In Thailand English-language News for December 13, 2017, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:27 | A religious ceremony was held yesterday at Wat Arun Ratchawararam (Temple of Dawn) to offer blessings to Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign and King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.
02:21 | Prime Minister Prayut General Prayut Chan-o-cha has informed the Cabinet of the European Union (EU)’s decision to resume political contact at all levels with Thailand. Talks on the stalled EU-Thailand Free Trade Agreement are expected to resume as a result.
03:45 | Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged Miss Thailand 2017 and Miss Universe Pageant finalist, Maria Poonlertlarp, to help the government create a better understanding of its Thailand 4.0 agenda and to help preserve the kingdom’s traditions and culture during a meeting at Government House
04:44 | The Cabinet has approved a budget of Bt1.68 billion (about US$51.53 million) to reduce production of off-season rice crops. Farmers participating in the scheme will receive a subsidy of Bt2,000/rai up to a maximum 15 rai per family. The government wants to eliminate about 312,000 hectares (771 acres) of land used for off-season rice growing, which lead to a decline in new rice harvests of no more than 30 million tons.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet had also agreed to a proposal from the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to waive highway toll charges on Highway Route 7 and 9, between December 28 and January 4 to facilitate traffic during the New Year holiday period.
06:27 | The Department of Fisheries (DOF) has introduced an online port entry request platform allowing Thailand to monitor maritime activities effectively nationwide. The Electronic Port State Measures (e-PSM) application allows vessels to make an Advanced Request for Entry into Port (AREP) electronically, which informs port authorities about vessel arrivals and the details of their catch.
As a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), Thailand is required to implement the e-PSM system to comply with fisheries laws and regulations.
07:23 | The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has held a Buddhist ceremony to inaugurate renovations on the capital’s Giant Swing. The BMA has allocated Bt2 million (about $61, 340) for the renovation project, which is scheduled to finish in March next year.
The Giant Swing, also known as Sao Chingcha, was built on April 8 1784, during the reign of King Rama I, as part of a Brahman ceremony.
08:17 | Officials from the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and volunteers in flood affected areas are going door-to-door to raise awareness of the risk of drowning and the flood-borne illnesses leptospirosis, cold, and dengue.
11:52 | A campaign by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to offer a wide range of merchandise at discounts of between 20 and 80 per cent between December 14, 2017 and January 4, 2018 has attracted 53 companies, including 35 large consumer product manufacturers, and more than 15,000 branches of modern trade stores, department stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores nationwide.
The campaign is expected to see products worth more than Bt35 billion (about $918 million) sold, with consumers saving around Bt10.5 billion (about $306 million).
13:04 | PTT Public Company Limited and CAT Telecom Public Company Limited have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop and manage telecommunications infrastructure in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
14:15 | Thailand’s communications technology and equipment industry has been ranked as the country’s most attractive industry for investors by the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF) due to the speed of technological changes and the government’s policy to provide internet coverage to all villages.
According to Dr Sauwanee Thairungroj, chancellor of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), the top ten list is based on sales, principal costs, net profit, risk factors, demand, and other economic factors.
15:39 | Newsline takes a look at the ‘Great American Burger Battle 2017’ hosted by the American Embassy in Thailand.
19:39 | The Public Relations Department (PRD) is hosting a four day ‘Dream Asean’ media youth camp until December 15 at the Swissotel Le Concorde, Bangkok to mark the 50th anniversary of Asean. The event is aimed at promoting the roles and capabilities of Asean’s youth by exchanging experiences and inspiration on the future of Asean.
21:25 | Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has signed a declaration recognising Sa Pa as a national tourism site. Sa Pa, 350km (about 218 miles) northwest of Hanoi, is home to six main ethnic groups, each with their own unique cultural traditions and festivals.
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Newsline is a daily Thailand English-language news and current affairs programme produced by the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNBT) under the Thailand Government Public Relations Department (PRD) for *NBT World, the NNBTs 24/7 English language television service delivering Thailand government news and information to the Thai, Asean, and wider Asian communities. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.