TRAT, 1 August 2014 – The Trat Tourism Council is planning to connect a tourism route by sea between Pattaya and Trat islands before expanding the route to connect with more locations in the future. Chakapat Tawaetikul, the president of the Trat Tourism Council, chaired a meeting of the committee to develop a marine tourism route. The meeting was attended by both public and private sectors to share their ideas on the topic. As there are many Thai and foreign tourists who love to sail, the relevant authorities set up a special area comprising Pattaya, Koh Chang islands and Trat islands. It also has a plan to connect the Trat islands to the neighboring sea. However, the connection with neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam requires more discussion since it must handle immigration issues.

CHIANGMAI, 1 August 2014 – The Ministry of Industry (MOI) will host a shopping fair at the 1st Regional Industrial Promotion Center in Chiang Mai’s Muang District, August 8-12. The fair, consisting of 400 booths from major industrial players including Saha Pathanapibul PCL, CP Group as well as OTOP entrepreneurs, aims to boost entrepreneurs competencies and reduce the cost of living for people.

The 1st Regional Industrial Promotion Center director Pranom Chenbamrung said that the prices of products are lower than the market price as they are sold by factories directly. It is expected that the fair will generate at least 20 million baht. Furthermore, The Center will provide consultancy for entrepreneurs on products, packaging, and product standards to enhance production and management efficiency.

BANGKOK, 1 July 2014 The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) held an "Energy Conservation in Housing Award" ceremony to urge real estate entrepreneurs to work harder at saving energy. Overall, energy usage has been rising at present, so the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) held the award ceremony to raise awareness to this issue and participants will have a chance to develop their idea concerning creating building materials, which can be used for housing.

There are two categories of awards: the Housing Award and the Housing Planning Award. For entrepreneurs who are interested in this award, they can submit until 30th September. The winner will get an trophy and their work will be published. Dr. Atch Sreshthaputra, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University said that both entrepreneurs and consumers can gain advantages from this contest. On the entrepreneurs’ side, they can develop their work in energy savings innovations. On the consumers’ side, they will have more alternatives if they are looking to purchase real estate.

BANGKOK, 2 August 2014 – The first train with' women-only' bogie came into service on Friday, with the first of the bogies being part of the 5 pm train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

The State Railway of Thailand started providing ladies-only bogies on Friday for north-bound, south-bound and northeast-bound trains. According to Thanongsak Phongprasoet, the director of train operations, the women-only bogies are clearly marked and there is one of the 40-seat train cars for each train. Each of the lady bogies may only be accessed by females, and boys of no more than 10 years of age. All staff on the carriage, including railway police officers, are female. The exception is one male policeman per carriage.

Passengers have responded well to the new service, with seats in the bogies almost fully booked for the Mother's Day holiday period.

BANGKOK, 2 August 2014  – The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) is looking to boost production of five groups of crucial medicines to preempt any shortage of the drugs.

Dr. Suwat Siasiriwatthana, director of the GPO, spoke of his agency's effort to mend the shortage of some medicines at hospitals. The five categories of medicine the GPO has been tasked to produce include antivirals, drugs against contagious diseases, drugs produced per the policy of the Ministry of Public Health, psychiatric medicines, Tuberculosis medicines and essential emergency medicines.

Dr. Suwat said the permanent-secretary of the Public Health Ministry has told the GPO to plan for increasing the production of antivirals and 'Metformin' diabetes drugs, while maintaining production output for psychiatric and tuberculosis drugs. The GPO will also be requesting additional budget as well as an extension of 500 days for the construction of its new vaccine factory. Meanwhile, the GPO factory in Rangsit area north of Bangkok is expected to start production in one year.

BANGKOK, 1 August 2014 - The Ministry of Public Health has confirmed the 39-year-old Thai man who just traveled back from Mozambique is not sick of Ebola but a dengue fever, following the online messages saying there is an Ebola patient in Thailand.

Director-General of the Disease Control Department MD Sophon Mekthon said the man, who was now in Chanthaburi province, was not infected with Ebola virus since Mozambique was not one of the affected areas. The patient fell ill from dengue fever and was being treated at a hospital, the official confirmed.

The director-general called on people, especially medical personnel, to be careful when forwarding online messages which could cause panic.

BANGKOK, 1 August 2014  The Department of Disease Control has outlined an emergency response to Coronavirus. The drilling consists of three phases: The first and second focuses on monitoring, investigation and detection at airports, infection prevention in hospitals and transferring patients to receive treatment at the right time. Meanwhile, the third phase emphasizes outbreak response and control in case of widespread outbreak. Anyone who has to go to the epidemic areas, especially the at risk groups including person with diabetes, chronic lung disease and kidney failure, should avoid contact with camels and drinking unpasteurized camel milk. In addition, people are advised to eat only cooked meals, to wash hands often and to wear masks in the crowded area. Should anyone have any enquiry, they are advised to contact the 1422 hotline or 02-5903159

BANGKOK, 1 August 2014 –The first ‘Ladies and Children bogie’ is opened today to return confidence to train passengers after a recent disturbing report of a fatal assault on a young girl on train, according to Prasert Attanan, acting State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor.

The ‘Ladies and Children Car’ is especially reserved for women, girls and boys aged lower than 10. The special bogies are available on the northern route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, northeastern route between Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani and southern route between Bangkok and Su-ngai Kolok. All janitors and inspection officers on the car are women. Passengers can notice the Ladies and Children Car with a particular logo depicting a woman and child in pink and purple colors.

The Bank of Thailand has issued a report on the economic and monetary conditions for June and the second quarter of 2014.

In the report, it said that overall economic activities in June 2014 expanded from the previous month owing mainly to an increase in merchandise exports. 

BANGKOK, 1 August 2014  – The Bank of Thailand asserted on Thursday the Thai economy was clearly in the recovery phase, with export growth increasing and private sector spending on the rise. However, the economy was projected to expand by just 1.5% for the entire year.

Mr. Don Nakhonthap, director of the BOT's Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy Department, said that based on the second quarter figures, the Thai economy was definitely recovering. He explained that the economy improved in June due to expansion of exports and private sector spending. Especially noteworthy was the rise in perishable items consumption, which came about due to an increase in consumer confidence. However, industrial manufacturing shrank 6.6% primarily because of weak orders from Asia and the Middle East, and also because there had earlier been stimulation of automobile and hard disk drive manufacturing. Overall, the economic growth in the second quarter of 2014 was negative 0.4% on-year. This was still an improvement over the 0.6% negative growth experienced in the first quarter. According to Mr. Don, the Thai economy is expected to expand roughly along the projected rate of 1.5% for year 2014.

He added that exports grew by 3.8% in June due to improvement in petrochemical and machinery exportation. However, the Bank of Thailand was not confident the export sector would be able to grow by 3% for the year, as targeted; this would be attributed to the decline in prices of agricultural products.