Thailand Morning News For March 19

Thailand Morning News For March 19

Thailand morning newsChiang Mai – the sixth worst air pollution in the world
Air pollution in the North continues to be critical, with small dust particles of 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5) exceeding safe limits at almost every air-quality testing station.
— Phuket Gazette

GSB predicts 4.1-4.6% GDP growth
The Government Savings Bank (GSB) says the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to grow 4.1-4.6% this year.

FDA recalls faulty rabies vaccines partly blamed for epidemic
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled and destroyed substandard rabies vaccines, which have been partly blamed for the current spread of rabies, in late 2016.
— The Nation

Tourism Income to Grow by 18% for Songkran: TAT
Authorities project tourism income to grow by almost a fifth during the Songkran holiday.
— ThaiVisa News

Regime to take 157 graft cases to court
A total of 157 malfeasance cases concerning state officials will go to court, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) says.
— Bangkok Post

Thai PM highlights importance of infrastructure connectivity at ASEAN-Australia Summit
At the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney, the Thai Prime Minister has highlighted the importance of connectivity in infrastructure, transportation and anti-international terrorism efforts, in order to ensure regional security.

Thailand scrambles to register illegal fishery workers
The clock is ticking for Thailand as it cleans up its fishery business before European Commission inspectors arrive next month to check its progress in dealing with illegal fishing and forced labour.
— The Straits Times

From incubation to acceleration: How to get real about Thai start-ups
The road to Thailand’s first “unicorn” (a start-up worth US$1 billion) is still very long. Currently, the top 10 start-ups in Thailand combined are worth less than a single unicorn, although there are already a few start-ups worth that much in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
— The Nation

B10 increase eyed to absorb palm oil surplus
The Department of Energy Business (DOEB) plans to increase the proportion of palm-based biodiesel to absorb the surplus in crude palm oil.
— Bangkok Post

Internal Trade Department to strictly regulate prices after wage rise
The Ministry of Commerce has instructed the Department of Internal Trade to keep a close watch on price of goods in the wake of the wage rise slated to apply from next month.

Thai 7-Eleven stores to adopt facial-recognition technology
Thailand’s biggest convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, is to roll out state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technologies, including facial and gesture recognition and behaviour analysis of customers and employees, at the chain’s 11,000 stores.
— TodayOnline

Authorities nationwide still working to vaccinate animals against rabies
Authorities have continued to offer rabies vaccinations across the country in an effort to stem an outbreak of the disease.

WATCH: Qatari man and Thai woman arrested for 800,000 USD gold robbery
A Qatari man and a Thai woman have been arrested in the Bang Lamung district of southern Thailand for allegedly robbing a jewelry shop before fleeing the scene with gold worth more than $800,000 (3 million dirhams), according to the Bangkok Post.
— Step Feed

Family linked to zero-dollar tours faces tax-evasion charge
An executive of a business accused of profiting from “zero dollar” tours has been arrested at a house in Taling Chan district of Bangkok for alleged tax evasion worth at least 7.7 billion baht.
— Bangkok Post

Four more rail projects to be approved this year
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith is confident the remaining four rail construction projects will receive cabinet approval this year.

BMA confirms quality and effectiveness of rabies vaccines
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has assured the public of the effectiveness and quality of vaccines being used to contain the outbreak of rabies in some areas.

Prayut No.1 choice for PM, new parties preferred to old: Nida Poll
A majority of people want new political parties to form a government after the next general election — and Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha is the most popular choice to be prime minister, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.
— Bangkok Post

Sai Tun Shwe is a worried man. After 13 years in Thailand, nine of them working at the same garment factory, his work permit is about to expire and for the first time he is unsure if he will be able to renew it.
— South China Morning Post

EC Somchai confirms PM can be member of political party
The Election Commission (EC) has stated that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha can be a member of a political party without having to give up the post of prime minister.

Thailand’s Red Planet unit sells four hotels to Goldman Sachs in $111m deal
Red Planet Japan Inc., the Tokyo Stock Exchange listed subsidiary of Bangkok’s Red Planet Hotels, Friday announced a $111 million (JPY 11.77 billion) sale-and-leaseback transaction with global investment bank Goldman Sachs.
— DealStreetAsia

Thailand to export 9 5 million tons of rice this year
The Department of Foreign Trade announced this week that Thai rice exports will reach 9.5 million tons this year due to stable high demand in the global market.
— Newsline

30 million baht to be spent on Rawai wastewater treatment
Following the complaint about wastewater in front of the Fisherman Way Village in Rawai being released into the public water in Chalong Bay, Phuket’s Governor has announced that Rawai Municipality is preparing to spend 30 million Baht on building a public water treatment lagoon.
— Phuket Gazette

Thailand lags ‘because of junta role’ in social media
WHILE MANY Asian countries have discussed the “post-truth” political phenomenon in the social media era, Thailand appears to be a few steps behind as it struggles with freedom of expression in an undemocratic atmosphere, a symposium heard on Friday.
— The Nation

Australia abandons ‘human rights concern’, welcomes Prayut
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha met Saturday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to strengthen a bilateral trade tie.
— Bangkok Post

New faces not assured of success in Thai politics
NEW POLITICAL parties and fresh faces often emerge ahead of a general election but only a handful of them actually succeed.
— The Nation

Thailand To Introduce New Cryptocurrency Laws
At a time when cryptocurrencies are becoming much more regulated, it is not surprising to learn that Thai regulators have reportedly agreed to enact two laws on both cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.
— Crypto Daily (media release)

Khon Kaen up in arms over ‘stupidity’ letter
Second Army Region commander Tharakorn Thamwinthorn believes Khon Kaen deputy governor Suchai Butsara may be the victim of an unlucky accident or a deliberate set-up as a letter reportedly signed by the…
— Bangkok Post


Feature photo Bernard Spragg


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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