Fitch Ratings has maintained Thailand's credit rating at BBB+ and is awaiting the government's economic stimulation measures.

James McCormack, global head of sovereign ratings at Fitch Ratings Co in London, said his company had a stable outlook on the Thai economy and would review its rating for Thailand after considering its new economic stimulation measures.

SINGAPORE, Oct 2 About 250 ASEAN insurance leaders and regulators gathered at the inaugural ASEAN Insurance Summit, Wednesday to cast light on the blueprint for the insurance industry of the ASEAN Economic Community and its implications for insurers.

BANGKOK, Oct 1 Economic stimulation measures were proposed to the cabinet at today's meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula who proposed them believed they will expand the national economy by 4-5 per cent next year.

HONG KONG, Oct 2 Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung Wednesday said to sustain its development, Hong Kong must capitalize on the combined advantages of "One Country" and "Two Systems", which also fully applies to Hong Kong's constitutional development.

Speaking at the National Day reception, Leung said the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has adopted a decision on issues relating to the selection of the Chief Executive (CE) by universal suffrage, confirming that the CE can be elected through "one person, one vote" from 2017 onward.

"It is understandable that different people may have different ideas about a desirable reform package. But it is definitely better to have universal suffrage than not. It is definitely better to have the CE elected by five million eligible voters than by 1,200 people," he said.

Leung hoped that all sectors of the community will work with the government in a peaceful, lawful, rational and pragmatic manner to duly complete the subsequent consultation and legislative work, and make a big step forward in our constitutional development.

The chief executive also noted that Under "One Country", Hong Kong has the staunch support of the country for its development, while the huge Mainland market presents the city with numerous career opportunities.

While under "Two Systems", Hong Kong's legal and financial systems are different from that of the Mainland, which are more familiar to overseas businesses and professionals and have attracted many foreign enterprises to set up their businesses here.

Besides economic development, the combined advantages of "One Country" and "Two Systems" also come into play in areas such as culture, arts, education and scientific research, he added.

"Hong Kong and the Mainland are closely linked in their development. We must work hand in hand to make the Chinese dream come true," Leung said, quoting a passage from the Conclusion of the White Paper, which says: "Continuously enriching and developing the practice of 'one country, two systems' in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and maintaining long-term prosperity and stability in the region are an integral part of the Chinese dream. "

"It is also a necessary requirement for improving and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and promoting the modernization of the national governance system and governing capability."

A flag-raising ceremony was also held Wednesday morning at Golden Bauhinia Square to mark the 65th National Day. Leung joined some 2,500 people at the ceremony including invited guest, senior government officials, and members of the public. (Xinhua-MCOT online news)

Thursday, 02 October 2014 13:21

Thailand's new armed forces chiefs take office

BANGKOK, Oct 1 Thailand's new armed forces chiefs are among the government officials assuming office today, and some attended ceremonies to officially receive their new responsibilities.

Japan said it wants Thailand to increase the quota of steel imports with tariff discounts to feed its offshore automobile production.

Hisamichi Koga, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in Bangkok, and Masayasu Hosumi, president of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), also in Bangkok, asked Thai Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukavanich to increase the quota for Japanese steel imports to support automotive production that is expected to rise 25 percent from 2 million units this year to 2.5 million next year.

They referred to the steel import quota with tariff discounts under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA).

At present, 50-60 percent of steel imports that are used enjoy the tariff privilege.

In response, the minister told the JCC and JETRO Bangkok heads to ask the Japanese government to first fully comply with the terms under the JTEPA.

In addition, JCC and JETRO want the Thai Industrial Standards Institute to relax its inspection of steel production standards in Japan. The institute requires the annual inspection.

Chakramon said he would have the institute conduct the inspection every two years instead. The response satisfied the two Japanese organizations, he said.

The minister added that the JCC and JETRO representatives confirmed Japanese operators in Thailand are interested in increasing their investment in the country, especially in the automotive industry.

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 16:34

ASEAN to integrate power supplies to cut costs

The 32nd ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) agreed to integrate the ASEAN energy market including electrical power trading among countries in the region to cut electricity generation costs and boost the global competitiveness of the region.

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 13:57

Hong Kong protests not affecting Thai workers

BANGKOK, Sept 30 Thailand's Department of Employment has confirmed that the current protests in Hong Kong have had no impact on Thai workers because most Thais have domestic work.

The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) encouraged Thai business operators to prepare for a new environment under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 13:53

Chong Wei to take a break after Denmark Open

SEPANG, Oct 1  World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei is expected to take a break before preparing for the All England and Malaysia Open next year.

"Maybe I need to rest for a while before preparing for the next task. I will discuss with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) after the Denmark Open," he told reporters after arriving at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sepang, from Incheon, South Korea, Tuesday.

"I'm aware that my performance has dropped after the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. In fact, making it to the semifinals in the Asian Games is considered a good result," Chong Wei said.

He is scheduled to play in the Denmark Open which is part of the BWF Super Premier Series, from Oct 18 to 23.

Chong Wei said that he needed a rest because there are no major tournaments in January and February

Asked about news that a new coach from China would be arriving to assist him and the national shuttlers, he said he would abide by any decision made by the BAM.

The BAM is reported to be interested in engaging the services of a Chinese coach, known as He Guo Quan, who is said to have trained world champion Lin Dan and Chinese number one Li Xuerui.

Meanwhile, national singles coach Tey Seu Bock said BAM's decision to engage the services of a new coach may benefit Chong Wei because there is a possibility of a change in his training process.

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