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Wall of water nearing 3 Phitsanulok districts

A second flood hit Sukhothai municipality yesterday, just as residents were starting to clean up and return to their daily business.

Ringside seat

A novice monk moves a chair away from rushing floodwaters yesterday at Wat Ratchathani in Muang district, Sukhothai. The temple is situated next to theYom River, which overflowed its banks. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

The deluge was caused by breaches in the floodwall and the overflowing Yom River north of the flood barrier.

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Don Mueang airport may have been given a new lease of life, but a full revival to match its pre-September 2006 heyday may take another decade.

The airport, which has been sitting at the same site for 98 years in northern Bangkok with a history as long as that of the country's aviation, will undergo a major redevelopment to become a fully fledged second airport for Bangkok.

A renovation blueprint of the airport has received an initial blessing from the Yingluck Shinawatra government, which is eager to ease traffic at the crowded Suvarnabhumi airport, Thailand's main international hub since September 2006.

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Posted by on in Thailand

Thai men are ranked on top and their women are ranked second as the world's most unfaithul lovers, with well over half of them admitting to frequent infidelity, according to a survey conducted by Durex, a condom producer.

Women from Thailand are ranked the world's second most unfaithul lovers, according to the survey report.

The survey of 29,000 women in 36 countries names the women of Ghana the world's most unfaithful, with 62 per cent of the women questioned there admitting they often cheat on their boyfriends and husbands.

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The past year under the Yingluck Shinawatra administration has seen some changes in Thailand's tourism industry.

The prime minister has been used as a presenter in advertisements welcoming foreign travellers, while the latest projection pegs annual industry revenue at 2 trillion baht by 2015.

But in the views of operators, that figure is rather inconceivable considering this year's projection is only 1.2 trillion baht.

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With the continuing growth of online trading, more Thai enterprises are choosing to set up e-commerce businesses alongside their normal operations in a bid to reach more consumers both at home and overseas.

Deputy Commerce Minister Siriwat Kachornprasart said yesterday that the value of online trading in Thailand had grown significantly in the past few years, reaching Bt1 trillion last year. With more people having access to the Internet, the value is expected to grow by 20 per cent this year.

Thai enterprises have a bright future in the online trading world due as more and more people become familiar with Internet usage in their daily lives and become more confident in the trustworthiness of e-commerce, he said.

To promote strong growth, enterprises should not only focus on normal trading methods and also need to develop their business online, as such a strategy enables them to able to capture more customers both domestically and abroad, he added.

Siriwat said online business would also be a good starting point for Thai operators, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, when it comes to penetrating Asean markets, as electronic trading entails a lower operating cost than traditional business channels.

According to Business Develop-ment Department (BDD) data, 10,158 websites are registered for conducting e-commerce. The number is expected to increase by 20-30 per cent this year as more enterprises become aware of the benefits of online trading, Siriwat said.

To facilitate online business growth, the department also provides a "BDD Verified" guarantee for online operators that pass the necessary standard and prove their reliability.

The department yesterday also signed a memorandum of understanding with nine government and private agencies to facilitate e-commerce growth.

The memorandum was inked with Thailand Post, the National Science and Technology Develop-ment Agency, the Software Industry Promotion Agency, the Electronic Transactions Development Agency, commercial banks and software and Internet associations.

Burin Kledmanee, chief operating officer of Ready Planet Enterprises - an online-trading website developer - said more Thai enterprises opted to engage online trading each year as the Internet access rate continued to grow.

About 20 million Thai users currently access the Internet, a level that is expected to reach 30 million in the next couple of years, he said.


LOWER COSTS

Enterprises should focus more on e-commerce as it offers lower operating costs than normal trading, he said, adding that failing to do so would mean a lost opportunity to increase sales and promote their products to a wider range of consumers.

Watha Suteesopon, assistant general manager of Versa Retail, said online trading had increased the company's chances of reaching new groups of consumers in rural areas.

Since launching a website and e-commerce service seven years ago, the company's online sales have grown by about 100 per cent a year.

Nutchaya Kankang, in charge of sales and tour operations at Thai Activity, said more than 90 per cent of the company's clients were online customers.

E-commerce is the easiest and cheapest channel for promoting the company's products and reaching clients, she said.

Tagged in: e commerce thailand
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More protection for tourists ... demanded by the Australian government. Above, Phuket's Patong Beach.

More protection for tourists ... demanded by the Australian government. Above, Phuket's Patong Beach.

THE Australian government has called on Thai authorities to clamp down on violence, extortion and scams against foreign tourists on the resort island of Phuket.

The call comes after the June 20 stabbing murder of 60-year-old Michelle Smith by a bag-snatcher. Australia's ambassador to Thailand, James Wise, yesterday flew in from Bangkok to meet provincial leaders and senior police.

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TDRI seeks answers to 3.3m-tonne surplus

A think tank has asked the government to clarify the origins of 3.3 million tonnes of rice sold in the market now on suspicions they were imported.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (third from right) hands out the first lot of farmers’s credit cards to representatives from 18 northeastern provinces in a ceremony held in Kaset Wisai, Roi Et province, yesterday. The credit line of the card will be based on the farming land of each farmer and the card can be used to buy farming essentials such as fertilisers, seeds, equipment and fuel oil. APICHIT JINAKUL

Nipon Poapongsakorn, president of the Thailand Research and Development Institute (TDRI), said there were inconsistencies in the quantities of rice in the country and urged Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to set up an independent committee to look into them.

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The Transport Ministry plans to hold an international bidding contest early next year for high-speed train projects linking Bangkok with four provinces not far from the capital.

Instead of starting the projects by picking destinations in Chiang Mai and Nong Khai in the far North and Northeast, the ministry has decided to have the trains run shorter distances to Phitsanulok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district and Rayong.

Deputy Transport Minister Chadchart Sittiphan expects better returns from the four routes than from more distant provinces, which have less dense populations.

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Posted by on in Thailand

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered an investigation into corruption allegations against the opposition Democrat Party's handling of a 5.3 billion baht education project.

She has ordered the Department of Special Investigation and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission to look into the allegations, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said.

Mr Prompong yesterday submitted a letter to Ms Yingluck requesting her to instruct relevant parties to probe the alleged corruption during the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration.

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Communities are battening down for a recurrence of the 2011 flood disaster

Nervously watching the skies, the residents of Bangkok and surrounding provinces are living in fear and trepidation as the next rainy season starts to darken their horizon.

Will the city's outer districts be flooded again? Will there be a repeat of the worst natural disaster in its recorded history?

The scenes and the hardships of last year's floods remain vivid in their minds. So awesome and all-encompassing was the inundation that many residents have not bothered to carry out more than minor repairs to their homes as they pessimistically expect more of the same this year.

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