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U.S. supports Thailand as research hub for HIV

Thailand has gained the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to become the center for research on HIV and efforts to curb the epidemic, the Thai Red Cross said last week.
Thailand has gained the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to become the center for research on HIV and efforts to curb the epidemic, the Thai Red Cross said last week.
 
 
USAID will help the Thai Red Cross in developing its research capacity and to become a regional knowledge-management hub as part of their Inform Asia initiative. 
 
Inform Asia was launched last week at a ceremony at the Thai Red Cross headquarters in Bangkok.

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Arrests in trafficking Rohingya and men to fishing boats

The Department of Special Investigation arrested two Thai men last week for luring other Thai men to work on fishing boats where they were subjected to forced labor and abuse, while police in southern Thailand arrested a man allegedly involved in the trafficking of nearly 100 Rohingya migrants from Myanmar.
The Department of Special Investigation arrested two Thai men last week for luring other Thai men to work on fishing boats where they were subjected to forced labor and abuse, while police in southern Thailand arrested a man allegedly involved in the trafficking of nearly 100 Rohingya migrants from Myanmar.  
 
The arrests were part of a crackdown on traffickers by the police, an essential component of the government’s wide-ranging response to the human trafficking problem.

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Thailand Focus January 12th, 2015: PM vows more action against human trafficking

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed last week that his government would step up its efforts against human traffickers, including taking action against government officials and police involved in the crime. The Prime Minister said he had set up a committee to oversee 23 areas that the United States Department of State cited as in need of improvement in Thailand as part of its last annual report on human trafficking around the world. The State Department dropped Thailand to Tier 3, the lowest ranking, claiming previous governments had not done enough to stop the problem.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed last week that his government would step up its efforts against human traffickers, including taking action against government officials and police involved in the crime. The Prime Minister said he had set up a committee to oversee 23 areas that the United States Department of State cited as in need of improvement in Thailand as part of its last annual report on human trafficking around the world.

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Thai Rice Top of the World

Thailand’s brown jasmine rice and Cambodia’s romduol rice species were awarded the coveted title during the sixth World Rice Conference, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November. For the previous two years, Cambodian rice has walked away with the title, but at this year’s event Thailand’s popular offering was jointly awarded the top prize.
Thailand’s brown jasmine rice and Cambodia’s romduol rice species were awarded the coveted title during the sixth World Rice Conference, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November. For the previous two years, Cambodian rice has walked away with the title, but at this year’s event Thailand’s popular offering was jointly awarded the top prize.
 
In total, 25 rice samples from 15 countries and regions, including Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Myanmar and the US entered the contest hoping to scoop the coveted title.

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Solar power bringing energy to isolated Thai islands

Inhabitants of two small islands in southern Thailand have seen their lives change for the better with a reliable source of energy thanks to solar power technology and training supplied by Thailand King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi.
Inhabitants of two small islands in southern Thailand have seen their lives change for the better with a reliable source of energy thanks to solar power technology and training supplied by Thailand King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. 
 
The project by the university has succeeded in bringing power to Koh Hung in Krabi province and Koh Mak Noi in Phang Nga province.  As with many remote islands off Thailand’s southern coasts, the two locales do no have an electrical system.

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E-commerce rising as gov’t proceeds with digital economy policy

Thailand’s government expects the value of e-commerce in Thailand to exceed US$30 billion annually by 2016, as the cabinet approved a draft law last week to establish a national digital economy committee to coordinate policies to foster the growth of the country’s digital economy.
Thailand’s government expects the value of e-commerce in Thailand to exceed US$30 billion annually by 2016, as the cabinet approved a draft law last week to establish a national digital economy committee to coordinate policies to foster the growth of the country’s digital economy. 
 
Whichai Phochanakij, deputy director-general of the Business Development Department at the Ministry of Commerce, said the forecasts are that e-commerce would grow by about 20 percent a year as Internet penetration continues to rise in Thailand.

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China and Thailand sign MoU on rail development

Thailand and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Bangkok last week that will result in China investing about US$10.6 billion to build two dual-track rail systems in Thailand as part of plans to boost trade and connectivity between the two nations.
Thailand and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Bangkok last week that will result in China investing about US$10.6 billion to build two dual-track rail systems in Thailand as part of plans to boost trade and connectivity between the two nations. 
 
The MoU was signed by Transport Minister Prajin Juntong and Xu Shaoshi, the director of China's National Development and Reform Council.

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Infrastructure investments pledged at Greater Mekong Summit

The leaders of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) nations gathered in Bangkok for a two-day meeting last week that resulted in commitments to invest in infrastructure to create greater connectivity among member countries and tap the economic potential of the region.
The leaders of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) nations gathered in Bangkok for a two-day meeting last week that resulted in commitments to invest in infrastructure to create greater connectivity among member countries and tap the economic potential of the region. 
 
The summit produced a five-year Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan to invest over US$30 billion in 92 priority projects and technical assistance programs aimed at forging better links and logistical connections among the six countries: Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic

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Government outlines strategy for ASEAN free trade area

Thailand will adopt a three-pronged strategy to maximize its growth potential in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community (AEC), a free-trade zone that will be launched late next year among 10 countries with a population of 600 million.
Thailand will adopt a three-pronged strategy to maximize its growth potential in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community (AEC), a free-trade zone that will be launched late next year among 10 countries with a population of 600 million.
 
The three strategies are to develop special economic zones in border areas to increase cross-border trade; enhance the competency and competitiveness of Thai enterprises to trade and invest outside Thailand; and establish business partnerships within each ASEAN member state.
 
While t

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Thais celebrate King Bhumibol’s birthday, also recognized as World Soil Day

Thais celebrate King Bhumibol’s birthday, also recognized as World Soil Day
Tens of millions of people across Thailand celebrated and paid homage to constitutional monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej who turned 87 on December 5.

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