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Government unveils 600 billion baht EEC projects

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Government unveils 600 billion baht EEC projects | The Thaiger

By Wichit Chaitrong

As the Thai PM readies for the Europe trip from June 25, ministers are assuring diplomats of project and political continuity after next February’s proposed poll.

In what is seen as a economic showcase, before the PM’s high-profile trip to Europe later this month, the government says it is accelerating six key investment projects worth 600 billion baht in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

Despite upcoming political changes after the next election, key ministers told diplomats from 56 countries that they expected the next cabinet to continue the projects.

“There are about six to eight projects for which bidding would be held by the end of this year,” Kobsak Pootrakool, minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, told the diplomats during a briefing session at the Foreign Ministry.

Thai ministers and senior officials briefed the envoys about the progress of investment projects in the EEC after the legislation came into effect last month.

Government unveils 600 billion baht EEC projects | News by The Thaiger

The government is expected to submit the names of the bid winners for Cabinet approval in December or January next year, paving the way for construction work to begin, Kobsak said.

“I have talked with Pheu Thai and Democrat parties and they all agree to continue the EEC. Moreover, investors are also interested in it,” he said of the two major parties who are the frontrunners to form the next government.

Kobsak showed the envoys the timeline for six potential projects – high-speed railway, extension of two deep seaports, U-tapao airport, MRO center, and digital park – with an estimated total investment of 608 billion baht.

They will be financed by public-private partnership (PPP). The EEC legislation would ensure the projects get off the ground within only eight months instead of 40 months that was previously stated, he added. Senior officials from relevant agencies also shared details of eight infrastructure projects, most of which are at the feasibility study stage.

Kanit Sangsuphan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, said that key projects could be accelerated as the government had done a lot of preparatory work in the past two years.

“We have succeeded in launching the first international bids for the high-speed rail,” he said, referring to completing the terms of reference (TOR) a few days ago. It has cleared the path for other projects, he said. To draw more investors, the prime minister would lead a road show in the IK and France later this month, Industry Minister Utama Savanayana said.

Government unveils 600 billion baht EEC projects | News by The ThaigerKanit Sangsuphan, secretary-general of the EEC Office, meets with officials from Thai Airways International

Prayut is scheduled to make a high-profile visit to the two countries from June 20-25 after the European Union softened its stance on Thailand’s military-backed government, with the resumption of political contacts at all levels.

Economic tzar Somkid Jatusripitak will accompany the PM on the trip to woo potential investors for the EEC and for the maintenance, repairs and overhaul hub at U-tapao.

Thai Airways International and Airbus are expected to ink an agreement when Prayut’s delegation is in France. Utama projected investments in the EEC over the next five years would reach $43 billion (1.3 trillion baht).

The EEC is not an isolated project but an integral part of Thailand 4.0, which is aimed at driving innovation, he said. The government has given generous incentives to investors who invest in the EEC zone, which covers Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao provinces. Duajai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BOI), said investors have to invest in designated areas in order to get top-up incentives. They also have to invest in selected industries or so-called S-curve industries such as next-generation automotives, smart electronics, robotics and the digital economy.

Investors could get a tax holiday of up to 13 years compared with the BOI’s basic package incentive for investment outside EEC, where investors get a tax holiday ranging between five and 10 years, she said.

Eligible investors could rent land for up to 99 years, or enter into a 50-year contract renewable for another 49 years. Foreign ownership will be as per Thai law and depend on the type of business. If the company needs to own land, it must have local partners who hold a majority stake – 51 per cent and up.

In some cases, foreign ownership could be 75 per cent or 100 per cent, according to Kobsak. Investors from Japan, Europe, the United States, South Korea and China have shown greater interest in investment opportunities in the EEC. During the first quarter of this year, applications worth more than Bt200 billion were received for BOI incentives of which 80 per cent were for the EEC, added Duajai.

Government unveils 600 billion baht EEC projects | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Singapore

New Robinsons Tower in Singapore reaches for the sky with a green thumb

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New Robinsons Tower in Singapore reaches for the sky with a green thumb | The Thaiger

Thailand’s capital could never be accused of having one of the world’s most interesting skylines. Except for maybe the Mahanakorn ‘lego building’, there is little cutting edge skyline architecture in Bangkok.

It’s a different case a few hours flight south in the Lion City, Singapore.

Pushing all sort of limits is the new Robinson Tower in the CBD. The first impression is of the upper section floating above the lower, with a leafy garden flowing between the two.

A closer inspection reveals a core that provides the backbone fo the entire structure. The twenty floors of offices also has a terraced rooftop garden.

Designed by New York’s Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the tower is also home to retail and food outlets in the lower section of the building, all arranged around another greenspace in a central atrium.

The architects say the design was influenced by Singapore’s Landscape Replacement Policy, which requires developers to incorporate publicly accessible green spaces equal in area to any greenery removed to develop the property.

“The dynamic tower frees itself from the canyon of stoic facades, integrating green space at unique vantage points and ultimately cultivating the public realm alongside a boutique, mixed-use program,” said Bruce Fisher, design director at KPF.

New Robinsons Tower in Singapore reaches for the sky with a green thumb | News by The Thaiger  New Robinsons Tower in Singapore reaches for the sky with a green thumb | News by The Thaiger

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People

Songkhla soi dogs heading to the US

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Songkhla soi dogs heading to the US | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Workpoint News | Thai Street Paws Rescue

5 dogs out of 29 that had been left to die in an abandoned home in Songkhla are now heading to the US to meet their new owners.

Officials from the Division of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Service and Smiledog Home volunteers report that the 29 dogs and 8 cats were abandoned at a house in Songkhla. Two representatives from Smiledog are taking care of the animals in Songkhla as their health improves and the lucky 5 dogs prepare for their long plane journey. A team of vets from Song Tale Veterinary Clinic have been providing expert medical care.

The owner of Thai Street Paws Rescue, Tamara Johnston, is an Australian teacher who teaches in Songkhla. She has played a major role in saving these animals and is the reason why 5 of them will be traveling to the US in September. She has been rescuing stray dogs and finds new owners for them without any adoption costs, except the travel fees for the animals.

Siripun Knampromwong from Smiledog Home says that the dogs have been happier since the rescue. They are playing with each other and have enough space to run around. There are still some animals available for adoption, those who are interested can contact via the Facebook page.

STORY: Workpoint News | Thai Residents

Songkhla soi dogs heading to the US | News by The Thaiger Songkhla soi dogs heading to the US | News by The Thaiger

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North East

Thai bus travels ‘sideways’ along north-east highway

The Thaiger

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Thai bus travels ‘sideways’ along north-east highway | The Thaiger

VIDEO: สุดจัดปลัดบอก ปลัดลาออกยังบอกว่าสุดจัด

A bus, making its way from Nakhon Ratchasima, to Udon Thani, has surprised the passengers in the car behind. They did what we all would do in these circumstances. Notify the police? No, post it on Facebook!

The bus was travelling, crab-like, slightly sideways, at reasonably high speed for many kilometres. The bus’s wheel alignment was well out of whack or something was loose. Either way, the bus was a danger for everyone on the road, and the passengers, as its journey was captured, making its way through Khon Kaen in north-east Thailand.

On a positive note, the passengers on the right hand side of the bus had a lovely view of the road ahead.

รถบัสโดยสารสายนครราชสีมา-อุดรธานี สภาพรถเอียงคล่อมเลนตั้งแต่ออกจากอุดรธานีมุ่งหน้าขอนแก่น อาจจะเกิดอันตรายแก่ผู้โดยสารได้ ไม่ทราบว่าคนขับรู้สึกถึงความผิดปกติหรือไม่ 🙄

Posted by สุดจัดปลัดบอก ปลัดลาออกยังบอกว่าสุดจัด on Tuesday, 20 August 2019

 

 

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