Gov’t Policies Must Lead To Concrete Actions: PM26 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Prime Minister has called upon government agencies to drive forward government policies towards concrete actions.Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said each of the government policies delivered before the parliament must yield concrete outcomes, especially the urgent policies that address the high living cost, increase the revenues of farmers and small retailers, revitalize small and medium businesses, promote tourism, and address corruption and drug issues.The PM urged heads of government agencies to help lay a strong foundation for the country, and eliminate the existing barriers that forbid new economic development.He asked them to promote soft power assets, facilitate infrastructure investment and educational reform, and promote inclusive livelihood improvements, in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The PM said the execution of government policies must be done appropriately and effectively.The Prime Minister on this occasion expressed appreciation towards senior government officials who are retiring this year, saying that they are the role models for the younger generations of civil servants.
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PM to Form Special Committee to Probe Recent Police Raids26 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - An update on the police raids that have captivated national attention: Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced today that an external committee will be set up to examine the recent searches carried out on the residence of Police General Surachate Hakparn, widely known as "Big Joke," the Deputy Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police. The Prime Minister stressed that impartiality will be maintained as this is a significant issue affecting multiple sectors.In response to media inquiries, the Prime Minister confirmed that he has received an official report from the current National Police Chief, Police General Damrongsak Kittiprapas, and that investigations are ongoing. When asked if these events could influence the appointment of the new National Police Chief scheduled for September 27, he answered, "Not sure," noting that all factors will be reviewed.The eight police officers involved in the searches may be temporarily relieved from duties, pending further direction from the Prime Minister and the outcomes of ongoing investigations. The raids originated from the actions of the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) two months ago, which led to court-approved arrest warrants for 23 individuals, including eight police officers and 15 civilians.Lastly, it was clarified that the raids are not directly linked to the selection of the new National Police Chief set for tomorrow, September 27. Fair treatment will be given to all parties involved, irrespective of their association with Police General Surachate Hakparn.
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Wuhan Virology Institute Warns of New COVID Strains28 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The latest research on coronaviruses in bats has triggered global concerns about the potential for future outbreaks.A study led by Dr. Shi Zhengli, Director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at Wuhan Institute of Virology, China, reveals more than 20 strains with a high-risk of human transmissions.Popularly known as "bat woman" and "virus hunter," Dr. Shi Zhengli has been a prominent figure in research regarding coronaviruses originating from animals, particularly bats. Her team’s recent findings suggest that these strains could potentially lead to future pandemics. The study was published in a medical journal last June and has gained attention from Chinese media, leading some experts to liken it to a "coronavirus dictionary" for predicting and preventing future outbreaks.However, critics argue that the pursuit of unknown viruses may pose a risk. Increased human interaction with wildlife due to virus hunting could inadvertently lead to more severe global pandemics.Dr. Zhengli has been under scrutiny since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic because her lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology specializes in coronavirus research. She denies allegations that the COVID-19 virus escaped from her lab. The Chinese government continues to support her research on viruses that could cross from animals to humans.
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Phu Kradueng Reopens on October 122 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Phu Kradueng National Park, one of Thailand’s renowned natural gems, is ready to welcome visitors back from October 1st, following a four-month seasonal closure that began on June 1st. The annual closure of Phu Kradueng National Park during the rainy season aims to allow the natural environment to rejuvenate and minimize potential accidents. To ensure a seamless visit, tourists are encouraged to register via the QueQ application, which allows advance bookings of up to 60 days.For those planning to stay within the park’s boundaries, booking a bungalow or tent is essential. Reservations can be made by calling 042-810834 or visiting https://nps.dnp.go.th/reservation.php. The mountain, reaching a height of 1,315 meters above sea level, promises an exhilarating challenge for hikers. On weekdays, the ascent is allowed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., while on weekends and public holidays, the climbing window extends from 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., offering adventurers ample time to conquer this natural wonder.Spanning an expansive 217,576 rai of land (34,800 hectares), this national treasure boasts a mesmerizing sea of mist, a temperate climate, and a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Phu Kradueng’s landscape also features towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, lush fields, and pristine forests.
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THEOS-2 Satellite Set for October 7 Launch28 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Thailand’s second earth observation satellite, known as THEOS-2, is set to launch into orbit on October 7, according to Minister of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Supamas Isarabhakdi. The launch is a significant milestone for the country’s space technology and innovation development. The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) has been overseeing the 7.8 billion-baht project since 2019. THEOS-2 boasts high-resolution imaging capabilities, able to detect objects on Earth as small as 50 centimeters in scale. The satellite’s data will be instrumental in various areas, including farming development, disaster management, and carbon credit management. THEOS-2’s launch also marks 15 years of collaboration between Thailand and Airbus, combining cutting-edge space technology with GISTDA’s expertise. GISTDA also has plans to launch Thailand’s first-ever domestically produced low-earth satellite, THEOS-2A, next year.
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PM Visits Cambodia to Discuss Border and Call Center Scam Concerns28 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is set to hold discussions with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Manet, focusing on Thai-Cambodia border issues and efforts to suppress call center scams during his visit to Cambodia, marking his first official visit to an ASEAN nation since taking office. The visit also aims to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara told reporters that the matter of border regions claimed by both Thailand and Cambodia especially concerns over the disappearance of activist, Wanchalearm Satsaksit, however, has not been scheduled to be on the agenda for these talks between the two sides. The Thai activist had been wanted in Thailand for defying a summons from the National Council for Peace and Order following the 2014 coup. He had sought refuge in Laos. In June 2018, Thai authorities issued an arrest warrant for him, alleging violations of the Computer Crimes Act due to his operation of a critical Facebook page from Phnom Penh, which criticized the Thai government.On June 4, 2020, he was reportedly abducted by armed individuals outside his residence in the city. Sitanan, his sister, has since submitted a petition to the prime minister, urging him to follow up on her brother’s case.
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PM Says Weak Baht Can Help Export and Tourism Sectors25 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The prime minister has assured that the Bank of Thailand (BOT) is monitoring the weak baht, which he pointed out is not entirely bad for the economy and could help the key export and tourism sectors, as the currency hit multi-month lows.Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, speaking during a visit to the United States, said the government was not interfering in the central bank’s duty.He told reporters that the Thai currency’s depreciation was driven by capital outflows due to interest rate differentials.The U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and its hawkish stance on monetary policy strengthened the dollar.The baht traded at 36.16 per dollar after hitting a more than 10-month low of 36.32 on Wednesday (20 Sep). The unit has weakened by 4.4% against the greenback so far this year.The new government, which took office last month, is planning higher spending to help finance fresh policies to stimulate the economy weighed down by soft demand for exports and low investor confidence.When asked whether a large public borrowing plan would affect fund-raising by the private sector, Prime Minister Srettha said market liquidity remained ample.
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PM and Elon Musk Discuss EV Industry25 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin held talks with Tesla chief Elon Musk during a visit to New York and they discussed the electric vehicle industry.Thailand, Asia’s fourth-largest automobile assembly hub, has been offering incentives to EV and battery makers, as well as tax cuts to local EV buyers, to remain a regional auto center.Prime Minister Srettha, who is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, said he spoke with Musk about EV manufacturer Tesla and his rocket and satellite company SpaceX, including its internet venture Starlink.In a statement, the Thai government said the premier told Musk in a video conference that his administration was ready to support investments within the existing incentive framework.The statement said, "Tesla praised Thai human capital, which was suitable for investment."Automakers with plants in Thailand include Toyota and Honda. The country produces about 1.5 million to 2 million vehicles annually, of which about half are exported.EVs have been steadily gaining traction in Southeast Asia, a market traditionally dominated by Japanese carmakers.Counterpoint Research data showed EVs accounted for 6.4% of all passenger car sales in the region in the second quarter, up from 3.8% in the first quarter.Around half of all regional EV sales are from Thailand, followed by Vietnam and Indonesia, with Chinese carmakers like BYD leading by a wide margin.Tesla, also popular in Thailand, launched models in the growing market last year.According to Counterpoint, Southeast Asia accounted for less than 1% of Tesla’s global sales.
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PM Boosts OTOP Midyear 2023 Exposure28 Sep 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - OTOP Midyear 2023, an event running from September 23rd to October 1st, saw some key government figures in attendance. The exhibition, themed "The Pinnacle of Wisdom, Created from Development to Increase the Value of Thai Economy," attracted both national and international visitors.Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, toured various stalls, especially those displaying Thai fabrics. Han Zhiqiang, the Chinese Ambassador to Thailand, accompanied him.Deputy Minister of Interior Chada Thaised was entrusted by the Prime Minister to further publicize this year’s OTOP event. During his tour, the Prime Minister interacted with local craftspeople and even attempted to create artwork on a traditional Thai fabric, though eventually opting to write his own name beneath a stick-figure drawing instead.Aside from touring the exhibition, he visited environmentally friendly stalls that used recycled materials to create valuable products. A local representative from Phu Kiew district of Chaiyaphum province, presented him with a silk elephant doll.
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