Japan rescuers battle to reach thousands trapped by floodsThe devastation has been widespread. TAKAYAMA: Japanese emergency services and troops were scrambling on Thursday to reach thousands of homes cut off by devastating flooding and landslides that have killed dozens and caused widespread damage. After five days blocked by floodwater and landslides, troops finally managed to rescue some 40 residents in the village of Ashikita in the Kumamoto region. Complicating the rescue efforts has been the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed nearly 1,000 lives in Japan from more than 20,000 cases. Japan is in the middle of its annual rainy season and often sees damaging floods and landslides during this period that lasts several weeks.
July 09, 2020 00:33 UTC
Audi RS roars into Thailand with throat-slashing pricesThree distinctive models make those from BMW and Mercedes-Benz look expensive and ordinary. The chosen trio for the attack include the racy RS TT Coupe, legendary RS 4 Avant with its signature estate body and RS Q8 sporting a modern-day SUV-coupe apparel. The RS TT is based on one of Audi’s most popular models in Thailand due to its iconic sports car styling. Priced at 5.299 million baht, the TT RS Coupe is over a million baht cheaper the 407hp BMW M2 Competition. But the RS Q8 costs 10.899 million baht - half the Urus in the price.
July 09, 2020 00:22 UTC
He needs to know her better and study her personality before making the key decision, he said. Mr Supant said the JSCCIB is preparing to set up a committee within this year to weigh the pros and cons of the trade agreement carefully. The JSCCIB believes the agreement will help boost international trade. The CPTPP, which commits members to reducing import tariffs on farm products, has been joined by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. She said the move to become a CPTPP member requires full participation from all stakeholders and a study of the positive and negative impacts is needed.
Rangsrid vows to raise Thai golf to world levelTGA president Rangsrid Luxitanond. Rangsrid Luxitanond was elected unopposed as president of the Thailand Golf Association for a seventh term on Wednesday. Rangsrid vowed to take Thai golf to the world level. In my seventh term, my aim is to push Thailand to the world level alongside South Korea and Japan," he said. WAAP, AAC cancelledThe 2020 Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) and Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships (AAC) have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
King applauds nation's efforts to curb bugHis Majesty the King has praised efforts by all parties in contributing to Thailand's performance in curbing the coronavirus outbreak, which has earned it praise and global recognition. The King donated a mobile medical unit to the Public Health Ministry and promised to provide more, Gen Prayut said. The Public Health Ministry, meanwhile, pointed out that fresh markets, restaurants and public transport service providers were among those that need to raise their Covid-19 prevention measures. The 141 public transport service providers surveyed were also asked to clean surfaces touched by customers more often. They were told to work harder to ensure a higher compliance rate with mask wearing and social distancing measures, she said.
Industry to shun 'cruel' monkey anticsCoconut product makers have reached an agreement with the government to voluntarily set up a system to allow products to be traced back to their origins to ensure they aren't made from produce picked by monkeys, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said yesterday. Coconut product manufacturers have agreed to set up a traceability standard to allow importers, distributors and supermarkets to have access to information on coconut product production from the plantation to the shelves, said Mr Jurin after a meeting with Thailand's main coconut product makers. Kiatisak Theppadungporn, a board member of Theppadungporn Coconut Co, the manufacturer of Chaokoh coconut milk, said the coconut-picking controversy had cost the company 30% in reduced sales of coconut milk currently banned in two to three large supermarket chains in Britain. Theppadungporn Coconut has signed a memorandum of understanding with all 1,000 suppliers of coconuts to ensure only coconuts picked by humans are supplied to the company's factory, he said. Thai coconut milk products have a market share of up to 80% in the UK and there are fears the controversy could spread to other countries in Europe.
BGC's solar farm in Vietnam currently has a capacity of 67 megawatts. BG Container Glass (BGC), Thailand's largest glass container packaging manufacturer by capacity, is negotiating with investors in Vietnam to buy solar farms worth over 1 billion baht as it seeks new business opportunities in renewable energy. It set a budget of 1-2 billion baht for the purchases. BGC continues to expand its packaging business using mergers and acquisitions in Thailand. Mr Silparat said the spread of Covid-19 affected the packaging business because of the government's lockdown measures and its ban on alcohol sales during the pandemic.
Vroom eyes expansion, local plantVroom Thailand, importer and distributor of Indian and European motorcycle brands, plans to expand its business by setting up a local factory to produce them here by 2023. "The company is conducting a feasibility study on local manufacture to serve growing demand in Thailand and Asean," Vroom chief operating officer Varot Kamolchotiros said yesterday. Though the pandemic has severely affected car and motorcycle markets, Mr Varot is optimistic the impact will be only temporary after the government has managed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. During the first five months of 2020, only 600,000 motorcycles were sold in Thailand, down 18% from 740,000 year-on-year, said Vroom chief executive Hideki Yanagisawa. Bajaj motorcycles are produced by Bajaj Auto Ltd, which is based in Pune, Maharashtra.
Lack of action guarantees coconut industry ruinThis 2002 photo shows legendary monkey trainer Somporn Sae Khow and one of his naughty students who was trained as a coconut picker in Surat Thani. Bangkok Post photoThe government and the coconut industry will do or say anything to avoid talking about the abuse of monkeys. It may be hard to believe, but a Peta investigation has documented that intelligent, social primates are enduring miserable lives of servitude in Thailand's coconut farming industry. They don't want to see these social and intelligent animals being deprived of their natural lives and exploited by the coconut industry. There are many great things about Thailand -- the annual vegan festival in October is a personal favourite, along with the booming Nam Hom coconut industry, which doesn't use monkeys.
Fetco suggests SSF extensionThailand's capital market representative has proposed a 10-year investment extension period for extra units of the Super Savings Fund (SSF) to financial authorities, aiming to help stabilise stock market volatility. "We have discussed with capital market-related agencies and concluded the extra units of SSF are a long-term investment tool," said Fetco chairman Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn. "This fund will help support the stock market's stability in the future as a long-term investment fund can [help] reduce market volatility." SSF investment conditions are more relaxed than those for LTFs, as SSF units can invest in any assets, while LTFs stipulate equities as the major investment asset. Narongsak Plodmechai, chief executive at SCB Asset Management, said the company logged the highest fundraising amount for extra units of the SSF at 2.32 billion baht through three SSF extra unit funds.
Thai Vietjet sticks to domestic tacticsThai Vietjet Air will fly only seven of 11 jets in its fleet this year. Thai Vietjet hopes to spur the domestic market by adding five new domestic routes in the second half of the year, but is halting fleet expansion this year because of uncertainty from the outbreak. While Thai Vietjet services only domestic routes, she said the number of passengers in July increased about 10% compared with the last two weeks in June. With the industry hit hard by the pandemic, Thai Vietjet is one of several local airlines requesting long-overdue soft loans from the government. In May, Thai Vietjet carried more than 20,000 passengers and the airline aims to have 3 million passengers this year.
NRF seeks to invest in 100 startupsMr Dan says NRF will invest in startups in the food sector. Pitsinee JitpleecheepNR Instant Produce Co, the producer and distributor of instant food and drink, vegetarian food and food from plant protein, vows to invest in 100 startups over the next 2-3 years, enhancing its global food production in the future. In 2019 NRF invested in 19 startups globally. The company will expand its business in speciality food, focusing mainly on ethnic food, plant-based food and functional food. Proceeds will be used to expand its business, invest in startups, repay loans and as working capital.
Can Thai unis attract foreign pupils? There are many reasons why international students are now shying away from studying in North America and Europe. Innovations should be encouraged and promoted so that the country may benefit from the research conducted by international students. Thai students and international students will have to work together to create start-ups and new ventures. This will help Thailand leverage international education as part of its effort to attract the best global talent.
Don't waste hard workThe government's mantra of not letting one's guard down will lose its spell if authorities fail to manage the transition to normalcy with utmost care. Health authorities and prominent doctors also repeated calls for the public not to feel complacent. All the hard work and hardship that health personnel and members of the public underwent during the past few months of battling the outbreak will go to waste if we have to return to extreme measures again, doctors said. It is understandable why health authorities are trying to raise the alarm. In this case, the CCSA and health authorities are correct to keep up their caution and tell people not to drop their guard.
Centara opening 8 hotels for local travelClockwise from upper left Centara Hotel Hat Yai, Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi, Cosi Pattaya Wong Amat Beach and Centara Azure Hotel Pattaya. Centara Hotels & Resorts, the hotel operating arm of Central Group, announced it will open eight hotels in Thailand as it seeks to accommodate the wave of domestic tourists following the government's easing of travel restrictions and nightly curfew. The eight hotels comprise Centara Grand at CentralPlaza Ladprao Bangkok, Centra by Centara Government Complex Hotel & Convention Centre Chaeng Watthana, Khum Phaya Resort & Spa Centara Boutique Collection, Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Udon Thani, Centara Hotel Hat Yai, Centra by Centara Phu Pano Resort Krabi, Cosi Pattaya Wong Amat Beach and Centara Azure Hotel Pattaya. Domestic tourism confidence has helped Centara achieve occupancy rates of up to 100% on weekends at some locations. A number of Centara hotels and resorts at international destinations with low infection rates are also operating, including Centara Sandy Beach Resort Danang, Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa Sri Lanka, Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha and Centara Muscat Hotel Oman.