Thailand morning news for December 19

Thailand morning news for December 19

Thailand morning newsBank of Thailand Chair Says Tightening Unlikely to Be Aggressive
Thailand is unlikely to tighten monetary policy aggressively as inflation remains low and the economy needs support, the chairman of the nation’s central bank said.
— Bloomberg

Media warned against revisiting past unrest
Media crews have been warned against publishing or presenting hate-provoking news and false information as they may be used online to influence how people vote in next year’s election, a forum was warned yesterday.
— Bangkok Post

5% VAT refund approved for Chinese New Year
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Finance Ministry’s proposal of a 5-per-cent value-added tax refund for all shoppers during the Chinese New Year in February.
— The Nation

EC backtracks and agrees to ballots with both party’s names and logos
Backing down under pressure from political parties, the Election Commission has agreed to opt for an election ballot design that is complete with the names and logos of political parties as well as the numbers of individual candidates.
— Thai PBS World

TCC Confidence Index increases to 48.3 in November
The Thai Chambers of Commerce’s (TCC) Confidence Index for November 2018 increased 48.3 points, indicating the national economy to achieve the 4.2% growth as projected.

Academics urge big firms to focus more on migrants
BIG CONGLOMERATES are known to have a strong influence over government policy, so they should use their leverage to improve the lives of migrant workers and push for better labour rights protection, academics said yesterday.
— The Nation

PPRP ‘feast’ nets record cash haul
The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) appears to be winning favour among business leaders and the elite after the party claimed its fund-raising banquet scheduled to be held Wednesday evening achieved its target of raising 600 million baht before the first service.
— Bangkok Post

“The Election Commission can decide” – PM on foreign observers for election
Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is making it clear that the Election Commission (EC) are the sole authority to decide whether or not to allow foreign observers to monitor the election scheduled for February 24, 2019.
— The Thaiger

Tourism Council predicts 40.3m arrivals for 2019
The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) predicts international arrivals to Thailand will increase to 40.3 million in 2019, mainly because of lowered visa barriers.
— Bangkok Post

New copyright protection centre debuts
A new government centre was launched yesterday to protect parties affected by widespread infringement of intellectual property online, with the goal of stopping offenders’ activities over the course of one to three days while waiting for the results of a formal investigation.
— Bangkok Post

Another year of military dictatorship in Thailand
Monarchy, military and preparations for an election dominated Thailand’s politics this year, as they have since the 2014 coup.
— East Asia Forum

Cops ‘failed to act’ over gang-rape of minor
Police in Saraburi are facing a probe by the Crime Suppression Division into their alleged inaction following a complaint against five teenagers for allegedly gang raping an underage girl.
— Bangkok Post

Consider a bolder approach to remedy the southern Thailand issue: The Nation
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed has urged Thailand to consider granting the Muslim-majority southern provinces more autonomy as a way to undermine separatist ideology in this historically contested region.
— The Straits Times

Thai police say boat at centre of ferry disaster that killed 47 Chinese tourists failed to meet design standards
A ferry that sank off Thailand’s southern resort island of Phuket this summer killing 47 Chinese tourists did not meet regulatory standards, according to investigators.
— South China Morning Post

Commercial banks to absorb rate hike
Although the Bank of Thailand is likely to begin tightening monetary policy for the first time in over seven years at today’s meeting, high-ranking executives of commercial banks say they won’t pass on higher rates to clients.
— Bangkok Post

DSI holds cyber crime seminar, proposes cyber security bill
Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has organized a seminar on cyber security, while proposing a national cyber security bill.

Bt240m of assets seized in Patong and Chiang Mai counterfeit goods raids
Immigration chief Lt-General Surachate Hakparn is continuing his counterfeit-goods crackdown in Patong and Chiang Mai, where Bt240 million-worth of assets have been seized over the past month.
— The Nation/ The Thaiger

EC: International organizations need permission to observe Thai elections
Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) has confirmed that international bodies that wish to observe the general election next year will need to seek its approval.

SME Bank recapitalisation progresses
The state-owned Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand’s (SME Bank) planned 4-billion-baht recapitalisation will enable the bank to extend an additional 40 billion in loans, its chief says.
— Bangkok Post

Local steel industry roadmap en route
The Industry Ministry will call on local steel manufacturers to collaboratively design a 5-10 year roadmap for the development of the country’s steel industry to serve new targeted industries in the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
— Bangkok Post

Rayong signs agreement on sustainable plastic waste management
Rayong province has reached a multilateral agreement to promote cooperation between public, private and civil-society sectors on sustainable plastic waste management.

Thai Rath downsizes newspaper workforce citing crippling decline in revenues
Thai Rath, the country’s biggest newspaper, is buckling under the weight of digital change and downsizing its staff.
— The Thaiger

Certify Hub project at Suvarnabhumi airport approved
The Ministry of Transport has planned to establish a Certify Hub for export products at Suvarnabhumi international airport, turning Thailand into a regional air cargo hub.

Thailand commits to gas in latest power plan
Thailand’s government has reconfirmed its commitment to gas in its new Power Development Plan (PDP), which sets a target for gas to generate 53% of the country’s power in 2037.
— Interfax Global Energy

3 companies quick to file piracy complaints
Three companies and the Thai Motion Picture Industry Association filed complaints Tuesday through the newly established government anti-piracy agency, requesting that violating websites be blocked within…
— Bangkok Post

Culture Ministry to organize 13 ‘happiness’ activities during New Year
The Ministry of Culture will organize 13 activities to deliver happiness to the Thai people on the occasion of the New Year’s celebration.

Civil groups urge political parties to strengthen national welfare net
Just last week a report was released claiming that Thailand is the most ‘un-equal’ country in the world, in the same company as Turkey, Russia and India.
— The Thaiger

TAT, tour guides determine new tourism route in Trang
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Trang Office, has joined hands with the Trang Tour Guides’ Club to explore tourist attractions in Trang province in preparation for opening a new tourism route.

Academics find wealth gains unevenly allotted
Thailand’s economic recovery has provided twice the gains to business owners than received by the labour workforce, resulting in greater wealth accumulation among high-income households, says Thammasat University’s economics faculty.
— Bangkok Post

Helping the poor for political gain?
Last week, local reports in Thailand revealed that about 600,000 students considered to be “very poor” will soon receive an extra US$24 per semester from the state, as the Equitable Education Fund (EEF) is stepping in to help reduce educational disparities.
— The Asean Post

PM believes Yaowapa is hiding in Thai bolthole
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha believes Thaksin Shinawatra’s younger sister, Yaowapa Wongsawat, is “hiding” in Thailand as speculation grows she may face charges in connection with alleged irregularities in the rice-pledging scheme.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand’s first test-tube baby gives birth
Chulalongkorn Hospital has hailed the resounding success of medicine after Thailand’s first test-tube baby, who is now a grown man, became a father.

Regime Fears Embarrassment by Foreign Poll Monitors: Veteran Thai Observer
The Foreign Minister denied Tuesday he is barring international election observers from next year’s election while an expert monitor says the regime is worried about unflattering reports.
— Khaosod English

IT services spending predicted to increase
Information technology services spending in Thailand is expected to reach 92.6 billion baht this year, an increase of 9.2% over the 84.8 billion spent in 2017, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
— Bangkok Post

Govt launches two-pronged attack on inequality
WITH poverty still plaguing society despite Bt800 billion pouring into the grass-roots economy, the Cabinet yesterday agreed to set up an office to mobilise resources and agencies to combat the problem, said Prime Minister’s Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakul.
— The Nation

Satun delivers welfare cards to more eligible people
Satun province has delivered welfare cards to more eligible people in seven districts, particularly persons with disabilities, elderly persons, and bedridden patients.

Transport Min calls for transportation connectivity
The Ministry of Transport has ordered the Department of Rural Roads to create connectivity in the country’s transport infrastructure.
— NBT World (video)

Ministry keen on Japanese investment
The Industry Ministry has high expectations of massive investment flows from Japanese investors after the completion of 19 memorandums of understanding throughout 2018.
— Bangkok Post

Thai orchid exports to get boost under memo with Ali Auctions
More Thai orchids will soon beautify weddings, conferences and restaurants in mainland China after the Thai Orchid Exporter Association joined hands with Ali Auction, an online auction platform under Alibaba Group, to promote export of the world-renowned flowers through e-commerce.
— The Nation

Green Line’s Samut Prakan extension nears 70,000 daily users
The Prime Minister is said to be delighted with the public’s daily use of the recently opened Bearing-Samut Prakan extension of the Green Line Skytrain service, that has almost reached 70,000, stressing the government’s commitment to improving public transport infrastructure.

Thailand car sales to reach one million mark in 2018 for a five-year high, but slowdown is expected in 2019
Car sales in Thailand is expected to hit a million units this year, making it the highest level in five years, but a slowdown in the sector – brought about by increasing levels of household debt and an anticipated interest rate hike very soon – is anticipated in 2019, Reuters reports.

FamilyMart expands Bangkok delivery service via Kerry Express tie-up
FamilyMart on Tuesday announced the expansion of express delivery service at all of its branches in Bangkok and its outskirts, with 24/7 operations in partnership with Kerry Express.
— The Nation

Premchai in Court Tomorrow for Black Panther Trial
Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta is expected in court Wednesday after the prosecution hears its final witness today in a trial over his and other defendants’ roles in the slaying of a black panther.
— Khaosod English

Mukdahan aims to become Smart City
Mukdahan province is set to implement Big Data to make it a Smart City with the help of a nearby Nakhon Phanom University.

RAOT discusses placing Thai rubber on Alibaba
The Deputy Governor of the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) has revealed discussions have taken place with major Chinese online retailer Alibaba to sell Thai rubber on the platform.

Universal welfare ‘crucial’ to curb Thai inequality
NATIONAL budgeting and the welfare system need serious reform if Thailand is to solve its grave problems of social inequality, social justice advocacy groups said yesterday.
— The Nation (annoying pop-ups)

Neighborhood quarrel suspected in brutal killing of family
Police are searching for three Burmese suspects in a brutal murder of four people, including a four year old boy and a four month old baby.
— The Thaiger

KTBST sets 2019 IPO for expansion plans
KTB Securities Thailand (KTBST) plans to launch an IPO in January 2019 on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and expand business operations to cover fund management by early next year.
— Bangkok Post

Cabinet approves establishment of office to address social disparity
The Cabinet this week resolved to establish an office to address social disparity, as suggested by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).

‘Downtown VAT Refund for Tourists’ scheme gains momentum with opening of Siam Paragon counter
The “Downtown VAT Refund for Tourists” campaign has kick-started an initiative to set up counters in numerous locations across central Bangkok to help tourists obtain value added tax refunds when shopping at authorised retailers, the Revenue Department said on Tuesday.
— The Nation

Amazing International Flower Festival kicks off in Khon Kaen
Thailand’s Amazing International Flower Festival in Khon Kaen 2018 has officially opened, boasting over 30 hectares of flower fields and flower species from around the world.

Covestro breaks ground on new production line in Thailand
Covestro has started to build up a new manufacturing line for polycarbonate films at Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Thailand.
— Automotive World

CAT positions for digital advantage
State enterprise CAT Telecom plans to scale up its digital business in 2019 as stronger revenue streams emerge, capitalising on the digital transformation of its enterprises.
— Bangkok Post


Feature photo John Le Fevre

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges International Migrants Day, December 18.


Find our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Thailand morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Thailand news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.


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John Le Fevre

Thailand editor at AEC News Today

John is an Australian national with more than 40 years experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer, and copy editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.

He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

Prior to AEC News Today he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.

In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.

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