Wednesday, 25 February 2015 14:00

Workers needed for five key industries

As Thailand is now heading towards an elderly society, the Industry Ministry’s Office of Industrial Economics has projected that the country would need about 3.3 million workers for five key industries from 2015 – 2017.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:58

Thailand needs new energy sources

Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee said the government would be able to decide on the fate of the planned opening of the 21st round of oil and gas exploration concession bidding after the one-day public forum on the issue ended last wee. He stressed that Thailand needs to find new energy sources.

Narongchai told journalists investors would be allowed to submit bidding forms until March 16.

He said former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had called on the government to amend the Petroleum Act before opening bidding. The Act was earlier amended six times, and the current version is believed to be the most suitable for issuing concessions.

Whether the Act would be amended in future depends on National Legislative Assembly (NLA) consideration, Narongchai said, adding that he believed the concession system favored by the government would benefit the country more than the production sharing system demanded by those opposing the upcoming bidding.

It is projected that Thailand will have to import all its oil and gas in the next seven years for domestic use and the cost would double, he said.

Even if a concession is given now, it would take four to five years before a new energy source is found.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Panadda Diskul said while presiding at the forum’s opening that the government was “sincere in listening to public opinion” and the outcome of the public forum would be reported directly to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Representatives of the Energy Ministry, the private sector, the civil society group, the National Reform Council and the NLA attended the government-sponsored forum amid tight security.

Speakers were divided into two sides with each side having four persons allowed to express opinions.

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Energy Kurujit Nakornthap told the forum that during the most recent round of concessions, only 50 billion cubic feet per year of natural gas was found.

Currently, demand for natural gas in Thailand stands at 1.8 trillion cubic feet while only 1.3 trillion cubic feet has been found, which is worrisome, Kurujit said.

Several countries consume about 80 percent of the world’s total gas consumption, and the Energy Ministry has amended the law and listened to public opinion constantly, Kurujit added.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 13:54

DLT develops new app for taxi passengers

After receiving many complaints from passengers on the quality and poor services given by taxi drivers, the Transport Ministry’s Department of Land Transport (DLT) has come up with a new smartphone application allowing users to report on the safety and service of taxis they use for travel.

BANGKOK, Feb 23 - The Social Development and Human Security Ministry has ordered the setting up of centres to solve trafficking in women and children in 37 provinces which are at risk from the problem.

BANGKOK, Feb 23 -- Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul expressed her concern after a 48-year-old Chilean was killed in a collision by a pickup truck in Thailand.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:25

China tops patent applications list in 2014

BEIJING, Feb. 23 - China had more invention patent applications than any other country in 2014 for the fourth year running, official data showed on Monday.

The number of invention patent applications filed to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) in 2014 stood at 928,000, up 12.5 percent from 2013, the SIPO said.

The office authorized a total of 233,000 invention patents in the year, 163,000 of which were from Chinese applicants.

By the end of 2014, China had 663,000 invention patents with high quality and market value, and the number of invention patents per 10,000 Chinese people reached 4.9, the SIPO said.

China has seen rising numbers of patent applications as part of a drive to upgrade the economy. However, the country's invention patents still lack a competitive edge, experts said.

One of the government's priorities has been to boost innovation by improving intellectual property rights protection. (Xinhua)

SEOUL, Feb. 23 - The global smartphone market share of South Korea's top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co. fell below 20 percent in terms of value for the first time in three years in the fourth quarter of 2014, data showed Monday.

Samsung, which has recently suffered a setback in its market share due to the rise of Chinese firms eating into its low-end handset sales, took up 17.2 percent of the world's smartphone market in the October-December period in terms of revenue, according to the data compiled by Strategy Analytics.

U.S.-based Apple Inc., on the other hand, posted a record high in terms of revenue, accounting for 48.9 percent of the global smartphone market, apparently boosted by the rising global popularity of the iPhone 6.

For all of 2014, Samsung took up 25.1 percent of the global smartphone revenue, hovering far below Apple's 37.6 percent, the data showed.

Samsung, which jumped into the smartphone industry in 2010, had been making strides to narrow its gap with the U.S. giant, garnering 34.1 percent of the smartphone market in 2013, when Apple posted 34.2 percent.

Its foothold, however, has recently been challenged by Chinese players rolling out low-end models, while Apple continued to weigh down on Samsung in the high-end sector as well.

LG Electronics Inc. saw its shares edge up 0.2 percentage point on-year to reach 4.3 percent to stand in the third spot. LG was followed by China's Huawei and Japan's Sony Corp. at 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. (Yonhap)

SINGAPORE, Feb 23 - PanaHome Corporation today announced it will establish PanaHome Asia Pacific, a new regional headquarters in Singapore, effective April 1, 2015 to expand on its housing business in ASEAN.

In a statement, it said PanaHome, through its housing business, would contribute two trillion yen to the overall growth of Panasonic Corporation which has set a target of 10 trillion yen in consolidated sales for the financial year ending March 2019.

PanaHome aimed to account for a quarter of the targeted housing sales or 500 billion yen, of which 50 billion yen will be generated overseas.

To attain these goals, PanaHome, which currently has two bases outside Japan, one in Taiwan and the other in Malaysia, would accelerate its overseas housing business by expanding to cover the entire ASEAN region.

Starting with the smart town development projects, currently under negotiation in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, the regional headquarters would step up the development of its housing business in the Asia Pacific region.

The statement also said PanaHome Malaysia would concentrate in the Malaysian market and transfer projects it has been conducting in the ASEAN region to PanaHome Asia Pacific. (BERNAMA)

Monday, 23 February 2015 10:24

Foreign tourists still pack Hat Yai

SONGKHLA, Feb 23 - Despite the car bombing incident in the trouble-plagued southern province of Narathiwat last Friday, foreign tourists, mostly Malaysians, remain packed nearby Hat Yai district celebrating the Chinese New Year, said Panu Woramit, chief of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Hat Yai office.

BANGKOK, Feb 23 - As the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has decided to hold Thailand’s next general election on a mixed-member proportional system (MMP), the German government has invited nine high-ranking officials to observe an election in Germany March 15-20, Thai parliamentary sources said. 

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