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Hotels on Koh Samet saw occupancy rates of 29 per cent during the August 31-September 1 weekend, down slightly from 30 per cent a week earlier, said Tourism Minister Somsak Pureesrisak. This excludes hotels in Ao Phrao, which will not reopen until Novembe

12 Sep 13
The Nation

Somsak said that the island's tourism industry was affected by the oil spill in July as well as rubber farmers' protests. He admitted that the authorities had not yet succeeded in restoring tourist confidence in Samet.


Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan recently had a discussion with US Ambassador Kristie Kenney over the latest preparations for Thailand to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

He said he told the ambassador that a public hearing was under way and it should take about two months before parliamentary approval is sought.

He also asked Kenney for her support on having the United States reinstate the Generalised System of Preferences for Thailand, which expired on July 31. He also proposed that the US market open up for products made of Thai-bred crocodile skin as well as the Kingdom's removal from the list of countries that use child labour.

Niwatthumrong and Kenney agreed to co-host the annual Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Joint Council, to promote intellectual-property protection. The ambassador praised Thailand for its improvement in this area, particularly the "Keep It Real" campaign.

The US is the fifth-largest importer of Thai products. Last year, bilateral trade was valued at US$35.3 billion (Bt1.13 trillion). Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of $10.3 billion.

NESDB proposes Bt501m investments

The National Economic and Social Development Board will propose investment projects worth Bt501 million, said a government source.

The projects will be tabled at the mobile Cabinet meeting in Lop Buri scheduled for September 19-20.

The proposal is for 22 projects for the upper Central region.