Thailand Morning News For January 24

Thailand Morning News For January 24
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Thailand morning newsExport growth hits 6-year high at 9.89% in 2017
The Ministry of Commerce has reported that the Thai export sector did exceptionally well last year, with growth reaching 9.89 percent, the highest in six years.
— News Today (video)

Forced labor persists on Thai fishing boats, HRW says
Slave labor and rights abuses still plague Thailand’s fishing industry despite major reforms recently introduced by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s military government, Human Rights Watch has said in a new report.
— Asia Times

Minimum wage rise not tabled at cabinet meeting
Labour Minister Adul Sangsingkeo put off tabling the proposed new minimum wage agreement at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, while seeking to allay concern over the delay with the explanation some matters still needed to be sorted out.
— Bangkok Post

Bosses call for U-turn on wage rises
THE NATION’S top private-sector advisory grouping has called on the government to go back to the drawing board on the recently announced rises in minimum daily wages that its members say do not reflect the different economic conditions across the country.
— The Nation (annoying popups)

Deputy PM Wissanu eyes one-month election delay
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Tuesday he believed a general election would be postponed by just a month in the worst-case scenario.
— Bangkok Post

Wissanu says election could be postponed
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam says there is a possibility that a general election will be postponed due to several factors.

TDRI warns of soaring Bt1.4-tn annual healthcare
THAILAND’S ageing society will push the country’s healthcare costs to Bt1.4 trillion per year within the next 15 years, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) warned yesterday.
— The Nation (annoying popups)

Analysts forecast Thai economic growth of 4% in 2018
The Thai economy this year is expected to expand 4 percent on the back of the continued growth momentum in the export and tourism sectors as well as the acceleration of public investment.

MEA & EA to establish 1,000 charging stations for EVs
The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and Energy Absolute Plc have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish 1,000 ‘EA Anywhere’ charging stations nationwide for electric vehicles (EVs).
— News Today (video)

PM asks media to stop reporting on Gen Prawit’s wristwatches
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday (Jan 23) pleaded with the media to stop reporting on Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon’s alleged possession of expensive wristwatches, saying that the matter should be left with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to handle.
— Thai PBS

PM insists: Prawit’s case ‘a personal matter’
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has fully defended his deputy Gen Prawit Wongsuwon who is under heavy public pressure concerning his collection of luxury wristwatches.
— Bangkok Post

Dormant account law details emerge
A law on pooling money parked in bank accounts that have been dormant for at least 10 years into suspended Finance Ministry accounts will apply only to baht-denominated savings and current accounts of individuals, says an informed source at the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
— Bangkok Post

Thai to ensure baht moves won’t affect businesses – governor
Thailand’s central bank will ensure moves in the baht currency will not affect businesses, but it will not target specific levels, the governor said on Tuesday, as the baht hovered near a 3-1/2-year high against the U.S. dollar.
— Reuters

Gross happiness index of farmers peaks due to increased prices of farm goods: Deputy govt spokesperson
A recent survey shows the gross happiness index of farmers has peaked due to increased prices of their goods, said deputy government spokesperson Col Taksada Sangkhachan.

BoT: Banking agent regulations due this quarter
The Bank of Thailand is due to announce this quarter regulations governing banking agent licences, which allows banks to access people in remote areas with cheaper operating costs.
— Bangkok Post

SCB to reduce number of branches to 400
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is to reduce the number of its branches to 400 over the next few years, as it shifts predominately to online banking solutions to meet customer demand.
— News Today (video)

2017 sees highest number of new companies
The number of new companies registered with the government in 2017 makes a record high at 74,517 companies, following the government’s business promotion and infrastructure investment.
— News Today (video)

Suthep, cronies face indictment ruling
Large crowds are expected at the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) Wednesday following its move to summon suspects, including former protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, over street demonstrations against the Yingluck government in 2013-14.
— Bangkok Post

Defense Ministry continues its fight against crime nationwide
The Ministry of Defense has coordinated with all security units to continue the crack down on criminal activities nationwide in an effort to ensure public safety.

Army files lawsuit against organisers of civil rights march
Organisers of the civil rights march are facing prosecution for violating the junta’s ban on public assembly. One organiser stated that the march will continue despite the lawsuit.
— Prachatai English

‘It was torture’: Grim tales in Thai fishing sector despite reforms
Trafficked into work and routinely abused, migrant fishermen in Thailand are still subject to forced labor despite efforts by the government to clean up the industry, advocacy groups said on Tuesday.
— Reuters

PMO to explain national economy, Big Data center to be set up
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been assigned by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to elaborate on national economic development, while a Big Data center will be set up to aid strategic planning.

Buying into Thailand’s economic dream scheme
Sunplay Bang Saray, a new luxury housing development in Chonburi province, aims to benefit from the Thai government’s much-hyped Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) industrial, logistics and infrastructure development program, at least in terms of its sales pitch.
— Asia Times

Authorities set to charge for car parking
The cabinet has approved a draft law on car parking management that would allow local administrative organisations to collect fees for parking on public roads, except in certain prohibited areas, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Tuesday.
— Bangkok Post

Bangkok to become startup, innovation center
The Science and Technology Ministry is planning to turn Bangkok into a hub for startup businesses and innovation-driven entrepreneurs.
— News Today (video)

Thailand’s opium cultivation “down by 40%”
The cultivation of opium is on the decline in Thailand, but the illegal practice persists in several northern districts, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board reported this week.
— Phuket Gazette

MOPH to produce more emergency medical workers
The Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health has highlighted an improvement in emergency medical care in Thailand.

Industry Ministry offers supportive measures for SMEs
The Ministry of Industry is offering nine supportive measures for SME industry.
— News Today (video)

Government urgently tackling IUU fishing
The government has announced that it will call a meeting with relevant units to follow up on the effects of action taken to stop illegal fishing.
— News Today (video)

Dead cadet’s family unsatisfied with RTARF findings and vows to take case to court
Family of the dead cadet Pakapong Tanyakan vows to take case to the court of law, saying they are not satisfied with the result of the Royal Thai Armed Forces’ investigation which confirmed the cadet died of sudden cardiac arrest.
— Thai PBS

Chiang Mai to Host ASEAN Tourism Forum 2018 in January – What Does TAT Have Planned?
Scheduled to take place in Chiang Mai from 22-26 January, with the TRAVEX component on 24-26 January, Dr. Walailak Noypayak, Ph.D., TAT’s Executive Director – ASEAN South Asia and South Pacific Region, tells Steven Howard of what delegates can expect from the 37th edition of this very important annual travel trade show.
— Asia Travel Tips (HD video)

3,466 new guns distributed to police in Phuket
The Police Region 8 Commander, Pol Lt Gen Sorasak Yenprem, hosted a ceremony to distribute a total of 3,466 guns today (January 23) following the approval from the cabinet for a budget of 990 million Baht to purchase 55,150 new 9 mm semi-automatic guns, magazines, bullets, sockets and belts, as well as handcuffs.
— Phuket Gazette

Public Health Ministry accelerating support for traditional Thai medicine
The Ministry of Public Health is boosting support for traditional Thai medicine (TTM) by ensuring ready public access to alternative treatments.
— News Today (video)

YouTube Run for UNHCR to Take Place in Bangkok on 18 February 2018
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Google are organising a “YouTube Run for UNHCR” which will be held on Sunday, 18 February 2018 at Rama IX Park in Bangkok, Thailand.
— Asia Travel Tips

Tourism and Sports Ministry launches new tourism info website
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has issued a new standard on tourism information of Thailand.


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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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