Friday, 09 January 2015 11:22

Thai Embassy in Bangladesh warns of clash

BANGKOK, Jan 7 - The Royal Thai Embassy in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka warned Thais living there to stay indoors, avoid going to any local governmental offices, and to prepare ample supplies of food and necessities, after a political clash in the country has already taken lives.

The embassy announced that the political situation has worsened and at least four persons have died already, while 161 others were injured.

The Thai officials advised Thai nationals in Dhaka to closely monitor the situation, and said they should make travel plans ahead of time.

It added that all Thais should, for the time being, avoid going near local government offices and protest areas in the capital and other main cities, and to remain indoors, along with gathering sufficient food and water to keep themselves from going outside as much as possible.

BANGKOK, Jan 7 – The Thai government sector is still unready to protect Thailand's national interest in the ASEAN Community, according to Surin Pitsuwan, former secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

BANGKOK, Jan 7 --  Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said he would ask all National Reform Council (NRC) committees next week to achieve concrete reform in three months.

Thursday, 08 January 2015 10:39

IPP contract extensions capped at six years

Contracts for operators of Independent Power Producers (IPP) may be granted extensions for a maximum period of six years each time, while private operators will have to be responsible for environment matters, said Viraphol Jirapraditkul, a commissioner of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Viraphol said the public must be allowed to oversee IPP operations while the selling prices of electricity must not exceed contracted selling prices.

An extension of IPP contracts could help solve problems in cases where new electricity generating plants are unable to deliver according to their signed agreements, he said.

It could be assured that there would be no shortage of electricity for consumption, said Viraphol.

He said the commission is accelerating conclusions of new contracts for both IPP and the Small Power Producers (SPP) with combined capacity of about 6,000 megawatts whose contracts would expire in the next four to five years.

Regulations for IPP are now concluded and they have been sent to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to negotiate with private operators, while regulations covering SPP would be concluded soon, he added.

The ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) says Thailand continues to lead in the automotive production industry among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) due to the Eco Car Phase II program.

The economic crisis in Russia is directly impacting tourism in Pattaya and Phuket, according to Salinee Wangtal, chairwoman of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank).

Thursday, 08 January 2015 10:29

Business services to improve

As the ASEAN Community (AC) takes effect at end of 2015, the Commerce Ministry’s Business Development Department will upgrade its customer service standards for businessmen to international level from Jan. 5, said the Department Director General Pongpun Gearaviriyapun.

Thursday, 08 January 2015 10:26

Ranong invites Tigerair to service province

The authorities in Ranong province have asked Tigerair to serve the growing demands in the province.

Governor Suriyan Kanjanasilp said he led Ranong government and private sector representatives to meet Tigerair management and invite them to operate a Bangkok-Ranong route to serve the growth of tourism, trade and investment in the southern province.

He said that Tigerair could be the second airline to operate on the route, after Nok Air, which provides travelers with one flight per day.

Almost all Nok Air flights seats are occupied and traffic should grow considerably after the ASEAN Community takes effect this year regarding the tourism, trade and investment potential of Ranong and the adjacent Myanmar city of Kawthaung, Suriysan said.

Sonchai Ouitekkheng, president of the Ranong association of tour operators, said he was trying to promote Ranong as a tourism gateway to Myanmar, especially to islands in Myeik City.

Besides, he said, Ranong could also serve tourists who visit the region and want to have their visas extended.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) expects the Thai economy will gradually improve in 2015 regarding consumption recovery in the private sector.

It also projects increasing sales of automobiles, houses and electrical appliances.

PETALING JAYA, Jan 7 - Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has stated that three countries have agreed to send humanitarian aid to help Malaysia following the devastating floods which hit several states recently.

He said China, Singapore and the United States, had expressed their intention thereby strengthening the good relations that had been established so far.

He said Singapore had supplied water purifying machines to be used in flood hit states while China would be sending tents for flood victims to use.

"The United States has contacted Malaysia to find out the requirements needed to help the flood victims.

"This is an advantage to us but we cannot depend entirely on outside aid and these are merely additional assistance besides the contribution received from the rakyat," he told reporters here Tuesday.

He was speaking to reporters after witnessing the handing over of flood relief contributions from the Malaysian Armed Forces Family Welfare Association (Bakat) by his wife, Datin Seri Tengku Marsilla Tengku Abdullah to Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.

He said a total of 312 flights made possible with Malaysian Armed Forces assets under 'Ops Murni' had helped transport 748.6 tonnes of relief supplies for distribution to victims in flood-affected states.

Hishammuddin said the Flood Relief Supplies Collection Centre at the Subang Air Base had received about 3,256 tonnes of relief supplies from various parties.

"Of the total, 2,999 tonnes had been distributed by road while the rest have yet to be distributed, as of yesterday," he said.

Hishammuddin said, apart from delivery of necessities to flood victims, post-flood process must also be focused upon, adding that various authorities were in the midst of cleaning up badly-affected areas.

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