Thailand Morning News For February 16

Thailand Morning News For February 16

Thailand morning news2016 Corruption Perceptions Index for Thailand worsens
A domestic corruption survey has shown signs of improvement in Thailand, while the international Corruption Perception Index of 2016 was not as optimistic.

BOI launches incentives for entrepreneurs to encourage use of digital technology
The Board of Investment (BOI) has approved tax incentives for entrepreneurs with the objective to motivate them to use digital technology more.
— News Today (video)

EEC seen pushing GDP growth above 5%
INVESTMENT drawn to the proposed Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) could push the country’s economic growth rate above 5 per cent by 2021, Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Centre (EIC) said.
— The Nation

Thailand ponders law change on fresh claims of fishermen abuse
Thailand is stepping up measures to eliminate human trafficking in its fisheries industry following claims of widespread abuse by a human rights group last month.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Govt determined to push for Thailand’s higher ranking on Doing Business survey
The government is determined to push for Thailand’s higher ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business survey.
— News Today (video)

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Thailand’s Military Tortured a Man, Then Sued Him for Talking About It
Thailand’s military junta filed a criminal and civil defamation case on Wednesday against a man who spoke publicly about the fact that he was tortured by Thailand’s military, according to human rights groups. The military junta is also suing a local media company that reported on the case of torture.
— Newsweek (video)

Thailand shows significant improvement in index for central budget transparency
The Open Budget Index, which measures the budget transparency of 115 central governments, has revealed that Thailand has improved since 2015, when the country earned a score of 42 and a rank of 65. In its 2017 report, Thailand scored 56 and ranked 37th.

Banks to roll out invoicing service using PromptPay
Starting February 17th, businesses in Thailand will be able to apply for payment invoicing using the PromptPay system.

Government rejects B3bn SSO election tab
The government has asked for a delay in electing a new board for the Social Security Office (SSO) after it learned the cost could reach as much as three billion baht.
— Bangkok Post

Brighter outlook for banks’ problem loans
THAILAND’S headline problem-loan ratio is stabilising thanks to brisker economic growth. But a recovery in the country’s long credit downcycle will depend on whether asset quality in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector can catch up with that of larger companies, S&P Global Ratings says in a report.
— The Nation

45,000 condos unsold in 2017 as supply rises
Although Thailand’s overall economy last year showed positive trends, condominium demand barely increased, with the number of unsold units exceeding 45,000, a major concern for developers.
— Bangkok Post

Another draftee dies after punishment
The authorities have claimed that a draftee in Chanthaburi died of heat stroke. The soldier’s father found no injury marks on his body.
— Prachatai English

Sustainable Livelihoods Behind Street Vending in Thailand
When people talk about sustainable development there is rarely any mention of the many street vendors who make a living on streets in Thailand, as across the rest of Asia.
— IDN-InDepthNews

Teijin to build new resin compound plant in Thailand
Japan’s Teijin has announced plans to build a new plant in Thailand that will process engineering plastics — high-performance resins mainly used in autoparts — and provide technical support to customers.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Loxley aims for revenue growth of up to 20%
THAI conglomerate Loxley Plc has set a target for growth in consolidated revenue of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent this year, Loxley president Suroj Lamsam said yesterday.
— The Nation

Court revokes punishment against Thai PBS for monarchy debates
The Administrative Court has nullified an order that fined Thai PBS for broadcasting political talks about the Thai monarchy.
— Prachatai English

Govt ramps up crusade against illegal fishing, human trafficking
Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) have held a joint press conference on illegal fishing and human trafficking in Thailand, the latest move by the current administration to regain international trust.

Warrant threat for Premchai if he skips court
Police will seek a warrant for the arrest of Premchai Karnasuta, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), if he fails to report to the Thong Pha Phum Court in Kanchanaburi on March 26, deputy national police chief Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul said.
— Bangkok Post

Part of rail link to Thailand complete
A 60-kilometre stretch of Cambodia’s long-delayed railway from Phnom Penh to the Thai border in Poipet has been completed, Transportation Minister Sun Chanthol said on Monday.
— The Phnom Penh Post

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Patients with 4 important groups of diseases advised to be extra vigilant against air pollution in Bangkok
The Ministry of Public Health has suggested five measures to prevent diseases caused by particulate matter and has instructed units under its supervision to remain vigilant for four important groups of diseases.
— News Today (video)

Mobile sales to shrink
Thailand’s smartphone market is expected to contract for the first time this year in terms of unit sales because of market saturation and a lack of new technological advances.
— Bangkok Post

PROEN delivers Thailand’s first cloud-based SD-WAN service
PROEN has tapped the SD-WAN market by offering Thailand’s first cloud-delivered SD-WAN service, enabling businesses to accelerate digital transformation by enhancing their networking infrastructure for faster connectivity between branch offices and using a wide range of applications more efficiently.
— The Nation

Thais cut back on Chinese New Years offerings due to price hike
Thais of Chinese descent are observing Chinese New Year by paying their respects at shrines and praying for prosperity. However, the prices of ceremonial offerings have risen this year, prompting families to cut back on their purchases.

Boonrawd Trading to withdraw two drinks brands
Boonrawd Trading, a distribution arm of Singha Corporation, on Thursday announced it will withdraw two beverage brands – Syder Bay, a low-alcohol fruit-based cocktail beverage, and Sanvo sports drink – from its portfolio.
— The Nation

DIT explains price movements of palm oil, soybean oil
The head of the Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has dispelled rumors that raw palm prices across the nation are highly disparate and that overall value is moving up, by explaining the crop is at the end of its farming cycle.

Lampang police captain nabbed for taking bribe
A long-serving police captain in Lampang province has been relieved from police service after he was caught red-handed for taking bribes in exchange for dropping a case against a suspect.
— Thai PBS

NLA establishes committee to revise bills on MPs and Senators
Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has established a committee to revise the draft organic laws on the election of Members of Parliament and the selection of Senators.

Justice Min unveils special bus to promote legal education
The Justice Ministry has unveiled a new bus designed to help the public know more about laws and justice system.
— News Today (video)

Business sector forecasts bigger public spending in 2018
The business sector has predicted an uptick in public spending this year.

Thai Siam Commercial Bank AI unit plans to roll out robo-adviser service
Siam Commercial Bank Pcl, Thailand’s oldest homegrown lender, plans to roll out a robo-adviser service developed by its artificial intelligence unit as the country’s lenders belatedly embrace disruptive technology.
— DealStreetAsia

Government puts works against ivory trade on national agenda
The government of Thailand has prioritized the work to solve ivory smuggling in the country by making it part of the national agenda through operations in six categories.

TAT official denies boat ban at Phi Phi’s Maya Bay as parks grapple with environmental toll
A PROPOSAL to close Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Ley to boats to limit damage to the beach was just an idea that was still being considered, the head of Krabi’s tourism office said yesterday.
— The Nation

Maya Bay will close to all boats during restoration period, Phi Phi National Park chief confirms
However, visitors will still be able to access the bay on foot after arriving at another bay nearby, Park Chief Worapoj Lomlim told The Phuket News today (Feb 15).
— The Phuket News

Phi Phi remains open as Thailand’s national park system starts annual seasonal closure
Phi Phi Islands and Maya Bay remain open as Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) begins its annual cycle of temporary closure of national parks next month, which allows for natural rejuvenation during almost half the year depending on the schedule.
— TAT News

Regional OTOP Fair in Phuket set for Feb 15 21
The southern province of Phuket is playing host to the Regional OTOP Fair from tomorrow until February 21st, offering shoppers a variety of products from all over the country.
— News Today (video)


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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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