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Update April 2016

World News
Thailand News
Arts - Entertainment - Lifestyles
Odds & Ends
Science & Nature
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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
Thailand News

Bank of Thailand: Sluggish economy in first quarter

SONGKHLA,(NNT) – Thai economy slowed down in the first quarter of 2016 due to weak consumer spending, investments and exports, the Bank of Thailand said.

Director of the BOT’s Macroeconomic Policy Office Pornpen Sodsrichai said the country’s economic expansion in the first 3 months of the year was very close to the BOT’s forecast of 3 percent. She said the figure showed that domestic economy was somewhat sluggish during the period due to a decrease in consumer spending, fewer investment activities, and underperforming exports.

Despite economic downturn in the first quarter, she said tourism and government spending continued to grow, both of which will be the main factors contributing to economic expansion in the second half of 2016. The country can expect to see more investments from the government in the latter half.

Lastly, the director said the global economic recession and the ongoing drought crisis are the two risk factors Thailand will have to watch out for.

Thailand to host ASEAN international conference on infectious diseases in children

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Prof. Dr. Theeraphong Tanthawichian, president of Infectious Diseases Association of Thailand and of the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, said that Thailand will host an ASEAN International Conference on Infectious Diseases in Children from November 7-10, 2016 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

The conference will be attended by infectious disease experts worldwide who will exchange information and views about children’s infectious disease problems.

The conference will also feature a short-term training course on a severe dengue for medical staff, students from medical institutions, researchers and interested academicians.

Japan’s Foreign Minister to visit Thailand

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs is set to visit to Thailand today, marking the first visit from Japan’s Foreign Minister during the past 5 years.

Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida will be embarking on his official visit to the Kingdom of Thailand on 1-2 May 2016, according to the invitation from Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

This will mark the first official visit from Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs during the past 5 years. Thailand is the first country that the Japanese Foreign Minister will visit as part of his trip to the South East Asian nations.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and Japan will hold a meeting on the evening of 1 May 2016 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Bangkok, discussing and exchanging views on bilateral cooperation on the economy and international affairs, such as cooperative frameworks within the UN and ASEAN, and regional security.

Both leaders will then sign a Memorandum of Intend (MOI) on the promotion of cooperation in agriculture and other areas related to the government of Thailand and Japan, followed by a dinner hosted by Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to honour his Japanese counterpart and officials later in the same evening.

Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs will be making a courtesy call to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, and Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on 2 May 2016.

Minister of Tourism and Sports discusses new tourism routes with domestic air carriers

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Minister of Tourism and Sports has made a proposal with domestic airlines about 32 potential new routes to increase connectivity and support more travel in ASEAN.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul today discussed with domestic airlines in Thailand to propose 35 potential routes to support the ASEAN Connect project boosting travel from CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam) and India to Thailand.

She has said the new routes will help travellers connect to other cities from Bangkok more easily, while the new routes will receive marketing and public relations support from the authorities prior to service inaugural should carriers decide to operate.

On this matter, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn has said the TAT was appointed by the Minister of Tourism and Sports to study the potential routes according to tourism growth and demand, as well as the routes to ASEAN cities with high travel demand to Thailand.

He has said the CLMV market and India, have good growth potential, while the air routes being considered include routes from Siem Reap, Cambodia directly to Phuket and Hat Yai, as well as the routes to and from U-Tapao–Pattaya Airport to Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata.

TAT launches Women's Journey to Thailand to boost tourism among female travelers

BANGKOK,(NNT)– The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is launching a special campaign entitled Women's Journey to Thailand for local and foreign female travelers to join a wide range of activities, shop at discount prices and enjoy other privileges.

The special offers to the incoming tourists will include the sales of varied products and services as well as events especially aimed to draw the attention of women, who may be either traveling alone or in groups throughout the upcoming August.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said: “We’ve designated August 2016 as a month for women travelers. It'll be a way of marking Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 84th birthday and encouraging the growth of the global and domestic female travelers segment in conjunction with our strategy to promote Thailand as a Quality Leisure Destination.

''Remarkably, women who are coming to Thailand either in groups or as lone travelers expect to find activities and attractions geared up to their needs. So, this campaign will broaden their recognition of how Thailand can cater a great experience to female travelers like nowhere else.”

Deputy TAT Governor Juthaporn Rerngronasa for International Marketing in Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Americas said: “In addition, when it comes to planning holidays, the family women often make main decisions. Female travelers are an increasingly strong market for local and inbound tourism. The global income of women worldwide has risen hugely and the combined growth of female arrivals to Thailand has also risen at an average of 11.4 percent from the period between 2007 and 2014.”

Research has shown that women travelers enjoy visiting beaches, enjoy amazing spas and try Thai food. But they are perhaps more concerned with safety and privacy than male travelers. With this in mind, TAT is cooperating with airlines, hotels, resorts, spas and tour operators to arrange various activities as well as offer special discounts and privileges throughout the month of August.

“In order to promote this initiative and inspire female travelers to visit Thailand, TAT has come up with five different promotional concepts: Beautiful Look, Beautiful Shape, Beautiful Mind, Beautiful Retreat and Beautiful Experience, which are all designed to meet the varied needs of women travelers and to boost Thai tourism products and services geared up for female travelers.” said Deputy TAT Governor Srisuda Wanapinyosak for International Marketing in Asia and South Pacific.

Highlighted activities to be held as part of the campaign include Lady Golf Challenge, Lady Celebrities to Thailand, Thailand through Her Eyes, 84 Perspectives of Thailand, Lady in Thai Fabric, Lady Products Showcase as well as a Women’s Journey application. Other special arrangements are being provided to female travelers within this month such as Lady Immigration Lanes, Lady Parking and Lady Airfare.

Police chief to monitor probe into brutal attack on British family in Hua Hin

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan have instructed police chief Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaichinda to closely monitor investigation into an alleged assault on three British tourists in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

Deputy police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen disclosed that arrest warrants have been issued for four accused assailants as shown in a video clip. The last one was arrested on April 27.

The four men were charged with perpetrating the attack and causing severe bodily harms which could possibly lead to a maximum of 10 years in prison.

The premier instructed the authorities to strictly and resolutely enforce the law and prosecute every suspected assailant.

54 taxi drivers licenses revoked in the past 6 months

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has arrested public transport drivers, especially taxi drivers, revoking and suspending over 50 licenses.

DLT Director-General Sanit Phromwong said his department has worked with the military and police in regulating the public transport system. Officials are strictly monitoring for driving behavior that affect the safety of passengers or Thailand's reputation.

From October 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016, officials have suspended and revoked the licenses of 54 taxi drivers who refused to take passengers, failed to drop passengers off at the agreed location, refused to use the meter fare, expressed rude behavior, or failed to produce their licenses and vehicle registration.

Government to launch “Creative Innovation Hub” to support startup businesses

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Royal Thai Government is now working with financial institutions in a bid to support startup businesses.

Somchai Sujjapongse, Permanent Secretary for Finance, chaired the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Finance, SME Bank, Government Savings Bank, Krung Thai Bank, and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

The MOU seeks to establish the “Creative Innovation Hub” whose main responsibility is to support startup businesses in Thailand in terms of education. New entrepreneurs can seek advice on how to run or start a business from this center.

The signing of the agreement shows the government’s intention and commitment to assisting new businesses.

Under the MOU, the project will be financed by the three mentioned banks and the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Each institution will pitch in 100 million baht to put forth the project.

No more cases of Zika virus reported in Vietnam

HANOI,(VOV) - No other localities in Vietnam have reported cases of Zika virus after the central Khanh Hoa province and HCM City declared the end of Zika virus outbreak at the commune and ward levels, according to the General Department of Preventive Medicine (Ministry of Health).

However, it said to prevent the disease from spreading to the community, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will further mobilise locals to kill mosquito larvae, increase examination and detection of new cases while coordinating with relevant departments and sectors to boost awareness of Zika virus and dengue fever prevention nationwide.

The MoH will also update the public with the relevant information and give warnings on its official website and in mass media.

NCPO detains those found breaking computer crime law in relation to public referendum opinion sharing

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The National Council for Peace and Order has detained a group of people for violating the computer crime law following their posting of opinions related to the public referendum on social media.

NCPO spokesman Col. Winthai Suvaree said on Wednesday that the military has recently detained eight people in Bangkok and two others in Khon Kaen, presumably after related authorities have been following their movements for some time.

Col. Winthai said that all detained individuals have not been charged as an investigation remains to be conducted, adding that the detention of these people has been in accordance with Article 44 of the interim charter.

The NCPO spokesman said that the detained individuals have certainly violated the Computer Crime Act although it is not clear if they have also broken the Public Referendum Act as well.

Health Ministry promotes Healthy Workplace project to prevent early deaths

BANGKOK,(NNT) – As working-age people in Thailand run a high risk of premature death due to unhealthy conditions at work, the Ministry of Public Health is introducing a campaign called Healthy Workplace to take care of workers.

As April 28 of every year marks World Day for Safety and Health at Work, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai announced that the ministry would like to invite members of both the public and private sectors to join in the Healthy Workplace campaign.

The campaign is aimed to protect workers against illnesses by implementing sanitary measures, ensuring workplace safety, maintaining a pollution-free environment at work and promoting workers’ livelihood through recreational activities.

Based on findings of the National Statistical Office, Thai people of the working age, who currently number over 37 million, are facing risks from dining out, skipping exercise, stressing over work and having insufficient sleep. These factors can lead to serious health problems and eventually death before old age.

Animals receive icy treats at Khao Kheow Zoo

CHONBURI,(NNT) – Khao Kheow Open Zoo is distributing icy treats to animals as relief for heat, relaxing animals from stress.

Khao Kheow Open Zoo’s Director Suriya Saengpong has said that the zoo is now feeding frozen fruits and syrups to animals to increase their energy and relive their stress and savageness caused by the extreme heat during March and April.

He has said the care for animals during hot weather is crucial as animals tend to be stressed from the increased temperature, resulting in the reduced likelihood of breeding and loss of appetite.

The treats are made of frozen fruits such as oranges, watermelons, apples, rose apples, and corns, providing sugar to animals which are able to lick or suck the treats, including gibbons, while lions, bears, and monkeys.

The zoo is also feeding its white lion with frozen pork legs and frozen blood in the afternoon as refreshments, which is also an activity which attracts attention from visitors, while mist sprinklers are equipped at the African animals display section to relieve the heat.

Cabinet approves new section of dual-track railway

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The construction of the Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon segment of the dual-track railway project has received the Cabinet’s consent while concession bidding is expected during May to August.

Following the Cabinet meeting, Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith made known that the green light was granted to the ministry’s double-track railway project on the section between Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon provinces.

Deputy Governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Kamol Tungkitjareonchai explained that the draft terms of reference (TOR) contract for the new section will be unveiled on the SRT’s website in order to gather feedback for 5-7 days. Unless anyone rejects the draft, the SRT will begin to accept bids around late May. The bidding will be conducted in the form of e-auction. The winning bidder and the final price of the project are likely to be concluded in early August.

The Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon section stretches 167 kilometers and is part of the second phase of the dual-track railway project. Three more sections are expected to be considered by the Cabinet within a week or two; they consist of Map Kabao-Chira Junction, Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho and Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin.

Thailand destroys 1.2 mn doses of type-2 poliovirus vaccines

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has burnt 1.2 million doses of type-2 poliovirus vaccines and pledged to burn all of the vaccines nationwide by 28 April 2016 before new poliovirus vaccines are used.

According to the ministry, polio is a severe infectious disease caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 and 3. In the past, there were many hundreds of thousands of polio patients worldwide each year but last year, there were only two polio-affected countries—Afghanistan and Pakistan. As for Thailand, the last polio patient was found in April 1997 and the country remained free from the disease until now.

Since poliovirus type 2 has been eradicated worldwide, there is no need for type-2 poliovirus vaccines. New poliovirus vaccines will be used in Thailand from 29 April onwards.

The World Health Organization has set a time frame for each country to destroy type-2 poliovirus vaccines without contaminating the environment.

Earthquake awareness seminar

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Engineering Institute of Thailand under His Majesty the King’s Patronage (EIT) has called on Thai people to be more aware of and prepared for earthquakes, suggesting inspections of buildings to ensure their integrity.

In the wake of the recent deadly tremors in Japan and Ecuador, a seminar has been organized by the EIT to study the incidents and to gauge the risk of earthquakes in Thailand, with an aim of raising public awareness of the issue. Vice President of the EIT Suttisak Soralump, who visited Japan after the quakes to assess the damage, indicated that the country was heavily devastated despite its preparedness for such disaster.

Therefore, he highlighted the necessity for Thailand to safeguard itself more against earthquakes, especially by stringently conducting inspections of houses and establishments that were constructed before the enactment of regulations on earthquake resistance of buildings. He urged responsible agencies to give importance to structural tests and reinforcements as well as search and rescue operations when a quake strikes.

Nonetheless, Mr Suttisak insisted that people should not be over-alarmed by the latest incidents. He said it is only advisable to study the country’s geology in order to accurately determine the chance of earthquakes and have appropriate response plans in place.

Highway Department to fix cracked, collapsed roads in face of droughts

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Highway Department has reported that many provinces across the country have been affected by droughts which have caused cracks or cave-ins on roads.

The department is encouraging the public to help monitor the cracks on the roads especially those running alongside canals for the safety of road travelers.

People who notice cracked and collapsed roads or those on the verge of subsiding can call the Highway Department’s Hotline 1586 free of charge around the clock.



Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Bank of Thailand: Sluggish economy in first quarter

Thailand to host ASEAN international conference on infectious diseases in children

Japan’s Foreign Minister to visit Thailand

Minister of Tourism and Sports discusses new tourism routes with domestic air carriers

TAT launches Women's Journey to Thailand to boost tourism among female travelers

Police chief to monitor probe into brutal attack on British family in Hua Hin

54 taxi drivers licenses revoked in the past 6 months

Government to launch “Creative Innovation Hub” to support startup businesses

No more cases of Zika virus reported in Vietnam

NCPO detains those found breaking computer crime law in relation to public referendum opinion sharing

Health Ministry promotes Healthy Workplace project to prevent early deaths

Animals receive icy treats at Khao Kheow Zoo

Cabinet approves new section of dual-track railway

Thailand destroys 1.2 mn doses of type-2 poliovirus vaccines

Earthquake awareness seminar

Highway Department to fix cracked, collapsed roads in face of droughts



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