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Update May 2017

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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
Thailand News

Update May 31, 2017

PM suggests use of comprehensive solutions to Bangkok flooding

BANGKOK, 30 May 2017 (NNT) - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has remarked that sustainable solutions to flooding in Bangkok must be carried out as a whole, following the flooding conditions that affected two flights on Tuesday morning.

The PM said he believed the government will be able to handle flooding in the capital city if the rainfall is not abnormally high. He stressed that there must be water management in the northern, central and southern regions to prevent flooding in Bangkok as well as the western and eastern parts of the Chao Phraya river.

As for flood-prone areas, particularly wetlands, the premier said all provinces have plans and budget for flood prevention and pledged financial support for them to enhance their capability to tackle inundation.

The heavy rains on Tuesday morning submerged in 10-15 centimeters of water, resulting in the two domestic flight delays at Don Mueang airport. However, the airport’s general manager Phet Chan-charoen has affirmed that the airport has the capability to drain 10-15 centimeters of water within 15 minutes. Don Mueang airport has prepared for heavy rains by installing 12 water pumping stations and there are two others belonging to the air force. The stations have the combined capacity to pump out water of 75,340 cubic meters/hour, said Mr. Phet.

Tourists welcomed to witness historical event in October

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has affirmed that foreign tourists are welcomed to witness the historical royal cremation, which will be held from October 25th - 29th.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangul revealed that Thai officials will inform various tourist markets of the ceremony's significance to the Thai people, adding that tourist activities will continue as usual.

She expressed her confidence that most foreign travelers will understand the situation in the Kingdom and the auspicious ceremony will not negatively impact their decision to visit the nation.

The minister indicated that various events will be organized as scheduled. The ministry has coordinated with private agencies such as the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Council Of Thailand, and the Thai Bankers Association to promote domestic tourism spending through Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) from the third quarter onward.

Meanwhile, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Yuthasak Supasorn said TAT offices nationwide and abroad will adjust all marketing strategies to conform with the ceremony, while adding that tourists visiting the Kingdom during the period will be asked to observe the funeral dress code. He instructed officials to be assertive about the fact that domestic and foreign tourists can travel as usual and engage in tourism activities as deemed appropriate.

Standards for film industry to be set

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thailand Professional Qualification Institute (TPQI) has joined with educational institutions and members of the film industry to establish standards for the entertainment industry that will bring it to the international level.

TPQI, in collaboration with the Digital Media and Film Arts Faculty of Bangkok University and the Performing Arts and Entertainment Association, is seeking to elevate personnel in the film industry to a higher standard so that they may better meet the needs of an international market.

Association director Weerachai Srikajorn remarked that the standards set by the collaboration will cover 10 film and entertainment careers such as photography, lighting and sound. The standards will deal with educational requirements and testing with the goal of spurring confidence in employers worldwide.

It is hoped the standards will lift the entire Thai film industry to international acceptance both technically and creatively.

Real estate industry begins to slow down

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Real Estate Information Center of the Government Housing Bank has revealed that the real estate industry has begun to slow down.

Director of the Real Estate Information Center Vichai Viratkapan said real estate sales had slowed down in Bangkok and its vicinity although there had been no signs housing bubbles.

He also said that the number of housing units built this year would decline from the year before by 7%. Around 116,000 new housing units will be built by the end of this year.

The Director of the Real Estate Information Center said real estate sales could drop further if the unemployment rate rises.

However, Vichai believed that the industry would begin to improve in the second half of this year as property developers are trying to meet their sales targets.

Update May 30, 2017

Government to establish institute for automatic technology and robotics

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministries of Labor and Industry have cooperated with the private sector to jointly establish an institute to further the aims of Thailand 4.0.

The Federation of Thai Industries signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Department of Skill Development to establish the Institute of Personnel Development on Automatic Technology and Robotics. The institute will drive innovation and robotics technology in Thai industries, in accordance with the government's Thailand 4.0 development agenda.

Permanent Secretary for Labor ML Puntarik Smiti said the institute will focus on labor development in the provinces of Rayong, Chonburi, Chachoengsao and Samut Prakan. The private sector will provide experts and equipment and devise curricula to meet industry demand. The project's initial budget has been set at 35 million baht.

The institute's operations will be divided into three phases. In the first few years, it will focus on improving occupational skills to maintain and write systems. The subsequent 3-5 years will focus on production planning with automated technology. The last phase of 5-10 years will focus on developing personnel to produce robots and automated systems.

World No Tobacco Day 2017

NONTHABURI,(NNT) - Action to stamp out tobacco use can help countries prevent millions of people from falling ill and dying of tobacco related disease, combat poverty and protect the environment. On World No Tobacco Day 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) is highlighting how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide, and is calling on governments to take strong action to curb tobacco use.

Around the world, tobacco consumption kills more than 7 million people each year and costs households and governments over US$ 1.4 trillion spent on health care and from lost productivity.

Tobacco consumption is very high in Thailand. One in five adult Thais and one out of six Thai youth smoke.That is almost 11 million smokers. Tobacco is a key risk factor for many diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and tuberculosis—these illnesses put financial strain on families and drain Government’s budget for universal health coverage.

In addition to the immense health burden, tobacco use hinders development by exacerbating poverty and hunger, damaging the environment, and negatively Tobacco use disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations, namely, children, women and the poor.

“Tobacco is a major barrier to development globally,” says Dr Daniel Kertesz, WHO representative to Thailand. “Tobacco?related death and illness are drivers of poverty, leaving households without breadwinners, diverting limited household resources to purchase tobacco products rather than food and school materials, and forcing many people to pay for medical expenses.”

Dr Kertesz adds: “But by taking robust tobacco control measures, governments can safeguard their country’s futures by protecting people’s health, generating revenues to fund health and other social services, and saving their environments from the ravages tobacco causes.”

All countries have committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to strengthen universal peace and eradicate poverty. Recognizing that actions to control tobacco boost development, the Sustainable Development Goals call for accelerating the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), specifically: protecting people from exposure to tobacco smoke, banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, banning sales to minors, requiring health warnings on tobacco packaging, promoting tobacco cessation, increasing tobacco taxes and creating a national coordinating mechanism for tobacco control.

Thailand’s new Tobacco Products Control Act 2017 recently passed by the government of Thailand is a commendable legislation that incorporates guidelines recommended by WHO FCTC. When implemented effectively, this Act will help to reduce tobacco consumption, thereby protecting the health of Thai people, fighting poverty, generating revenues, and protecting the environment, thus paving the way for sustainable development of the nation.

New criminal code for politicians submitted to NLA

BANGKOK,(NNT) – A newly-drafted organic law on Criminal Procedures for Holders of Political Offices has been submitted to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) Chairman Meechai Ruchuphan said the CDC had already submitted the organic law on Criminal Procedures for Holders of Political Offices to the NLA, which is expected to be considered on 2 June 2017, after it has been amended to contain more obvious investigating procedures.

The new law would give power to the court to call additional investigation on defendants and witnesses if the available evidence was not sufficient, and that the defendants would not be required to appear during court proceedings.

Appeals to court verdicts would require the presence of the defendant, however.

Thailand, US kick off CARAT 2017 joint military exercise

CHONBURI, (NNT) - The Royal Thai Navy and the U.S. Navy have kicked off the joint maritime exercise "Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training" (CARAT 2017) in Chonburi province, in an effort to enhance the tactical proficiency of both nations’ armed forces.

Rear Admiral Donald D. Gabrielson of Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and Deputy Chief of the Royal Thai Fleet Rear Admiral Somnuk Prempramote jointly presided over the opening ceremony of CARAT 2017 at the Royal Thai Fleet in Sattahip district.

The joint maritime exercise includes training in seizure operations, joint flight operations, and communication drills. CARAT 2017 is meant to boost relations between Thailand and the United States. The exercise, which is being held until June 6th, is the 23rd since its inception in 1995.

Update May 29, 2017

APAC 2017 Coaching Conference extols Thailand’s peacekeeping commitment

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The APAC 2017 The Coaching Conference has commended Thailand for its success in integrating religious teachings and business principles into its peacekeeping operation.

Held between May 25 and May 27, the APAC 2017 Coaching Conference saw participants from 18 nations around the world come together to share their coaching experiences. The aim is to help participants advance towards coaching mastery, in executive activities, business, performance, life matters and other areas of coaching influence.

The conference allowed participants to reflect on leveraging coaching to bolster harmony and mindfulness for sustainable growth in teams, the private and public sectors and society as a whole. Prominent speakers included Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Dr. Stephen Marphy-Shiganatsu, the Venerable Phra Maha Wudhijaya Vajiramedhi, and Suthichai Yoon, amongst many contributors.

The conference also lauded Thailand for its ability to incorporate religious teachings and business principles into peace promoting activities and community development.

Thai organic products to enter world market


BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce is adamant that Thai organic products be promoted among overseas buyers.

Commerce Minister, Apiradi Tantraporn says that her ministry is working with various partners to boost sales of organic products among domestic and international buyers. The ministry’s partners are the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of the Interior, the Thai Organic Trade Association, Tops Supermarket, the Lemon Farm, and Modern Trade.

These partners have vowed to contribute to the improvement and the promotion of organic goods, helping local communities generate more income. The ministry said Thai organic products will be featured at various international fairs and exhibitions in the near future.

The number of organic food consumers has increased significantly in recent years because chemical-free products are healthy and friendly to the environment, said Apiradi, noting that organic farming is becoming a common practice in agriculture.

Human trafficking suspects nabbed in US verified as Thais

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Twenty one femailes, thirteen of which have been verfied as Thai Nationals have been arrested in the United States on charges of human trafficking,according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MFA) Department of Information Director General Busadee Santipitaks.

She said the recent arrest of the 21 women in the U.S. for alleged involvement in human trafficking and prostitution has been notified by the Thai Consulate in Chicago. The suspects are to be sent to the court in Minnesota.

She assured that not all the 21 female suspects and only 13 were verified as Thai nationals.

The Thai Consulate in Chicago is working with the US authorities to provide assistance to Thai nationals who might possibly be arrested on such human trafficking charges.

BMA removes clears litter from drainage system

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is improving its water drainage system, monitoring the volume of rainwater in the city and calling on the public to avoid littering into canals and rivers.

BMA City Clerk Patarut Tardaranon said the BMA is cooperating with other agencies such as the Meteorological Department in taking water management measures during rainy season and monitoring the volume of rainwater which Bangkok is expected to receive. However, the drainage capability has been compromised by the higher water level in canals, thus requiring the use of water pumps.

He said one of the key obstacles to the floodwater drainage is the littering in the canals and river while as about 200 tons of garbage is collected daily from all 50 districts in Bangkok. The general public are now advised not to litter into the canals and rivers to prevent flooding in the long run.

The general public who wish to discharge big items or large amount of garbage can contact any district office to request for collection service.

Commerce Ministry pushes for fruit sales online

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce has been prepared to launch fruit sales online, expecting it to become a direct medium between consumers and farmers.

Deputy Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong disclosed that the Offline 2 Online @ Chanthaburi project will help increase the distribution channels of fruit for entrepreneurs with the use of technology on

He said that Chanthaburi has been chosen for the pilot project because it is well-known among foreigners and recognized globally and the province is adjacent to Cambodia.

The website will provide consumers with information on the average price of each kind of fruit to prevent confusion. 



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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

PM suggests use of comprehensive solutions to Bangkok flooding

Tourists welcomed to witness historical event in October

Standards for film industry to be set

Real estate industry begins to slow down

Government to establish institute for automatic technology and robotics

World No Tobacco Day 2017

New criminal code for politicians submitted to NLA

Thailand, US kick off CARAT 2017 joint military exercise

APAC 2017 Coaching Conference extols Thailand’s peacekeeping commitment

Thai organic products to enter world market

Human trafficking suspects nabbed in US verified as Thais

BMA removes clears litter from drainage system

Commerce Ministry pushes for fruit sales online



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