The Ministry of Labor has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the War Veteran Organization of Thailand Under Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King to establish a career development center for Thai war veterans.

According to Minister of Labor General Surasak Kanchanarat, the MOU aims at improving labor skills for decommissioned veterans, enabling them to support themselves and ultimately closing social gaps among the citizens.

According to Surasak, former soldiers will make good and well-disciplined workers, who once they undergo training would have potential as skilled labors, which are currently in great demand by all sectors.

The career development center will also give training to family members of veteran military officers, the minister said. Initially, the center aims to train 400 veterans in the South and their family members.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has voiced its determination to be among the top three investment hubs in Southeast Asia next year.

To accomplish this ambition, cooperation from related agencies and personnel of all levels are needed so as to improve facilities at industrial estates under the IEAT’s supervision to be on a par with other industrial estates’ in the region, IEAT Governor Verapong Chaiperm said.

Verapong, however, stressed that the development plan should lead to cost reduction and strengthen competitiveness at Thai industrial estates without affecting the environment.

According to the latest ASEAN industrial estate rankings by Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, industrial estates that are deemed most attractive for investors are Amata Nakorn, Rojana and Hemaraj. Industrial estates under the supervision of the IEAT have been ranked eighth after counterparts in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. At regional level, Thailand has come in second after Malaysia.

The ranking is based on several factors such as location, potential of individual areas, marketing and services offered by each industrial estate.

BANGKOK, 25 March 2015  – The National Reform Council is proposing that the government issue a bill on alternative energy to support Thailand's foray into the green energy sector.

Professor Dr. Dusit Kruangam the deputy chairman of the NRC's subcommittee on reform of alternative energy, re-usable energy and energy conservation spoke on Tuesday about the project to promote installation of solar roofs. He said the subcommittee had already forwarded the matter to the Ministry of Energy for further studies. The final findings will be presented to the Cabinet for approval within 30 days.

Dr. Dusit said the subcommittee was proposing the use of the Energy Savings Company (ESCO) model in the management of state agencies' energy use, as the model has proven effective in reducing expenses and optimizing energy use among state agencies. The subcommittee was also proposing the issuance of energy usage regulations for state- and private-owned buildings and large homes, under the belief that doing so would contribute to the reform of energy use and the reduction of environmental problems.

Dr. Dusit added that in order to allow Thailand to become the ASEAN region's center in green energy, development of renewable energy must be undertaken, especially for biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. This effort would be augmented by the issuance of an alternative energy bill, and by creating a green energy network among the member countries of ASEAN.

BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 - All government ministries will be making daily reports on the progress of their work, starting on April 20.

According to Captain Yongyuth Mayalarp, government spokesperson, each ministry will, beginning on April 20, report its work progress daily, except on Tuesdays when Cabinet meetings are held. Ministers will also take turns to make televised reports on the progress of work under their respective ministry, through state-run NBT Channel starting on April 27.

Capt. Yongyuth also disclosed that the presentation of the government's 6-month work progress would be moved to April 17, pending the approval of the prime minister.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, General Prawit Wongsuwon, quelled rumors of conflicts between the prime minister and the economy-related ministers, saying that General Prayut, M.R. Pridiyathorn and General Pravit himself have been exchanging ideas constantly to ensure that various affairs proceed according to the established roadmap. The prime minister has also reiterated that no reshuffle of the Cabinet is in the pipeline, said General Prawit

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:45

Haze situation in North starts to lift

BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 - The situation of forest fires and haze in the North has started to resolve, although military units will continue to carry out anti-smog operations.

Deputy government spokesman, Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, told press members after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's teleconference with provincial governors of northern provinces that the haze in the North was lifting and that the airborne particulate matter readings for each province have dropped to acceptable levels. In the meantime, incidence of forest fires has declined thanks to cooperation from various agencies and members of the public. The haze is expected to lift completely soon, according to Maj. Gen. Sansern.

Meanwhile, Colonel Kongcheep Tantrawanich, the spokesperson to the Ministry of Defense, indicated after Tuesday's meeting of the Defense Council that anti-forest fire patrols and aerial firefighting operations by military units were still ongoing in the North. The military would also continue to provide manpower and equipment for drought-mitigation efforts in 26 provinces, said the spokesman.

BANGKOK, 25 Mar 2015,  The Federation of Thai Industries President has indicated that the Joint Standing Commission on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) would reevaluate its 2015 GDP projection next month if the economy remains sluggish.

President of the federation Supan Mongkolsuthee yesterday admitted that the local economy has yet to recover as he expected. Despite the poor performance in the export sector, the economy has been performing better in the first quarter of 2015 than it did in the last quarter of 2014, .

Although the majority of the products in the export sector have been affected by the slowdown in the global economy, auto exports continue to show positive signs, according to the FTI president.

Mr. Supan said the JSCCIB would wait and observe the situation for another month before revising its GDP growth rate. It had earlier projected that the GDP growth would reach 3.5% and the export sector would expand by 2-2.5%.

Another factor that has a direct bearing on the projection is the government’s budget disbursement progress, Mr. Supan said, adding that administration should have been able to disburse up to 40 % of the budget in the past six months but managed to disburse only 20% of it.

BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 - His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has sent a message of condolence to the President of the Republic of Singapore, on the demise of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

The royal message said His Majesty the King, as well as Her Majesty the Queen, was deeply saddened by the news of the demise of His Excellency Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore.

Their Majesties on this occasion extended to the President and members of the bereaved family as well as the people of the Republic of Singapore their sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences for the irreparable loss of the Founder of the Republic whose sacrifice and dedication led to the birth and prosperity of the nation.

New Delhi, 23 March, 2015 – Thirty top wedding planners from all over India are to visit Thailand between 24th -29th March 2015 as a part of a fam trip organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand-New Delhi & Mumbai in cooperation with THAI Airways International.

BANGKOK, 23 March 2015 - Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha will travel to Singapore on March 29 to pay his last respects to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, who died early Monday.

Gen. Prayut said that he had received an official invitation from the government of Singapore to join the state funeral and pay respect to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

The Prime Minister said Mr. Lee was widely known as the founding father of Singapore who turned the small port into a wealthy global hub.

However, Gen. Prayut denied a report that he was scheduled to meet with self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on March 28 in Singapore. The Premier said he had nothing to do with Thaksin in the upcoming trip and he expressed his belief that the Singapore government would try its best in arranging different schedules for him and Thaksin in order to avoid an awkward encounter.

BANGKOK, 23 March 2015 - The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is preparing to hold a workshop with an aim to find effective measures to promote Thai products to international visitors.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul revealed that her ministry will organize a workshop with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and tourism entrepreneurs, with a view to brainstorming measures to upgrade Thai products and brands and gain higher recognition for them, especially from high-end foreign tourists.

The workshop is prompted by a survey of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, which indicated a downward trend in tourism activities as well as spending. The Tourism and Sports Ministry sees the need to push up the average per-capita spending of tourists on each trip from 48,000 baht currently to 60,000 baht within the next five years.

As for hotel occupancy, Ms Kobkarn stated that the occupancy rate this March is rising by 36 percent from the same month of last year. A growth rate of 14 percent is predicted for April.

Page 3 of 902