Thailand morning news for December 13

Thailand morning news for December 13
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Thailand morning newsPrayut hints again at return as premier
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has hinted once again he may be ready to return as premier after the Feb 24 poll, a day after the ban on political activities was lifted.
— Bangkok Post

Apisak warns of slower economic growth
FINANCE Minister Apisak Tantivorawong predicts Thailand will encounter slower economic growth in 2019, citing uncertainty from the trade war between the superpowers, the upcoming national election and a slump in tourism as the key factors.
— The Nation

ADB cuts Thai outlook on export deceleration
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has slashed its economic growth forecasts for Thailand to 4.3% this year and 4.1% next year as the global economy sputters.
— Bangkok Post

French tourist shot dead in Bangkok by off duty Police Officer
A Bangkok police sergeant has turned himself in after allegedly shooting dead a French tourist on Wednesday morning following a fist fight in a Bangkok Bar.
— The Pattaya News

Political parties join hands to demand EC to change controversial ballots
Seven political parties have demanded the Election Commission to change its poll ballot format to include the names and logos of political parties and to allow each party to use the same number for all its candidates in the 350 election constituencies.
— Thai PBS World

‘Distressed’ elephant photo spurs zoo probe
Livestock and wildlife protection authorities inspected the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo Wednesday following the release of images showing a grossly underweight elephant being made to perform tricks during a show.
— Bangkok Post

DEPA offers tax deduction up to 200% for software purchases by SMEs
The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) has devised a measure to promote software usage, offering tax deductions of up to 200 percent of the value of a computer program suited to business operations.

‘Outrageous’: Australia notified Thailand about refugee footballer’s travel plans
Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok after the Australian government informed their Thai counterparts the refugee footballer was travelling to Thailand and subject to an Interpol Red Notice.
— The Sydney Morning Herald

Prayut urges people to ‘vote carefully in Feb’
WHILE AGAIN admitting he had become a “fully fledged politician”, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told locals during a mobile Cabinet tour of the Northeast yesterday that he would lay down his life to continue serving the country.
— The Nation

Alibaba plans e-auctions for Thai rubber
Alibaba has told the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAT) it will provide an auction system for Chinese buyers of Thai rubber in China, anticipating annual sales of at least 200,000 tonnes.
— Bangkok Post

Denmark keen for EU-Thailand free-trade talks to follow poll
DENMARK is looking forward to the start of free-trade negotiations between Thailand and the European Union(EU) after the Kingdom’s general election is held next year, says Uffe Wolffhechel, the Danish ambassador to Thailand.
— The Nation

Thailand sends home Cambodian critic wanted over sex-trafficking film
Thailand sent back to Cambodia on Wednesday a labour activist wanted by authorities at home over his role in making a documentary about sex-trafficking that the government said contained fake news, police said.
— Channel NewsAsia

K-Research: EVs to see production boom in 2019
Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research) forecasts the number of electric vehicle (EV) families will increase sharply in 2019, even as the overall car market in the country dips slightly.
— Bangkok Post

Agency given 15 days to drop patent applications
A 15-day deadline has been set for the Intellectual Property Department to drop all medical cannabis-related patent applications or face a lawsuit in Administrative Court.
— The Nation

However Thailand Votes, the Military Is Set to Retain Influence
More than four years after the May 2014 coup, the Thai junta has set a new date for elections: February 2019. Although the military government has frequently postponed elections in the past, it looks likely that the planned ballot will go ahead as all political parties have launched their campaigns, even the pro-junta factions.
— The Diplomat

Knight Frank advises move away from condos
Condo developers should reduce new launches and look to different segments, diversifying to industrial estates, offices, hotels or overseas investments as condo demand next year is expected to shrink, says property consultant Knight Frank Thailand.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand: Lift Draconian Speech Restrictions
Thailand’s junta should immediately end restrictions on the right to free expression so that credible national elections can be held on February 24, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.
— Human Rights Watch

Government to ‘streamline’ health funds
The government is planning to revamp its medical welfare management system to ensure all citizens can benefit from existing healthcare funds, said the chairman of a sub-committee on public health reform.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand’s military is working to further link major weapon systems
The words “network-centric Air Force” are emblazoned all over the buildings that make up the Royal Thai Air Force’s Wing 7, located at Surat Thani Air Force Base, southern Thailand.
— Defense News

Weeding out foreigners: Strains over Thailand’s legalisation of marijuana
Thailand is set to become the first Asian country to legalise medical marijuana, but a battle is brewing between local and foreign firms over control of a potentially lucrative market.
— The Straits Times

Royal Gazette publishes NCPO’s order to lift political ban
Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has finally lifted political restrictions imposed since 2014, allowing political gatherings and election campaigns ahead of next year’s general election.

7 nabbed in trash plant protest
Police on Wednesday arrested seven leaders of a protest campaign against a garbage processing plant in Nakhon Sawan province after they blocked major routes leading to the northern and northeastern regions.
— Bangkok Post

Spike in Phuket infections spur anti-Chikungunya offensive
Local health officials are rolling out a campaign to prevent an outbreak of Chikungunya after a spike in the number of infections on the island.
— The Phuket News

Major wind farm unveiled in Mukdaharn
The Minister of Labor has chaired the unveiling of windmills forming the Romklao Wind Farm in Nikom Kam Soi district of Mukdaharn province.

Activists ‘languishing despite lifting of ban’
THE JUNTA’S decision to lift the ban on most political activities appears to benefit politicians in the run-up to the general election, but pro-democracy activists continue to languish in jail, fighting long-drawn-out court cases, pro-rights organisations said yesterday.
— The Nation

PM’s Office Minister sees Had Sawan as a triumph of the Village Fund program
The Prime Minister’s Office Minister has inspected use of the Village Fund in Had Sawan community of Nong Bua Lamphu province.

National Human Rights Commission honors contributors to human rights protection
The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) has presented awards to this year’s contributors to the protection of human rights.
— NBT World (video)

BOI to expand Thai metal part market to Northeast
The Board of Investment (BOI) will lead Thai manufacturers of metal parts to explore new market opportunities in the northeastern region.

SBPAC looking to integrate efforts dealing with dual Thai-Malaysian citizens
The Southern Border Provinces Administration Center (SBPAC) has proceeded in accordance with the “Seamless Border” policy, in focusing on the activities of dual Thai-Malaysian citizens in southern border provinces.

KBank and Line partner
Kasikornbank (KBank) has made a big push into digital banking by forming a joint venture with Line Financial Asia to tap into the online social giant’s 44 million users, aiming to grow its retail loan…
— Bangkok Post

Six Million Thai Muslims support TAT for promoting Thailand Halal Assembly
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is to again organize a special seminar and one-day tour to promote Thailand as Muslim Friendly Destination on 15-16 December during the annual Thailand Halal Assembly 2018 to be held at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC).
— eTurboNews

DPM Wissanu confirms campaigns allowed without election decree
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has made it clear that election campaigns are no longer prohibited after the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) lifted its ban on politics.

130 SME training projects due 2019 by NEA
The New Economy Academy (NEA), which is tasked with upgrading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and teaching them e-commerce methods, aims to help at least 250,000 entrepreneurs through 130 training projects in 2019, in part to improve Thai competitiveness.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand: Doing Business In Thailand: What You Should Know
Thailand is an attractive destination to do business for foreign investors, thanks to its government initiatives. Here is what you can expect when it comes to setting up a company in the country.
— Mondaq

IPO fever shows no signs of abating on SET
Initial public offering (IPO) shares are not slowing down, as closing prices of 80% of IPOs during the first day of trade were higher than share subscription prices from 2017 to 2018, says the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).
— Bangkok Post

Asean youth development on agenda
Education Development Centre (EDC) vice president Rebecca J Stoeckle lauded the Thailand 4.0 development agenda, which she called “a wonderful centralisation of government initiatives” with enormous investment in infrastructure.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Human rights training for migrant workers Thailand launched
The ‘Nordic Initiative’ has launched training in Thailand to help educate migrant workers on human rights.

KTB offers logistics card for taxes, fee payment
Krungthai Bank (KTB) aims for 30% of 6,000 shippers nationwide to use its newly launched cards for electronic payments by the middle of next year, its chief says.
— Bangkok Post

Sukhothai launches mobile health unit
On Tuesday, Thailand’s Sukhothai province launched a mobile health campaign in dedication to His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, one of the most beloved monarchs of Thailand.

Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands face drinking water crisis, and too many tourists are to blame
As the end of 2018 approaches, it is only natural to cast a backwards glance at the year that was.
— South China Morning Post

GSB holds Be Happy & Healthy event for elder clients
The Region 4 Government Savings Bank (GSB) in Samut Songkram has opened the “Be Healthy & Happy” fair.

EEC establishes committee to improve quality of news reporting
News agencies in the eastern region recently entered discussions to improve the quality of news reporting on the development of the EEC.

Thailand Makes Huge Changes To It’s Laws On Smoking In Public
Smokers nipping outside the front of buildings for a quick smoke will soon be a thing of the past in Thailand.
— Khon Kaen Times

Japan’s Prince Fumihito arrives in Thailand to receive honorary degree
Japanese Prince Fumihito, the younger son of Emperor Akihito, arrived in Thailand on Wednesday with his wife Princess Kiko to receive an honorary doctorate for his contribution to animal research.
— Kyodo News

Thailand’s KBank, Japan’s Line form JV in digital banking push
Thailand fourth-largest lender Kasikornbank Pcl (KBank) said on Wednesday it formed a joint venture with Japanese mobile chat app operator Line Corp to tap into its network of users to grow personal loans.
— Nasdaq

iflix Reaches 270 Million Users with Three Singtel Affiliate Partnerships; Telkomsel, Globe, and Now AIS
iflix, the world’s leading entertainment service for emerging markets, and Advanced Info Service Plc. (AIS), Thailand’s largest mobile operator, today announced their groundbreaking partnership to make iflixVIP available to AIS’ more than 41 million customers throughout Thailand through integrated carrier billing and sachet payments.
— Associated Press (media release) (blog)

MFA to help wife of Thai tourist killed in Strasbourg shooting
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is working with French authorities to help a Thai tourist whose husband was killed by a gunman on Tuesday at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France.

Tourists safety, waste issues raised in US Ambassador visit to Phuket
The US Ambassador to Thailand Peter Haymond was in Phuket yesterday (Dec 11) and conducted a formal visit to Phuket Provincial Hall, where he raised the issues of tourists’ safety and environmental issues, namely waste management.
— The Phuket News

Amazing 10 Tribes of Maesai event to showcase local heritage of ethnic people
Chiang Rai is organizing its 6th Amazing 10 Tribes of Mae Sai event to showcase the local heritage of its ethnic people.

Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges Thailand Constitution Day, December 10.


Find our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Thailand morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Thailand news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.


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John Le Fevre

Thailand editor at AEC News Today

John is an Australian national with more than 40 years experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer, and copy editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.

He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

Prior to AEC News Today he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.

In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.

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