A 50-member trade delegation from Bangladesh will be visiting Thailand to take part in the biggest business-to-business matchmaking seminar to be held in Bangkok on November 30. The delegation will be led by Abdur Rahim, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce; Makawadee Sumitmor, Ambassador of Thailand to Bangladesh; and Bangladesh Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTCCI) President Shams Mahmud. Bangladesh Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with the Commerce Ministry of Thailand and the Royal Thai Embassy in Dhaka jointly organised this program. The delegation visit will be the first of a series of planned visits to Thailand by Bangladesh Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to make Thailand the gateway for Bangladesh to Southeast Asia and promote Bangladesh as the gateway to South Asia for Thailand, BTCCI said on Tuesday. Read: BGMEA chief for stepping up economic diplomacy to boost Bangladesh-US trade A seminar titled “Bangladesh and Thailand: New Horizons for Trade and Investment” will also be held during this time where Dr Masrur Reaz, Chairman of Policy Exchange, will make the keynote presentation. Over 100 Thai companies will be participating in this event, comprising of agro, beauty and skincare, construction, light engineering, textile, aviation, hospitality, renewable energy, and fisheries sectors. During this visit, important discussions are expected to take place regarding free trade agreement between Bangladesh and Thailand along with ways to encourage FDI, joint ventures, transfer of technology, and new avenues of cooperation. Besides this, the delegation leaders will make courtesy calls on Dr. Nalinee Taveesin, Adviser to the Prime Minister and Thailand Trade Representative; Sarun Charoensuwan, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Ekachat Seetavorarat, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce. Read: BMCCI advocates for business-friendly environment in meeting with deputy governor of central bank Four factory visits have been arranged to showcase cutting edge technologies in garments and textile, environmental management, construction, light engineering, and agro sectors for the delegation members.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Bangladesh would be the 9th largest consumer market by 2030 with the government working with the goal of overtaking many established markets in the world. “We’ve been working with a goal so Bangladesh could surpass established markets like the UK and Germany, and the current high-growth countries Vietnam and Thailand at that time. We’ve this effort,” she said. The premier said this while inaugurating the 60 years’ celebration and Investment Expo, 2023 of Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Hotel Radisson Blu in the city. “There are some 17 crore people in our Bangladesh. Besides, we’ve strengthened connectivity with our neighbouring countries. We think Bangladesh would become the world’s 9th largest consumer market by 2030,” she said. Noting that Bangladesh has a large population, she said the government is developing them as skilled manpower for its better utilization. Read: Bangladesh to become world’s 9th largest market by 2030 overtaking UK, Germany: PM Hasina The PM said the number of growing middle class and rich people will be 3.40 crore by 2025 in Bangladesh and the estimated GDP per capita will be 5,880 US$ by 2040. “Due to its strategic geographical location, Bangladesh can be the hub of the regional market of 3 billion people,” she said adding that her government has taken steps to strengthen the connectivity with this region. Hasina said her government has successfully been able to bring a significant change in Bangladesh after assuming office in 2009. “Bangladesh has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world in the last 15 years,” she said. Noting that Bangladesh is now considered as the 35th largest economy in the world, she said they have raised the GDP growth rate to 7.25 percent now due to strong macroeconomic fundamentals and trade consolidation. The PM, however, said the growth rate was even higher during the pre-Covid period as the government raised it to 8:10pc before the pandemic. Read: Only votes can change govt: PM Hasina The government has successfully increased per capita income to US$2,793 from only US$ 543 and raised the GDP size to Tk 50.31 lakh crore now from Tk 4 lakh crore in 2006, she said. During this period, they brought down the poverty rate to 18.7 percent from 41.1 percent, while extreme poverty rate to 5.6 percent from over 25pc, she said adding that her government has given the most importance to the development of the rural economy. In the last 15 years, the Awami League government took multifaceted measures for the development of the business sector of the country. So, the private sector has become stronger and more developed. Bangladesh is currently the second largest garment exporter in the world, she said. “Bangladesh is expected to be the 20th largest economy in the world by 2037,” said Sheikh Hasina, adding that the country will be transformed into a developed and prosperous Smart Bangladesh by 2041. Mentioning that the government is setting up some 100 economic zones and established 39 hi-tech parks throughout the country, she said those economic zones and parks are kept open for foreign investment. If any country can want land singly, seek land under joint venture or public private partnership (PPP), the government would allow them and provide them with lands, she said. Read: PM Hasina collects nomination form for national election The premier said one stop service has been introduced in investment development agencies to facilitate investment. “We have undertaken plans to make all offices providing investment services fully online and digitized,” she said. In Bangladesh, there is a scope to develop USD 350-billion infrastructures in the energy, water, logistics and transport sectors. “By 2025, the logistics sector alone is expected to become a US$90 billion market,” she said. The prime minister said they want to raise private investment to 31.43 percent of GDP by 2031.She said Bangladesh has become an attractive destination to many countries around the world for investment, industrialisation and export due to various reasons including its economic growth, structural development programmes, investment-friendly policy, large domestic market, strategic location, high profitability and large workforce. Talking about the FICCI’s celebration, she said the chamber has stepped into 60 years this year since the inception of its journey in 1936. As a leading chamber, FICCI represents investors from 35 countries in more than 21 sectors of Bangladesh. “FICCI represents 90 percent of the country's inward FDI, which carries special importance to the overall development of our country,” she said. The premier extended sincere thanks to all former and current members of FICCI on the occasion of the celebration of its 60 years. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, among others, spoke at the function, while FICCI President and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Naser Ezaz Bijoy delivered the welcome speech. The premier also unveiled a research book titled ‘Catalyzing Greater FDI for Vision 2041’, which was published by FICCI.
Bangladesh-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTCCI) placed a number of proposals to the Industries Ministry, seeking government cooperation in relocating potential industries in Bangladesh from Thailand. BTCCI also sought the removal of tariff barriers to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation and promote lucrative sectors of Bangladesh to other nations. UN Assistant Secretary General visits Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar The proposals were made during a courtesy call of Shams Mahmud, president of BTCCI, with the Minister for Industries, Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, at Shilpa Bhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday. Shams Mahmud said that Bangladesh and Thailand are time-tested friends. BTCCI has been playing an important role since its inception in 2003, he added. The BTCCI president also emphasized establishing more joint ventures between Bangladesh and Thailand, and requested that the industries minister help and initiate this. Bangladesh-US ties 'outstandingly cordial' but some trying to inject bitterness: Momen He said that investments of some big companies in Bangladesh, like Italian-Thai Development Company Limited, CP Bangladesh Ltd and Siam City Cement Ltd., were proofs of Thailand's interest in considering Bangladesh as an investment destination. He also mentioned that apart from the existing sectors like jute, leather, agro, light engineering etc., Bangladesh could also focus on pharmaceuticals, RMG, tourism and hospitality management, frozen foods, fisheries, infrastructure, education and training to attract Thai investment. ‘There are no right hands to handle these wrong weapons’: Momen calls for eliminating nuclear weapons at UN The industries minister thanked BTCCI for their contribution and assured all-out cooperation in enhancing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Thailand. Thailand could also play an important role by investing in Bangladesh's infrastructure, he said. BTCCI Senior Vice President and FBCCI Vice President Md. Munir Hossain emphasized on strengthening the already established good relationship between Bangladesh and Thailand.
Ballots tallied Monday showed voters in Thailand wanted change after nine years under a former general who took power in a coup, with the main opposition parties easily besting other contenders in the general election. The opposition Move Forward Party outperformed even optimistic projections and appeared poised to capture almost all 33 House seats in the capital Bangkok. Along with the Pheu Thai Party, the favored opposition group, Move Forward campaigned for reform of the military and the monarchy. Move Forward put those issues closer to the heart of its platform, earning a more radical reputation. Its outspoken support for minor reforms of the monarchy, while winning younger voters, antagonized conservatives committed to the royal institution. Incumbent Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who came to power in a 2014 coup, was blamed for a stuttering economy, pandemic response shortcomings and thwarting democratic reforms — a particular sore point with younger voters. Also Read: Thailand's opposition secures election victory against army-backed conservative establishment “This is people saying that we want change," said Saowanee T. Alexander, a professor at Ubon Ratchathani University in northeastern Thailand. "They are saying that they could no longer take it. The people are very frustrated. They want change, and they could achieve it.” With more than 99% of ballots counted early Monday, Move Forward appeared to have a small edge over Pheu Thai, whose leaders conceded Sunday they might not finish on top following voter turnout of about 39 million, or 75% of registered voters. Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat tweeted that he is ready to bring about change should he be the country’s 30th prime minister. “Whether you agree or disagree with me, I will be your prime minister. Whether you have voted for me or not, I will serve you,” he wrote. Read More: Thailand’s election may deliver mandate for change, but opposition victory may not assure power Sunday's winner is not assured the right to form the new government. A joint session of the 500-seat House of Representatives will be held with the 250-member Senate in July to select the prime minister, a process widely seen as undemocratic because the military appointed the senators, who will vote along with elected lawmakers. Move Forward captured just over 24% of the popular vote for the 400 constituency seats in the House of Representatives and nearly 36% for seats allocated in a separate nationwide ballot for 100 members elected by proportional representation. Pheu Thai lagged slightly behind with just over 23% for constituency seats and about 27% for the party list. The tally of constituency votes gave 113 House seats to Move Forward and 112 to Pheu Thai, according to unofficial results Monday from the Election Commission. Prayuth’s United Thai Nation Party held the fifth spot in the constituency vote with almost 9% of the total, but placed third in the party-preference tally with close to 12% and 23 House seats in the constituency vote. The three parties were considered the most likely to head a new government. Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the 36-year-old daughter of billionaire former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was favored in opinion polls to be the country’s next leader. Move Forward’s 42-year-old businessman leader Pita now seems a likely prospect. Pheu Thai won the most seats in the 2019 election. But its archrival, the military-backed Palang Pracharath Party, cobbled together a coalition with Prayuth as prime minister and unanimous support from conservative Senate members appointed by the military government after Prayuth’s coup. Ubon University’s Alexander cautioned that the current situation remains “very unpredictable" and the results could be unilaterally affected by the Election Commission, which previously disqualified opposition parties or otherwise undermined challenges to the conservative establishment. She noted the Bhumjaithai Party, which came in third, could be a “swing vote” since the combined Move Forward and Pheu Thai seats may not be enough for a majority coalition. Bhumjaithai controls a large bloc of votes in the northeast and helped put the military-backed coalition into power. Move Forward’s Pita is a possible target for what the opposition, from bitter experience, calls dirty tricks. A Palang Pracharath candidate last week filed a complaint with the Election Commission and the National Anti-Corruption Commission claiming Pita failed to list a stock shareholding on a statutory assets declaration. Pita denied any wrongdoing in the minor, technical claim. However, the leader of the Future Forward Party, forerunner of Move Forward, lost his Parliament seat on similar technical grounds. His party, also considered a radical challenge to the military-backed royalist establishment, was dissolved. Tyrell Haberkorn, a University of Wisconsin Thai studies scholar, said there is a chance street protests could be trigged again if Move Forward meets the same fate as its predecessor. “The time is up for the generals and their allies in the palace and the courts. The military can either listen to the voters and step down gracefully, or lead the country into chaos,” Haberkorn said.
A Thai man was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday for selling calendars featuring satirical cartoons of yellow ducks that a court said mocked the country’s monarch, a legal aid group said. Bangkok’s Criminal Court ruled that the calendar for 2021 containing pictures of yellow ducks in poses resembled and ridiculed Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, diminishing his reputation, the group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said. Yellow rubber ducks were at one point a tongue-in-cheek symbol of Thailand’s pro-democracy protest movement. Also Read: Thailand reinstates foreign arrival vaccination requirement Narathorn Chotmankongsin was charged under Thailand’s lese majeste law, which calls for three to 15 years’ imprisonment for anyone who defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir apparent or the regent. The court declared that six illustrations in the calendar were made to mock the king. The legal aid group said the 26-year-old defendant, whom it identified by the nickname Ton Mai, had his sentence reduced to two years because he cooperated with the court. Human Rights Watch issued a statement Wednesday asking Thai authorities to “quash the sentence and promptly release Narathorn Chotmankongsin." Also Read: 50 years of ties with Thailand: Dhaka calls for regional cohesion “The prosecution and three-year sentence of a man for selling satirical calendars shows that Thai authorities are now trying to punish any activity they deem to be insulting the monarchy,” said Elaine Pearson, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “This case sends a message to all Thais, and to the rest of the world, that Thailand is moving further away from — not closer to — becoming a rights-respecting democracy.” The lese majeste law has long drawn criticism for its harshness and a provision allowing anyone to file a complaint, allowing its use for partisan political purposes. In recent years, it has become a focus of pro-democracy activists, who have called for it to be amended or abolished. Two young female activists seeking its repeal and other judicial reforms are reportedly in critical condition after hunger striking for more than six weeks. At least 233 people have been charged with lese majeste since November 2020 according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. Before that, prosecutions had been informally suspended, bThaut they were revived as the protest movement gained strength and made increasingly strong criticisms of the monarchy. The demands to reform the monarchy have been controversial because by tradition, the institution has been considered untouchable and one of the main foundations of Thai nationalism.
Bangladesh reached the final of the eight-nation Men's Junior Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Cup (U-21) Hockey Tournament with an unbeaten run after defeating Thailand 3-0 in the first semi-final at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Oman's Muscat Wednesday. Bangladesh will play the final on Thursday at 6pm local time at the same venue against the winners of the second semifinal between hosts Oman and Uzbekistan, who are set to lock horns Thursday night. The third-place decider will also be held tomorrow at the same venue. Read more: Junior AHF Cup: Bangladesh thrash Uzbekistan 6-1 to top group In the day's match, Jibon put Bangladesh ahead in the 48th minute (1-0) with a field goal (1-0). Hossain doubled the lead in the 56th minute off a penalty corner (2-0). Hasan sealed the fate of the match scoring another field goal in the 58th minute (3-0). Earlier, Bangladesh topped Pool B champions, securing nine points from three straight matches after beating Hong Kong 4-0, Sri Lanka 14-0 and Uzbekistan 6-1. As the semi-finalist of the ongoing tournament, Bangladesh qualified to play in the next Youth Asia Cup Hockey. Read more: Junior AHF Cup: Bangladesh, Uzbekistan lock horns Monday to decide group-toppers
Bangladesh, the unbeaten champions of Pool B, will play Pool A runners-up Thailand in the semifinal of the eight-nation Men's Junior Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Cup (Under-21) Hockey Tournament on Wednesday (January 11) at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in the Muscat in Oman. The match will kick-off at 6:30 pm( local time). The Pool A champion and host Oman will play Pool B runners-up Uzbekistan in the other semifinal at the same day and same venue at 4 15 pm local time. As the semifinalist of the ongoing meet, Bangladesh also qualified for the next Youth Asia Cup Hockey. The final and 3rd place deciding matches of the meet will be held on Thursday (Jan 12) at the same venue. Also Read: Bangladesh team for Men's Jr AHF Cup Hockey announced Earlier, Bangladesh emerged Pool B champions in the eight-nation Men's Junior AHF Cup (Under-21) Hockey with all-win record securing full nine points from straight three matches after beating Hong Kong by 4-0 goals, crushing Sri Lanka 14-0 and outplaying Uzbekistan 6-1 Bangladesh put in four-team Pool B alongwith Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China and Uzbekistan while Pool A team comprises hosts Oman, Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand will reinstate the requirement that all international passengers show proof of full (two doses) vaccination before boarding flights to Thailand. Saksayam Chidchob, Transport Minister of Thailand, stated yesterday that the Civil Aviation Authority had now formally notified concerned parties about the change in arrival rules for international travelers over the age of 18 that will take effect tomorrow, reports Bangkok Post. “They will last at least until the end of the month,” he said. Also Read: Bangladesh-Vietnam direct flights may begin this year-end Everyone entering the nation needs to provide documentation of a complete immunization record or a letter of proof that they have recovered from Covid-19 infection in the last six months. Travelers who are unvaccinated must provide documentation explaining why they cannot receive a vaccination. Airlines are required to check these documents before boarding passengers and are responsible for returning those who do not have the proper documentation to their point of origin. The guidelines go into effect at the same time that China's border reopens following nearly three years of closures and restrictions.
Three Cabinet ministers from Myanmar attended an informal regional meeting in Thailand's capital on Thursday to discuss efforts to restore peace in the military-run country, Thai officials said. “The open-ended informal consultation was meaningful, with ministers engaging in free-flow and proactive discussions,” Thai Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kanchana Patarachoke said. Representatives from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam also attended the meeting. There was no indication that the talks made any progress toward resolving Myanmar’s crisis or in facilitating more engagement with its generals. Myanmar’s military government is shunned by many nations for seizing power and violently suppressing opposition to its rule, but neighboring Thailand has remained on good terms with the generals and refrained from serious criticism. The meeting came a day after the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution demanding an immediate end to violence in Myanmar and urging its military rulers to restore democratic institutions and release all “arbitrarily detained” prisoners, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The council voted 12-0 on Wednesday's resolution, with China, India and Russia abstaining. Read more: UN Security Council adopts first-ever resolution on Myanmar; China, Russia and India abstain from voting Myanmar’s army seized power in February last year and cracked down on widespread protests. After security forces used lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, opponents of military rule took up arms. Some U.N. experts have characterized the country’s current situation as a civil war. The military's actions caused many nations to ostracize the ruling generals and impose political and economic sanctions on them. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Myanmar is a member, has sought to promote a five-point peace plan. Myanmar’s military rulers initially agreed to the plan but then made little effort to implement it. ASEAN subsequently declared that Myanmar was not welcome to send members of its military government to the regional grouping’s meetings because of its failure to cooperate with the plan. Kanchana said Thursday's informal meeting was held in Bangkok on the sidelines of Thai-Myanmar bilateral talks. She said it did not include any representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, the three ASEAN members most critical of Myanmar’s military. “The consultation was a non-ASEAN meeting but intended to complement ASEAN’s ongoing collective efforts to find a peaceful political resolution for the situation in Myanmar,” Kanchana said in a statement. Read more: Momen urges PUIC delegation to work for repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar Those attending from Myanmar included Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Kan Zaw, and Minister for International Cooperation Ko Ko Hlaing. Myanmar's foreign ministry said in a statement that its delegation “cordially exchanged views on the matters of Myanmar’s cooperation with ASEAN for the implementation of the ASEAN five-point consensus” and other matters. It also reiterated its defense of the military government’s actions.
Thai navy ships and helicopters were searching on Monday for more than two dozen sailors still missing more than 12 hours after a warship sank in rough seas overnight in the Gulf of Thailand. As of noon, 75 sailors from the HTMS Sukhothai corvette had been rescued and 31 were still in the water, the navy said. The high waves that caused the accident had lessened since Sunday night's sinking, but were still high enough to endanger small boats, the navy announced. Read more: History buff finds ships that sank in 1878 in Lake Michigan A rescued crew member interviewed by Thai PBS television said he had to float in the sea for three hours before he was rescued. He said that the ship was buffeted by waves 3 meters (10 feet) high as it was sinking Sunday night, complicating rescue efforts. “The waves are still high and we cannot search for them from the horizontal line. We have to fly the helicopters and search for them from a bird’s eye view instead,” navy spokesman Adm. Pokkrong Monthatphalin told Thai PBS. Strong winds blew seawater onto the HTMS Sukhothai and knocked out its electrical system Sunday evening, making control of the ship difficult. The navy dispatched three frigates and two helicopters with mobile pumping machines to try to assist the disabled ship by removing the seawater but it couldn't do so because of the strong winds. Read more: Death toll from sinking of Lebanon migrant boat climbs to 89 The loss of power allowed more seawater to flow into the vessel, causing it to list and sink. The warship had been on patrol at sea 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the pier at Bangsaphan district in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Pokkrong said the ship had been on its regular patrol to assist any fishing boats needing help. “Our top priority now is to rescue all the sailors. We will plan to have the ship salvaged later," he said. The search was being conducted in an area of 16 square kilometers (6.2 square miles) around the site of the sinking. While northern and central Thailand are seeing their coldest temperatures of the year, far southern Thailand has been experiencing storms and flooding in recent days. Ships were warned to stay ashore.