Thailand morning news for January 17

Thailand morning news for January 17

Thailand morning newsWorld Bank trims Thailand 2019 GDP growth to 3.8%
The World Bank has trimmed its projection for Thailand’s economic growth this year to 3.8% from 3.9% estimated earlier, due to a global slowdown and elevated trade tensions between the United States and China.
— Bangkok Post

PM finally says it: election date will be changed
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha appeared to admit for the first time yesterday that the expected election date would be altered after weeks of uncertainty.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Construction halted to curb toxic smog
Construction of electric train projects in Bangkok has been halted for seven days as the government scrambles to combat the toxic haze shrouding the capital.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

‘Shipwreck’ seen fishing off Somalia
A “shipwrecked” trawler that once belonged to a Thai owner was found fishing in Somalian waters, according to Interpol.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Smog ‘no cause for panic’
BANGKOK’S AIR quality has not reached a critical level yet, authorities said, though the daily average of PM2.5 levels in the city has remained above 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air during the last seven days.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Thailand signals more tolerant refugee policy after Saudi case
Thailand’s immigration chief vowed Wednesday not to force refugees to return home “involuntarily”, after a Saudi woman’s desperate plea for resettlement drew global attention to a country that does not recognise asylum seekers.
— France 24/ AFP

EC likely to go for March 10 poll
The Election Commission (EC) is highly likely to select March 10 as the election date as it has agreed that the 150-day deadline for the general election to be completed as set by the charter should include the poll results endorsement.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Stuff common face masks with tissue to filter tiny dust in a pinch, research finds
AS HIGH-quality facemasks to protect against dangerous smog are in short supply, research found that common facemasks with several levels of additional tissue papers or a folded handkerchief inside may suffice to protect Bangkok residents from small airborne dust particles.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

The Khon Kaen Model(s): when terror and transportation infrastructure meet
The two Khon Kaen Models–one an alleged red-shirt terrorist plot and the other a transit infrastructure project–effectively model the process by which the junta secures obedience: the NCPO’s power expands through suppressing political activity on the one hand and endorsing apolitical development projects on the other.
— New Mandala

Prayut insists election will be definitely held by May 9
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reaffirmed today that the much-awaited election will definitely be held by May 9 but gave no indication when exactly it will take place.
— Thai PBS World

Urgent : Court petition to push for turning Bangkok into pollution-control zone
Environment activist Srisuwan Janya will file a petition with the Administrative Court to have the prime minister, the national environment panel and the Bangkok governor declare the capital as a pollution-control zone.Â
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Prolonged air pollution can cause economic loss up to 6 billion baht
The ongoing air pollution problem caused mainly by excessive amount of PM2.5 dust particles in and around Bangkok can cause economic damage estimated up to 6.6 billion baht if it is allowed to persist for about a month, according to the Kasikorn Research Centre on Wednesday.
— Thai PBS World

Thailand expects more tourists during Chinese, Thai New Year with visa-on-arrival fee waiver
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said on Wednesday the country welcome foreign tourists during the celebration of Chinese New Year and Thai New Year Songkran water-splashing festival after the Thai government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries and regions until April 30.
— Xinhua

Mahidol keeps honours among Thai universities
Mahidol maintained its status as the best university in the country in this year’s World University Rankings by Times Higher Education, which added more Thai tertiary institutions to its list.
— Bangkok Post

Police nearly double checkpoints for exhaust-spewing vehicles
To help curb fine-particle dust pollution in Bangkok, traffic police have increased the number of checkpoints where they will check vehicles spewing black exhaust smoke.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Military Court drops red-shirt illegal political gathering case
The Bangkok Military Court on Wednesday dismissed the case against 19 leading red-shirt members charged defying the ban on political gatherings in organising the launch of a centre to monitor the 2016 charter referendum.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand’s deputy junta leader said Wednesday it was “good enough” that no Thais were killed in an apparent terror attack on a Thai-owned hotel complex in Kenya that left at least 14 people dead.
— Khaosod English

Artificial intelligence to run traffic lights at all Bangkok intersections
Artificial intelligence will be operating the traffic lights at all 505 intersection in Bangkok ‘soona’, rather than police officers manually working the switches, according to a senior policeman.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Baker in landmark Thailand IPO
Baker McKenzie recently advised Thailand’s State Enterprise Policy Office, the Ministry of Finance, and fund managers Krungthai Asset Management and MFC Asset Management on the establishment and IPO of THB45.7 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) of investment units in Thailand Future Fund (TFFIF).
— Asia Business Law Journal

Narathiwat cops ‘tried to extort us’
Three residents of Narathiwat’s Sungai Padi district are accusing local police of extorting 400,000 baht from them in exchange for freeing them from detention after what they described as a “fake” drug crackdown.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

As kindergarteners ail, Bangkok joins top 10 for smog
A kindergarten in Chatuchak district has suspended classes because of air pollution that has landed Bangkok on the top 10 list of worst-polluted cities.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

The announcement that Thailand’s best-known police officer had arrived sent gasps of shock across a news conference at Royal Thai Police headquarters.
— Khaosod English

Parties offer ideas to ease wealth gap
Ending monopolies, increasing farmers’ income some of the strategies put forward ahead of upcoming elections.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Food delivery orders rising with haze
Restaurant chains and delivery companies have reaped a windfall from the ongoing haze, saying their food delivery services have skyrocketed as consumers in Bangkok opt to stay indoors, fearing poor air quality.
— Bangkok Post

Health chief’s 2019 target: less fat, more growth in children
THE DEPARTMENT of Health has set new targets for 2019, following evidence that an increasing number of Thai children are reported to be overweight and too short for their age.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Customs Dept offers online payment services
Businesses needing to make payments to the Customs Department can now do so through online banking.

Thailand’s wealth inequality is the highest in the world: What will this mean for the upcoming elections?
Thailand now has the largest wealth gap in the world, according to a recent report by Credit Suisse.
— Asean Today

Bt12m tsunami-warning buoy installed off Phuket coast
A tsunami-warning buoy worth Bt12 million will be installed off the coast of Phuket, to replace the one that had been broken two years ago, disaster officials said on Wednesday.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

The internet booms and print languishes in 2019 advertising spend
Thailand’s Digital advertising market spend is poised to reach 124 billion baht in 2019. That’s a growth of nearly 5%. But newspapers, magazines, Cable TV and radio are on the nose as marketers stick with terrestrial TV and ramp up their digital portfolios.
— The Thaiger

English mastery for teachers “too ambitious”?
Recent news reports in Thailand have revealed that teacher-education graduates will not be required to have a strong grasp of the English language.
— The Asean Post

SET eyes digital licence
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) plans to apply for a digital asset operating licence from the Finance Ministry, aiming to open a new exchange and become an authorised digital asset exchange this year.
— Bangkok Post

Teach students to tell right from wrong, Prayut urges
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday called on teachers to help children learn how to protect themselves from the bad side of social media and boost their understanding of the increasingly influential new media.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

PM orders more cloud-seeding operation to further ease air pollution
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered artificial rain-making operations to be continued for another period of time after the first operation on Tuesday produced satisfactory result in reducing air pollution…

Thailand franchise market set for growth
Thailand franchise consultancy Gnosis Co expects a healthy market for franchises in the country.
— Inside Retail Asia

Infofed eyes Thailand as e-sports hub
Infofed Co, a Bangkok-based e-sports startup, has ambitions to build Thailand into an e-sports hub in Southeast Asia to capitalise on the US$4 billion global market.
— Bangkok Post

Crisis meetings in Bangkok today over smog solutions
Urgent meetings are being held in Bangkok today to address the acute smog problems in the capital.
— The Thaiger

PM launches One Tambon One Quality School program in Lampang
After concluding the Cabinet retreat in Chiang Mai, the Prime Minister chaired the launch of a One Tambon One Quality School project in Lampang province.

Ministry targets factories
The Industry Ministry has ordered all agencies under its umbrella to set stricter measures governing factories producing high levels of fine dust in Bangkok, and it plans to take legal action against any that exceed established pollution limits.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand first in ASEAN to ban production, imports, sales of products containing trans fats
The Public Health Minister, Clin. Prof. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, said Thailand’s ban on artificial trans fats came into effect last week, making the country the first in the ASEAN to ban the production, imports, and sales of partially hydrogenated oils as well as any food items that contain them.

ETDA plans digital workforce
The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) aims to attract 1 million teenagers to join the e-commerce workforce and 200,000 micro-SMEs to go online this year to boost the online economy.
— Bangkok Post

Bangkok poised for Asean fundraising crown, experts say
THAILAND is well placed to establish itself as the main centre for corporate capital raising in the Asean region, thanks to the country’s economic potential, market liquidity and supportive financial regulations, said the founder of an advisory group with connections across the region.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Government unveils 20-year plan for rubber sector
The Rubber Authority of Thailand has launched a 20-year rubber strategy with a focus on research on rubber processing and promotion of domestic consumption.
— NBT World (video)

Thailand’s 5G push weighs on mobile carriers’ stocks
Shares in Thai telecom companies are off to a lackluster start this year as the heavy investments needed to roll out faster 5G networks are expected to depress the sector’s earnings.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

DIT securing another 400,000 face masks
The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has begun coordinating with face mask producers and importers to increase the supply of N95 type masks for those contending with the smog problem in Bangkok and its vicinity.

Raimon shifting to hotels, IVF ventures
With the Thai property market expected to continue slowing down, SET-listed developer Raimon Land Plc (RML) wants to diversify more to hotels and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) ventures, with a combined investment of 5.3 billion baht.
— Bangkok Post

Bangkok ranked in Top Ten list of global cities for dining and shopping in MasterCard Index 2018
MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index has published a survey on the dining and shopping (GDCI: Indulgences) spending patterns of tourists in various cities around the world.
— Travel Daily News

Thailand steps up global health security
The Department of Medical Sciences has launched a workshop to tackle a global threat of infectious diseases.

Thailand at centre of Asean push for sales of building technology
JAPAN’S Shinwa Group is using Thailand as the springboard for the sale of its innovative construction technology to property developers throughout the Asean region.
— The Nation

Real police charge three Filipino women working for ‘fake’ charity in Pattaya
Pattaya police arrested three Filipino women for collecting donations from tourists for an ‘imaginary’ children’s foundation.
— The Thaiger

Murder suspect also accused of swindling millions from priest
The man accused of murdering his wife and four in-laws in Uttaradit is also alleged to have swindled almost 30 million baht from a priest, the rector of a Catholic college in Chon Buri province.
— Bangkok Post

Provinces surrounding Bangkok also battling haze
Provinces neighboring Bangkok have begun to report that they are also contending with the smog problem affecting Bangkok.

Bangkok Industrial Gas is to begin construction of a second H2 plant
Bangkok Industrial Gas (BIG), a joint venture between Thai investors and Air Products and Chemicals Inc, proceeds with plans to develop a second hydrogen (H2) plant in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, in line with the Thailand government’s strategy to promote the use of H2 as an alternative energy to fossil fuels.
— Gasworld

Teachers Day: a time to reflect on vital development role of educators
THE NATIONAL Teachers Day has again highlighted the importance of the 400,000 people tasked with educating children to ensure a good future, and has also brought to notice problems in the education system and the dire need for adjustments.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

UTCC unveils 2019’s rising businesses
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) says that e-Commerce business will be among rising stars this year.

Eight arrested for running gambling site from Cambodia
Three men and five women were arrested for allegedly running football gambling website, with a six-month turnover of 200 million baht, from a server located in Cambodia, police said.
— Bangkok Post

Phuket maid caught hiding 2,600 meth pills, 3kg of cannabis in client’s house
An anti-narcotics team led by Border Patrol Police have arrested a maid from Chalong who was hiding 2,600 methamphetamine (ya bah) pills and three kilograms of packed cannabis in a client’s home in Rawai.
— The Phuket News

Netflix starts filming its first Thai drama series
Netflix has started production on survival drama The Stranded as its first Thai shoot.


Feature photo Luma Health


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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