Thailand ranked 18th in countries with most business-friendly regulations


World Bank has ranked countries on “ease of doing business”, with Thailand being number 18 on the list, while Singapore won the first place for 8 consecutive years.

World Bank has announced its survey conducted on 189 countries worldwide, saying Thailand is ranked 18th on the list among countries with most business-friendly regulations for the upcoming year 2014. According to the survey, Singapore is still the country with the highest score on the ease of doing business index, followed closely by Hong Kong, which is ranked second.

Higher rankings indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses. The index is based on the study of laws and regulations of a country and how much a country can support business growth, starting from getting a business license and registering property to protecting investors and paying taxes.

Thailand, was also ranked 18th last year, dropping a notch from two years ago, when it was ranked 17th.

People across Thailand mourn passing of Supreme Patriarch


Prime Minister and Defense MinisterYingluck Shinawatra has instructed all armed forces to organize honorable funerals for the late Supreme Patriarch.

Thousands of people on Friday night attended the royal funeral of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch at Phra Tamnak Phet, Wat Bowonniwet Vihara. Ms Yingluck was also at the temple to mourn the loss of His Holiness. As the Defense Minister, she instructed the military to organize a funeral worthy of his position.

Meanwhile, over 100 monks at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara acknowledged Phra Wannarat as the Acting Abbot of the temple.

Elsewhere, Buddhists in Yala, Pattani, Ranong, Nan, Ratchaburi, and Samut Songkram attended funeral bathing rites for His Holiness in their respective areas.

National Police Chief Adul Saengsingkaew has issued an urgent message to all police commanders asking them to seek cooperation from entertainment venues to suspend entertainment activities for 15 days, from now until November 8th, in order to mourn for the loss of the Supreme Patriarch.


The Supreme Patriarch and his Great Contribution to Buddhism


His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, has been contributing to the propagation of Buddhism in Thailand and abroad all through his long life in the saffron robe. In 1966, he inaugurated the Buddha Pradipa temple in London, the United Kingdom and observed Buddhism activity in the UK as well as Italy.

Two years later, he traveled to observe Buddhism activity and education in Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines. He has cooperated with Buddhists in Indonesia in order to revive Buddhism in the country by sending Buddhist envoys to Indonesia in 1969, sending monks from Wat Bavoranives to conduct religious duties in Australia in 1973, and establishing a temple there in 1975.

In 1971, he traveled to observe Buddhist activity and education in Nepal, India and Bangladesh (then Eastern Pakistan). He had revitalized Buddhism in Nepal by providing scholarships to Nepali monks to study Buddhism at Wat Bavoranives in Thailand.

In 1977, he traveled to ordain 43 Indonesian Buddhists in Semarang, Indonesia, following an invitation by Indonesia’s Theravada Buddhism Group.

In 1985, he led Thai monks to conduct monastic boundary marking ceremony at Jakarta Dhammachakarajaya temple, Jakarta, Indonesia, the first of its kind to be performed in Indonesia. In the same year, he presided over the ordination of Kulabutara Sakaya of Nepal for 73 monks in Kathmandu, Nepal.

In 1993, His Holiness went to the People’s Republic of China to strengthen religious relations between Thailand and People’s Republic of China for the first time, following an invitation by the Chinese government.

Two years later, he presided over the cornerstone laying ceremony at Wat Thai at Lumbini, Nepal, constructed by the Thai government to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the reign of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In Thailand, he led the construction and renovation of temples in all parts of the country, including the Mondapa at the Shrine of the Lord Buddha’s footprint, the pagoda at Wat Bavoranives , the Lord Buddha’s relics at Sri Nakharin Maha Santikhiri Pagoda, Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai province. Santikhiri temple, Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai Province, Ratchadaphisek temple, Bo Phloi District, Kanchanaburi Province; Lanna Samvararam, Chom Thong Distict, Chiang Mai province; Phu Mud, Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi Province, Nyanasamvararam Temple, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri Province.

He had patronized numerous temples overseas, including Buddha Rangsi temple, Sydney, Australia; Jakarta Dhammachakarajaya temple, Jakarta, Indonesia; Nakhon Mondapa Sri Kirti Vihara temple, Kirtipur, Nepal. He created educational institutions, especially the Buddhist schools such as Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara School, Yasothon Province; Somdet Phra Piya Maharaja Rommaneeyakhet School, Kanchanaburi province.

He has written various books, including Syntax part 1-2 for Pali language learner as well as producing the Pali-Thai-English-Sanskrit dictionary, Dharma book such as 5 Chapter Panjaguna, 10 Chapters Tossapol Nyana, Auspicious Preaching, 3 Chapters Ovadapatimok and 9 Chapters Sangkhaguna, etc.

He has initiated dharma book translation from Thai to English in order to be used as Buddhist study, such as the Biography of the Lord Buddha, Bhikkhupatimok, Methods of Buddhist Ordination, Prayers, etc., general books such as Buddhist Worshipping, Buddhist Principles, the Lord Buddha’s Virtues, the Lord Buddha’s 45 – Year of Buddhist Teachings, What Does the Lord Buddha Teach? (Thai-English), in response to the wish of Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra, the Princess Mother, Dharma Principles, Buddhism and the Thai Society, Karma – Precept (Thai-English), Spiritual Exercise for Adult, Legend of Bavoranives Vihara Temple, etc.

Recognized around the world as a foremost Buddhist scholar, His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch, has been a major spiritual force in Thailand and all over the world throughout his long life in the saffron robe.


Chinese PM Li Keqiang addresses Thailand’s Parliament

Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra attend a joint press conference after their meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 11, 2013. (Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang became the first foreign leader to address Thailand’s Parliament in more than a decade on Friday as he began a three-day visit aimed at strengthening ties and seeking business for his country’s high-speed railway technology.

Li told the lawmakers that Thailand and China will boost their trade to $100 billion by the end of 2015 and that China will buy more Thai agricultural produce.

“In the next five years, China will import 1 million tons of rice from Thailand and will also import more rubber,” Li said.

Thailand’s government has struggled to sell much of the rice it has amassed in a rice-buying scheme that is a flagship policy of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration.

The scheme has accumulated losses of at least USD 4.46 billion since it was introduced in 2011.

Its inability to resell the high-priced rice on the international market allowed India and Vietnam to surpass Thailand in the value of their rice exports.

Thai rubber farmers also have staged a series of street demonstrations and blocked roads in recent months to pressure the government to shore up rubber prices, which have dropped since peaking in 2011 due to weak demand in a sluggish global economy.

Li, who became premier in March, is the first foreign leader to give a speech in Parliament in at least 10 years. House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said he granted Li “an opportunity to speak directly to the representatives of the Thai people” because his visit was an “honour.”

Li asked the lawmakers to support Chinese train technology. He is to open an exhibition on China’s high speed rail system in Bangkok tomorrow.

The two governments also signed memorandums of understanding regarding cooperation on railway projects, investment, energy, culture and other areas.

“China has expressed interest in helping to develop the high-speed railway. On this, in principle, Thailand is willing to work with them at the government level and is asking to pay part of the expenses with agricultural produce,” Yingluck told reporters after meeting with Li.


Thailand Tops List Of Asian Countries For Best Street Markets, India And Vietnam Come Next

Thailand comes first on the list of Asian countries for the region’s best street markets, followed by India and Vietnam with three diverse street markets each, according to a guide released by TripAdvisor, a travel website. The list also includes markets that operate through the night and floating markets, all of which are an integral part of Thailand’s culture.

“Street markets are an integral part of Thai culture and are popular with both locals and foreigners alike,” Jean Ow-Yeong, a TripAdvisor spokesperson, was quoted as saying by Travel Daily Media in August, when TripAdvisor released its list of top 10 Thai street markets. “For that authentic and unique Thai shopping experience, TripAdvisor’s global community of travelers have uncovered the best street markets in the nation.”

In India, Dilli Haat and Chandni Chowk in the capital city of New Delhi, and Goa’s Arpora night market topped the list of street markets. The Dilli Haat is modeled on the lines of a village market and travelers can find a wide range of products from traditional clothing and accessories to handicrafts.

Chandni Chowk, built in the seventeenth century, is one of the busiest markets in the capital and it remains one of India’s largest wholesale markets where locals and visitors can buy a whole range of goods including home appliances, jewelry, and clothes. It is also one of the best places to try out street food.

Arpora, in the tourist magnet state of Goa on India’s west coast, is a village close to the North Goa beach belt, and it is popular for its night market where people from across the nation come together to sell clothes, shoes, handicrafts, jewelry, home decor and spices.







“Shopping is an important part of a travel itinerary and the fact that there are a number of diverse and unusual markets in Asia for a global traveller to choose from, makes her journey a lot more fascinating,” Nikhil Ganju, country manager for TripAdvisor India, told Press Trust of India.

He added: “Markets reflect the culture and tradition in a region and for a tourist they are not just places to buy interesting merchandise but also a gateway to get acquainted with the region’s people and their varied attitudes towards life in general.”


Tourist Arrivals In Thailand Up 21.41 Per Cent To 17.437 Million


Tourist arrivals in Thailand for the period of January-August this year rose by 21.41 per cent to 17.437 million compared with the same period last year.

China was the main source of tourists into Thailand followed by Malaysia, Russia, Japan, South Korea, India, Laos, Australia, UK and America, according to a tourism report at the cabinet meeting here Tuesday.

In terms of region, the main sources were East Asia, Europe and America.

Thailand attracted 2.469 million tourists in August, an increase of 542,231 tourists, or 28.14 per cent, year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the number of Thais visiting other countries in the period January-August rose by 5.61 per cent to 5.245 million compared with the same period of the previous year.

The most popular destinations were East Asian countries.

Japan’s 2020 Olympics expected to boost Thai exports


Ms. Nantawan Sakuntanak, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), expressed her opinion that Japan hosting the 2020 Olympics would benefit domestic investments and construction industry, sending good results to Thai exports to that country in the last quarter of this year.

She expects a 2% growth in Thai exports to Japan in 2013. She elaborated that exporters should take the opportunity to boost bilateral trade in order to compensate for a 4% decrease in Thai exports to Japan in the first 8 months of this year.

She also called for Thai investment expansion in such businesses as tourism and construction, as the sports event would bring athletes and a lot more tourists to Japan, making it necessary to build more hotels and highways to absorb incoming flows of travelers.

Moreover, the furniture and decorative industries would also benefit from the 2020 Olympics, as the construction and renovation of various hotels in Japan would increase the demand for furniture and interior design items, the Director-General said.


Tourism industry yet to be affected by flooding: TAT


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says the flooding situation in Thailand has yet to affect the tourism industry.

According to TAT Governor Surapol Svetasreni, despite the current floods in many provinces throughout the country, the tourism industry has not been sabotaged by the situation as tourist attractions are not damaged and the number of travelers is still the same, especially those foreign visitors, who still travel to places as usual.

When asked about the future of Thai tourism industry, the governor said the government’s 2.2 trillion baht infrastructure project would be the key factor contributing to the growth and stability of the tourism sector as travelers will be able to get to places easier and quicker.


AOT holds emergency drill, builds confidence among passengers

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The Airport of Thailand (AOT) has held an emergency drill and a rescue mission, while assuring all sides that its readiness and standard meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Chairman of Airport of Thailand Sita Divari led a group of media to observe the emergency drill and rescue mission performed by the AOT officials. He said the drill was held with an aim to regain confidence among airlines and passengers.

According to the chairman, the operations of the firefighters and the rescue team on September 8th were effective. However, he said some mistakes will have to be corrected and must not be repeated in the future, adding that lessons learnt from the September 8th incident will help the officers perform faster and more cautious next time.

He also affirmed that the AOT’s fire and rescue departments are in line with the standard requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

On September 8th, Thai Airways International Airbus 330 from Guangzhou, China, skidded off the runway at Suvarnabhumi Airport as it was landing on, causing damage to its propellers and putting a fire at the right landing gear near the engine. Rescue officials have put out the fire and evacuated all the passengers to safety. 12 people among the 287 passengers on board the TG 679 flight were injured from shock and smoke choking.


Plane crash-lands at Bangkok airport, 13 injured


Thai Airways International Airbus 330 from Guangzhou, China, skidded off the runway at Suvarnabhumi Airport as it was landing on Sunday night, causing damage to its propellers and putting a fire at the right landing gear near the engine. Rescue officials have put out the fire and evacuated all the passengers to safety.

Only 12 people among the 287 passengers on board the TG 679 flight were injured from shock and smoke choking. It is reported that the team of Mr. Charnchai Chairungruang, a former Industry Minister, as well as Channel 7 actor Veeraparp Suparbpaiboon, and Mr.Kosit Suvinijjit, Director of Spring News were among the passengers on the flight.

The Director of the Suvarnabhumi Airport revealed that the airbus reported a fire in its engine and took an emergency landing, before sliding off track. Most of the passengers were Chinese. Fortunately, only a small number of passengers were hurt, with only 3 being sent to the nearest hospital. The eastern runway is currently out of use and may cause slight delays to other flights as flight re-scheduling is necessary, the Director said.

Meanwhile, Sorajak Kasemsuvan, President of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited has revealed that the Airbus 330 is still sitting on the side of the runway as it cannot yet be removed from the scene before an approval of the Department of Civil Aviation. He added that the runway will be closed for at least one day and a half. Lastly, he expects the incident to affect a number of flights, while affirming that the incoming flights will not be re-routed to Don Mueang Airport.


The Style Souk