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  • Thailand Live Thursday 13 Aug 2020

    Plan unveiled for Bt31.9bn Ayutthaya rail hub

    By The Nation



    Photo Credit: Railway Channel TH


    Public-private partnerships will invest Bt31.9 billion to develop Ayutthaya as a national high-speed rail hub, according to the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning.


    Full story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1177474-plan-unveiled-for-bt319bn-ayutthaya-rail-hub/


    12 August 2020
  • Restrictions on schools, public transport, sports events to be lifted

    Restrictions on schools, public transport, sports events to be lifted

    By The Nation




    Existing virus-related restrictions on educational institutions, public transport and sporting events will be lifted from tomorrow (August 13), the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced today.


    Here are some details:


    1) Educational institutions across the country will be allowed to reopen to conduct teaching and learning as normal. However, this measure is voluntary and could be applied according to the situation and decision by school officials.


    2) Public transport – by land and water – can go back to operating at normal capacity, allowing for a full number of passengers.


    3) Outdoor or indoor sporting events will be allowed to increase their audiences in stadiums but must still have a limit on the number of entrants to keep the situation from getting out of control.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30392863



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-08-12
    12 August 2020
  • "Safe Thailand" - Thais can now visit the European Union, Thai media

    "Safe Thailand" - Thais can now visit the European Union, Thai media




    Thai media TNN reported that the European Union has lifted the travel ban on 11 countries including Thailand that are deemed to be safe from coronavirus. 


    However the news dated yesterday seems to be a little out of date. 


    TNN said the list of 11 was Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Tunisia, Uruguay and Thailand.


    They said that China would be removed from the list of restricted countries when they reciprocate for EU nationals. 


    However a press release from the European Union available online indicates that the decision was made on July 16th and included Morocco and Algeria.


    Source: TNN




    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-08-12
    12 August 2020
  • OAG to probe Nate over decision to drop ‘Boss’ case

    OAG to probe Nate over decision to drop ‘Boss’ case

    By The Nation




    The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has set up a panel to investigate Nate Naksuk over his decision to drop the hit-and-run case against Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya in June. 


    Nate tendered his resignation as deputy attorney general yesterday, as public pressure mounted after he dropped the final charge against Vorayuth, scion of Thailand’s second richest family, over the 2012 hit-and-run killing of a policeman. Nate reportedly defended his decision to drop the case but said he was quitting to protect the OAG’s reputation.


    However, he will avoid the disciplinary examination if the OAG accepts his resignation and makes it effective before the current due date of August 18. 

    Nate, 65, is due to retire on September 30, but can apply to extend his term for another five years until the age of 70.


    The OAG yesterday (August 11) also resolved to appoint a panel to review the results of a fresh investigation of the case. Police have until August 20 to send the evidence to prosecutors.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30392869



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-08-12
    12 August 2020
  • No plans to open Thai skies yet: Aviation authority

    No plans to open Thai skies yet: Aviation authority

    By The Nation




    The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has yet to consider allowing international commercial flights to enter Thailand but was monitoring the improving Covid-19 situation in many countries, said director-general Chula Sukmanop.


    It will need to consult with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) before deciding whether to open Thai skies to international traffic, he added.


    CAAT has given the green light for certain groups of foreigners to enter Thailand from July 1.


    The11 groups permitted to fly into the country range from Thai nationals to foreigners and their carers seeking medical treatment in Thailand (except for Covid-19).


    All arrivals will be tested for Covid-19 and must follow CCSA and Department of Disease Control rules, including mandatory two-week quarantine.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30392823



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-08-12
    11 August 2020
  • Airports of Thailand posts worst quarter

    Airports of Thailand posts worst quarter



    FILE PHOTO: An empty immigration hall is pictured at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International airport amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Thailand, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha


    BANGKOK (Reuters) - Airports of Thailand Pcl <AOT.BK> on Tuesday booked its worst quarter ever after volumes plummeted due to coronavirus-related restrictions.


    State-owned AOT reported a loss of 2.96 billion baht ($95 million) for the three months to June 30 versus a profit of 5.89 billion a year earlier.


    The shortfall was larger than the 2.1 billion baht loss expected, according to four analysts polled by Refinitiv.


    Foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand fell 66% in the first half of 2020 reflecting global travel restrictions, including some from Thailand's aviation regulator.

    The country has put discussions of a 'travel bubble' on hold.


    AOT's revenue, including landing charges and concessions, fell 88% to 1.7 billion baht, it said.


    Flight and passenger numbers fell by 88% and 95%, respectively, said AOT, which manages the country’s main Suvarnabhumi Airport and five others.

    For the nine months to June 30, it recorded 438,000 flights and 65.15 million passengers, down 35% and 39%, respectively.


    It will proceed with the construction of a satellite terminal in Bangkok, it said, but delay its opening until 2022. ($1 = 31.0600 baht)


    (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; editing by Jason Neely)



    -- © Copyright Reuters 2020-08-12
    11 August 2020
  • DDC says two virus cases found in Japan might have originated in Thailand

    DDC says two virus cases found in Japan might have originated in Thailand

    By The Nation




    Two men, one Thai and one Japanese, have tested positive in Japan for Covid-19 after returning to that country from Thailand, Department of Disease Control director-general Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai reported yesterday (August 11).


    The first case is a 24-year-old Thai construction worker who returned home on July 7 and went back to Japan on August 1, where he was found to be infected, Dr Suwannachai said.


    Earlier, the man was tested twice under quarantine in hospital in Thailand and was discharged after both results were negative. His mother, three Thai friends, and 28 low-risk contacts have now been tested and all results are negative.


    The second case involves a 47-year-old Japanese, who tested positive at Haneda airport.


    The DDC has tracked all the places the man stayed at during his visit to Thailand.


    Dr Suwannachai said the DDC is in contact with Japan’s health department to find the root of the infection.


    To screen travellers, Japan uses the new CLEIA (Chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay) method, which detects Covid-19 infections from saliva samples. This method has not yet been certified by the World Health Organisation. Thailand meanwhile uses the normal RT PCR method to detect the virus.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30392860



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-08-12
    12 August 2020
  • BOI expects mega trade fairs to generate Bt7 billion in sales

    BOI expects mega trade fairs to generate Bt7 billion in sales





    The Board of Investment (BOI) has organised the Subcon Thailand and Intermach 2020 exhibitions from August 23 to 26 at Bitec Bang Na to lure industrial investors, especially those in automation systems and robotics.


    “The exhibitions are being jointly organised by the BOI and our partner, Informa Markets,” said Sonklin Ploymee, director of the BOI’s Industrial Linkage Development Division.


    “The fairs will be the year’s largest for subcontractors, entrepreneurs and industrial investors in the Southeast Asian region. More than 200 manufacturers of metal, plastic and rubber components, automotive parts and electronic parts from around the world will join in the fairs to meet directly with buyers and investors to discuss business opportunities,” Sonklin said.


    She said that due to the Covid-19 situation, the BOI estimated that the fairs would generate sales of around Bt7 billion from 4,000 business match-ups.


    “We have cut down the target in line with the country’s manufacturing capability, which is currently at around 50 per cent due to the Covid-19 impact.


    “The prices of automation systems and robots imported from China have gone down considerably, which should increase the chance of small and medium-sized operators gaining access to these technologies to improve their production, especially in the automotive and electronics industries that would benefit greatly from robotic labour,” she added.


    Meanwhile, Thailand Subcontracting Promotion Association president Kiattisak Jirakhajornwong said the virus has impacted more than 500 member companies and 50,000 workers due to a sharp drop in manufacturing orders from automakers such as Toyota and Nissan. Many subcontractors have opted to pay 75 per cent of wages to employees to keep their businesses afloat.


    “However, the association has advised its members to switch to making products seeing high demand, such as medical equipment, rail systems, electrical vehicles and aircraft components for the air force,” Kiattisak said.


    “We would like to urge the government to provide more soft loans to SMEs and let them take part in official procurement projects, despite them offering higher prices than foreign companies, to help the overall domestic economy,” he added.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30392856



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-08-12
    12 August 2020
  • Shippers ask BOT to ease export pressure caused by baht’s rise

    Shippers ask BOT to ease export pressure caused by baht’s rise

    By The Nation




    The Thai National Shippers' Council yesterday asked the Bank of Thailand to seek ways of relieving pressure on exports from the rising baht.


    Council vice chairman Visit Limluecha said he had discussed the matter with central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob, adding that the strengthening baht is hurting the competitiveness of Thai exports.


    He said the council did not specify an appropriate level for the baht value and did not ask the central bank to interfere with its value.


    He also asked the bank to relax conditions for its soft loan programme so as to widen access to credit for small business operators.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30392820



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-08-13
    12 August 2020
  • Decimated tourism "still has potential to kickstart" the Thai economy, Thai media

    Decimated tourism "still has potential to kickstart" the Thai economy, Thai media



    Picture: Manager Online


    The TAT chief in Rayong in eastern Thailand said that tourism in the province was down 90-100% in the wake of the case of the Egyptian soldier who tested positive for Covid-19.


    But Akkrasit Thepparit praised the Thai Prime Minister for his decisive action following the case. 


    The "Save Rayong" campaign has seen many tourists now returning to the province's beaches though visits to the towns and cities - for events such as seminars - remain open to improvement. 


    The TAT are targeting tour groups from the north east of the country to promote tourism in Rayong.


    Meanwhile in other tourism news Manager and its sources hinted that the tourism minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan is preparing for talks with the PM and the new finance ministry chief over a 100 billion baht aid package for tourism. 


    It is felt that the sector - devastated by the pandemic - still has the potential to kick start the economy.


    But it needs help to steer it through the troubled waters of the present time. 


    On the minus side, Pipat has admitted that accessing that kind of money at this time may prove "somewhat limited". 


    Finance sources said the money was unlikely to be forthcoming as urgently as needed. 


    Source: Manager Online




    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-08-12
    12 August 2020