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  • Thai poll favours new airport in Nakhon Pathom, west of Bangkok

    Sanook report that most Thais are in favour of building a new airport in Nakhon Pathom, 57 kilometres west of the capital Bangkok. The old Don Mueang airport is to the north of Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi, to the east. In a Nida Poll 65% of respondents thought the new airport in Nakhon Pathom was a good idea citing […]

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    Thai poll favours new airport in Nakhon Pathom, west of BangkokLegacy
    Sanook report that most Thais are in favour of building a new airport in Nakhon Pathom, 57 kilometres west of the capital Bangkok. The old Don Mueang airport is to the north of Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi, to the east.
    In a Nida Poll 65% of respondents thought the new airport in Nakhon Pathom was a good idea citing benefits to tourism and the wider sharing of revenue and business opportunities to the city’s western regions.
    But 18% disagreed, saying that Suvanabhumi and Don Mueang international airports were coping, and that developing the existing airports would be a better idea. 1.7% had no idea whilst 14% didn’t really care.
    In the poll that asked 1,273 people over the age of 15 between September 12 & 13m just over 62% said that hadn’t ever been on a plane.
    SOURCE: Sanook

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    16 September 2019
    Bangkok
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201915
  • Industry group calls for further cut in Thai policy interest rate

    “Thai private sector, recently adjusted downward the export growth projection for this year to 2.9 – 3%.” The Federation of Thai Industries have their hopes set on the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Thailand making another cut in the policy interest rate, currently set at 1.5%. With the US Fed looking to drop […]

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    Industry group calls for further cut in Thai policy interest rate | The Thaiger
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    “Thai private sector, recently adjusted downward the export growth projection for this year to 2.9 – 3%.”

    The Federation of Thai Industries have their hopes set on the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Thailand making another cut in the policy interest rate, currently set at 1.5%. With the US Fed looking to drop its interest rate this week, the FTI want the local cut to prevent the baht currency from strengthening further.

    FTI vice president Kriangkrai Thiennukul says that the FTI is seriously concerned that the strengthening of the Thai currency, to one of the strongest in the region, will worsen the Thai economic slowdown in both the short and long term.

    He says that the baht fluctuated between 30.40-30.50 baht/US$ last week and reached the highest level against the US$ in six years. The Thai currency has strengthened by 6% against the US greenback since the beginning of this year, making it stronger than other currencies in the region.

    The strong Thai baht has made it a safe haven for foreign investors that can speculatively park their cash in the baht currency and in government bonds.

    Mr. Kriangkrai said the FTI expects the Bank of Thailand to monitor the Thai baht closely, to prevent its strength affecting Thai exports, which are already being hurt by the US-China trade war, and the tourism sector.

    The FTI, the Thai Bankers Association and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the three main pillars of the Thai private sector, recently adjusted downward the export growth projection for this year to between  -1% and 1% and economic growth to 2.9-3%.

    Additionally, Mr. Kriangkrai warned that there is a tendency for the projected export and economic growth rates to be further lowered.

    He suggested that the government should speed up the concluding of FTA (Free Trade Area) agreements with Thailand’s trading partners, especially the European Union, to open up markets for Thai exports.

    SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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    16 September 2019
    Business
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201897
  • Frantic search for missing 39 after Indian boat capsize

    “The boat was carrying a total of 73 passengers, 26 have been rescued.” Indian authorities are engaged in a major search and rescue operation today to find 39 people missing after their tour boat capsized in a fast-flowing swollen river in Andhra Pradesh. Police told AFP that eight bodies have been recovered, down from a […]

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    Frantic search for missing 39 after Indian boat capsizeLegacy

    “The boat was carrying a total of 73 passengers, 26 have been rescued.”

    Indian authorities are engaged in a major search and rescue operation today to find 39 people missing after their tour boat capsized in a fast-flowing swollen river in Andhra Pradesh.

    Police told AFP that eight bodies have been recovered, down from a previous tally of 12, after the accident on the Godavari river in the southern state yesterday (Sunday).

    A report in the Times of India quoted a senior Andhra Pradesh minister as saying that the vessel had no licence or permission to carry tourists while the river was swollen.

    The boat was carrying a total of 73 passengers, of whom 26 have been rescued, local police official Adnan Asmi said. Almost 300 personnel, using boats and a helicopter, were engaged in the search operations today including from the Indian Navy and the National Disaster Response Force.

    Media reports said that a special diver team equipped with sonar equipment was expected to reach the spot later in the day from the northern state of Uttarakhand.

    The vessel was heading to a popular picnic spot when it capsized. Local media reports said the Godavari river has been in spate for a week.

    Poor safety checks and overcrowding are major causes of boat tragedies in India, especially during the current monsoon season. Indian PM Narendra Modi has expressed his condolences.

    Last week, a dozen people died in the central city of Bhopal after two boats capsized during celebrations to immerse an effigy of the Hindu god Ganesha into a lake.

    SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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    16 September 2019
    World
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201851
  • Thai PM insists government flood victims aren’t being ignored

    PHOTO: A dog tries to keep dry on a flooded street in Thailand’s northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani – Krit Phromsakla Na Sakolnakorn – AFP Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he attaches great importance to relief operations designed to alleviate the suffering of flood victims and the government has procedures to compensate them. A government spokeswoman […]

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    Thai PM insists government flood victims aren’t being ignored | The Thaiger
    Thai PM insists government flood victims aren’t being ignoredA dog tries to keep dry on a flooded street in Thailand's northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani - Krit Phromsakla Na Sakolnakorn - AFP

    PHOTO: A dog tries to keep dry on a flooded street in Thailand’s northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani – Krit Phromsakla Na Sakolnakorn – AFP

    Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he attaches great importance to relief operations designed to alleviate the suffering of flood victims and the government has procedures to compensate them.

    A government spokeswoman Naruemol Pinyosinwat was taken aback by growing criticism on social media that the Prayut government was ignoring the plight of flood victims in Thailand’s central and northeastern provinces.

    Prayut headed to Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani late last week for pre-planned infrastructure openings and media photo opportunities instead of going to Ubon Ratchathani and other northeastern provinces hit by floods.

    The spokesperson say Prayut was giving priority to helping flood victims and had instructed government agencies concerned to provide assistance in accordance with established procedures, starting from emergency measures to evacuate flood victims from their homes to delivery of food and drinking water to flooded areas.

    She said that once the water had receded, the government would speed up the surveys of affected areas to carry out rehabilitation work and also provide remedial measures to the victims.

    These include paying compensation of 50,000 baht to the families of each victim killed by the floods and 200,000 baht for homes completely ruined by the water. Those with partially damaged houses will receive between 15,000 – 17,000 baht compensation, depending on the magnitude of damage, she added.

    Moreover, other government agencies, especially the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, will provide help to those affected people.

    “Flood victims can rest assured that the government will not abandon them.”

    SOURCE: The Nation

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    16 September 2019
    North East
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201824
  • “Phuket needs a world class exhibition and convention centre”

    “Two key developments we are tracking is Central Festivals next phase of expansion and Proud Groups Andamanda project that both have significant concerence, meeting and incentive space.” Plans to promote Phuket as a world-class MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) location are being obstructed by many impediments –  inefficient town planning, poor transport systems and poor […]

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    “Phuket needs a world class exhibition and convention centre”Legacy

    “Two key developments we are tracking is Central Festivals next phase of expansion and Proud Groups Andamanda project that both have significant concerence, meeting and incentive space.”

    Plans to promote Phuket as a world-class MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) location are being obstructed by many impediments –  inefficient town planning, poor transport systems and poor availability of land in tourist locations.

    Dusida Worrachaddejchai writes that Phuket’s deputy governor says the province has a blueprint to build an exhibition and convention hall to host international events with a capacity up to 5,000. But he said that town planning rules forbid building a hall larger than 6,000 square metres with a hight greater than 23 metres.

    The prohibition for a proper convention hall by town planning appears to be one of the few projects impeded by lax town planning laws.

    The project has been talked about for decades with Phuket’s potential as an active MICE venue being hampered by the lack of facilities, principally a large convention and exhibition centre.

    If some provisions of the current town planning act for Phuket can be amended, the likely destination for a convention centre would be Thalang district. The deputy governor says he hopes it can be built in a few years and make Phuket able to bid for international events and expos.

    But Thalang, although within 15 minutes of the Phuket International Airport, has little offer convention and exhibition delegates with most of the beaches and tourist infrastructure on the island’s southern coastal areas (Patong, Kata, Karon).

    C9hotelworks’ Bill Barnett says proper MICE facilities have been a long time coming for Phuket.

    “Phuket hotel developers are finally seeing the signifigance of the MICE trade. Two key developments we are tracking is Central Festivals next phase of expansion and Proud Groups Andamanda project that both have significant concerence, meeting and incentive space. TCEB ae active in the working on Phuket as a MICE destination so we see the future direction as positive, at last.”

    Meanwhile the Thai government has foreshadowed that five Thai cities will be earmarked as MICE locations – Phuket, along with Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Pattaya and Bangkok. The deptuty governor sprouted Phuket’s existing MICE credentials – 600 hotels offering 40,000 guest rooms, 220 convention rooms, 615 meeting rooms, 14 piers and four private marinas. But these facilities are spread all over the island with poor access and almost no public transportation.

    Plans for a world class convention centre have been brought up from time to time over the past two decades with provincial officials huffing and puffing about the need for a proper facility for the growing island but, so far, nothing has happened and the island remains a leading tourist destination with little attraction for larger conferences, exhibitions and events.

    In the past the private sector – primarily Central Group and Jungceylon – have indicated their interest to build a convention hall in the Patong area. But town planning issues and the ever-dwindling available land in the seaside city have shelved any progress.

    Southern beach locations, with excellent hotels, shopping and beaches – Karon and Kata – have also been flagged as potential locations but access, especially from the airport, remains poor. Travel times to the southern beaches from the airport is at least an hour and involves trips across the notorious hills roads at either Patong or Kata.

    Progress on the Patong Tunnel has also stalled with successive governments unable to progress the project.

    The government should improve mass transport from the airport to Patong and other western coast districts in Phuket, namely Karon, to facilitate large groups such as Mice travellers that require more than buses and vans, Ms Chalermluck said.

    Last year, more than 2 million visitors arrived in Phuket for MICE events, generating 19.5 billion baht in income. But MICE industry proponents say that number could be easily tripled with a proper convention and exhibition venue.

    The post “Phuket needs a world class exhibition and convention centre” appeared first on The Thaiger Thailand news.

    16 September 2019
    Business
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=200705
  • Saudi plant attacks: Oil prices soar more than 10% in early trading

    Oil prices have surged more than 10% after attacks on two Saudi Arabian plants that slashed output in the world’s top producer by half. West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.68% to $60.71 and Brent climbed 11.77% to $67.31 in early Asia trading following the blasts at facilities run by state-owned giant Aramco. Meanwhile the US President […]

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    Saudi plant attacks: Oil prices soar more than 10% in early tradingLegacy

    Oil prices have surged more than 10% after attacks on two Saudi Arabian plants that slashed output in the world’s top producer by half.

    West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.68% to $60.71 and Brent climbed 11.77% to $67.31 in early Asia trading following the blasts at facilities run by state-owned giant Aramco.

    Meanwhile the US President Donald Trump is blaming Iran and raising the possibility of a military strike on the country.

    The attack by Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.

    Brent soared almost 20% at one point on Monday, while WTI surged around 15% before paring the gains.

    Trump says the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”

    Tehran denies the accusations but the news has revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.

    “Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

    SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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    16 September 2019
    World
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201746
  • Biometrics identify 8 fake passports in 3 days

    PHOTO: Workpoint News Thai Immigration Police have been lauding the success using their new Biometrics System at the airports. In 3 days, 8 foreigners have been nabbed using fake passports. In the case of these 8 cases, all the passports were purchased from an Iranian Agent. Immigration Police reported the arrest of the foreigners on […]

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    Biometrics identify 8 fake passports in 3 daysWorkpoint News

    PHOTO: Workpoint News

    Thai Immigration Police have been lauding the success using their new Biometrics System at the airports. In 3 days, 8 foreigners have been nabbed using fake passports. In the case of these 8 cases, all the passports were purchased from an Iranian Agent.

    Immigration Police reported the arrest of the foreigners on September 13 who were using fake passports as they arrived in Thailand. The Biometrics system caught them after only three days in use. All of the suspects had travelled to Thailand with a goal of travelling to a 3rd destination, usually nations in the EU.

    The first group of suspects were a family of 3 from Iran. They were all using fake passports to travel to the UK with the hope of seeking asylum. When caught, the family stated that they bought the passports from an Iranian agent. They had to go pick up the fake passports in Turkey before using their new passports and travelling to Thailand.

    There was also another Iranian man arrested after the Biometrics system detected a “Stolen Passport” based on Interpol Data. A Syrian man was arrested along with 3 Palestinian women. They had travelled from Abu Dhabi using Sweden Passports to enter Thailand. They pretended to be tourists, but also had plans to travel to another country to seek asylum. The Biometrics data system on the passport information showed entirely different people.

    All had paid a fee between 4,000 – 500,000 Euro, about 136,000 – 1,700,000 Thai baht, but told immigration officials they were all seeking asylum and were desperate to escape conflicts in their countries.

    A Nigerian man was also arrested using a fake African passport. He had travelled to Thailand from Turkey and planned to enter South Korea for illegal work. The man purchased the fake passport from an African Agent for US$ 600, about 18,000 Thai baht.

    The Biometrics systems in 16 Thai international airports has already picked up 1,123 individuals on the blacklist and watchlist. A total of 662 individuals were arrested from arrest warrants. Over 45,000 individuals were discovered to have overstayed their visa in Thailand.

    SOURCE: Workpoint News

    The post Biometrics identify 8 fake passports in 3 days appeared first on The Thaiger Thailand news.

    16 September 2019
    Crime
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201565
  • Laguna Angsana Resort opens conference and exhibition venue

    by Bill Barnett of c9hotelworks.com Laguna Phuket’s Angsana resort is set to debut it’s new 1,500 square metre conference and exhibition space. It’s actually a renovation and rebranding of the successful Laguna marquee space and relocated to a more permanent location within the Angsana Laguna Phuket complex. Tagged as ACES, the venue will open at […]

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    Laguna Angsana Resort opens conference and exhibition venueLegacy

    by Bill Barnett of c9hotelworks.com

    Laguna Phuket’s Angsana resort is set to debut it’s new 1,500 square metre conference and exhibition space. It’s actually a renovation and rebranding of the successful Laguna marquee space and relocated to a more permanent location within the Angsana Laguna Phuket complex.

    Tagged as ACES, the venue will open at the end of September.

    For big events the space accommodates 1,500 patrons, theatre style, or 800 for dining.

    The new ACES will be one of the island’s largest event venues.

    Phuket’s MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) industry have been calling for better conference and exhibition facilities for two decades with a growing market of businesses and conferences wanting to mount their events around Phuket’s excellent hotel and tourist offerings.

    The post Laguna Angsana Resort opens conference and exhibition venue appeared first on The Thaiger Thailand news.

    15 September 2019
    Business
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201536
  • 30,000 uni students take the long and winding road up Doi Suthep

    PHOTOS: The Nation Some 30,000 students, past and present, and staff from the Chiang Mai University headed up Thailand’s holiest mountain yesterday on the university’s annual trek to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It’s the university’s 55th anniversary of the annual climb. Freshmen from 20 faculties from two of the CMU campuses trekked up the […]

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    PHOTOS: The Nation

    Some 30,000 students, past and present, and staff from the Chiang Mai University headed up Thailand’s holiest mountain yesterday on the university’s annual trek to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

    It’s the university’s 55th anniversary of the annual climb.

    Freshmen from 20 faculties from two of the CMU campuses trekked up the winding 14 kilometre road from their university’s main campus at the foothill to the summit of the sacred Doi Suthep.

    Police provided security along the route while medical teams were also on hand to provide first-aid at 10 service points. At the summit, the students performed merit-making at the temple, praying for good luck for their studies ahead.

    This traditional annual trek has been held since 1964 in order to bring the student body together, and it also serves as a rite of passage ceremony for first-year students, giving them a chance to make new friends and form new bonds with the seniors and with fellow ‘freshers’.

    SOURCE: The Nation

    30,000 uni students take the long and winding road up Doi Suthep | News by The Thaiger

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    15 September 2019
    Chiang Mai
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201538
  • Another dead dugong found off the coast of Trang

    PHOTO: The baby dugong Mariam, who brought a lot of publicity to the plight of the local dugong population, died in August Another dead dugong has been discovered floating in the Andaman Sea, between Koh Ya in Trang and Koh Ngai Island in Krabi. The corpse was discovered yesterday by a local tour boat. It’s […]

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    Another dead dugong found off the coast of Trang | The Thaiger
    Another dead dugong found off the coast of TrangThe baby dugong Mariam

    PHOTO: The baby dugong Mariam, who brought a lot of publicity to the plight of the local dugong population, died in August

    Another dead dugong has been discovered floating in the Andaman Sea, between Koh Ya in Trang and Koh Ngai Island in Krabi. The corpse was discovered yesterday by a local tour boat.

    It’s been a bad year for the local dugong population with many dead or sick mammals being discovered, and the high profile cases of Mariam and Jamil, the baby dugongs that were found but die later in captivity.

    The find was reported to the 10th office of marine and coastal resources, by Mr. Somsak Panthumet, president of Trang professional tourist guides, as he led a tour group on an island-hopping tour in the Andaman Sea.

    Somsak reportedly took pictures of the eviscerated dugong corpse as evidence to be handed over to the officials. He was also told to tie the dead dugong to some floating containers to make it easier to relocate.

    However, when a boat was dispatched to collect the corpse, officials failed to find it after five hours of searching in strong winds and rough seas. Officials say they will resume the search again when the weather calms down.

    After viewing the pictures taken by the tour guide, an official admitted it was impossible to tell the gender, age or weight of the dead dugong which, he added, was the 10th this year to be found in the sea off Trang province.

    The seas around Koh Libong in Trang province is home to an estimated 200 dugong, Thailand’s largest concentration, thanks to the area’s abundance of sea grass.

    SOURCE: The Nation

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    15 September 2019
    Environment
    https://thethaiger.com/?p=201525