Thailand morning news for December 4

Thailand morning news for December 4
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Thailand morning newsInvestors flock to Thailand’s EEC project
Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is slated to be an arterial node for trade, investment, and regional transportation, besides also serving as a strategic gateway to the Southeast Asian region.
— The Asean Post

Thailand Manufacturing PMI Climbs To 49.8 In November – Nikkei
The manufacturing sector in Thailand continued to contract in November, although at a lower rate, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Monday with a manufacturing PMI score of 49.8.
— Markets Insider

Govt’s VAT refund plan encounters opposition
THE THAILAND Development Research Institute (TDRI) is opposed to the government’s plan to offer a 5-per-cent VAT refund to shoppers during the Chinese New Year festival in February, and believes the move is aimed at winning popular support ahead of the general election.
— The Nation

Chinese will be first to get access to Thai e-visa service
The Consular Affairs Department will launch its first e-visa service in February, starting with it being available in Beijing with a plan to gradually expand to other countries over three years.
— Bangkok Post

Thai tourism sees growth in line with the target
The Thai tourism industry recorded total international arrivals of 31.25 million in January-October 2018, up 7.84%, generating an estimated 1.63 trillion Baht in tourism revenue, up by 9.98% over the same period of 2017.
— openPR (media release)

Inflation target set at 1.2 per cent next year
THE COMMERCE Ministry has set the nation’s target inflation for 2019 at 1.2 per cent, the same as for 2018. The ministry also reported that inflation in November was 0.94 per cent higher than the same period last year.
— The Nation

Investors visit U Tapao Airport prior to February’s auction
Potential investors have visited the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to observe the U-Tapao Airport expansion project before they bid for a construction contract in February.
— NBT World

King’s coronation soon, PM says
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on Thais to maintain unity and goodwill towards each other as His Majesty the King’s coronation will take place soon.
— Bangkok Post

BoT reports bright economic outlook
According to the Bank of Thailand (BoT), the overall Thai economy is performing well, evidenced by an increase in private consumption in October.

EC disappointed with tepid public response for senator positions
ONLY SOME 7,200 people have applied to become senators, far lower than the Election Commission (EC)’s previous prediction of 90,000 to 100,000 applicants from all over the country.
— The Nation

Airports of Thailand passenger traffic up 8% for year to Sep-2018
CAPA publishes more than 400 global News Briefs every weekday, covering all aspects of the aviation and travel industry.

Dept of Consular Affairs to offer e-payment service for online visa applications
Director-General of the Department of Consular Affairs, Chatree Atchananand , revealed today that over 8 million foreigners applied for a Thai visa last year, 85% of whom were tourist visas, with the highest number of applications coming from China.

Heavy jams forecast after Lam Sali flyover closure
The city police and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) are preparing for the closure of the Lam Sali flyover to make way for the construction of a station on the MRTA’s Orange Line.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand offers online visa applications from February
Thailand will start accepting visa applications online in February, first from China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday, as the government tries to boost tourist numbers.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Many quitting agencies due to assets rule
Members of health organisations stepping down to avoid revealing their finances.
— The Nation

EC receives 7,210 Senate applications
Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) has received a total of 7,210 Senate applications, with Ubon Ratchathani reporting the largest number of applicants.

Sidewalk-Riding Motosai Who Wields Knife at Officer Gets 7 Charges
A motorcycle taxi rider was taken to court Monday where prosecutors are pursuing seven charges against him for attempting to stab an arresting officer last week.
— Khaosod English

Trade Department pushes 12 priorities for Asean chair
Twelve economic issues, including the conclusion of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, have been proposed for consideration as Thailand readies itself to assume Asean’s chairmanship.
— Bangkok Post

Ministry hastens to make CPTPP deal before February
The Commerce Ministry is speeding up concluding talks for Thailand to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), aiming to join this pact before the general election next February.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

PM to discuss lifting of political restrictions and poll-related issues with parties on Friday
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will chair a meeting this Friday with representatives of the so-called “Five Rivers”, the Election Commission and political parties at the Army Club to discuss issues related to the February 24 election.
— Thai PBS World

Thai Chamber of Commerce hosts seminar on grassroots economic development
The Thai Chamber of Commerce has held a seminar to discuss mobilization of the grassroots economy.
— NBT World

Politicians voice opinions on Thai education
Members of political parties agreed on Sunday, that education should be free from political influence and that educational reform should be a bottom-up approach.

B100mn baht in sales recorded at Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show
Boat sales, product sales and hot leads characterized the seventh Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show which wrapped up yesterday (Dec 2) at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya.
— The Phuket News

NBTC begins relaxing auction payment process
The telecom regulator plans to extend the payment period for the 900- and 1800-megahertz licences, and redesign the auction conditions and spectrum evaluation to ease the financial burdens of mobile operators, all in an effort to draw 5G investment.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand secures orders for more than 300,000 tons of rice
China and the Philippines have together placed orders for over 300,000 tons of Thai rice to the benefit of end of year growers.

Visa fee waiver extension sought for Songkran
The government has been asked to extend the waiver of visa-on-arrival (VOA) fees past Jan 13 and to the end of April to lure international visitors during Songkran.
— The Phuket News

Union Auction creates app for growing used car market
Union Auction (AUCT) has created a digital application to help consumers looking to purchase used cars.

Tourism’s influence on Thai politics
A recent news report in Thailand has revealed that Thai netizens do not believe official government statistics regarding the actual number of tourist arrivals to the country
— The Asean Post

PM expresses concern for landless farmers
Government Spokesperson Puttipong Punnakanta says the prime minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, has expressed his concern for landless people, particularly agriculturists who need land to make a living.

Thailand’s foreign election observer ban is an unusual step
Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai made news in early November when he announced that he saw no need for foreign observers to monitor the country’s general elections which are expected to take place between February and May of 2019.
— Asia News Network/ The Jakarta Post

Dolphin rescued from Phuket beach vomits plastic
The dolphin rescued from Phuket’s Nai Yang Beach last week has vomited plastic while in care at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) at Cape Panwa, marine biologists have revealed.
— The Phuket News

New centre for hiring Myanmar workers
THE GOVERNMENT will set up a centre to facilitate the hiring of Myanmar workers in Samut Sakhon province.
— The Nation

Fears grow for Australian-based refugee detained in Thailand
There are fears an Australian-based refugee could swiftly be deported to Bahrain from Thailand, after the man’s wife said she was told by local immigration authorities he had been “taken” and “would not return”.
— The Guardian

Commerce Ministry promotes dairy products export under FTA dealings
The Ministry of Commerce is encouraging farmers and dairy manufacturers to penetrate export markets under FTA dealings.

Thai businesses abroad need better control
THAILAND’S draft National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) needs to have stronger mechanisms to oversee the operations of Thai investors overseas and ensure human rights protection in all aspects.
— The Nation

Thailand gets serious about plastic bags
Tomorrow (Tuesday, December 4) is Thai Environment Day, and the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry has all shopping malls and shops, including convenience stores, begging you to do without single-use plastic bags, at least for one day.
— The Nation

Welfare cardholders to receive 500 baht for year-end spending
Social welfare cardholders will receive a one-off stipend of 500 baht this month for year-end expenses.

Commerce Ministry promotes dairy products export under FTA dealings
The Ministry of Commerce is encouraging farmers and dairy manufacturers to penetrate export markets under FTA dealings.

Thailand: Researchers work on bringing art to visually impaired students
“Art is my favorite subject,” Nattinan Dankratok, a Mathayom-4 student at Kanlayanawat School in Khon Kaen province, said.
— The Nation/

PM speeds up land allocation process for low-income earners
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed government units to speed up the land allocation process for underprivileged persons and open skills development workshops to bring more incomes to low-income earners.

Finance Ministry to reimburse VAT payments during Chinese New Year
The Ministry of Finance will be rebating Valued Added Tax (VAT) during the Chinese New Year Festival next year up to 20,000 baht per citizen in a move to support economic growth at up to 4 percent.

Assistance measures for low-income earners to continue says PM
The Prime Minister has announced in a special speech that measures to assist the nation’s low-income earners will continue as they have yet to result in the desired amount of grass roots economic growth.

Thais lead world in travelling solo
Twenty-eight per cent of Thais travelled overseas on their own in the past two years, more on average than other nationalities in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.
— The Nation

Customs captures rupee smuggler in Mae Sot
Authorities arrested a suspected smuggler in Mae Sot border district and seized five million Indian rupees in cash and many contraband items.

Thais transfer Myanmar activist to regular prison
Thai immigration authorities have transferred to a regular prison a Myanmar migrant rights activist 40 days after he was detained at the immigration detention centre, his group has said.
— Myanmar Times


Feature photo Projects Abroad

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges International Volunteer Day, December 5.


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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