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BANGKOK, Nov 21 – Transport Minister Prajin Juntong supports the plan of Airports of Thailand (AoT) to spend Bt93 billion on improving Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket airports to serve increasing traffic.

BANGKOK, Nov 20 – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said a special law is necessary to ensure national progress and that different opinions were blocking national reform for the time being.

WUZHEN, Zhejiang, Nov 20 - China held the First Internet Conference in the rivertown of Wuzhen, calling for global Internet interconnectivity and shared governance by all.

The conference saw roughly 1,000 Internet professionals, officials and experts from more than 100 countries and regions in attendance.

Founders of China's top three Internet companies Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu as well as executives from global giants including Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook all joined the gala.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory note to the ceremony, hoping countries can jointly build a cyberspace of peace, security, openness and cooperation and an international Internet governance system of multilateralism, democracy and transparency.

Xi urged better international cooperation, more respect for sovereignty on the Internet and for countries to uphold cyber security following the principle of mutual respect and mutual trust.

Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai, who attended the opening ceremony, called for joint efforts of the international community to promote the interconnectivity of Internet infrastructure, prosperity of Internet economy, strengthen the sharing of Internet technologies and to ensure cyberspace safety.

Ma added that Internet infrastructure will be one of the prioritized investment areas of the planned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

Lu Wei, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, hoped the attendees would make plans for Internet interconnectivity and shared governance as well as promote consensus and to make a historical contribution for the Internet.

China has made tremendous progress in Internet development in the past decade with the most active Internet-based e-commerce in the world. Alibaba Group, the country's e-commerce giant and the second largest Internet company in the world in market value, had daily sales of 57.1 billion yuan (9.28 billion U.S. dollars) on Nov. 11, the Singles' Day shopping spree.

Boasting 632 million Internet users, China is a lucrative market for all the Internet giants.

Linkedin, the world's largest business-oriented social network with more than 300 million users, has been used by many global Chinese enterprises, including Baidu and Tencent, to search for talents, said its founder Reid Hoffman in a speech at the conference on Wednesday. The company launched its Chinese language version in February.

Meanwhile, Chinese companies are expanding overseas with their expertise in Internet infrastructure and commercial development.

The backbone transmission network of Tanzania, which now has more than 7,560 kilometers throughout the country, was built by China and helped Tanzania become the Internet hub of east Africa, said Tanzanian Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Makame M. Mbarawa in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

"Chinese Internet has not only deeply changed all aspects of social life and economy in the country, it is also participating in the development of the global Internet, providing unique values for the world," said Jack Ma, the Alibaba chairman.

Ma added that the Internet provides not only opportunities for the mankind's common development but also increases responsibilities.

The three-day conference covers issues on new media, mobile Internet, cross-border e-commerce, cyber terrorism, Internet financing, cyberspace security and Internet governance.

BANGKOK, Nov 19 -- Thailand and Japan jointly hosted an International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environment, during which Thailand's Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj reemphasised the government's readiness to further improve the country’s science and technology.

BANGKOK, Nov 19 -- The Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) delivered an award from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to the Rice Department for using nuclear energy to develop important rice varieties of Thailand.

Thursday, 20 November 2014 15:46

Industries' sentiment index improves

BANGKOK, Nov 19 – The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) rose to 87.5 in October after falling during the two previous months as orders for products and operational results improved, even as automotive exports declined.

BANGKOK, Nov 19 - Thailand's Chart Pattana Party proposed to the Constitution Drafting Committee at parliament today that it wanted a neutral prime minister to break what it called the current national deadlock, according to committee spokesman Gen Lertrat Ratanavanich.

KHON KAEN, Nov 19 - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he did not feel disheartened by the protest by students he encountered Wednesday during his trip to the Northeast, which is a stronghold of anti-coup movements.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:13

BoT says Thai economy remains strong

Despite a slight increase in non-performing loans (NPLs) by commercial banks and high household debt levels, Thailand’s general economy remains stable, a spokesman for the Bank of Thailand (BoT) said last week.

Spokesman Chirathep Senivongs Na Ayudhya said the public should not worry about an announcement made earlier by rating agency Standard and Poor’s on Thailand’s economic growth, saying it could be unstable and negatively affect financial institutions.

The central bank, he said, asserts that the country’s economy is still stable and financial institutions are performing normally even as nonperforming loans during the third quarter stood at 2.34 percent, up slightly from 2.15 percent at the end of 2013, which was considered as “not too high and steady,” Chirathep said.

Commercial bank reserves for possible NPLs at the end of September stood at 135 percent, displaying their financial strength, he said.

Household debt, which stood at 83.5 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the second quarter this year, although high, was not a major factor impacting the country’s economic recovery, he said.

But it should serve as a warning to the government not to stimulate the economy through more borrowing. There are signs that household debt has declined since the end of 2013 and it would continue to fall with the country’s economy improvement in 2015.

Chirathep said the BoT’s Monetary Policy Committee still has no plan to ease its policy rate as it must consider the country’s latest economic figures when it meets for the last time this year on December 17.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:19

October vehicle sales drop to 54,187 units

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 - Vehicle sales for October 2014 declined to 54,187 units from 55,078 units in the corresponding month last year, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said.

It said both the passenger and commercial segments recorded lower sales in October with volume for the former dropping to 47,544 units from 47,930 units a year before while that of the latter plummeted to 6,643 units from 7,148 units.

Year-to-date, it said the total industry sales volume was 1.01 per cent higher at 546,492 units against 543,048 units in the corresponding period last year.

The output of total commercial and passenger vehicles last month decreased to 45,763 units from 54,549 units a year before, MAA said.

The output of the passenger segment in October declined to 41,133 units from 50,184 units in the corresponding month last year while volume for the commercial segment rose to 4,630 units from 4,365 units.

On prospects, MAA said sales volume for November is expected to maintain the September momentum as consumers are expected to face difficulties in getting hire purchase loans.

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