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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    11 October 2012 

Transport minister expected to be Thailand ruling party's new leader


Thai Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan, who is also the ruling party Pheu Thai's secretary-general, is expected to take over as party leader, a highly placed party source said yesterday.

Reports have it that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, seen by many as the ruling party's de-facto leader, has given the nod to Charupong assuming the party's top post after the minister flew overseas to meet him.

Charupong is believed to have a good image and similar characteristics as former Pheu Thai Party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit, who stepped down after the Civil Service Commission found him guilty of malfeasance in relation to the Alpine land controversy. It is believed that Charupong would make a good leader due to his allegiance to the party and wide acceptance among the red shirts.

Another party source said several Pheu Thai members who met Thaksin in London had been told that Energy Minister Arak Chonlatanon might replace Charupong as party secretary-general.

Meanwhile, Police Lt-General Viroj Pao-in was voted as caretaker leader of the Pheu Thai Party yesterday morning - while the general assembly to formally select a new party leader is due at the end of the month.

After a meeting of caretaker party executives, Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said Viroj was the most senior of six deputy party leaders and an expert on the law and familiar with its regulations.

Viroj joined only Pheu Thai just before the 2011 general election, but has become caretaker leader following the resignation of Yongyuth Wichaidit.
He was elected for the first time in 1995, as the Prachakorn Thai Party MP for Angthong. Later, he joined the Chart Thai Party and was appointed a deputy prime minister in the Chuan Leekpai government in 2000.

Before becoming an MP, Viroj entered politics as a deputy interior minister in the short-lived Suchinda Kraprayoon government on April 17, 1992. He held the position just over a month until May 24, 1992.

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First time outside China and first time in Bangkok: A Multi-Billion$ industry event
The 7th Railworld Summit 2012, Oct 24-26, 2012. The Dusit Thani hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

China’s leading event organizer CDMC (China Decision Makers Consultancy) and AABC (AseanAffairs Business Council) – the business platform of C.I.A. (China-India-Asean) and AseanAffairs- the only global media dedicated to SE Asia brings to Bangkok and Asean for the first time, the prestigious Rail World Summit 2012 to be held for the seventh time and first time outside China.

Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic, fast-growing regions in the world today. It offers a market of 590 million people, rich natural resources, skilled labor, and an export industry concentrated in global high-growth sectors – all tied together in a free-trade area, ASEAN.

This year’s event will enter a new chapter in Bangkok, Thailand, 24th-26th October. The three-day summit will address the most critical industry issues in Southeast Asia and globally and will draw attendees from government, railway authorities, projects, equipment and technology companies, aiming to help to gauge the pulse of this dynamic industry and get caught up with the most cutting edge railway technologies.

The market for rail technology in Southeast Asia currently has a volume of approximately EUR 1.8 billion. The market will grow at a significantly higher level than other regions. We expect growth of 6% per year to around EUR 2.4 billion in 2016. Though the region makes up only a small share of market volume for railway technology in Asia compared to China, India and Japan, the region is very interesting for international players due to its relative openness and low local competition.

The summit has been extended to feature a post-congress full-day site tour on the third day, which is a tailor-made site visit with high-end reception designed to witness the remarkable advancement of industry facilities, and will leave with practical skills and new contacts.

The conference will draw over 270 participants, bringing together with government and association, railway authorities, metro/LRT operators, project owners, planning & design institutes, equipment & technology vendor and IT solution companies.

Some of the confirmed companies
from Europe, USA, China, India, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia......Beijing Subway Operation Co., Ltd,  Siemens, Chongqing Rail Transit Corporation, AEG Brazilian National Agency for Land Transport, Rutherford Global Power, China Railway Group Limited,  Balfour Beatty Rail,  Shanghai Shentong Metro Co., Ltd, Ministry of Railways P.R.C., ADB ,Knorr-Bremse SfS GmbH, Indian Railways, Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co., Ltd, Bayer Materials, Korea Rail Networks Authority, GE Transportation,  BAE Systems, ABB Ashurst, EAO Zoller + Fröhlich GmbH, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.,Rockwell  Hitachi Cable, Nexans WaveTrain Systems, Itochu, Cisco   RZD ZOOMLION Komatsu, Halfen Rail Innovation Australia Pty Ltd, MAHLE Behr Industry Cooling Equipment (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.  Böhler Uddeholm, MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION, Rogers (Shanghai)

International Trading Co., Ltd. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer TOLL, Royal Cambodia railways, Nanjing Metro, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. , Beijing Dinghan Tech Co., Ltd. , HOPPECKE Battery System GmbH, Crane Aerospace, CSM ERL Maintenance Support Sdn Bhd, Metrosolution Zublin, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Fuji Electric, Voestalpine BWG GmbH & Co.KG, MRT Jakarta,  TUV Rhainland, Beijing General Municipal Engineering R & D Institute,  Guangshen Railway Co., Ltd   MOOG   Centro Sviluppo Materiali SpA Ashida ELECTRONICS (P) LTD. ,Technical Expert Network, UBM, Jindal Steel, Herbert Smith Bureau Veritas, China Railway 23rd Bureau Group Co.,Ltd. Bangkok Metro, Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD, Malaysia).

Hurry! Seats are Limited! Receive discounts on Individual & multiple bookings before 5 Oct 2012.
Email to request for Delegate Registration Form, Agenda, Sponsor Prospectus.

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Before joining the Suchinda Cabinet, Viroj sat on the Assets Examination Committee, set up following the coup against the Chatichai Government in 1991.

In the 2005 general election Viroj was beaten by a new-face candidate with Thai Rak Thai, Penchisa Hongupthamchai. He later joined Pheu Thai and became a deputy leader and contested the 2011 election as its No-17 party-list candidate.
Viroj, who is 78, is the most senior deputy leader.
He said he believed he was selected as caretaker leader because he was the most senior deputy and would hold the position until the party calls a general assembly to elect the new executive board on October 30.
He did not know if he would become the official leader or not because former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had not talked to him about the position.

Viroj said the former national police chief, General Priewphan Damapong, plus Phumtham Wechayachai and other candidates had a chance of being the next Pheu Thai leader, but that would depend on party members.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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