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.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is encouraging Thai operators to use China’s yuan currency for their trade and investment with China to cope with foreign exchange risks.

It also recommended Hong Kong as a major yuan market.

Opening the Hong Kong-Thailand Renminbi Business Forum that BoT and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority organized, Chantavarn Sucharitakul, BoT assistant governor for the Financial Markets Operations Group, said the yuan was playing more important roles and that Thai operators should use it as a tool to manage their foreign exchange risks.

She also said that Hong Kong was the biggest yuan market and provides a wide range of yuan-related services.

Vachira Arromdee, BoT’s senior director for the Financial Markets Department, said Thai operators rarely use yuan to pay for products and services as the proportion was less than 1 per cent.

However, she said that the use was likely to grow along with increasing trade between Thailand and China.

Vincent Lee, executive director of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, said it is a good time to promote the yuan because trade between Thailand and China is expanding steadily and many Chinese business operators have offices in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

He said that the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 would further boost the value of trade between Thailand and China and between ASEAN and China.

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.

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