Thai, Cambodian PMs pledge more border crossings Bangkok Post 5th Apr 2018
The Thai and Cambodian governments have reaffirmed their commitment to opening more border crossings to foster trade and investment. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Cambodian Premier Hun Sen pledged increasing border cooperation in talks ahead of the Mekong River Commission summit in Siem Reap on Thursday. Deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said the two leaders will work towards establishing more border crossings and also a rail link. It would benefit both Thais and Cambodians, and specially trade and investment.
Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi meets Thai PM on relation - Xinhua | English.news.cn Xinhua 31st Mar 2018
HANOI, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha here on Friday, on the sidelines of the sixth summit of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Economic Cooperation. Wang, during the meeting, hailed Thailand for its social stability and economic development, noting that Thailand has been playing a crucial role in global and regional affairs.
Mekong leaders call for $66bn in investment Bangkok Post 31st Mar 2018
HANOI: The leaders of six countries along the Mekong River on Saturday adopted an ambitious investment plan worth US$66 billion over the next five years. At least $7 billion will come from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the rest from governments and the private sector, they said. The plan was adopted at a summit that included the prime ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as a vice-president of Myanmar and the Chinese foreign minister.
Prayut to return MP election bill to NLA for forwarding to Constitutional Court The Nation 2nd Apr 2018
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday he is going to return the controversial new MP election bill to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) so that the body could forward it to the Constitutional Court for a verdict on the legality of certain clauses in the bill. “I will soon send it back to the NLA so that they can petition with the court,” Prayut said. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who is in charge of the government’s legal affairs, asked the NLA on Monday to petition the court as soon as possible so that a verdict could come out early. He said that NLA members could immediately take the case to the court rather than waiting for the PM to send the actual bill back to them.
EC to discuss parties' list of complaints Bangkok Post 1st Apr 2018
The Election Commission will consider political parties' complaints about obstacles to reviewing their membership databases at its meeting on Monday after confirming on Saturday the review can be carried out online, said Charungwit Phumma, the EC acting secretary-general. The database review is a prerequisite to verifying membership, a process which existing parties must complete this month to maintain their status as political bodies.
S44 order on parties heads for review Bangkok Post 31st Mar 2018
The Office of the Ombudsman has decided to seek a Constitutional Court ruling on whether the Section 44 order issued by the prime minister to amend the organic law on political parties violates the constitution. The decision was prompted by petitions submitted to the office by the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties. Both parties hope to have that order revoked. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha invoked Order No.53/2017 in his capacity as chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on Dec 22 last year. The power to issue such orders existed under the previous interim charter, but has been carried over to the present constitution.
Charter court ruling sought on MP elections bill Bangkok Post 28th Mar 2018
About 25 members of the National Legislative Assembly have signed a petition asking the Constitutional Court to rule on the organic bill on the election of MPs, Assemblyman Kittisak Ratanawaraha said on Wednesday. Mr Kittisak, one of the signatories, said the move would have little effect on preparations for the general election. The petition would be sent to NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, who would forward it to the court.
EC pledges to broker talks on ban Bangkok Post 28th Mar 2018
The Election Commission (EC) said Tuesday it would help parties ask the regime to relax a long-held ban on political activities as politicians are busy reviving their parties, which have been "frozen" since the 2014 coup. Speaking before planned talks between EC members and representatives of political parties today, acting EC secretary-general Charungwit Phumma said the body plans to clarify new party administration rules to representatives of old parties. He also said he was ready to hear when and how they want the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to allow them to run their parties at full steam in the run-up to next year's poll.
NLA chief vows parliament construction transparency Bangkok Post 27th Mar 2018
National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president Pornpetch Witchitcholchai says he will not allow malfeasance on his watch during construction of the new parliament complex on Kiakkai Road. His statement comes after Wilas Chantharapithak, a former Democrat Party MP for Bangkok, raised questions over the 1.7-billion-baht in funds set aside for the information technology system to be installed at the complex. Mr Pornpetch said authorities had earlier assessed the cost of building the new parliament building at 18 billion baht. But he said the construction contract, signed five years ago for 12 billion baht, omitted certain equipment.
Prayut claims election date is firm, despite concern over MP bill The Nation 27th Mar 2018
While the potential review of the MP election bill by the Constitution Court has caused concerns of a further election delay, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has vowed the process will not affect the road map. The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) had dropped the MP election bill like a hot potato, passing it to the prime minister to decide whether the bill needed a court review to make sure it was constitutional. If the court deems it is constitutional, it could be passed into law. If not, the NLA would have to take time to correct it accordingly.
EC to brief parties on law changes before political activities begin The Nation 24th Mar 2018
As of Thursday, 52 parties represented by nearly 300 members – including the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties – have already accepted the invitation to the join the seminar, according to the EC. Because the organic law governing political parties has laid out new rules and requirements, the EC will hold the seminar to prepare political parties for the change. It will also give them initial guidelines on how to make relevant arrangements to ensure their eligibility to run in the upcoming election, said EC acting secretary- general Jarungwit Phumma.
Somchai sacked for 'causing confusion' Bangkok Post 23rd Mar 2018
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted it was necessary to remove Somchai Srisutthiyakorn as an election commissioner as Mr Somchai had "created confusion over the timing of the election". He said the dismissal order made public on Monday was justifiable. "We're going to have an election but his comments are confusing people. Is Mr Somchai the authority setting the election date?" he said.
China sugar import limits hit Thai-Myanmar trade Bangkok Post 5th Apr 2018
TAK: Trade value across the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border fell 9.8% in the first three months of this year after China imposed strict limits on sugar imports, affecting Thai sugar exports. Mae Sot customs chief Wallop Wutipanich said exports through Mae Sot district to Myawaddy in Myanmar from January to March totalled 19.2 billion baht, down by 9.8% on the first quarter last year. Imports totalled 1.61 billion baht, about 20% up on the same period last year. Most imported goods were agricultural products, Mr Wallop said.
Controversial rule on declared valuables at airports put on ice Bangkok Post 4th Apr 2018
Outbound travellers will not have to declare all of their valuables at international airports during Songkran, the Customs Department said Tuesday in an unexpected volte-face. For the sake of travellers' convenience during the April 12-16 festival, the department has repealed its recent announcement that valuables worth over 100,000 baht would need to be declared and deferred this to a later date, said Kulit Sombatsiri, the department's director-general. The figure has now reverted back to 200,000 baht.
Somkid: Thailand eyes becoming CPTPP member Bangkok Post 30th Mar 2018
Defense & Security
Thailand is set to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) this year, a newly formed bloc of 11 Pacific Rim nations excluding the US, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. Speaking after a discussion with high-ranking officials of the Commerce Ministry yesterday, Mr Somkid ordered the ministry to speed up analysis of the CPTPP as soon as possible so that Thailand could join the trade bloc within this year.
Where Is the New Indonesia-Thailand Defense Pact? The Diplomat 4th Apr 2018
Late last month, a new defense pact between Indonesia and Thailand inched forward toward realization with agreement on its ratification. Though the move was just one of a series that have been taken since the pact was first signed back in 2015, it nonetheless is significant within the context of the bilateral relationship in general and security ties in particular. Indonesia and Thailand, Southeast Asia’s largest economies and among the initial founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), have long had a bilateral relationship that includes a security component.
Cybersecurity Asean course set for June Bangkok Post 30th Mar 2018
The first training course in cybersecurity through the Asean-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) will be conducted in Thailand this June to fight cybercrime in the region. Thailand's Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry and Japan's Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said the centre has been developing a cybersecurity workforce for state agencies and critical information infrastructure operators in Asean. DE minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said this project received US$5 million (156 million baht) in funding from the Japan-Asean Integration Fund for the first four-year term. Japan has supported the project through technical expertise.
Firms anxious about incoming wage hike Bangkok Post 3rd Apr 2018
The increase in minimum daily wages from April are a top concern for the private sector, prompting a request to the government to implement remedial measures to cushion the impact of the hike, says the Federation of Thai SMEs Association (FTA). "We want to monitor any negative impacts, which take 1-2 months to measure, to local small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs], which are expected to be affected by the wage hike," said president Noppong Teeravorn.
State banks told to hold interest rates steady Bangkok Post 3rd Apr 2018
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong has instructed state-run banks to keep their interest rates unchanged throughout this year to help economic growth be more broad-based. State-owned banks are to act as a policy tool in helping the economic recovery spill over across the sectors, he said. Income is normally distributed to the poor but the government has stepped in to catalyse the process, said Mr Apisak.
Inflation up 0.79% y-o-y in March, below forecast Bangkok Post 2nd Apr 2018
Thailand's annual headline inflation rate rose in March, but missed forecasts and was below the central bank's target range, giving policymakers leeway to keep monetary policy loose to help economic growth. The headline consumer price index rose 0.79% in March from a year earlier, after February's 0.42% increase, commerce ministry data showed on Monday. A Reuters poll projected a rise of 0.90% in March. In the January-March period, the index rose 0.64% from a year earlier.
BoT: Low income curbing recovery Bangkok Post 31st Mar 2018
Soft purchasing power caused by lower household income in both the farm and non-farm sectors has hindered a broad-based economic recovery, says a senior official at the Bank of Thailand. Purchasing power, particularly for people in the low-income segment, was still weak in February as household income fell from a year earlier, said Don Nakornthab, senior director for macroeconomic and monetary policy.
NESDB promises to narrow income gap Bangkok Post 27th Mar 2018
The government vows to narrow the widening income disparity gap in the country to 15 times over the next 20 years, down from 20 times now. Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), said Thailand's 20-year national strategy plan implemented from 2017 set an ultimate goal of narrowing income disparity, focusing particularly on the 10% richest and the 10% poorest. To reduce the income gap, the government needs to focus on income distribution, economic development and legislative reform to give low-income earners access to education, economic opportunities and justice, he said.
PDMO budgets up to B50bn for yearly borrowing in EEC Bangkok Post 26th Mar 2018
The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) plans to earmark 30-50 billion baht a year from its annual borrowing to finance the government's 1-trillion-baht infrastructure investment in the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project. The government is restricted to borrowing up to 20% of the annual budget expenditure or 600 billion baht a year. Some 30-50 billion baht of the borrowing will be allocated to the EEC's infrastructure investment, said Theeraj Athanavanich, a bond market adviser to the PDMO.
BoT seen holding key rate as growth improves, inflation low Bangkok Post 26th Mar 2018
Thailand's central bank is expected to leave its policy rate unchanged again on Wednesday as the economy is gaining traction while domestic demand is soft and inflation subdued. All 20 economists in a Reuters poll forecast the Bank of Thailand (BoT)'s monetary policy committee will keep its one-day repurchase rate at 1.50%, where it has been since a cut in April 2015. The rate is 25 basis-points above the record low. Nine of 13 polled analysts who gave a longer-term view predicted no policy rate change for the rest of 2018, while four predicted increases.
EEC in line to benefit from US tariffs on China Bangkok Post 24th Mar 2018
Greater investment in the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is likely as foreign investors give Thailand a fresh look after US President Donald Trump revealed US$60 billion (1.87 trillion baht) in new tariffs on China, according to the Thai Chamber of Commerce. Buntoon Wongseelachote, vice-chairman for foreign trade negotiations at the chamber, said that once China is snarled in trade disputes with the US, many manufacturers may beef up investment in Thailand, where the government has been heavily promoting the EEC initiative to draw foreign investment.
Mid-year budget bill sails through House Bangkok Post 23rd Mar 2018
A 150-billion-baht mid-year budget bill sailed through three readings in the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday, with a focus on boosting the grassroots economy. Speaking before lawmakers at the parliament building yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the bill was meant to strengthen the country's grassroots economic sentiment to ensure people can rely on themselves, and restructure the farm production system as a whole.
Thailand, Japan join hands to develop local startups Bangkok Post 23rd Mar 2018
Japan is in talks with Thailand to set up a joint project to develop and create new startups, expecting to make Thailand an Asean innovation hub, says the Industry Ministry. Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the project is called "Open Innovation Columbus", with Japan aiming to attract national startups to Thailand. "They will come with innovative ideas," he said. "Thailand has been chosen as the future hub for Japanese startups, with both countries offering to bring them to business matching events."
Siri: No state renewable power buying for 5 years Bangkok Post 28th Mar 2018
The government has no plan to buy renewable power from 2018-2023, saying the country has enough reserved power for the medium term. Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said the state will not buy more renewable-based electricity from small power producers and very small power producers, nor will it purchase from local or overseas plants. He said the cost of renewable power would make Thai consumers pay a higher power bill, 20-25 satang more per kilowatt-hour.
Motorbike CO2 tax 'not aimed at profit' Bangkok Post 27th Mar 2018
The planned tax on motorcycles and oil that is to be based on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions exceeding the maximum threshold is not aimed at making profits, but rather for environmental purposes, says the Excise Department. The idea of imposing the excise tax on oil and motorcycles emitting CO2 above the required limit is still being considered by the Excise Department, but such a tax will not result in a greater burden for motorists, said director-general Krisada Chinavicharana Monday.
BoT spreading PromptPay reach Bangkok Post 3rd Apr 2018
The Bank of Thailand is in talks to link the country's PromptPay with Singapore's PayNow to allow users in both countries to send money to each other using mobile phone numbers. The cross-border fund transfer is a next step for PromptPay, a cheap fund transfer service using only mobile phone numbers or citizen IDs, said Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong. Since the service was launched early last year, there have been 97 million PromptPay transactions, with 370 billion baht transferred and 37 million savings accounts used to sign up for the service, of which 25 million were opened with citizen ID numbers and the rest with mobile phone numbers, said permanent secretary for finance Somchai Sujjapongse in early February.
Thailand Approves Draft Decree on Crypto Bitcoin News 30th Mar 2018
The Thai cabinet has approved a draft of a royal decree to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to local media. Finance Minister Mr. Apisak Tantivorawong revealed that no major changes have been made to the draft proposed by his ministry earlier this month. The only significant change is the definition of digital assets, which is now “cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, removing other assets such as electronic data, as specified in the previous draft,” the Bangkok Post reported. The decree will be published in the Royal Gazette, after which it will become law. The news outlet conveyed the minister’s explanation.
Focus areas for Bank of Thailand’s Fintech policy: Productivity, Immunity, and Inclusivity OpenGovAsia 26th Mar 2018
In a speech at the Bangkok FinTech Fair 2018, the governor of the Bank of Thailand (BOT), Dr Veerathai Santiprabhob, outlined BOT’s policy direction on Fintech development. He emphasised three key imperatives for formulating financial sector policy for Thailand and the region as a whole: productivity, immunity, and inclusivity.
Amended NCB Act tipped to include fintech firms Bangkok Post 26th Mar 2018
The Bank of Thailand has already proposed to the Finance Ministry the amended draft of the National Credit Bureau (NCB) Act to enable fintech companies to be members of the country's sole credit information centre in an effort to let the bureau have more comprehensive credit information amid increasing digital lending. Amendment of the Credit Information Business Act has focused on allowing fintech firms to provide digital lending services, including peer-to-peer (P2P) and crowdfunding, to credit bureau members, said NCB chief executive Surapol Opasatien.
Online sellers accused of sidestepping taxes Bangkok Post 26th Mar 2018
Food & Agriculture
Some merchants are exploiting the online distribution channel to avoid tax payment even though they have physical shops, says a source at the Revenue Department. These merchants may offer discounts to attract customers to buy online because they can share the profits from sales at their outlets with department stores where their shops are located, as online sales transactions are difficult for the tax-collecting agency to track, the source said.
Govt plans water boost for farmers Bangkok Post 5th Apr 2018
Pattani: Irrigation officials plan to boost the water capacity at Pattani dam to keep several thousand farmers well supplied as they work vast tracts of land during the dry season. Once the project is completed, up to 25,000 families will have enough water to grow crops on parts of 200,000 rai, Royal Irrigation Department chief Thongplew Kongchan said Wednesdayas he updated Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on water issues during his visit to the province.
Thai Agriculture Min prepares for upcoming drought season Thai Visa News 5th Apr 2018
BANGKOK, 2 April 2018 (NNT) - Thailand's Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is preparing the country's water reserves for the upcoming dry season and will closely monitor drought-prone areas in 23 provinces. Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, Grisada Boonrach, said the country is better equipped to face the dry season than it had been in previous year. However, the ministry has identified and will closely monitor areas that are at risk of drought. As of April 1st, the country's reservoirs were at 67 percent capacity, with a combined 50.9 billion cubic meters of water, or seven billion cubic meters more than the same period last year. The country's four main dams in the Chao Phraya River Basin are at 61 percent of their combined capacity.
Govt urged to ban use of 'deadly' pesticide Bangkok Post 31st Mar 2018
Health activists have urged the government to ban "paraquat", a popular grass-and-pest killing chemical, as scientific studies have proved it is a health threat to farmers and consumers, but the Agriculture Department has raised concerns over the economic impact of a ban. Paraquat is banned in more than 50 countries around the world due to its high toxicity, as only a small amount of consumption can kill a human being.
Rice exports up but may lose momentum Bangkok Post 30th Mar 2018
Thai rice exports in the first two months of 2018 rose 10% year-on-year by volume to 1.91 million tonnes and 16.1% in baht value to 30.32 billion baht but orders are falling due to the strong baht. In February, Thailand exported 950,761 tonnes of rice worth 14.92 billion baht. The volume declined by 1.2% and the value went down by 3.1% month-on-month because of the decreasing export of Hom Mali fragrant rice and parboiled rice, Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Friday.
Cost-cutting key to farm reform Bangkok Post 29th Mar 2018
Health & Life Sciences
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak ordered agencies to rev up restructuring of the farm sector on Wednesday and find more ways to cut production costs, including low-interest loan programmes and tailor-made fertilisers. Mr Somkid visited the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and said the government has already allocated 24 billion baht in supplementary budget for fiscal 2018 to finance the farm sector's restructuring. He urged state agencies to speed up their efforts to help the plight of 3.9 million low-income earners in the sector.
Ministry orders rabies vaccine probe Bangkok Post 26th Mar 2018
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach denied on Sunday reports of a transfer request by the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) chief following his order on Friday to probe irregularities in the department's rabies vaccine procurement. "No transfers will be considered until the findings are completed," he said, adding that he has ordered the probe to be finalised in 30 days.
Thailand’s First Community-Led HIV Clinic for High Risk People Opens in Chiang Rai Chiang Rai Times 2nd Apr 2018
Thailand’s first community-led HIV clinic for people at high risk has opened in Chiang Rai serving homosexual men, transgender women and female sex workers. The clinic, which makes prevention, testing and treatment services more readily available for high-risk individuals, is operated by the community-based Mplus Foundation. It is funded by the government in partnership with the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) through the US Agency for International Development (USAid) Linkages Project implemented by FHI 360, a non-profit human-development organization.
Data usage soars on cell phones Bangkok Post 4th Apr 2018
Data usage via mobile phones leapt six-fold from 2014 to 2017, while voice calls dropped from 70.72 billion minutes in 2014 to 43.46 billion minutes last year, according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said on Wednesday that data used for mobile internet services through three major mobile phone operators totalled 3.29 terabytes in 2017, more than six times the amount used in 2014.
Wissanu must 'justify' S44 for TV operators Bangkok Post 4th Apr 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam is expected to submit a petition justifying the use of Section 44 to suspend debt repayments for digital TV and mobile operators by the end of the month. Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief, has instructed Mr Wissanu put the case for the use of Section 44 in writing and forward it for consideration. The order follows last week's meeting between Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Mr Wissanu and the NCPO over the hardships faced by operators of digital TV and the 900-megahertz mobile spectrum.
NBTC makes spectrum auction U-turn Bangkok Post 3rd Apr 2018
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has made an about-face on the planned auction of the 1800-megahertz spectrum, returning to its original three-licence scheme of 90MHz in bandwidth (upload and download) instead of tripling the number of bandwidth slots to nine blocks. The move comes in response to prospective bidders claim that the amended draft will hurt their long-term business strategies, assuming operations under a 30MHz licensing scheme.
NBTC stands by AIS-True Move aid package Bangkok Post 2nd Apr 2018
The telecom regulator has reaffirmed that its assistance to Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move will generate 3.6 billion baht for the state during 2020-24 based on a 1.5% interest rate, with the hope that the two operators will join the planned auction of the 1800-megahertz spectrum. The two auction winners will benefit from capital savings of 3.59 billion baht based on a 3% interest rate if they borrowed from banks.
SMEs urged to embrace e-commerce Bangkok Post 27th Mar 2018
The Federation of Thailand Industries (FTI) has teamed up with Total Access Communication (DTAC) and Siam Commercial Bank to promote small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to promote the e-commerce channel -- CloudCommerce. CloudCommerce is a one-stop solution for cross-border e-commerce. The channel aims to help sellers unlock the potential of global markets by connecting with other popular e-marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Instagram and Facebook.
Reducing cyberbullying requires cooperation between sectors The Nation 25th Mar 2018
The Digital Economy and Society Ministry and DTAC have joined hands to set up a collaborative framework to fight cyberbullying. According to a 2017 survey from the National Statistical Office (NSO), 15- to 24-year-olds, had the highest Internet penetration rate at 89.8 per cent. Thai people in general are heavy users of social media, including 47 million Facebook accounts, 41 million Line accounts, 11 million Instagram accounts and 9 million Twitter accounts. The heavy use has implications for social-media use among teenagers, who may have lower levels of digital literacy and high potential to be victimised.
Council says NBTC can hold auctions Bangkok Post 24th Mar 2018
The existing board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has the authority to hold the planned auctions of the 1800- and 850-megahertz spectra, according to the Council of State. The decision came on Wednesday in response to a letter the NBTC submitted to the Council of State last December asking whether the existing board had the authority to hold the auctions. The existing NBTC board is now working as the acting NBTC after its six-year working term expired in October 2017.
Airport rail links get B112bn Bangkok Post 2nd Apr 2018
The government is committed to investing up to 111.9 billion baht in high-speed railways linking the three main airports -- Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao -- to serve the government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme. Nathporn Chatusripitak, a spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, said the new high-speed railway will be developed under the public-private partnership scheme, with the government paying the first 3.57 billion baht for land appropriation and the remaining 108.33 billion in 10 years after the trains begin operation.
Strong opposition to Pattani airport runway extension Bangkok Post 28th Mar 2018
PATTANI: Villagers are opposing plans to extend the runway at Pattani airport for another 1,100 metres, arguing it would cause major disruption to their communities - including schools and mosques. Residents said there was plenty of abandoned farmland in the area and the airport should be moved. They expressed their discontent when authorities called a meeting of residents of Moo 3, 5 and 6 villages in tambon Bo Thong of Nong Chik district on Tuesday to sound out their views on the expansion of the aviation facility, also known as “Bo Thong” airport.
Cabinet approves high-speed train project linking 3 main airports Bangkok Post 27th Mar 2018
The Cabinet on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for a 200 billion baht high-speed train network connecting three international airports. Nattaporn Jatusripitak, an adviser to Prime Minister's Office, told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that the terms of reference, defining what is to be achieved and how, will be drafted as soon as possible, following by a bidding process. He said the investment will be in the form of a public-private partnership, allowing the private sector to engage in the project in cooperation with whatever government agencies are in charge of it.
B300bn to lift average traffic speed by 2kph Bangkok Post 24th Mar 2018
The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) plans to invest nearly 300 billion baht to tackle traffic congestion in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces over the next 12 years. A total of 289 billion baht would be spent to finance 204 projects in the pipeline. These schemes are to be executed in three phases -- 2019-2021, 2022-2023, and 2024-2029 -- according to Chayatan Phromsorn, deputy OTP director. He said the 12-year plan is designed with a focus on urban development to increase the metropolitan area's capacity to handle traffic.