Mekong River rising again in Nong Khai province

The Mekong River at Nong Khai has begun to rise once again following rain and excess water drainage via tributaries in the province to protect farmland.

Rainfall in Lao PDR north of Nong Khai has raised the Mekong River as measured by the province’s Department of Water Resources office, by four centimeters to 9.46 meters. The river is continuing to rise due to inflows from Loei province. Water inflow from Loei’s Chiang Kan district is expected to swell the Mekong over the next 18-20 hours.

Drainage of waterways flowing into the Mekong River, has however benefitted farmland and allowed 10 small water pumps to stop operation, leaving only four large pumps still operating. Drainage from streams in Nong Khai into the Mekong has been increased to 100 percent in anticipation of more rain.

In the south, the Songkla Fishing Association has issued a warning to fishing boats operating in the Gulf of Thailand to be wary of strong winds and waves. They have been urged to move further south towards Nakhon Si Thammarat to avoid being impacted by tropical storm Bebinca. Boat operators have also been encouraged to closely follow weather forecasts and to stay close to shore so they may escape harsh weather.

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Reporter : Itiporn  LakarnchuaRewriter : Itiporn  LakarnchuaNational News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

The Cabinet has approved changes to the tax measure aimed at boosting tourism and MICE, or meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions, in secondary provinces.

After the Cabinet meeting, Mr Natporn Jatusripitak, Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office Minister, revealed that adjustments have been made to the draft ministerial regulation concerning tax exemptions to promote tourism and MICE activities in secondary cities.

For more inclusiveness, the Cabinet agreed to expand the coverage of the term “non-hotel establishments” to accommodations with no more than four rooms and a capacity of no more than 20 guests which serve travelers on a temporary basis and generate supplementary income for the operators.

Moreover, the meeting gave a nod to the addition of more secondary tourism sites, as suggested by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, to a list of places where visitors would be eligible for an income tax exemption on tour guide services. Visitors staying at non-hotel establishments would also receive a tax exemption on accommodation fees. Such exemptions would be applicable to the actual amount of payment not exceeding 15,000 baht collectively, made between January 1 and December 31, 2018.

These adjustments, which are estimated to cost the government about 50 million baht, are expected to help stimulate tourism in local communities and distribute wealth across the country. Following the Cabinet’s approval, the revised ministerial regulation will be presented to the Office of the Council of State for a review before being forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for implementation.

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Reporter : Surapan Laotharanarit Rewriter : Surapan Laotharanarit National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

More than 1.5 million new vehicles registered in the first half of 2018

According to the Department of Land Transport (DLT), car owners registered more than 1.5 million new vehicles in the first half of 2018.

Deputy Director-General of the DLT Jongrak Kitsamrankhun says that the total number of vehicles registered from January to June 2018 under the 1979 Vehicle Act and the 1979 Land Transport Act is 1,614,576, an increase of 1.9% year-on-year.

He further elaborated that motorbikes made up the majority of the number at 1,008,486, followed by personal vehicles at 373,063 and pickup trucks at 141,271.

The Deputy Director-General said 8,094 taxis and 1,911 motorbike taxis were registered during the period.

Jongrak expects the positive trend to continue throughout the year, attributing the increase to the government’s policies to legalize unauthorized taxis and motorbike taxis.

Earlier the administration launched the Taxi OK and Taxi VIP campaigns which are aimed at improving the overall quality of taxi services.

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Reporter : Nuppol Suvansombut Rewriter : Thammarat Thadaphrom National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

Thailand’s Amazing Durian and Fruit Fest now underway at CentralWorld

The Ministry of commerce is hosting a fruit festival to boost the sales of tropical fruit and geographical indication (GI) products.
Presiding over the opening of “Thailand Amazing Durian and Fruit Fest” at CentralWorld, Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong said the current administration has a policy to turn Thailand into the world’s leading tropical fruit provider.
It’s hoped the event will trigger the increased sale of Thai fruit domestically and internationally.
This year, prices of durian have risen by 20-30 baht, partly due to the ministry’s quality control policy.
Thai durians have been selling well on thaitrade.com and tmall.com operated by the Alibaba Group.
Minister Sonthirat said Thailand is expected to produce no less than 765,000 tons of durians, which should be enough to meet the demand in the global market.
Thailand’s Amazing Durian and Fruit Fest will come to a close on Wednesday, May 23rd. Visitors can expect to find a wide array of fruit, processed fruit products, and GI products.
The highlight of the event is the 459-baht durian buffet, indulging visitors who love the world’s smelliest fruit.

EU lauds Thai foreign labor registration efforts

The European Union has commended the Thai government for its management of foreign laborers, noting significant progress in their registration.

Minister of Labor, Pol Gen Adul Saengsinghkaew received EU Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Pirkka Tapiola and his delegation this week, after they arrived in the Kingdom to discuss labor cooperation between Thailand and the European Union.

The minister took the opportunity to assure the EU representatives that Thailand has been working diligently to properly register all of its migrant laborers and has integrated its nationality verification systems. He explained that of the estimated 3.8 million foreign workers in Thailand, about 2 million are here under a Memorandum of Understanding while 1.8 million entered the country without legal permission. O that number some 700,000 are pending proper registration, which includes the collection of biometric information such as retinal scans. The scans have been especially important in documenting fisheries industry workers with 160,000 so far scanned and about 2,600 left to be documented. The process is expected to be completed on March 31.

He also assured the delegation that the government has emphasized human rights and equality in its work and has been stringent in maintaining the rule of law, with both the Prime Minister and his deputy for security, paying considerable attention to the matter.

The EU envoy lauded the government for its latest legislation concerning foreign workers and for its efforts to register all migrant laborers in the Kingdom. He remarked that the efforts provide a clear starting point for Thailand’s cooperation with the EU and have helped the bloc to grow confident about developing labor relations with Thailand.

Thailand to produce its own HPV vaccines

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed to transfer the technology required to create human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to Thai producers.

The National Vaccine Institute (Public Organization) led by its director, Charung Muangchana, signed an agreement with Xiamen Innovax Biotech CO., LTD. (Innovax) of China on the prevention of HPV related diseases such as cervical cancer.

Under the signed agreement, Innovax will transfer the knowledge and technology to Thai manufacturers to produce HPV vaccines to prevent two types of cervical cancer and nine strains of HPV.

In Thailand, up to 10,000 new cases of cervical cancer have been reported and 14 patients a day succumb to the disease.

According to Director Charung, HPV vaccines are proven to be safe and 70% effective.

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection and is passed between people through skin-to-skin contact.

Human Papilloma Virus vaccine with syringe in vial at a clinic.

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Reporter : Thammarat Thadaphrom Rewriter : Rodney McNeil National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

Culture fair underway in Yala

Various agencies in the southernmost province of Yala are co-organizing a cultural fair in Than To district to publicize the region’s cultural identity and foster ties among the people.

The fair is taking place at the Than To District Office. Yala Governor Anuchit Trakulmututa presided over the opening ceremony. The event features an exhibition on King Rama IX’s royal projects and local wisdom, a floral parade, a folk song singing contest, animal and plant beauty pageants and a Thai boxing competition.

Event-goers can also enjoy a vast variety of local dishes and shop for locally made products offered by different groups of community producers. The 10-day fair, which is in its 11th year, will continue until 2nd April.

 

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Reporter : Vipaporn Pooritanasarn Rewriter : Rodney McNeil National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

Ayutthaya sees increasing number of tourists

The ancient province of Ayutthaya, is enjoying an increase in the number of visitors, boosting the local economy and people’s incomes.

Ayutthaya Governor Sujin Chaichumsuk said today that a rise in the number of tourists has been apparent since the period drama “Buppesannivas” premiered and became a must-watch show for Thai citizens.

Buppesannivas cultivates love for Thai culture and interest in the nation’s history. Considered the historic heart of Thailand, Ayutthaya houses a large collection of ancient ruins and artifacts.

Ayutthaya City Hall is working with tourism related agencies to accommodate visiting tourists, making sure they have an unforgettable experience.

The city is planning to organize 36 more activities to trigger cultural tourism throughout the year and to celebrate special occasions like the Songkran Festival and Loi Krathong.

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Reporter : Thammarat Thadaphrom Rewriter : Rodney McNeil National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

CNN names Northeast as top world destination in 2017

Siam Paragon holds exhibition in HM the late King’s honor

Siam Paragon, one of the most crowded shopping malls in the capital city, is hosting an exhibition in honor of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Held at the mall’s dancing fountain, the exhibition features 180 rare photographs of HM the late King taken by 50 photographers. The exhibition also marks the 1-year anniversary of the beloved monarch’s passing. According to the organizer, all the photos demonstrate the love and loyalty Thai people have for their late King who worked tirelessly for the betterment of his subjects throughout his 7-decade reign.

The organizer is also giving out stamps and portraits of HM King Rama IX to every visitor.

The exhibition will take place until October 27th. Doors open from 10 am to 7 pm.

 

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Reporter : Thammarat Thadaphrom Rewriter : Rodney McNeil National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

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