BANGKOK, Sept 29 –Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Kumchaya has reiterated that prisons must be free of narcotics and mobile phones.

The minister plans to seek 1,000 more corrections officials jobs so that there will be enough warders to supervise about 300,000 inmates nationwide.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:40

Lao delegation on ICT study tour in Thailand

BANGKOK, Sept 29 -The Lao deputy education minister inspected Thailand's education-oriented information and communication technology sector and ensured bilateral cooperation for both countries' smooth participation in the forthcoming ASEAN Community.

The team of Lao Education and Sports Deputy Minister Dr Lytou Buapao was warmly welcomed by Thai Deputy Education Minister Krissanapong Kirtikara.

Mr Krissanapong said that he was ready to share the experience he gained in the past three decades in technological applications for educational development.

He said that the applications focused on not only the knowledge development but also morality of students.

He promised that the Thai government would encourage the private sector to initiate education support projects in Laos and invite Lao educational authorities to academic conferences in Thailand.

Mr Lytou expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and said he was ready to support mutual assistance and exchange with Thailand to help promote formation of the ASEAN Community.

He also said that Laos is reforming its educational systems to meet the educational standard of Southeast Asia.

Relevant Thai authorities presented the application of information and communication technology for public education to the Lao delegation.

The presentation concerned formal and informal education and satellite-based teaching.

They also presented a master plan for area-based educational improvement which the government and the private sector will jointly conduct.

BANGKOK, Sept 29 -- Thailand's Ministry of Energy has asserted it will push for a clean coal-fired power plant in the southern province of Krabi.

Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Areepong Bhoocha-oom said that electricity generation in the South cannot now serve the growing demand, especially from tourism and the service sector that is increasing by as much as 10 per cent annually.

BANGKOK, Sept 29 The Thailand Textile Institute (THTI) plans to develop Thailand into a world-leader of fashion and textile design in 15 years, by the year 2030.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:29

Thai exports shrink 7.4% in August

BANGKOK, Sept 29 –The Ministry of Commerce reported that the value of Thai exports shrank 7.4 per cent year on year in August, marking the heaviest decline in 32 months.

The ministry set the export growth target for this year only at 1 per cent as Thailand's main markets have yet to recover.

Nantawan Sakuntanak, director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion, said that the value of Thai exports stood at US$18.9 billion in August.

The decline continued for the second consecutive month and the 7.4 per cent year-on-year fall reached rock bottom in 32 months after December 2011.

Ms Nantawan said that the global economy did not recover as earlier expected, investment in gold consequently slowed down and China that was a major market of Thai gold exports imported gold from Hong Kong instead.

The value of Thailand's gold exports plunged by as much as 92.9 per cent to only US$72 million in August compared with US$2 billion in August last year.

In addition the export of refined oil products fell steadily and the export of industrial goods dropped by 8.7 per cent after a rise. The value of Thai exports in the first eight months of this year stood at US$150.5 billion, declining 1.36 per cent.

However, Ms Nantawan hopes that the value of Thai exports should increase by 0.5-1 per cent throughout this year because there is significant demand for Thai products late this year despite the delayed recovery of the global economy.

The value of Thai imports in August 2014 amounted to US$17.8 billion, dropping by 14.17 per cent.

In the first eight months of this year the import value stood at US$150.3 billion, falling  12.7 per cent. Thailand posted a trade surplus of US$1.15 billion in August this year and US$280 million in the first eight months of this year.

SEOUL, Sept 29 GM Korea Co. and Renault Samsung Motors Co. all received high marks in the latest nationwide customer service survey carried out by a local automotive market research agency, the carmakers said Monday.

GM Korea, which makes cars under the Chevrolet brand, said it received the best overall scores among domestic carmakers for the third straight year in the customer service index (CSI) and quality stress index (QSI) reports compiled by Marketing Insight.

The poll conducted between July 2013 and June 2014 is calculated by surveying people who visited an automakers' service network in the past year, as well as asking people who bought cars in the cited period.

According to the findings, GM Korea received 816 points out of a possible 1,000 in the CSI, which is above the average 792 for all South Korean carmakers.

GM Korea ranked first in reception and accessibility, overall satisfaction and service reputation, including service center environment and procedures.

The company, the local unit of U.S. car giant GM, said it received 2.81 quality stress cases per 100 vehicles sold, which is the lowest number cited in the QSI report.

"Ranking first in the CSI and QSI for the third consecutive year is the result of innovative services such as Chevy Care," said Marc Comeau, GM Korea's vice president of sales, service and marketing.

The company introduced its popular Chevy Care program for its customers at the time it launched the Chevrolet brand in the country in 2011. It currently has some 450 service centers nationwide.

Renault Samsung, the local affiliate of French automaker Renault S.A., said that it ranked No. 1 in sales satisfaction, product satisfaction and after service.

The carmaker remained supreme in the sales satisfaction part of the poll for 13 years straight.

It said it ranked second in the latest poll in such critical areas as durability and quality stress fields.

Carmakers place importance on the Marketing Insight report that began in the 2001-2002 period because it offers the most comprehensive picture in regards to quality and consumer satisfaction for domestic automobile manufacturers.

SEOUL, Sept. 30 South Korean manufacturers' business sentiment for next month remained negative but jumped to a three-month high, a poll showed Tuesday.

The business sentiment index, which measures manufacturers' outlook on their business situation for the coming month, came in at 78 for October, compared with 74 for September, according to the Bank of Korea.

The forecast for next month marks the highest level since the outlook for July, when the index came in at 78. It also marks the first increase since the outlook for April.

In terms of seasonally adjusted figures, the monthly index rose to 78 from 75.

A reading below the benchmark 100 means there are more pessimists than optimists. The index has been below the benchmark since July 2010, when it hit 100.

By sector, the index measuring small and medium enterprises' outlook for October jumped to 76 from 68, while that for bigger conglomerates retreated to 79 from 81.

The index measuring domestic-focused companies' outlook rose to 79 from 74, while the figure for exporters stood pat at 75, according to the data.

The outlook for October is based on a nationwide survey of 2,862 companies conducted from Sept. 16-23

An earlier poll of the country's 600 largest firms conducted by the Federation of Korean Industries also signaled an improvement in sentiment, with their business sentiment index for next month reaching 100.7, up from 93.1 for September.

It is the first time that the figure has risen above the break-even mark of 100 since May, when it tallied 101.7.

NEW YORK, Sept 29 - Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn, Thailand's deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, reports satisfaction with his attendance at the 69th UN General Assembly in New York. 

BANGKOK Sept 29 Tawin Pliensri, secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC), has given assurances that negotiations to restore peace in Thailand's southern border provinces will resume, saying Malaysia would continue to facilitate the process and that additonalmore concerned agencies would be involved.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:14

Gen Prayuth bids farewell to Army

BANGKOK, Sept 29 Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha, prime minister and chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, who remain in military service through his last day tomorrow, said he was proud of his military service that lasted 38 years. 

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