Thailand Morning News For January 26

Thailand Morning News For January 26
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Thailand morning newsTransparency Thailand clarifies its decision to pull out of TI
A staff member of Transparency Thailand on Thursday (Jan 25) dismissed criticism that its decision to pull out of Transparency International’s (TI) memberships was to appease the National Council for Peace and Order.
— Thai PBS

All eyes on baht amid capital inflows
FOREIGN capital has been pouring into Thailand and other emerging market economies in the wake of further weakness in the US dollar. The inflows have propelled the baht to second place among regional currencies, behind the Malaysian ringgit, this month.
— The Nation

Stronger baht may curb export outlook
Exporters look set to cut their forecast for the country’s export growth because of the baht’s appreciation and emerging protectionist trade measures.
— Bangkok Post

Thai vote faces delay after lawmakers amend election law
A general election in Thailand scheduled to take place this year will be delayed possibly until early 2019, the country’s deputy prime minister said, after military-appointed lawmakers voted to change an election law on Thursday.
— Reuters

FM challenges HRW’s report of widespread labour abuses in Thai fishing industry
The Foreign Ministry on Thursday (Jan 25) rejected a report by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) that abuses and exploitation of migrant workers in the fisheries sector in Thailand remain widespread and that the Thai government has failed to address the problem effectively.
— Thai PBS

BOT yet to intervene in baht movement amid appreciation
Although the current appreciation of the baht is causing concerns among exporters, the central bank chief has affirmed it is not yet the time to intervene in the currency’s movement.
— News Today (video)

Tax relief proposed for SMEs hurt by wage rises
FINANCE Minister Apisak Tantivorawong has pledged additional tax deductions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the recent proposed increases in the minimum daily wage.
— The Nation

Fintech ‘sandbox’ ready for start-ups to test ideas
Thai Fintech Association (TFTA) president Jessada Sookdhis presided at the signing this week of an agreement to launch the “F13 Fintech sandbox”.
— The Nation

Chatuchak market to go cashless from June, SRT says
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) aims to begin turning Chatuchak market into a cashless commercial area by June.
— Bangkok Post

SEC, SET talking new ICO framework
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) are discussing the establishment of a regulatory framework for funds raised from initial coin offerings (ICOs), with a public hearing expected to be concluded soon.
— Bangkok Post

Meat giant CPF ready for animal welfare ‘leadership’
Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) has approached World Animal Protection to help it radically change its pig welfare policy as the meat giant aims become a sustainable food leader.
— Global Meat News

Finance Ministry to dispose of shares in 24 companies in Q1
Thailand’s Finance Ministry is preparing to sell its shares in 24 unlisted companies, including four massage parlour businesses, in the first quarter of this year, according to a statement on Wednesday.
— DealStreetAsia

Spending surge in Dec 2017 drives up industrial sentiment
The Thai Industrial Sentiment Index (TISI) edged up in December last year, thanks to increased sales of gifts and automobiles during the year-end season.
— News Today (video)

Prawit’s time bomb
Defending DPM Prawit Wongsuwon from the barrage of questions on how a career military man, with a current monthly income of 250,000 baht or so, could afford to wear at least 25 ultra-luxury watches totalling 39.5 million baht, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says, “This is a personal matter”.
— Bangkok Post

Audi Thailand to spend to additional Bt50m on after-sales support this year
Audi Thailand by Meister Technik Co. Ltd. is planning to invest an additional Bt50 million on after-sales services this year in preparation for the scheduled opening of its head office and 10 showrooms by 2019.
— The Nation

BMW Group Thailand sets new annual sales record in 2017
BMW Group Thailand has announced a historic sales record with 11,030 BMW and Mini vehicles delivered to customers from January to December 2017, an increase of 39 per cent year-on-year and the first-ever fove-digit sales figure in the company’s history.
— The Nation

GRAND acquires majority stake in Royal Orchid Hotel for $75.3m
Grande Asset Hotels and Property (GRAND) agreed to acquire a 68 per cent stake in Royal Orchid Hotel (Thailand) Pcl (ROH) from Starwood Hotels (Thailand) and Thai Airways International for 2.37 billion baht ($75.3 million) in total.
— DealStreetAsia

GSB urged to focus on 4 main customer groups, prepare for digital transformation
The Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs, Somkid Jatusripitak, delivered the government policy to the Government Savings Bank (GSB) to focus more on four main consumer groups, and prepare the bank for digital transformation involving big data technology and analysis.

Reform plans now completed, set to implement April: DPM
The Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, said the drafting of 11 national reform plans is now completed, with inputs from the general public welcomed prior to the implementation in April.

A man, a plan, a canal…Thailand?
General Saiyud Kerdphol, the military engineer of Thailand’s winning Cold War-era anticommunism campaign, believes now is the time to build the Kra canal – a long-envisioned channel through the country’s southern isthmus that would connect the Indian and Pacific Oceans and dramatically shorten East-West shipping routes.
— Asia Times

Thailand, Bangladesh agree to augment trade, investment relations
Delegates from Thailand and Bangladesh have met during the World Economic Forum 2018 on the development of bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

Traders asked to peg product prices after wage hike
Ahead of a planned minimum wage hike, the Ministry of Commerce has called on producers and vendors of products not to increase prices as only a minor impact on production cost is expected.
— News Today (video)

Six illegal ‘foreign-owned’ hostels closed on Koh Pha Ngan
Troops and police arrested two foreigners and four Thais on Wednesday for allegedly running six hostels without licence on the tourist destination Koh Pha Ngan in Surat Thani province.
— Phuket Gazette

Private sector pledges to maintain prices of goods
The private sector yesterday (Wednesday) pledged to cooperate with the government to maintain prices of their goods after the government has announced the increase of minimum wage from 5-22 baht a day.
— Thai PBS

PRD installs more transmitters expanding Digital TV coverage
The Government Public Relations Department (PRD) is in the process of installing more signal transmitters across Thailand to expand the digital television coverage, improving news and information channel for the general public.

Thai police seizes 300 kg of ‘ice’ hidden among water melons
Earlier this week, a Malaysia-bound consignment of 300 kg of the party drug ‘ice’ (crystal methamphetamine) was found hidden among hundreds of watermelons inside a truck.
— Fresh Plaza

ATF buyers remain bullish on Thailand for 2018
Buyers attending the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2018 in Chiang Mai predicted another strong year for Thailand as demand continues to grow across a wide demographic from boomers to millennials.
— TAT News

Thailand Thai Gastronomy at ATF 2018 Gala Opening
The ATF 2018 draws on Chiang Mai’s outstanding reputation for tasty Thai cuisine that strongly appeals to both international and domestic tourists. During the Gala Opening event, 10 top Thai chefs present signature dishes, strengthening Thailand’s reputation for outstanding gastronomy tourism.
— TAT News

MOAC continues to develop royal rain research
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has continued to develop royal rainmaking research and will perform a royal rainmaking operation on March 1st, 2018.

Thailand Wows ATF 2018 Delegates with Amazing Opening Ceremony
It is not easy to impress road warriors who have worked in the travel industry for the past ten or twenty years.
— Travel News Asia


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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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