South Korea Debunks Allegations of Blacklisting Thais Based on Region21 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - South Korea’s embassy in Thailand has confirmed that the country does not blacklist tourists from specific parts of Thailand from entering South Korea. The embassy’s statement was in response to false reports alleging that Seoul was barring Thais from specific localities in the kingdom.Government Spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri recently discussed reports circulating that had claimed South Korea was blacklisting Thais from certain regions from entering the country. Anucha revealed that the South Korean embassy in Thailand confirmed that such stories were untrue and considered fabricated news. The embassy is urging people to exercise caution when receiving information and to only trust credible sources. The spokesperson further suggested that people double-check the facts to prevent confusion and potential harm.He added that South Korean authorities have allowed illegal Thai workers to voluntarily return to Thailand from November 7, 2022, to February 28 of this year. Those who reported themselves and returned voluntarily were exempt from facing a large fine and were not banned from re-entering South Korea.Illegal workers who did not report themselves during the waiver period and those arrested during crackdowns would have to pay a fine of 30 million won (almost 800,000 baht). They would also be subject to a semi-ban on re-entry.
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Health Ministry Organizes Checkups After Cesium-137 Isotope Recovery21 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health is organizing health checkups for workers operating smelting plants in the industrial area of Prachinburi province, who unknowingly purchased a missing container of radioactive isotope from a power station.The move comes after the Cesium-137 radioactive isotope cylinder, which went missing last week, was reportedly recovered during an inspection of steel smelting plants in Kabin Buri district’s industrial area.Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, said health officials will be monitoring for individuals who exhibit physical irregularities or experience nausea and vomiting. They will also monitor for any drastic drop of white blood cells count. Initial inspections will be performed via urine test, with a focus on those at high risk of exposure. Officials have yet to identify anyone exhibiting symptoms of concern. Health authorities will nevertheless prepare for potential emergencies until the area is determined to be clear of radioactive contamination.According to the director-general, the half-life of Cesium-137 is 30 years, which means that possible contamination could last for three decades, regardless of whether it inhabits the environment or human organs.
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Wissanu Expects EC To Set May 14 As Election Day, Says Civil Servants Must Not Breach Election law21 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The deputy prime minister for legal affairs now expects the Election Commission (EC) to announce the date for this year’s general election by Friday (24 March). The date is expected to fall on Sunday, May 14.Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam indicated that with the announcement of the royal decree on Parliament dissolution, the EC will likely announce election-related dates by Friday. The EC will be announcing the election date, the application dates for MP candidates, and the venues where candidates can make their applications. Mr. Wissanu expects the election date to be May 14th. However, he said it would make no difference and there would be no political implications if the date fell on May 7th instead.Mr. Wissanu also said civil servants must now carry themselves in accordance with Section 78 of the election law. He said the EC has pointed out that some actions by civil servants that do not violate election law may still be in breach of civil servant laws. The EC had given participation in vote rallies as an example, saying this would be in violation of civil servant laws stipulating that state officials are to perform without bias.Mr. Wissanu said the Cabinet will now need the approval of the EC when making transfers of civil servants and state enterprise executives or when disbursing the central budget. He said he will brief the Cabinet on this matter tomorrow (21 March). Meanwhile, the EC has issued a guidebook for politicians’ conduct after Parliament dissolution. The guidebook details matter such as the Cabinet not being able to hold roving Cabinet meetings or organizing events that involve large numbers of people gathering. The exception to this would be annual events such as the Songkran festival. Cabinet members will not be able to hand out items during festivities. They will be able to attend weddings and hand out wedding gifts but are not allowed to take the stage to deliver a speech.Mr. Wissanu also spoke of a political party’s recent request for the Administrative Court to determine the legitimacy of the EC’s current electoral districts map for Bangkok. He said the EC will unlikely make changes to the constituency boundaries so long as the court does not rule otherwise. He added he personally was unsure if the court would accept the request as it might fall under the jurisdiction of another court.
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Phanaeng Curry Named Best Stew in The World21 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Thai dishes continue to be desired delicacies among food enthusiasts around the world. A global food website TasteAtlas has ranked Phanaeng curry the best stew in the world, ahead of Japanese curry and Sichuan hot pot.TasteAtlas has placed Phanaeng curry at the top of the Best Stews in the World ranking, with a 4.8 score out of 5. The website describes Phanaeng curry as a variety of Thai curry that is characterized by its thick texture and a salty-sweet peanut flavor, consisting of meat that is stewed with dried chilis, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, cilantro, cumin, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, and peanuts. The dish is traditionally made without any vegetables.Another Thai dish making the top-ten ranking is Massaman curry, coming at number eight with a score of 4.6. The website says Massaman stands out from other Thai curries as it is the mildest and sweetest kind. TasteAtlas describes Massaman curry as a combination of creamy coconut milk, meat, potatoes, and a curry paste made with roasted spices, while highlighting the use of coconut milk in this dish as an authentic Thai element, providing a rich base for the rest of the ingredients. Thicker cuts of meat such as beef, bone-in chicken, lamb, and mutton are typically used for this dish, which is cooked along with spices such as cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns, mixed with fresh garlic, chili, galangal, lemongrass, tamarind paste, and palm sugar.
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Energy Min says it will adjust energy prices while being mindful of people’s cost of living21 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Energy says it will adjust energy prices in ways that do not impact people’s cost of living, in light of the recent decline in global energy prices. Meanwhile, it is calling on political parties to avoid campaigning on unrealistic energy price policies that would spell disaster for the energy infrastructure and fiscal discipline.Phisut Phienmonkun, the secretary to the minister of energy, said the situation of energy prices remained volatile due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The energy situation has triggered an economic crisis in some countries and has impacted Thailand’s domestic energy prices. He said the Ministry of Energy continues to closely monitor the situation and has coordinated with relevant agencies to prepare to address potential energy-related issues that may develop.The ministry has so far issued several measures to assist the public in light of the energy prices situation. The measures addressed prices of oil fuel as well as electricity. Cooperation was asked of oil retailers to reduce their marketing margins and the Oil Fuel Fund was drawn on to provide oil price subsidies. Some taxes on fuels were also slashed in the interest of mitigating impacts on the public. Meanwhile, the amount of reserve oil was managed in accordance with the nation’s energy security needs.Mr. Phisut said now that energy prices are falling, the energy ministry will adjust prices to reflect the true costs to avoid creating future budget problems. He disclosed that the electricity FT rates for the May-August cycle will be similar to those applied in the September-December 2022 cycle. This would be true for rates applied to households as well as industrial operations.The ministerial secretary also urged political parties to not campaign for the general election using unrealistic energy price reduction policies. He said this would create impossible hopes among the public and such policies would impact the national energy infrastructure and fiscal discipline.
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Smart Delivery Expo 2023 to be launched20 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Smart Delivery Expo 2023, focusing on e-commerce, retail and logistics, will be launched in Bangkok to offer effective solutions for businesses.Topics such as competition in ASEAN, future change in e-commerce and retails, improvement of in Last Mile Logistics management system, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) system will be discussed at the conference.Exhibitors across the globe will be gathering at the event, bringing cutting-edge products and solutions from parcel carriers, reverse, logistics, click and collect to fleets, warehousing, and robotics.The two-day seminar and exhibition will be organized at Bitec Bangna from March 23 to 24. Visit www.smartdeliveryexpo.com for more information.
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Phuket Expo 2028 Could Generate 40 Billion Baht20 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has announced his support for Phuket’s bid to host an international expo in 2028, noting that the mega event has the potential to generate as much as 40 billion baht in revenue for Thailand. The bid, known as Phuket Expo 2028, would see the event take place from March 20 to June 17 2028 in Thalang district, under the theme "Future of Life: Living in Harmony, Sharing Prosperity".According to the premier, the 2028 Expo event will bring economic benefits and showcase Thailand as a multi-industry hub for aviation, tourism and health.Thailand is competing against the United States, Argentina, Serbia and Spain to host the mega event. The kingdom will have the opportunity to showcase its bid to the 171 member countries of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) during its gathering in June. State agencies will meet this week to further discuss the proposal and presentation.If Thailand’s bid is successful, the expo is expected to add 39.3 billion baht to the country’s GDP in 2028, create over 113,439 jobs and generate an additional 9.51 billion baht in tax receipts.The prime minister traveled to the southern province on March 19 to present his "Andaman Ready" vision, which included a demonstration of making the traditional ar pong dish, a new tourist route in Koh Phra Thong, a mangrove forest ecology study and activities to boost sustainable local incomes.
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Chinese Ambassador Says Thailand Can Expect More Chinese Tourists20 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - China’s ambassador to Thailand, Han Zhiqiang, has predicted that Chinese tourist arrivals to Thailand will surge to over 300,000 in April, providing a major boost to the kingdom’s tourism industry. The remarks were made during the ambassador’s recent meeting with Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew to discuss strengthening ties between Thailand and China, as well as ways to increase tourism to Phuket and beyond. The meeting’s agenda included Thailand’s ambition to host the Specialized Expo 2028, the province’s plans to establish sister cities in China and ways to boost tourism between the two nations.Phuket has been a popular tourist destination since China lifted its travel restrictions in January, with the average daily arrival of Chinese tourists reaching 20,000. Phuket’s Provincial Administrative Organisation is planning to host a traveling roadshow in Shanghai, Chengdu and Nanning, in collaboration with the private sector, to further promote tourism. The southern province has already established tourism ties with several cities in China, including Yantai, Hainan, Ningxia Hui, Guilin, Yanjiang, Xiamen and the Macau special administrative region. Officials said the visit by Ambassador Han also serves as a positive development for Phuket’s tourism sector, which has already seen a significant increase in Chinese tourist arrivals since the lifting of travel restrictions. The planned traveling roadshow in China is expected to further promote Phuket as a popular destination for Chinese visitors.
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Hom Mali Buyers Advised to Check Certification Branding20 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce has advised customers looking to purchase genuine Hom Mali rice from Thailand to look for certification branding on the package. This recommendation came in response to a report on fake Hom Mali rice coming from China. The Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) has advised consumers to look for certification branding on the packages for quality assurance. Recent reports have warned of Chinese imitations of Hom Mali rice, whereby manufacturers sell rice of other origins processed with flavor enhancers.DFT Director General Ronnarong Phoolpipat said three manufacturers have already been found producing imitated Hom Mali rice, after which they were shut down by Chinese authorities.Ronnarong said the damage to the reputation of Thai rice from these imitation products has yet to be determined. Thailand’s trade promotion offices in China will conduct more frequent inspections against imitated products, as well as work to raise awareness among Chinese customers on the quality assurance branding for items originating from Thailand.
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