BANGKOK, 16 May 2015 - In his weekly telivision program, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has urged Thai farmers to form their networks to enhance their competitiveness.

BANGKOK, 16 May 2015 - Ticon Industrial Connection Public Co. Ltd., Thailand’s leading factory and warehouse rental service provider has joined hands with Japan’s Yokohama Industrial Development Agency in constructing small size factories for rent to Japanese operators.

The company’s chairman Viraphan Phunket said the facilities would be constructed on a 107-rai plot of land at Asia Industrial Estate in Suvarnnabhumi area under the name ‘Yokohama Factory Zone’.

The new zone would focus on manufacturers of auto and electronics parts and plastic products.

The whole project covers an area of 67,400 square meters using an investment of 300 million baht. About 60 percent of the area is intended for fully-furbished factories which have already attracted investment from five Japanese companies in the first phase of the settlement. Two other companies have also booked their space in this phase while another 10 factories will be built in the second phase in the third quarter of this year.

The development of the whole zone is expected to be completed next year.

BANGKOK, 16 May 2015, The Commerce Ministry is planning to keep track of private hospitals fees, in its bid to prevent them from overcharging their foreign clients.

Director General of the Department of Internal Trade Boonyarit Kalayanamit said the measures came after his meeting with the Ministry of Public Health yesterday, following a deluge of complaints about the issue.

Currently, the only existing law related to the problem is the 1999 Consumer Protection law, which requires business operators to clearly display the prices of their products and services.

Yesterday’s meeting also agreed on the establishment of a committee setting the median prices of medication. The topic would be brought to the attention of the national drugs council.

Another measure to be put in place is to set the median prices for medical service fees, treating it as a commodity product price control, the director general said, adding that such a policy can be issued under the ministry’s authority.

Both measures are expected to be discussed and concluded within a month's time.

BANGKOK, 16 May 2015 - Minister of Commerce General Chatchai Sarikalya reported Vietnam has invited nine small and medium enterprises (SME) to display their products in that country’s leading shopping malls.

Gen. Chatchai said these entrepreneurs are parts of the Ministry’s business coaching scheme in which major business operators provide assistance and guide to SME owners in penetrating foreign market.

The nine SMEs invited to put products on Vietnamese shelves are producers of garments, shoes and fashion bags.

He also said that another business matchmaking ‘Southern Intertrade Expo’ will be held in Surat Thani Province from July 23 - 29. The fair aims at promoting trade ties between entrepreneurs in the province and the Indian city of Surat. He added more than 180 business operators from both nations will display their goods while over 15,000 people are expected to visit the exposition.

BANGKOK, 15 May 2015 - A member of the National Reform Council has suggested that it is acceptable if Thailand will have to wait three months for the next election because of a public referendum on the new charter.

NRC’s member Direk Teungfung said that he agrees with the Constitution Drafting Committee’s resolution to ask the Prime Minister and the National Council for Peace and Order to organise a public referendum on the draft charter.

Mr. Direk said that a charter drafting process is needed to confirm that the new Constitution is approved by the people.

He added that a delay of the next general election to the middle or the end of 2016 is acceptable for a public referendum to really take place, as that will still be in line with the people’s expectation and within the NCPO’s roadmap.

Meanwhile, Mr. Direk disagrees with the sugg

BANGKOK, 15 May 2015 - The secretariats of the House of Representatives of Thailand and Indonesia have exchanged their knowledge on the work of the legislative branch during the latter’s official visit to the country.

Achmad Djuned, Vice Secretary General of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, has led his team on an official trip to Thailand, which was scheduled during May 12 and 16.

Mr. Djuned and his team have spent a considerable amount of time learning about the works of all offices under Thailand’s Secretariat of the House of Representatives, including the legislative branch, the cooperation between both countries’ parliaments, the development of human resources, the security system and the public relations.

The Indonesian visitors have also been briefed about the missions of the National Assembly Radio and Television Broadcasting Station, which focus on the dissemination of information and news from the legislative branch to the public while promoting public participation.

BANGKOK, 15 May 2015 -  A National Reform Council committee will propose its suggested reform plan to the council’s main meeting next week.

According to Deputy spokesman of the NRC’s committee in charge of the overhaul of mass communications and information technology Boonlert Kachayudhadej, the committee will present its plans related to the media reform strategies to the main NRC meeting on May 18.

The suggested strategies are about freedom and accountability, prevention of media interference, and efficient media governance, Mr. Boonlert said.

He added that these strategies are important cogs in the wheel for the media reform to achieve its aim.

Meanwhile, vice chairman of the committee Wasan Paileeklee stressed that the media reform is an important task in order to enable members of the media to work hard and in a credible manner.

He added that the committee has also prepared a list of suggestions on legal changes to accompany the reform process.

Saturday, 16 May 2015 09:52

Krabi establishes Halal tourism strategy

KRABI, 15 May 2015 - Krabi province is pushing forward the Halal tourism strategy to attract Muslim tourists from all around the world, says the province's vice governor.

The vice governor of Krabi Narong Woonchew has revealed that Krabi province has come up with the Halal tourism promotion strategy as market potential from Muslim tourists are now high. Up to 40 percent of Krabi's population, including many tourism entrepreneurs, are Muslim. The province's profound understanding of Islamic culture is a major advantage to this strategy.

The vice governor said that by integrating Halal foods in the tourism promotion strategy, the province will be positively recognized from the target group. Therefore, all sectors should prepare the service infrastructure to serve Muslim tourists and to promote tourism by learning from the Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs' example of penetrating the Muslim market.

Entrepreneurs and staff in the service sector should serve Muslim tourists to make them feel at home, incorporate more Halal food and products, and provide adequate amount of tour guides who are able to communicate in foreign languages.

The Krabi vice governor has further said that the government should cooperate with hotels, restaurants, and tourism agencies to encourage tourism packages with Muslim tourists as the target group, saying that this will help increase the number of Muslim tourists to Thailand and Krabi province.

The worldwide Muslim population is currently at 1.57 billion, estimated at 23 percent of the global population. Twenty percent of the Muslim population are in Asia, with Indonesia as the largest Muslim nation in the world.

BANGKOK, 15 May 2015 - National Police Commissioner-General Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang has refused to guarantee bail for human trafficking suspects who turn themselves in, saying no negotiations will be allowed.

Commenting on the cases involving the trafficking of Rohingya migrants, Pol Gen Somyot disclosed that several suspects have contacted the police to express their intention to surrender themselves. However, many also gave the authorities an ultimatum that they must be entitled to temporary release on bail.

In response, the Police Chief turned down such an offer, reasoning that the suspects could escape when given their release. He affirmed that there will be no negotiations and all culprits will be brought to justice without exceptions.

As for police officers who were previously transferred to inactive posts after being found to be involved in human trafficking, Pol Gen Somyot said investigations are still underway. Should findings indicate their guilt, he insisted that criminal action will be taken as well.

BANGKOK, 15 May 2015 - The Minister of Labour is scheduled to discuss with his Myanmar counterpart on the reducing the return period of workers from Myanmar as specified on the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Minister of Labour Gen Surasak Karnjanarat is scheduled to visit Myanmar on 21-23 May 2015 to discuss with the Myanmar Minister of Labour on amending the existing Memorandum of Understanding in order to reduce Myanmar workers' return duration.

The current MOU requires Myanmar workers to return to their countries after 4 years in Thailand, and to remain in Myanmar for 3 years during this return period. The new conditions sought after from the Thai side intends to reduce the return period of Myanmar workers to 3 months, in an attempt to solve labour shortages.

The Thai Minister of Labour will also ask for Myanmar's cooperation in facilitating the issuance process of passports for Myanmar workers to Thailand to encourage more legal employment. In addition, the Thai Ministry of Labour will help reduce the processing fee and simplify the procedures of work permit registrations.

The Thai Minister of Labour will also hold discussions with the Indonesian and the Philippines counterparts, requesting them to help take care of Thai workers in both countries.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Department of Employment Sumet Mahosot has revealed that 203,129 workers' nationality, from the total of 1.6 million workers, have been verified in the nationality verification process. So far, 16,394 have been verified as Myanmar, 160,151 are from Cambodia, and 26,584 are from Laos.

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