Thailand Morning News For February 20

Thailand Morning News For February 20

Thailand morning newsThailand’s GDP grows at fastest pace in 5 years in 2017
Thailand’s gross domestic product grew an inflation-adjusted 3.9% in 2017, up from 3.3% the previous year, marking its fastest expansion since 2012, according to government statistics released Monday.
— Nikkei Asian Review (metered paywall)

EEC Committee on course to turn U-Tapao airport and surroundings into aviation city
The Eastern Economic Corridor committee is on course to turn the U-Tapao airport and its surrounding area into an aviation city within five years.

SCB research centre predicts 650,000 jobs taken over by robots in the next 12 years
About 650,000 jobs in automotive, food processing and electronic industries are like to be taken over by robots and intelligence robots in the next 12 years, according to a forecast of the Business and Economic Research Centre of Siam Commercial Bank.
— Thai PBS

GDP up 4.0% in Q4 of 2017
The economy expanded by 4.0% in the last quarter of 2017 and should rise by 3.6-4.6% this year, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).
— Bangkok Post

2017 Export growth reaches 6-yr high
Thailand’s export growth rate last year reached a six-year high, driven by investment programs and a vibrant tourism sector.

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Somkid backs Government’s move to boost investments through EEC
The Deputy Prime Minister for economic affairs has indicated that the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is the key to bolstering investments in the nation.
— News Today (video)

Data reinforces optimism for economy
GROWTH in the country’s economy is on track to accelerate this year after a strong final-quarter performance to close out last year, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said yesterday.
— The Nation

Theft by officials in aid for poor scheme widespread
More embezzlement of financial aid intended for the destitute has been uncovered as graft busters expand their investigation in rural provinces, and the corruption appears to be well organised.
— Bangkok Post

Russia to supply AK-100 series assault rifles to Thailand
According to a new published to the Russian press agency TASS website, on February 6, 2018, Moscow and Bangkok have signed an agreement on the supply of Russia’s world-renowned Kalashnikov assault rifles. The first shipment is scheduled for this year, according to Mikhail Petukhov, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC).
— Army Recognition

Government sheds light on public sector management reform
The government is pushing for the development of public sector management to help people access public service efficiently, treating the matter as one of the national strategies.
— News Today (video)

‘Journalists’ refuse to reveal sex scandal story
The Thai Journalists Association’s (TJA) insisted Monday it would not disclose the full results of a probe into alleged sexual harassment involving a news agency executive and a female subordinate.
— Bangkok Post

Ministry of Finance agrees with bank licensing plan
The Permanent Secretary for Finance, Somchai Sajjapongse, said the Ministry of Finance agrees with the move taken by Bank of Thailand to allow 7-Eleven convenience stores to provide a deposit and withdrawal service.

Government on track on migrant workers regulation
The government is working to solve the issue of illegal migrant workers in Thailand to have it completed within the set timeframe, focusing on joining hands with related agencies and authorities from the countries of origin.
— News Today (video)

FPO declares landlords can lock in windfall tax exemption
Landlords who lock in bumper profits from selling land near transport infrastructure projects can be exempt from the land windfall tax if they buy and sell the same plot during the same four-year implementation period of the Treasury Department’s land appraisal prices, says a tax expert at the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
— Bangkok Post

Nation developing competitiveness enhancement strategy
The government has begun drafting a strategy to sharpen the nation’s competitive edge, looking to utilize technology and creativity to sustainably grow the economy.

Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical post strong earnings, meets
Thailand’s largest petrochemical company, PTT Global Chemical Pcl, reported a net profit of 39.3 billion baht ($1.25 billion) for its 2017 fiscal year, up 53 percent from a year earlier on higher selling prices, refinery utilization rates and margins.
— Reuters

Central bank to issue new regulations to allow banks to appoint banking agents
The Bank of Thailand will issue new regulations tentatively next month which will allow commercial banks to appoint their banking agents to perform certain types of transactions, BOI assistant governor Somboon Chitpenthom disclosed on Monday.
— Thai PBS

Digital ID project to boost online transactions
THE government is steering work on a National Digital Identity (Digital ID) project to increase the range of digital transactions and reduce fraud in onlinepayment channels.
— The Nation

No end in sight for Suthep scandal
As time goes by, public doubts are growing over the police station building scandal involving former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is handling…
— Bangkok Post

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Premchai probe focuses on slain leopard’s missing sex organ
THE SEXUAL organ of a black leopard found slain during the recent arrest of Italian-Thai Development president Premchai Karnasuta and his three companions in Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary has disappeared, leading the investigators to believe that it was consumed by the suspects.
— The Nation

Siemens, Bombardier considered for Thai airport rail contract – FAZ
Thailand’s province of Phuket is in talks with Siemens and Bombardier over a contract to supply a rail connection to the airport, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported.
— Reuters

Manila Water to acquire 18.72% stake in Thailand’s Eastern Water
Philippine-listed water and wastewater services provider Manila Water Company Inc is acquiring an 18.72 per cent stake in Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Public Company Limited (East Water), a publicly listed water supply and distribution company in Thailand.
— DealStreetAsia

BMA to build underground holding tanks to ease flooding
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to alleviate the flood problem in the capital by constructing five underground water tanks, with a combined capacity of over 27,000 cubic meters.

Excise chief soothes fear over tax on duty-free spirits
Director-general of the Excise Department Kritsada Jinavijarana has come out to ease the concern among drinkers that they could later be taxed for duty-free spirits.
— Bangkok Post

PLTO approves Phuket Smart Bus for operation, service to begin Feb 28
An official press release sent to The Phuket News today (Feb 19) by Phuket City Development (PKCD) confirms that the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) has approved their Smart Bus initiative and that the service is set to commence on Feb 28.
— The Phuket News

RID sends aid to areas vulnerable to drought
A caravan carrying water supplies, water pumps and related equipment has been dispatched to various areas outside irrigation zones in a bid to help residents cope with imminent drought.

DDPM advises villagers, farmers for upcoming dry season
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has advised the general public to brace for the upcoming dry season by storing water for consumption and adjusting farming plans accordingly.

Phuket campaign targets Patong hotels for illegal wastewater discharge
Local environmental officers today (Feb 19) began testing wastewater discharged by hotels in Patong in response to raw sewage flowing into Patong Bay some 11 days ago.
— The Phuket News

PRD hosts ‘Meet the Press’ event
The Public Relation Department of Thailand has arranged a ‘Meet the Press’ event on the topic ‘The Government’s Achievements and Mission’.


Feature photo John Le Fevre


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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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