SEJONG, Oct 22 (Yonhap) The number of registered vehicles in South Korea is soon expected to top 20 million, the government said Wednesday, amid a surge in sales of imported cars here.

As of the end of last month, the number of registered vehicles in the country came to 19,951,810, up 2.8 percent from 2013, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The number will likely surpass 20 million before the end of October, the ministry said, noting the number has grown an average 0.3 percent on-month this year.

If the number reaches 20 million, it will have doubled in the 17 years since 1997 when the number first surpassed 10 million.

The ministry said the number of registered vehicles is expected to grow 4 percent on-year in 2014, significantly higher than the average growth rate in the 2 percent range in recent years.

The sudden increase has mostly been attributed to rising sales of imported vehicles.

According to related data released earlier by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the number of locally produced vehicles sold here in the first nine months of 2014 came to 1,049,012, up 3.2 percent from the same period last year.

However, the number of imported cars sold over the cited period spiked 34.2 percent on-year to 155,810.

BANGKOK, Oct 21 -- Thailand's National Reform Council (NRC) met for the first time today, unanimously electing Dr Thienchay Kiranandana as their chairman. 

BANGKOK, Oct 21 --  Bahrain Prime Minister Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa expressed his support for PM Prayut Chan-o-cha's national reform roadmap while paying a courtesy call on the prime ministyer at Government House yesterday.

He promised to help explain Thailand's 'situations' to other countries.

BANGKOK, Oct 21 - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha admits he is concerned about underground anti-government movements.

However, he said he's happy with people's support for his government and that other countries are satisfied with order in Thailand.

BANGKOK, Oct 20 – As rubber growers complain about declining prices of rubber latex and have asked the government to provide a financial subsidy, an academic at Prince of Songkla University is researching the use of latex in fighting against cancer. 

BANGKOK, Oct 20 – The Interior and Information and Communication Technology ministries are jointly developing an integrated database of 76 provinces to facilitate administrative decisions on economic and social plans.

The idea was deliberated in a discussion of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at a hotel in Bangkok.

It builds on a project of the Ministry of Interior and the National Statistical Office that created databases of 76 provinces to facilitate executive decisions on social, economic, natural resource and environmental policies.

The databases cover all information of the population in the provinces including house locations, the number of family members and topography.

The planned database integration is expected to be applied to enhance national competitiveness.

Joining the discussion, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said a database for water management in the Chao Phraya River Basin will be developed in 2015 and the system will facilitate water management in Bangkok, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom and Samut Sakhon provinces.

BANGKOK, Oct 20 – Royal Thai Police Commissioner General Somyot Poompanmoung said today that he was ready to let British and Myanmar authorities assist in investigating the murder of two British tourists on Ko Tao in Surat Thani province but their participation had to be subject to Thai law.

BANGKOK, Oct 20 -- Thailand will export pork to Russia for the first time, and it is projected that Russian demand for Thai pork now is at 50,000 tonnes a year, said Chavalit Chookajorn, permanent secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 14:02

BAAC begins cash handouts to rice farmers

BANGKOK, Oct 20 The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) began cash handouts to rice farmers today at Bt1,000 per rai (1,600 square meters) of paddy fields to help offset costs. Some 3.4 million households will benefit from the scheme.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 13:59

Xi to chair APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting

BEIJING, Oct 21 Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend and chair the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held in Beijing on Nov. 10 and 11, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced on Monday.

Leaders or representatives of the APEC members will attend the meeting, themed "Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership."

Xi will also deliver speeches at the APEC CEO Summit and the APEC Business Advisory Council Dialogue with Leaders, to be held on Nov. 9 and 10, said Qin.

Beijing is set to host the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders' Week. Apart from the above-mentioned meetings, there will be a senior officials' meeting on Nov. 5 and 6 and the 26th ministerial meeting on Nov. 7 and 8.

The 21 APEC members, including the United States, China, Japan and Russia, account for over half of the world's economic output, 40 percent of the world's population, and 46 percent of total global trade.

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