T 16-12 タイの1－3月の輸出は0.9％増、中国向け6.4のマイナス（2016-4-26）
T16-11, Trade of Thailand (2016-2-26)
T16-10.NESDB forecasts GDP growth of 3.3% this year(2016-2-16
T16-6,Thai authorities detain, follow labour union leaders(2016-1-11)
T16-1.Rice-pledging scheme helped country: Wattana(2016-1-3)
Tp15-7 Police believe political motives linked to Erawan Shrine blast(2015-9-28)
Bomb suspects to face trial in civilian criminal courts: PM(2015-9-9)
The Criminal Court on Tuesday accepted for further proceedings a defamation
suit filed by the army against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
In the lawsuit, the army accused Thaksin of defamation in violation of
Sections 326 and 328 of the Criminal Code for comments made in a media
interview, while he was in South Korea from May 19-22, about the political
situation in Thailand and the military coup by the National Council for
Peace and Order on May 22 last year.
Thaksin was in South Korea to attend the Asian leadership international
conference. A clip of the interview was posted on social media and
coments he made in it had damaged the army's reputation, according
to the lawsuit.
Maj Gen Sarayut Klinmahom, director of the Judge Advocate General's
Department, told the court during the examination of the lawsuit on
May 26 that Thaksin accused the Privy Council of supporting the May
22 coup and the army of causing damage to the country and admiring
the Myanmar style of democracy in ousting the government.
He submitted to the court a CD and printed text of Thaksin's interview.
The court on Tuesday accepted the lawsuit for further proceedings and set
Oct 12 for the first hearing.
Chokchai Angkaew, Thaksin's lawyer, said that on Oct 12 he would request
a postponement because hs client is abroad and would not be able to
appear before the court that day.
The court would then decide how to proceed with the case, he said.
Police after Ratchaprasong bomb suspect 18 Aug 2015 at 16:15 11,674 viewed2
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サトン事件；Same bombers (2015-8-19, BKK Post)
National police chief Somyot Pumpunmuang said the bomb tossed from a bridge
at Bangkok’s Sathorn pier and yesterday’s bombing of the Erawan shrine
are the work of the same perpetrators, some of whom may be foreigners.
After inspecting the scene at the busy Chao Phraya River boat terminal,
Pol Gen Somyot said divers were able to recover a half dozen metal fragments
of the pipe bomb thrown from the Taksin road and rail bridge near the waterway
and the BTS Saphan Taksin station.
The device bounced off a post and into the nearby Sathorn canal where it
detonated harmlessly, sending up only a large plume of water. There were
no injuries or damage.
Explosive ordnance disposal technicians found TNT was used in both devices,
which had been stuffed into a metal pipe with a timed fuse.
Pol Gen Somyot said there were more than one person behind the two bombings
and that both Thais and foreign nationals were involved.
“I can tell you now that there are not only foreigners involved in the
incidents but some Thais must have taken part,” the police chief said.
Foreigners, he said “could not have … walked their way onto the (Taksin]
bridge. There must be Thai people involved whose hearts are not Thai.”
The Sathorn bomb was estimated to have a blast radius of 35-50 metres,
less than half of the bomb left under a bench Monday night at the Hindu shrine at the Ratchprasong intersection.
Pol Gen Somyot admitted that police briefly arrested a foreign man at Suvarnabhumi
airport who appeared similar to CCTV images of the prime suspect. Immigration
officials initially stopped him due to a problem with his travel documents
and released him so that he could fix it. He has not been allowed to depart
Thailand for the time being.
Police would not rule out he was the same man who appeared in the Erawan
CCTV footage and are investigating further.
The police chief asked the public to send tips to authorities if they see
someone they suspect was the man seen wearing a yellow shirt and leaving
a backpack at the Erawan blast site.
The Sathorn bombing took place at 1.20pm, but half the pier remained open
with boat operations continuing as normal. Police closed Sathorn Road to
traffic from the pier to the Saphan Taksin Skytrain station to investigate.
Assistant police chief Prawut believed the perpetrator wanted to throw
the bomb onto a busy walking platform leading to the pier but missed. CCTV
footage taken at the time of the explosion showed people running down a
causeway over the canal to escape the blast.
Police initially dispatched divers into the canal to try to recover any
surviving pieces of the bomb that Transport Minister Prajin Juntong called
an "improvised explosive device". Later, sandbags and pumps were
brought into to drain the impact area to hasten the search for evidence.
Sathorn pier is a major terminal linking Chao Phraya River commuter boats
and the nearby Skytrain station. It's also a major tourist stop, especially
for Chinese tour groups.
ACM Prajin said the Sathorn bomb was an IED that was thrown. An IED is
also blamed for Monday's devastating explosion at the Erawan shrine that
officially has left 20 dead and 125 injured.
BANGKOK (AFP) - A man suspected of planting a deadly bomb in Bangkok is
part of a wider "network", Thailand's top policeman said Wednesday.(2015-8-19)
The blast struck on Monday evening as worshippers and tourists crowded
into the Erawan shrine in the Thai capital’s commercial heart, but with
no claim of responsibility the motive and identity of the culprit remain
The unprecedented attack left at least 11 foreigners dead, with visitors
from Britain, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and a family from
Malaysia among the victims.
Another 68 people remain in critical condition after a blast that shredded
bodies and incinerated motorcycles at one of the city’s busiest intersections,
sending a shockwave through the country’s pivotal tourist industry.
"It’s a network," police chief General Somyot Poompanmoung told
reporters without elaborating, a day after CCTV footage emerged showing
a suspect leaving a backpack moments before the blast struck.
"We believe there must be people helping him, Thai people," he
added, appearing to rule out the action of a lone wolf attacker.
Police had initially said a second explosion at a Bangkok pier on Tuesday
that caused no injuries may also be linked, deepening fears for residents
as police conceded they do not know who was responsible.
But on Wednesday Somyot said the second attack might also be a "copycat"
and that police were keeping all options open.
Thai police have now offered a one million baht ($28,000) reward for information
that leads to the arrest of the main suspect.
Widely circulated video of the suspect, apparently young and slightly built,
and sporting glasses and shaggy dark hair, has prompted social media chatter
that he could be a foreigner.
In a televised address Wednesday, Thai junta spokesman Colonel Winthai
Suvaree said security has been tightened in tourist areas "especially
where there are many Chinese tourists, to regain their trust and confidence".
The Nation Multimedia
Police Commissioner General Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang said the suspect
who was arrested in connection the Ratchaprasong bombing has a lot of explosives
He said investigators have yet to interrogate the suspect to find out how
he was linked to the two bomb attacks in Bangkok.
A red-shirt supporter who posted a message on his Facebook warning about
a violent incident in Bangkok just days before the Erawan Shrine bombing,
has told police he had nothing to do with the attack and...
He said the suspect has been taken by military officers for questioning.
The national police chief said he would be able to give more details about
the arrest after the suspect has been thoroughly questioned.
The relevant embassy would be informed to send representatives to take
part in the questioning, Somyot added.
"Now, the suspect has been taken by military officers for questioning.
I affirm with the media and Thais that a suspect has been arrested with
a lot of evidences," Somyot said.
The suspect, who was arrested at a rented apartment in Nong Chok, has been
taken to the 11th Army Circle in Kiakkai area for questioning.
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BANGKOK—Thai authorities arrested a second foreign suspect in the bombing of a shrine in central Bangkok two weeks ago that killed 20 people, bringing investigators closer to
determining who orchestrated the attack and why.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters Tuesday that a foreign man, whom he described as the main
figure behind the country’s worst-ever terrorist attack, was detained as
he was trying to cross Thailand’s eastern border into Cambodia. Gen. Prayuth
didn’t say if he was the same man as the one caught on security cameras
placing a pipe bomb beneath a bench at the Erawan Shrine during the evening
rush hour on Aug. 17, but other officials in the ruling junta said he could
Tuesday’s arrest came after a breakthrough Saturday, when police arrested another foreign man at a Bangkok apartment building. Police said they found bomb-making equipment
and fake passports in the rented room, prompting Gen. Prayuth to say for
the first time Monday that the suspects might be involved with ethnic Uighurs
attempting to flee repression in China and reach Turkey, where members
of the Muslim-Turkic group have tried to resettle.
The investigation, however, is a sensitive matter for Thailand’s leaders,
who have worked to build strong ties with China after seizing power in a coup d’état last year.
China’s embassy in Bangkok issued a statement shortly after the bombing
criticizing media for speculating that the blast might have been retaliation
for Thailand’s decision to deport more than 100 Uighurs back to China in July. The deportations were met with violent protests
outside a Thai consulate in Turkey. The bomb itself was planted at a site
known to be popular with visitors from China.
Seven of the dead came from China, along with other visitors from Malaysia,
Singapore Indonesia, in addition to local Thais.
Leading figures in Thailand’s ruling junta insisted for days following
the bombing that it wasn’t the work of international terrorists, saying
it was linked instead to political conflicts in Thailand.
In recent years Thailand has seen riots, shootings and marathon street
protests, culminating in last year’s military coup. Predominantly Buddhist
Thailand is also home to a long-running insurgency in the Muslim-dominated
southern provinces that has killed more than 6,000 people in the past decade.
But as the investigation unfolds, police are uncovering more evidence that
appears to point to Uighurs or their sympathizers.
Legal process need to meet international standards; ministry estimates
cost of blast
SUSPECTS linked to bomb attacks in Bangkok last month will face trial in
civilian criminal courts - not a military court, Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha said yesterday.
said the cases were serious for both Thai and foreign suspects allegedly
involved in the incidents and the justice process had to be universally
acceptable. Earlier, police reportedly planned to transfer the cases to
the military court.
Meanwhile, tourism chiefs have reported an estimated loss of 1.33 million
foreign tourists and potential income of Bt64 billion due to the deadly
attack at the Erawan Shrine.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry said the dramas in Bangkok on August 17
and 18 led to many countries issuing travel warnings about the Kingdom.
Economic impacts were expected to be most damaging in August and this month.
If there are no further incidents, a recovery in the tourism industry is
expected in the last quarter of this year.
The ministry said it would launch international media and promotional campaigns
to restore confidence in Thailand and urge foreign visitors to come back
from September to December this year.
The bomb blast at Ratchaprasong intersection in the heart of Bangkok on
August 17 was described as the worst attack on Thai soil in recent memory,
with 20 killed and more than 100 injured. The following day, a second bomb
went off near Sathorn Pier but caused no casualties.
To date, authorities have arrested two suspects. They were identified as
Mieraili Yusufu, a Chinese national of Uighur ethnicity, and Adem Karadag,
who carries what appears to be a fake Turkish passport.
The alleged mastermind, Abu Dustar Abdulrahman or 'Izan', is reported to
have flown out via Suvarnabhumi Airport on August 16. His air ticket showed
he was headed for Bangladesh.
National Police Commissioner Pol General Somyot Poompanmuang said yesterday
the recent Bangkok bombings clearly involved foreign elements. Authorities
were still verifying reports that money had been transferred from overseas
to fund the bomb attacks.
The Turkish embassy, when contacted by The Nation, declined to make any
comment yesterday. Sources said officials from the embassy had taken part
in the interrogation of the two suspects in custody.
Mieraili, 26, was yesterday brought to two apartments and a chemical shop
in Bangkok to re-enact his alleged crime. He was allegedly the bomb-maker.
According to informed sources, Mieraili confessed that he had shared the
same apartment with Karadag, where a huge amount of bomb-making materials
were found on August 26.
Ongoing investigations also reveal that Mieraili is close to Izan and knows
the suspect seen in a blue shirt, wanted for causing the blast near Sathorn
According to sources, Mieraili formerly studied at Xinjiang Medical University
but failed to pass the exam needed to secure a degree in medical technology.
He then left China's Xinjiang, heading to Guangzhou and then Malaysia.
"He sold cell-phones in Ramkhamhaeng area [in Bangkok] for about six
months," a source said, adding that an Internet-browsing history showed
Mieraili also searched for a place to study in Turkey via the Internet.
Several organisations, including the Muslim Attorney Centre Foundation,
will today hold talks to arrange lawyers for the bomb suspects.
"We still haven't received a lawyers' request from the suspects. However,
as we are a foundation to help fellow Muslims and have the experience on
the similar cases in the Far South, we are ready to provide legal assistance
to the suspects," foundation secretary- general Sithipong Chantharawiroj
His foundation will meet today with the Sheikhul Islam Office, Muslim Attorney
Centre Foundation, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Centre and NGOs who work
with Uighur migrants.
Sithipong said suspects connected to the recent bombings do not have a
Meanwhile, Somyot said a taxi driver had aroused police suspicion because
he gave confusing statements regarding a ride he gave to a bomb suspect.
"He apparently tried to hide some information. Initially, he said
he didn't know the foreign suspect. But evidence suggests he had provided
services to the foreigner several times," Somyot said.
He said the taxi driver could face legal action, even though he was not
directly involved in the plot to stage the bomb attacks.
Police investigators are convinced political motives were also behind last
month's Erawan Shrine bombing, in addition to possible revenge by human
smugglers upset by a government crackdown, the national police chief said
One of the Thai suspects was previously involved in "political bombings"
during the unrest in 2010 and last year, national police chief General
Somyot Poompanmuang told a press conference at the Royal Thai Police headquarters
The suspect, identified as Aod Payungwong or Yongyuth Pobkaew, was arrested
in 2010 in connection with an explosion at an apartment building in Nonthaburi's
Bang Bua Thong district. Last year, an arrest warrant was issued for him
in connection with an explosion in Bangkok's Min Buri district.
Aod was also allegedy involved in many other criminal cases, according
to the national police chief.
Both of the explosions occurred at times when protesters took to the streets
against separate governments at that time - in 2010 against Abhisit Vejjajiva's
administration and in last year against Yingluck
"A motive was the authorities' crackdown on an Uighur human trafficking
racket. Investigators believe that there are people who hired the perpetrators.
Different groups of people were involved and they shared the same objective
and desire," Somyot said Monday.
A CONCLUSION reached by police concerning the prime suspect in the deadly
Erawan Shrine blast and the implication that domestic political conflicts
may have been behind the attack were vehemently questioned yesterday, while
the country's police chief seemed to back off from the latter assertion.
Two core red-shirt leaders, Nuttawut Saikuar and Worachai Hema
lashed out at national police chief Pol General Somyot Poompanmuang'
s statement that pointed the finger at a Thai suspect, Yongyut Pobkaew
, who is believed to be linked to the red-shirt movement.
Somyot alleged at a press conference on Monday that Yongyut - also known as Aod Payungwong,
one of 17 suspects wanted in connection with the August 17 explosion at
the shrine - was involved in explosions when demonstrators protested in
2010 against the Abhisit government, and last year against Yingluck's administration.
"I want to call for the national police chief to tell the truth to
the public. I don't know Mr Aod
but his name suddenly popped up out of nowhere. No one said how he got
involved in the case. The public also wonders how can Mr Aod who was under
several arrest warrants has no history or even a 13-digit identity card," Nuttawu
The former Pheu Thai
MP criticised Somyot for voicing what those in power want him to say. He
said police should consider what would happen to Thailand if they evaluate
the situation; and if the problem was not solved, no one could guarantee
it would not happen again.
Somyot should be more careful when speaking as the reds did not want problems
with police. However, he said if the direction of the case went like this,
the reds would certainly be affected.
Worachai Hema said: "The red-shirt movement has nothing to do with
the deadly blast, contrary to what the national police chief has tried
to say. I do not understand why the police chief tried to link the reds
to the attack. Maybe he was trying to say something in line with this government's
repeated claim that politics is behind the attack."
He did not know who "Mr Aod" was. "It is not possible that
politics is behind the blast."
Somyot said on Monday: "We can not rule out political motives, because
Aod was also involved."
Worachai said all political groups - whether red or yellow - and the military
were Thais and would not do anything aimed at taking people's lives.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for Bilal Mohammed, the prime suspect in the shrine
blast, yesterday remained adamant that his client was just a job-seeker
hoping to find work in Malaysia.
Chuchart Khanphai also expressed doubt about the police chief's conclusion
that Bilal was the bomber - known as the "yellow-shirt suspect"
- captured on security-camera footage entering the shrine with a backpack,
but leaving without it minutes before the deadly explosion on August 17.
Bilal was the first suspect arrested in connection with the bombing, when
he was taken from a flat in Bangkok on August 29, but it was only on Monday
that police claimed he was the man in the yellow shirt.
Based on security-camera footage, police claimed he had changed from wearing
a yellow T-shirt to a grey T-shirt in a restroom in Lumpini Park during
his escape after the explosion. Police also claimed on Monday that a grey
T-shirt had been found in Bilal's room.
But Chuchart said a grey shirt had not previously been mentioned in the
list of items found in the room.
"I will have an opportunity to talk with my client today at 8.30am
about the case and if he really confessed to police, I want to know why
and how," he said.
Somyot, yesterday, looked to back off from his claim that a political motive
may have been behind the attack, saying that the motive would remain unclear
until Aod was arrested.
BANGKOK (AFP) - The foreigner accused of planting a bomb at a Bangkok shrine
has admitted involvement in the deadly attack, his lawyer said Wednesday,
reversing earlier denials of a confession.
The comments by lawyer Schoochart Kanpai confirmed the Thai authorities’ version of the complex investigation into
the August 17 blast which killed 20 people.
Earlier this week Schoochart had questioned whether the man -- whom police
have named both as Bilal Mohammed and as Adem Karadag
-- had confessed.
The lawyer said his client had previously insisted he was not in the country
on the day of the attack.
But after meeting his client on Wednesday, Schoochart
reversed his position.
"I met Adem this morning for about an hour and he said he confessed
voluntarily to planting the bomb," the lawyer told reporters outside
the military barracks in central Bangkok where the accused is detained.
It was not immediately clear if authorities were present during the Wednesday
On Saturday police said they were now convinced that Mohammed,
the first person to be arrested, was the same man seen in CCTV footage
wearing a yellow T-shirt and placing a backpack at the Erawan shrine moments
before the explosion.
They said his confession, together with other security camera footage and
eyewitness accounts, confirmed they had the right man -- after earlier
saying DNA evidence suggested it was unlikely to be him.
Police say they believe the man in the yellow shirt wore a wig and glasses
to disguise himself.
In a briefing on Monday, investigators released a series of four sketches
showing how Mohammed could have transformed his appearance from the initial
suspect sketch which showed a man with glasses and floppy hair.
The suspect now appears more gaunt and with a shaven head.
In other new details of the still unclaimed attack, Schoochart
relayed how he followed orders from another man, Abdulah Abdullahman
, and was unpaid.
is among more than a dozen other people -- both foreigners and Thais --
wanted over the blast. Only two men -- Mohammed
and another man named as Yusuf Mierail
i -- are in custody.
Mystery still shrouds the motive for the unprecedented attack, in which
the majority of fatalities were ethnic Chinese tourists.
Speculation has centred on a link to militants or supporters of the Uighurs,
an ethnic group who say they face severe persecution in China, after Thailand
forcibly repatriated 109 of the minority in July.
The move sparked international condemnation, particularly in Turkey where
hardliners see the minority as part of a global Turkic-speaking family.
According to his lawyer, Mohammed
is a Chinese Uighur who settled in Turkey while Mierail
i is a Chinese passport-holder with Uighur ethnicity.
Thai authorities have not confirmed the nationality of either man. They
say they believe the blast was revenge for a crackdown on people-smuggling
gangs whose operations include the transfer of Uighurs.
Police believe that the man wanted for several explosions in Bangkok over
the last few years is still in Thailand, but deny reports that the suspect
is being protected by an influential figure in Kanchanaburi province.(Nation,
"He must be in hiding somewhere in the country," police spokesman
Lt-General Prawut Thavorsiri said Monday in reference to Yongyut Pobkaew, who is also known as Aod Payungwong.
Yongyut is not just implicated for the August bombings in Bangkok, but also for
the two other blasts that hit the capital in 2014 and 2010.
Prawut said police were trying to track Yongyut down, adding that though police don't know exactly where this suspect might
be hiding, he can say for sure that Yongyut is not being protected by any
influential figure in the border province of Kanchanaburi as suggested
by some news reports.
"These claims are groundless," he said.
The August 17 bomb explosion at the Erawan Shrine killed 20 people and
injured more than 100 others, and another blast took place near the Sathorn
Pier the following day, but did not cause any casualties.
Patience is needed for democracy to return to Thailand, Prime Minister
General Prayut Chan-o-cha said Wednesday in an interview with the Voice
of America in New York.
"Thai democracy still needs some fine-tuning, whether it is for the
constitution… election process and especially governance and how politicians
get into politics," Prayut
told VOA during an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the United
Nations General Assembly.
reaffirmed that Thai people want to have democracy like other countries
but added that "we want to see an end to conflicts..."
He pointed out that Thai politics is different from politics in other countries
thus more time is needed to embark on the democratic process. He said in
the end other countries would understand the problems facing the Kingdom
and urged friendly nations to support the full democratisation of Thailand.
"If there were no problems in the past, I wouldn't have had to come
to take up the post [of prime minister]," said Prayut
, who led the coup in May 22 last year.
The premier, who is also head of the National Council for Peace and Order
(NCPO), said if the new draft charter, which is due in April next year,
is approved in a national referendum, Thailand will see a general election
"People are alarmed that I extended the process. I didn't extend the
process. If it can move faster, it should. But we should look [at] whether
it will lead to peace."
denied suggestions he has further clamped down on freedom of expression
in Thailand, saying he has given permission for people to exercise their
freedom of expression at a "fairly high level" and that there
has been no blocking of access to information although he disagrees with
people who are calling for anti-government protests because now is not
the right time to do so.
"I'm telling you that I have exercised my power only minimally,"
However, the VOA pointed out in its report that the government has recently
raised the prospect of limiting the number of international Internet access
points from the current 10 to a single one, sparking fears of a Chinese-style
firewall against content deemed objectionable by officials. The American
news organisation also noted that concerns were raised in August by the
UN Human Rights Office regarding the rise in prosecutions under the lese
said the banning of public protests helped minimise "provocation
of conflict and unrest."
The premier added that the unsettled charter has not deterred American
firms from continuing to do business in the Kingdom, and noted that Thailand
is the United States' closest ally in the region.
"I have met with dozens of US companies in Thailand, and they are
happy to continue their investment. They are not talking to me about democracy.
Rather, they are keen to know about changes in regulations and investment
The VOA noted that the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand has more
than 700 corporate partners, including big players like McDonald's, Philip
Morris, Chevrolet and Coca-Cola.
On the issue of the Erawan Shrine bombing, Prayut
said foreign leaders have expressed sympathy for what took place in Thailand
and lauded the Kingdom for being able to quickly apprehend the suspect
also vowed to tackle human trafficking. "The past government didn't
give [it] much attention. They may have thought it was okay."
He said he needs to think about how to deal with the issue of undocumented
migrant workers and how to create jobs for them. "If the problems
are not solved today, they will come back to these people."
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-ocha confirmed yesterday for the first time
that former finance minister Somkid Jatusripitak would become his deputy
and head the government's economic team tasked with spurring economic growth
in a Cabinet reshuffle.
While some business leaders were delighted with the news, as they believed
he could help promote confidence in the business sector, many said they
would closely watch for policies that could drive economic growth.
The premier decided to swap the posts of Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn
Devakula and Somkid who is currently an economic adviser to the National
Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
"I have shifted Pridiyathorn to be an adviser and let Somkid take
over instead. Somkid has helped me from the start, so there is no problem.
Everyone is willing to be my adviser," Prayut
submitted the new Cabinet list for Royal endorsement on Monday. He said
more than 10 Cabinet positions had been "adjusted".
"Several people have been made advisers and will still work with me.
I believe the new Cabinet will have to work harder than the previous one
because I will get them to look at reforms," he said.
He said Deputy Prime Minster for social issues Yongyuth Yutthawong will
be shifted to PM's adviser.
The premier revealed that apart from Somkid, General Prawit Wongsuwan,
Wissanu Krea-ngam and General Tanasak Patimapragorn would continue as deputy
prime ministers. Tanasak will, however, lose his post of foreign minister,
said. A source said Tanasak's deputy Don Pramudwinai is expected to be
elevated to foreign minister.
Somkid had also served as deputy prime minister and commerce minister under
deposed prime minister
Shinawatra government and was a key proponent of the populist policies
known as "Thaksinomics".
Vallop Vitanakorn, vice chairman at the Thai National Shippers Council,
said the new economic team led by Somkid should promote confidence in the
business sector and come up with policies that would drive stronger economic
However, Vallop foresees a stiff challenge for the new ministers, as many
problems both internal and external are affecting the Thai economy. He
said the private sector would keep a close eye on the new economic team
and see whether they will come up with measures that could stimulate economic
growth. Yet, he admitted that it will not be seen in short as many negative
Among the urgent issues the private sector would like the new ministers
to tackle are: Stimulate domestic spending and increase the low income
of the grassroots; continue measures to promote economic growth; increase
investments and boost investor confidence; solve issues related to the
country's image on air transportation, labour and employment, and fishing
industry; as well as increase the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises.
Pornsil Patchrintanakul, adviser to the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said
he was not excited about the reshuffle as only a few ministers have been
changed. He said the previous team has done quite well in drawing up many
economic policies, but some measures need more time for the results to
He said to promote more confidence, private enterprises want to see more
long-term strategies to promote economic growth in the long run but the
government is currently focusing on short-term strategies in order to handle
the present problems.
Pornsil added that Thailand might need to draw up a 20-year plan to promote
economic growth in several sectors mainly agricultural, manufacturing,
investment, and service.
Some feel that Pridiyathorn could be upset about the swapping of positions
's confirmation of the change, Pridiyathorn had said the prime minister
had never spoken to him about it hence he had no idea which post he would
"It doesn't matter actually," said Pridiyathorn. "During
the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, he didn't say anything. He just
mentioned about the reshuffle, but we didn't have a one-on-one conversation
between us," he said.
Pridiyathorn said there is only one chief adviser to the NCPO, which is
Despite the report about the upcoming reshuffle, Pridiyathorn continued
his work yesterday at Government House, chairing two meetings.
Suvit Maesincee, who is tipped to be the Deputy Commerce Minister, said
he had submitted his resignation as a National Reform Council member as
he was going to join the Cabinet. However, he declined to reveal his portfolio.
Deputy PM wanted general from Eastern Tigers to get the top job
A LAST-MINUTE move was made to prevent General Preecha Chan-o-cha, the
prime minister's younger brother, from becoming Army chief.
Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of the
country's security, reportedly wanted a general from the influential Eastern
Tigers clique of the Army to get the top job.
On August 20, a day before the annual military reshuffle list was submitted
by Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha to His Majesty the King for endorsement, Preecha's name was
crossed out in favour of General Theerachai Nakwanich.
Theerachai, like Preecha, is also an assistant Army chief but he hails
from the Eastern Tigers, whose members also include Prayut
Preecha was promoted to the role of defence permanent secretary.
Prawit reportedly argued that someone who can be trusted and who hails
from the Eastern Tigers, known in Thai as "Burapha Phayak", should
be Army chief during this transitional period, as the National Council
for Peace and Order pushes hard for reform.
In a related development, General Sommai Kaoteera was named the new Supreme
Commander as expected.
Another noteworthy promotion was that of Lt-General Kampanart Ruddit, the
commander of First Army Region and the new assistant Army chief.
Since the May 22 coup last year, Kampanart has played an active role in
monitoring and cracking down on anti-coup and anti-monarchist elements
in Bangkok and the central region.
The central region is under the First Region Army command, which played
an instrumental role in last year's Prayut
Lt-General Theppong Tippaya-chan was named the new commander of the First
In another surprise reshuffle, Admiral Na Areenij was named the new Navy
commander over favourite Admiral Narongpol na Bangchang.
The reason given for the decision not to promote Narongpol, an assistant
Navy chief, to the top post was that he studied at a navy academy in Germany
and not in Thailand.
It was reported that the top Navy post has always been occupied by a commander
who graduated from the Royal Thai Naval Academy.
Narongpol had to settle for the job of deputy Navy commander.
KHON KAEN - The rural heartland of deposed leader Yingluck Shinawatra and
her exiled billionaire brother Thaksin is hurting as a result of the military
government's economic policies, stirring discontent and the threat of protests.
The removal of generous agricultural subsidies has left rice farmers in
the Northeast struggling with mounting debts, and they will get little
relief when they sell their crop in coming months with rice prices near
an 8-year low.
Petty crime is on the rise and retailers are struggling. The vast Platinum
168 shopping mall on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Udon Thani
was built during the boom, but it is now less than a third occupied and
no longer charging tenants rent.
"People are complaining about the rising costs of living, of having
no money for spending," said Teerasak Teecayuphan, the mayor of the
neighbouring provincial capital of Khon Kaen. "Their patience will
gradually run out. Sooner or later this pot will boil over."
Thaksin's "red shirts", many of whom hail from the Isan region,
have punctuated a decade of political turmoil, including protests on Bangkok's
The military's campaign to disperse 10 weeks of protests in 2010 left scores
dead and sparked the worst arson and rioting in Thailand's modern history.
Thaksin has reportedly told his supporters to stay calm and "play
dead", but some in Thailand's poorest region say it is only a matter
of time before discontent overcomes fear of the military and people again
take to the streets.
"People want to protest," said Sabina Shah, a local leader of
red shirt supporters in Khon Kaen.
"But we have to wait for the right trigger. If we come out now in
small numbers it's suicide. We are just lying low and waiting for the opportunity
- when the government argue among themselves."
The military toppled Ms Yingluck's government in the May, 2014, coup and
have zealously enforced a ban on political activity.
Earlier, both Shinawatras mobilised the rural poor to deliver landslide
electoral victories with a mixture of development projects, social benefits
Many in the Northeast think they are paying an economic price for their
Coup leader and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha represents a largely Bangkok-based
establishment that reviles the Shinawatras' populist policies and is threatened
by their rural support base.
His government has been austere in support for rural agriculture, which
accounts for just under 10% of the country's economy.
"It is quite bad for farmers, we have heavy debt," said Pursudar
Koyto, in Ban Kampom, a village surrounded by verdant rice paddy fields
nearly ready to harvest. Gen "Prayut's government could have done
more, like what they did in the Thaksin era."
While incomes improved under the Shinawatras, household incomes in Isan
are still the lowest in Thailand, at just over 19,000 baht per month. That
is less than half the 43,000 baht of the Bangkok region, according to government
statistics for 2013, the latest data available.
MILITARY WARNS OF NATIONAL FALLOUT
The junta has made an about-turn on policy to breathe life into a moribund
economy and head off rising discontent.
Gen Prayut in August appointed Somkid Jatusripitak - one of the architects
of Thaksin's policies - as his economic tsar.
Mr Somkid has prioritised reviving the rural economy, which employs nearly
40% of the workforce.
"They are suffering," he told Reuters in an interview. "If
these people don't have enough purchasing power it will hurt the whole
Southeast Asia's second-largest economy has undershot government targets.
The central bank cut its GDP growth forecast to 2.7% from 3% on Sept 25,
and to 3.7% from 4.1% for 2016. In 2014, growth was the slowest in three
years at 0.9%.
Mr Somkid has announced a raft of measures, including soft loans through
village funds, but the jury is still out on whether he can spur more growth.
He said he would inject more cash into the rural economy if needed.
WORSE TO COME
The signs of economic malaise in Isan are widespread. Private investment,
vehicle sales and property values have all fallen and farmers in the world's
second-largest rice exporting country expect things to get worse before
they get better.
Cash is already running out and many are selling cars and land to repay
loans. Credit is scarce as banks tighten lending to battle rising bad debt.
"I have to borrow to pay some debt back every year," said rice
farmer Khamkong Banphod, in the village of Ku Kaew near Udon Thani.
"Those facing hardship are the people who invested a lot of money
and are now facing losses. They have their debt problems and are angry
with the government."
The margin for millers has been razor-thin since subsidies ended, said
Somsak Tungphitukkul, who owns rice mills in Khon Kaen province. Many mills
cannot turn a profit and have been mothballed or closed, he said.
"It's going to be a nightmare for the rice industry if the government
doesn't do something when the new crop comes in," he said.
SEVERE WATER shortages seem inevitable as the level in both the Chao Phraya
and Mae Klong river basins were well below average and farmers were instructed
not to plant the dry-season rice crop to ensure availability of water for
Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry permanent secretary Theerapat Prayunrasiddhi
said the ministry had ordered the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) to
inform farmers in the Chao Phraya River Basin about the water situation
in order to encourage them not to grow the dry-season rice crop.
Theerapat said the water available in the four major dams in the Chao Phraya
River Basin - Bhumibol, Sirikit, Kwai Noi and Pasak Jolasid had only 3,006
million cubic metres as of yesterday, which was very low.
He said the RID, the Water Consumer Committee, irrigation volunteers and
other authorities would meet with farmers to inform them about the water
shortage, so that they will avoid the dry-season rice crop especially because
of the high risk of failure of the crop due to water shortages. "I
would like to inform all farmers and water users in the Chao Phraya River
Basin that we do not have enough water for the dry-season crop, because
the available water will be needed for domestic consumption. Irrigation
Department officers will try to create understanding among water consumers
about the water-management plan during the upcoming dry season," he
Despite the warning, it was reported that the dry-season rice crop had
already been planted in 500,000 rai (80,000 hectares) of the overall 10.7
million rai of paddy fields in the Chao Phraya River Basin.
While a water shortage was also reported in the Western region, Thanarath
Pummakasikorn, the director of Srinagarindra Dam, said that as of yesterday
available water in the dam was only 2,294 million cubic metres, while available
water in the Vajiralongkorn Dam was only 2,274 million cubic metres.
"According to the data, the water level is lesser now than in previous
years. We face a critical water shortage and we can no longer provide water
to the agricultural sector," Thanarath said.
He asked water users in seven provinces of the Mae Klong River Basin to
use water wisely and encouraged farmers to cultivate crops that require
Speaking at a forum 'Road map to the future of water management' organised
by NOW26 channel yesterday, Wiwat Salyakamthorn, Agri-Nature Foundation
president, advised that farmers in the irrigation area should adjust their
production to suit the changing climate because the 20 per cent farmers
in the irrigation area are the ones who suffer the most from drought.
"During a drought, we see that 80 per cent of farmers outside the
irrigation area can adjust well to the situation because they are familiar
with water shortages and can change their production pattern, unlike those
in the irrigation areas who are used to easy access to water," Wiwat
said. He concluded that the farmers needed to help themselves during drought,
as the government cannot provide help to everyone. He urged them to learn
mixed farming and have their own water reservoir on their land.
不敬罪の容疑で占星術師（Suriyan Sujaritpolwan 53歳）と其の助手と警察少佐プラクロム・ワルンプラパ（Prakrom Warunprapa)44歳が先週逮捕され、軍施設にｍ留置され取り調べを受けていたがプラクロム少佐が留置場内で首をつって死んでいるのが発見された。どういう内容の不敬罪かは明らかではないが、それ以外にもマネーロンダリング、とばく場経営、古美術品の不正売買等多くの犯罪に関与していたとみられる。
Suriyan Sujaritpolwong, 53, his secretary Jirawong Wattanathewasilp, 39,
and Police Major Prakrom Warunprapa, 44の3人の逮捕はかなり重要な事案のようである。おそらくタクシンがらみの事件が表面化する可能性がある。
Authorities have opened an investigation into the death of Pol Maj Prakrom
Warunprapa, a lese majeste suspect arrested earlier this week, after he
was found hanged in his cell on Friday night. The Corrections...
A GROUP of special wardens, made up of military officers and guards from
the Corrections Department, has been appointed to take care of three suspects
detained over in a high-profile lese majeste case.
The wardens' key responsibility is to ensure the three men's well-being
during detention, a source linked to the case has revealed.
The suspects are well-known fortune teller Suriyan Sujaritpolwong, 53,
his secretary Jirawong Wattanathewasilp, 39, and Police Major Prakrom Warunprapa,
44, an inspector from the Technology Crime Suppression Division.
They are being held at a temporary detention facility at the 11th Military
Circle on Bangkok's Nakhon Chaisri Road.
Meanwhile, a security guard at Suriyan's luxury condominium has claimed
that police and officials began confiscating the fortune-teller's assets
On the morning of October 15, many police and military officers arrived
at Paholyothin Park Condominium in Chatuchak district and seized several
of Suriyan's assets, including a sports utility vehicle, Buddha statues
and other items, the guard said yesterday.
The guard, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the officers came
in more than 20 vehicles.
"I was shocked to hear that 'Mor Yong' was arrested for lese majeste,"
the guard said, referring to the fortune-teller by his better known pseudonym.
The three suspects are charged with wrongly citing the monarchy to make
personal gains, in violation of Article 112 of the Penal Code. Police said the three have confessed to the charge.
On Thursday, police searched Prakrom's unit at the luxury La Maison condominium,
and later confiscated several items, including a Mercedes Benz sedan, a
Volkswagen van and several motorcycles.
Police are examining the confiscated assets, which includes cash, cars,
amulets, firearms, gold and watches, to see where they came from and if
they may have anything to do with the suspects' wrongdoing, a source familiar
with the case said.
The seized assets are being kept under tight security at the 11th Infantry
Regiment, the source added.
On Wednesday, the Military Court approved a police request to detain the
three for a longer period, as investigators are still working on the case.
Separately, 13 police have been transferred to inactive posts, as inquiries
are underway to determine whether they are also involved in the lese majeste
またネット上では、ワチラロンコン皇太子付親衛隊のピシットサック・セーニーウォン ナアユタヤー陸軍少将（พลตรีพิสิฐศักดิ์ เสนีวงศ์ ณ อยุทธยา）が同じ容疑で逮捕されたが、首吊り自殺で既に亡くなったとの噂も流れています。ピシットサック少将は、皇太子の代理としてヨーン氏と一緒に「Bike
警察長官チャクティップ チャイジンダ（Chakthip Chaijinda)は警察報道官にデタナロン・スチチャルンバンチャ警察大将を任命した。また警察少将クラスの3名と大佐2名がが副報道官に任命された。
Prawut's ouster was not based on his performance, police chief clarifies
POL LT-GENERAL Prawut Thavorn-siri has tendered his resignation, ending
his police career after his abrupt removal as police spokesman, a high-ranking
police officer told The Nation yesterday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, this officer said the resignaion was
sent to national police Commissioner General Chakthip Chaijinda yesterday.
The resignation came even though Chakthip had said that Prawut's removal
from the post had nothing to do with performance issues or anything suspicious.
"I have appointed a new team of police spokesman and deputies because
it's a part of the cycle. When players on the field feel tired, they need
to take a break," Chakthip said.
General Dejnarong Suttich-arnbancha has now officially replaced Prawut as police spokesman. Prawut in fact
still retained his post as the adviser Level 10 when he submitted his resignation.
Earlier in the day, Chakthip also firmly denied a rumour that Prawut's
home had been raided and searched. "No, that's not true," he
Asked about a recent high-profile lese-majeste case, Chakthip said a press
conference would be officially held today to provide the public with information
on the case. Suspects in the case include fortune-teller Suriyan Sujaritpol-wong,
better known as "Mor Yong", and Pol Major Prakrom Warunprapa,
who died during his detention last Friday.
Before his arrest, Suriyan had served as an adviser to a subcommittee responsible
for holding activities for the "Bike for Mom" cycling event in August, as well as the "Bike for Dad" event scheduled for December.
Pol Lt-General Thitiraj Nongharnpitak, chief of the Central Investigation
Bureau, said today's press conference would inform the public that the
suspects had abused the reputation of the country's high institution in
seeking personal benefits.
"We are going to make clear that the arrests of all suspects are based
on evidence," he said.
Asked about rumours that a high-level police officer has also been implicated,
Thitiraj said the details of the case would be revealed at the press conference
today. The press conference would not disclose details about assets seizures,
An informed source said Prawut was on vacation and he flew out of Thailand
before Chakthip removed him as police spokesman on Monday.
"He is scheduled to fly back to Thailand on November 2," the
To many, the order to remove Prawut from the post of police spokesman is
a surprise given that Chakthip had only just installed him in the post
on October 14.
Prawut also has solid credentials and sufficient experience to serve as
spokesman for the police force. He served as police spokesman several times
in the past. He was first appointed as spokesman by then acting national
police chief Pol General Pateep Tanprasert.
When Pol General Wichean Potephosree rose to the helm of the police force,
he appointed Prawut as spokesman. During his term as the national police
|commissioner, Chakthip's predecessor, Pol General Somyot Poompanmoung,
also named Prawut as police spokesman.
FORMER COMMERCE minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan has testified before
a government committee that former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra did
not commit wrongdoing in the rice-pledging scheme despite an estimated
"loss" of Bt600 billion in taxpayers' money as alleged by the
Niwattumrong also handed over several hundred pages of documents to the
committee detailing the rice-subsidy programme, which he said was executed
in accordance with a 2003 Royal Decree.
He argued that the programme was good for the economy, resulting in increased
tax revenue and higher incomes for farmers.
The former commerce minister is one of the defence witnesses in a civil
compensation case being prepared by the government in which Yingluck
stands accused of causing severe financial damage to the state as a result
of implementing the farmer-subsidy programme.
Niwattumrong also argued that the programme did not take into account profits
and losses, since it was a subsidy policy promoted during an election campaign.
He said more than 10 government agencies were involved in the programme
and none of them voiced opposition.
In addition, the National Economic and Social Development Board and Budget
Bureau did not raised any objections either, he said, adding that both
agencies were empowered to do so.
However, he said, non-government organisations or independent think-tanks
such as Thailand Research and Development Institute were not authorised
by law to oppose government programmes, even though the TDRI was the leading
critic of this scheme, suggesting it would cause more damage than benefits.
Niwattumrong said the subsidy programme had contributed Bt350 billion to
Bt700 billion to the economy during its lifetime, while farmers benefited
from combined income of Bt140 billion per year thanks to the high price
of rice pledged with the government at Bt15,000 per tonne.
He also said the government's tax collection was increased by Bt100 billion
because of the implementation of this programme.
The former commerce minister said Yingluck
as prime minister implemented measures to prevent fraud and corruption
in this scheme and the current government should punish wrongdoers on a
At its peak, the government's rice inventories shot up to a total of 18
million tonnes after buying up the rice from farmers at a price much higher
than the world market, allegedly resulting in a huge cost to taxpayers.
Over the years, about 6 million tonnes have sold into the market, raising
about Bt70 billion, and the overall cost is estimated at around Bt600 billion.
In addition, the rice-trading mechanism was distorted, resulting in negative
consequences on exports, according to the programme's critics.
Prachataiによれば反王室派（タクシン派）は軍政幹部の暗殺を計画しているという。9人の赤シャツ派が国王生誕記念の「Bike for Dad」のお祭り騒ぎに乗じてタイ軍政幹部の暗殺を計画しているとして、最近2人が逮捕され7人が逃亡中とされている。彼らは2014年のコン・ケーン・モデル事件に関与しているグループだといわれている。
Anti-monarchy figures overseas allegedly involved in plot to kill junta
Submitted by editor2 on Fri, 27/11/2015 - 17:17
The Thai police allege that suspects in a failed terrorist plot around
the Bike for Dad event involve certain unnamed overseas anti-monarchy figures.
On 27 November 2015, the Thai News Agency reported that Pol Maj Gen Chayapol Chatchaidej, Commander of the Counter
Crime Planning Division of the Royal Thai Police, revealed that in addition
to 2 suspects already in custody, 7 others were involved in a thwarted
terrorist plot around the Bike for Dad event, a cycling rally to honour
the King’s Birthday, which will take place nationwide on 11 December 2015,
and are still at large.
On Wednesday, 25 November, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police, announced that three suspects had been detained by the military for allegedly
attempting to stage a terrorist attack around the upcoming Bike for Dad
Rumour has it that the prime target of the foiled terrorist plot was Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister himself.
On Thursday, Deputy Police Commissioner General Sriwarah Rangsipramkul said the military had detained only two suspects not three. The two suspects
currently detained are former Pol Sgt Maj Prathin C. and Nattapol N.
The police chief added that the suspects also face charges under Article
112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, and the Computer Crime
Act for contacting each other via the Line chat application to prepare
the terrorist plot on the auspicious event for the King.
Yesterday, the Deputy Police Chief said that the suspects in the terrorist
plot were previously involved in the 2014 Khon Kaen Model case.
The name ‘Khon Kaen Model’ was given to the case of 26 defendants, mostly elderly, from several provinces
in the North East, accused of being hard-core red shirts who planned to
rebel against the junta. The alleged operation would first be carried out
in Khon Kaen, the second largest province in Isan and a stronghold of the
red-shirt movement, and then in other provinces in the North and the North
The police also announced that the two suspects said during interrogation
that certain anti-monarchy figures overseas who posted messages defaming
the monarchy on social media are involved in the plot.
The court has already issued arrest warrants for other suspects at large.
The junta leader has accused the main faction of the red shirt movement,
the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), to be the mastermind of the plot.
The UDD leaders have, however, denied involvement in the plot, saying that
the alleged terrorist plot is an attempt by the junta to divert public
attention from the Thai Army’s Rajabhakti Park corruption scandal.
Sino-Thai railway project can wait until terms are right
DO THAIS really need to rush to build a medium-speed railway on the northeastern
route? The answer is obviously no.
So, it was not surprising when there were reports over the past few days
that the rail cooperation between the Thai and Chinese governments might
be put on hold because China's rubber purchase deal from Thailand had not
gone as planned.
The Sino-Thai railway project was planned to feature 873km dual tracks
with a 1.435-metre gauge carrying trains at a speed of up to 180 km/hour.
The line was to link Laem Chabang in Chon Buri province with Nong Khai,
a province in the Northeast bordering Laos via Nakhon Ratchasima, Kaeng
Khoi in Sara Buri province and Map Ta Phut and Bangkok with Kaeng Khoi.
The Sino-Thai railway development project has been on the table of the
two nations for many years, going back to time of the Chuan Leekpai
government in 1992, but it has never made much progress.
Under Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha's ministration, the talks on railway cooperation were resumed
and that revived Thai dreams of a concrete high-speed railway though the
speed would have been in the range of 160 to 180kph.
The critical issues in the negotiations involved interest rate on soft
loans that China would provide for the project and the engineering works
on some sections of the route, as China reportedly wanted to cut through
Thailand sought an interest rate of 2 per cent per annum on the soft loans
while China insisted on 2.5 per cent, arguing that Thailand was now an
upper-middle income country.
According to a state agency study, the internal rate of return on the project
is not much. It suggests that only if the rail line passes through Laos
and links up with the southern part of China, where the economy is sizeable
with a fast-growing trend, would it be worth making the investment.
We can guess who will reap the most benefits from the railway project?
It is important that China offer more assistance to Thailand in the same
way it provides for Laos.
In the meantime, the Thai government is playing another card, turning to Japan for rail cooperation instead
, rather than grasping at nothing. This is because the government has banked
on the railway investment to boost the economy next year.
It would indeed be strange if the Sino-Thai railway project ends up on
shelf, because then it would not make it to the fiscal 2016 budget's transport
development plan worth Bt1.79 trillion approved by the Cabinet meeting
The rail cooperation between Thailand and Japan could overtake the Sino-Thai
Both countries will jointly invest in improving the single-track railway
from Kanchanaburi, a border province in the West, to link up with Sa Kaeo
in Aranyaprathet located on the east side and upgrading it to become a
After that they will jointly invest in an extension of the rail line from
Kanchanaburi to Phu Nam Ron and from Sa Kaeo to Khlong Luek to link up
with Myanmar and Cambodia, respectively.
The rail line as located along the Lower East-West Economic Corridor is
likely in favour of Japan's production bases and its supply chains.
Thailand, however, has its own railway running from Bangkok to the Northeast,
and though it features a single track with a metre gauge, it is under improvement
to meet the safety standards to become a dual-track railway.
If there is no Sino-Thai railway project, Thailand will lose nothing except
for a slide in land prices that have been skyrocketing in anticipation
of the project and a slowdown in the economies driven by urbanisation.
There is no urgent need for the country to have a different railway track,
especially one requiring a huge investment that could balloon to Bt500
billion from Bt400 billion previously estimated, if we do not get a good
Thailand’s junta leader Prayuth Chan-Ocha used his year-end speech to remind
his countrymen that he seized power in order to reform the nation and that
a return to democracy will have to wait until that’s accomplished and won’t
come before 2017.
“Everybody wants to ask for a return to normal, to democracy with full
freedom," Prayuth said in a nationwide television address Wednesday.
"I want to ask whether this is possible. If we want to create change
from the past, it’s not. We have tried for 83 years with many coups. Now
I want the real reform to take place. This is for our children’s future.”
Prayuth, who toppled the elected government in a May 2014 coup, has repeatedly
pushed back potential dates for new elections. The latest timeline, which
Prayuth reiterated in his speech Wednesday, has the junta stepping aside
and allowing for elections in mid-2017. In order for that date to be met,
however, a new constitution must be written and approved by voters and
Prayuth has said the nation must be at peace with no dissent.
Global funds have pulled a net $4.9 billion from Thai stocks and bonds
this year as fallout from the coup aggravated a selloff in emerging markets.
The Thai economy is expected to grow 3 percent this year, recovering from
0.9 percent in 2014, when political unrest and the coup slammed growth.
That’s still well below the Thai central bank’s estimated potential expansion
rate of 4 percent to 5 percent.
The junta has banned political gatherings and outlawed opposition to its
rule. It has regularly summoned academics, activists, journalists and politicians
for what it terms "attitude adjustment" - temporary detention at military bases where detainees are required to
sign pledges to not oppose the junta or else risk jail time and asset seizure.
In his hour-long speech, Prayuth urged people to stop trying to stir up
trouble and reminded them that democracy doesn’t mean "unlimited freedom."
He also warned people to stop trying to get foreigners involved in Thailand’s
“Now there are people who try to distort information," Prayuth said.
"It’s just a group of few people who write messages and forward them.
The first group are mentally ill and the second group are those who want
fame in social media. I think they destroy the country. This includes people
who take corruption cases to outside countries and ask them to solve the
The junta has come under fire from Western governments and international
rights groups for its limits on personal freedom as well as its increased
pursuit of those accused of violating a law prohibiting criticism of the
monarchy. That has coincided with increased scrutiny of Thailand’s record
on human trafficking and forced labor, particularly in its fishing industry.
Slump in exports ‘worse than expected’ amid low oil prices
EXPORTS are now expected to contract by 5.5 per cent to US$215 billion
this year, worse than the previous projection of a 3-per-cent decline,
due to the continued slide in oil prices in the world market.
This the third straight year of backsliding, but for next year, the Commerce
Ministry is looking for a return to the growth path. Its 2016 forecast
is for a 5-per-cent increase to $225 billion, reflecting the brighter picture
for global trading, which is expected to bounce back from a shrinkage of
11.2 per cent to an expansion of 2.4 per cent.
The ministry reported that in the first 11 months of this year, shipments
were off 5.5 per cent to $197.27 billion (Bt6.61 trillion), while imports
declined 11.2 per cent to $187.04 billion.
In November alone, exports were down 7.4 per cent to $17.16 billion, while
imports fell 9.5 per cent to $16.86 billion. Thailand locked in a trade
surplus of $10.23 billion in the first 11 months, after adding $298 million
"Oil and products from oil account for more than 10 per cent of total
export value. Expected continuing falling oil prices will still be a risk
factor for Thai exports next year," Somkiat Triratpan, director of
the Commerce Ministry's Policies and Trade Strategies Bureau, said yesterday.
The ministry estimates that the oil price next year will continue to drop
from an average of $51.60 per barrel this year to $50.40. This would hit
trade to many markets that depend heavily on oil sales.
If oil prices continue to deteriorate, not only will many oil-based products
be affected, but also agricultural crops, mainly rubber.
As of November, the average oil price this year was $42.32 per barrel,
but in December, it weakened to $36 per barrel.
Exports of agro-industrial products have crumbled in the first 11 months
by 7.2 per cent, and those from other industries by 3.7 per cent. Exports
to most markets were down, except to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam (CLMV),
Australia, Latin America and the United States. Exports increased by 7.8
per cent to CLMV, 6 per cent to Australia, 0.2 per cent to Latin America
and 1.4 per cent to the US.
Ripples from Myanmar people's protest against the Koh Tao murder verdict
have not yet reached two-way trading. Border shipments from Thailand to
Myanmar still grew by an average of 20 per cent.
Two-way border trade with the four adjacent countries - Malaysia, Myanmar,
Laos and Cambodia - rose by 6.4 per cent to Bt957.79 billion in the first
11 months of this year. Outbound border trade increased 4.4 per cent to
Bt561.74 billion, while inbound trade rose 9.5 per cent to Bt396 billion.
Despite the declining sales overseas for Thai goods, sales abroad of the
service sector climbed strongly by 14.8 per cent in the first nine months
of this year to $44.42 billion.
Tourism is the strongest driver of Thai service exports this year. Exports
of tourism services soared 21.9 per cent to $32.3 billion, which was 72.7
per cent of total service exports, Somkiat said.
Kulaya Tantitemit, director of the Fiscal Policy Office's Macroeconomic
Policy Bureau, said the FPO still saw exports picking up next year, but
it would be by less than the 2.5 per cent that had been predicted.
The contraction of 5.5 per cent in the past 11 months is already bigger
than the FPO's current contraction projection of 5.4 per cent for this
The export sector will continue be one of the drags on the economy next
year, as it accounts for 65-70 per cent of gross domestic product.
It will continue to be a victim of the softening of global demand, as many
major trading partners are still gradually recuperating while China is
"It can be seen now that the global economy, which was expected to
improve by a bigger margin than this year, is now only expected to recover
gradually or be better than this year but not by much," she said.
The exchange rate is also expected to be volatile from the divergence in
the monetary policies of advanced economies.
The estimated low crude-oil price of about $50 per barrel on average in
2016 will continue to put pressure on agricultural prices, which is a major
part of the country's export sector.
Former commerce minister Wattana Muangsuk Sunday defended the rice-pledging
scheme against allegations it distorted the market mechanism and caused
losses, saying it was a public policy aimed at stimulating the economy
and domestic consumption.
The ex-minister defended the scrapped scheme ahead of this month's scheduled
start of the trial of ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra by the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office
Holders over her alleged negligence over the scheme and her failure to
stop corruption and estimated losses to the state of at least Bt500 billion.
"The rice pledging scheme was implemented under a strict financial
and monetary discipline," Wattana said. "The government was able
to keep the fiscal balance by ensuring that the state expenses and present
and future financial commitments were at a manageable level that the government
was able to finance.
"The country enjoyed financial stability. The allegations that the
project shouldered heavy losses and the government set aside a huge budget
or sought loans to write off losses, creating bad debts and putting the
country's financial system at risk of being bankrupt, was a misunderstanding
Wattana said the Yingluck government implemented the rice-pledging scheme by intervening in the market mechanism under a pubic policy protected by
Article 84 (8) of the now-defunct 2007 Constitution.
MR PRIDIYATHORN Devakula, the former head of the government’s economic
team, shunned most kinds of populist policies during his 15 months in office
from May 2014 to August last year.
However, his successor Somkid Jatus-ripitak is more comfortable with a
wide range of policies and measures to stimulate the economy.
Over the past five months, the Somkid team has tackled the sluggish economy at various levels with multiple tools,
including some populist measures.
At the grass roots, the team revived the Village Fund scheme with an injection
of funds worth several tens of billion baht.
For credit-strapped small and medium-sized enterprises, it offered a Bt100-billion
soft-loan programme at a 4-per-cent interest rate. To kick-start private
investment, the Board of Investment and the Finance Ministry introduced
extra tax incentives to encourage Thai and foreign investors to quickly
implement their projects.
For the longer-term goal of repositioning Thai industries, the team identified
10 "future" industries to be promoted by the government to uplift
the country's international competitiveness.
For infrastructure investment, the public-private partnership (PPP) model
got a new lease of life with a big portion of projects worth a combined
Bt1.79 trillion set for bidding next year. The Somkid team also led a delegation
to Japan to revitalise foreign investors' interest in the country.
The team also managed to boost domestic consumption with a surprise tax
incentive for year-end shopping, making it the talk of the town in the
final week of 2015.
In other words, the stage has been set for a stronger economy next year.
In hindsight, the Pridiyathorn team should be credited for stabilising
the economy in the early months after the coup.
The team also implemented some tax reforms, with one notable example being
inheritance tax, which will take effect on February 1. While the amount of inheritance tax to be collected might not be huge due to
the watered-down rates and conditions, it represents a rare policy initiative aimed at social equity.
Also, legal and other moves for the "digital economy", initiated by Pridiyathorn, have helped efforts to boost international
competitiveness, as have measures promoting the setting up of international
headquarters and international trading companies in Thailand, among other
Overall, the Pridiyathorn team was less adept at stimulating a slow economy, when compared to the speed and variety of moves implemented by the Somkid
team, which has been more successful in restoring business and consumer
confidence in Thailand.
This year, while Thailand’s exports remain at risk from several challenges
Following a third consecutive year of contraction, the Commerce Ministry
has projected Thai shipments will grow by 5 per cent to US$225 billion
(Bt8.12 trillion) this year, while the private sector forecasts growth
in the region of 2-4 per cent.
The Thai National Shippers' Council foresees exports growing 2 per cent,
while the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce's Economic and Business
Forecasting Centre predicts expansion of about 4 per cent.
However, the Bank of Thailand expects export growth to be flat this year, with its forecast taking into
account a sharper slowdown in China and other Asian economies, the adverse
impact of geopolitical conflicts on global demand and tourist confidence,
and a further severe drought in Thailand.
In 2016, according to the International Trade Promotion Department's outlook,
many factors will influence Thai shipments.
Positive factors include the |global economy, which is expected to grow
by 3.6 per cent, against 3.1 |per cent last year, while the International
Monetary Fund forecasts global trade to expand by 2.4 per cent - following
a contraction of |11.2 per cent last year.
The government's measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises
in regard to financing and innovation, the promotion of super-cluster investment
and investment in 10 special economic zones, and free-trade agreement policies
will also help drive export expansion, the department said.
Malee Choklumlerd, director-general of the agency, said the government
would play its part in achieving the goal of deepening Asean integration by broadening relations with neighbouring countries in CLMV
(Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) markets and other Asean countries, which would increase bilateral trade and investment.
The department will also cooperate with the Science and Technology Ministry
in the development of innovations for export products, as part of efforts
to restructure the manufacturing of exported goods, she said.
In 2016, Thai shipments to many markets are also expected to move back
into positive territory, such as to the European Union, with 2.8-per-cent
growth predicted by the department; the United States (3 per cent); Latin
America (17.2 per cent); Asean (6 per cent), CLMV (13.6 per cent); India (9 per cent); and Australia (10
However, shipments to Japan, Russia and Middle East markets are still expected
to see some degree of contraction, due to an expected slowdown in those
Exports to the three markets are forecast to drop by 1.5 per cent, 15 per
cent and 3 per cent, respectively, she added.
To drive more shipments from this
year onward, the Commerce Ministry has launched a seven-strategy plan covering
2016-21, which will focus on market access and economic cooperation, demand-driven
marketing, trade promotion with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, China
and India, outward-investment promotion, trade in services, innovation-driven
enterprises, and value creation, Malee said.
While many products should enjoy better orders from abroad over the next
12 months, there are some notable exceptions, such as the Thai fishery
sector, which has a negative image overseas as a result of illegal, unreported
and unregulated activities and labour problems.
Rubber-product exporters, meanwhile, have been victims of declining oil
prices, and garments and textiles are a sunset industry, with many Thai
factories shifting to neighbouring countries, she said.
However, products that will show positive export growth are automobiles
and parts, jewellery and ornaments, frozen and processed chicken, electronics,
electrical appliances, construction materials, machinery and parts, cosmetics
and pharmaceutical products, furniture and parts, and gifts, souvenirs
and home decorative items.
Meanwhile, given the growing trend for people to concentrate more on service
trading, the government will concentrate export efforts more on services
that are seen as the future for Thailand, and income from which will be
particularly helpful during a period of sluggish income from the export
Malee said service businesses would play an increasingly significant role
in creating national income, while the export of goods would over time
play a reduced role.
The government will, therefore, be more concerned about driving service-business
growth in the long run.
Nopporn Thepsithar, chairman of the Thai National Shippers' Council, said
the council's forecast of Thai shipments growing at least 2 per cent this
year was based on an assumption that the baht would average 35-37 per US
Gem, jewellery exports set to grow
Somchai Phornchindarak, president of the Gems, Jewellery and Precious Metal
Confederation of Thailand and former president of the Thai Gems and Jewellery
Association, predicted that exports of gems, jewellery and ornaments would
continue to grow this year, at a rate of around 5 per cent.
To drive more shipments, he said jewellery enterprises had asked for the
government's help in solving four key problems: a shortage of skilled labour;
a lack of support for research and development; a shortage of financial
liquidity; and the cost of imported raw materials.
The Federation of Thai Industries, meanwhile, has forecast that auto exports
will increase by 3 per cent this year.
"Sales may not grow much, as commodity prices will still be low, curbing
economic growth, but exports should still expand, particularly of eco-cars,"
said Surapong Paisitpattanapong, spokesman of the federation's Auto Industry
Panthongtae dropped from trial; 'charges against ex-PM may be shelved if
he does not attend hearings' in the Supreme Court
Attorney General Julasing Wasantasing yesterday launched a Bt9-billion
lawsuit that accuses former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and 27 accomplices of involvement in fraudulent Krung Thai Bank
Submitted by editor2 on Fri, 08/01/2016 - 16:30
But an informed source said that if public prosecutors could not get key
defendants such as Thaksin to face court, parts of the case relating to the ex-PM may be temporarily
Thaksin is currently a fugitive from justice, having fled abroad in late
2008 prior to the handing down of a two-year jail term by the Supreme Court's
Criminal Division for Political Office Holders. That ruling came in another
corruption case, relating to the purchase of a prime block of land on Bangkok's
In the Krung Thai Bank (KTB) case, state prosecutors submitted a writ citing
an anti-graft report and 150 files in 17 boxes of evidence.
The case will be tried at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political
Office Holders. The high court is expected to convene its first hearing
on July 25 after a nine-judge tribunal in charge of the case is named.
"The public prosecutors and graft busters have reached a joint decision
to try Thaksin and 27 accomplices and exclude Thaksin's son Panthongtae and other family
the litigation," prosecution spokesman Winai Damrongmong-kolkul said.
Earlier, the graft investigation found that funds from the alleged fraudulent
loans had been routed through Panthongtae's bank accounts. The prosecution
has decided, however, not to try Panthongtae, who is not an office holder
and thus not under the purview of the high court's fast-track process for
The case came to light after the 2006 coup government formed the Asset
Examination Committee to look into alleged graft violations involving Thaksin.
One of the cases taken by the AEC involved a complaint filed by the Bank of Thailand against the Krung Thai Bank over three suspicious transactions.
The AEC's mandate expired before it reached the trial stage. But
the National Anti Corruption Commission picked up on the AEC probe and ruled that it suspected foul play.
In June 2008 the NACC submitted the case for prosecution review. A joint panel of prosecutors
and "graft busters" was set up to build the case and collect
The central claim of the prosecution is that then prime minister Thaksin abused his office to influence the bank's decision to grant loans to real-estate
developer Krisda Mahanakorn despite the company's poor credit rating.
The alleged fraudulent deals happened when Viroj Nualkhair, one of the
key defendants, was the managing director of KTB.
The deals allegedly involved a scam to bypass the credit rating to allow
the bank to arrange loans to proxy companies in order to channel funds
to Krisda Mahanakorn. The transactions were subsequently classified as
The list of defendants can be divided into three groups: Thaksin, as office
holder exerting influence over the loans; Viroj and the bank's board of
directors; and three companies including Krisda Mahanakorn.
The prosecution contends that the defaulted loans were graft violations
due to adverse impacts on the state-run bank.
The case will focus on three transactions. The first two are a Bt500-million
loan granted to RK Professional Co Ltd and an Bt8-billion credit line extended
to Golden Technology Industrial Park, which also received a Bt500-million
loan for land purchase and Bt1.4-billion loan for project development.
The remaining transaction was the financing for a Bt1-billion sale of convertible
preferred stocks between Krisada Mahanakorn and Grand Computer Communication.
All these transactions took place during Thaksin's time as prime minister.
Military and police officers have reportedly intimidated leaders of the
Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) several days after the committee investigated the detention of labour union
leaders of an electrical appliance company.
Yesterday, on Thursday, 7 January 2016, Wilaiwan Saetia, president of the
TLSC, reported that 4-5 military officers both in uniform and plainclothes
followed her from the factory that she works to her house.
She said that the authorities’ action intimidated her and the staff at
Yongyut Mentapao, Vice President of the TLSC, today also reported that he had been followed
by military and police officers from unidentified units.
He filed a complaint at a police station about the intimidation after the
She said that the officers followed her after the TLSC investigated the
detention of Chalee Loysoong, TLSC Vice President, and Amorndech Srimuang, leader of
the labour union of Sanko Gosei Technology Ltd., an electrical appliance manufacturer in the eastern province of Rayong,
on Tuesday, 6 January 2016.
The two were detained by police officers at the Ministry of Labour in Bangkok
for about four hours after they led about 500 Sanko Gosei workers to the
Ministry to ask Gen Sirichai Distakul, the Labour Minister, for assistance
in negotiating with Sanko Gosei.
In addition to detaining the union leaders, the police reportedly threatened
them with charges under the Public Assembly Act.
On 20 December 2015, Sanko Gosei closed its plant in Rayong province. After the closure, employees of the plant camped out in front of the factory.
Five days later, however, on 25 December 2015, the owners of Hemaraj Industrial
Estate where the factory is located, obtained a court order to force the
Sanko Gosei employees to leave the factory.
On Thursday, 7 January 2016, IndustriALL, a global labour network, condemned the detention of the two labour activists,
saying that the Thai government should instead have provided assistance
to the group.
Jyrki Raina, the Secretary-General of IndustriALL, also expressed concern
about the use of the Public Assembly Act to discourage labour unions from
“We are gravely concerned that the government is using the Public Assembly Act to curb the legitimate rights of workers to gather peacefully,” said Raina.
“This goes against all norms and international standards.”
“Criminalizing and arresting trade union leaders is not going to resolve
this dispute. The arrests are particularly disappointing considering our
positive meeting in December at which the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Labour said the
government shared IndustriALL’s will to protect the rights of workers,”
The Board of Investment said on Tuesday it approved applications worth
about 800 billion baht last year, missing its target of 1.4 trillion baht
by nearly 43%, but up from 724.7 billion baht in 2014.
The investment agency did not meet its target in 2015 as some applications
were submitted prematurely and others needed the input of several government
agencies, Hirunya Suchinai, the BoI's secretary-general told reporters.
"We did not meet the target because sometimes these are large projects
and require approval from committees," Mr Hirunya said, adding that
the agency would try to clear its backlog in 2016.
Since taking power in a May 2014 coup, the country's military rulers have
struggled to kick-start Southeast Asia's second-largest economy. The economy
grew 1% in the third quarter, up from 0.6% in the same period last year.
The government has accelerated approvals for investment projects and offered
various incentives to help support the struggling economy as exports and
domestic demand remain sluggish.
The central bank expects zero export growth this year partly due to a slowdown
in China's economy. Tourism, which accounts for about 10% of GDP, is expected to help prop up the economy.
The investment agency replaced previous policies in 2014 by gearing its
incentives to more value-added sectors.
The BoI said 1,038 project applications were recorded in 2015 versus 3,469
Foreign direct investment from Japan in 2015 remained the highest in Thailand,
with total investment approved from Japan valued at more than 144 billion
baht for 426 projects.
Singapore came a distant second with 122 projects approved valued at 39.9
billion baht between January and November.
The BOARD of Investment expects a huge jump in the value of projects applying
for tax privileges to Bt450 billion this year from about Bt218 billion
Hiranya Suchinai. secretary-general of the BOI, said yesterday that the
board was confident of achieving this target given its recent offers of
new tax measures and other measures in the pipeline.
It will also kick off the planned roadshows in the middle of this month
to local and overseas markets to woo investment.
The BOI has also drawn up a plan to provide tax incentives to encourage local investment
in the tourism and agricultural industries, in line with the government's
policy to strengthen the local economy. The planned incentives will also
contribute to the forecast surge in the number of project applications
The promotion agency will also encourage some approved projects to accelerate
their investment this year to be eligible for additional tax privileges
under the newly launched BOI special measures designed to hasten project investments.
According to its preliminary survey, about 1,600 projects worth Bt600 billion
are eligible to gain additional tax privileges under the special measures
approved by the Cabinet last November to urge projects to move faster rather
than wait to see a sign of improvement in the economy.
The measures are for projects that applied for BOI tax privileges from January 2014 to June this year and can start production
or provide services and generate revenue next year.
The BOI will also urge targeted investors to apply for tax privileges before the
deadlines. For example, the tax privileges for an investment in a cluster
will be available until the end of this year.
The projects approved by the BOI last year were worth more than Bt800 billion. If fully implemented, they
would create raw-material demand of Bt781 billion per year.
Among the highlighted projects approved last year are 183 e-projects worth
Bt18.9 billion related to the digital economy, software and cloud services
and 127 projects worth Bt3.03 billion related to the international headquarters
and international trading centre schemes.
There were also 126 projects worth Bt30.24 billion related to research
and development, medical equipment manufacturing, biotechnology and engineering
Rice farmers, millers and exporters have agreed to the government's plan
for the country to cut rice production in the 2016-17 crop year to 25 million
tonnes of paddy from 30 million on average. After...
PPT has previously expressed reservations about a referendum on the military
dictatorship’s draft constitution. The reason for this is that voting yes
or no on hundreds of articles in a complicated document seems a futile
exercise in constitution making.
However, as Prachatai has reported, a group of “[p]oliticians, labor unionists, academics, and others [have]
urged the Thai junta to hold public referendum on the new constitutional
draft, pointing out that people have the highest authority to determine
the constitution.” That’s conceptually true but not something that the
military dictatorship or the royalist elite would concede.
The “Public referendum group,” or Prachamati, has “over 150 leading academics, activists, and others such as Nidhi Eowseewong and Piyabutr Sangkanongul, a leading political scientist and a law scholar from Thammasat University,
Chaturon Chaisang, the former Education Minister of Pheu Thai Party, and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang,
a well known director” signed up to “a joint statement titled ‘[We] call
for a democratic public referendum’.”
This statement “demands that the Thai junta must hold a public referendum
on the new constitutional draft before its enactment and that if the public
does not approve the draft, it should be redrafted by elected parliament
The group adds that an elected Constitutional Drafting Committee would redraft the charter “if the draft is not approved by the public.”
Such a strategy opens the way for a concerted No vote on the draft constitution.
Elections associated with a referendum and a direct challenge to the military
dictatorship’s tyranny sounds good to us. On this occasion, PPT has to
agree with the political strategy involved.
THE NATION February 16, 2016 1:00 am
THE OFFICE of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)
anticipates gross domestic product to grow by 3.3 per cent this year, up
from 2.8 per cent in 2015.
The only major challenge is global economic difficulty, especially in China,
the world's second-largest economy, which is grappling with the slowdown
of its domestic economy and the measures set by Beijing to raise investors'
confidence in the management of its financial sector.
NESDB secretary-general Porame-tee Vimolsiri said the major encouraging
factors for the Thai economy included the acceleration of government expenditures and investments, especially on infrastructure projects, which will affect
the budget disbursements of all state enterprises.
Another plus is the government's measures to stimulate the economy, while
the depreciation of the baht will benefit the export sector and the income
and liquidity of business. The decrease in the oil price, which is expected
to be even lower than in 2015 on average, will increase the purchasing
power of people and the business sector. The NESDB also anticipates that
export value will rise by 1.2 per cent this year, while household consumption
will increase by 2.7 per cent and overall investment by 4.9 per cent.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, year-on-year GDP growth was 2.8 per cent,
compared with 2.9 per cent in the third quarter. On the production side,
the non-agricultural sector expanded by 4.2 per cent last quarter, while
the agricultural sector declined by 3.4 per cent as it was affected by
On the demand side, domestic demand increased at a faster pace in line
with the 4.8-per-cent expansion of government consumption, compared with
2.5 per cent for private consumption, in the fourth quarter of last year.
Those figures were higher than the 2.3-per-cent and 1.8-per-cent expansions
in the previous quarter.
Gross fixed capital formation also expanded by 9.4 per cent in the final
quarter of last year, with a 1.9-per-cent increase in private investment
after a contraction of 10.1 per cent in the third quarter.
Public investment also continued to expand by 41.4 per cent, accelerating
from 21.9-per-cent growth in the third quarter of 2015.
Nonetheless, the export of goods and services declined by 3.5 per cent
last quarter because of the sluggish global economy. Imports of goods and
services also dropped by 1.3 per cent.
Full-year GDP increased by 2.8 per cent, up from only a 0.8-per-cent increase
Household consumption and overall investment expanded respectively by 2.1
and 4.7 per cent in 2015. Overall production outside the agricultural sector
increased by 3.6 per cent, while production in the agricultural sector
dropped significantly, by 4.2 per cent.
The unemployment rate stood at only 0.8 per cent last year, while inflation
was minus-0.9 per cent.
The country's current account was also in surplus by 8.9 per cent of GDP.
"The growth of Thailand's GDP this year will be in line with the government's
capability of managing and stimulating the economy, especially in the allocation
of funds into major infrastructure projects as well as water management
to solve the drought problem," Porametee said.
"The government has been launching measures to look after farmers
and lower-income people, as well as in the granting of measures to support
investment in the private sector, as well as SMEs [small and medium-sized
enterprises] and business start-ups," he said. Porametee said that
for the export sector, the government should lead the private sector to
penetrate specific markets, such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam,
which have spending power and growing economies.
T16-11, Trade of Thailand (2012-2-26)
Table 1 Imports (million$,%)
||Animal & fishery
||Jewellery (ex pearl)
||Ceramic ( kitchenware.)
||Raw, intermediate goods
||Non-agro manufacturing products
||Base metal matr
||Rubber and synth rubber mat
||Electronics and elec appl mat
||Electrical appli parts
||CP parts & acc
||?IC & parts
||Other elecl appa(ex.printed circuits)
||?Yarn & fabrics
||Other non-agro manuf
||?Machinery, equip & supplies
||Power-gener machinery and parts
||Transfo, gener, motors, and accum
||Other machin appliances & parts
||?Measur, check & precision
||?Office auto (ex CP)
||Medic & surgi
||Aircraft, ship & locom
||Ships' derric, crane
||?Locom & rolling stock
||Parts of aircrafts & ships
||Other cap goods
||Total Imports (Customs basis)
||Imports, f.o.b. (BOP basis)
Table 2. Exports of Thailand (million$,%)
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Horticultural products, n.i.e.
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||?Cuttlefish, squid, octopus
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Fishery products, n.i.e.
||Mineral products, n.i.e.
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Fish, canned, prepa
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Crustaceans canned, prepared, or preserved
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Other fruits & veg canned
||Quantity (1,000 Ton)
||Preparation of cereals flour
||Quantity (Metric Ton)
||Food products, n.i.e.
||Wood & wood products
||Leather & leather products
||Apparels and Textile Materials
||Footware and parts
||Computer parts & accessories
||Integrated circuits & parts
||Other electrical apparatus (excl. printed circuits)
||Air conditioning machines
||Microwave ovens; cooking dev;
||Other household electrical appliances
||?Parts of electrical appliances
||Metal & Steel
||Iron & steel
||Other metal & steel
||Pick up and trucks
||Vehicle parts & accessories
||Aircrafts, ships, locomotive
||Machinery & Equipment
||Photographic & cinema instr
||Optical appliance and instruments
||Toiletries and cosmetics
||Furniture and parts
||Non-monetary gold (excl. goldsmiths)
||Total Exports (Customs basis)
||Exports, f.o.b. (BOP basis)
Table 3 Trade with major countries (million$,%)
T 16-12 タイの1－3月の輸出は0.9％増、中国向け6.4のマイナス（2016-4-26）