Thailand Morning News For January 17

Thailand Morning News For January 17
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Thailand morning newsSmart visa available from February 1
The Thai Cabinet has approved a new “smart visa” to lure specialists to work in 10 targeted industries.
— Phuket Gazette

Thai export growth forecast to reach 6.3% this year
The Center for International Trade Studies of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has estimated that Thai exports will likely expand by 6.3% this year in line with the global economic recovery.

SCBT forecasts 4.3% GDP growth for 2018
Thailand’s economic growth outlook is expected to remain bright this year, with a 4.3% forecast attributed to improvement in manufacturing, services, and agricultural sectors, says Standard Chartered Bank Thai (SCBT).
— Bangkok Post

Cabinet passes 2019 fiscal budget worth THB3tn
The Cabinet has given a green light to the 3-trillion-baht budget for the 2019 fiscal year, with a deficit of 450 billion baht.

Thailand’s total domestic car sales seen up 3.4 pct in 2018 – Toyota
Thailand’s total domestic car sales are expected at 900,000 units this year, up 3.4 percent from 2017, Toyota Motor Corp’s Thai unit said on Tuesday.
— Reuters

BoT raises foreign transfers ceiling, fights strong baht
The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has increased the size of the maximum international money transfer allowed each customer for non-commercial bank business from 200,000 baht per day to 800,000 baht per day in a move to curb the strong baht.
— Bangkok Post

Bt998.95bn projects on track for EEC
Some 168 infrastructure projects worth Bt998.95 billion will be implemented to facilitate the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), according to the Ministry of Transport.
— The Nation

Thailand plans for even more tourists as numbers top 35 million
Thailand on Tuesday forecast a rise of 6 percent in tourist numbers this year, after a jump of 9 percent to 35 million in 2017, with little sign the strong baht is slowing growth that has lifted shares in hotels, malls and the airport operator.
— Reuters

Muang Thai aims to up premiums by 10%
Muang Thai Insurance wants 13.5 billion baht in insurance premiums this year to move closer to cracking the top three in the market in the next three years.
— Bangkok Post

New tax break to promote families having more children
The Cabinet yesterday approved a tax break to promote married couples having more children as part of a government policy to offset the rising ageing population, said Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
— The Nation

First Thai ICO en route
Jaymart subsidiary J Ventures will become the country’s first SET-listed company to sell its own digital currency once it releases “JFin” through an initial coin offering (ICO) in March.
— Bangkok Post

AP Honda maintains market leadership, launches campaign to meet four challenges
AP Honda, the official distributor of Honda motorcycles in Thailand, on Tuesday announced that its 2017 sales had maintained the maker’s No-1 position in the domestic market for the 29th consecutive year.
— The Nation

Tisco Bank pumps brake on loan gains
With concerns over high household debt and an uptick in bad loans, Tisco Bank has set a conservative loan growth target of 5% this year, far below the 11.8% loan growth it recorded last year, partly driven by a 33-billion-baht retail loan transferred from Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) (SCBT).
— Bangkok Post

Oishi aims to make bigger inroads into packaged food market
OISHI GROUP, a beverage producer and operator of a Japanese restaurant chain, plans to expand the company’s business portfolio as part of a deeper push into Thailand’s packaged food market and a stepped-up focus on exports.
— The Nation

SEC set to establish control over digital capital market
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cited the digital capital market as an attractive investment channel and will come up with measures to ensure its transparency and protect investors.
— News Today (video)

Commerce Ministry vows to help buoy up agricultural prices
Sales of many agricultural products are going well as the Ministry of Commerce says it is committed to working with other agencies to push up their prices.
— News Today (video)

Foreign tourist number in Dec 2017 makes record high
The number of foreign tourists in Thailand in December 2017 made a new record high of 3.5 million people who contributed to more than 190 billion-baht tourism revenue.

App developed to help tackle forest encroachment, illegal logging
A new application, Pitak Prai, has been developed by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) and the Royal Forest Department to help relevant agencies detect forest encroachment throughout Thailand.

PM orders authorities to press human trafficking charges on all involved in Victoria Secret scandal
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered authorities to file human trafficking charges against all people involved in the Victoria Secret scandal, including state officials.
— Thai PBS

PM calls for FSC compliance among Thai rubber planters
The government has pledged to support rubber planters in complying with the FSC standard with an increased focus on export markets to boost the lowered prices.

Gen Prawit says he is ready to resign if faulted by the NACC
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon announced on Tuesday (Jan 16) that he was willing to quit his posts without any regret if he was faulted by the National Anti-Corruption Commission for possessing a diamond ring and luxury wristwatches.
— Thai PBS

Police accuses Ekkachai of computer crime
The police have summoned Ekkachai Hongkangwan, anti-junta activist and former lese majeste prisoner, for posting pornographic content online. The charge came after the activist vocally scrutinised Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, Junta’s No.2.
— Prachatai English

MEA updates progress of underground cable project
A representative from the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) has visited NBT World to provide an update on the project to move power and utility cables underground.
— News Today (video)

Tourism and Sports Ministry promoting second-tier tourist spots
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has stepped up efforts to promote tourism tourism in second-tier tourist destinations of Thailand.

Phuket tsunami warning towers ‘100% working’, says DDPM Chief
The Director of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phuket office (DDPM) Prapan Kanprasang has today (Jan 16) confirmed that all tsunami warning towers at 19 locations in Phuket are “100% working”, after reports were filed by Kamala resident stating that there was no siren sound at Kamala’s warning tower during a check carried out yesterday (Jan 15).
— The Phuket News

Cabinet approves coastal erosion prevention measures
Cabinet approval has been granted to preventive measures against coastal erosion while the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been told to quickly integrate efforts with related agencies to tackle the problem.

Hospital sets up fireplaces to provide heat to elephants in cold weather
The Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang has set up fireplaces to provide heat to elephants in cold weather.

Amazing Colours of the East await winners of TAT Newsroom Blogger Thailand 2018 Competition
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s is pleased to announce the itinerary for its TAT Newsroom Blogger Thailand 2018 competition as part of the ‘Open to the New Shades’ communication concept.
— TAT News


Feature photo Parinya Jaipang

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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