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BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 - The Minister of Interior has approved the pending residency requests from foreigners, creating confidence towards foreigners who are seeking legal employments and investments in Thailand.

The Minister of Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda revealed yesterday that the current government's policy will be supporting businesses and investments from foreigners in Thailand, as the Thai economy still requires international investment and expertise to increase the nation’s capabilities in its economic, social, and innovative development.

He has said that from these reasons, he has signed the approval of residency permits for foreigners in Thailand, who have passed the Immigration Commission's consideration. This policy aims to generate confidence and attract foreigners who are interested to work or invest legally in Thailand.

The approved permit consists of 565 pending requests and 115 new requests from the consideration of the Immigration Commission’s 1/2015 meeting on 16 March 2015. Most of the requests being made are for employment and humanitarian purposes, such as to stay with families, and special cases such as those who have contributed for the benefits of Thailand, and for purposes of investment.

Consideration quota will include the subject's income, knowledge, professional skills, national security conditions, economic conditions, social conditions, and their country of origin's government policies.

The Minister of Interior further stated that the residency permit for foreigners has been thoroughly considered, which will demonstrate the government’s intention in welcoming foreigners who qualify regulations in order to legally reside in Thailand with ease and security, and for the benefits of the nation.

BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 - The National Reform Council (NRC) has submitted additional proposals to the Cabinet regarding the free rooftop solar system installation project after it has discovered that the project violates energy reform policies. 

SONGKHLA, 24 May 2015 - Songkhla provincial authorities have been geared up for the IMT-GT 2015 International Symposium on Livable Old Town Tourism which it will be hosting from 28-29 May at HM the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary Auditorium, Songkhla Rajabhat University, according to Deputy Governor of Songkhla Chaiwat Sirinupong.

Songkhla was declared by the cabinet in 2011 as one of the ten old towns in Thailand and one of the two towns in the southern region of Thailand holding historic and archeological value due to its distinct artistry of ancient period.

Songkhla and its neighbor provinces were designated by the National Economic and Social Development Plan to be developed as "Old Town Tourism” under the framework of IMT-GT (the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle), along with Palembang and Medan in Indonesia as well as Melaka and Penang Of Malaysia which were bound together by shared economic interests, geographical proximity, and close historical, cultural and linguistic ties.

The symposium is aimed at accelerating economic development and prosperity in Songkhla as well as promoting the exchange among these cities in order to upgrade Songkhla to be City Heritage of ASEAN and the World, in parallel with its neighboring towns in the region.

The IMT-GT 2015 meeting is held under the auspices of Songkhla Rajabhat University, the Provincial Office ofTourism and Sports, governmental, private, civil and academic sectors. It is aimed at promoting multilateral cooperation and academic researches on the development of the old towns in various aspects which can be applied to Songkhla tourism.

Not only initiatives to accelerate economic transformation in old towns, IMT-GT 2015 also hopes to raise public awareness of historic value of these old towns and urge them to help conserve and restore their cultural heritages.

Also to be held at the event is a seminar on “Look ahead to Tourism Cooperations in Old Towns”, coming with presentation of researches by academics from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

BANGKOK, 24 May 2015 - The cabinet has approved three core measures to keep Thai aviation on track to meet The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard, hoping to relieve the crisis within ICAO deadline, revealed deputy government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

The first measure is to add 48 positions of civil servants holding special and technical expertise to the structure of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). The second measure, as suggested by the ICAO, is to improve the structure of civil aviation authorities by clearly separating those in the operational role from others in the regulator’s role.

According to the cabinet resolution, the country’s cilvil aviation service will be divided into four branches. The Transport Ministry remains responsible for aviation policy whereas the Office of National Civil Aviation of Thailand will be established to take the role of regulator. ‘Department of Airports’ will be set up to be responsible for operational affairs, replacing the current DCA. Lastly, the Aircraft Accident Investigative Unit must be independent from the regulator and will report directly to the Office of the Prime Minister.

The third measure is to standardize aviation laws. The cabinet agreed to use Section 44 of the interim constitution in order to speed up the law amendment and ensure the legal changes will be done by deadline of ICAO.

Maj-Gen Sansern said that the government effort to solve the Thai civil aviation problems has considerably progressed. He affirmed that pending the outcome of ICAO considerations, the government will do its best to address the issue.

BANGKOK, 24 May 2014 - Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Itsara Wongkusonkit on Sunday pointed out that the peaceful political situation and the government’s work in line with its road map would help boost foreign investor confidence. 

BANGKOK, 24 May 2015 - The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has urgently developed the quality of Emergency Room (ER) in state-run medical centers and hospitals nationwide in preparation for the brandnew Universal Coverage Health project entitled “Emergency All Free" scheme, acting MOPH Permanent Secretary Surachet Satitniramai revealed on Sunday.

The government effort to improve ER services came after patients and their families had complained about a long queue to ER admission, both for critically emergency and emergency conditions, urging the government to re-manage the ER services.

“The Public Health Ministry wants to ensure that all patients in critical condition will receive medical treatment quickly and effectively, which we believe will lead to lower rate of death and disability. In parallel, medical staff should have higher level of safety while working,” said the official.

The ministry would put more emphasis on sending medical staff to save patient’s life on spot when people call Emergency Line 1669. At hospitals, the ER will be supervised by emergency physicians who make decision, according to clear Emergency Severity Index, to admit only patients with high severity to the ER. The rest emergency patients should be treated during overtime emergency center.

For big hospitals, specialists must be on standby around the clock to give consultancy and screen severity of patients immediately. Fast track should be available for patients with Ischemic heart disease, Ischemic stroke, bloodstream infection, pregnant women, newborn infants and severe injury at blood vessel.

For Health Promoting Hospitals, Chief Medical Officer of each province will be in charge of opening overtime clinic but needs to take into consideration the safety and existing burden of medical staff. Evaluation of the operation will be reported every two months in order to improve the emergency service efficiency.

BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 - Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) chairman Borwornsak Uwanno has called on the public to carefully study the contents of the draft charter before making their choice in the referendum.

Speaking at a seminar jointly held in Khon Kaen province by the CDC, the National Reform Council, the King Prajadhipok's Institute and the Community Organizations Development Institute to promote the public's understanding of the draft charter and to gather public input on it, Prof. Borwornsak said the CDC would continue taking in public input on the charter until the end of June. He asserted that the gathering of public input was not ceremonial, and that the charter would eventually be subjected to a referendum.

Prof. Bowornsak noted that the draft permanent constitution was created in response to the conflicts over the past eight years, which had caused massive damage to the country. He said the intention of the drafters was to empower citizens, promote clean and balanced politics, and support a 'just' society. He said whether or not the draft charter will be put in use depended on the result of the referendum, and therefore asked that all citizens study the draft charter in detail.

BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 - National Legislative Assembly President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai has scheduled an NLA session on May 28-29 in order for the draft bill on bankruptcy to be deliberated in its 2nd and 3rd readings.

The session will commence at 10 am on Thursday, May 28, at the Parliament. In addition to the 2nd and 3rd readings of the bankruptcy bill, the NLA will also consider extending the deliberation time for the draft law on the establishment of a ministry of digital economy and society, the draft law on suppression of terrorism funding, the draft law on suppression and prevention of money laundering, the draft law on the determination of urban planning and use of space, the draft law on working capital, and the draft law on town and country planning.

Furthermore, the NLA will go over the annual report by the Political Development Council, the operational report by the Election Commission, and the operational report by the Office of the Auditor General.

BANGKOK, 25 May 2015,  Deputy Dean of the Economics Faculty in Rangsit University, Anusorn Thamjai, told a weekend seminar that Thailand’s economic growth during the National Council for Peace and Order’s administration is rather low.

He pointed out that private investment has contracted, and the export sector has seen negative growth during the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, government spending is being hindered due to issues within the system of government and state enterprises.

Mr. Anusorn indicated public spending faces a slowdown and less than optimal growth, despite the improved public confidence. He attributed this phenomenon to the high household debt rate and the fact that the Bank of Thailand has twice released a relaxed monetary policy but failed to boost the local economy.

In his view the Thai economy has yet to make a substantial recovery, saying it would expand 3-4 percent this year, thanks to the rapidly growing tourism sector. Mr. Anusorn said however that the export sector would only grow 1-2 percent, due to the economic slowdown in China and other major trading partners of Thailand.

The Deputy Dean also said that Thailand’s economic strength depends on lasting political stability, saying it would become stronger once a general election was held.

BANGKOK, 25 May 2015, The Thai Chamber of Commerce is confident that the overall economy in Thailand will grow by 3.5 percent, with the help of the government’s accelerated budget disbursement.

According to President of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Issara Wongkusonkij, the private sector has shown more confidence in Thailand’s economy. He predicted that the local economy would grow by 3.5 percent, as the situation would likely be better during the latter half of the year. He is confident that the economy will be stimulated once the government budget disbursement is completed.

In addition, the TCC’s members in all the 5 regions of Thailand have reported that the situation has improved in terms of investment and industrial expansion as well as value- added-tax collection, Issara said, adding that the tourism industry reportedly grew by leaps and bounds-- between 23-24 percent-- in the first quarter.

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