Thailand morning news for December 18

Thailand morning news for December 18

Thailand morning newsThai central bank seen hiking key rate for first time since 2011
Thailand’s central bank is expected on Wednesday to hike its key interest rate from near-record lows for the first time in more than seven years, a Reuters poll survey showed.
— Business Recorder

Doomed ‘Phoenix’ substandard: international experts
Police and international specialists have concluded the sunken Phoenix boat was substandard and illegally approved, and many officials and others connected with the July 5 tragedy will lose their jobs, the immigration chief said.
— The Phuket News

Prayut says EC will decide whether to allow foreign observers to monitor election
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made clear today that the Election Commission will be the sole authority to decide whether or not to allow foreign observers to monitor the forthcoming election tentatively scheduled for February 14.
— Thai PBS World

Budget plan must be fair, says Prayut
Budget requests for 2020 must be in line with the 20-year national strategy, says Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
— Bangkok Post

Redrawing boundaries, lawsuits cast doubt on credibility of Thai election
Thailand will soon hold its first election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup and many hope the vote will return Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy to democracy.
— Channel NewsAsia

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Democrats doubt Prayut’s capacity to solve key issues
The Democrat Party says it is doubtful that Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha can turn the country around if he makes a successful comeback as premier after the general election, as his regime’s efforts to tackle key issues such as economic stagnation and corruption have fallen short.
— Bangkok Post

Thai Rath to downsize through voluntary early retirement
In another sign of worsening troubles for the media industry, mass-circulation Thai Rath newspaper is joining its media colleagues in downsizing its staff through a voluntary early retirement scheme.
— Thai PBS World

Welfare schemes fail migrant workers
MANY, IF NOT MOST, migrant workers in Thailand feel insecure and exploited under the country’s existing welfare schemes.
— The Nation

Thailand becomes first in Asia to introduce tobacco plain packaging; WHO commends efforts
World Health Organization today commended stronger tobacco control measures being adopted by Thailand which has become the first in Asia and the first low and middle-income country to adopt plain packaging for tobacco products.
— World Health Organization

Future Forward unveils policies designed to change Thailand
The Future Forward Party on Sunday formally unveiled a series of policies that its leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit claim will change the face of Thailand.
— Thai PBS World

AoT Inks Deal with South African Firm
Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) has signed an agreement with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) aimed at extending air connectivity and improving joint marketing.
— AviationPros

Hemp proposed as alternative to medical marijuana
THE UNITED Nations will in the next few weeks consider whether to downgrade the classification of cannabidiol – currently a narcotic under international law, Kasetsart University agronomy lecturer Vichien Keeratinijakal said yesterday.
— The Nation

Major Amendments to Thailand’s Labor Protection Act to Take Effect in Early 2019
Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly passed a new act on December 13, 2018, which will amend the current Labor Protection Act (LPA). The new law will become effective 30 days after its publication in the Government Gazette, which is expected to be in early 2019.
— Lexology

Local steel industry roadmap en route
The Industry Ministry will call on local steel manufacturers to collaboratively design a 5-10 year roadmap for the development of the country’s steel industry to serve new targeted industries in the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
— Bangkok Post

Group Says It Will Ask Political Parties to Endorse Welfare State
A group of activists said Monday it will try to persuade political parties to turn Thailand into a welfare state.
— Khaosod English

IFC Invests $90 Million In TMB Bond, in Thailand
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has fully subscribed the $90 million bond issuance of TMB Bank, one of Thailand’s leading banks, which is dedicated to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
— The Financial

DSI to probe reforestation irregularities
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is to summon a company contracted to reforest a 4,200-rai plot of land in Phetchaburi that turned out to already be an unspoilt forested area.
— Bangkok Post

Ride-hailing service Go-Jek launched in Thailand under ‘Get’
Indonesia’s ride-hailing provider launched its service under the name of Get on December 14 for the Thai market – at first with a beta motorbike-hailing and on-demand delivery services in Bangkok, where it will compete directly with regional rival Grab.
— Investvine

INNO4FARMER – Drive Thailand 4.0 through Agricultural Tech
AgTech Innovation Awards 2019 will be held to develop Thai farmers into entrepreneurs and help develop innovation that can benefit the entire country. Our correspondent has more details.
— NBT World (video)

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Thailand seizes 18 million meth pills as drug fight heats up
Thai authorities seized more than 18 million meth pills in the drug-riddled “Golden Triangle”, a senior military official said Monday, following deadly anti-trafficking operations in the border region.
— The Express Tribune

Central bank recommends SMEs upgrade
Nearly one-third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector are at risk of failure if they fail to adapt to a changing business landscape, says an economist at the Bank of Thailand.
— Bangkok Post

Realty investor ACRE, NOON Capital to co-invest $150m in Thai realty projects
Private real estate investor Asia Capital Real Estate (ACRE) and Southeast Asia-based developer NOON Capital are seeing to raise up to $150 million for a joint Thailand focused real estate fund that will invest in at least six multi-family development projects.
— Deal Street Asia

Govt plans to launch ‘blue economy’ fund
The government plans to set up a fund to help improve the livelihoods of traditional fishermen and their fishing capacity, in line with the principles of a “blue economy”.
— Bangkok Post

Flying? There’s an app for that
Thai Airways International (THAI) has launched a new “Thai Airways” mobile application, with a new look that makes the customer travel experience more comfortable and convenient.
— The Nation (annoying pop-ups)

Bumpy Road To Thailand’s General Election
The Thai junta’s Dec. 11 announcement lifting of its military-imposed ban on political activity hasn’t created much euphoria among the parties that aren’t nominated by the government.
— Asia Sentinel

Scania drives the shift towards a sustainable transport system in Thailand
Scania is accelerating to sustainable transportation system by offering the solution to fuel energy efficiency, alternative fuels and responsible business, said Erika Sundell, head of sustainability of Scania Siam, recently at EV Tech Forum 2018 in Bangkok’s BITEC.
— The Nation (annoying pop-ups)

EC Sec-Gen says Senator selection continues in an orderly fashion
The Secretary-General of the Election Commission (EC) has voiced confidence that the selection of Senators is taking place without incident at both the provincial and national levels, as preparations were thoroughly vetted.

SET announces additional securities for six indices in first half of 2019
The Stock Exchange of Thailand on Monday announced the semi-annual review results for the SET50, SET100, sSET, SETCLMV, SETHD and SETTHSI indices, which will be used to revise the constituent securities for each index for the first half of next year.
— The Nation (annoying pop-ups)

Hunt for Phuket oil spill perpetrator underway
Phuket Vice Governor Thanyawat Chanpinit has called on the Phuket Marine Office to identify where the oil spill that washed ashore and coated that waterline black at Tungken Beach at Cape Panwa yesterday (Dec 16) and process the ‘highest legal case’ against them.
— The Phuket News

Ten celebrities to face charges over Magic Skin advertising
Ten celebrities appeared in advertisements reviewing substandard magic skin products will face legal actions.

Fungal plant pathogen a safe, effective way to control water hyacinth growth: researchers
Use of the fungal plant pathogen Myrothecium roridum has proven effective in controlling growth of the aggressive water hyacinth whilst not affecting other water plants, animals or humans, researchers said on Monday.
— The Nation

Nakhon Si Thammarat districts impacted by heavy rain
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office in Nakhon Si Thammarat has announced that 17 districts spanning 377 villages have been impacted by ongoing heavy rain.

Thailand MICE Industry Analysis by Revenue, Growth Drivers and Challenges 2018-2022
MIR report titled “Thailand MICE Industry & Forecast to 2022” provides detailed information on the Thailand MICE Industry.
— Master Journal (media release)

Tourists Are Being Lured With ‘Free’ Trips To Thailand That Turn Them Into Drug Smugglers
Unsuspecting tourists are being lured by the promise of free travel getaways that land them in an elaborate transnational drug smuggling syndicate.

Phayao set to boost number of tourists with Kwan Phayao app
Phayao province has planned to raise the number of visitors to 1.5 million in the next eight years and launched Kwan Phayao app to promote its tourism.

Huge Phuket, Chiang Mai fake goods ring busted, B282mn in assets seized
Immigration Chief Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn held a press conference in Phuket today (Dec 17) to announce that a major counterfeit goods network operating in Phuket and Chiang Mai had been busted, with assets worth an estimated B282 million.
— The Phuket News

“Eel Catching, Hom Mali Rice” festival in full swing in Surin
The annual “Eel Catching, Hom Mali Rice” festival is now underway in the Chumphon Buri district of Surin province.

Thailand Today 021: New tourism business programs to produce personnel in tourism industry.
Tourism is a pillar of the Thai economy and contributes some 9% to its GDP.
— NBT World (video)

SME Bank ISO-certified for transaction, check clearance systems
SME Development Bank has obtained ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification for the BATHNET purchase transactions and ICAS check management systems as per the Bank of Thailand’s security requirements.

Docomo adds China, Thailand to money transfer service
Japan’s NTT Docomo announced it will expand its Docomo Money Transfer international mobile remittance service to China and Thailand.

Commerce Ministry seeks to enhance SMEs business opportunities via JD Group partnership
The Ministry of Commerce has joined hands with JD Group to create a new partnership to allow Thai SMEs to have more online sales opportunities with Chinese consumers.

Leopard sharks return to ‘East of Eden’ Similan Islands dive site
A inspection of the Similan Islands Marine National Park north of Phuket has confirmed that that marine environment at popular dive sites in the archipelago are recovering well, national parks officers have reported.
— The Phuket News

Thailand could become first southeast Asian country to legalise same-sex civil partnerships
Thailand could be the first country in southeast Asia to legally recognise same-sex civil partnerships – if the government approves a new bill this month.
— Isle of Wight Radio

MEA offers flat-rate power bills for welfare citizens
The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) is offering flat-rate power bills of only 230 baht per month to citizens on welfare, in a bid to help low-income earners.

Government steps up efforts to help grocery stores
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed that the government is urgently assisting grocery stores nationwide so that they can develop and strengthen themselves to better compete with large shops.
— NBT World (video)

Farmers sign up for Pracharat maize farming project
Nearly 90,000 rice farmers in Thailand have enrolled in the Pracharat maize farming project designed to help the country combat annual water scarcity.

British pianist plays classical music to soo the elephants at Thai sanctuary
Several times a week, British classical pianist Paul Barton, 57, sets up his piano against a backdrop of forested slopes and plays for his four-legged friends.
— NBT World (video)

Buriram promotes textiles at OTOP village
Buriram province has unveiled an OTOP Nawatwithi community in its provincial capital.

Government keen to develop provinces in upper northeast
The Thai government is introducing measures to bring about the development of a provincial cluster in the Upper Northeast, known as the “Sabai Di” Cluster, which comprises the five provinces of Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu, Loei, and Bueng Kan.
— NBT World (video)

Min of Labor’s five NY gifts
The Ministry of Labor has introduced five measures in support of employers and employees alike, calling them New Year’s gifts to the people.

EXAT waives toll fees on Burapha Withi & Kanchanapisek expressways
The Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) is planning to waive toll fees on two highways for eight days and deploy service personnel to six areas to assist motorists during the New Year holidays.

Underpass along Krungthep Kreetha Rd in Bangkok officially opens
A 560-meter-long underpass along Bangkok’s Krungthep Kreetha Road was officially opened to traffic.

PCD cleans-up river in no litter campaign
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) Director-General, Pralong Dumrongthai, said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) has joined hands with Thammasat University, the Ministry of Interior, civil society organizations, and partners, to arrange a boat rowing activity to clean up garbage from the Chao Phraya River, from Pak Nam Pho along a 400-kilometer stretch to the river mouth in the Gulf of Thailand.
— Pattaya Mail




Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges International Migrants Day, December 18.


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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