Thursday, 27 November 2014 16:09

Smart Rail Asia Expo in Bangkok kicks off

BANGKOK, Nov 26 -- More than 100 private rail companies worldwide are participating in the Smart Rail Asia Congress and Expo 2014 at Bangkok International Trade Exhibition Centre ( BITEC) in the Thai capital's Bang Na district.

Thursday, 27 November 2014 16:06

Greek diplomat killed in Kanchanaburi train

KANCHANABURI, Nov 26 -- A Greek diplomat was killed in a freak railway accident today when she fell from a moving train in Kanchanaburi province and was apparently dragged to her death.

BANGKOK, Nov 26 --   The Finance Ministry is confident that the Thai economy will grow by more than 4 per cent due mainly to government investment, but warns that monetary and capital markets will show increasing fluctuation next year.

BANGKOK, Nov 26 --  The whip committee of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) plans to start the impeachment process against former Senate speaker Nikom Wairatpanij and former House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont in early January next year.

Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:58

Armed forces ordered to support national reform

BANGKOK, Nov 26 -- Thailand's Defence Council told the armed forces to support the national reform process and asked the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters to analyze Japan’s intention to expand its military role overseas.

Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:52

Alongkorn Ponlaboot resigns from Democrat Party

BANGKOK, Nov 26 -- Alongkorn Ponlaboot, secretary to the whip committee of the National Reform Council (NRC), today announced his resignation as a member of the Democrat Party. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:54

PM presents awards on energy conservation

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha recently presented awards to corporations doing outstanding work on energy conservation and development of alternative energy, which could help lower Thailand’s reliance on imported oil.

Chairing the ‘Thailand Energy Awards 2014’ on Friday, November 21, Gen Prayut presented awards to the winners of the program where some 290 works competed in five categories, namely: alternative energy, energy conservation, energy personnel, creativity of energy, and support for energy conservation and alternative energy.

The objectives of organizing the program were to encourage firms and bank owners, and both the public and the private sector to help in reducing the country’s imported energy bill, which now stands at Bt14 trillion yearly, and to reduce carbon dioxide by over 181,000 tonnes annually.

It also wants the private sector to continue energy conservation and an educational institution to open new curriculum aimed at providing knowledge to students so that they would not be left unemployed after graduation.

As many as 50 percent of graduates are now jobless after graduation.

Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee said Thailand received 13 awards from the ‘ASEAN Energy Award 2014’ and has been the energy conservation leader in the region for nine consecutive years.

The country has displayed leadership in the field for the ASEAN Community, which is scheduled to be implemented at end-2015, said Narongchai.

He said the prime minister has appointed Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devaluation as chairman of an energy conservation program and a study is being prepared on how to conserve energy over the next five to 10 years.

Both the public and the private sector will be encouraged to use LED bulbs, aimed at conserving energy, while cooperation is being given by the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry encouraging agriculturists to grow sugarcane, cassava and palm oil for use in the production of more biodiesel and ethanol for domestic consumption, Narongchai said.

A fund will be supported by the Energy Conservation Fund, he added.

The Airports of Thailand (AoT) plans to spend Bt93 billion on improving Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket airports to serve increasing traffic.

During a visit to AoT headquarters on Thursday, Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin said the plan was aimed at increasing public convenience.

For example, queuing time in front of immigration booths would be reduced from an hour to 15-30 minutes, the minister said.

Under the airport improvement project, Suvarnabhumi Airport would have another runway, renovation, higher cargo handling capacity and better safety systems for clients, ACM Prajin said.

AoT Chairman Prasong Poontaneat said Bt85 billion would be spent on Suvarnabhumi airport including Bt20 billion for a satellite terminal.

Don Mueang Airport improvements will cost Bt3 billion to raise its passenger-handling capacity to 30 million annually.

Terminal construction at Phuket Airport is estimated at Bt5 billion.

AoT must borrow to fund part of the investment.

Meanwhile, it was calculating a budget to improve duty-free zones at airports to attract travelers, Prasong said.

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) admits that foreign investment is declining, and a top banker warns that the government’s economic stimulus policies will fail if its populist policies cause a rise in household debt.

SEOUL, Nov 26 - South Korea was to unveil the results of a field study on Ebola-hit Sierra Leone conducted by its advance team Wednesday as part of its plan to send medical workers there, the foreign ministry said.

The 12-member advance team has returned from Sierra Leone after completing its 10-day field study for a future dispatch of Seoul's medical personnel.

The foreign, health and defense ministries plan to hold a joint press conference later in the day to explain the outcome of the field study and details about the future dispatch, officials said.

Seoul has joined global efforts to contain the deadly Ebola virus by announcing a plan to send a group of doctors and nurses to the West African country. The fatal virus is estimated to have killed more than 5,400 people since December last year.

Around 10-20 medical personnel, including doctors, nurses and military health workers, are likely to be sent to the clinic run by Britain in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, for about two or three months, officials said.

Seoul has discussed safety measures for Korean medical workers with Britain as well as the wording of a preliminary deal with the British government over their operations. The dispatch is slated for December.

The Korean government is expected to make a final decision over the details of the dispatch at a meeting with civilian experts to likely be held next week, according to officials.

Seoul has said that the team of volunteer medical workers will be picked based on their level of expertise, adding that a higher-than-expected number of medical personnel have applied.

Seoul has so far provided US$5.6 million for the global efforts to fight the Ebola virus.

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