Daniel Russel, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, met former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday morning to hear in person her views on the situation here.

A photograph of the meeting was released on the US Embassy’s Facebook page.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 13:04

Public invited to watch comet Lovejoy

The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) is inviting the public to observe the comet Lovejoy with its glowing green tail on January 30 before it leaves on its 8,000 year journey

BANGKOK, Jan 27 MCOT A total of 97.2 million international tourists visited the 10 ASEAN member states last year, posting a growth of three per cent from 2013.

SEJONG, Jan. 27 - South Korea's trade surplus in automobiles fell 4.8 percent to US$35.98 billion last year from the year before due to a surge in domestic demand for foreign-made cars, a government report showed Tuesday.

The report by the Korea Customs Service (KCS) showed the country's car exports hitting $43.95 billion or 3.02 million units in 2014, up a marginal 1.6 percent from the year before. Imports, in contract, jumped 45.4 percent to $7.97 billion, or 256,000 vehicles.

The rise in imports caused the trade surplus to fall 4.8 percent last year from $37.79 billion tallied in 2013.

"The slow pace of export growth is linked to local carmakers expanding production lines abroad," the customs service said.

The KCS also said that the average unit cost of cars shipped abroad rose 1.6 percent, while that of imports rose 4.5 percent.

The average unit price for exported cars stood at $14,544 last year, with corresponding numbers for imports hitting $31,144.

By country, the United States was by far the largest buyer of South Korean-made cars, followed by Britain and Australia, with Germany being the main manufacturer of cars sold in South Korea. (Yonhap)

BEIJING, Jan 27 - Political advisors have proposed setting up women-only carriages on the Beijing subway during rush hour, though transport authorities say there is no specific plan.

The proposal was put forth by two members of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the annual session of the political advisory body, which concluded on Monday.

"By setting up special carriages, women will be better respected and protected," said Xiao Mingzheng, a member with the CPPCC Beijing Municipal Committee.

He said the move will also help reduce sexual harassment to women in subway.

Zhou Zhengyu, director with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, said there has not been further information about setting up the women-only carriages, but he said such move will be a "trend" for public transport development.

"Urban transport should provide diversified services and meet the differentiated demands of passengers," Zhou said.

Figures show the annual number of subway passengers rocketed by six times to 3.2 billion from 2003 to 2013 in Beijing. (Xinhua)

BANGKOK, Jan 26 - ASEAN has announced joint tourism promotional campaigns to also emphasise sustainability. Nearly 100 million tourists visited the region last year.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 13:39

Property sector to rebound 10% this year

BANGKOK, Jan 26 - Thailand’s property sector which experienced a bleak performance last year due to domestic political turbulence is expected to rebound and grow approximately 10 per cent this year, according toThongma Vijitpongpun, CEO of Pruksa Real Estate.

BANGKOK, Jan 26 - The Ministry of Finance will seek a Bt40 billion soft loan for job creation to help farmers outside their crop season and new graduates.

Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan said the spending would not only help farmers and new graduates, but also stimulate the national economy.

BANGKOK, Jan 26  - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted that he would not let Thai Airways International (THAI) go into bankruptcy but it must cut expenses, increase income, sell assets and restructure its organisation.

BANGKOK, Jan 23 - A new floating market near Government House in central Bangkok will be opened early next month.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who initiated the idea on opening the new traditional Thai floating market on the Padung Krung Kasem Canal near the government seat, will reportedly inaugurate the new floating market himself on February 2, 2015.

The new floating market, set to welcome local and international visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm, is aimed to stimulate domestic tourism and assist local traders to earn regular income, as suggested by the prime minister.

The premier, who is also Chief of the army-led National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), also ordered preparations for the public opening of the new ancient Thai style floating market, including cleaning up the Padung Krung Kasem Canal and providing adequate facilities for international visitors.

The Thai premier said he wants the new floating market to be a model for other floating markets to be later opened on other suitable rivers or canals to make use of the country's waterways.

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