In Thailand English-language News for January 31, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:54 | Princess Chulabhorn has established an emblem in the shape of an orange drop containing a white cross and the outline of five animals vulnerable to rabies for her ‘Disease-free animals, save humans from rabies’ programme. Described as a major problem in Thai society, the emblem depicts the images of a cow, dog, cat, pig and rabbit, while orange is the colour of the day of the Princess’ birth.
01:48 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday reaffirmed the government’s adherence to the election roadmap, claiming the 90-day delay imposed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) was not a positive development for the government.
03:07 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that he has ordered the Energy Ministry to suspend construction of the Thepha coal-powered power plant in Songkhla Province and to instead look for alternate energy sources.
04:13 | The Cabinet has approved a special budget to repair schools in Southern Thailand that have been damaged by flooding in recent years. Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) spokesperson Lieutenant General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, reported yesterday that Bt8.9 million (about US$284,127) had been allocated to repair of 59 schools damaged by floods in 2016 and 2017.
Lieutenant General Kaewkamnerd also said that the Cabinet had also resolved to approve a draft law on the fund to promote educational equality, though no specific details on the fund’s size were announced.
05:40 | Acting director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Auramon Supthaweethum, said yesterday that the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) intended to strengthen trade relations with the European Union following the EU’s decision to resume diplomatic relations with Thailand in December last year.
The EU is Thailand’s fourth largest trade partner, with 2016 trade values exceeding US$40 billion. The top five trade partners within the EU are Germany, England, the Netherlands, France, and Italy.
07:04 | Thailand’s Science and Technology Minister, Dr Suvit Maesincee, has visited the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Narit) to deliver the ministry’s policy address and to promote public interest in astronomy.
Dr Maesincee also visited the Thai National Observatory on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai, the most advanced observatory in Southeast Asia.
08:11 | One day after inspecting food prices at Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand’s chief Ombudsman, General Viddhavat Rajatanun, and his team have inspected food prices at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
While some prices had been reduced, others were found to be up to 25 per cent above leading department stores. It was found that the majority shops failed to offer bottled water for sale at Bt10 per bottle. General Rajatanun suggested that the Airports Authority of Thailand (AoT) sign agreements with all vendors to provide bottled water to customers at the suggested price.
09:10 | Authorities of Khao Laem Ya – Mu Ko Samet National Park, supported by the Royal Thai Army (RTA), have removed vendors encroaching on Mae Rumphueng Beach so that it can be returned to public use.
12:20 | The Cabinet yesterday approved the Ministry of Labour’s (MoLs) proposal to increase the Thailand minimum wage rate by between Bt5 – Bt22 (about US$0.16 – $0.70). Nattaporn Jatusripitak, adviser to the minister attached to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), said that the cabinet had deemed the rates sufficient for daily living standards and for the current economic and social situation in each region. The new rates will come into effect on April 1.
13:57 | Thailand’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) reported yesterday that the Thai economy continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2017. Exports in December grew by 8.6 per cent year-on-year (YoY), the tenth straight month of growth, pushing fourth quarter export growth to 11.7 per cent YoY.
Consumer spending and private investment also increased due to the government’s end of year shopping incentives, and other tax benefits. The tourism sector also expanded.
On the back of last year’s figures and based on the government’s spending plans for 2018 the FPO has revised up its previous forecast for the Thai economy for this year from 3.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent. Thailand exports for 2018 are forecast to grow by 6.6 per cent.
15:06 | The Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) has signed an agreement with state-owned PTT public company Ltd., to allocate space in 14 southern and eastern PTT petrol stations for the sale of various rubber products commencing next month.
16:45 | Newsline looks at Bangkok Design Week, the first city-wide creative festival aimed at promoting Bangkok as the centre of the arts and design.
Organised by the Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) with the collaboration of 60 government agencies, the festival is part of Bangkok’s efforts to be named World Design Capital in 2022 and features more than 500 exhibits and more than 200 activities.
19:54 | The Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) yesterday kicked off the 5th Greater Mekong Sub-region Environment Ministers’ meeting in Chang Mai Province.
21:19 | Dr Kirida Bhaopichitr, director for international research at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), said yesterday that research indicates that global economic growth will reach 3.1 per cent in 2018, based on a forecast 2.8 per growth in the US economy. In Asean growth is forecast to reach 5.3 per cent, with Thailand forecast to achieve 4.0 per cent growth on the back of strong exports and tourism.
Meanwhile, Duangdej Yuaikwarmdee, vice president of Reed Tradex Co., Ltd., said that he expects the Thailand 4.0 agenda will encourage automation in the industrial sector, with machines taking the place of humans in higher-risk work environments at a ratio of one machine for every three to five people.
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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.