In Thailand English-language News for January 17, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:51 | The Raj Pracha Samasai Foundation has held a seminar to promote social understanding and acceptance of leprosy patients.
02:12 | The Cabinet has approved a proposed programme by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) to address coastal erosion. The programme comprises three components, with the ministry tasked with developing a master plan.
03:27 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday opened the 62nd National Teacher’s Day event at the Ministry of Education (MoE), during which he laid a wreath in honor of dead teachers.
05:37 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday urged rubber planters to adhere to the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) standard if they wish to export their produce to the EU or the United States.
General Chan-o-cha said only 8,000 hectares (about 19,768 acres) out of a total of more than 1.6 million hectares (3.954 million acres) of rubber plantations in Thailand currently comply with the FSC standard. He said the government will support rubber plantation owners in obtaining certification.
06:41 | Deputy transport minister Pailin Chuchottaworn yesterday inspected food prices at Suvarnabhumi Airport following complaints by travellers that they were excessive.
Following the inspection he reported that vendors at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport were only permitted to increase prices by 25 per cent and 20 per cent above normal street prices respectively in order to cover the increased costs of proving 24-hour service.
For those wanting more affordable food options Mr Chuchottaworn noted that instant cup noodles were available from a convenience store for Bt13 (about US$0.41), including free hot water, while the Magic Food food court on the first floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport offered traditional Thai street food starting at Bt30 ($0.94)
08:39 | Centre for International Trade Studies (CITS) of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) director, Aat Pisawanich, yesterday forecast Thai exports in 2018 to increase by 6.3 per cent to US$252.56 billion.
However, export growth will be reduced to just 4 per cent, or 36.5 per cent lower, should the Thai baht appreciate to 31.8 per US dollar he warned.
12:17 | The number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand in December 2017 reached a record high of 3.5 million people, generating more than Bt190 billion (about US$5.9 billion) in tourism revenue. For 2018 the government plans to promote tourism in minor provinces to more equally distribute tourism income to local communities.
13:32 | Thailand’s Kasikorn Research Center (KCK) has forecast inbound tourism numbers to increase by 7.5 per cent to 37 million people in 2018, following a 8.7 per cent increase in tourist numbers and a 10 per cent increase in revenue last year.
14:27 | The deputy governor of the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), Kirapat Jiamset, has provided an update on the project to move power and utility cables underground, which is known as the smart metro development. The project is due to be completed in 2021.
16:09 | The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQP) yesterday held a meeting with relevant agencies aimed at raising the level of sustainable urban environmental development.
17:14 | Thanawat Trivisvavet, managing director of CK Power Public Company Ltd., recently inspected progress of construction of the Xayaburi power plant in Laos.
The new plant has a total capacity of 1,285 megawatts and is contracted to sell 95 per cent of the power output to Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), while the remaining five per cent will be sold to a state enterprise in Laos. The selling price has been set at Bt2.16 (about US$0.068) per unit. So far, 89 per cent of the planned construction has been completed and the plant is scheduled to start feeding power into PEA’s grid on a trial basis in October this year.
Mr Thanawat said that CK Power has allocated Bt1.7 billion (about US$5.3 million) in 2018 for a rooftop solar power project, the Xayaburi hydropower plant, and the study of a new hydropower plant in Laos.
18:31 | Thailand’s efforts to crack down on intellectual property (IP) violations has been recognised by the United States, which recently published the 2017 Special 301 Out of Cycle Review that for the first time in ten years did not list any Thai markets in its list of notorious IP-infringing locations.
19:50 | Amateur video taken on Monday night has captured lava trails coming out of the Philippines’ Mayon volcano which saw the forced evacuation of people for two additional areas near the mountain. More than 12,000 residents have already fled to evacuation centers after the 2,462-metre (8,077-foot) volcano in central Albay province began spewing ash on Saturday, and spewed out burning mud and rocks on Sunday.
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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.