In Thailand English-language News for February 19, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:53 | Volunteers have lead a group of aged citizens from the central province of Pathum Thani to the royally-initiated Winter Festival in the Dusit District of Bangkok as part of a programme suggested by King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun to ensure people from all sectors of Thai society can participate in the event.
Open until March 11 from 10.30am to 9pm (10pm on Fridays and Saturdays), the festival features exhibitions on important events that took place during the reign of King Rama V and King Rama IX. Traditional Thai dress is required to enter.
02:00 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha is reportedly pleased with Thailand being ranked the word’s least miserable economy out of 66 countries surveyed in the latest Bloomberg Misery Index 2018. This is the fourth consecutive year that Thailand has clinched the first place ranking
Government spokesperson, Lieutenant General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said the survey coincides with a central bank report that Thailand’s inflation rate stands at 0.66 per cent, while the unemployment rate is as low as 1.3 per cent. He attributed these figures to the government’s economic measures, resulting in the stabilisation of the grassroots economy and an improvement in people’s living standards.
According to Bloomberg, Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, and Taiwan ranked among the happiest after Thailand, while Venezuela was ranked the most miserable economy for the fourth consecutive year.
03:19 | Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) chairman Meechai Ruchupan has denied a rumor that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has ordered the joint committees to reject the organic bills on the election of members of parliament (MPs), and the appointment of senators.
04:17 | The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has given its support to the government’s ‘Thai Niyom Yang Yuen’ initiative. The programme seeks to improve the livelihoods of Thai people, especially the poor and the underprivileged, as well as building a more inclusive society to reduce income inequality.
Initiatives include reaching out to victims of natural disasters, maintaining peace and security, ascertaining grassroots people’s demands, and implementing policies and projects to meet the needs of the people.
05:18 | A forum in Bangkok has been told that public sector reform needs to be accelerated so that people are able to access public services efficiently.
Phogphayom Wasaphuti, chairman of a committee responsible for the national strategy on balance adjustment and the development of public sector management, said the issue is now part of the national strategy.
Government units must be able to share their information with one another using technology and keep up with changes in order to increase the country’s competitiveness, he said.
06:28 | Department of Disease Control (DDC) offices nationwide have been instructed to work with the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) in their respective areas to prevent any outbreak of avian influenza (H7N4), following confirmation of the virus being identified in China.
DDC director-general, Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, said that while there been no cases of avian influenza in Thailand for over ten years, the risk of the virus being spread by migratory birds and people traveling from areas with the virus remained.
10:19 | Deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, said yesterday that the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is key for boosting investment in the kingdom.
Dr Jatusripitak said Japanese business enterprises are very enthusiastic about doing business in Thailand and the EEC, while high-level delegations from Italy, France, and England have also expressed interest. Thailand needs to ramp up economic recovery, he said.
11:20 | Newsline today discuss the importance of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events (MICE) industry with Supawan Teerarat, senior vice president strategic business development and innovation for the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
Ms Teerarat said the TCEB plans to extend the industry beyond the five existing ‘MICE cities’ of Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Khon Kaen to ‘second tier cities’, while the ten Asean countries are working to set MICE Venue Standards (AMVS) in order to draw additional business from Europe and the US for events in the region.
20:19 | The chairman of the committee in charge of the environmentally friendly growth programme, Thanawat Charupongsakul, said that he is prepared to include the business sectors’ participation in the national strategy to help ensure a livable society for the younger generation.
The green growth programme includes environmental protection strategies for air, water, land, and energy, and has been extend to cover coastal and marine revival, climate-friendly trade, eco-friendly industries, sustainable water and energy management, and modernisation of the natural resource management paradigm.
21:11 | Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has instructed his department establish a committee to oversee public safety during the up coming Songkran Thai New Year period. Last year 390 people were killed in road crashes during the seven-day Songkran monitoring period.
22:16 | Thailand and Myanmar have collaborated to host the 19th annual cycling event aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries, as well as promoting tourism in the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) sub-region. More than 1,000 people from Thailand and Myanmar participated in the event.
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Newsline is a daily Thailand English-language news and current affairs programme produced by the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNBT) under the Thailand Government Public Relations Department (PRD) for *NBT World, the NNBTs 24/7 English language television service delivering Thailand government news and information to the Thai, Asean, and wider Asian communities. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.