BANGKOK, 25 July 2014,  - The nation's unemployment rate has dropped as the political conflicts have been defused, says the Labor Ministry.

The Labor Ministry revealed yesterday that the number of people gainfully employed rose to 9.85 million in June, an increase of 2.66% from that in the month of May.

Meanwhile, the number of the unemployed claiming social security compensation benefits last month was 117,145, a small drop from May’s 109,443, but slightly higher on-year.

7.31 % of the nation's workforce were unemployed in May, decreasing from the April's figure of 9.96 %. The drop is attributed to the improvement in the political sector.

However, it remains to be seen whether the downgrade to Tier 3 of the nation in the US Trafficking in Persons report would affect the kingdom’s employment situation.

BANGKOK, 25 July 2014  – The Tourism Authority of Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) on Thursday, to create low-cost insurance schemes for foreign tourists that start at just 650 baht per person. 

BANGKOK, 24 July 2014 – The Department of Industrial Promotion is pushing for the development of five fashion items trading areas as part of its drive to make Thailand an ASEAN fashion hub.

Department director-general Onrachaka Sibunrueang on Wednesday expressed the belief that the domestic fashion industry will become revitalized in the latter half of this year due to improved economic trends. She expects the fashion industry to grow roughly 10% for the whole year, driven mainly by the gems and textile industries.

In pushing for Thailand to become ASEAN's fashion hub, the department is collaborating with other agencies to lend support to fashion item producers in five commercial areas. The five areas include Chatuchak, Terminal 21, Sampheng, the Muslim garments zone in Minburi and the silk trading zone in Pak Thong Chai. Assemblies of the vendors and producers will be hosted by the department and its allies to allow exchanges of information and to lend support to products development by the producers. According to Ms. Onrachaka, the target is to involve 75 businesses in the said competitiveness-boosting activity in total.

SONGKHLA, 24 July 2014  – Tourism in the southern commercial heartland of Hat Yai has reportedly picked up up as the end of the Ramadan month draws near. Meanwhile, bookings by Malaysian tourists have helped hotels pocket more income.

With the fasting month drawing to a close and the Hari Raya festivities approaching, hotel operators in Hat Yai reported on Wednesday that 80% of rooms have been booked ahead of the festivities period. All rooms are expected to be taken once Hari Raya arrives. The influx of tourists into the city is expected to contribute to a local circulation of at least 50 million baht, similar to last year.

Security-wise, authorities have been seen deploying more security volunteers and soldiers within the city's commercial and tourism areas. Vendors are also keeping watchful eyes over the area they are selling in, ready to pick out any suspicious objects left behind and also to spot suspicious individuals who may have ill intentions.

BANGKOK, 24 July 2014, - The private sector’s confidence in the political sector has greatly improved, thanks to the provisional charter , says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

According to the FTI, the implementation of the temporary constitution will pave the way to the forming of the new government, raising investors’ confidence, and a new round of national polls.

In the past 2 months the NCPO has been able to stabilize both the local political and the economic sectors, responding to the suggestions of the private sector.

The Federation, however, indicated that there were still a number of issues that needed to be further discussed, such as various rules and regulations.

Records show the Industrial Confidence Index has been on the rise, increasing to 88.4 on the index in June from 85.1 in May; which reflects entrepreneurs’ positive sentiment on the current political situation, leading to a favorable climate for business and the nation’s economic recovery.

However, the U.S.’s decision to downgrade the country for its human trafficking elimination efforts remains one of the FTI’s concerns, admitting that the problem needs to be quickly addressed.

BANGKOK, 24 July 2014, - The Commerce Ministry yesterday said it propose that the Rice Policy Committee allow the Ministry to resume its plan to sell about 500,000 tons of stockpiled rice monthly through all available channels, beginning next month. 

BANGKOK, 23 July 2014 – An auto industry group has revealed that the automotive industry domestic export rate in June 2014 has grew more than in the early months of the year. 

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has provided opportunities for citizens in every sector of Thai society to express their opinions, as a starting point for national reconciliation and reform. 

BANGKOK, 24 July 2014 - About 73.6 percent of mothers in Tambon Baan Phue, Jom Phra District, Surin Province, have been feeding their babies with breast milk for the first six months of birth. The rate is an outstanding rise from 37.8 percent in 2011 before the “Tambon Breast Milk for Family Bonding” Project was introduced to the community.

BANGKOK, 24 July 2014 – Singapore has expressed its support for the reform plan of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), while showing its willingness to cooperate with Thailand in all aspects of development.

As a special guest to the Royal Thai Army, Supreme Commander of Singapore Ng Chee Meng paid a courtesy call on NCPO chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha. On this occasion, Gen Prayuth asked the Singaporean side to continue its close ally with Thailand and support the work of the NCPO in bringing about a true and sustainable democracy back to this very nation. He also stressed the importance of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In his reply, Supreme Commander Ng Chee Meng told Gen Prayuth that Singapore was willing to work with Thailand, especially to strengthen military ties that the two nations had enjoyed for the past several years.

Prior to his meeting with the NCPO chief, the Singapore supreme commander met with Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn, NCPO deputy chief and supreme commander of Thailand. The Singaporean side took this opportunity to express its support and confidence in the NCPO’s national reform plan as well as its readiness to mobilize the two nations towards ASEAN integration.

The two parties also had a chance to discuss a wide range of cooperation, including the establishments of a coordination center for human rights assistance and disaster mitigation in ASEAN.

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