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Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited (BEM) revealed that the MRT train services (Blue Line) will be opened unofficially for the public at five stations on the extended route from Hua Lamphong : WatMangkon, Sam Yot, Sanam Chai, Itsaraphap, and Tha Phra. It will be free of charge from 29 July to 28 September. Initially, three MRT trains will be in service during the hours of 10.00 -16.00, from Hua Lamphong station to Tha Phra station, and official full services will commence on 29 September 2019. (19/07/2019)
The Customs Department has issued a document clarifying customs procedures for air passengers arriving in Thailand. According to the document, duty-exempted items include passengers' accompanying belongings worth no more than 20,000 baht in value. If accompanying belongings are worth in excess of 20,000 baht, they are liable for duty and taxes. If such belongings are intended for commercial purposes despite being valued at less than 20,000 baht, they are still liable for duty and taxes. Passengers can declare their belongings at the Goods to Declare Channel, also known as the Red Channel. (19/07/2019)
The Ministry of Labour has established a human resources development center on automation and robots at the Institute for Skill Development 3 located in Chonburi, as the Kingdom pushes its industrial sector towards the 4.0 era. The new center will help enhance workers' capabilities to become highly-skilled with modern innovations, and create trainers on automation systems. The center has so far provided training to some 6,000 workers in areas such as industrial robotics and automation programming. (19/07/2019)
The Director-General of the Commerce Ministry's Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN), Auramon Supthaweethum, said the 10 ASEAN member countries are ready to follow the guidelines for the implementation of ASEAN Commitments on Non-Tariff Measures (NTM). After the 15th ASEAN Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Committee (ATF-JCC) Meeting, which was held in Bangkok from July 10 to 11, 2019, Mrs. Auramon said the guidelines for the implementation of ASEAN Commitments on NTM adhere to the ASEAN Good Regulatory Practice (GRP) Core Principles. The principles are as follows: Principle 1: Clarity in policy rationale, objectives and institutional frameworks, Principle 2: Produce benefits that justify costs and be least distortive to the markets, Principle 3: Be consistent, transparent and practical, Principle 4: Support regional regulatory cooperation, Principle 5: Promote stakeholder engagement and participation, and Principle 6: Be subject to regular review for continued relevance, efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, the 10 ASEAN member countries have set up their own national trade facilitation committees (NTFCs) to monitor trade facilitation measures that complement the global trade rules outlined by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The member states are confident that the bloc can reduce its trade transaction cost by 10 percent within 2020 as planned. (18/07/2019)
The Royal Thai Army (Region 4) will be holding the 3rd Army Land: Army Land Evening Run 4 Series, on 10 and 11 August, at Senanarong Camp, Hat Yai, Songkhla province. The aims of the event are to promote sport tourism in the armed forces, and to encourage the public to enjoy a healthy way of living. The event includes Army Land Sport Tourism Expo, army weapons displays, concerts, royal shops, local shops, and more. The highlight will be on 11 August, when the event provides running in three events Fun Run (4.5 km), Mini Marathon (10.5 km) and Half Marathon (21 km). (18/07/2019)
The Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC) revealed that the Cabinet has approved the draft ASEAN Statement on Promotion of Good Governance and Acceleration of an Agile Civil Service in a Digital Economy. The statement aims to promote capacity enhancement of ASEAN civil services, and to promote cooperation and a culture of good governance in ASEANs civil service sector. The Secretary-General of the Office of the Civil Service Commission is authorized to be the signatory of the draft ASEAN Statement at the 3rd ASEAN Heads of Civil Service Retreat (3rd AHOCSR) to be held in August 2019 in Bangkok. (18/07/2019)
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The Prime Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has warned patients against using cannabis without medical authorization. He insisted that a commission will have to be set up to thoroughly study the medical benefits of cannabis extracts, and the extraction process must be performed correctly. He added that the government is working on legalizing the formulas of cannabis-based traditional medicines, while ensuring that they are safe for consumption. (17/07/2019)
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has established a committee to examine Facebooks digital currency Libra, as well as discussing it with the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other related agencies. The committee will focus on the stability of Libras value, the currency model mechanism, and public protection against fraud. (13/07/2019)
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The Governor of Trang province stated that Trang is now preparing to hold the event Wan Warn Muang Kao Trang (the Old Day Trang Fair) four times in four locations Kantang, Tap Thiang, Huai Yot and Tha Kham from the end of July to the end of August. The aims of the event are to promote tourism and to maintain wisdom, traditions, and culture in local areas. In addition, the event includes community exhibitions, local food, shops, and several cultural performances. (12/07/2019)
The National Innovation Agency (NIA) has joined the government and private agencies to organize Startup Thailand 2019, to strengthen the startups through learning from successful people. The highlight of the event is the presence of more than 200 world-famous speakers who will share their experiences, and create a meeting platform for investors. The event will be held from 23 - 27 July, 2019 at nine different venues along the BTS and MRT routes such as the NIA, Chamchuri Square Building, The Emporium Department Store and Naplab on Chulalongkorn Soi 6. (12/07/2019)
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The 13th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) has concluded in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday (July 11), with defence ministers of the ASEAN member states pledging to promote sustainable security cooperation and acknowledging the importance of the initiatives adopted by ASEAN to strengthen regional peace and security. At the 13th ADMM, the Deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, together with regional defence ministers exchanged their views and perspectives on all dimensions. They also reviewed activities regarding regional and global changes. The meeting also adopted six concept papers to advance cooperation. They are as follows: 1. Concept Paper on Guidelines for Assessment of the ADMM Initiatives, 2. Concept Paper on the Role of ASEAN Defence Establishments in Supporting Border Management, 3. Concept Paper on the Expansion of the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) in the ADMM Process to the Plus Countries, 4. Terms of Reference (TOR) of ASEAN Our Eyes, 5. Concept on Establishment of ASEAN Military Medicine Conference, and 6. ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction. At the meeting, Thailand pushed for regional cooperation to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, human trafficking, and transnational crimes. This cooperation will enhance stability, improve people's well-being, and promote growth in the region. The meeting also urged all parties concerned to strictly follow a code of conduct to peacefully deal with the South China Sea situation and the tensions between the United States and North Korea on the Korean Peninsula. (11/07/2019)
The Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations revealed that Thailand is now the host of the 15th ASEAN Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Committee Meeting, on 10-11 July. The goals of the meeting are to speed up the trade facilitation framework and to focus on a reduction in non-tariff measures in the region. The expected consequence of the meeting is to promote and elevate trade and investment between Thailand and other ASEAN nations. (11/07/2019)
Thailand is hosting the 13th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) at Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok from July 10 to 12, 2019. The meeting will discuss the 3S's security model, which encompasses Sustainable Security, Strengthening Consolidating and Optimising Defence Cooperation, and Supporting Cross - Pillar Activities. This concept is in accordance with the statement made by the Prime Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, at the opening ceremony of the 34th ASEAN Summit on June 23, 2019. He said ASEAN will leave no one behind and looks to the future. He also announced the theme of Thailand's 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship: Advancing Partnership for Sustainability. The 13th ADMM will also raise issues of dealing with illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and preparations for important activities, such as the ASEAN Center of Military Medicine (ACMM), joint peacekeeping operations, and anti-terrorism exercises. In addition, the ASEAN Defence Ministers will adopt eight joint statements and declarations with eight dialogues partners; Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States, to step up collaboration to consolidate mutual trust and understanding for sustainable growth. The eight joint statements and declarations are as follows: 1. Draft Concept Paper on Guidelines for Assessment of the ADMM Initiatives, 2. Draft Concept Paper on the Role of ASEAN Defence Establishments in Supporting Border Management, 3. Draft Concept Paper on the Expansion of the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) in the ADMM Process to the Plus Countries, 4. Draft concept on Establishment of ASEAN Military Medicine Conference, 5. ASEAN Our Eyes (Draft TOR of ASEAN Our Eyes), 6. Draft ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction, 7. Draft Joint Declaration of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Sustainable Security, and 8. Draft Joint Statement by the ADMM-Plus Defence Ministers on Advancing Partnership for Sustainable Security. The 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (6th ADMM-Plus) will take place in Bangkok from November 16 to 18, 2019. (10/07/2019)
The Governor of Kanchanaburi province revealed that the 2nd Kanchanaburi Charity Run for Hospital 2019 will be held on 27 October. The route is from Kanchanaburi City Hall to the Giant Rain Tree (a renowned tourist attraction). The aim of the event is to raise money and purchase medical equipment and supplies for three hospitals : Paholpolpayuhasena Hospital, His Holiness the 19th Hospital, and Sangkhla Buri Hospital. For those who are interested in joining the event, please take a look at the Facebook fanpage Kanchanaburi Charity Run for Hospital for further information. (10/07/2019)
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) together with the National Innovation Agency (NIA), the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) launched the "Thailand's MICE Startup" project in May this year. This innovation competition is aimed at enhancing organizational standards and using innovation to save time and money when organizing MICE events in the digital era. The competition has attracted 47 teams from countries such as Thailand, Czech Republic, Great Britain, India, and Hong Kong. Each team will brainstorm to generate new environmental innovation, artificial intelligence, customer service, and transportation to enhance the experience of those involved in the MICE industry. The final round of this competition will be held at 86th UFI Global Congress, which will be held in Bangkok from November 6 to 9, 2019. (10/07/2019)
The Ombudsman for Chief Ombudsman of Thailand, Gen. Viddhavat Rajatanun, said the ASEAN Ombudsman Dialogue resolved to establish the South East Asian Ombudsman Forum (SEAOF) in February 2019. The ASEAN Ombudsman Dialogue was held in Bangkok on July 2 and 3, 2019, with participants from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam. At the ASEAN Ombudsman Dialogue, the delegates unanimously agreed to set up the SEAOF. The new forum will replace the ASEAN Ombudsman Forum as proposed earlier. The change is to expand the scope of operations of ombudsmen of ASEAN and non-ASEAN member countries. The SEAOF will give justice to those who have been unfairly treated by civil servants or state employees in their respective countries. Thailand will assume the chair of the SEAOF for a full two-year term, following its official establishment. The chairmanship will rotate based on the alphabetical order of the English names of member states. (10/07/2019)
The cabinet has approved a draft agreement on the management and maintenance of the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, as proposed by the Ministry of Transport. The agreement will lay out the legal obligations concerning the ownership of the bridge across the Moei/Tong Yin River in Mae Sot district, Tak province. The administration is divided at the center of the bridge. Thailand and Myanmar will jointly take responsibility for service, maintenance and repair, and share the cost in the same proportion, including security, border crossing fee and traffic management. Both sides also agreed to set up a joint committee in charge of bridge maintenance and effective use of transportation between the two countries. (09/07/2019)
The Department of Internal Trade will be held on the concept of "Organic Gateway to Southeast Asia," aiming for Thailand to become ASEANs hub of organic products and farming development. The events will feature some 400 Thai and international organic and natural product manufacturers in all product categories such as food, skincare, cosmetics, packaging, and pet care, as well as services such as restaurants, spas, and tourism attractions. The events will be taking place on 11 - 14 July at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Center. (09/07/2019)
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Thailand has proposed remedies to the issue of marine waste during the 30th ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment Meeting (30th ASOEN) and Related Meetings. Officials at the Permanent Secretary-level from ASEAN member states and the European Union (EU) are attending the 30th ASOEN, which is being hosted by Thailand from July 8th to 12th in Bangkok. The main topic discussed on July 8th, the first day of the meeting, relates to plans for a future cooperative framework between ASEAN and the EU. (09/07/2019)
The Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) organized the Thai-Myanmar Border Trade Fair in Tak province to promote trade and tourism along the border between Thailand and Myanmar. The event aimed at providing traders and local agriculturists from both countries an additional venue to sell their produce and household items and to allow government officials to discuss the possibility of trade restrictions being eased in the future between the two sides. Similar border trade fairs were also held over the weekend in Thailands all four regions, creating a number of fruitful business matchings between Thai entrepreneurs and those from Southeast Asian nations. (09/07/2019)

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