Immigration Department trialing new SMS notification service
The Immigration Department is trialing a new SMS service for foreigners, texting them when the expiry date of their visa comes near. The program will start in Chonburi and only with foreigners who have registered their phone numbers at the Chonburi Immigration office when they have applied for a visa or an extension. The texts will be sent to those with work permits, as well as those with tourist visas extensions and other extensions. The program is being tested out in Chonburi due to the high number of tourists and long-stay foreigners.
The government is predicting that the Blue Line extension of the MRT from Hua Lamphong - Bang Kae will open earlier than the scheduled September 2019, however details of the schedule are being revised. The Southern Green Line Bearing - Samut Prakan extension will be opened on December 6th, 2018. The Bang Sue-Thaphra segment of the Blue Line is still expected to open in April 2020 and at that point the loop will be complete and passengers will be able to travel to both the east and the west of Bangkok, which will help relieve congestion at Siam Station and Sukhumvit. The Pink Line Khae Rai-Min Buri section and the Yellow Line Lat Phrao-Samrong section are under construction and still on schedule. Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited (BEM) plan on adding more trains to add 35 more trains with the first carriages arriving next April.
Thai auto sales hit a five year high as the Finance Ministry says economic indicators show continued strength in the Thai economy. Exports remained on track with and 8.7 percent year on year growth and teady growth among consumers and private spending. VAT revenues reached a three-month high while auto sales grew by 36%, the highest in 70 months, domestic cement sales reached a 65-month peak. Tourist numbers dropped .5 due to a drop in numbers of Chinese tourists but the Ministry of Tourism and Sports indicated that arrivals from Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States grew during the past month.
A Royal Decree has been published which lifts the ban on the issuance of new licenses for entertainment businesses under the license “sathan borikan” which includes pubs and bars, in Kanchanaburi, Si Sa Ket, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Ayutthaya. However 22 provinces still have the ban in effect; Kamphaeng Phet, Chai Nat, Chumphon, Nakhon Nayok, Nonthaburi, Nan, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Phayao, Phangnga, Phichit, Phetchaburi, Yasothon, Ranong, Sakon Nakhon, Satun, Nong Khai, Ang Thong, Uthai Thani, Sing Buri, Sukhothai, and Suphan Buri. Entertainment businesses operating legally before Friday's decree and entertainment venues operating in hotels regulated under the law on hotels are exempt.