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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: EU to provide 200,000 euros to assist Rohingya refugees in Thailand

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: EU to provide 200,000 euros to assist Rohingya refugees in Thailand | The Thaiger
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– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

EU to provide 200,000 euros to assist Rohingya refugees in Thailand
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The European Union is committing 200,000 euros to provide humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees being detained in Thailand, the EU Delegation to Thailand announced on Friday.

The help will be directed to Rohingya men at detention centres and Rohingya women and children at social welfare facilities.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will take charge of the aid, which will provide the Rohingya with basic household items, food and health care.

The project will be monitored by the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), which maintains a regional office in Bangkok.

The funding decision was made after ECHO experts, accompanied by ECHO’s Director of Operations, Jean-Louis de Brouwer, paid a visit to one of the detention facilities in May.

Some 2,000 Rohingyas, fleeing communal violence in Myanmar, were intercepted in Thailand in early 2013, while trying to reach Malaysia.

Central government funding to provide food and basic care to the refugees is minimal and donations from local communities have dried up, prompting the Head of the EU Delegation to Thailand, David Lipman, to express the EU’s concern about conditions in these facilities.

“We are worried that the unhealthy and overcrowded conditions inside these facilities are detrimental to the health of the refugees” he explained.

“Men and boys are being held in separate facilities from their families and they live in constant fear of being repatriated. We therefore urge the government to work together with international agencies in finding durable solutions for these refugees.”

Following inter-communal violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar, thousands of Rohingyas have been fleeing on boats, hoping to reach Malaysia.

Since January some 2,000 Rohingya men, women and children have been detained, while trying to cross Thailand into Malaysia. Rohingya families have been split up, with women and children sent to government-run shelters separate from the men, who are placed in immigration detention centers.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Economy

US cuts Thailand’s tariff benefits after long-running pork dispute

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US cuts Thailand’s tariff benefits after long-running pork dispute | The Thaiger

Thailand’s duty-free privileges for US$817 million in exports with the US are to be revoked from the end of this year, according to US President Trump in an announcement yesterday. The President blamed a lack of progress in opening the Thai market to US pork products. Trump’s letter announcing the action follows more than 2 years of threats and negotiations with Thai officials over issues ranging from access to Thailand’s markets for US goods and the documented inadequate labour rights in the south east Asian nation.

Washington will now eliminate some tariff benefits for Thailand, accusing the country of failing to allow imports of pork from US producers.

US cuts Thailand's tariff benefits after long-running pork dispute | News by The Thaiger

GRAPHIC: Global pork production in 2020, by country (in 1,000 metric tonnes) – statista.com

The suspension of the Generalised System of Preferences access follows a suspension earlier this year on about $1.3 billion worth imports from Thailand, which once had such privileges for about US$4.4 billion in exports to the United States.

The US Trade Representative’s office said the list of products includes mango, pineapple, manicure kits, steel pipes and precious stones., auto parts, dried produce, tools, electrical products and aluminium kitchenware.

Writing to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump said… “I have determined that Thailand has not assured the United States that Thailand will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.”

GSP, Generalised System of Preferences, is a 70s-era program of US trade preferences for developing economies aimed at improving workers’ rights and access to broader markets.

“The US Trade Representative’s office also announced that it had closed other GSP eligibility reviews with no loss of benefits for Georgia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. It also said new GSP reviews were opened for Eritrea based on concerns about workers’ rights.”

SOURCE: Reuters | VOANews | statista.com

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Economy

Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down

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Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down | The Thaiger

US stocks closed lower yesterday to end an ugly week downbeat with ‘uncertainty’ remaining the overwhelming sentiment. Tech stocks led the march downwards. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped in its biggest monthly collapse since March with investors reacting to rising Covid-19 cases in the US and Europe, peppered by nervousness ahead of next Tuesday’s US presidential election. The increased volatility forced all three major indexes seeing their biggest weekly declines since the worst of the coronavirus-inspired selloff 8 months ago.

The Dow fell around 157 points, to end near 26,502, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 lost around 40 points, or 1.2%, to finish near 3,270. The Nasdaq Composite gave up around 274 points, or 2.4%, closing near 10,912. The Dow had a 6.5% weekly fall and a 4.6% monthly drop. Friday’s decline saw the Nasdaq negative for the month of October, falling 2.3%. The Nasdaq was down 5.5% for the week.

The Dow dropped more than 500 points at its session low with tech stocks – primarily Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook – leading the market decline.

A number of stocks were on the move, down, following a slew of earnings, including from the tech giants. Twitter sank more than 20% on slowing growth, while Exxon reported its 3rd straight quarter of losses.

Key moments yesterday…

  • Dow closed down 0.59% for its 5th negative day out of 6
  • S&P 500 closed down 1.21% for its 4th negative day in 5
  • Dow closed down 6.47% this week for its worst week since March 20
  • S&P closed down 5.64% this week for its worst week since March 20 when the S&P lost 14.98%
  • S&P closed down 2.77% this month for its second-straight negative month
  • Nasdaq closed down 5.51% this week for its worst week since March 20 when the Nasdaq lost 12.64%

Dow and S&P 500 take a breath after an ugly week, tech stocks lead the way down | News by The Thaiger

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Economy

Free Trade Agreement talks continue between Thailand and EU

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Free Trade Agreement talks continue between Thailand and EU | The Thaiger

Thailand is resuming trade talks with the European Union on the long-delayed Thai-EU free trade agreement. The 15th Thai-EU Senior Officials’ conference was held virtually between leading Thai and European trade officials this week. The push was on to have the Free Trade Agreement signed and sealed by the end of this year.

Discussions were held regarding the ongoing affects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact on Euro and Thai economies, the current political unrest in Thailand, the fight against Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing, promoting the protection of labourers and a commitment to strengthen ties between the Euro zone and Thailand.

The next step in the establishment of the FTA will be a forthcoming meeting on trade and investment in December.

The virtual meeting was represented by Sasiwat Wongsinsawat, the Director-General of the Department of European Affairs and the European Union’s Paola Pampaloni , the Deputy MD for Asia and Pacific Department at the European External Action Service.

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