who have arrived to receive the royally-bestowed relief aid.


Fine Arts Department in preparation for entertainment programs at royal funeral

BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Fine Arts Department has been planning the entertainment program for the upcoming royal funeral.

For the royal funeral of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 26, the Fine Arts Department has prepared an ancient shadow puppet show as a part of the program, which will be performed throughout the day.

Other entertainments include musical performances by various bands, including the orchestras from all four armed forces as well as that of the Fine Arts Department’s Office of Performing Arts.

Director of the Office of Performing Arts, Anek Artmangkorn has advised the public that all entertainments and performances at the royal funeral will be presented in the grandest way possible while adhering to traditional practices.

According to Thai traditions and ancient culture, entertainments at the royal funeral are intended to provide a welcome to everyone arriving to take part in bidding a final farewell to the beloved King, who will rise to heaven, and for all in attendance to adopt a festive attitude to end months of mourning.


OIE pushes forward measures to develop robotics and automation industries

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) has pushed forward measures to develop robotics and automation industries in Thailand after receiving cabinet approval.

OIE Director Siriruj Chullakarat disclosed that the cabinet meeting on 29 August had approved the principle measures to pursue development in the robotics and automation industries, assigning the Ministry of Industry to be the main agency responsible for ensuring concrete results and the project's implementation.

In 2017, the OIE has also cooperated with various institutions to develop robotic and automation industries within a budget of over 12 billion baht.

Currently, the robotics and automation industries in Thailand are in need of development to accommodate the global changes, especially in terms of production.

However, the OIE has confirmed that it will support all target groups that use the automation or robotics system, covering the agricultural, industrial and service sectors to increase their manufacturing capabilities and to develop the robotics and automation industries in unison.


Update September 2 - 3, 2017

BOT: Thai economy continues its expansion momentum

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Bank of Thailand has reported that the national economy has continued expanding on the back of exports and tourism growth.

Ms. Pornpen Sodsrichai, Director of the Economic Analysis Office at the Bank of Thailand, said on Thursday that the Thai economy continued to expand in July, when exports grew 8.0% from last year and tourism expanded 4.8% year-over-year.

However, Ms. Pornpen noted that private consumption grew at a slower pace as falling farm product prices resulted in a contraction in farm income, while spending on durable goods continued growing.

Meanwhile, private investment grew, as reflected by the increase in construction material sales and permitted construction areas, and public spending also rose as a result of higher disbursements of a provincial development budget and constructions projects of the Department of Highways.

Thailand’s headline inflation was 0.17% in July, an increase from minus-0.05% due to an increase in retail petroleum prices following the increase in the global crude oil price, while the baht remained strong and helped attract foreign investors into the local stock market.


More than 100 endangered pangolins seized in Thailand

A Thai customs official displays one of 136 pangolins and 450 kgs. (992 lbs.) of pangolin scales it seized, estimated to be worth over 2.5 million baht (USD$75,278) during a press conference at the Customs Department headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai customs officials have seized more than 100 live pangolins and 450 kilograms (990 pounds) of scales from the endangered animal in their latest action against illegal wildlife trafficking, the customs department chief said.

The animals and animal parts were found this week in two pickup trucks after authorities received a tip that they had been smuggled from Malaysia, according to Customs Department Director-General Kulit Sombatsiri.

Pangolin scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine and contain keratin, a protein also found in rhino horn, though there is no scientific proof that they provide any medicinal value. Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy in Vietnam and some parts of China.

Demand for pangolin scales and meat has led to rampant poaching that is decimating populations across Asia. More than 1 million pangolins have been poached in the past decade, threatening the creature with extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

A U.N. wildlife conference last year approved a ban on trade in all eight species of Asian and African pangolins.
In February, almost three tons of scales from endangered African pangolins, hidden in sacks, were seized at Bangkok's main airport. In May, seven tons of pangolin scales were confiscated in Hong Kong.

Kulit said his department has seized more than 2.9 tons of pangolin-related items this year worth more than 29 million baht ($870,000). He said 34 arrests involving the smuggling of illegal wildlife have been made this year, resulting in a total of 246 million baht ($7.4 million) worth of assets seized.

The wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC recently expressed concern that Malaysia appears to be a transit point for the illegal trade of pangolins and ivory, with traffickers routinely moving their contraband through Malaysia.


Thailand remains world's No.1 rice exporter

BANGKOK – Thailand exported 6.4 million tons of rice during this year's first seven months, keeping the country as the world's Number One rice exporter, said Rice Exporters Association of Thailand (REAT) President Charoen Laothamatas.

He revealed Thailand exported 986,839 tons of rice in May, worth 15.12 billion baht. The monthly export volume decreased 4.9 percent due to labor problems.

The gross export volume during the first seven months of 2017 amounted to 6,409,702 tons, worth 80.05 billion baht, marking a 17.5 percent growth in volume and 10.7 percent growth in value compared to the same period last year. The figure keeps Thailand as the world's Number One rice exporter to the global market, followed by India and Vietnam.

The REAT expects the export figure in August to drop to only 700,000-800,000 tons of rice due to a slow delivery pending the next harvest, while the strengthened baht will hurt the competitiveness of the country's export sector.

Rice exporters have purchase contracts earlier made to fulfill. The prices of rice have increased, with 100% Hom Mali Rice currently selling for 1,029 US dollars a ton, which has increased from 835 US dollars. The situation would help farmers sell their rice for an increased price, but would make it more difficult for firms to sell the rice to foreign buyers.


New Excise Tax rates soon to come into effect

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Deputy Minister of Finance has confirmed that a new Excise Tax will come into effect on September 16.

At a seminar entitled “Business Sector Adaptation to the New Excise Tax Act”, Deputy Minister for Finance Wisut Srisuphan reminded businesses that the new excise tax scheme will come into effect on September 16 but noted that tobacco and alcoholic beverages may still have their taxation rates altered by the Cabinet when it convenes on September 12.

He explained that the adjustment is being considered due to concerns of hoarding of the two commodities but claimed that their new rates are not much higher than current figures. He admitted that particular focus is being placed on alcoholic beverages, with excise tax set to reflect the rate of national consumption.

Excise Department Director-General, Somchai Pulsawad meanwhile indicated that the Council of State is considering an excise on sweetened food items, stating that fruit juice hawkers will not be affected. The new rate will better comply with World Health Organization regulations as well as recommendations by the National Reform Steering Assembly.


Industrial Works Dept rushes to eliminate industrial waste at abandoned factory in Rayong

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Department of Industrial Works is scrambling to safely relocate up to 40,000 tons of industrial waste at an abandoned factory in Rayong.

Industrial Works Department Director General Mongkhol Phruekwatthana said that his department had received numerous complaints from the local public in Rayong regarding the problem of industrial waste from the copper ore plant in Phatthana industrial estate. Although the copper ore plant ceased operations for over 10 years but about 40,000 tons of industrial waste remains unaccounted for out in the open, which has caused public canals to be contaminated especially during the rainy season.

The Department of Industrial Works has found that the properties in the plant as well as the industrial waste currently belongs to the Legal Execution Department, which has assigned the Rayong Provincial Office of Industry to take care of the industrial waste.

The Department of Industrial Works has coordinated with the Rayong Provincial Office of Industry to ensure that the industrial waste will be taken care of in accordance with legal and academic principles.


Energy regulator begins studying pricing adjustments for next year

 

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has begun studying new electricity pricing for next year as well as investment plans for the nation’s three energy agencies.

ERC Spokesman Weeraphol Jirapraditkul stated after a forum on views towards a backup electricity rate that the ERC has hired consultants to study adjustments to the electricity pricing framework as new prices are to be announced in 2018. The commission is looking for tighter control of the nation’s three energy agencies as well as an adjustment to the current energy service charge of 38.22 baht a month but has not decided whether the rate will increase or decrease. The present base price for energy is 3.75 baht a unit.

The commission is also to discuss accommodating charging stations for electric vehicles as it must maintain the rate as that used by the National Energy Policy Commission when it piloted stations. The rate is currently based on Time of Use and is 4.10 baht per unit during the day and 2.60 baht per unit at night.

Opinions collected during the forum with focus groups are to be put to the National Energy Policy Commission within this month.


Update September 1, 2017

Tourism and Sports Minister highlights plan for world heritage sites in 4 lower northern provinces

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Minister of Tourism and Sports has highlighted on the cultural world heritage tourism plan for four lower northern provinces, amplifying the local identity to stimulate spending through community-based tourism.

Tourism and Sports Minister Korpkarn Watthanawarangkul has stated that the strategic policy to drive tourism in Thailand is the distribution of tourists.

During her visit to the cultural world heritage development zone in four lower northern provinces including Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Kamphaengphet and Tak, she found that both Thai and foreign tourists were interested in in taking routes through three historical parks from Sukhothai to Kamphaengphet and Si Satchanalai.

The statistics show that the revenue of the four provinces in 2016 totaled 18.114 million baht and 9.675 baht in the first half, up by 5.04 percent over the same period last year and it is likely to grow at the end of this year if tourists stay longer and spend more at world heritage sites and communities.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports also delivered the tourism development policy that will promote the development of local identities and the local way of life. Income distribution from the main cities to other areas will also be emphasized, she said.


Environmental problems on Si Chang island addressed urgently

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Pollution Control Department is urgently tackling environmental problems on Si Chang island.

Director-General of the Pollution Control Department, Chatuphon Burutphat and Director of the Chon Buri Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office Weera Thongpraphai on Thursday met with executives of the Si Chang district office and other relevant units, to address environmental problems on the island. Most of the problems concern pollution caused by ship-to-ship transfer operations, waste from seagoing ships and on the island, as well as waste water from residences and hotels.

The department will issue ministerial regulations to regulate ship-to-ship transfer operations and push for international laws to tackle the problems of waste from foreign cargo ships along with anchorage zoning.

Only six out of 10 tons of waste on the island are properly disposed of. The government therefore urges people on the island to support a campaign for waste separation, and regularly dispose of waste in incinerators. As for the treatment of waste water, the municipality is considering the installation of small waste water treatment systems across the island.


New study regarding facilites for elderly persons and the disabled on public transport

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Transport is looking to provide facilities in public transport systems for elderly persons and those with disabilities.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith presided over a seminar designed to study the planned setting up of facilities for elderly persons and those with disabilities in order to promote their better access to the public transportation systems.

The seminar gathered information on planned regulations for such facilities in each public transport option for the elderly persons and those with disabilities in keeping with a 20-year public transport plan with respect to inclusive and universal transport designs.

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning will collect the information from the seminar for use in the planning of the inclusive transport plan.


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

PM approves cancellation of arrival/departure card for Thai citizens

Thai, British ministers discuss security, defense ties

Business Traveller Awards 2017 names Bangkok Best Leisure Destination in Asia Pacific

Bangkok launches clean, cheap community food campaign

PM Office Minister accepts cash aid for flood-torn provinces

Thailand and Malaysia agree to step up joint border patrol


Deputy PM Wissanu says election roadmap will be followed

Interior Ministry promises action if fraud found in Khon Kaen land use

Long-endangered snow leopard upgraded to 'vulnerable' status


Nong Nooch Garden begins decorating royal cremation site with flora

Thailand promotes EEC project in CAEXPO 2017

EEC well-received by Japanese investors


PTT employees grow 99,999 marigolds in honor of His Late Majesty

Interpol releases fugitive Red Bull heir's 'wanted' listing

Thai villagers win 10-year lawsuit over mining pollution


Prime Minister hosts reception for Japanese investors

Protective measures for women approved

Officials to look into 'zero-dollar' tours


Upper North to hold third Unseen Lanna

Royally-designed piggy banks bestowed on students in Hua Hin

Replicas of royal crematorium to be finished by October 15


SESA 35 showcases research findings and innovations

Samut Sakhon EXPO 2017 promotes Thailand 4.0 agenda

Pattani’s premium durians featured at Songkhla fair

560 Japanese investors to visit EEC project next week

Military steps up anti-smuggling measures along Thailand-Myanmar border

Phuket takes traditional approach to Ghost Festival


New Excise Tariff Act to be enforced on September 16th

Tourism and Sports Min to boost sports industry

Creative Lamphun Festival held to showcase province’s tourism appeal


Ban on international flights complies with ICAO standards

DLT issues smart driving licenses

Samui Festival 2017 tops Thailand events calendar with action packed programme


TAT supports ‘The Royal Delights – Pheasant Festival’ at Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong District

Thais continue to mourn HM King Rama IX

Ministry of Industry partners with UNIDO to develop EEC to 4.0 standards


Interpol issues Red Notice for Vorayuth Yoovidhaya

Chao Phraya Dam prepares irrigation plan into the Gulf of Thailand

Launch of waste management learning center in Lamphun


Royally-bestowed relief bags sent to flood victims in Nakhon Sawan

Fine Arts Department in preparation for entertainment programs at royal funeral

OIE pushes forward measures to develop robotics and automation industries


BOT: Thai economy continues its expansion momentum

More than 100 endangered pangolins seized in Thailand

Thailand remains world's No.1 rice exporter


New Excise Tax rates soon to come into effect

Industrial Works Dept rushes to eliminate industrial waste at abandoned factory in Rayong

Energy regulator begins studying pricing adjustments for next year


Tourism and Sports Minister highlights plan for world heritage sites in 4 lower northern provinces

Environmental problems on Si Chang island addressed urgently

New study regarding facilites for elderly persons and the disabled on public transport

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