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Anti-graft law passes first reading, new ethics watchdog mulled

Moves to reform and clean up the political sector advanced on two fronts last week as the first reading of a new anti-graft bill passed the National Legislative Assembly, and the Constitution Drafting Committee endorsed a proposal for a new watchdog to initiate ethics investigations against political office-holders and state officials.
Moves to reform and clean up the political sector advanced on two fronts last week as the first reading of a new anti-graft bill passed the National Legislative Assembly, and the Constitution Drafting Committee endorsed a proposal for a new watchdog to initiate ethics investigations against political office-holders and state officials.
 
Fighting corruption is one of the flagship policies of the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and the Thai leader made it his priority from the beginning of his administra

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Thailand rises in WEF annual competitiveness ranking

Despite political turmoil that undercut economic growth in 2014, Thailand advanced six places in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, released last week.
Despite political turmoil that undercut economic growth in 2014, Thailand advanced six places in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, released last week.

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PM puts new energy exploration bids on hold

Amid protests and bitter disagreement over national energy policies, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has put bidding for new petroleum exploration concessions on hold after a Government House forum
Amid protests and bitter disagreement over national energy policies, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has put bidding for new petroleum exploration concessions on hold after a Government House forum where opponents of the concessions debated the issues with government officials and supporters of the bids. 
 
The Prime Minister said that the bids would be postponed until the Petroleum Act, one of the laws governing energy and exploration for energy resources, can be amended.

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Forestry Department reclaiming land from resorts and plantations

The Royal Forestry Department began taking actions last week to reclaim over 11,000 acres of land in two provinces from a resort and plantation owners who the Department said have encroached on state land and forest reserves.
The Royal Forestry Department began taking actions last week to reclaim over 11,000 acres of land in two provinces from a resort and plantation owners who the Department said have encroached on state land and forest reserves. 
 
 
Since coming to power in May, the government has waged a strong campaign against those who have illegally occupied and built on state-owned plots of land and protected forest areas as part of its agenda against corruption and other abuses.

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Thailand disputes trafficking report by NGO

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed deep disappointment last week with the slant and conclusions of a report on human trafficking in Thailand’s fishing industry, issued by the Environmental Justice Foundation, a UK-based nongovernmental organization.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed deep disappointment last week with the slant and conclusions of a report on human trafficking in Thailand’s fishing industry, issued by the Environmental Justice Foundation, a UK-based nongovernmental organization.  
 
The report Broken Promises: Why Thailand should stay on Tier 3 in the 2015 U.S. Trafficking in Persons report, alleges Thailand of taking insufficient actions to combat trafficking in persons, including with regard to unregulated labor brokers, victim identification, and protection of victims.

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Thai delegation heads to Japan to drum up investment

Thailand’s economic czar will lead a delegation to Japan this week to explain the Board of Investment’s new direction and incentives regime, as Thai-owned international hotel group Dusit International announced a cross marketing and selling agreement with Prince Hotels and Resorts of Japan.
Thailand’s economic czar will lead a delegation to Japan this week to explain the Board of Investment’s new direction and incentives regime, as Thai-owned international hotel group Dusit International announced a cross marketing and selling agreement with Prince Hotels and Resorts of Japan. 
 
The delegation is traveling to Japan a little more than two weeks after a visit to Tokyo by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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PwC says Thailand positioned for growth in 2015

Thailand was ranked fourth in the world in terms of being positioned for strong economic growth over the next 12 months according to a global survey of Chief Executive Officers released last week, as Stock Exchange of Thailand officials said they expect the exchange’s market capitalization will more than double this year.
Thailand was ranked fourth in the world in terms of being positioned for strong economic growth over the next 12 months according to a global survey of Chief Executive Officers released last week, as Stock Exchange of Thailand officials said they expect the exchange’s market capitalization will more than double this year.
 
Thailand rose from to fourth place from sixth in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 18th Global CEO Survey, the results of which were released last week.

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SCG Chemicals says R&D resulting in breakthrough products

SCG Chemicals, the largest division of Thailand’s Siam Cement Group building materials conglomerate, said last week its investments in research and development, and partnerships with British and Norwegian firms have resulted in breakthrough inventions that use nanotechnology and other technologies in the polymer industry.
SCG Chemicals, the largest division of Thailand’s Siam Cement Group building materials conglomerate, said last week its investments in research and development, and partnerships with British and Norwegian firms have resulted in breakthrough inventions that use nanotechnology and other technologies in the polymer industry.
 
Cholanat Yanaranop, president of SCG Chemicals, said the company had achieved many new creations using nanotechnology, has registered many patents, and expects to launch prototype products by the end of the year.

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Thailand Focus February 23rd, 2015: Four Thai beaches ranked in top ten by TripAdvisor

Four of Thailand’s spectacular white sand beaches were ranked among the top ten most beautiful beaches in Asia according to a recent survey by TripAdvisor, one of the world’s most popular travel websites, as the Kasikorn Research Center said tourist arrivals from China are expected to rise during the first quarter of 2015.
Four of Thailand’s spectacular white sand beaches were ranked among the top ten most beautiful beaches in Asia according to a recent survey by TripAdvisor, one of the world’s most popular travel websites, as the Kasikorn Research Center said tourist arrivals from China are expected to rise during the first quarter of 2015. 
 
As freezing temperatures and snow gripped much of the eastern United States, “it's that time of year when most people are dreaming of lying on a beach, so it's the perfect time to unveil the world's best beaches,” said Barbara Messing, T

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Applications for the BOI in 2014 exceed 2 trillion baht

The Acting Secretary General of the Board of Investment (BOI), Ms. Hirunya Suchinai, has revealed that Thailand has had its best year on almost 50 years for investment promotion in 2014.
The Acting Secretary General of the Board of Investment (BOI), Ms. Hirunya Suchinai, has revealed that Thailand has had its best year on almost 50 years for investment promotion in 2014. There were a total of 3,496 projects worth 2,192,700 million, with an increase of 73% and 117% respectively from the previous year. More than half of these investments were made in December and were projects mostly related to service and public utility. Ms.

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