Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:39

Samut Sakhon to hold its first Kaset Fair

SAMUT SAKHON, 26 Mar 2015, Samut Sakhon Province is holding its first ‘Samut Sakhon Kaset Fair’, which will be officially launched on April 1st and conclude on April 5th. The event offers quality agricultural products ranging from fresh vegetables to meat, poultry, fish, and OTOP handicrafts.

Samut Sakhon Governor Police Lieutenant Athit Boonyasopat yesterday led a press conference in Muang District which was also joined by his deputy Winit Piyamethang, and heads of the provincial Livestock Office, and the Tourism & Sport Office.

The fair is being divided into zones, such as maritime, livestock, vegetables, orchids, OTOPs, canteen, and exhibition zones.

The governor said the fair would be open on April 1st at 6p.m. He invited all to visit the event, saying that participants would have a chance to get their hands on the province’s famous products, such as fragrant coconut, mangoes, and longan. He stressed that not only the event-goers would be able to purchase goods at a discount, they would also help boost income of local agricultural operators in the province.

BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 - The Thai and Cambodian Ministries of Commerce have agreed to join forces in driving cooperation in border trade further, aiming to achieve trade growth of 30 percent in five years.

Deputy Commerce Minister of Thailand Apiradee Tantraporn revealed after meeting with her Cambodian counterpart Kem Sithan that the two sides have concurred to further expand their trade cooperation at all levels after last year’s total trade value exceeded 5 billion US dollars. Emphasis will be placed on trade along the shared border which is believed to have the potential to meet the target growth of 30 percent by the year 2020.

The two neighbors also agreed to the joint development of special economic zones, hoping to attract more trade and investment to their countries. Cambodia was reportedly supportive of Thailand’s suggestions for the trade strategy, which will be discussed at the 5th Thai-Cambodian Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting to be hosted by Thailand this year.

In the meantime, Ms Apiradee said the Thai Ministry of Commerce is organizing a border trade fair in collaboration with Cambodia in Aranyaprathet district of the border province of Sa Kaeo from now until March 30.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 14:57

PM urging public to trust legal system

BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging those opposing the justice system to have faith in it.

According to the Prime Minister, legal cases involving politicians must be handled under the Thai legal procedures. He said many of those lambasting the integrity of the system have violated the law themselves.

He encouraged them to prove their innocence before the court instead of doing so outside the justice system.

On the economic front, the Prime Minister said it would be impossible to restore the Thai economy in a short period of time, and that the government is currently considering both internal and external factors as part of its economic restoration plan. The transportation routes between Thailand and other ASEAN nations will be constructed to increase market channels for Thai products.

General Prayut also urged the media to report the news constructively as it could have much bearing on national security. He said he would ask the Thai Journalist Association to monitor news publications and encourage the media to adhere to media ethics when reporting the news.

BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 - Tourism operators will suggest that the cabinet either shorten or delay the announcement of holidays as the extended holidays have been found to contribute to more Thai people vacationing overseas.

According to the Association of Domestic Travel (ADT), the long holidays which the government earlier announced in the hope of boosting domestic spending have instead led to Thai people planning their trips overseas.

The ADT expected over 500,000 Thais to leave for Japan during the Songkran Festival and the Coronation Day’s long holidays. Each of them will likely spend 50,000 baht for the trip, frittering away 30 billion baht.

The ADT attributed theThais' decision to holiday abroad to the stronger baht and cheaper overseas tour packages. It also forecast that around 6.5 million Thais would vacation overseas this year, spending around 350 billion baht altogether. The number of Thai and foreign holiday makers observing the Songkran festival will likely hit 4.4 million, generating 44 billion baht in circulation.

The ADT also cautioned related sectors to brace themselves for the second half of year, during which time consumers are likely to tighten their belts as they remain skeptical in the economy.

Despite the ADT’s gloomy forecast, the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) has reported that travel agents’ confidence index during the second quarter has risen to 101, up from 99 reported last year, based on the latest survey.

PHUKET, 25 March 2015 - A 3.8-magnitude earthquake occurred at 5.32 a.m. on Wednesday morning off the east coast of Phuket. The epicenter occurred at a depth of 23 kilometers from the seabed, about 13 kilometers off the costline of Phuket province, according to the Meteorological Department. 

BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said yesterday’s flooding in the capital was triggered by off season precipitation.

Permanent Secretary of the BMA Sanya Chinimit claimed that the flood water was not drained from the roads fast enough while many roads stayed inundated for an hour. He said it was common for low lying roads like Asoke, Phetchaburi and Ayutthaya to be submerged after heavy rains.

He admitted the BMA had not earlier released water from some canals to make room for the flood water, but insisted that the underground flood tunnels were still functional.

The Permanent Secretary assured Bangkok residents that the BMA would lower the water in various canals ahead of the rainy season to make sure yesterday’s flood would not recur.

BANGKOK, 24 March 2015 - Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukvanich has predicted that the Thai industrial sector will be able to grow 4 percent this year while being driven by the digital economy policy.

Commenting on the overall industrial business of Thailand, Mr Chakramon estimated that this year greater expansion will be seen in the sector, compared to last year. Following the projection of economic growth of 3.5-4 percent by the National Economic and Social Development Board and the Bank of Thailand, the minister said the industrial growth will fall in the same range, possibly reaching 4 percent.

Mr Chakramon noted that growth will be particularly evident in the construction, automobile, textile and agricultural industries. However, he cited the current slump in people’s spending as the biggest hurdle to industrial expansion.

As the government has announced a policy to establish a digital economy in Thailand, the minister affirmed that the policy will result in higher efficiency of industrial manufacturing, especially in terms of speed, accuracy and cost reduction.

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.

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