Finance Ministry focuses on investments by government-private-public sectors
Minister Apisak Tantivorawong
BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Ministry of
Finance will focus on investments between the government, private and the
public sector in general during 2016. according to the citizen-state policy
designed to support the country’s economic stability and equality.
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said that the Ministry of Finance had
laid the groundwork for long-term economic stability in 2015 such as by
implementing the civil state policy of allowing the private sector to invest
in the government projects which is in line with the establishment of the
Thailand Future Fund.
The Minister of Finance also said that the ministry will reform taxes in
2016 such as estate tax and inheritance tax by taking into account the
balance and the impact on the public.
Uttaradit to launch drought relief campaign for farmers
UTTARADIT, (NNT) – Farmers in Uttaradit
Province are urged to cultivate low water consuming plants during the
drought season, while training projects on drought relief are scheduled to
Thong Saen Khan District Agriculture Official Bancha Benjamin has revealed
that the district is now working to provide assistance to the drought
affected farmers in the area by providing seeds of low water consumption
plants for cultivation, as an alternative source of income during the
Under this campaign, agricultural academics and officials have been
dispatched to advise and demonstrate farmers, so that adaptations will be
made to their own crops.
Moreover, the province will be launching a training and providing necessary
items for production in support of the farmers tomorrow, during a ceremony
chaired by the vice governor at the sugar cane farm association, in
Rubber farmers demand more support from the government
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives accepted a proposal to improve compensation for
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Jintana Chaiyawannakarn
joined a meeting with representatives of rubber farmers from six provinces,
including Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Trang, Satun, and
Rubber farmers have proposed that the assistance program be simplified in
order to expedite its access. They also asked the government to provide
rubber processing machinery. Mrs. Jintana is expected to investigate why
rubber machinery is still among their list of demands, despite previous
donations of equipment by the government. Another meeting is expected to be
held again between both parties to discuss other needs.
The representatives expressed dissatisfaction with the meeting and decided
to hold roundtable talks without public officials until late at night on
However, they assured that they will not pressure the government to meet
their demands by either blocking roads or stirring political unrest.
Ministry of Transport set to expand transportation routes throughout 2016
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of
Transport has set plans to continuously construct transportation routes in
2016. The construction of the Bang Yai – Kanchanaburi motorway is expected
to begin in June this year.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said that in 2015 the ministry
improved many land, water and air transportation routes as planned in an
effort to help stimulate the country’s tourism and economy. In 2016, the
ministry would expand its existing projects such as two double track rail
lines and three motorways, said Mr.Arkhom.
The Bang Yai – Kanchanaburi motorway, one of the three mortorways, will be
an important economic route connecting Thailand with Myanmar.
As for the ministry’s 10 electric train projects, Mr.Arkhom said he would
submit them to the Cabinet for approval and expected to open bidding for all
of them. The expansion of electric trains would be included in the 12th
National Economic and Social Development Plan, the minister added.
Udon Thani Groundwater Resource Office: 14 wells dug in 5 provinces
UDON THANI,(NNT) – Udon Thani
Provincial Office of Groundwater Resource Director Wittaya Meenisai has
disclosed the progress of developing groundwater resource for agriculture in
the drought-affected area for the fiscal year 2016.
Udon Thani Provincial Office of Groundwater Resource has drilled 14
groundwater wells out of the planned 22 wells. The 14 wells are located
along Udon Thani's five districts including Nong Han district, Ban Phue
district, Ban Dung district, Thung Fon district and Kud Chap district.
Udon Thani Provincial Office of Groundwater Resource’s area of
responsibility covers four more provinces including Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan,
Sakon Nakhon, Nong Khai and Beung Kan.
GPS devices to be installed in large trucks and public buses
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Land
Transport is installing GPS devices in every heavy-duty truck and public bus
in an effort to help ensure safe driving.
Director-General of the Department of Land Transport Snit Phromwong said the
department measured the speed of more than 52,000 vehicles from 29 December
2015 – 4 January and found that 661 of them exceeded the speed limit. Most
of the vehicles were mini vans, followed by buses and trucks. The department
punished both the drivers and their employers, said the director-general.
Speeding is still the number one cause of road accidents. The
director-general said the department needed to step up its road accident
prevention measures for the Songkran festival in April this year as well as
other long holidays. GPS devices were being installed in large trucks and
public buses to help prevent road accidents, said the director-general.
Government to strengthen SME operators in 12 Special Economic Zones
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Industrial
Promotion has unveiled its plan to strengthen Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) in 12 Special Economic Zones across 10 provinces.
The plan, which is being supervised by the Network of Engineering
Service, would encourage SME operators take advantage of the Special
Economic Zones and the ASEAN Eeconomic Community. The campaign seeks to
enhance the competitiveness of SME businesses by strengthening SME
operators, business structure, and personnel, while connenting SMEs of
the same type but on a larger scale, both domestically and
The government's Special Economic Zone project aims at promoting border
trade, while escalating border provinces’s potentials as economic zones,
transport hub, and logistic hub. Each economic zone would employ a large
number of migrant labor and possess regional tourism services, reaping
the full benefit from the establishment of the ASEAN Community.
Currently there are 12 Special Economic Zones located in 10 provinces of
the Kingdom, which include Tak, Mukdahan, Sa Kaeo, Trat, Songkhla,
Chiang Rai, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Narathiwat, and Kanchanaburi. In
2014, the total value of border trade through these provinces reached
968 billion baht, which accounted for 98% of Thailand's border trade.
Interested SME operators can join the campaign free of charge before the
January 27th deadline. For more information, please visit
Government to give refugee assistance to Jordan & Lebanon
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sek Wannamethee
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government is preparing to give cash aid to Jordan and
Lebanon for use in the refugee assistance program.
Director-General of the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Sek Wannamethee disclosed that the Thai government would be
offering 200,000 dollars to the governments of Jordan and Lebanon to help
relieve their burden. Jordan and Lebanon are providing shelter to more than
three million Syrian war refugees.
Mr. Sek revealed that Thailand had been closely monitoring the situation in
Syria since the crisis erupted in 2010 and was aware of the need to help
with the relief mission.
He added that the country previously gave humanitarian aid to countries
affected by unrest such as Yemen and Palestine. The assistance, carried out
in the name of Thai people, is part of the government’s humanitarian policy
for foreign nations.
Yala beefs up security, searching dorms & rented houses
YALA,(NNT) – Security personnel from
various units have joined forces to strengthen the crime suppression
campaign in target areas.
At Yala Provincial Police Station, Yala Provincial Police Commander Pol.
Col. Jamlong Suwaluck, dispatched over 60 police, military officials and
civil defense volunteers to dorms and rented houses in three locations in
the municipal area to search for illegal items.
Apart from the rented accommodation, authorities have also searched
suspicious vehicles. The operation was intended to deter criminals from
staging attacks on people and property. The move is also expected to build
public confidence in the city’s security measures.
Constitution Drafting Committee believes it will produce a ‘Dream Charter’
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Constitution
Drafting Committee (CDC) believes the new constitution will be an ideal one,
and that diversity of thoughts is normal and should not be considered as a
conflict, according to CDC spokesman Amorn Wanichwiwatana, who said that the
drafting process of this charter is independent and is expected to deliver
an ideal constitution.
He said the meeting will consider the suggestions and noted flaws of the new
constitution, as well as the reform points to be written in the transitory
provision, which has actually been specifically mentioned within the
The CDC will be focusing on the law regarding education and legal
implementation as they sees these are urgent areas in need of strengthening
to prevent the potential sub-sequences, while differing opinions are
considered normal and should not be viewed as conflicts.
The CDC’s offsite meeting also has another important aim according to the
spokesman: to promote the content of the constitution to the public through
easy to understand formats and media outlets.
Chiang Mai to hold 15th Strawberry Fair in February
CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - Chiang Mai
provincial administration will organize the 15th Strawberry Fair from
February 11th - 14th at Samoeng district office.
Event-goers can participate in many activities such as a strawberry contest,
floral floats and a beauty contest, to name a few. Couples who are getting
married can also request a strawberry themed wedding ceremony at the event.
Chiang Mai is hoping the assortment of activities would draw a large number
of foreign visitors to the event this year.
Samoeng district is known as a one of Thailand's top strawberry producers.
According to Chiang Mai's provincial administration, the fair gives an
additional distribution channel to strawberry growers.
Chiang Mai has about 5,500 rai of strawberry plantations spreading over 10
districts. Every year, the province produces 13,385 tons of strawberry,
which bring in 1.1 billion baht worth of income.
Survey for ancient ruins being conducted at Chiang Mai Woman Correctional Institution
CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - A team of earth science experts are conducting
geophysical surveys along the Chiang Mai Woman Correctional Institution to
search for artifacts and ancient ruins.
Asst Prof Krit Won-in, Lecturer at the Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty
of Science of Kasetsart University has led a team of geophysical surveyors
as part of the Wiang Kaew development project by the 8th Regional Office of
the Fine Arts Department, Chiang Mai.
Prof Krit said it will take 3-5 days to explore the area of 5,300 square
meters, after which the team will process the information extracted. His
team is hired by the Fine Arts Department to handle the excavation site.
Meanwhile, Saiklang Jindasu, an archaeologist from the 8th Regional Office
of Fine Arts Department, said that if artifacts and ancient ruins were
found, an assessment must be made whether the site could be restored. If the
site did contain ancient ruins, they will be protected by law and cannot be
Trang prepares to be Styrofoam-zero city
TRANG,(NNT) – Different sectors in
Trang have kicked off the campaign to make the province a Styrofoam-zero
city, starting from the National Children’s Day onwards.
The Styrofoam-free city campaign is one of the 27 missions aimed at
returning happiness to Trang people through tourism, agricultural and
industrial development. Local food operators and outlets have been asked to
phase out plastic and Styrofoam containers to help improve the environment
and prevent health risks among consumers.
Dr. Witoon Luangdilok, chief public health officer of Trang province
explained polystyrene foam containers are very slow to biodegrade and
consist of hazardous chemicals although they are convenient to use.
The recently-launched campaign is expected to add a new charm to Trang. The
province is one of the 12 hidden gems recommended by the Tourism Authority
of Thailand (TAT).
Rescue teams to stand by to help tourists on Chonburi beaches
CHONBURI,(NNT) – Chonburi provincial governor Komsan Ekachai said Prime
Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Interior, Ministry
of Tourism and Sports and the police to organize rescue teams on the beaches
to help tourists in case of accidents.
The authorities are yet to set guidelines for the province's seaside spots
while measures will be taken toward prevention of possible losses of lives
and rescue missions. Rescue teams will be set up consisting of staffers from
the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and some trainees.
Thai cosmetics company pulls ad showing actress in blackface
advertisement by Thai cosmetics company Seoul Secret showing Thai actress
Cris Horwang, right, is displayed on a computer screen in Bangkok. (AP
Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press
BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai cosmetics company quickly pulled a video in
which an actress wears blackface and promotes a skin-whitener with the
slogan: "You just need to be white to win." The retraction did little,
however, to stem a debate the ad ignited about the regularity of racist
advertisements in the Southeast Asian country.
The online ad for the new product called "Snowz" featured porcelain-skinned
Thai movie star Cris Horwang talking about being an aging actress in a
"If I stopped looking after myself, everything that I have worked for — all
the investment I have made to keep myself white — would disappear," says the
35-year-old actress. "New stars would replace me, I would fade away."
As she speaks, a smiling, younger woman enters the picture and Cris' own
image darkens to charcoal black.
A male voice says, "You just need to be white to win."
A tirade of criticism erupted after the video was launched online Thursday.
Online commentators labeled the ad as racist and ignorant, while some heaped
criticism on the actress for accepting the job. Others called it a strategic
way to attract wide attention and boost sales.
"Ewwwwwww," was the reaction of 28-year-old Jutamas Tritaruyanon, one of
many to post their disapproval on Facebook.
"This ad is so obviously racist and another attempt to brainwash Thai
women," Jutamas, a Bangkok-based office worker, told AP. "They're saying
that being dark is ugly. It's a narrow-minded and disgusting attitude."
The Thai cosmetics company Seoul Secret issued a "heartfelt apology" in a
statement Friday saying it had pulled the video clip and related
"Our company did not have any intention to convey discriminatory or racist
messages," the statement posted on its Facebook page said. "What we intended
to convey was that self-improvement in terms of personality, appearance,
skills and professionalism is crucial."
The ad is hardly the first to use racial stereotypes in Thailand, where
beauty is often characterized as fair and delicate. Darker skin is often
associated with rural lower-class Thais, and the country has an enormous
industry in skin-whitening products and cosmetic clinics to help customers
emulate the porcelain complexions of the Bangkok elite.
TV commercials for skin-whitening products regularly promote the idea that
white is beautiful.
In 2013, the Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Thailand used a female model in
blackface makeup to promote a chocolate doughnut. The company's CEO in
Thailand initially dismissed complaints about racism, but the U.S. parent
company quickly apologized and pulled the ad.
An herbal Thai toothpaste says its dark-colored product "is black, but it's
good." A longtime Thai brand of household mops and dustpans called "Black
Man" uses a logo with a smiling black man in a tuxedo and bow tie.
Associated Press writers Nattasuda Anusonadisai and Jason Corben contributed
to this report.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Government eases public fears of yuan & stock decline
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government has
eased public worries over the weakened Chinese currency which has led to a
global stock crash, saying that its impact on the country would be
short-lived and that there were contingency measures for it.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak disclosed that China’s decision to
let the Yuan further weaken may affect Thailand for only a few days, as the
country’s economy relied mainly on the infrastructure which was still
China on Thursday devalued the Yuan by over 0.5 percent, the biggest fall
since August. Global stock markets saw the worst start since 2000.
Mr. Somkid dismissed the likelihood of currency war, saying the Ministry of
Finance and the Bank of Thailand were instructed to prepare measures to
handle the currency exchange rates and values.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said the country needed to
reinforce its economy through government investments and public spending in
order to be immune to global risks like China’s economy, the unrest in the
Middle East and the US’ planned interest rate hike.
Mr. Apisak also asked the public not to overly worry about the Yuan
devaluation, adding that the government already had plans to deal with it.
Government brainstorms ways to assist rubber industry amidst price slump
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The government is
finding ways to urgently assist rubber farmers as the Ministry of Industry
has held a meeting with businesses in the rubber industry to discuss
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak affirmed that the Prime Minister
has given priority to the matter of tumbling rubber prices. Recently, the
Ministry of Agriculture and related agencies were told to come up with
solutions in the short-term, while the long-term solution rests with the
government’s plan to reform the agriculture sector to create sustainability
and add value to products.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry has invited relevant agencies to discuss
ways to reduce the effects of the current price slump. Attending the meeting
were representatives from the Department of Industrial Works, the Department
of Industrial Promotion and the private sector such as industrial
associations on the production of rubber gloves, automobile tires, rubber
products and latex. They discussed ways to help rubber growers, buyers,
exporters and manufacturers.
According to the meeting’s assessment of the situation, the slump in rubber
prices are caused by the economic slowdown in China, the oil prices slump,
and an oversupply of rubber in the country.
Government to report progress in tackling human trafficking next week
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government is
scheduled to publicize the progress of its anti-human trafficking efforts on
Monday before an official report is sent to the United States for
After chairing a meeting of the committee on the prevention and suppression
of human trafficking, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit
Wongsuwon said the attendants discussed the situation of human trafficking
in Thailand and preparations being made prior to the US’s release of its
annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
The deputy premier revealed that, on January 11, a press conference will be
held to allow all related agencies will present the results of their
anti-human trafficking operations, including those concerning illegal,
unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Following the event, a report on
the matter will be submitted to the Prime Minister for review on January 13
before being forwarded to US authorities on January 19.
The report will be factored into the TIP Report 2016, which will come out
later this year. With the improvements made so far, Gen Prawit expressed
hope that Thailand will this time be removed from the Tier 3 Watch List. He
affirmed that all involved units have been doing their best to eradicate the
human trafficking problem in the country.
Mass Transit Authority considers renting electric buses from China
Transport Minister Omsin Cheevapruek.
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Bangkok Mass
Transit Authority of Thailand (BMTA) will propose to the Cabinet that
electric buses be leased from China instead of bought, given that the price
is roughly the same.
Deputy Transport Minister Omsin Cheevapruek said that electric buses are
ideal because they are more accessible to persons with disabilities.
They can travel 250 kilometers on a single charge and can reach a maximum
speed of 70 kilometers per hour. Mr. Omsin had the opportunity to travel on
the first electric bus during its trial run.
The Deputy Transport Minister is considering whether it would be cost
effective to lease these buses instead of having them made. Thailand had
earlier rented one from China at the cost of 15 million baht. However, the
cost of importing electric car parts, including tax, will total 16 million
BMTA Acting Director Pranee Sukrasorn said she preferred renting buses due
to price-related factors. The electric buses can begin service next year, if
the Cabinet approves the BMTA’s proposal within a few months.
As for the purchase of 489 NGV buses, the Ministry of Transport will start
an auction for the government procurement contract next month. If everything
goes according to plan, the natural gas buses are expected to begin service
before the end of August.
Thailand earned 2 trillion baht in tourism revenue last year
BANGKOK,(NNT)-Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to raise
tourists’ confidence of their trip to Thailand by setting up a one-stop
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul reported to the Cabinet
meeting that tourism generated 2 trillion baht in revenue to the country
last year. The figure was higher than what the ministry had expected.
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who stressed the
need to ensure tourists’ safety, promote locally made products and set up
the one stop service to cater to all tourists’ needs.
Minister Kobkarn said the Ministry also met a success in introducing a
traditional tourism concept to foreign visitors through the “12 cities to
visit” campaign. The revenue increased on an average of 13% compared to the
year earlier. The tourists’ spending increased to 5,050 baht per day per
person from previously 4,500 baht.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports will launch a similar campaign called 12
cities to visit plus. More tourist attractions within the vicinity of the 12
cities will be introduced in an attempt to increase their popularity.
BBC says Thailand among the best countries for retirement abroad
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The BBC reports that
Thailand is among the best countries for retirement.
A travel article written by the BBC's Rob Budden revealed that Thailand,
known as the "Land of Smiles," is a good country for retirement due to its
low cost of living, tropical climate, culture of respecting their elders,
and the lack of tax on retiree income from abroad.
Thailand's retirement visa is also available to all retirees with monthly
pensions of 65,000 baht per month, or a pension deposit of 800,000 baht in a
Thai bank account.
Meanwhile, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommends that retirees
pay for Thai health insurance, given that the country's private healthcare
is on par with western standards.
Progress of Peace Talks on the Southern Border Provinces
BANGKOK,(NNT)-Some progress has been made on peace dialogues that are
expected to reduce the severity of violent incidents and bring about lasting
peace in the southern border provinces.
Spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command Major General Banpot
Poonpian quoted Chief of the Peace Dialogue Panel General Aksara Kerdphol as
saying that confidence-building and safety zones are among major points in
the peace dialogues. These points are a focus of attention among various
sectors of Thai society.
Major General Banpot said that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, in
his capacity as Chairman of the Steering Committee for Peace Dialogue had
set three phases for the process of peace dialogues. The first phase
involves confidence building. The second phase seeks to sign ratification
for peace-building. In the third phase, consensus will be reached for the
end of conflicts through peaceful means. Then a roadmap will be worked out
for lasting peace.
He said that the first phase is considered the most difficult task in the
peace talks with “groups holding different views and ideologies to that of
the state.” The expected outcome of this stage is the scale of violence will
be limited. Informal talks have been held recently, with an emphasis on the
exchange of views with various sectors in the country.
Other issues in the talks include designating representatives from each side
for the peace dialogues and the listing of problems and frustration of
various groups. In the latest developments, a Joint Technical Team has been
formed to set rules for the process of the dialogues. Several meetings have
been held through the facilitator on this issue. The Joint Technical Team
will report results of their talks to the decision-making level of each
With regard to the designation of safety zones, the topic will be submitted
to the next step of peace dialogues. In recent years, efforts have been made
on the issue of safety zones. During this round of peace dialogues, both
sides will ensure that violence will not take place in the designated safety
zones. The objective is to reduce violence in certain areas first.
In addition, the safety zones must be clearly defined, in respect of
international practices. They must also be prepared as a way of
confidence-building. Another important factor is that the public sector and
the groups holding different views and ideologies to that of the state must
accept the views of local residents, as well as their culture. The voices of
local people, especially those who have suffered losses of lives and
property because of unrest, must be thoroughly recognized.
The Peace Dialogue Panel believes that the southern situation in 2016 will
improve to the point that it will no longer be a worrisome issue, in
response to the expectations of local people. The panel will encourage
relevant groups to participate in the peace dialogues and refuse all forms
of violence. The ultimate goal is to bring about sustainable peace. As for
measures to maintain peace and security, the Internal Security Operations
Command (ISOC) Region 4 Forward, as the Area-based Inter-agency Coordination
Working Group, will be responsible for preventing any groups from creating
new negative conditions for perpetrators of violence to take advantage of.
At the same time, it will create an atmosphere conducive to the process of
peace talks, which will continue with a strong intention to stop violence
and bring lasting peace to the southern border provinces.
Consumer confidence highest in 7 months
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF) has
reported that Thailand's consumer confidence index continuously increased to
the highest point in seven months, mainly due to the government's economic
CEBF Director Thanawat Polwichai said the consumer confidence index in
December 2015 rose in all categories as consumers felt that the economy was
better. They hoped that the Thai economy would recover in the near future
because of the government's stimulus measures, said the director.
The consumer confidence index increased to 65.1 point in December 2015 from
63.4 points in the previous month.
The center also found that 20.87% of the people were benefited from the
15,000-baht shopping tax break at the end of last year. 79.13% said they
were not benefited from the measure since their income was tax-free.
The shopping tax break helped increase circulating money during the New Year
holiday by almost 15 billion baht and cost the government around three
billion baht. The tax break helped stimulate the economy by 0.1%, said the
Thailand Post unveils stamps celebrating Children’s Day
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand Post has
introduced a special set of stamps celebrating Children’s Day and the
realization of the ASEAN Community, featuring mailboxes from 10 ASEAN
Thailand Post will begin selling the special stamp collection from 9 January
2016, to celebrate Children’s Day and the commencement of the ASEAN
The set of 10 stamps featuring pictures of mailboxes from the 10 ASEAN
member countries, along with important national landmarks as backdrops, is
expected to raise awareness amongst Thai youth about the ASEAN Community.
This year’s stamp is the fourth Children’s Day set, telling the story of
ASEAN countries since 2013. It will be available for sale at post offices,
the stamp museum in Bangkok, and on www.postemart.com. For more information,
please call 0 2831 3856, visit “stamp in love” Facebook page, or message to
stampinlove LINE account.
Royal Thai Army Medical Department celebrates 116 yrs
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Commander of the Royal Thai Army Gen Teerachai Nakwanich
presided over a ceremony to commemorate 116 years of the Royal Thai Army
Medical Department, before his inspection of the ASEAN Center of Military
The Royal Thai Army Medical Department was established in the year 1900 and
remains an important part of the Thai military. Its mission this year is to
develop the department to serve the army's needs in the region.
Meanwhile, ASEAN Center of Military Medicine will have its official opening
on January 29th, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen
The Center is the first of its kind and will coordinate efforts among
medical professionals in the ASEAN region. Its role is especially important
during disaster situations that require cooperation from neighboring
countries. The center also serves to augment the Thai military's role on the
Ministry of Finance devises more stimulus measures, targets 3.8% growth in 2016
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Finance has been tasked with implementing
additional stimulus measures to achieve the government's 2016 economic
growth target of 3.8%.
Permanent Secretary of Finance Somchai Sujjapongse revealed that the
ministry will focus its assistance on farmers and low-income earners. For
example, financial institutions will be asked to approve more loans and ease
Mr. Somchai said that the first quarter of 2016 is expected to perform well,
citing projects to support small-scale investments. In the second quarter,
he said the challenge is maintaining this positive momentum through a series
of carefully timed stimulus measures.
The Bureau of the Budget is planning to allocate 70 billion to 100 billion
baht to fund stimulus measures in the first half of the year. Then several
infrastructure projects will begin in the third quarter and help the country
achieve its annual growth target.
Ministry of Science holds Children's Day event
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Science and Technology is holding the event,
"Streets of Science," from now until Children's Day on January 9.
Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj officiated the event,
which was organized in a fun fair style at the ministry's headquarters on
Rama VI Road. The "Streets of Science" offers children more than 100 games
and exhibitions to help them learn about topics in science and technology.
The Office of Public Awareness of Science Director, Ganigar Chen, told the
media about the event's goals and the importance of exposing children to
The event opens from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm until Saturday, January 9.
Local & foreign visitors enjoy sea fog in Yala
YALA,(NNT) - A large number of tourists have visited the southernmost
province of Yala to catch a glimpse of sea fog in Aiyoeweng subdistrict.
Previously, the Aiyoeweng sea fog was known only among local residents and
Malaysian tourists. Thanks to media promotion, it has become a tourist
hotspot for nature lovers both in Thailand and abroad.
Against a mountainous backdrop, visitors have called the natural phenomenon
the most beautiful sea fog of the South. Fog is visible from dawn until the
The Aiyoeweng district office believes the attraction will see a growing
number of tourists over the next holiday.
South Korean ambassador discusses ways to increase bilateral cooperation
BANGKOK,(NNT)-The South Korean
ambassador met with Prime Minister’s Office Minister M.L. Panadda Disakul at
the Government House to promote bilateral cooperation in various areas.
M.L. Panadda gave South Korean ambassador, Mr. Noh Kwang-il, a warm welcome
before both parties discussed future cooperation.
Thailand and South Korea have enjoyed good diplomatic relations since 1950
when Thai soldiers joined the United Nations troops in the Korean War. M.L.
Panadda said the relationship between the two nations have only grown
In terms of tourism, the two sides shared a view that more and more people
from both coutries are exchanging their visits each year.
The Korean ambassador noted that Thais are increasingly interested in Korean
culture and many have taken up Korean language classes. Due to the
popularity of the Korean culture in Thailand, South Korea has sent teachers
to teach Korean language to Thai students.
The Thai minister, meanwhile, reaffirmed Thailand’s readiness to expand
cooperation with the Republic of Korea in every dimension.
Deputy PM Somkid: Thai economy will grow by 2.8% - 3% in 2016
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Chatusripitak has expressed his
satisfaction with last year’s economic growth and predicted that the Thai
economy will expand by 2.8% - 3% compared to 2014 when the growth rate was
Mr.Somkid on Wednesday said this year’s economy would be better that last
year despite negative outlooks from many sectors. The government would do
the utmost in steering the economy by pushing for a 5% export growth and
continuous increase in the tourism sector, he said. He added that the
government would focus on helping low-income people and suggested that the
private sector expedite investment.
The government will also continue the Village Fund program and develop
broadband Internet so that it reaches the public more.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Watthanawarangkul said she
would discuss with Deputy PM Somkid to find a special budget for the
development of new tourist sites in an effort to attract more tourists to
President of the Federation of Thai Industries Suphan Mongkholsuthi said he
believed this year’s economic growth would increase by 3% - 3.5% and
suggested that the government expedite investment in infrastructure for the
agricultural sector and increase values of agricultural products.
Energy consumption in Thailand to rise by 3% this year
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Energy
has forecast that energy consumption in the country will rise this year, as
global oil prices continue to decline.
Energy Minister Gen Anantaporn Kanjanarat has revealed that average fuel
consumption last year increased by 4.2% or 600,000 liters a day. Benzene was
the most popular type of fuel used in Thailand.
Demand for Benzene increased by as much as 13.2%, as the prices of crude oil
have plummeted by roughly 70 US dollars a barrel. However, demand for
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) decreased to 5.4% last year, after it became
The Energy Minister added that energy consumption in 2016 is expected to
rise by 3% from last year. The forecast is also in line with the projected
GDP growth of 3-4%. The consumption of Benzene and diesel is expected to
grow by 9.7% and 1.8%, respectively.
However, the consumption of LPG is expected to decline by 2.5%, while the
consumption of NGV, or fuels used in natural gas vehicles, is expected to
decline by 1% .
Police builds case against Blink Hackers Group
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Police have finished collecting evidence to prosecute the
group of hackers who defaced several police websites.
Commander of the IT Support Division Pol Maj Gen Siripong Timula has been
preparing to file a police complaint against the hackers with the Technology
Crime Suppression Division.
Deputy National Police Spokesperson Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen
explained that legal action against the hackers may take some time, due to
the complex nature of cyber crime. Investigators must be cautious when
examining the evidence and other information.
At least five police websites were attacked by the Blink Hackers Group. The
homepages were replaced with a black-and-white message criticizing the Thai
The hackers are believed to be Myanmar nationals protesting the death
sentence of two Burmese immigrants, who were convicted of killing two
British tourists on Ko Tao island in Surat Thani province.
The Deputy National Police Spokesperson said that Blink Hackers Group has no
prior history of attacking websites that belong to other governments. Pol
Col Krissana assured that the wrongdoers would be caught and punished
Commerce Ministry keeps 41 products on price control list
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The central committee on prices of goods and services under
the Ministry of Commerce has resolved to keep 41 items under its price
control while product prices this year are expected to stay at the same
levels as in 2015.
After chairing this year’s first meeting of the central committee on prices
of goods and services, Commerce Minister Apiradee Tantraporn said among the
issues discussed were the regulation of product prices, price trends,
assistance measures for consumers and the development of community markets.
She said the committee laid stress on vendors’ cooperation in using
packaging that is appropriate for the size of the product and clearly
displaying prices to customers.
As for the review of the price control list, which previously contained 41
products and services, the central committee agreed to keep the list
unchanged. The listed items comprise those under various categories, such as
food, consumer products, agricultural materials, construction materials,
transport equipment, petroleum products and medicines.
The committee is also ready to review the list of products and services
under close monitoring. The decisions on both lists will be submitted to the
Cabinet for approval next week.
Ms Apiradee gave assurances that the Commerce Ministry will continue to
ensure fairness in product pricing. As operators have affirmed they are not
intent on adjusting their prices any time soon, the minister expressed
confidence that product prices will remain rather stable this year.
Assistance measures issued for rubber farmers, price hike still unfeasible
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has adopted aid
measures for rubber planters after turning down their request for an
increase in rubber price.
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya pointed out
that the price of rubber in the country remains low because of the slump in
rubber and oil prices in the global market. Based on a recent survey, prices
of crude rubber and smoked rubber sheets in Hat Yai district of Songkhla,
Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani were found to be in the range of 34-36
baht per kilogram on average.
In response to rubber farmers’ demand that the rubber price be raised to 60
baht a kilo, Gen Chatchai admitted that such a hike cannot be implemented.
Instead, he said the Agriculture Ministry is providing the rubber growers
with eight assistance measures, aimed to support them in doing sideline jobs
and planting alternative crops to supplement their income.
In the meantime, the minister revealed that he will lead a group of
delegates to India and Russia in an attempt to seek more channels to release
Thai rubber. Domestic use of rubber will also be increased to prevent
Ministry of Commerce announces achievements despite slow economy
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Permanent Secretary of Commerce said she was pleased
with the ministry's achievements, despite several limitations.
Permanent Secretary of Commerce Chutima Boonyaprapas said she would give her
ministry an 85 out of 100 for its several successes over the past year.
These include maintaining the cost of living, promoting exports, and selling
off five million tons of rice from the government stockpile without
affecting the market price. Ms Chutima praised these achievements, in the
context of a slow economy.
The Ministry of Commerce will continue to ensure that prices of food and
everyday items remain affordable. It also plans to launch a food campaign at
10,000 locations nationwide, in order to prevent vendors of ready-to-eat
meals from raising prices.
The ministry is also determined to sell off as much of the 13 million tons
of rice remaining in government stocks as possible this year. To this end,
the ministry will reach out to Iran, a major rice importer, as soon as its
political situation returns to normal.
Taking custody of illegal migrant children
General Adul Saengsingkaew
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Social
Development and Human Security is planning to use the government’s childcare
and development center to care for the children of illegal migrants.
Social Development and Human Security Minister Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew
said the children of illegal migrants, ages between 3 and 12, will be in the
ministry's custody while their parents are being detained.
The move is aimed at providing what they need for growth and development.
The childcare and development center at the Immigration Bureau on Soi Suan
Plu is the primary childcare facility. The center cares for an average of 20
- 25 migrant children each day.
Water levels in Mekong River reaching record lows
NONG KHAI,(NNT) - The water level in
the Mekong River has been steadily decreasing, sparking concerns that it
will significantly affect water supplies.
Recent measurement of the Mekong River by the Nong Khai Provincial
Department of Water Resources reported a depth of 1.84 meters, a 12
centimeter decrease from the day before, making it the lowest level this
year with the likelihood of a further decrease.
The lowest recorded level last year was on March 8 at 1.21 meters.
The sharp decline may be due to the decrease in water levels of dams in
China, resulting in less water flowing through to Thailand.
Meanwhile, Nakhon Phanom Province is experiencing a shortage in water
supplies, prompting officials to dig new irrigation canals to better
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation providing help to drought-affected people
ANGKOK,(NNT) – Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM)
Director General Chatchai Promlert disclosed that provincial military units
and relevant agencies have provided assistance to drought-affected people by
mobilizing trucks carrying water to distribute water, drilling 80 artesian
wells for reserve water to be used during the dry season. They have also
implemented 2,229 water management projects which are expected to store
294.5 million cubic meters when completed and benefit more than 1.08 million
households covering more than 3.19 million rais of farmland.
In addition, DDPM has organized 169 projects entitled Beautiful Canals with
Clear Water Making Thai People Happy in 26 provinces to provide sustainable
solutions covering all aspects of drought crisis problem.
Chao Samran beach sees high number of tourists
PHETCHABURI,(NNT) - The famous Chao Samran beach in the capital district of
Phetchaburi province had welcomed more than 20,000 visitors daily during the
New Year holidays.
Tourists were attracted by the beach's relaxing vistas and numerous food and
local product vendors. Municipality officials were on the scene to assist
tourists and screen local vendors for fair pricing.
Officials credited the high tourist turnout of Chao Samran beach to the
municipality's PR campaigns and strict regulation of public space. They also
cited the beach's natural beauty and the municipality's readiness to look
Metropolitan Police to give back 905 impounded vehicles
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Metropolitan Police
Bureau has unveiled its project to give back unclaimed or stolen cars to the
public as a New Year gift for 2016.
According to Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathaworn, cars to be given back include
vehicles that were seized, unclaimed, stolen or unregistered within the
jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police, which includes 88 police stations
across the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
Authorities will give out a total of 905 vehicles, consisting of 689 cars
previously owned by individuals and 208 under car loans.
Pol Lt Gen Sanit affirmed that the cars were not cars that were seized from
drunk drivers during the New Year while adding that many of those receiving
the cars have yet to fully pay off their car loans.
Those who filed stolen vehicle reports can bring their vehicle registration
and identification card to claim their cars at the Royal Thai Police Sports
Club between January 5 and 9 and will then be able to pick up their vehicles
at the designated police station.
Pol Lt Gen Sanit also revealed that the Motorcycle Hire-Purchase Association
gave him a thank you present for the Metropolitan Police for its work in
reclaiming stolen vehicles.
Soldiers give blankets to winter affected public in Uthai Thani
UTHAI THANI,(NNT) – Soldiers
distributed blankets to the public affected from cold weather in Uthai Thani
Province, as temperatures continue to drop.
Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion and related agencies
have distributed 80 sheets of blanket to elders and underprivileged
individuals affected from the cold spell in Phai Khiew Subdsitrct, Uthai
Thani Province, as temperatures continue to decrease affecting the local
One of the persons receiving aid on this occasion is a senior citizen aged
103 years old. All of the distributed blankets were proven to help the
wearers resist the cold weather conditions.
The military unit will continue to distribute blankets to the affected
public residing in other affected areas, as sponsored by the Royal Thai
Thailand Anti-Corruption Coordination Center confirms progress in Rajabhakti park probe
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Justice Minister
Paiboon Khumchaya confirmed that the Thailand Anti-Corruption Coordination
Center has made progress in the investigation into a Rajabhakti park
The center has been cooperating with the Department of Special
Investigation, the Office of the Auditor General, the police and judicial
branch in the probing into allegations that the construction of the army's
historical park in Hua Hin city had been largely prone to corruption and
While some progress in the probe has been reported to the government, those
who might have any tip-off useful to the investigators can submit it to the
TACCC, said the justice minister who concurrently heads the center. He added
that a press conference on progress in the probe might be held at a later
Deputy Defense Minister Udomdej Sitabutra earlier dismissed allegations that
the Rajabhakti park project had been carried out by corrupt hands involving
certain army officers and maintained that it was entirely free of graft,
however. Gen Udomdej was in charge of the park project during his time as
army commander-in-chief a few years ago.
The army park locates statues of seven great monarchs of Siam, a former name
Department of Employment establishes studying committees for labour import
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Department of
Employment (DOE) has established committees to study the pros and cons of
the labour import scheme, says DOE chief.
The DOE Director-General Arrug Phrommanee has revealed that the department
has established two committees tasked with the feasibility study in amending
the employment seeking and employment seekers protection law, and in
legislating the immigrant employment law to further enhance the Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) on labour import with other countries.
He said Thailand's current processes of labour import are sluggish and
require renovation, extended to the importing process, legal protection, and
The DOE is now set to invite the delegation from the International Labour
Organization (ILO) as an adviser on the renovation of immigrant workers
protection scheme, aiming to increase the responsibility from the importing
employment agencies on labour protection, and guarantee working conditions
that comply to their related contracts.
The DOE director-general ensured that the department will establish a
sustainable solution on migrant employment, in compliance with domestic
More cameras to be installed at Thailand borders
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand’s border
crossing facilities will be equipping more CCTV cameras to enhance the
immigration process, as approved from the government.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has
chaired a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Finance Wisudhi Srisuphan and
heads of the related agencies regarding the installation of 500 additional
CCTV cameras at border posts nationwide.
The new cameras will be used to facilitate the identification verification
process for persons crossing the border. The cameras will be operable for no
less than 10 years, and will take 3-4 months to install, which will be
overseen by the Customs Department in cooperation with the Royal Thai Police
and the Revenue Department.
The government will also proceed with the Civil-State Housing campaign under
a 1.4 billion baht budget run by the Ministry of Social Development and
Authorities in charge of the housing campaign is now surveying the
priorities in each areas, with concrete process expected by April 2016.
Domestic tourism to grow this year
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Association of Domestic Travel (ADT) has revealed that
the North of Thailand remains the most visited region during the New Year
ADT President Yuthachai Soontornrattanavate said there were around 18
million tourists traveling in the country during the holidays. Many
travelers chose to visit the North, due to a large number of tourist
attractions and the cold weather.
Mr. Yuthachai said that cash flow during the New Year holidays was lower due
to the economic slowdown. The ADT President added that the government’s tax
deduction scheme will only promote short-term spending among shoppers.
However, he gave a positive outlook for tourism in 2016. Tourist arrivals
are expected to increase and meet government targets. Despite the trend, Mr.
Yuthachai cautioned that the global economic slowdown, stalling export
growth, and declining prices in farm goods could impact the tourism
Around 10% of 17 million domestic tourists are expected to travel through
tour agencies this year, a 3% increase from the year before, following the
government’s domestic tourism measures promoting elder and student travel.
Prime Minister wants drink drivers licenses to be impounded
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has thanked officers and
the public for cooperating with the government during the New Year holiday
so that no violent incident took place.
The PM on Monday said he was still concerned about losses caused by road
accidents. He added that he would not cancel his order, under Section 44 of
the interim charter, which had been enforced to prevent road accidents.
However, Gen.Prayut said he had instructed relevant officers to consider
impounding driver's licenses instead of vehicles of drink drivers.
Gen.Prayut refused to answer the media's questions about his concerns for
the current political situation.
Government confident Thai economy will rebound this year
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government believes
the country’s economy will recover this year as speculated.
Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the government had
been content with its economic stimulus between December 25th and December
31st of 2015 which is when it granted tax breaks to all shoppers.
He said the incentive triggered spending throughout the kingdom and is
considered very successful.
The spokesperson noted that due to the world economic recovery, Thailand’s
economy is expected to rebound while the weakening baht will help boost Thai
In addition, the government will continue to encourage more spending and
investments as well as achieve higher tourism growth this year. The
government is set to periodically issue measures and incentives in order to
make sure that this year’s growth target will be achieved.
Chiang Rai bustling with tourists visiting temples to make merit
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Chiang Rai is bustling
with tourists during the New Year holidays especially at Huai Pla Kang
Temple, Muang district, Chiang Rai, where tourists flocked to see the beauty
of Huai Pla Kang Temple and worship the Buddha images.
Many families who visited the temple have said that they came to ask for
blessings from the sacred Buddha Images at the temple before visiting other
tourist attractions in Chiang Rai.
A large number of tourists visiting Chiang Rai has benefited the restaurants
and shops selling souvenirs in the northern province.
Five days of holidays causes 2,753 accidents
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The center for road accident prevention and reduction of New
Year holidays has urged agencies to inspect drivers more frequently, to
prevent road accidents.
The center for road accident prevention and reduction run by the Department
of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has revealed that the number of
accidents during 29 December 2015 - 2 January 2016 was recorded at 2,753
cases, with 292 fatalities and 2,855 injuries.
In wake of the incidents, the center is now calling upon provincial agencies
to prioritize traffic management on main roads along with strict regulations
on traffic rules and obedience to the law, especially for overspeeding and
Authorities have been appointed to carry out more frequent inspections for
suspicious looking vehicles, place more checkpoints, and regulate drivers'
behavior for the safety of the public.
On this matter, the DDPM Director-General Chatchai Promlert has said that
the number of accidents during in the past five days is considered high,
thus safety measures must still be carried out in an attempt to prevent more
accidents from happening.
Many of the general public are travelling back to Bangkok today, with
various reports of speeding despite traffic congestion, thus causing a risk
for accidents. The road safety center is now working to ensure travelers’
safety for the Bangkok-bound commute, with facilitation and assistance
Northern region most popular destination on New Year holiday
BANGKOK,(NNT) - President of the Association of Domestic Travel Yutthachai
Sunthonrattanawet has estimated that there were around 18 million people
traveling in the country during this New Year long holiday with the northern
region as the most popular destination.
Mr.Yutthachai said most of the travelers chose the northern region due to
its diverse tourist sites and cold weather on the mountains. He however
admitted that the economy which had not recovered yet made people more
careful about their spending.
As for the government' tax break to persuade people to buy goods, the
president said he believed that it would be able to help stimulate
purchasing power in the short run.
Mr.Yutthachai added that the Thai tourism in 2016 would likely expand and
predicted that the number of tourists would reach target. He also warned
that decreasing exports, agricultural product price drop and the global
economy might affect people's travel spending.