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Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand Issue 4 2013

Building for success

All s mile s as is fe Prim e Mi atur nist ed o er Y n th inglu e fin ck S al c over hina watr of T a he B rief.


Introducing our new Identity Over the recent months, we have looked closely at a number of areas and opportunities to improve upon the delivery of information, facilitation and social services expected by our membership. A vital component of that process is the requirement for the BCCT to be recognised by members, colleagues and peer groups as a professional, progressive organisation. We must comfortably provide a bridge that on the one hand reflects the vitality of our link with UK and British/Thai commerce and, on the other hand, delivers an environment that our male and female membership can relate to in a social as well as a professional context. We have therefore decided to use this issue of the BCCT magazine to re-fresh the magazine itself with a move away from the former name ‘The Brief’ to the much more descriptive title of The Link. In so many ways, the BCCT provides the all-important link between people, business and community. You will also notice that we have taken the opportunity to refresh the BCCT brand. Our membership includes individuals and companies from a wide variety of interests and disciplines and brand identity specialists GSBI, with offices in Bangkok, have graciously provided their expertise to us free of charge for this project. As I’m sure many of you will be curious to how the new identity took shape Steven Gravelle, founder and Managing Director of GSBI, spoke to Editor Dale Lawrence about the journey we have undertaken to deliver this important brand update.

Q.

You have a wealth of experience in product and services branding. What projects are you now handling in your Bangkok office?

A.

Our key clients in Asia are Central Food Retail Company Limited in Thailand, and the Brunei Government. We enjoy working on the cut and thrust of product branding, strategy and new product development from our fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) clients as well as tackling major corporate identity projects, such as the one we are currently undertaking for the Brunei Government.

Q.

What was it that prompted you to approach us with a view to updating the BCCT identity?

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Two events prompted me to offer our services. Firstly, I attended the BCCT membership meeting held on April 3rd last year. This was the meeting where BCCT members were asked to contribute ideas as to how the organisation could better suit the membership. Although it didn’t figure highly on the list of priorities there was definitely an undercurrent, particularly amongst the women, that the BCCT was in danger of being perceived as a stuffy organisation. Some members criticised openly the logo as being old fashioned – almost aggressive.


GSBI is a Brand Marketing and Design Consultancy specialising in FMCG and Corporate Branding. You can contact Steven Gravelle via email at; steven@gsbi.com or contact Paul Groenendyk, Asia Regional Manager, at GSBI Bangkok Office: Telephone: +66 2261 2871, email: paul@gsbi.com GSBI Company Limited. Unit 312, 5 Soi Phrom Sak, Sukhumvit 39 Rd., Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Dale Lawrence - Editor of The Link

Q&A’s Secondly, I had a conversation with Dean Thompson, one of your 2012 Board Members, and he suggested that if I felt strongly about helping to effect change we should get involved.

Q.

That April meeting was convened expressly to enable us to secure direct feedback from our membership. Why do you believe that a refreshed BCCT brand is important for us?

A.

As a relatively new member of BCCT I was impressed by the diverse backgrounds and interests of many of those with whom I spoke. Drawing all those interests together along with the core activities of the BCCT is, in many ways, a classic corporate identity challenge. In our business we are always wary of clients who ask us to design a new logo for their brand without fully appreciating that a true branding exercise should incorporate all the activities of a business and not just be applied as attractive wallpaper. Having attended the April 3rd meeting it was very apparent to me that the BCCT was in the process of refocusing many of its activities so here was an opportunity to ensure the rebranding exercise is carried through to the core of the organisation. The BCCT has a clear vision of its deliverables and the diverse membership was very vocal about their expectations. A refreshed corporate identity is an ideal vehicle to reflect that evolutionary spirit.

Steven Gravelle - GSBI

Steven Gravelle - Managing Director of GSBI answers questions from Dale Lawrence - Editor of The Link magazine about the re-branding of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand

Q.

The previous BCCT Logo dates back to 1997. What was it about the previous logo that you felt required us to change?

A.

It does surprise me that the logo only dates back to 1997 as I thought it would be a lot older than that. Primarily I felt the previous logo was somewhat corporate. By that I mean it looked more suited to a bank or a heavy industry manufacturer. It lacked softness and certainly didn’t reflect the fact that it represented an organisation whose business was about people and communication.

Q.

The BCCT as an organisation serves a number of differing functions to its members. Can you explain then, the job you believe the brand marque should fulfill?

A.

I believe there are two primary and two secondary objectives. In our industry we talk a lot about brand personality.The first two primary objectives require the brand to reflect the nature, or personality of the organisation (the blend of business gravitas and collective aspirations and expectations of the membership) and to reflect the unique partnership between Great Britain and Thailand. The two secondary objectives require the brand to reflect the collective, social spirit of the non-business related activities as well

as reflecting the progressive and undeniably British nature of the organisation. Aside from the strategic objectives there are the technical requirements, such as ensuring that the brand is versatile in all its potential applications from official internal and external stationery through to the masthead of BCCT magazine, events banners, clothing applications and media advertisements. It is also important that versions are able to be printed in spot colour, CMYK (process colour printing) as well as in black and white. Stepping back from it for a moment, the process of combining all those requirements was no mean feat.

Q.

What are the key points that encapsulate the strength of the new BCCT brand marque?

A.

The new BCCT brand works on a number of levels. It represents graphically the link between the British and Thai business communities. It also represents clearly an organisation that is about people and equality. It can equally be applied as a brand endorsement to underpin business conferences and communications, as well as social events. Lastly, it is refreshingly contemporary and I believe, entirely fit for purpose.


Contents BCCT

Board of Directors 2013 21

Chairman Simon Landy Colliers International Thailand T: 02 656 7000 simon.landy@colliers.com Vice Chairman & Treasurer John Sim PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. T: 02 679-5100 john.sim@pkfthailand.asia Vice Chairmen Viriya (Boyd) Chongphaisal GlaxoSmithKline T: 02 659 3000 viriya.x.chongphaisal@gsk.com

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Simon Matthews ManpowerGroup Thailand T: 02 634 7273 matthews@manpower.th.com Chris Thatcher Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd. T: 081 803 7377 christhatcher1@gmail.com Directors Gary Biesty South Asia Law Co., Ltd T: 02 636 0585 garyb@southasia-law.com David Cumming Onyx Hospitality Group (Amari Orchid Pattaya) T: 02 255 3767 david.cumming@onyx-hospitality.com Stephen Frost Bangkok International Associates T: 02 231 6201/6455 sfrost@bia.co.th Andrew McBean Grant Thornton T: 02 205 8222 Email: andrew.mcbean@th.gt.com

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Rituraj Mohan Boots Retail (Thailand) Ltd T: 02 694 5900 Ritu.Mohan@bootsri.com

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Sriram Narayan British Airways PLC T: 02 784 8130 sriram.narayan@ba.com

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Siew Meng Tan HSBC T: 02 614 4040 siewmengtan@hsbc.com

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Thana Thiramanus Property Care Services (Thailand) Ltd. T: 02 741-8800 thana@pcs.co.th

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Sansiri focussed upon rising condo demand Challenges of mobility tomorrow UK firms seek slice of infrastructure spend Asia’s bright spot as Philippines rebuilds reputation for investors

BOI pushes for alternative energy solutions Statutory residence test – new era for British expats

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UK tax regime for high value residential properties

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Have no truck with fuel thieves The Link

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Contents

The Link is published by the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand. For advertising and editorial enquiries, please contact Jyoti Sachavirawong, Deputy Director, BCCT Email: Sarinthorn@bccthai.com Editor: Dale Lawrence Email: dalelawrence2008@gmail.com Production: Scand-Media Corp., Ltd 38

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The views expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand or of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand is strictly prohibited.

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Chairman’s Message

British Chamber of Commerce Thailand 7th Floor, 208 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330, Thailand Tel: 02-651 5350/3 Fax: 02-651 5354 Website: www.bccthai.com Email: greg@bccthai.com Greg Watkins, Executive Director

Executive Director’s Message Chamber role set to expand Chalking up success in Thai classrooms

Member News By the Numbers Chamber events Final Word

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Chairman’s Message

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ith all the activity around UKTI’s outsourcing of new functions to BCCT, the Chamber has been delving deeper into the market for UK businesses in Thailand market. But we should not forget that an increasing amount of business is also going in the other direction.

Simon Landy Corporate Partners

This point was brought strongly home to me at an interesting seminar on UK investment held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 26th. The half day event was something of an experiment for MOFA and the choice of the UK as a suitable candidate was both gratifying and rewarding. The audience of around 200 Thai business people was treated to keynote addresses by senior officials and then two broad-ranging panels, the first giving practical advice from the perspectives of the Thai Ambassador to the UK, UKTI and UKVI (the entity now dealing with visas and immigration issues), the BOI and the Bank of Thailand. The second panel, which I had the privilege to moderate, featured prominent Thai business leaders who have made successful investments in the UK: ThaiBev/TCC, which has investments in distilleries and hotels; CPF, with its agro-industrial venture in Newmarket; Landmark Group, the owner of three hotels in London; S&P, the owner of several Patara and Suda restaurants in London, and the head of the Association of Thai Businesses in the UK. The seminar brought home the strong trend of Thai businesses to look to the UK as an investment destination. Some of the best known cases, in addition to those represented on the panel, are the huge SSI investment in a steel foundry in Redcar; TUF’s purchase of John West; Indorama’s Northern Ireland facility and King Power’s purchase of Leicester City Football Club. There are also now some 1,800 Thai restaurants dotted around the country, many of which are owned and operated by Thai expatriates. In addition, and often on the back of sending their children to be educated in the UK, many wealthy Thais have purchased property - primarily in prime areas of London.

Annual Airline Partners

Supporting Partners

The panel cited many reasons for investing in the UK ranging from the educational, linguistic and cultural connection to the business potential of the UK both as a mature market in itself and as a base for investing in and trading with the rest of Europe and elsewhere. Given the fact that the UK is the largest offshore FDI market for Thailand in Europe it has to be said that the BOI’s lack of an office in London remains a mystery. However, the MOFA was keen to display strong support for Thai businesses seeking to go offshore as were both the BOI and the Bank of Thailand. The panellists stressed the strong attractions of investing in the UK, in particular the quality of life, technological infrastructure and the rule of law. A couple of observations from the panellists who had experienced living and working in the UK were interesting. For instance, they advised their compatriots not to try to do everything themselves and that avoiding the plethora of expert thirdparty advisors and agents is a false economy that can easily lead to problems later on, given the highly specialised nature of the economy. Secondly, they stressed the strength and reliability of the legal system and the need to be straightforward and clear in business dealings to an extent that is not always evident in Thailand. The strategic dialogue between Thailand and the UK aims to double trade from the current level of GBP 5.5 billion in the next five years. It is clear that this will not just involve the nationals on each side exporting from their home bases but also Thais exporting from the UK and Brits exporting from Thailand back to their mother countries. BCCT will continue to assist its members on both sides of this equation. The Link

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Executive Director’s Message

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GREG WATKINS

hat do you think of the new logo and the name for this magazine The Link? When I first saw the new logo in a BCCT Communications & PR Group meeting it struck me how different it is from the more traditional and conservative logo that had served the chamber since 1997. However, the thinking behind the new brand came from discussions held at the membership feedback session in April 2012. There were comments that BCCT needs to reach out more to our Thai members and the Thai business community in general and to be more inclusive by encouraging the participation of more female and young members in BCCT activities while at the same time developing the long-standing link and partnership between British and Thai businesses. While the new logo will not be to everyone’s liking – no new brand ever is – it marks a conscious effort by BCCT to address the concerns of large sections of the membership. As part of the rebranding exercise the board agreed that it was a good time to refresh The Brief magazine and the BCCT website. Over the past eighteen months the BCCT team has devoted much time and energy to improving the content of The Brief which from this issue will be renamed ‘The Link’. This is a much more descriptive title which emphasises the all-important link between British and Thai people, businesses and communities. Thanks must go to Steven Gravelle, Paul Groenendyk and the team at BCCT member brand identity specialists GSBI who provided their expertise for the new brands on a complimentary basis. With many members overseas August is usually a quiet month in terms of BCCT activity. Not so this year. Following the contract signing with UKTI in June work on the Overseas Business Networks project is pushing ahead. BCCT member The Beaumont Partnership has been appointed to design and manage the fit-out of the new meeting room and work stations for the new project team. The meeting room will be operational by early October and will accommodate 50 people sat theatre style and include video-conferencing, Skype and Webinar facilities. We are planning to hold more events for members in this facility, with most being made accessible via Webinar to companies in the UK as part of this project. Many of the events will have sectoral themes for which we will be working with key Thai government bodies such as the Board of Trade of Thailand/Thai Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Thai Industries, Board of Investment, Office of SME Promotion, and so on. Members will also be able to use the new meeting room for corporate events. Recently I have been engaging with several organs of the British government. In June Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced cross-government plans to ensure legal migrants make a fair contribution to key public services such as the National Health Service (NHS). The proposals include giving expatriate UK citizens access to free NHS care after they have paid up to 10 years of National Insurance contributions. Currently British expatriates do not necessarily qualify for free NHS care. Many stopped regular national insurance contributions when they moved overseas but have at some time worked in the UK. Therefore, a key issue is how to check how many years’ contributions have already been made. I contacted the Department for Work and Pensions via their website and received a reply within 24 hours including a form to apply for a state pension statement. I’ll report back on how I get on in the next issue of The Link. Many BCCT members wish to send their Thai employees to the UK for training, work experience, conferences, business meetings, and so on. There are many myths and much rumour and hearsay about problems securing UK visas. The standard advice of applying well in advance particularly if it is the applicant’s first visit and studying the information on the UK Visas and Immigration (until recently the UK Border Agency UKBA) website remain valid. However, there are times when visits have to be made at very short notice. Last year the UK Visas and Immigration introduced a Priority Visa Service. For an additional fee of THB 3,000 the visa application will be processed ahead of others. Under normal circumstances within 3 working days. Details may be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website’s Thailand section under additional services. An article will be published in the next issue of The Link. The Link

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Sansiri focussed upon rising condo demand By Uthai Uthaisangsuk

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ith Thailand’s continued development, healthy economy and soaring popularity amongst foreign investors the country’s property industry has been enjoying strong and steady growth. Over the last five years, housing demand in Thailand has been climbing with particularly high demand for condominium units. Despite the temporary plunge in housing demand caused by the devastating 2011 floods, the property market had fully recovered by 2012 with demand even exceeding pre-flood figures. Of the demand for 112 thousand residential units that year (a new high going as far back as 1998) more than 50 percent was accounted for by condominium units. This was driven by an improved economy and growing middle class, supported by an increased GDP which the Fiscal Policy Office expects to continue to rise as well as a healthy tourism industry and growing foreign investment. Demand for condominium units has been significantly higher than single house and townhouse units, causing supply to also shoot up. The floods themselves can be seen as playing some role in directing demand for homes to the condominium market, with home owners specifically looking for higher ground to avoid a possible repeat of 2011 events. Soaring land prices also make condominium units a much more cost effective solution for home buyers. With increased demand for projects along the now extended BTS lines, condominiums in prime areas along Sukhumvit Road are currently a hot commodity. However, speculation regarding the possibility of a property bubble has

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made some investors hesitant but we do not believe that the property market is experiencing any sort of bubble. Most of the people who have purchased units in our condominium projects since 2008 have recorded an increase in the value of their properties. This has also generated high income for our business. Moreover, most of our condobuyers are purchasing property to live in themselves or for rental yield investment with less than 10 percent buying for speculative purposes.

Thailand’s strong economic fundamentals and positive property market outlook have also led to increased investor confidence and renewed interest from foreign buyers. The market offers good prospects for capital gain with quality high-end and luxury projects in the best locations ensuring maximised capital appreciation in the long-term. Foreign investment in Thailand’s real estate is predominantly geared toward condominiums, as foreigners are not permitted to own land or landed properties in the Kingdom.


Sansiri is seeking to boost its foreign buyers from three percent of its total annual sales to ten percent in the next 3-5 years. As foreigners may own up to 49 percent of any condominium development there are no issues with foreign condominium ownership in Thailand. As the Thai economy grows we see great promise in developing properties not only in Bangkok but also in many other major cities across the country including Phuket, Pattaya, Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai. Both local residents and expats are also looking for properties to purchase as either capital investments or secondary homes. Furthermore, upcountry and border towns are becoming easier to reach with improved transportation infrastructure and inexpensive flights. Condominium prices have also gone up over the years and they are expected to continue to rise. This is partly the result of higher production costs with land prices, labour and the cost of raw materials all having increased. It is also normal practice for developers to raise the price of units in fully completed projects.

Due to the high residential demand in 2012, which exceeded supply by 16,000 units, many developers wanted to ensure that enough completed units would be available for new buyers early in 2013. Thailand’s healthy property market has spurred strong demand for those units and a good take-up is expected to continue throughout 2013 and beyond. According to Plus Property’s 2013 market research, total supply for this year is estimated at no less than 90 projects or 60,000 units, with the possibility of exceeding 2012 supply figures by 1015 percent. The average occupancy rate for Sansiri projects two years after their completion date is currently some 70-80 percent. The upcoming ASEAN Economic Community will relax the borders between Thailand and surrounding countries such as Laos and Cambodia, whose popularity with tourists is also rapidly growing. The new high speed train and rail systems will attract provincial investments in various sectors, including shopping complexes, hotels and housing estates.

Hence, Thailand will become an economic hub for AEC. With our heavy investments in new properties upcountry and in border towns we are confident that the Thai property market can offer good prospects for capital gain. Unlike mature markets, such as those of the UK, USA and Australia, investing in an emerging market like Thailand can ensure maximised capital appreciation in the long-term with the spending of fewer funds.

Uthai Uthaisangsuk is Senior Executive Vice President for Business Development and Project Development Division (High Rise) and Marketing Communication Division at Sansiri PCL. pr@sansiri.com www.sansiri.com/en

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Buyers beware when making condo purchase By James Pitchon

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or many expatriates working in Bangkok and renting a property there comes a time when they consider buying their own unit. In this article I examine this question from the perspective of an expatriate living in Bangkok. There are restrictions on foreign ownership of property in Thailand. Generally, foreigners may not own freehold land and the longest length of registered lease is 30 years but they can own up to 49 percent of the sellable area in a condominium building on freehold title. This means that you can own the property in perpetuity. But, before purchasing, prospective buyers should check if the building has remaining foreign quota. An additional restriction is that, except for permanent residents, all the funds used to buy the condominium must be transferred from overseas as foreign currency. The process is to obtain Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (previously known as Thor Tor 3) when they transfer money each time to pay for condominium. This form is required upon transfer of ownership of condominium at the land department. There are few banks that are willing to lend money offshore in foreign currency to purchase a condominium in Thailand. This means that most foreign purchasers need to pay in cash. Those buyers able to borrow from an overseas bank need to be aware that they will be taking an exchange risk if the Thai baht depreciates against the currency in which the loan is denominated. Most condominiums are sold on a freehold basis but there are exceptions. In the Lumpini area some developments are built on land owned by the Crown Property Bureau or

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Privy Purse and these are only available on a 30 year lease. The choice for most buyers is whether to buy a project off plan before or during construction or once a development is completed. If you buy off plan, then normally you pay a nonrefundable booking fee which varies from project to project. Upon signing the sales and purchase contract another amount is due, bringing the total paid up to 10 percent of the purchase price. The contract will specify that a number of monthly payments are made bringing the total paid during construction up to 20-30 percent of the purchase price with the balance due upon completion and the transfer of title. The advantage to buying off plan is that you can choose the unit that you want. In many cases, if the development proves to be successful, the developer will raise the price during construction. The risk is that you are buying a promise from the developer that he will build a project that looks like the brochure and the show units. Consumer protection has become more stringent in recent years, binding developers to promises made in brochures and advertising, but purchasers still face development risk in terms of timing and specification. Purchasers may mitigate this risk by looking at the reputation of the developer; investigating previous completed projects and, if they are a listed company, examining the financial results of the business. The basis of measurement for sellable area includes net internal area and balconies with a share of com-

mon walls but excludes columns and all common areas such as entrance lobbies, floor lobbies and other common facilities. Some developers provide a title deed for the car park but more commonly the title is the common property stating the right to use a car park or car parks. In buildings with small units there is often a fewer number of car park spaces than units and purchasers are not given the exclusive use of a car space. Final payment is usually made at the land department when title is transferred into the name of the purchaser. The sales process is quite straight forward but buyers should be aware that their funds are not held in escrow and so they are taking risk on the developers’ ability to complete the project. For a new projects, developers will also charge a ‘sinking fund’ (a capital item replacement fund) that is transferred to the juristic condominium (the coowners’ association) on registration of the juristic condominium and developers also charge a certain period of common area management fees in advance. These amounts are set out in the sales and purchase contact. Some buyers will not want to take the risk of buying off plan and will only buy in a completed project, either from the developer if there are unsold units or a resale. Units can also be resold during construction whereby the original purchaser’s contact is assigned to the buyer through a novation agreement that is signed by the vendor, purchaser and developer with the purchaser taking over the original buyer’s responsibilities for the contract and paying the vendor a price which is normally what


the original buyer initially paid to the developer and a premium. In certain circumstances you may find that the original purchaser is desperate to sell because they do not have the funds to complete a purchase or who have changed their minds for other reasons. Ion such circumstances they may be prepared to sell on at a loss to release capital. The most active period for pre-completion resales is normally just before the building is finished. For purchasers looking at completed projects they can see what has been built and the unit that they are buying. Sales prices are, however, not publically available information (unlike in the UK and Australia). Most of the listings on the internet show the asking price but no certainty on historical, actual transaction prices. Prices in Bangkok are determined by the individual market dynamics of supply and demand within each building and not by location. There can be a huge variation in prices between a 20 year old building and a new building being launched off plan in the same location. It is not possible to secure a valuation by street or postcode in Bangkok. Thai buyers prefer new rather than old buildings and consider anything

has been completed for more than several years as being old. New buildings constructed in the present cycle since 2004 have generally been better specified than older buildings but there is value in older buildings where you can get two or three times the space for the same amount of money as a new building. The risk is in the management of the building by the juristic persons. Are they collecting enough money to properly manage the building and have they been spending enough money on capital item replacement? Some of this is visible from a visual inspection of the building but more detail can be found in the condominium accounts. Buyers may check for themselves simply by looking at the income and expenses to see if the common area fees being charged actually cover the outgoings. Buyers should also check the receivables to see if every owner has been paying and also establishing what is left of the sinking fund. The vendor should be able to provide a potential purchaser with the latest condominium accounts. Lastly the question people always ask is ‘will I make money’. This is a question that I am unable to answer as that depends on the market for each building. In some developments there is a steady stream

of potential purchasers and prices continue to rise. In other buildings there are few potential purchasers and prices have not moved and in some cases fallen. Property is not a commodity where prices for the whole market rise or fall by the same amount. Each property and each unit within a property has its own unique features that determine its price and liquidity. Location and quality of the building will determine price and selling potential. In today’s market, prices of property in the short term may fluctuate but historic records show that property prices on average have steadily appreciated for the best buildings.

James Pitchon is Executive Director at CB Richard Ellis Thailand. 46th Floor, CRC Tower, All Seasons Place, 87/2 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330. Tel: +66 2 654 1111 ext. 612 Fax: +66 2 685 3305 www.cbre.co.th

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Office tenants must plan for expansion By Nithipat Tongpun

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he office market continued its robust performance in terms of rising rental rates and occupancy levels across the whole market. We are seeing an upward momentum in the office market similar to its heyday before the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Bangkok office market 2000-2015F Â

Buoyant demand, coupled with limited vacant space, has meant that office landlords are now in the driving seat in contrast to the previous decade where tenants were in a much stronger position and were spoilt with a wide range of office space with lower rental rates. We believe that the office market will continue its upward trend against the backdrop of a positive economic outlook. With limited office space availability it is crucial for office tenants to plan well ahead for their relocation and expansion decisions. This is to ensure that tenants will secure their most preferred office space in the current low vacancy environment. The office vacancy rate has continued to decrease with the current vacancy rate at only 12 percent at the end of Q1 2013 in contrast to 32 percent at the end of 2000. The take up rate for the whole of 2012 was 160,000 square metres from a wide range of industries and nationalities. The future supply of office space is rather limited. There are 490,000 square metres of office space under construction and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015. This is only a six percent expansion from the current level. Less than 30 percent of the anticipated space will be Grade A and within the Bangkok CBD area.

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A combination of growing demand and limited supply has resulted in rental rates breaking record levels set in the 1990s. For example Park Ventures Ecoplex, a Grade A CBD office building, achieved the highest rent in Bangkok of THB 980 per square metre and asking rents have now exceeded THB 1,000 per square metre. This has set a new benchmark for the Bangkok office rental rate. The building was fully leased less than two years after opening. We are expecting the vacancy rate to fall below 10 percent by 2015. Having said earlier that we are moving towards a landlords market, we believe that this is the right time for tenants to seriously plan for their expansion and relocation ahead of the anticipated tightening of office supply. Office tenants can place themselves in the most advantageous position

by looking ahead and planning well in advance. Tenants with large space requirement who are able to commit to pre-leasing will be able to negotiate better deals.

Nithipat Tongpun is Executive Director, Head of Office Services CBRE Thailand. 46th Floor, CRC Tower, All Seasons Place 87/2 Wireless Road, Lumpini Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 T +66 2 654 1111 F +66 2 685 3300-1 www.cbre.co.th


Nurturing young learners to fulfil their individual potential Developing Knowledge and Understanding

Inspiring Creativity

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t Bangkok Patana we provide the essential rigour of a British curriculum incorporating best practice from other programmes to reflect our international setting. Our aim is to nurture and develop a lifelong love of learning in our young students.

Encouraging Curiosity

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t key points within the Primary School we benchmark ourselves against UK schools using National Curriculum Tests. In 2012 over 96% of our Year 2 students achieved their age-related expectation, or above, compared to 87% in the UK.

Building Confidence

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e also understand the importance of learning outside the classroom. Extensive opportunities for children to flourish and develop their personal interests are provided through our varied extra-curricular activities programme.

To find out how our child-centred approach to learning and outstanding teaching staff can help your child fulfil their potential from 2 1/2 to 18 years of age, please contact us at admissions@patana.ac.th

www.patana.ac.th |+66 (0) 2785 2200 | 643 Lasalle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangna, Bangkok Link Issue 4/2013 Bangkok Patana is an IB World School accredited by CIS andTheNEASC

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Hotel revenues ref lect Chinese tourism boom By Andrew Langdon

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ccording to statistics from the Department of Tourism, Bangkok received 14.6 million international visitors in 2012, representing an increase of 19.1 percent over 2011. In 2013 a substantial growth in international visitor arrivals is continuing with Bangkok receiving 7.2 million visitors in the first five months of this year, representing a 25 percent increase year-on-year. China (PRC) continues to be Bangkok’s largest source market in 2013 displaying a phenomenal 93 percent increase in visitor arrivals YTD May 2013. Russia, Japan and Korea are also experiencing strong YTD growth of 33.9 percent, 18 percent and 15.6 percent respectively. Bangkok hotel supply According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand there are currently 95,132 hotel rooms in Bangkok as at mid-year 2013. According to our research, 2012 saw the opening of 20 hotels and 4,101 rooms, representing an increase in room supply of 4.6 percent. New supply is set to increase by 5,918 rooms (between years 2013 to 2015), representing 6.2 percent of existing room supply. The majority of openings are to be concentrated in the upscale segment (42.3% of future room supply) and luxury (36.9%) sector. Sukhumvit remains the most popular location for new hotel development capturing 34.8 percent of total new hotel supply. However, in the past year, Sathorn/Silom/Surawong/ Lumpini and Prathunam/Phayathai/ Ratchathewi areas have attracted

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ditionally, an increased confidence in the country’s political stability. Trading performance across the Bangkok hotel market in the first five months of 2013 has been very strong, with double digit increases in RevPAR across the upscale and luxury hotel sectors relative to the same period in 2012, on the back of strong occupancy growth, yet subpar ADR growth.

growing attention for future hotel developments. The expansion of the Bangkok Mass Transit System has improved accessibility within the city and has encouraged the development of hotels in peripheral locations. Bangkok hotel trading performances improved considerably across all segments in 2012 and into YTD 2013 and is attributed to the significant growth in visitor arrivals, Bangkok’s recovery from the 2011 floods and, ad-

Upscale hotel performance recovered strongly in 2012 with RevPAR increasing 16.3 percent relative to 2011. Occupancy increased by 10.2 percentage points to 71.2 percent in 2012. The increase in RevPAR (16.3% to THB 1,870) was entirely driven by improving occupancy; while ADR remained relatively flat (decrease of 0.5% to THB 2,625). Hotel trading performance continues to display a strong improvement as at YTD May 2013 with RevPAR increasing by 16.7 percent from THB 1,940 to THB 2,265, while occupancy has improved by 9.2 percentage points to 76.6 percent.


Luxury hotel trading performance Luxury hotels in Bangkok performed very strongly in 2012 with RevPAR increasing 25.3 percent relative to 2011. Over the first five months of 2013, RevPAR increased by 6.9 percent, on the back of a 3.7 percentage point increase in occupancy rate to 68.4 percent and but a moderate 1.2 percent increase in ADR from THB 5,764 to THB 5,832. Bangkok hotel trading outlook According to the Global Destination Cities Index forecast, Bangkok is expected to be the world’s number one destination for international tourists in 2013, with approximately 16.0 million visitors, which would represent an increase of 9.6 percent over 2012. The market has seen a strong recovery in international tourism arrivals over the last two years on the back of a return to political stability. The anticipation is for the strong recovery in demand to continue over the next few years. The expected growth in room supply, particularly in 2013, should be absorbed by continued recovery in demand. Whilst trading performances across the hotel sector have been recovering over the last two years, it is still well below pre-2008 levels. We expect the continued recovery in demand should entice hoteliers to commence increasing room rates.

Andrew Langdon is Executive Vice President - Thailand and Indochina at Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotels & Hospitality Group. 19/F Sathorn City Tower, 175 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 2624 6400 ext 6560 Email: Andrew.Langdon@ ap.jll.com www.jll.com/hospitality

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Bangkok top value for office rental T

he dominance of Asia in the world’s most expensive office locations continued, as Hong Kong Central remained the highest priced market and three other Asian markets were in the top five. Bangkok became the cheapest office location in Asia Pacific despite the increase in average rents by 5.3 percent yearon-year for prime grade A CBD office buildings, according to CBRE Global Research and Consulting’s latest Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey. Hong Kong Central’s overall occupancy costs of THB 6,539 per square metre per month topped the most expensive list for the third consecutive time. London’s West End followed with total occupancy costs of THB 6,187. Beijing’s Finance Street (THB 5,422), Beijing’s Jianguomen CBD (THB 5,200) and New Delhi’s Connaught Place CBD (THB 4,974) rounded out the top five. Other Asia Pacific markets in the top ten include Hong Kong-West Kowloon (6th) and Tokyo (Marunouchi/Otemachi) (8th). New York’s Midtown Manhattan (10th) returned to the top ten markets for the first time since early 2012, joined by Moscow (7th) and the City of London (9th). Globally, occupancy costs rose by a scant 1.4 percent on a year-over-year basis as modest growth in the Americas and Asia Pacific was partly offset by a slight decrease in recessionary Europe. However, the modest global average uptick masked significant increases in markets like Jakarta, Indonesia and suburban Houston, Texas, which posted increases of 38.9 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively. “While the pace of occupancy cost growth globally has slowed, limited supply of prime space in key core business centres has fuelled continuous upward movement of occupan18

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square metres. Around 500,000 square metres of space is expected to be completed in all areas over the next three years. Almost half of this space will be owner occupied and there will be only two new CBD grade A buildings. Rents for prime buildings in Bangkok are going to continue to rise,” said Nithipat Tongpun, Executive Director – Head of Office Services at CBRE Thailand.

cy costs,” said Dr. Raymond Torto, CBRE’s Global Chief Economist. “The most expensive office markets often attract the regional headquarters of large multinational firms that require a prime location in a prestigious building with access to major global and regional transit routes.” CBRE tracks occupancy costs for prime office space in 127 markets around the globe. Of the top 50 most expensive markets, 21 are in Asia Pacific, 18 are in EMEA and 11 in the Americas. While comparisons in dollars are affected by currency exchange rates, annual percent change calculations are based upon occupancy costs in local currency and are not influenced by currency changes. Out of the 127 cities surveyed, Bangkok was ranked at 115th (THB 842), 12 positions below Manila and 69 positions below Jakarta, becoming the cheapest in Asia Pacific. “Bangkok office rents increased for both grade A and grade B offices in CBD and non-CBD areas. The total amount of completed office space is 8.1million square metres and the total take up in Q1 2013 was 35,000

Hong Kong Central’s position as the most expensive office market continues to be bolstered by its status as a leading global financial centre. Although financial institutions have become more cost sensitive, with some considering relocating to less expensive space outside the CBD, highquality and premium space is still sought after, especially by mainland Chinese firms which are increasingly setting up their offices in Hong Kong Central in prestigious buildings. Asia also had the markets with both the sharpest annual increase and decrease among the markets tracked. Jakarta’s 38.9 percent increase (THB 1,737 per square metre) was driven by a substantial recovery in domestic demand in the wake of Indonesian sovereign debt’s return to investment-grade status, which energised leveraged investment initiatives and drove up demand for prime office space across the capital. Singapore experienced the largest annual decrease worldwide (-16.3%) due, in part, to increases in both new supply and the availability of lower-priced secondary space. The bulk of the rental decline occurred in early 2012, with only minimal rental corrections in the second half of 2012 and in Q1 2013. The most expensive market in the global ranking from the Pacific region was Sydney (THB 3,314), which came in at 13th.


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Challenges of mobility tomorrow By Kingsley Wijayasinha and Patcharee Luenguthai

T

he future challenges of Thailand’s automotive industry must be taken into consideration in formulating development strategies for sustainable growth of the industry, especially the global trend of green automotive technology that focuses on environmental and safety, according to Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI). The institute, an independent organisation operating in cooperation with the government and private sectors, has concluded a revision of its fiveyear master plan (2012-2016) with the goal to drive Thailand as one of the world’s key vehicle manufactur-

ing hubs – by increasing production from 2.3 million units this year to 5.6 million units by 2050.

ment for parts manufacturers • Quantitative and qualitative human resources development

The four major factors ensuring the sustainable development of Thailand’s automotive industry are:

Under the plan, manufacturing will concentrate on development in four areas: “green” vehicles using alternative energy such as biodiesel, ethanol and compressed natural gas; lightweight cars with a high standard for energy saving; autos equipped with information technology to facilitate driving; and high-safety manufacturing for all vehicle types – passenger cars, trucks and motorcycles.

• Favourable government policy to promote investment and encouraging domestic market expansion through systematic integration • Developments to accommodate technology changes by enhancing the capacity of green technology development • Increasing domestic value creation through productivity improve-

Witoon Simachokedee, permanent secretary of the Industry Ministry,

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said the new plan will concentrate all vehicles that can use a variety of energy sources, notably hybrids and electric vehicles, in line with the global manufacturing trend of the industry. The forecast is that both hybrid and electric cars will be much more popular by 2020. According to the German Association of Automotive Industry (VDA), the car of the future will be economical in its use of available resources. It will be designed to have as little impact on the environment as possible. It will also be safer, as it will incorporate a level of artificial intelligence that enables it to compensate for driver error. One of the challenges facing those designing the car of the future is to develop environmentally friendly vehicle technologies. These include lightweight construction, new concepts such as hybrid drives and fuel cells and alternative fuels such as hydrogen and biogenic fuels. Another area of focus is the development of innovative driver assistance systems that are intended to make driving more comfortable and, above all, safer. Twenty years ago, the buzzword in the Thai automobile industry was “mobility”, which reflected the rise of the middle class who are earning enough money to purchase automobiles. Twenty years later, auto sales figures in Thailand have broken the 1-million-unit mark for the first time, finishing at over 1.4 million units in 2012. A big boost came from the Thai government’s First Car Buyer scheme, which offered rebates of up to Bt100,000 for vehicles that qualified for the programme. This allowed Thais with lower incomes to have the purchasing power to buy an automobile for the first time. Meanwhile, auto production also peaked at 2.45 million vehicles, with 1 million units being exported, making Thailand the world’s 7th-largest auto exporter in the world. However, experts say that last year’s performance was extraordinary due to the First Car Buyer scheme, and could 22

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drop slightly this year. But what do auto sales have to do with sustainable transport? Well there are connections. A large portion of the cars sold in Thailand last year came from the ecocar segment (also purchased under the First Car Buyer scheme), which are small and fuel-efficient models from Nissan (March and Almera), Honda (Brio and Brio Amaze), Mitsubishi (Mirage) and Suzuki (Swift). Toyota will launch its eco-car later this year. One of the requirements of the eco-car project is the vehicle has to achieve a minimum of 20km per litre and emit no more than 120gm/km of carbon dioxide emissions. The cars must also conform to UNECE 94 and 95 safety standards. This shows that the Thai government is aware of the drive towards a clean environment that the global auto industry has embarked upon. It wanted the eco-car to be accepted globally, even in demanding markets such as Japan, which gets the Nissan March exported from Thailand. Thailand has also been quick in promoting alternative fuels, although the main problem is the lack of coordination between concerned ministries. All new gasoline-powered vehicles assembled in Thailand now are capable of running on E20 gasohol (a concoction of 80% gasoline and 20%

ethanol), while pickup trucks run on B5 biodiesel. Special tax rates are offered in return, with another special promotion being offered for E85 models. Several auto-makers, including Honda and Chevrolet, are offering E85 models for the Thai market, while the number of stations (PTT and Bangchak) is growing, though at a sluggish rate due to the small number of E85 vehicles on the road. A large number of car users in Thailand also modify their vehicles for natural gas use, mostly LPG (liquified petroleum gas), due to the promised fuel cost savings. Meanwhile, several auto-makers, such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Chevrolet, are also offering CNG (compressed natural gas) versions of their products. Hybrid vehicles, which are powered by an internal combustion engine plus electric motors, are also gaining popularity in Thailand, with Toyota being the leader. It was the first company to start production of a hybrid model in Thailand with the Camry and later started assembly of the Prius. Last year, Honda also entered the hybrid market with the introduction of the Jazz Hybrid, followed by the Civic Hybrid. However, the ultimate goal towards sustainable transport is emissionfree electric vehicles and fuel-cell


vehicles, the latter being powered by hydrogen and emitting nothing but water vapour. Although having been around for ages, electric vehicles have never been commercially viable due to the limitations of the battery, up until today. Nissan has been highly successful with its LEAF electric car, which has won numerous awards from around the world and enjoys sales of more than 51,400 units (as of January 2013) since its debut in December 2010, making it the best-selling electric vehicle in the world. Nissan LEAF is fitted with a high-capacity lithium-ion battery that allows a maximum driving range of up to 228km on one full charge. In January 2013, Daimler AG, Ford Motor and Nissan Motor, in alliance with Renault, signed a unique three-way agreement for the joint development of a common fuel-cell system. The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop a common fuelcell electric vehicles (FCEVs) system

while reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology, and deriving efficiencies through economies of scale, and will help to launch the world’s first affordable, mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017. According to Nissan Motor, FCEVs are another type of zero-emission vehicles producing no CO2 or other emissions. FCEVs are the obvious next step to complement today’s battery electric vehicles as Nissan embraces more sustainable transportation. Mitsubishi is another company that is interested, and has been collaborating with the Thai government in terms of infrastructure to support electric vehicles. Mitsubishi Motors plans to launch the Attrage, its second eco-car sedan, in the Thai market in July. The new model will be exported worldwide later. General Motors has also been active in this area, bringing its Volt for demonstration here as well. The Volt has been highly successful in

the United States, with more than 23,000 units sold mainly in California last year. With a single charge, the Volt has a full-electric range of 38 miles (61km). Once the battery runs out, it is recharged by a small gasoline motor generator, thus extending its range further. Many auto-makers are experimenting with fuel-cell technology, but it is still too expensive for commercial sale. On the other hand, sustainable transport isn’t all about automobiles. Apart from vehicles, it also includes energy, infrastructure and roads, even railways and any other ways for transportation. In fact, the number one sustainable transportation is walking, which also happens to be the first form of transportation. Reprinted by kind permission of The Nation.

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Automotive sector faces bumpy road By Paul Gambles

W

e live in a time when the media is adorned with depressing stories about the automotive industry. News outlets frequently publish articles about high levels of unemployment in Detroit, America’s ‘Motor City’, and excruciatingly low levels of demand in Europe. The latest European figures show June 2013 car sales to be the worst year-onyear results since 1996. Global demand in the automotive sector has increased only slightly between 2010 and 2012 as, despite a healthy average annual increase in demand in the US, the Western European figure actually decreased while China and India’s pace decreased considerably. Looking at sales back to 2000, average annual sales have fallen in both the US and Western Europe, during a period of massive growth in India and China (see chart). With all the doom and gloom around the industry it may be surprising to hear that vehicle sales in the Asia Pacific region were at 30 million units in 2011 with an annual average growth rate of 13 percent between 2000 and 2011. Chinese companies have bought iconic brands such as Rover and Volvo while Indian company Tata has bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford. Thailand is a key player in this upturn. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that Thailand buys and produces the most cars and pick-ups out of all of the ASEAN countries. In 2012, it became the world’s tenth largest producer of vehicles and the seventh largest exporter. It all really began in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. One of the Thai government’s reactions to the economic downturn was to deregulate 24

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the automotive sector, including the removal of the requirement for any foreign entrant to set up a joint venture with a local company. Although Indonesia’s first attempt to wrestle control of the south east Asian car market was to launch a national car, which eventually failed, Malaysia has had somewhat more success with the Proton thanks to assistance from foreign partners. Thailand, meanwhile, went for manufacturing parts and attracting direct investment from foreign companies. The government introduced huge incentives to build vehicles which are kinder to the environment and cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, making it lower than that of Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Vietnam. Consequently, the level of car production in Thailand went from around 389,000 units in 1998 to more than 2.4 million by the end of 2012. Locations such as Samrong, Ayutthaya and Rayong have become vehicle manufacturing clusters with plants run by all the major Japanese manufacturers as well as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and GM. This trend may appear to be a shortterm boom while labour remains cheap but the Thai automotive sector has an impressive structure in place with 80 percent of the parts for Thaiassembled vehicles now manufactured in the Kingdom and an expanding export market. Many of these Thai-made cars and trucks are sold within the country. The split between those bought in Thailand and those exported has been around the 50-50 mark since 2007. As recently as the first quarter of this year, the number of non-commercial

vehicles sold locally increased by 48 percent on the previous quarter. With Toyota’s new eco-car plant due to open in Q3 this year, as well as Ford, Suzuki, China’s GWM, the Chinese-Thai SAIC and potentially Honda building new assembly plants in the country and local demand up, not even a strong baht can seemingly perturb the Thai automotive sector’s apparent prosperous future. After all, constructing a plant shows a commitment of at least 15 years. However, the coming years are not so predictable. Indonesia’s economy is growing rapidly. Its population of around 237 million is about threeand-a-half times that of Thailand. Thus it is quite feasible that the prospect of a larger domestic sales market, with less chance of the labour shortages full-employment Thailand may face, would make Indonesia a more attractive place to manufacture. Importation of Indonesian-built cars would be theoretically cheaper by then with a mature AEC single market in place. Nevertheless, a recent Boston Consulting Group study shows that Thailand beats Indonesia on almost all important metrics including competitiveness, infrastructure, business environment, tax incentives and labour costs. The more imminent cloud on the horizon though is Thailand’s first-time car buyer scheme. In an attempt to boost an already expanding economy the government has borrowed heavily to fund this caper. It has certainly increased sales considerably. Some 1.25 million people applied for the scheme and many manufacturers have accounted most of their sales to first-time buyers since its inception in


% Change 2000-10 2010-11 2011-12

World

NAFTA

USA

Western Europe

China

India

17.3 3.8 6.8

-24.0 9.0 12.2

-26.9 10.2 13.1

-9.8 -1.2 -8.1

190 8.9 8.4

110 4.3 3.6

Avg Annual % Change 2000-12 7.0 -0.7 -0.9 -4.9 51.8 2010-12 5.3 10.6 11.7 -4.8 8.6 Source: Calculated by author using data from Scotiabank Global Auto Report, June 2013

29.5 3.9

on the ‘luxury segment’.” Matthias Pfalz, President of BMW Group Thailand, concurred.“This decline does not count for the premium segment as it was excluded by definition of price, engine size etc.” However, it is possible that too much emphasis is being placed as the root cause of low demand. There are many other factors that are hitting the Thai economy, making people reluctant to spend, such as the rice scheme and other government spending on projects. Another danger pointed out by Komkrit Nongsawat is the large amount of cars being produced. “If we look at the big picture, oversupplying is the big issue that impacts on mass-production, mostly Japanese and American, companies which are targeting the eco-car schemes.”

Actual Year 1995-2012 Source: Thailand Investment Review/ Thai Automotive Institute

It may not seem so on a Monday morning in Bangkok but there is a finite limit to demand in vehicles and Thailand is approaching that mark. Mercedes-Benz predicts that there will be another strong financial campaign to support the ‘small-car buyer’ very soon. The future is therefore blurry as Komkrit Nongsawat admits. “At the moment, we cannot predict how much the total industry will increase or decline.” If the sector is unable to avoid the perfect storm of collapsing domestic demand and imploding exports, then there could be a very rough road ahead. If that can be avoided or successfully navigated then the Detroit of the east should eclipse its troubled western predecessor.

Note: * Due to Japan disruption and due to Thailand flood disruption Source: Bank of Thailand – February 2013

September 2011. Yet there is a strong argument that its only achievements are to add on a pile of public debt and steal future demand. Already in April 2013, the first month after the scheme had ended, demand declined by 30 percent compared with March. In mid-July Toyota Thailand revised down its domestic sales fore-

cast by 10 percent to only 450,000 vehicles for this year on easing demand. As Komkrit Nongsawat, General Manager Marketing and Communications at Mercedes-Benz Thailand, stated, “The current decline in the auto industry in Thailand is caused by the government’s ‘first car policy’ although there is no sign of that impact

Paul Gambles is Managing Partner at MBMG Group and can be reached at info@ mbmg-international.com Tel: (66) 2 665 2534 The Link

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UK firms seek slice of infrastructure spend By Attakorn Saropala

A

ll around the world, governments are launching major infrastructure investment programmes. Today, these contracts are estimated to be worth some £1 trillion globally and it is no coincidence that the majority of these opportunities are in the infrastructure and transport sector, including rail and mass transit network expansions, new and expanded airports and major port developments. The UK is also embarking on a programme of major infrastructure projects. At the end of June the UK Government outlined a pipeline of £100 billion worth of public investment in infrastructure projects to 2020. Plans include over £70 billion of investment in transport, over £20 billion in schools and £10 billion in science, housing and flood defences. Specific commitments include funding for HS2, a new nationwide rail network that will put two-thirds of northern England within two hours of London. The major British infrastructure companies delivering this transformation offer world-leading expertise. In many countries British companies are working on all stages of infrastructure projects - from conceptual design and contracting to project financing and from project management to longerterm asset management. UK companies are also delivering world class products and services throughout the supply chain and, importantly, introducing innovative technologies. Many of these companies are already working in South East Asia and are keen to apply their experience, know-how and capacity for innovation, to Thailand. Thailand itself is on the cusp of a once-in-a-generation wave of massive infrastructure development that will propel it to a different level of competitiveness and economic growth, 26

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and strengthen its position as one of the most connected countries of the ASEAN region. Since Thailand’s ambitious two trillion Baht infrastructure plans were first announced the UK Trade & Investment team in Bangkok has been working alongside a number of UK companies to support their engagement on these projects in Thailand. These efforts culminated in June with a high profile seminar ‘UK Experiences in Infrastructure Project Delivery - Sharing International Best Practice’. This seminar showcased UK expertise and experiences in delivering international infrastructure projects worldwide and highlighted innovative products and best practice for the delivery of these projects. Twenty two leading UK companies shared their experiences and expertise with an audience of over 200 people including senior representatives from Thai companies and Government decision makers. The seminar was opened by the UK’s Trade & Investment Minister Lord Green and Thailand’s Transport Minister, Chadchart Sittipunt who provided more detail about Thai plans to invest two trillion Baht in developing transport infrastructure nationwide with over 80 percent of the budget earmarked for railway network development including a high speed train, mass transit expansion and double tracking.

Lord Green also met with Transport Minister Chadchart to discuss opportunities to enhance existing cooperation between the UK and Thailand in the rail sector. Both Ministers agreed to move forward with a transport Memorandum of Understanding and set up a joint transport working group on UK-Thai cooperation. UKTI Thailand is following up on these recommendations with the Ministry of Transport. So what are the opportunities for the UK? UKTI will focus on the following priority areas for UK companies, building on the UK’s strengths and existing engagement: • Engineering consultancy and architectural design, especially at the front-end of projects • Engagement of UK Supply chain including companies active in Thailand and the region • Introduction of new and innovative transport related products and services • Adoption of British Standards • UK Financial Services and Programme Management expertise including project planning, management, costing, delivery and financial services advisory services e.g. financial structuring (including potential PPP models) and also cost management, and project delivery • Supporting new local partnerships & joint ventures

UKTI is working alongside the UK participants to support their continued engagement on these projects which we believe offer significant potential for success. If you would like to find out more please contact Attakorn Saropala, Trade & Investment Manager – attakorn.saropala@fco.gov.uk


Lord Green flags up investment opportunities Trade Minister Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint gave a keynote address to BCCT members about investment opportunities for British business in Thailand during his recent visit to Bangkok. This is an edited version of his speech.

I

The major transport related projects, including the extension of the Mass Transit system in Bangkok and the proposed High Speed Train network, provide yet another sector for further Thai-UK collaboration. The UK has many years’ experience in the development of rail networks with London Underground celebrating its 150th birthday this year as the world’s oldest and most successful underground network, delivering over one billion passenger journeys last year. The UK is also constructing Crossrail in London which is currently the largest rail infrastructure project in Europe. In high speed rail we are currently designing HS2, which will provide a high-speed link from London to Birmingham, then beyond to Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.

n country after country, both developed and emerging, we are seeing Governments launch massive infrastructure investment programmes from whole new cities; new integrated transport systems, through the sporting events such as the Rio Olympics and the World Cup; to energy and minerals exploration and development. Today, these contracts are estimated to be worth some £1 trillion globally. UK Trade & Investment, the Government Department that I lead, has been looking at how we can help UK companies access these big business deals. Last year, it launched its initiative to help companies target high value opportunities around the world from railway and airport contracts in Malaysia, Oman and China; oil and gas projects in Kazakhstan; hospital projects in Saudi Arabia and South Africa, and how to compete for global sports contracts around the Sochi and Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the FIFA World Cups in Brazil, Russia and Qatar. Global opportunities Illustrating the success of this approach, in Malaysia UK firms have won business designing train stations and providing engineering consultancy for the country’s largest infrastructure project, worth £10.5 billion. It is no coincidence that the majority of these opportunities are in the infrastructure and transport sector - railways, airports and major port developments - along with development of new cities. And these are areas where the UK offers world-leading expertise. All around the world UK companies are working on all stages of infrastructure projects – from conceptual design and contracting to project financing; from project management to asset management, delivering world class products and services throughout the supply chain. And, importantly, introducing new technologies.

Lord Green (right) and Chadchart Sittipunt

Our world-leading talents were brilliantly showcased around the world last summer, during what was undoubtedly a hugely successful Olympic and Paralympic Games. It reinforced the message to markets worldwide that Britain is the go-to partner to do business with. The UK and Thailand have a deep and long established bilateral relationship. And this year marks the start of the fifth century of relations. Last month, Hugo Swire, the UK’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, was in Bangkok, and announced that the UK and Thailand would seek to double trade and investment in the next five years – from £5.5bn now to £11bn in 2018. That is why I am excited to be back in Bangkok opening today’s seminar, which will identify new business opportunities and support new relationships. UK-Thai collaboration UK companies are very interested in working with you to support Thailand’s infrastructure projects. Leading UK companies are keen to get involved in the water and flood management projects, where the UK has expertise in weather forecasting, flood management, engineering consultancy, and supply chain products such as flow-control valves and water treatment technologies.

There are many UK companies here today that are keen to share their knowledge and expertise in the delivery of global rail networks, including Atkins, Halcrow, Mott MacDonald and Arup. And other UK companies active in the supply of rail products, such as Tata Steel, who provide high-speed rail line from Scunthorpe in the UK, and Ultra PRT who provide the ‘intelligent pod’ transport technology used at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Last November’s visit to the UK by Prime Minister Yingluck and the recent visit by Transport Minister Mr Chadchart, who I am delighted is able to open today’s seminar with me, looked specifically at rail technologies in the UK. But we are looking to forge an even closer relationship between UK and Thai companies in bringing these major infrastructure projects to fruition for the mutual benefits of the economies of both of our countries. I hope that the purpose of today’s seminar – to share experiences and knowledge, to make new business contacts and renew old acquaintances – will be fruitful.

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Thailand needs clear connectivity focus This is an edited version of the interview with Grant Thornton Partner Will McWilliams that first appeared in the Bangkok Post.

bustly developed infrastructure projects in the past. He said the infrastructure megaprojects point towards a long-term investment strategy for the economic well-being and vibrant growth of the country despite concerns it will take 50 years to repay the money borrowed for the investments.

Infrastructure megaprojects under the government’s two trillion baht scheme should focus on connectivity among different transportation systems and develop a single command to ensure efficient coordination and bring about maximum benefits. William McWilliams, a Partner at Grant Thornton, told the Bangkok Post that as the economy grows the government needs to consider developing an interconnected mass transit system that will result in timesaving and efficiency in terms of moving people from one place to another. In an interview with the Bangkok Post he said that Germany has developed an efficient mass transit system in central Berlin that connects high-speed trains with commuter lines as well as all mass transit system in one place. He added that interconnectivity has a wider economic impact, linking economic activities as the projects connect regional cities with the capital. He said since Bangkok has been a centre of economic activity for decades, interconnectivity also has the potential to increase the level of economic redistribution to other regions. In order to enhance coordination he said the government needs to recognise the need to develop an overarching authority to oversee project coordination since the na-

28

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ture of the project’s investment portfolio is joint-oriented. “With appropriate governance and framework, an overarching authority is an important key in ensuring efficient coordination and decision-making processes between involved parties.” Regarding cross-border transport, Mr McWilliams said managing different transport operators to create a mutual framework and establishing a common system remain as challenges that the government needs to solve. A regulatory framework on cross-border commercial and economic activities has to be decided by the government and concession operators in order to maximise the benefits for both the public and private sectors, he said. Infrastructure development in the Greater Mekong sub-region should progress in accordance with the pace of economic development in the respective countries, said Will McWilliams, adding that Thailand is in a different investment cycle from its neighbours since the country has ro-

With more than 17 years’ experience in infrastructure and transport development, Mr McWilliams has provided consultation services for governments and companies on high-speed train projects and rail concessions. Regarding infrastructure financing, Mr McWilliams said the government needs to analyse and understand market risks in terms of demand and supply to come up with an effective public-private partnership programme. “By its nature, PPP is a very structured process and involves external finance. The government has to come up with a structured process to deliver the infrastructure projects to ensure robust development for the concession companies,” he said. He also recommended the government develop an advanced transit system in line with future technology such as using commuters’ mobiles instead of standard tickets for entrance and topping up. Mr McWilliams said how the authorities engage technology with the market is crucial for generating revenue for the projects, adding that research and development should also play a part in infrastructure development.


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Foreign investors look to Indonesia I

ndonesia has long recognised the need for investment in its infrastructure and the wish list extends to hundreds of worthy projects and many billions of dollars to finance them. The challenge of legal certainty for foreign investors and the priority issue of land acquisition, particularly for much needed toll roads, still hinders development and without road connectivity the upgrades to airports and seaports becomes somewhat academic if there is no functional network back to the hinterland. However, progress has been made on the latter issue of land acquisition, as discussed more fully below. Power Suramadu Bridge

Power requirements are being addressed, albeit slowly, and the state electricity utility, PLN, has made some progress towards improving the investment climate, although additional transmission capacity needs a more efficient distribution system and that is still far from complete. There is some increasing recognition that in order to attract investment for renewable types of energy, such as geothermal, improvements in the terms and conditions and returns for investors are required.

The necessary following presidential decree to activate implementation was passed in August 2012 and it is expected that the law and regulations will receive their first tests this year. The importance of the law is that it sets out a clear procedure and time limits for objection against a given land purchase for a proposed infrastructure project, the unlimited timetable for objection that has previously particularly held back the build out of toll roads.

Land acquisition

Funding

President Yudhoyono signed the government’s draft Bill on Land Acquisition in December 2010 and this was submitted to parliament in early 2011, the 2010 deadline having been missed. While it was hoped to pass the Bill by mid-2011, continuing debate in parliament pushed agreement back to mid-December 2011 with the Law (No 2/2012) being effected in January 2012.

A number of factors have contributed to this continuing condition: the ratio of infrastructure spending to GDP continues to fall; the funds that do exist are often poorly allocated to peripheral services rather than physical infrastructure; disbursement of funds through the likes of the Public Works Department is slow in any budgetary year, and the regulations that control the quality

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of infrastructure built are not always enforced. All these areas must continue to be addressed assiduously by the relevant government departments, although the budget allocation for infrastructure spending for 2013 has fallen well short of requirement. The Chinese, Korean and Russian governments have also signalled interest in providing funding support for infrastructure projects. This may take some pressure off the amount of funding that the government is still hoping to realise from private sources through various mechanisms, with Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements being particularly emphasised, although there is increasing recognition that the PPP approach cannot be applied carte blanche and a number of required projects would be better delivered by normal, well-tried methods.


Nevertheless, the government must not forget that short-cut financing solutions do not build a nation; its neighbours continue to prioritise and invest in infrastructure assets and Indonesia cannot afford to slip further behind, especially since Indonesia’s transport logistical costs are the highest in Asia. In terms of the availability of longterm finance for infrastructure projects, it does appear that the domestic banks have sufficient liquidity and are able to provide longer tenors and grace periods than in the past.

Foreign banks generally continue to have a reasonably strong appetite for Indonesian infrastructure projects, although a number of the European players have either withdrawn from the market or reduced their funding capacity as a result of the global financial crisis and subsequent Euro crisis.

Within the detailed plan 22 economic development targets have been highlighted, such as education with particular attention to science and technology, agriculture, tourism and very importantly infrastructure, without which many of the other goals could not be achieved.

Arguably the most important step that the government has taken has been the unveiling in mid-2012 of its 6-corridor economic development plan, MP3EI, which has divided the archipelago into six main self-contained areas for economic expansion.

The plan recognises that Indonesia cannot optimise its potential without uplifting the economic development of the regions outside Java. It also will heavily rely on the political leadership of the regions to facilitate delivery. It is recommended that potential European investment interest take note of this and the opportunities that could be expected to emerge during implementation of the plan. For more information contact: Infrastructure Sector Group, BritCham Indonesia Executive Office Email: busdev@britcham.or.id www.britcham.or.id Tel: +62 21 527 9135

We are now offering UK affiliated SME’s the opportunity of speaking with some of the leading and most influential business professionals in Indonesia via new video conferencing facilities. Offering you a unique insight into the reality of ‘Doing Business in Indonesia’, you can efficiently decide, is this market really for you?

•Are you interested in the Indonesian market? •Want to understand more about market access opportunities? •Don’t want to commit financially or don’t have the time to visit in country? Save your time, money, and effort by signing up for your video introduction to Indonesia today – make the most of our special introductory offer for this new business service.* *offer ends 31st December 2013 terms & conditions on request.

FOR MORE INFORMATION – please contact

UKSME@BRITCHAM.OR.ID or visit: WWW.BRITCHAM.OR.ID 1.1 BiSEA.indd 1

18/07/2013 12:12:18

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Asia’s bright spot as Philippines rebuilds reputation for investors By Rick Santos

A

lmost three decades after the historical People Power Revolution, when the nation broke free from the oppressive dictatorship and military law, the Philippines has finally found its footing in both economic and political spheres. Once dubbed the ‘sick man of Asia’ the country has finally risen and is poised to recapture the golden days of years past. The strong inflow of overseas remittances, the booming outsourcing and off shoring industry and a more transparent bureaucracy continue to be the anchors of the Philippine economy, which grew by 6.6 percent in 2012. While economic woes still abound in the West, the Philippines continues to post staggering growth rates amidst the weak global economic backdrop. GDP growth rate was in full-throttle during the first quarter at 7.8 percent, the best in Asia, and surpassing China’s 7.7 percent growth. Commercial and residential construction have been very active in the past few years, and one only needs to look around the metro’s central business districts and its fringes to discover that the landscape is changing with remarkable alacrity. As the country experiences the best real estate market in 20 years, investment opportunities have never been more lucrative. In recent years, the country has cultivated a viable investment climate through strong macroeconomic fundamentals, prudent fiscal policies and good governance. These efforts certainly did not go unnoticed as Fitch and Standard and Poor, two of 32

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Investors are eyeing opportunities in downtown Manila.

the world’s major credit rating agencies, recently awarded the country its first investment grade ratings in history. It is a well-deserved recognition for a country that is now legitimately an investment hot spot. Who would think twice about investing in an emerging market with investment grade status and a stable economy? It is evident that more and more foreign companies are indeed coming in. A favourable investment climate paved the way, but the sustainability of this influx relies on the young, skilled and English-speaking workforce. High investor confidence and a positive outlook pushed office space occupancy levels to a stellar 97 percent across Metro Manila business districts during the first quarter of 2013. The outsourcing and off shoring industry, more commonly known as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), remains to be the main driver

of office space demand. While strong demand puts pressure on prime office rents, Metro Manila remains to be one of the most cost-effective office destinations in Asia at around US$27 per square feet per annum. The industrial sector, which was quite latent for sometime, is experiencing resurgence. Various manufacturing firms from Japan and Taiwan already set-up shop in the country’s Freeport Zones and the number is still growing. The Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) and Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) combined, offer a total of 13.4 million square metres of leasable industrial space. Freeport Zones are special industrial sites that offer modern infrastructure, various tax incentives and full foreign equity on most types of industries. Foreign companies perceive this as the green light to expand or relocate operations in the Philippines. According to the


Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, newly approved investments in SBFZ rose steeply to US$ 575.33 million in the first half of 2013, from the US$ 43.86 million posted for the same period in 2012.

eign investors because of the prevailing low interest rates and favorable exchange rates. The Central Bank of the Philippines has kept policy rates steady at 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent for overnight borrowing and lending, respectively. Accordingly, expatriates are now shifting from renters to owners.

Like other sprawling cities in developed regions, luxury and high-end residential developments are scattered in and around Metro Manila’s major business centres. The demand for luxury serviced apartments, either for lease or for sale, remains strong in 2013 as a result of the influx of foreign expatriates to the country.

For non-BPO expatriates, a major come on has been the government’s aggressive tourism campaign of ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’, which has positioned the Philippines as a ‘top of mind’ alternative tourist destination in Asia.

Condominiums are more practical property investments since non-nationals can fully own them and not worry about foreign land ownership restrictions. These are also becoming more affordable to expatriates and for-

From a leisure destination to a business destination, the Philippines evolved from being just a tourist spot into “the” investment hotspot. The stable economy and the renewed confidence in the government make it a vi-

able destination for investors. Amidst the turbulence in the global arena, the Philippine economy was unperturbed, and the whole world sets its eyes on that safe haven in the pacific.

Rick Santos is Chairman & Founder of CBRE Philippines. 10F Ayala Tower One & Exchange Plaza Ayala Triangle, Ayala Avenue, Makati City 1126 Tel: +632 752 2580 Fax: +632 752 2571 Email: ricksantosteam@cbre.com.ph

International property measurement standards – reducing risk & uncertainty

A

s property portfolios become increasingly globalised, many organisations are looking at a Programme Management Office (PMO) approach to help optimise their CAPEX and OPEX spend, guarantee greater levels of consistency around the final product delivered, and drive increased speed to marketto market, writes Richard Warburton. Whilst the theory behind this approach is sound, it’s not always so straight-forward in practice. One of the biggest challenges to overcome when working on international portfolios is the lack of consistency around how space is measured. International standards for property management do not yet exist, with each market often adopting their own unique approach. Ambiguities around space make it difficult for global investors and occupiers to make informed business

decisions. This is a real challenge for them particularly now when budgets are being reduced, property teams are shrinking and the profit and loss is under greater scrutiny than ever before. On that basis we should all welcome the recent formation of the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC). This group has been set up by 20 globally recognized organizations including the RICS, APREA and CoreNet Global, to help resolve some of the disparities that exist around how space is measured. Having an agreed set of principlebased and internationally applicable measurement standards will be crucial when it comes to delivering multimarket or Pan-Asia programmes. They will provide greater transparency around costs and to build both public trust and investor confidence. They will also help to ensure there is

greater accuracy, consistency and efficiency in how information is reported in financial statements, something which will be of increasing importance moving forward. Standards form the building blocks of a global economy and by creating a level playing field around how property is measured and valued, there’s no doubt in my mind that the industry is taking a really positive step forward.

Richard Warburton is Chairman of the Property and Construction Group, British Chamber of Commerce, Singapore Email: Info@britcham.org.sg

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Strong growth set to support ASEAN economic integration T

he economies of the ASEAN markets continue to outpace the rest of the world by a significant margin. While Singapore remains the commercial and financial hub, emerging markets are making headway across Southeast Asia. As the continued global economic recovery and growth in the region increase liquidity and reduce debt, growth prospects in real estate assets across the region will attract global investors. Despite a slight slowdown during the first quarter of 2013 in some south east Asia (SEA) markets, such as Indonesia and Thailand, economies across the region anticipate growth for the remainder of the year: • Supported by strong investor demand and consumer spending, Indonesia’s economy is forecasted to grow 6.1 percent in 2013 • The Philippines is expected to grow 5.7 percent this year, driven by investor interest in the country’s upgrades to sovereign credit ratings and low interest • Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam are expected to grow between 4.5 and 5.5 percent driven by strong domestic demand Chris Fossick, Managing Director, Singapore and Southeast Asia at Jones Lang LaSalle, said, “This growth translates to robust domestic investment into commercial property, driving demand for office and logistics space. Increased consumer spending will boost demand for expanded retail formats, which in turn will support the developments of retail malls and the subsequent accompanying infrastructure

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in emerging markets. We are now starting to see increased transparency in the real estate markets of these economies which will ultimately spur regional growth encouraging investment. “As a result, the real estate industry is in a unique position to influence and be involved in many key aspects of development in the Southeast Asia region, both economic and social. There is a role for the industry in areas such as infrastructure, housing, education, healthcare, tourism and industry and trade which are all inextricably linked. This is both an opportunity and a challenge for our industry and we need to work closely with both private and public enterprise to ensure real estate adds full value.” Office markets While economic growth drives corporate activity across SEA, busi-

nesses are making changes to accommodate growing workforces and modernised office spaces in new, emerging markets. While existing companies seek space to accommodate expansion and new businesses and industries demand a share in the markets, demand for offices will spike and vacancy levels are forecasted to reach historic lows by 2014. Demonstrating this growth is Jakarta, where office demand has increased by nearly 150 percent in four years, growing 7.4 percent the last quarter alone. The Philippines, often overlooked by investors, witnessed record levels in demand for office space, sparking new developments in previously unexplored submarkets and a three percent rise in rents from the same period 2012. Backed by increased domestic demand, office market rents and capital values, Thailand’s real estate market has demonstrated recovery

SEA Real Estate Transparency Index 2012 Composite Score Market 2012

2010

Singapore

1.85

1.73

Malaysia

2.32

2.30

The Philippines

2.86

3.15

Indonesia

2.92

3.46

Thailand

2.94

3.02

Vietnam

3.76

4.25

Composite score: 1 = Highly transparent 5 = Opaque

Source: Jones Lang LaSalle 2012 Global Real Estate Transparency Index


since the end of 2012, rising 15.2 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013. Meanwhile increases of one to four percent in office rents were seen in some other emerging SEA markets, such as Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Industrial & logistics markets Thanks to improvements in SEA economies and international trade, ASEAN industrial and logistics markets have reached historic highs and show no signs of slowing, as trade volumes are predicted to increase by 130 percent over the next 10 years. Real estate will have a critical role in driving trade and industrial growth across SEA markets. Many have already experienced rates increase as a result of improved foreign investment and a tighter supply base. As foreign investment continues and more borders once blocking global trade open, the most developers will seek new markets in the SEA region that will boost competitiveness and emerging markets’ growth.

Retail markets Jakarta, again, leads the regional field in the retail market, supported by a large domestic population. As rising disposable income and a changing demographic drives consumer confidence, retail rents have accelerated by 4.9 percent year over year in Q1 2013. In Thailand, the local retail market also enjoyed renewed interest from international retail brands looking to capitalize on resilient domestic demand and overall rising affluence in Asia. Leasing activity was strong, largely driven by newcomers and expansions by international brands with retail rents in Bangkok growing 4.1 percent year over year and capital values rising by 3.4 percent year over year in 1Q13. Real estate market transparency and sustainability By incorporating sustainability in real estate development, markets in SEA can capitalise on and maintain growth, enhance corporate productivity and efficiency, and improve transparency for prospective investors.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2012 Global Real Estate Transparency Index revealed that transparency in real estate markets is also improving as investors and corporate occupiers extend deeper into these geographies. Across the SEA emerging markets, increased corporate real estate activity is enhancing the pace of transparency improvements in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. These countries have experienced the most progress in transparency among Asia Pacific countries, and rank among the top 10 improvers globally in overall transparency scores due to greater availability of market data and incremental changes in the regulatory and transaction processes. A higher transparency ranking in these markets will support ASEAN economic integration by leading developers to explore opportunities for real estate growth which, in turn, encourages other investors who will recognise the growing development cycle.

BOI incentives set to drive factory demand T

he Thailand Board of Investment’s new investment promotion policy could trigger increased demand for rented factories and industrial land over the next 18 months. That’s the prediction contained in the latest Knight Frank Industrial Property Brief. The report states that buyer confidence in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani is returning as transactions, occupancy rates and land prices rise. It adds that the total

rate stood at 86.82 percent in Q1 2013, a slight dip compared to 87.62 percent in the previous quarter. Knight Frank explains that this reflects new supply entering the market.

supply of serviced industrial land plots (SILPs) in Q1 2013 amounted to 120,425 rai, an increase of just over six percent on Q1 2012. The factory rental market’s occupancy

Major investments announced in the first half of 2013 include Honda (Rojana Industrial park, Prachinburi); Toyota (Gateway City); Bridgestone (Amata Nakorn, Chonburi) and Electrolux (Hemeraj Rayong Industrial Land).

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BOI pushes for alternative energy solutions T he Thailand Board of Investment is pushing for alternative energy investment. Thailand, heavily dependent upon imported oil but endowed with a large agriculture sector, is one of the first countries in Asia to implement policies to encourage the utilisation of alternative energy sources such as biofuels, solar power and wind power.

The latest BOI industry newsletter states that ‘although Thailand has a large amount of agriculture raw materials for the production of ethanol and biodiesel for the past few decades it is the rise of oil prices, beginning in 2004, along with government policy that led to a dramatic increase in the consumption and production of biofuels in recent years’. Thailand is ASEAN’s leading country in terms of renewable energy, particularly electricity sourced by sunlight. Renewable energy was promoted actively starting in 2010 when the Government announced its aim to make the Kingdom a low-carbon society modeled on the principles of His Majesty the King’s sufficiency economy. One of the goals was to increase the production and consumption of renewable energy in the face of projected average energy demand rising 4.2 per cent per year. According to the Ministry of Energy’s estimate, under Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP 20122021), it has predicted that in 2021 the demand for energy in Thailand will have increased from 71,728 ktoe (kilo tonnes of oil equivalent) today to 99,838 ktoe. The government is hoping to push the use of alternative energy and renewable energy to reach 25 percent of total energy consumption. This is because Thailand has agricultural products that can be used as energy

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sources such as biomass, biogas, biodiesel and ethanol. Food industries also yield a great amount of by-products that can be made into energy from waste.

Thailand’s natural resources also have great potential for energy generation - the country has the average sunlight energy of 18.2 megajoules per square metre a day, not to mention the Kingdom’s potential in wind energy. The BOI also states proudly that thin-film solar technology, which is cheaper and more efficient than older thick-film technology, was pioneered in Thailand. ‘This makes the country the right place for alternative energy and renewable energy investment, which will lead to a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emission, making Thailand a low-carbon society in the future’, according to the BOI. Thailand is a leader in pursuing the development of alternative sources of energy. The country’s 15-year plan to lift alternative and renewable energy’s share of total energy production from six percent today to 20 percent by 2022 has been implemented with great success and spearheaded fast and expansive growth of the alternative energy sector. In 2010, for example, requests for investing in Thailand’s renewable energy projects increased by 300 percent. The Ministry of Energy has issued two major renewable energy schemes. The first was a 15-year renewable Energy Development Plan (20082022) in 2010, followed by the more ambitious 10-year (2011-2021) Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) announced in 2012 which raised the target for renewable energy to comprise 25 percent of total energy consumption by 2021, thereby

saving the country oil imports worth 574,000 million Baht. According to the Ministry of Energy’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), the entire renewable energy sector in 2010 contributed 2,026 MW (megawatts) of electricity, of which solar sources produced 32 MW. By 2012, solar output more than doubled to 75.48 MW. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) shape up as a major beneficiary of the Government’s energy policies. Under the Ministry of Industry’s Green Industry Project, launched in May 2011, SMEs are receiving assistance on environmentfriendly output through five stages: commitment, implementation, review, company-wide participation, and convincing others in the supply chain to go green. Thailand’s Energy Conservation Plan promotes biogas production from swine farms, tapioca factories, and wastewater from industrial plants. The commitment to alternative energy application is driven by the recognition that continued reliance on foreign oil imports is unsustainable and a drag on the country’s otherwise strong economic performance.

The Thai landscape is also witnessing the birth of ‘eco- industrial’ towns. A long-term plan forged by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand pushes operations at 42 industrial estates to go green over 10 years. Nearby residents are to participate in pollution monitoring systems. In addition to measures for better control of pollution, planted trees will serve as buffer zones at the industrial areas. The Government’s goal is for alternative energy’s share of national energy consumption to increase to 20 percent by 2022. This alone would create 40,000 new jobs, enriching Thailand’s economic growth, according to the BOI.


Wind power could help to meet Thailand’s long term energy needs.

BOI stated in February 2013 that there were ‘certain sectoral activities that have been identified as eligible for promotional incentives including the manufacture of alcohol or fuel from agricultural products, including scrap, garbage and/or waste; the manufacture of energy-conserving machinery or equipment or machinery which uses alternative energy; the manufacture of fuel cells; and the production of electricity or steam power using alternative energy such as energy from agricultural materials, biogas and wind energy’. Government’s medical hub plan focuses on private hospitals The Government, in its medical hub plan, will serve as a facilitator for private hospitals, helping them to improve their medical services to foreign visitors seeking health care in Thailand. According to Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong almost one million foreign visitors entered Thailand for health care, bringing in 140 billion Baht, in 2012. With the numbers of medical tourists visiting Thailand set to increase year on year the Government has granted

visa extensions from 30 days to 90 days for nationals of six countries in the Middle East in the initial stage, so that they can stay in Thailand for a longer period for medical services. Visa extensions will later be granted to medical tourists from other countries, according to the BOI. The Government has set a target for medical tourism to grow by 10 percent a year, depending on the ability of private hospitals. To date, many private hospitals have been recognised and approved as meeting the standards set for the Hospital Accreditation of Thailand and international standards, such as ISO. In developing Thailand into a regional medical hub, the Government emphasises four key areas. In the first area, Thailand will be promoted as a wellness hub with full-cycle services. The second area is that the medical service hub will link with spa services and health tourism. The third area seeks to turn Thailand into an academic hub for health care. The fourth area seeks to develop Thailand into a pharmaceutical and health products centre.

BOI policy extensions The Thailand Board of investment has extended investment promotion measures for companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI). These measures expired on 31 December 2012 but have now been extended until the end of this year. The BOI is also granting import duty exemption on moulds and dies that cannot be manufactured in Thailand until 31st December 2013. To facilitate promoted foreign juristic persons to own land for the establishment of offices and residences of investors and workers, as well as support the economic stimulation policy and growth in real estate sector, the land ownership policy has been extended to 31st December 2017. Investors should visit www.boi. go.th and go to BOI announcements section for further details.

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Chamber role set to expand BCCT is one of several chambers selected to be part of a new joint programme to promote British business interests, working in tandem with local UK Trade & Investment teams in each market. With the recruitment process under way to hire a Project Director we spoke to Bradley Jones, UKTI Director at the British Embassy in Bangkok. Q1: How will the agreement between BCCT and UKTI benefit British business?

Q2: How is this new agreement being funded?

A3: The fact that British companies can demonstrate that they are compliant with the UK Bribery Act will actually put them in a stronger position than competitors who are unable to prove a comparable degree of commitment to anti-corruption procedures. We have seen strong interest from UK companies bidding for consultancy contracts on the second tier of these infrastructure projects, working for the main contractors. When Prime Minister Yingluck visited the UK last Autumn she showed considerable interest in our own infrastructure success stories, such as the Thames Flood Barrier, and we are confident that the framework of the UK-Thailand Strategic Dialogue will create opportunities for UK business. Both countries have agreed that we should target a doubling of bilateral trade to £11 billion by 2018.

A2: We have now paid an initial tranche of £160,000 to BCCT but it is important to stress that our objective is to make the programme self-financing. Revenue is generated through the fees charged to UK business that seek a whole raft of business intelligence about market opportunities.

There are many encouraging factors that suggest more success lies ahead for British business in Thailand. The World Bank indicators are positive. Political stability has returned and we have seen an extended period without natural or man-made disasters in Thailand.

Q3: UK firms are interested in Thailand’s planned railway infrastructure development programme. How can they comply with the UK Bribery Act and still make a contribution?

Q4. What sectors offer potential now for UK investment.

A1: This initiative is being driven by the Department for Business. We believe that some of the duties that we have looked after hitherto may be handled just as proficiently by local Chamber staff. Outsourcing allows us to use our assets in Thailand to focus upon the ‘big ticket’ issues. The agreement applies principally to assistance given to SMEs looking to explore and exploit business opportunities in the Kingdom. We expect to see up to 20 such agreements forged between UKTI and British Chambers of Commerce over the course of the next 12 months.

A4: Animal husbandry, particularly pig breeding, is one sector with considerable

Bradley Jones

potential for Thai businesses seeking opportunities in the UK. I was amazed to learn that UK consumers eat only about 20 percent of each slaughtered pig. In Asia there is a huge demand for other parts of the animal. We are looking to connect the supply chains and to harness British expertise to Thai ambition to internationalise its food brands. Q5: You also have a role in defence sales. When will the UK’s new Defence Attaché arrive in Thailand and what are the areas offering immediate or early promise in terms of a) supply of arms and equipment and b) technical expertise? A5: The decision to reinstate a Resident Defence Attaché in Thailand came out of Prime Minister Yingluck’s discussions with David Cameron in London in November 2012. Thailand is an important strategic partner of ours and I think both sides will benefit immensely from a scaling up of defence and security collaboration. We expect the appointment to be fulfilled early next year and we are confident of building upon our excellent relationship with Thailand’s Armed Forces. We supplied Scorpion tanks some years ago and UK companies are playing a key role in their ongoing refurbishment programme. We are delighted with the success of HTMS Krabi. The offshore patrol vessel, ordered by the Royal Thai Navy to monitor shipping in Thailand’s Economic Exclusion Zone, was built by Bangkok Dock with design and technology transfer support from BAE Systems Surface Ships.

HTMS Krabi 38

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The bilateral defence relationship is strengthening and our new Defence Attaché will enable us to build on both commercial and strategic areas of cooperation.


ALGERIA, BAHRAIN, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, COLOMBIA, CÔTE D’IVOIRE, EGYPT, GABON, GHANA, INDONESIA, JORDAN, KUWAIT, LEBANON, LIBYA, MALAYSIA, MEXICO, MONGOLIA, MOROCCO, MYANMAR, NIGERIA, OMAN, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PANAMA, PERU, QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SOUTH AFRICA, THAILAND, THE PHILIPPINES, TUNISIA, TURKEY, UAE: ABU DHABI, UAE: DUBAI, UAE: RAS AL KHAIMAH

Are you seeing the full picture? To anticipate the future, you need to know what lies beneath the surface. Oxford Business Group reports reveal how changes over the past year affect your strategy. Each report balances on-the-ground analysis with contributions from heads of state and sector leaders. Whether you’re entering a new market or already entrenched, our country reports are your indispensable guide. “The most concise and authoritative guide to the business and economic climate available”— Newsweek THE INSIDE EDGE www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com thailand@oxfordbusinessgroup.com The Link

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39


Statutory residence test – new era for British expats By Martin Rimmer

F

ew would have thought that when the Government started their consultation on introducing a legal test for personal residence back in June 2010, it would have taken quite so long to get something concrete on the statute books. By the time you read this article, Finance Act 2013 will have received Royal Assent, and with it, Schedule 43 – the Statutory Residence Test (SRT). For those who have not been following these developments, the SRT entered into force on 6th April 2013 and provides a framework which is legally binding on you and me, but also on HM Revenue & Customs, for deciding whether you are resident or non-resident for UK tax purposes year on year. This is truly a watershed moment in the history of British expatriate taxation and the SRT directly impacts every single Briton in the world to a greater or lesser extent. For almost three centuries the rules on whether someone was resident or not have been a muddle of limited statute law, unreliable official guidance and a large body of case law, much of which hardly reflected the globally mobile lives we now all lead. All of which led to considerable confusion and uncertainty. On 6th April 2013, much of the old uncertainty disappeared and the rules as you knew them ceased to apply. So, when the rules change in something as fundamental to your financial well-being and planning as this, we all need to sit up, take note and work out what the changes mean for us.

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HM Revenue and Custom HQ in London

I will be presenting a seminar on this subject at the 12th September British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) Boardroom Briefing, which I would encourage you to try to attend as I will be ‘opening up the bonnet’ of the SRT in some detail then. In summary, the Statutory Residence Test splits into three broad tests:

- You spend less than 46 midnights in the UK (16 if you have been resident in one of the last three tax years), or - You meet the conditions to qualify for ‘Full Time Work Abroad’. Broadly, this requires you to work for an average on 35 hours per week outside of the UK and to hold your actual presence and work done in the UK to within certain parameters.

Automatic Overseas Test: You will be non-resident in any year in which you meet one of the following conditions.

If you meet one of these conditions, no other part of the test applies and you are non-resident for that year, regardless of any other consider-


ation at all. If you do not meet one of these conditions, you must move on to the next part of the test. Automatic Residence Test: You will be resident in any year in which you meet one of the following conditions. - You spend at least 183 midnights in the UK, or - Your only home is in the UK, or - You meet the conditions to qualify for ‘Full Time Work in the UK’.

Number of Ties

Maximum number of midnights you can spend in the UK and remain non-resident in a tax year

0 or 1

182

2

120

3

90

4

45

It stands to reason that, anyone who is living and/or working abroad, can usually ensure that they do not trigger residence until this part of the test. In which case, if you meet none of the conditions in the first two parts of the test, your residence position is decided on the basis of the third and final part. Sufficient Ties Test: This test works on the principle that the more ties you have to the UK, the easier it must be for you to become resident. The way they do this is to ask four questions. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions at any stage in the tax year, you have that tie. - Do you have accommodation which is available for your use in the UK? - Do you have a spouse or minor child who is treated as resident in the UK? - Have you spent at least 91 midnights in the UK in either of the two prior tax years? - Have you worked in the UK for at least 40 days in the tax year? Each of these questions needs to be ‘unpacked’ so that you understand what ‘accommodation which is available’, ‘treated as resident’ and ‘work in the UK’ actually means, and I will cover this in my seminar in some detail. For those who have been resident in the UK in at least one of the last 3 tax years, a slightly different test applies. However, for those who have not, the following

maximum number of midnights of presence in the UK are permitted, whilst remaining non-resident: As you can see, this leaves quite some scope for spending time in the UK provided that, in so doing, you don’t trigger the ‘only home’ part of the Automatic Residence Test. All in the all, the SRT is good news. It creates a much greater level of certainty where that was hopelessly absent before, and it establishes a framework which is intuitive, sensible and allows for a good deal of flexibility year on year. However, it is not without its problems. What I am finding as I advise clients is that we need to take real care over definitions – some of which are very precise, whilst others are not precise enough. For example, the Automatic Residence Test places real importance on what a ‘home’ is. If you think about it, that is a very difficult word to define as precisely as we would need for it to mean anything for tax purposes, and the guidance given in the SRT is a little hollow to say the least.

Also, as a result of codifying the general tests, the Government has also laid down the conditions which need to be met to break or achieve residence in the UK midway through a tax year. Very precise and careful planning is now needed to ensure that a person really does benefit from the right to split a tax year into a period of non-resident and resident status. This is vitally important if you are to avoid being taxed in the UK on world-wide income and gains throughout the whole of the year of arrival or departure. I will be speaking on these issues in much greater detail on 12th September, and will be sharing some of my experiences of advising clients on the SRT and wider UK tax planning issues. I do hope that you can join me for what should be an informative session.

Martin Rimmer is a Senior Tax Manager at The Fry Group based in Singapore and is a specialist in residence, domicile, inheritance tax planning and tax-efficient wealth structuring and protection. Email: martin.rimmer@ thefrygroupsg.com Tel. +65 6225 0825


UK tax regime for high value residential properties By Nicholas Edmondes and Nick White

I

f you own, or are considering purchasing or selling a high value residential property in the UK, you need to be aware of the new tax regime for these properties which came into effect last April. As a result, it will be even more important to plan ahead for UK tax when owning, buying and selling such properties. The precise rules are now contained in the recently enacted Finance Act 2013. Here is a highlevel view of the current position. Two new taxes have been introduced in addition to the 15 percent rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which came into force on 21st March 2012. These are the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT). In broad terms, the new tax regime applies to residential properties (houses and flats) worth more than £2 million and owned by what is known as a ‘non-natural person’ (NNP), the most common of which is a company (wherever incorporated). In certain cases, corporate trustees are excluded. The regime applies throughout the ownership cycle – that is, on purchase, ownership and eventual sale of the property. If the property is purchased by a NNP, then the SDLT payable by the NNP will, in most cases, be 15 percent of the purchase price. This compares to SDLT at seven percent if the same property were to be purchased by an individual. During the period of ownership of the property, the NNP will be liable to pay ATED each year. An annual ATED Return will need to be submitted to HMRC. The amount payable depends on the value of the property. The property 42

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will need to be valued every five years, starting with 1st April 2012 (if it was owned then), and when it is purchased (if after 1st April 2012). The amount of ATED payable each year is as follows: Property value ATED (annually, as from 2013/14)

£2+ – 5 million £5+ – 10 million £10+ – 20 million £20 million +

£15,000 £35,000 £70,000 £140,000

The ATED charge (but not the value bands) will be inflation linked. If the property is sold at a profit, then the increase in value as from 5 April 2013 will be subject to CGT at a rate of 28 percent. In some cases, a form of taper relief may reduce the amount of gain which is subject to CGT. The new tax regime will not apply in certain cases, in broad terms, if the property is being used for various qualifying business purposes. For example, if the property is being rented to third parties or forms part of a property development or proper-

ty trading business. A claim for relief must be made by the NNP in the annual ATED Return. It should be noted that most of the above reliefs which would reduce the 15 percent rate of SDLT to seven percent, only came into effect on 17 July 2013 when the Finance Act 2013 was passed. What now? Now is the time to consider carefully what to do with existing structures holding UK residential property, and how to plan for future purchases and sales. This will need to involve not only the potential impact of the new tax regime described above but also, for example, consideration of the reason(s) for the existing structure. Was it to eliminate a UK Inheritance Tax charge and/or for privacy and/or succession planning? Was it to benefit from limited liability? Was a saving of SDLT on an onward sale an important factor? The potential cost of unwinding an exist-


ing structure also needs to be considered. Do these factors outweigh the new charges? It will be necessary therefore to consider these new proposals ‘in the round’ so as to achieve the best result. This will require specialist advice before altering the current structure in any way. It is important to keep up to date with these changes as the filing date for the first ATED return approaches. The first return, for 2013/14 only, must be filed by 1st October 2013

and payment of ATED will be due by 31st October 2013. This is a oneoff procedure: for 2014/15 onwards, both the ATED return and the ATED payment will be due by 30th April. If the property is first subject to ATED after 1 April in an ATED period (which runs from 1st April to 31st March the following year), both the ATED return and payment of ATED are due within 30 days of purchase. For example, if you bought a property on 1st July 2014 your return and payment would be due on 31st July 2014.

Nicholas Edmondes is based at Trowers & Hamlins’ London office. Nick White is Regional Manager of the law practice’s non-trading representative office in Malaysia. Nicholas Edmondes Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 8203 Email: nedmondes@trowers.com Nick White Tel: +603 2615 0185 Email: nwhite@trowers.com

Britain in South East Asia (BiSEA) Cambodia British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia c/o Darren Conquest Hong Yang Corporation No. 11 Street 178, Sangkat Psar Thmey 3, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: 855-12-219-802 Fax: 855-23-997-493 Email: chairman@britchamcambodia. org Website: www.britchamcambodia.org Chairman: Darren Conquest Executive Director: Abigail Gilbert Indonesia British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia Wisma Metropolitan 1, 15th Floor, Jl. Jend, Sudirman Kav 29-31 Jakarta, Indonesia 12920 Tel: 62-21-522-9453 Fax: 62-21-527-9135 Email: bisnis@britcham.or.id Website: www.britcham.or.id Chairman: Haslam Preeston Executive Director: Chris Wren Malaysia British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce E04C1, 4th Floor East Block Wisma Selangor Dredging 142-B Jalan Ampang

50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 603-2163-1784 /1786 Fax: 603-2163-1781 Email: britcham@bmcc.org.my Website: www.bmcc.org.my Chairman: Dato Larry Gan Executive Director: Molly Jagpal Philippines British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines c/o The British Embassy Manila 120 Upper McKinley Road McKinley hill, Taguig City 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines Tel: 632-858-2255/858-2372/ 858-2373 Fax: 632-858-2390 Email: chairman@bccphil.com Website: www.bccphil.com Chairman: Michael Whiting Executive Director: David Mascenon Singapore British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore 138 Cecil Street, #11-01 Cecil Court Singapore 069538 Tel: 65-6222-3552 Fax: 65-6222-3556 Email: info@britcham.org.sg Website: www.britcham.org.sg President: Mr. Hugo Walkinshaw Executive Director: Brigitte Holtschneider

Thailand British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) 7th Floor, 208 Wireless Road Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel: 66-2651-5350-3 Fax: 66-2651-5354 Email: greg@bccthai.com Website: www.bccthai.com Chairman: Simon Landy Executive Director: Greg Watkins Vietnam British Business Group Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City G/F 25 Le Duan Blvd, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: 84-8-3829-8430 Fax: 84-8-3822-5172 Email: execdirector@bbgv.org Website: www.bbgv.org Hanoi 67 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: 84 4 6674 0945 Chairman: Patrick Regis Executive Director: Jakki Lydall

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Have no truck with fuel thieves By Keith Hodgson

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magine this. Each week, a thousand baht mysteriously disappears from your wallet – and there’s no evidence of how the disappearance occurred. You’d be quite concerned, wouldn’t you? Well, if you are a transport fleet operator or if you buy transport services from a third party, that provides a clue. The simple answer is that the ‘disappearance’ is actually the result of fuel theft. And it gets worse. You can multiply that weekly theft by the number of trucks you operate because, unfortunately, you are almost certain to be one the victims of the 20 billion baht annual truck fuel heist. That means for every truck in operation in Thailand, approximately 50,000 baht of fuel per year is stolen and the most common method is by the regular and systematic siphoning of small amounts.

• the stolen fuel is impossible to identify. Bespoke fuel dyeing systems are available but they rely on the perpetrators being caught with the fuel and for the police to have the appropriate technology • diesel fuel is a valuable commodity.

Although it costs only 30 baht per litre in Thailand, when compared to wage levels it’s actually more expensive than in UK where the pump price is more than twice that • Other vehicle owners in Thailand are very ready to buy stolen fuel.

Occasionally, a major attack on an unattended truck will result in hundreds of litres of fuel being stolen with major damage to the vehicle but this is a relatively rare event and total volumes stolen in this way are minor when compared with siphoning. Fuel theft is not solely a Thai phenomenon. In the UK, for example, fuel is mainly stolen to fuel the perpetrator’s own vehicle. In Thailand, however, the stolen fuel is sold and, if you know where to look, it’s easily available to buy at the roadside. The reasons for this ‘trade’ are easy to understand: This device is designed to deter fuel thieves.

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So, what can be done to combat this theft? There are hi-tech, GPS linked, fuel monitoring systems that might tell you when, where and how much has been stolen. But they don’t stop the theft and therefore don’t prevent the drama that follows. You know there’s been a theft so you have to investigate. Other preventative methods mainly comprise physical barriers to prevent access to the fuel and these have varying levels of success. They include: • Locking fuel caps which is old technology and virtually useless. I have seen the locked cap of a brand new European truck removed, without the use of key or tools, in less than 10 seconds • Some operators fit additional locks and/or numbered & tamperproof seals that may give some peace of mind but are not proof against the ingenuity of the thief and don’t underestimate the levels of collusion amongst staff The most effective action is to accept that the thief will gain access to the

fuel but prevent him from stealing it. This is best done by fitting an ‘anti siphon device’ (ASD) into the fuel filler neck that prevents or, at least, restricts the thief ’s siphon pipe reaching the fuel level. Of course, there’s a compromise between preventing the unauthorised removal of fuel and allowing the refueling of the tank at normal pump speeds – usually up to 120 litres/minute. Consequently, ‘standard’ ASD devices only restrict the thief to ‘skimming’ a few litres whilst the tank is full. The world’s leading ASD (British designed & manufactured) does prevent all theft as well as overfilling and spillages due to its patented design. The elimination of diesel spills makes a major contribution to road safety as, in one year alone in UK, there were 600 serious accidents involving 22 deaths resulting from diesel spills. Consequently the fitting of such an ASD not only pays back on the investment (most truck operators recover their investment in ASDs in less than 12 weeks) but it also re-

inforces the operator’s CSR credentials. Sainsbury’s is just one of the major UK fleet operators that fitted their entire fleet primarily with road safety in mind and found that the resultant fuel savings were an added bonus. Fuel theft will never be totally defeated but, with continued development of innovative and flexible solutions, we can stay a little ahead of the thieves and ease the burden on that wallet.

Keith Hodgson is advisor to PLK Asia which provides products & solutions on automotive issues. For further information please contact him via e-mail at: info@plk-inter.biz

ASEAN launches tourism push

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he Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is promoting six experiential and creative travel themes to encourage multi-country trips across Southeast Asia. The themed promotions are part of the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy 2012-2015.

ism Product Development Working Group. “An authentic travel experience involves meaningful engagement with the heritage, arts and special character of our ASEAN destinations,” he said. Mr Aung Zaw Win urged tour operators in ASEAN countries to develop more multi-country packages highlighting experiential and creative tourism, which he pointed out was a rising trend among consumers who want ‘authentic’ travel.

The themes include ‘Tastes of Southeast Asia’, ‘ASEAN, a Tropical Paradise’ and ‘World Class Cities’. An initial list of 20 tour operators offering the themes in multi-country itineraries are now on the new look ASEAN travel website (www.aseantourism.travel). “Our new focus is on experiential and creative tourism that respects envi-

ronment and culture,” said Aung Zaw Win, Director General, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Myanmar, who is also Chairman of the ASEAN Tour-

“Today’s travellers are more sophisticated and interested in unique experiences with immersion in local ways of life,” he said. “Our role is to therefore support multi-country experiential travel within ASEAN member states.”

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Airlines in transition Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group – the parent company of British Airways – speaks out on the state of global airline alliances.

Unsurprisingly Mr Walsh favours this. Alliances can be limited in some regions where having a partner outside of oneworld is to a carrier’s benefit. This view takes alliances not as the end game but rather a contributor to airlines’ partnership strategy. While IAG has no deep partnerships with carriers outside of oneworld, Mr Walsh said he is open to such an arrangement, recalling a non-oneworld executive telling him, “Just because I’m married doesn’t mean I can’t have a mistress.”

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ew have single-handedly changed the landscape of global airline alliances the way Willie Walsh has. As the CEO of International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways and Iberia (and soon Vueling), Mr Walsh had an instrumental role in bringing Qatar Airways into the oneworld alliance. The ascension of Qatar occurs at a time alliances are undergoing significant change: Qantas in Mar-2013 launched a partnership with Emirates; oneworld’s airberlin may partner with Air France-KLM; and Etihad has a staggering number of partners. Mr Walsh is respected amongst fellow executives for his candid and direct views – which peers perhaps wish they felt at the same liberty to say. During CAPA’s recent Airlines in Transition conference in Dublin, Mr Walsh gave a number of his thoughts on global alliances. He supports bilateral relationships and thinks the Qantas-Emirates alliance will be good for both partners. Mr Walsh also noted the limits of alliances: they are mainly to deliver additional revenue, not cost savings, and perhaps exist only because global mergers are not permitted by regulators. The three global marketing alliances – oneworld, SkyTeam and Star – may compete for the same passengers, but their structures are vastly different. Star is the most dogmatic when it comes to cohesiveness; this is unsurprising as it has the orderly Lufthansa to lead the way. SkyTeam is not as tightly bound as Star but relationships are still close, if only because anchor members Air France, Delta and KLM have a joint venture (Air France and KLM are also part of the

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Willie Walsh

same holding company) in their key trans-Atlantic market. But beyond the US-Europe corridor, there are ties, namely AF-KLM with China Southern and China Eastern. The mainland Chinese and Taiwanese members of SkyTeam have formed a mini alliance covering the cross-Strait mainland China-Taiwan market. And then there is oneworld. JVs exist – including British Airways with both American Airlines and JAL, as well as American and JAL – plus there are other deep partnerships such as the joint business agreement between Qantas and American. But overall the alliance is more of a series of bilateral relationships, less integrated than Star.

Finnair SVP Commercial Division Allister Paterson told the conference the oneworld alliance is the carrier’s central partnership platform and “we plan to stay in the game” of alliances. But Mr Paterson said Finnair is looking to complement its alliance membership with “small bilateral” relationships in undisclosed locations, as Finnair has some “holes we need to fill”. One of the biggest changes to alliances came with Emirates-Qantas, “which I fully support”, Mr Walsh said, adding that “Alan Joyce was right” to form the partnership. The Emirates-Qantas alliance led to Qantas dissolving partnerships with Air France, Cathay Pacific and Kenya Airways – as well as the long-standing joint service agreement with British Airways. “Airlines should be free to have a relationship with someone who can fill the gap,” Mr Walsh said. That gap may also see a change in partners as “the alliances are not carved in stone and never will be”. Carriers have come and gone from alliances: Aer Lingus left oneworld to be unaligned, Continental left SkyTeam for Star, Shanghai Airlines left Star for SkyTeam and soon TAM and US Airways will leave Star for oneworld. And even before this current crop of alliances were Global Excellence and the Qualifier Group.


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Myanmar benefits from EU GSP reinstatement

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yanmar has been reinstated in the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences, applied retrospectively to take effect from 13th June 2012. All products ‘originating’ in Myanmar, with the exception of except ammunition and arms, benefit from full duty-free and quotafree access to the EU market. Claims for refunds of duty paid on imports from 13th June 2012 will be possible in certain circumstances, according to Baker McKenzie’s client alert. The country’s reinstatement comes less than three months after the EU’s decision in May 2013 to formally lift its sanctions regime – although the embargo on arms remains in force. The client alert adds that ‘Myanmar’s access to EU GSP was temporarily withdrawn in 1997 as a result of serious, systematic and pervasive practices of forced labour that were identified by the International Labour Organization. Progress on reforms led to the European Commission recommenda-

tion in September 2012 that access to EU GSP be reinstated. This triggered the EU legislative procedure and the adoption of the relevant Council Regulation as published in the EU’s Official Journal on 29th June 2013. By way of additional information, the restoration of the U.S. Generalised System of Preferences for Myanmar is also under consideration at present. Myanmar’s reinstatement will be of particular relevance for importers of clothing, agricultural products, fuels and mining products. According to statistics published by the European Commission, these comprised the majority of goods imported into the EU from Myanmar in 2012 (clothing – 67.6%; agricultural products – 20.1%; fuels and mining products – 4.4%). Baker McKenzie advised that companies should review the impact of Myanmar’s reinstatement in EU GSP. In particular:

• current importers of goods originating in Myanmar into the EU should identify whether imports were made between 13 June 2012 and 19 July 2013 with a view to submitting a belated claim for preference. Early engagement with the relevant EU Customs authority is advised to ensure the process is as smooth as possible and the claim is not time barred; • those that do business in the ASEAN region but not in Myanmar should consider the potential benefits of sourcing from Myanmar • importers of goods originating in Myanmar into the EU must ensure they have the appropriate documentation in place to claim preferential treatment under EU GSP going forwards. They will be required to submit a valid proof of origin (certificate of origin form A) to the Customs authority of the EU importing country on import.

Load factors increase as airlines enjoy clearer skies A

Eurozone, albeit tentative, is giving a boost to business and consumer confidence and the load factor at 81.7 percent shows that airlines are efficiently meeting increasing demand for travel.

ir travel continues to grow, according to latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Passenger demand in June 2013, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), grew by six percent year-on-year. Passenger load factors worldwide were at a healthy 81.7 percent.

Asia Pacific airlines were responsible for half of the increase in RPKs from May to June but IATA remains cautious about whether this acceleration in growth marks a trend for the rest of the year. IATA CEO Tony Tyler said, 48

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Tony Tyler, IATA

“June was a positive month for passenger markets. The stability in the

“But there are some headwinds. Growth in the BRICS economies, including China, is slowing and oil prices remain high. The industry is still on track to make US$4.00 per passenger this year for a global net profit of US$12.7 billion but there is little margin for error and even a small change in the second half of the year could shift the outlook significantly.”


Thailand’s business bosses remain cautious N ew research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) reveals that the optimism of business leaders in Thailand remains well below the level seen before the floods in late 2011. Whilst business optimism rose to net 22 percent in Q2 up from 14 percent in Q1, this is well below the levels seen in the first three quarters of 2011 when optimism averaged 42 percent. Since then, quarterly optimism has averaged just 16%. The results compare pre-flood optimism with post-flood pragmatism where optimism has been more measured because of the initial effects of the floods, the neutral performance of major world economies and trading partners, and more worrying local developments such as the effects of the rice pledging scheme on the economy, rising household debt and the fear of a lack of transparency in Thailand’s mega infrastructure projects. Businesses are also less confident about growth in their own operations. Net 28 percent expect revenues to grow and net 28 percent see profits climbing over the next 12 months but this compares with 56 percent and 52 percent respectively in the same quarter of 2011. Profitability expectations across 2011 averaged 50 percent compared to 39 percent over the past four quarters. Mr. Ian Pascoe, Managing Partner at Grant Thornton Thailand, said, “Thai business leaders are being pragmatic. Internationally growth in the major economies is still anaemic. China continues to slow and central banks are starting to test markets about a possible reduction in their stimulus measures. “Meanwhile locally, companies are feeling the full effect now of the ear-

lier rise in the minimum wage and household debt is increasing markedly. The rice-pledging scheme is being continued by the government despite huge losses to the revenue and unknown long-term damage to the rice industry farmers. There is concern over the feasibility and funding of some of the transport projects and the central bank is lowering their GDP estimates.”

The slowdown in regional heavyweight China is also apparent in the IBR figures, where net four percent are optimistic about the economic outlook, down from 19 percent in Q1. There is no coincidence therefore that falling demand has emerged as a major growth constraint Thai businesses are reporting, cited by 51 percent of respondents over the past four quarters. However the most significant constraint on Thai businesses was given as economic uncertainty at 60 percent, well above both the ASEAN average of 43 percent and global average of 41 percent.

Whilst key export markets such as the European Union remain weak and the slowdown in China – which remains our single largest export market – has negatively affected Thailand, exports climbed by 8.3 percent in January-March this year compared with 2012. This can be attributed to the improvement in Japanese business optimism which helped balance the negative ‘China effect’ on Thai manufacturing. Mr Pascoe added, “Caution is the key watchword. Some of these more negative factors have been offset against continued robust FDI and the reduction in the corporate tax rate. However, Thai businesses continue to be more concerned over a number of local, regional and worldwide factors than their peers around the world. The infrastructure projects will help stimulate the economy but that may not be enough to return Thai business optimism to preflood levels.”

Help at hand on IPR issues for SMEs The ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk is a European Commission co-funded project that provides European SMEs with free, practical, business advice relating to ASEAN IPR. To learn more about any aspect of intellectual property rights in south east Asia, visit the online portal at www.asean-iprhelpdesk. eu. For free expert advice on ASEAN IPR for your business, e-mail your questions to question@asean-iprhelpdesk.eu. You will receive a reply from one of the Helpdesk experts within five working days. The ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk is jointly implemented by DEVELOPMENT Solutions, European Business Chamber of Commerce Indonesia and European Business Organisations Worldwide Network. The Link

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briitsh council

Chalking up success in Thai classrooms A

SEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh has urged more investment in education to narrow the development gap in ASEAN. He was speaking at a regional conference ‘ASEAN Perspectives on Innovation, Integration and English’. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Education of Thailand through the Office of the Education Council, in collaboration with British Council Thailand, to seek guidelines and provide a forum for discussion in capacity building and to support governments in their preparation of human resources for the ASEAN Community with an emphasis on innovation, integration and English. With the onset of the ASEAN Community in 2015, Thailand and other member states need to prepare students not only to reap the benefits integration will bring about, but also to face the challenges that it will create. We must prepare them to be working professionals. Although ASEAN is largely diverse in histories, races, cultures and belief systems, English is an important and indispensable tool to bring our community closer together. “English enables us to interact with other ASEAN colleagues in our formal meetings as well as day-to-day communications. From these interactions, we are able to get to know better our regional neighbours, their interests, their concerns, as well as their dreams and aspirations. Through English, we are raising our awareness of the ASEAN region and, with the many characteristics we share and hold dear, further strengthening our sense of an 50

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More good work by the British Council in Thailand

200 UK volunteers to support English teaching in schools nationwide, almost three times more volunteers than last year.

ASEAN Community,” the SecretaryGeneral stressed. Since education plays a significant role in narrowing the development gap in ASEAN, this clearly shows the need to invest more in the education sector. The Thailand English Teaching project proves that Thailand has been very concerned about developing the English skills of Thai youth. This year the Ministry of Education continues its collaboration with the British Council bringing in nearly

Following the agreement signed in March, nearly 200 English Teaching Assistants representing 27 universities were recruited through the assistance of the British Council in the UK. All 193 English Teaching Assistants arrived in Bangkok to take part in an orientation and training programme. After the two-day training they began work as English Teaching Assistants in host schools around the country, including some technical colleges for a period of eight weeks. The English Teaching Assistants will work with Thai teachers of English and support extra-curricular activities outside of classroom hours. They will bring British Council resources to the schools and use these to teach and motivate the learning of English. The British Council stresses that they are not seen as a replacement for Thai teachers but rather to complement and support their work.


Member News

GSK in pole position with R&D in Thailand G

laxoSmithKline Thailand’s ‘Science Behind Success’ event was a reflection of the company’s desire to share global knowledge and expertise with the Thai healthcare community. The event, which also marked GKK’s 50 year presence in Thailand, aimed to drive learning and boost research and development for the benefit of Thai people through activation under the company’s ‘Access to Medicines’ mission that leverages a relationship recently established between GSK globally and the McLaren Group.

This partnership with the McLaren Group seeks to develop a culture of winning high performance with a shared vision of creating innovation and promoting teamwork for optimum efficiency. GSK believes that the science behind the success of a winning Formula One racing team also can be applied to the research and development of medicines in Thailand. With key success factors that include high-tech innovation, highly-focused teamwork and a more dynamic business culture, the Science Behind Success event aimed to help enhance Thailand’s growth and prosperity and improve the quality of human life by increasing Thai people’s potential and competitive capabilities. It is the first time that the key factors behind the success of a winning international Formula One racing team, including ideas, science and research & development that lead to a great achievement, are being shared in Thailand. The opening was presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana. He said, “The govern52

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Full speed ahead for GSK

ment is focused on boosting participatory efforts in research and development among the public and private sectors to drive R&D as a growth engine for Thailand in the areas of the economy, trade and agriculture. Knowledge, expertise and quality people are key competitive advantages in today’s world. Without an R&D focus we will fall behind other nations, particularly in the local development of new products. Thailand will enter the AEC within the next two years, which will present critical challenges as well as opportunities. By being well prepared Thailand will be able to seize this opportunity to tap into new markets, otherwise, this opportune moment could turn into a crisis. “A Formula One race is about speed and precision, because a fraction of second can determine whether you win or lose. This means a F1 racing car must receive the shortest and quickest service from the pit crew during a pit stop. The same approach

applies to research and development, as innovative technology, focused precision and efficient teamwork can form the basis for an efficient and effective R&D model from which more and more people can learn.” According to Prof. Dr. Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, Secretary-General of the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), “A Public and Private Partnership is very significant as each organisation has its own particular expertise and knowledge. The collaboration of various parties with strengths that complement each other and applying individual talents and skills offers the greatest benefits. “We hope that over the next two to three years, Thailand will enjoy many more innovative products and services that drawn upon Thai skills and wisdom. Research is challenging and needs to be fully utilised. The NRCT, in partnership with related organisations, is working on research systems for health with a mutual goal of research into diseases that cannot


be easily treated, diseases indigenous to Thailand, tropical diseases and common diseases. Studies must be undertaken ultimately to increase the well-being of Thai people and boost the sustainable development of the country in the future.” Dr Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan, Inspector-General of the Ministry of Justice, stated, “Research is a systematic and scientific thinking process that encourages quality learning and the development of humans. It generates sustainability for individuals, organizations and the nation. Qualitative thinking and development are part of research, as it does not take place only in the laboratory. Humans are eager to learn more and more throughout their lives and research is a tool that nourishes people by encouraging knowledge-seeking behavior. The most important point is we have to first realise that we are only half full and need further development, which will eventually lead to sustainability.” GSK Thailand’s General Manager Viriya Chongphaisal said, “This initiative aims to promote learning about key contributors to success. Research and development requires all parties to focus on a goal and approach it with precision, efficiency

Teamwork is essential at GSK and McLaren

and teamwork. In the Science Behind Success event, this is illustrated through the Pit Stop Challenge in which participants need to co-operate to change a wheel and tire while racing against the clock. “It demonstrates how enhancing key skills for business and people development in the areas of research and development, teamwork and collaborative effort and a more dynamic business culture can drive Thailand to enhance its potential and competitive capabilities in line with the government’s goal to improve healthcare

to meet international standards,” he added. “We believe that continual research and development will lead to breakthrough medical treatments that improve the quality of human life. This is why GSK Thailand makes the research and development of innovative medicines and vaccines our first priority. “Throughout our 50 years of history in Thailand, we have focused on promoting education and boosting the research and development of medicines. We are committed to making healthy living more accessible to Thai people and promoting healthy communities in Thailand by collaborating fully with all parties to drive integrated efforts to boost the quality of human life and ensure good health for Thai people,” concluded Viriya. ‘Operation Smile Universal Childrens Day’ takes place on Saturday 16th November at the British Club, Bangkok. It promises to be a fun-packed day for all the family.

British Ambassador Mark Kent and wife Martine were guests of honour at the 10th anniversary celebration of Baker Tilly Thailand. From left: Yundyong Thantiviramanon, Warwick Kneale, Mrs Martine Kent, Mark Kent, Geoff Barnes – President and CEO of Baker Tilly International, Amnaj Mungkornpun, Chukiat Chittimaitriskul and John Ginnane.

For more details and opportunities for sponsorship please contact Annie Hansen at: annie.hansen@ standrews-schools.com. All profits from the event will be donated to support the efforts of Operation Smile Thailand. (www. thailand.operationsmile.org ) The Link

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Member News

Thailand remains investment hotspot for hotels

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tions, including those at the portfolio level, and improved investor sentiment translates to increased sales. The divergence between vendor and purchaser expectations that served to restrict investment activity in 2012 has improved this year, leading to a number of landmark transactions in the first half,” explained Mike Batchelor.

onfirmed hotel transaction volumes in Asia reached US$ 1.3 billion in the first half of 2013, up 85 percent compared to the first half of last year, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. The firm’s Hotels & Hospitality Group ‘Asia Hotel Investment’ report shows that the solid growth in sales activity marks the region’s strongest first half year since the first half of 2008.

Weight of investment into the established tourism markets of Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, coupled with opportunistic deals in emerging markets such as Thailand and the Maldives, was predominately responsible for driving growth in the region. Mike Batchelor, Managing Director Investment Sales, Hotels & Hospitality, said, “Throughout Asia we are also aware of around US$ 400 million in hotel transaction volumes to be confirmed soon and a further US$ one billion in due diligence.”

The report adds that, ‘despite a somewhat unpredictable investment environment, Thailand continued to consolidate its position as one of Asia’s hotel investment hotspots’. “During the first half of 2013 we have seen a growing number of transac-

The report identifies funds, institutions and large corporates looking to restructure their portfolios as the most prominent sellers of investment grade hotels while REITS, hotel operators and institutional investors were the most active buyer groups. However, despite the regional growth and strong investor appetite, the limited pipeline of open market listings throughout south east Asia has limited sales activity. The full report is available at: http:// www.joneslanglasalle.com/ResearchLevel1/JLL-Pulse-SEA-Hotels-Jun-13.pdf

Top award for Colliers Colliers International has picked up the ‘Best Property Advisory/ Consultancy’ title at the annual REIW Asia Awards for Excellence. The awards ceremony in Singapore coincided with the Real Estate Investment World convention.

The inaugural Cognita Games has taken place at the St. Andrews Green Valley Complex. Cognita schools from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand met for two days of competitive action on the golf course and swimming pool with several pupils also taking part in the triathlon.

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In a note to clients, company chairman Simon Landy wrote that ‘we are honoured to have received Asia’s most coveted award of its kind – an award that honours companies who have made outstanding contributions to their industry based on growth, performance and adaptability to changing market conditions and client needs’.


Thai soccer star stresses importance of setting goals at Bangkok Prep F ormer English Premier League footballer Teeratep ‘Leesaw’ Winothai, now playing for Bangkok Glass, was guest speaker at Bangkok Prep’s Sports Awards ceremony. Leesaw, formerly on the books of both Everton and Crystal Palace, stressed the importance of setting goals and pursuing dreams. He told pupils at Bangkok Prep that, to be the best, they must cultivate perseverance and determination. Students must also seek opportunities to learn all there is to know about their favourite sports, both on and off the field, by watching the sport on television and by reading books. Most importantly, he said, students need to take good care by keeping fit and healthy and he emphasised the need to demonstrate good sportsmanship.

This is the first occasion in which Bangkok Prep has held a schoolwide sports award ceremony held to recognise outstanding athletes who have represented the school in various inter-school sports leagues

and competitions such as TISAC (Thailand International Schools Activity Conference) and FOBISSEA (The Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia).

Khun Ying Kwanta Devakula and Khun Thiphavan Techavijit hosted a dinner for close friends to distribute invitation cards for their Charity Arts Exhibition at Siam Paragon when HRH Princess Somsawalee presided over the official opening ceremony. Standing from left: Buddhipong Punnakanta, M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, British Ambassador Mark Kent, Dr. Virachai Techavijit, Dr. Sumet Jumsai na Ayudhya, Privy Councillor M.R. Thepkamol Devakul, Prisdha Jumsai na Ayudhya and M.L.Poomchai Chumpol.Sitting from left: Kwanshanok Techavijit, Nusba Punnakanta, Suthini Jumsai na Ayudhya, Sawitree Paribatra, Khun Ying Kwanta Devakula, Kamala Sukosol, Thiphavan Techavijit, Martine Delogne and Rukshanok Kiangsiri.

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55


Member News

NIST students gain valuable work experience S

greater understanding of how the restaurant business works. I gained so much knowledge and experience from just one week and I am really thankful and grateful for the opportunity.”

tudents from NIST have been getting valuable work experience with 48 companies and organisations operating in a variety sectors. Some 130 Year 11 students joined 48 companies during a oneweek work experience programme. The companies ranged from advertising, media and hospitality to law, banking, NGOs, embassies and airlines. “Our mission at NIST is based on developing individual excellence. We are proud of the heights which our students achieve but also the diversity of their studies and careers on leaving NIST. We believe that when strengths and passions can align with career opportunities, our graduates will flourish,” said NIST Secondary Principal Julian Edwards.

“The opportunity to do ‘real work’ is an important part of their journey

Work experience at Samitivej Hospital

beyond school and into adulthood and for this reason we value the generosity of our extended community for opening up their workplace to our Year 11 students.” Reaction from NIST students was encouragingly positive. Prabneet Doowa told us,” It was a truly worthwhile experience working at Tokiya (Ichitan) as I now have a

NIST students, staff and alumni teamed up against Gulf Saraburi FC in a friendly match to mark the school’s 20th anniversary and to bid farewell to Headmaster Simon Leslie, Deputy Head Adrian Watts and football coach Will Kirkwood. Despite the valiant efforts of Simon Leslie, who pulled off a series of outstanding saves, they lost the match 4-1. Simon Leslie is pictured left with Gulf Saraburi coach Totchtawan Sripan.

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Working at Samitivej Hospital was a real eye opener for Zeyu Hu. “During this short time I still managed to gain some insight into what it would be like to work as a doctor or nurse. It was an experience I will treasure and cherish.” Triz Kitilimtrakul said, “Work Experience Week at NIST gave me a chance to experience the real world outside of school and what better way to start it off than working for the Australian Embassy. The work that they do there is both exciting and meaningful to the public. “Most workplaces would never allow an intern like me to do most of the work on my own, but the Embassy gave me the opportunity to apply what I had learned from real cases. The employees were really friendly and the workplace was such a nice environment to be in every day. It was the best week and it gave me a positive attitude about working in the future.” We left the final word to Venetia Chan. “After experiencing what it was like to work at the cafe, Melt Me, I have taken a keen interest in this type of job. It was a really fun time working there because we got to do so many things and even help out at the cafe. It was a wonderful opportunity for me and the experience I gained taught me many things about this career path. Thank you for allowing me this wonderful opportunity,” she said.


Mick’s girl adds glamour to BA promotion I

n the week that her famous rock star father turned 70, model Georgia May Jagger joined rugby internationals Chris Robshaw, Bryan Habana and Jean De Villiers to launch the new British Airways A380 service to Johannesburg. Flights take off using the new A380 from 12th February 2014 but BA could well be expecting an early scrum for tickets this summer with prices starting at £872 return in World Traveller, £1,382 return in World Traveller Plus (premium economy), £3,274 return in Club World and £6,179 in First Class. BA will operate initially three A380 services a week, increasing 10th March 2014 to six flights weekly as part of normal schedule to Johannesburg. British Airways’ A380s will accommodate 469 customers across four cabins: First class (14 seats);

Club World (44 seats on the main deck and 53 seats on the upper deck) World Traveller Plus (55 seats on upper deck). Passengers in economy (World Traveller) may elect to sit on

either the main deck or the upper deck. British Airways has ordered 12 A380 aircraft for delivery by 2016. Three will arrive this year, followed by a further five in 2014.

New Headmaster at NIST C anadian James MacDonald is NIST’s new Headmaster. He joins NIST from Yokohama International School in Japan where he was Head of School.

He has also worked at schools in Canada and Singapore and has held a number of teaching and leadership positions over the course of his career. James MacDonald holds a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge (Canada), a Masters of Arts in Education from

the University of Bath (UK) and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia (Canada).

James is also an active contributor to the development of international education and is Chairman of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Asia Pacific Regional Council. He recently served as Chairman of the East Asia Association of IB School Heads. He has published numerous articles on international education and is a regular presenter at educational conferences. The Link

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57


Member News

Training the trainers By Pachara (Billy) Yongjiranon

Y

awning, chatting, whispering, texting, writing emails, taking calls, walking out during training sessions – these are all the things that can become a nightmare to most trainers both novice and experienced. No matter how good one thinks they are as a trainer, one is bound to face these problems from time to time. The novice trainer would ignore it by focusing on those who are kind enough to give interest out of politeness. The grade A trainers choose not to. The question is then “How are these things avoided?” The answer can be summed up into one word, “Engagement”. Not just engagement between the trainer and the trainees, but most importantly engagement between the participants themselves. The ultimate goal would be for the trainer to be able to inspire discussion centered on the subject matter being presented amongst everyone in the room. This will then go towards encouraging positive group dynamics which adds to retaining the focused skills. The majority of the time, trainers would tend to think that having 2-way communication is the goal and yes, it should be to a certain extent, but in no way should it be the final destination on the training agenda. Having participants ask and answer questions just isn’t enough; they need to all work towards digging out insightful conclusions through discussions that can be brought about through activities revolving around pair work, group work, role-plays, debates or seminar-like activities. The trainer has to first use a couple of techniques beforehand (to warm the group up before going into group activities and discussions) which are:

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Trainer Billy Yongjiranon engages with workshop delegates.

• Socratic method: Using a series of questions to get the trainees to arrive to the conclusion themselves. This method usually begins a majority of open-ended questions that opens the floor to a lot of knowledge-sharing and discussion about the subject at hand. It works its way to a final point or points through closed-ended questions. It is used as a deductive method of coming to the information through self-realisation. For example, one can use questions such as “Why are you saying that?” or “What exactly does this mean?” • Individual presentations: The trainer can use individual activities, such as asking everyone to share what their goals are for the training, what they would like to learn, what their opinion is, or what would they like to take back The Socratic method should be used at a balanced proportion through the

training session to encourage critical thinking. The latter technique should be used at a minimum. Before the trainer dives right into further pro-group dynamic activities the trainer has to consider three things that are related to the mental agenda of the participants: 1. “I” Issues: Issues between the individual and the trainer. Who they are and how do they feel? This can be covered through the individual presentations as mentioned earlier. 2. “We” Issues: Relation between the individual and the peers in the group. These are group norms, culture, manners and behaviors. The trainer must take this into consideration before laying down ground rules. It is therefore important to study the background of the participants before the actual training. 3. “It” Issues: This is the subject


matter and content of the training itself. It is the reason for the training in the first place. What does it have to do with them? This should be pointed out at the beginning and constantly reminded to them throughout the training session. Once the trainer addresses the “I”, “We” and “It” issues, the trainer will also need to know how to control group dynamics. If there is a disturbance in the group, the trainer will need to know how to handle it. For example: Chatting between a couple of participants. The trainer can use a subtle approach by slowly moving closer to the group of people causing the distraction. Most of the time culprits would stop because psycho-

socially they sense that all attention in the room is now focused on them. This can be applied to texting, taking phone calls, the sleepy heads, etc. Another example would be the silent group, the participants that absolutely responds to none of the Socratic questions applied by the trainer. So how can one handle a group like this? The trainer should break them into pairs or groups and have them discuss a particular topic among themselves. After doing so, they should present it in front of the whole group to encourage discussion and interaction. All in all, being a trainer can be rough. It is no denying that every now and then the trainer will run into those

trainees that will chat away or snooze off, but that should be no reason to give up. The ideal trainer is the one who knows that engagement is the only way to remedy such undesired behaviours through group dynamics. By using a mix of techniques and activities such as the Socratic Method, addressing the “I”, “We”, and “It” issues, the trainer can be sure that they are taking the next step in becoming the effective trainer. Pachara (Billy) Yongjiranon is General Manager/Professional Corporate Trainer at Smart World Training & Corporate Development. Email: py@ smartworldasia.com

Rembrandt chalks up 20 years Bangkok’s Rembrandt Hotel has marked its 20th anniversary with a celebration party hosted by Managing Director Suphat Sivasriaumphai. The celebrations included a traditional ordination ceremony conducted by Buddhist monks as a means of obtaining blessings for a prosperous future and to express gratitude for 20 years of continued business success. Long service awards were also presented to a number of employees.

Making his Mark at Savills

M

ark Price has been appointed CEO for Savills Thailand. He began his career in London and moved to Hong Kong in 1990. he was previously in Bangkok in 1995-97 with Jones Lang Lasalle.

More recently, Mark has led DTZ’s agency services for Greater China, covering 18 cities and leading a team of 500 agency professionals. He also led the consultancy team advising the Shanghai government on the marketing and leasing of Shanghai Tower, a 632m tall mix-used tower which, when completed, will be the tallest building in China and second tallest building in the world.

The Link

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59


Member News

Full credit to Stevie G as Liverpool win in Thailand L iverpool soccer stars, including skipper Steven Gerrard (3rd from left), took centre stage at the Bangkok launch of sponsor Standard Chartered Bank’s new Liverpool credit card and LFC collectible gift cards.

Also pictured, from left to right, are Neeraj Swaroop - the Bank’s Regional CEO for south east Asia excluding Singapore, defenders Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Lyn Kok (far right), President and Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai).

Liverpool soccer stars play their cards right.

ing graphics of top players from the 1970s era up to the current squad. The Standard Chartered sponsor-

ship deal with Liverpool FC began in 2010 and has now been extended until the 2015-16 season.

Photo courtesy of Akarawit Asawasaksakul

The team’s visit to Thailand included a friendly match against the Thai national side at Rajamangala stadium. Liverpool won 3-0. The credit card is only available in Thailand. The collectible gift card set comes in four distinctive designs featur-

British Ambassador Mark Kent was guest of honour at Harrow International School Speech Day and Prize Giving with some 1,400 pupils, staff, parents and friends in attendance.

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Cornelius Donnhoff, one of Germany’s most famous winemakers, was at The Okura Prestige Bangkok to present his acclaimed range of Riesling wines. The evening was co-hosted by the hotel’s Sommelier Marc Bittner and chef de cuisine Cyril Cocconi who prepared a special menu featuring Brittany Blue lobsters.


Vinarco acquisition boosts IT capabilities V

inarco, the Asian-headquartered technical resource and service provider, has acquired Condita Outsourcing. Condita’s business focuses upon on Telecoms and IT, providing consultancy and hosting services to European firms particularly from Scandinavia and Finland. The newly-acquired company will be renamed Vinarco Technology Ltd and

will operate within the Group’s ICT division headed by Regional Managing Director Maro Simatovic.

He said, “This was a natural fit. Vinarco is expanding rapidly in the region and we needed extra capacity to cope with existing client demands, especially as they ramp up activities in Myanmar.”

Vinarco, established in 1993, provides technical consultancy services to the oil & gas, power, telecommunications, infrastructure and IT sectors in the Asia Pacific region. Vinarco has operating companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Dubai. The group’s regional HQ is in Thailand.

Another award for HSBC Thailand HSBC has been named ‘Best Sub-custodian Bank in Thailand’ by The Asset Magazine in its Triple A Awards 2013. Pictured are Siew Meng Tan ( far left), Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Thailand with Utumporn Viranuvatti, Head of HSBC Securities Services, Tanapot Parksuwan, Head of Global Banking and Asdaporn Vanabriksha ( far right), Chief Operating Officer. Integrated design agency dwp | next has teamed up with KA Hospitality in India to create a new Thai restaurant brand concept for roll-out across India and beyond. KA Hospitality owns the Hakkasan, Yauatcha and Otto Infinito restaurants in India. “KA Hospitality is one of the finest examples of such a brand, achieving international standards of excellence in hospitality. We are excited to be working together with KA Hospitality to bring world-class Thai cuisine dining experience concepts to India,” said the agency’s CEO Russell Paine, pictured right shaking hands on the deal with KA Hospitality Chairman Kishor Bajaj.

The Link

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61


Economic performance in 2011/2012 and forecasts for 2013:

Dataconsult

Chamber Events

2011

By the Numbers

2012

2013 Average

Range

Key assumptions Average economic growth, 14 key trading partners (%) Dubai oil price (USD/bbl)

Chris Bruton Director, Dataconsult Ltd.

T

hailand’s economy continues to present a positive outlook, despite the relatively weak performance indications arising in Europe and China. However the optimism of recent months has somewhat abated, as reflected in the latest forecasts for 2013 emanating from official government and private sector analysts. Ministry of Finance Fiscal Policy Office current forecasts are for 2013 GDP growth of 4.5 percent, which coincides with our own Dataconsult / IMA Asia forecasts. Meanwhile the Fiscal Policy Office forecast of inflation at 2.5 percent is slightly lower than our expectation of 2.8 percent. The anxieties earlier in the year of a dramatic strengthening of the Thai Baht against the US dollar have somewhat abated, with Fiscal Policy Office forecasts of Baht 30.00 for US dollar for 2013. Our own forecasts for the Thai Baht are at Baht 30.6 / 30.7 per US dollar during 2013 / 2014. However we anticipate that there will be

4.0

3.3

3.4

2.9 - 3.9

105.6

108.8

106.0

101.0 - 111.0

Export growth, USD (%)

5.6

0.6

1.1

0.1 - 2.1

Import growth, USD (%)

10.1

1.6

0.6

(-0.4) - (1.6)

USD/Thai Baht

30.50

31.10

30.00

29.0 - 31.0

1-day repurchase rate (%)

3.25

2.75

2.50

2.00 - 3.00

Public spending (bt tn)

2.77

2.89

3.16

3.11 - 3.21

Forecasts GDP growth (%)

0.1

6.5

4.5

4.0 - 5.0

Consumption growth (%)

1.3

6.8

3.6

3.1 - 4.1

• Private consumption (fixed price basis)

1.3

6.7

3.6

3.1 - 4.1

• Public consumption (fixed price basis)

1.1

7.5

3.7

3.2 - 4.2

Investment growth (%)

3.3

13.2

7.3

6.8 - 7.8

• Private investment (fixed price basis)

7.2

14.4

5.7

5.2 - 6.2

• Public investment (fixed price basis)

12.8 - 13.8

-8.7

8.9

13.3

Export growth, volume, goods and services (%)

9.5

3.1

6.5

5.5 - 7.5

Import growth, volume, goods and services (%)

13.7

6.2

6.5

6.0 - 7.0

Trade account (US$bn)

17.0

8.3

2.9

1.9 - 3.9

• Exports (US$bn) (% growth)

14.3

3.2

5.5

4.5 - 6.5

• Imports (US$bn) (% growth)

24.9

7.8

8.4

7.9 - 8.9

5.8

2.7

-2.2

(-4.0) - (-0.1) (-1.0) - (0.0)

Current account (US$bn)

3.8

0.8

-0.5

Inflation (%)

• % of GDP

3.8

3.0

2.5

2.0 - 3.0

Core inflation (%)

2.4

2.1

1.2

0.7 - 1.7

Unemployment (% of labour force)

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.6 - 0.8

Source: Fiscal Policy Office, Ministry of Finance

higher inflation, even reaching 4.3 percent, in 2014, and that the yearend Bank of Thailand policy rate while remaining at 2.75 percent through year-end 2013, may rise to 4.00 percent by year-end 2014. Much will depend on export performance, and in this respect, government and private sector forecasts for 2013 are becoming less optimistic, now standing at a growth of 5.5 percent in value, along with 8.4 percent by value for imports.

The big issues during the coming months will, however, be less about growth and export prospects, and more about public policy. Apart from the ever-present spectre of the amnesty proposals, the catastrophic rice price support scheme, the questionable flood prevention projects, and the massive Baht 2 trillion, infrastructure program, raise issues of medium-term stability which could override Thailand’s economic performance, however promising.

Thailand Statistical Update 2012/2013 Item

May

Apr

2013 Mar

Feb

Jan

Dec

Nov

Oct

2012 Sep Aug

Jul

Jun

Production Indicators Agricultural Production Index (y-on-y %)

0.5

-4.4

-0.7

0.2

6.0

49.5

-16.8

7.7

-3.6

10.2

14.6

7.3

Manufacturing Production Index (y-on-y %)

-7.5

-4.0

1.2

-1.2

10.3

23.1

85.5

36.2

-15.9

-11.2

-5.5

-9.5

Industrial Capacity Utilisation (%)

65.8

60.1

71.1

62.8

66.9

63.3

68.7

68.3

64.9

66.2

67.3

66.8

Key domestic product sales Electricity (KWH bn.)

15.47

14.14

15.20

13.03

13.24

13.51

14.03

14.40

13.81

14.26

14.42

14.18

Benzene/gasohol (mn. litres)

259.30

279.28

295.64

225.67

264.88

419.43

421.91

382.26

411.46

401.52

438.74

490.10

Beer (mn. litres)

141.60

149.08

177.14

118.51

142.12

177.58

188.94

170.77

142.34

145.82

141.96

136.49

Soda / soft drinks (mn. litres)

85.90

79.68

86.50

66.61

73.13

75.66

70.79

61.45

52.08

58.50

58.10

55.12

Passenger cars (000 units)

47.47

48.20

61.72

58.25

54.13

58.08

61.87

62.82

58.39

49.98

52.84

49.90

Motorcycles (000 units)

186.35

156.56

184.41

147.28

157.17

171.42

169.84

169.77

189.92

187.25

212.57

202.93

Commercial vehicles (000 units)

56.04

51.32

71.08

61.51

62.71

53.69

69.70

64.44

60.44

62.59

58.00

56.85

Cement (mn. metric tonnes)

3.02

2.51

3.23

2.91

2.93

2.60

2.52

2.78

2.66

2.70

2.67

2.61

Passenger cars (y-on-y %)

-5.8

22.9

93.4

92.1

108.6

162.7

509.9

263.7

67.8

71.7

99.6

84.2

Motorcycles (y-on-y %)

-11.4

7.2

0.04

-0.9

19.7

22.4

28.0

24.0

-1.3

-5.7

6.1

-4.2

Commercial vehicles (y-on-y %)

-1.4

26.5

12.2

14.0

36.6

155.8

445.8

206.8

39.4

57.4

65.5

68.3

Cement (y-on-y %)

16.8

17.7

16.2

14.3

16.9

8.6

24.0

30.9

11.4

11.9

12.9

7.7

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Item

May

Apr

2013 Mar

Feb

Jan

Dec

Nov

Oct

2012 Sep Aug

Jul

Jun 138.1

Producer / Consumer Price Indicators Producer Price Index

141.0

139.5

139.5

139.9

139.6

139.3

139.2

139.9

139.2

138.5

138.1

Change (m-on-m %)

1.1

0.0

-0.3

0.2

0.2

0.1

-0.5

0.5

0.5

0.3

0.0

-1.3

Change (y-on-y %)

0.8

-0.6

-0.3

0.1

0.6

0.9

0.6

1.1

0.1

0.1

0.7

-0.4 125.5

Construction Materials Price Index

125.4

125.7

125.8

125.8

125.4

124.8

124.1

124.3

124.9

120.9

125.1

Change (m-on-m %)

-0.2

-0.1

0.0

0.3

0.5

0.6

-0.2

-0.5

-0.1

0.2

-0.3

0.1

Change (y-on-y %)

0.0

0.2

1.1

1.8

1.9

1.4

1.0

2.0

5.8

3.7

3.6

4.5

Consumer Price Index (headline) (2011 = 100)

105.15

104.90

104.73

104.66

104.40

116.86

116.40

116.80

116.70

116.30

115.80

115.40

Change (m-on-m %)

0.24

0.16

0.07

0.21

0.16

0.39

-0.35

0.1

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.2

Change (y-on-y %)

2.3

2.4

2.7

3.2

3.4

3.6

2.7

3.3

3.4

2.7

2.7

2.6

103.0

102.9

102.9

102.9

102.8

108.9

108.8

108.8

108.8

108.5

108.3

108.3

Change (m-on-m %)

0.05

0.06

-0.01

0.09

0.08

0.04

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.0

0.2

Change (y-on-y %)

0.9

1.2

1.2

1.6

1.6

1.8

1.9

1.8

1.9

1.8

1.9

1.9

Industrial Confidence Index

94.3

92.9

93.5

95.5

97.3

98.8

95.2

93.0

94.1

98.5

98.7

102.7

Business Sentiment Index

53.9

48.8

54.4

51.2

51.1

50.6

52.0

52.1

49.9

50.2

51.7

51.5

Private Consumption Index

147.5

147.4

147.8

149.0

150.0

147.3

150.0

148.1

155.3

147.0

147.5

146.9

Private Investment Index

239.0

240.7

245.1

246.2

253.2

251.5

252.7

247.7

247.4

248.1

250.3

247.9

40.1

42.2

37.9

32.4

33.1

35.4

36.6

34.5

30.2

29.5

29.1

27.6

Core Inflation (2011 = 100)

Consumption & Confidence Indicators

Consumer Confidence Index Fuel Prices Benzene 91 (Baht per litre)

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

45.70

43.99

43.46

43.60

43.35

43.07

43.45

41.81

40.39

29.99

29.99

29.99

29.95

29.79

29.79

29.79

29.79

29.93

29.89

29.74

29.58

Manufactured products (Baht bn.)

505.21

448.44

548.56

466.10

489.22

490.45

519.37

518.09

539.94

520.43

522.61

537.99

Agricultural products (Baht bn.)

39.81

39.42

49.39

45.20

51.64

46.23

47.97

52.46

40.05

48.37

52.53

39.47

Total exports (Baht bn.)

565.81

506.21

615.36

529.53

554.93

551.57

595.78

597.48

648.61

621.32

610.94

616.33

Total exports (y-on-y %)

-5.2

2.9

4.5

-5.8

16.1

13.4

26.9

15.6

0.2

-6.9

-4.5

-2.3

Diesel (Baht/litre) Foreign Trade of Thailand: exports

Foreign Trade of Thailand: imports Consumer goods (Baht bn.)

51.29

47.48

47.52

47.05

60.92

45.22

55.17

53.24

50.74

54.55

52.16

48.07

Raw materials (Baht bn.)

367.16

362.92

355.44

300.26

372.24

327.43

347.41

379.60

355.14

383.34

397.09

382.22

Capital goods (Baht bn.)

150.53

150.66

147.85

127.57

165.95

160.81

181.85

168.80

158.22

167.14

161.88

152.54

Other Imports (Baht bn.)

70.94

73.64

83.42

108.00

131.50

97.95

63.70

79.72

56.00

56.19

62.41

54.34

Total Imports (Baht bn.)

639.92

634.70

649.23

582.88

730.61

631.4

648.13

681.36

620.09

661.22

673.54

637.17

Total Imports (y-on-y %)

-2.1

8.9

-13.6

6.3

40.9

4.7

24.5

21.6

-7.7

-8.8

13.7

1.9

Tourism Indicators Suvarnabhumi Arrivals (000 persons)

1,281

1,354

1,546

1,512

1,366

1,566

1,428

1,181

1,071

1,249

1,203

1,080

Change (y-on-y %)

25.14

21.81

26.63

27.47

10.56

42.31

95.64

28.78

8.23

12.67

7.05

12.09

Nationwide Arrivals (000 persons)

1,846

2,013

2,259

2,328

2,241

2,384

2,073

1,714

1,603

1,925

1,799

1,624

Change (y-on-y %)

19.36

19.38

19.19

25.60

12.50

30.37

60.57

20.53

7.87

11.54

4.63

9.44

Hotel Occupancy Rate (%)

61.61

63.34

68.25

74.2

69.26

69.19

67.61

57.65

54.20

60.77

57.47

52.75

Commercial Banking Indicators Loans (Baht billion)

n.a

11,563.1

11,610.1

11,389.5

11,241.6

11,075.0

11,014.8

10,850.7

10,639.5

10,664.7

10,369.5

10,221.4

Deposits (Baht billion)

n.a

10,398.0

10,353.9

10,263.3

10,223.1

10,159.7

10,105.1

10,028.2

9,866.6

9,751.4

9,400.3

9,017.2 1,172.11

Stock Exchange and Foreign Investment indicators SET Index (1975 = 100)

1,562.07

1,597.86

1,561.06

1,541.58

1,474.20

1,391.93

1,324.04

1,298.87

1,298.79

1,227.48

1,199.30

Market Capitalisation (bn. Baht)

13,432

13,649

13,286

13,137

12,542

11,831

11,091

10,856

10,775

10,175

9,941

9,709

Foreign Purchase (bn. Baht)

251.56

215.77

258.05

196.96

252.28

165.89

235.91

180.23

156.60

138.72

149.31

136.26

Foreign Sale (bn. Baht)

141.92

256.7

235.6

251.8

214.3

237.2

142.8

229.73

198.12

153.33

140.80

149.02

Foreign Direct Investment (net, bn. Baht)

n.a.

47.70

33.72

10.28

-1.95

-10.5

16.19

25.75

-3.55

31.94

35.28

6.79

Foreign Portfolio Investment (net, bn. Baht)

n.a

-1.27

53.91

9.30

112.78

36.50

-1.71

23.13

74.65

37.99

21.51

52.52

Applications (Baht bn.)

59.8

233.1

114.0

86.7

71.3

540.7

87.7

60.6

120.5

119.5

89.5

98.7

Approvals (Baht bn.)

84.2

56.6

209.0

29.8

32.5

170.1

40.6

72.9

108.0

183.5

70.5

40.1

Certificates (Baht bn.)

143.5

47.3

54.0

111.3

53.8

73.4

50.5

167.2

88.7

56.1

47.8

57.9

Board of Investment indicators

International monetary indicators US$ / Baht (mid-rate)

29.78

29.07

29.52

29.82

30.07

30.64

30.71

30.70

31.00

31.43

31.65

31.65

ÂŁ / Baht (mid-rate)

45.51

44.45

44.52

46.28

48.03

49.44

49.03

49.34

49.92

49.40

49.36

49.24

Euro / Baht (mid-rate)

38.62

37.80

38.26

39.88

39.94

40.19

39.40

39.78

39.86

38.99

38.94

39.72

Japan (100) Yen / Baht (mid-rate)

29.48

29.80

31.16

32.05

33.81

36.57

37.96

38.92

39.67

39.96

40.07

39.92 19.50

Exports (f.o.b. US$ billion)

19.50

17.25

20.49

17.77

17.92

17.95

19.33

19.13

20.48

19.56

19.25

Imports (f.o.b. US$ billion)

18.96

18.87

18.52

17.19

20.74

17.67

18.70

19.27

17.50

18.02

18.76

17.89

Trade balance (US$ mn)

534.74

-1,619.75

1,975.18

574.65

-2,820.60

283.21

627.14

-145.60

2,982.37

1,540.72

482.79

1,611.21

-1,050.91

-3,361.29

1,935.89

1,568.18

-2,236.80

730.48

392.4

-199.42

1,769.06

857.89

119.81

607.23

Balance of payments ( US$ mn.)

Current account balance ( US$ mn)

354.70

305.40

-65.10

1,637.50

1,029.70

799.20

1,203.10

-1,293.30

2,171.10

2,447.00

514.90

518.60

Foreign currency reserves ( US$ bn.)

175.26

178.37

177.80

179.27

181.71

181.61

181.63

181.43

183.63

179.23

175.37

174.69

Statistical sources: these statistics have been derived from the following official sources: Bank of Thailand, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Finance (Department of Customs, Fiscal Policy Office), Ministry of Industry, Board of Investment, Immigration Department, Stock Exchange of Thailand. The above statistics represent the principal economic indicators for Thailand, but the original sources provide much more extensive and detailed coverage of different aspects of the economy. Statistics as presented are, in most cases, provisional figures, which will be adjusted at a later date when final returns are available from the respective sources. While best efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, readers are referred to original sources for definitive statistics. Note: month-by-month figures are updated as adjustments are made in the original statistical sources

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Chamber Events BCCT-Tesco Lotus Bangkok Masters Football 1-2 June 2013 The BCCT-Tesco Lotus Bangkok Masters Football Tournament took place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June at NIST. It was a great success with more than 30 multi-national amateur teams competing in four age groups from over 35s to over 50s.

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Chamber Events

BCCT Football Dinner 1 June 2013 KIS International School, 9 Active and WorkForce Asia Group sponsored a BCCT football dinner on Saturday 1st June at the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel.

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Chamber Events

BCCT Annual Lecture & Dinner 17 June 2013 On Monday 17th June H.E. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was guest speaker at the BCCT Annual Lecture and Dinner sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank

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Chamber Events

BCCT Half-Day Workshop (Procurement Into The Future) 4 June 2013 On Tuesday 4th June BCCT held a half-day workshop on ‘Procurement into the Future’ at BCCT Office.

BCCT Pub Night 4 June 2013 The first BCCT pub night on Tuesday 4th June at the Tenderloins Sports Bar & Steak House was an enjoyable evening.

The facilitator (standing) was Andy Skowronski, Director of A. & C. Associates.

BCCT Deputy Director Jyoti Sachavirawong (left) with Clementine Hazeran, Oxford Business Group

BCCT Breakfast Briefing

UKTI Contract Signing

7 June 2013

13 June 2013

On Friday 7th June Infinity Marketing Solutions sponsored the breakfast briefing on topic “Diversification & Beyond: Investment Strategy for a Global World”.

On Thursday 13th June BCCT Chairman Simon Landy and British Ambassador Mark Kent jointly signed an agreement between BCCT and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for BCCT to undertake some of UKTI’s services on behalf of British companies. The signing was witnessed by visiting British Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint.

BCCT Vice Chairman Chris Thatcher (left) with speaker Gareth Lewis, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Investment Management at Bestinvest.

From left to right: - H.E. Mark Kent, British Ambassador - Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint - Simon Landy, Colliers/BCCT Chairman

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Chamber Events

Special BCCT Lunch (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint)

BCCT/AMCHAM/AustCham Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening

13 June 2013

14 June 2013

British Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint was guest speaker at the Special BCCT lunch on Thursday 13th June. His topic was ‘Raising our game in supporting trade & investment between the UK and Thailand’. The event was sponsored by HSBC.

AustCham hosted the joint ESB Networking Evening with BCCT, AMCHAM and SATCC on Friday 14th June at the Hilton Pattaya.

Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint

David Bell, Traincom (left) with Simon Matthews, Manpower Group/BCCT Vice Chairman

Luncheon Address by the New Chairman of Thailand Board of Trade

BCCT One-Day Workshop (Professional Grooming)

18 June 2013

20 June 2013

On Tuesday 18th June AustCham hosted the joint luncheon address by the new chairman of the Board of Trade (BOT) and Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) Khun Isara Vongkusolkij. The topic was ‘BOT Priorities and the Outlook for Business in Thailand

The BCCT Management Development Group (MDG) organised a Thai language one-day workshop on Professional Grooming on Thursday 20th June.

Khun Isara Vongkusolkij, Chairman of Board of Trade (BOT) and Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC)

Facilitator Khun Varitthorn Sreesai of Consumer Banking Academy of Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) PCL (standing sixth from left) with participants

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Thank you to our sponsors and partners.


Chamber Events

T3 – Third Thursday Networking Evening

Special BCCT Lunch (TAT Governor)

20 June 2013

28 June 2013

On Thursday 20th June The Oriental Residence kindly sponsored the T3 networking evening at Mandopop Restaurant.

At the BCCT Luncheon sponsored by Ipsos Business Consulting the Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand Khun Suraphon Svetasreni delivered an interesting presentation on Thailand’s Tourism Sector - The Future.

From left to right: - Simon Landy, Colliers/BCCT Chairman - Alexander Blair, Oriental Residence - Siew Meng Tan, HSBC/BCCT Director - Simon Matthews, Manpower Group/BCCT Vice Chairman

Khun Suraphon Svetasreni, TAT Governor

BCCT Pub Night

An evening with the Lord Mayor of Perth, Lisa Scaffidi

2 July 2013

11 July 2013 On Tuesday 2 July the Londoner kindly hosted the BCCT pub night.

The BCCT Professional Women’s Group together with AustCham and Australia Alumni hosted An Evening with the Lord Mayor of Perth, Lisa Scaffidi on Thursday 11th July at the Decanter Restaurant, The St. Regis Bangkok Hotel.

From left to right: - Ben Raby, British Embassy - Kim Clarke, British Embassy - Jyoti Sachavirawong, BCCT - Haydn Drew, The Londoner

From left to right: - M.L. Laksasubha Kridakon, Baan Laksasubha Resort Hua Hin/AustCham Vice President - Lisa Scaffidi, Lord Mayor of Perth - Belinda Skinner, Top Talent Asia/AustCham Vice President

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Chamber Events

Joint Boardroom Brief lunch: Digital Advertising in Thailand

BCCT Two Day Workshop (Train the Trainers)

16 July 2013

17 & 18 July 2013

On Tuesday 16 July BCCT joined with AustCham, TCCC, STCC and SATCC to organise the Joint Boardroom Brief lunch on the topic of Digital Advertising in Thailand.

On Wednesday 17th & Thursday 18th July BCCT organised a two-day workshop on Train the Trainers at Shangri-La Hotel.

Speaker (standing) was Magnus Barsoe, Strategic Account Director of Edge Asia Thailand

The facilitator (fourth from left) was Khun Pachara (Billy) Yongjiranon of Smart World Asia

T3- Third Thursday Networking Evening 18 July 2013 On Thursday 18th July The Shangri-La Hotel kindly hosted and sponsored the monthly T3 networking evening.

From left to right: - Andrew McBean, Grant Thornton/BCCT Director - Sivaporn Chaiyasuta, Shangri-La Hotel - Marlon Hirsh, Shangri-La Hotel - Simon Matthews, Manpower Group/BCCT Vice Chairman

The Shangri-La Hotel was a very popular venue for our T3 networking evening.

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Comings and Goings The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand welcomes the following new members: 9 Active Co., Ltd. 41, The Olympic Suite Trendy Building, Sukhumvit Soi 13 Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 81 874 1331 Website: www.9active.com

Representative: Mr. Simon Littlewood, Managing Director Business Activity: We at 9 Active Co., Ltd believe sport has the power to passionately engage and reach people in a manner unmatched by other mediums. Our mission is to connect corporate brands in Asia with World leading sporting properties through innovative, customised marketing partnerships which increases brand engagement and drive brand awareness and loyalty.

ACH Management Co., Ltd. 23rd Floor, Chamnan Phenjati Business Centre, 65/196, Rama 9 Road Huaykwang, Bangkok 10310 T: +66 (0) 2643-8031 F: +66 (0) 2643-8032 Website: www.Achmanagement.com

Association of Life Partners Ltd. 2-3-1 2009 Atago Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0002 Japan T: 81-50-5806-8880 F: 81-50-3737-0729

Representative: Mr. Philip James Fletcher-Wilson, CEO Business Activity: Association of Life Partners (ALP), has an established reputation for providing clients with creative and pragmatic financial advice. Our approach is comprehensive and tailored, with an emphasis on providing a personal service that addresses all aspects of a clients holdings and circumstances.

Bangpakok 9 International Hospital 362, Rama 2 Road, Bangmod Jomthong, Bangkok 10150 T: +66 (0) 2877-1111 F: +66 (0) 2877-2222 Website: www.bagpakokhospital.com

Representative: Mr. Bruce Hill, Managing Director

Representative: Ms. Naowarat Namtian, International Marketing Manager / Western Region

Business Activity: Project Management and Quantity Surveying, Cost Control, Offices in Thailand and Cambodia, Thailand since 1999

Business Activity: Tertiary care Hospital Bangpakok 9 International Hospital is a tertiary and private hospital located in Bangkok Thailand. We

provide healthcare with world-class standard to local and International customers. Our Specialized Centers include: Heart Center, Plastic Surgery Center, Happy Long Life Center, Aesthetic & Skin Center, Orthopedic Center, Rehabilitation Center, Cancer Center, Women’s Center, Dental Center, etc. Our International Customer Services (ICS) serves people of all cultures and our International team gives full attention to the need of international patients. Our interpreters speak multilingual: English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Bahasa, Tagalog, Amharic and Dutch. We offer airport and immigration services, international insurance claim assistance and in-house Residence services. At Bangpakok 9 International Hospital, we ensure a welcoming experience for everyone

Beach Republic (Samui) Co., Ltd 176/34, Moo4, Tambon Maret Amphur Koh Samui Suratthani 84310 T: (0) 77 458 100 F: (0) 77 458 101 Website: www.beachrepublic.com

Representative: Mr. Timothy Dean-Smith, Managing Director Business Activity: Beach Republic Group is a developer and operator of hotels, residences, and resorts. The group’s flagship project is Beach Republic on Koh Samui. Expansion throughout Asia Pacific is expected in the coming years.

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Chuchawal-Royal Haskoning Ltd. 8th Floor, Asoke Towers Office Building, 219/25, Asoke Road, Sukhumvit 21, Klongtoey-Nua Wattana, Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2259-1186 F: +66 (0) 2260-2506 Website: www.chuchawalroyalhaskoning. com

Representative: Mr. Chaivut Saengaram, Chief Operating Officer Business Activity: Chuchawal-Royal Haskoning has civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, process, water and environmental engineers. The company can provide design, cost engineering and consultancy services as well as project management, construction and safety management. Our services include feasibility studies, design and design specifications, tender documents, evaluation and selection of contractors, scheduling, cost estimating and cost control, SHE and construction management and supervision.

The Continent Hotel Bangkok 413, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtey nua Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2686-7000 F: +66 (0) 2686-7007 Website: www.thecontinenthotel.com

Representative: Mr. Zaki Baz, General Manager Business Activity: The Continent Hotel, Bangkok is an absorbing and expressive business,

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leisure and lifestyle hotel. Endowed with an unbeatable address at the intersection of Sukhumvit and Asoke roads (often referred to as the “Crossroads of Bangkok”) it is positioned right in the heart of Sukhumvit between Soi 21 and Soi 23. Within walking distance is the BTS Asoke sky train, MRT Sukhumvit station, international shopping destinations like Terminal 21, Robinson and more. The thrilling nightlife entertainment area and tourist attractions are close by.

Euro Creations Co., Ltd. 1050, Soi Sukhumvit 66/1 Bangjak, Phrakanong, Bangkok 10260 T: +66 (0) 2744-9624-5 F: +66 (0) 2744-9587 Website: www.eurocreations.co.th

Representative: Mr. Kevin Gambir, Vice President Business Development Business Activity: Retail Business: Euro Creations is an exclusive distributor of luxury furniture and home-furnishing brands from Europe including Giorgetti, Christopher Guy, Flexform Mood, Natuzzi and many more. Our retail business supplies the finest quality in home decorating and furnishing to private residences in Thailand and neighboring countries. We have collections of classic, contemporary and modern brands. Contract Business: In addition to Euro Creations’ Retail Business, we also cater to various developers fitting out high-end residential and hospitality projects. With the experience we have gathered from being a luxury furnishings retailer, Euro Creations delivers the finest products and services, to our partners in residential

developments and luxury living projects.

Faithful+Gould 47th Floor, 195 Empire Tower, Unit 4703, South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 T: +66 (0) 2686 3423 F: +66 (0) 2686 3433 M: +66 (0) 84548 3505 Website: www.fgould.com Email: colin.bird@fgould.com

Representative: Mr. Colin Bird, MSc, MCIOB, Regional Director (Thailand) Business Activity: Faithful+Gould is a multinational cost and project management consultancy firm that provides constructive expertise for construction and engineering projects in transport, property and industry.

Hammerhead Technologies Chalong, Phuket 83100 Website: www.hammerheadtechnologies.com

Representative: Mr. Jon Roberts, Sales & Marketing Director Business Activity: Hammerhead Technologies, as a Microsoft business partner, has delivered some of the latest cuttingedge software products available.


From our unique medical BPM called PRAMS, or website CMS we have been transforming the way businesses deliver exceptional customer service and maximize potential. We also have resident experts in cloud computing, hardware/software consultation and SEO.

Image Asia Events Co., Ltd. 90/5 Moo 2, Chaofa Rd. West T. Vichit, A. Muang, Phuket 83000 T: +66 (0) 76-264-491 F: +66 (0) 76-264-454 Website: www.image-asia.com

Business Activity: We are experts in: Corporate Strategy, Business Unit Strategy, Functional Strategy Increasing Consumer Consumption & Shopper Buying: Leveraging Insight, Ideation & Innovation, Portfolio & Brand Growth, Shopper Marketing Activation Creating the Best Organisations: Market Benchmarking, Integrated Demand Planning, Transforming Customer & Shopper Marketing, Transforming Sales Organisations Competitive Customer Strategy: Category Vision & Strategy, Compelling Commercial Propositions, Successful Customer Strategy, Joint Business Planning, Optimised Trade Terms, Profitable Expanded Growth, Distributor Strategy & Management

Representative: Mr. Grenville Fordham, MD Business Activity: One of Phuket’s leading publishers, with a 12-year track record of effective distribution, IMAGE asia focuses on top value, innovative, high circulation and carefully targeted print and electronic media. Our portfolio embraces six print publications and six websites, with more under development. Pantone 287

CMYK:

CMYK:

99% Cyan

100% black

Representative: Mr. Vudthi Natthamethikul, Managing Director Mr. Pichet Buranastidporn, Deputy Managing Director Business Activity: Jim Thompson is a fully integrated textile company with mulberry plantations, silkworm egg and cocoon production, silk reeling (filature), yarn spinning, hank-spray and cone dyeing, chenille and fancy yarn spinning; handloom, electronic jacquard and velvet machine weaving; flat, rotary and digital inkjet printing and the finishing of silk, linen, cotton and various blends of these and many other fibers.

Irwin Executive Services Co., Ltd. 6 Floor, 122 Ekudom Building Siphraya, Bangrak Bangkok 10500 T: +66 (0) 2631-5501 F: +66 (0) 2631-5501 Website: www.iesthailand.com

JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok 4 Sukhumvit Soi 2, Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2656-7700 F: +66 (0) 2656-7711 Website: www.jwmarriottbangkokhotel. com

Representative: Mr. Andrew Elliott, Director

Representative: Mr. Peter Caprez, General Manager

Business Activity: International educational and training consultancy

Business Activity: Experience true Thai hospitality with all the personal touches and comforts that make you feel right at home, only better. With a location that puts this entire vibrant city at your fingertips, accommodations meant to inspire, an endless array of exceptional culinary delights and renowned JW’s Health Club & Spa for a reenergizing workout or rejuvenating massage, JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok’s service is crafted for discerning business travelers, social and business events deliberately for unforgettable experiences.

94% Magenta 15% Yellow 5% Black

In Deed Strategy Into Action (Thailand) Ltd. 52/120, Grand Langsuan Offices Unit A, 3rd Floor, Soi Langsuan Pleonchit Road, Lumpini Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 T: +66 (0) 2657-1980 F: +66 (0) 2657-1981 Website: www.in-deed.com

Representative: Mr. Ian Guttridge, Principal Consultant

Jim Thompson The Thai Silk Company Limited 96 Soi Peungmee 29 Sukhumvit 93 Road Phrakanong, Bangkok 10260 T: 66 (0) 2762 2600 F: 66 (0) 2762 2609 E: office@jimthompson.com Website: www.jimthompson.com

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Kingdom Property Co., Ltd. 225, Moo 9, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 T: +66 (0) 38-416-441 F: +66 (0) 38-416-448 Website: www.kingdomproperty.com

Representative: Mr. Nigel Cornick, Chief Executive Officer Business Activity: More than 40 years experience in real estate, valuation, property management, development and asset management. CEO of Raimon Land from 2001 to 2009. Pipeline of his projects valued at over THB40 billion. Driving force behind Pattaya landmarks Northshore and Northpoint, Phuket luxury development The Heights and Kata Gardens, The Lakes in Bangkok, as well as Bangkok icons-in-the-making The River and 185 Rajadamri. After a three-year stint as CEO of global full service real estate management company Binswanger Brooker, Nigel has taken up the reins at Kingdom Property which currently focuses on building a real estate portfolio in Pattaya and Southpoint Pattaya is the first condominium project.

Lucy Asia Pacific SDN BHD L13A-03-03A, PJX-HM Shah Tower, No 16A, Persiaran Barat, Petaling Jaya, Selangor 46050, Malaysia T: +603 25 223 390 F: +603 79 316 923 Website: www.lucyswitchgear.com

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Representative: Mr. Carl Sellick, Global Sales & Marketing Director Business Activity: We are a leader in secondary power distribution solutions with over 100 years’ experience. We enable the safe and reliable distribution of energy to homes and businesses worldwide.

Myanmar Business Ventures Co. Ltd. 148/L, A One Street, Pyay Road Yangon, Myanmar T: +95 9 420008208 Email: info@myanmarbv.com

Representative: Mr. Wim Somers, Managing Director Business Activity: Business Strategy & Development; Strategic Marketing; Market Entry Advisory

Ricoh (Thailand) Limited 341, Onnuj Road, Prawet Prawet, Bangkok 10250 T: +66 (0) 2762 1223 Website: www.ricoh.co.th

Representative: Mrs. Charinee Senanarong, Senior Manager - Office Products & Consulting

Business Activity: Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in printing and document management systems and IT services. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Robert J Griffiths Ltd 36 Egerton Road, Davenport Stockport SK38SR Office in Thailand: Design Bedding Co.,Ltd 91/251 Suwinthawong Road, Minburi, Bangkok 10510 T: +66(0)2159-9710 F: +66(0)2159-9713 Website: www.designbedding.co.th Email: sales@robertjgriffiths.com; sompong@designbedding.co.th

Representative: Mr.Sompong Jaroongkiratiwong, Managing Director in Thailand Mr. Robert Griffiths, Managing Director Business Activity: Design Bedding is a luxury retailer of bespoke beds, bed linen and soft furnishings all hand made to order in England. Customers include British Royalty, footballers and other world wide celebrities.

Sahaviriya Steel Industries Public Company Limited 2-3 Floor, 28/1, Prapawit Building Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 T: +66 (0) 2238-3063-82 F: +66 (0) 2236-8892 website: www.ssi-steel.com


Resignations & Cancellation:

Representative: Mr. Win Viriyaprapaikit, President & Group CEO Business Activity: Sahaviriya Steel Industries PLC or SSI is the ASEAN’s largest fully-integrated flat steel producer with 4 million tons annual capacity of hot rolled steel sheet in coils (HRC). In the upstream side, SSI has acquired SSI Teesside, a 3.6 million tons per annum fully-integrated iron-steel making plant located in Redcar in the northeast of UK to supply premium-grade steel slabs to feed the growing demands from SSI, as well as other rolling mills around the world. In the downstream side, SSI has investments in joint-venture downstream plants: Thai Cold Rolled Steel Sheet PLC (TCRSS). All SSI’s plants in Thailand are located on a coastal industrial site in Bangsaphan, Prachuap Khirikhan Province, 400km south of Bangkok, a site efficiently integrated with a privately-owned deep-sea port (Prachuap Port Co., Ltd., or PPC), which allows import of raw materials and export of finished products in large economy of scale. SSI also extends its engineering capabilities into its fully-owned subsidiary, West Coast Engineering Co., Ltd., or WCE, which specializes in engineering, maintenance, spare parts production, and fabrication.

Representative: Mr. Paul Westover, Partner Business Activity: Stephenson Harwood is a fullservice international law firm, with more than 120 partners and 600 staff worldwide. The firm has seven offices across Europe and Asia including, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris, Piraeus, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing. Through our extensive international network of offices and affiliates, we are also able to provide clients with quality resources and expert local knowledge throughout Asia, and in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Stephenson Harwood’s extended Asian foot print includes associations with Indonesian law firm Christian Teo Purwano & Partners, Singapore law firm, Virtus Law LLP and Myanmar law firm, U Tin Yu & Associates. The firm has a long history of acting as a gateway between East and West since 1867 when the firm’s founder started practising in Shanghai. With over 30 years’ presence in Asia and being one of the few international law firms first entering in China in the 1990’s, it has unparalleled experience in assisting local, regional and international companies in a full spectrum of legal services. The Greater China practice has over 150 staff, including 17 partners and 80 fee earners and our Singapore office has over 52 staff, including 8 Partners and 22 fee earners.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Abbeycrest (Thailand) Limited Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11 Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok Cookson Precious Metals (Thailand) Ltd.

New Company Representatives: 1. AstraZeneca (Thailand) Ltd., changed from Mr. Reginald Seeto, to Mr. Jonathan Walker 2. BAE Systems (International) Limited, changed from Mr. Alistair Castle, to Mr. Ryan Ives 3. Barclays Capital Securities (Thailand) Ltd, changed from Mr. Michael Ly, to Ms. Sureerat Piyayodilokchai 4. BSI Group (Thailand) Co., Ltd. changed from Mrs. Pharithacha Petchrungruengphol, to Mr. Bowonchai Sojiphan 5. Raimon Land Public Company Limited, changed from Mr. Hubert Viriot, to Mr. Johnson Tan 6. Robert Walters Recruitment (Thailand) Ltd., changed from Mr. James Vessey, to Mr. Gerrit Bouckaert 7. SDL, changed from Mr. Chris Tew, to Ms. Hana Mujadzic Members with new addresses: 1. Pattaya Mail Publishing Co., Ltd. 62/284-286 Moo 12 Thepprasit Road, Tambol Nongprue, Amphur Banglamung, Chonburi 20150

Stephenson Harwood 35th Floor, Bank of China Tower 1 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong T: +852 2533-2755 F: +852 3150-3755 Website: www.shlegal.com

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FINAL WORD

Judge caught offside by Tevez transfer By Dale Lawrence

F

ootballer Carlos Tevez found the perfect way to avoid a soft penalty imposed by a criminal court in Manchester. Found guilty of numerous motoring offences, including driving while disqualified and without insurance, Tevez skipped the 250 hours of community service imposed by the court – by moving to Turin. When Judge Bridget Knight was informed about his transfer to Italian club Juventus she waved a flimsy yellow card and imposed a fine of just £3,000. That’s equivalent to about five minutes work for the Argentinian international, assuming he’s on the pitch for two full matches every week.

Stumped by the Parish Council Spare a thought for the members of Bacton Cricket Club in Norfolk. After 37 years of crying ‘howzat’ at the village’s Cubitt Memorial playing fields they’ve been forced to move because the Parish Council refuses to let them use proper cricket balls. Cricket club chairman David Gale is understandably baffled. “We are a cricket team. How are we supposed to practise without cricket balls,” he asked. “Are they expecting us to use tennis balls?” Despite no reported injuries from bystanders in the club’s 37 year history of playing at the Cubitt Memorial playing field, councillors imposed

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Issue 4/2013

Carlos Tevez

Judge Knight stated that the move to Turin ‘was only a technical breach and not a case of a footballer thumbing his nose at a court order’.

the ban on cricket balls to ‘protect the public’. The club is now playing cricket at nearby North Walsham where, it would appear, local councillors have yet to be display any symptoms of ‘elf and safety’ madness.

Vested interests Recent visitors to Blighty may have spotted a worrisome outbreak of bright yellow garments. An epidemic of hi-visibility vests is sweeping the High Streets of Britain’s towns and cities. Everyone’s wearing one. Postman Pat is unmistakable from a distance of at least 200 yards. Blunkett’s Bobbies, the glorified traffic wardens now called Community Service Officers, stride purposely but not always in step as they shine more brightly

Legal eagle Glyn Lewis, who represented Tevez, boasts the moniker ‘Merlin the Magician’ on his firm’s website because of his ability to make motoring offences disappear. The company website adds that Lewis ‘has concentrated on his passion for defending motorists and developing a track record of unrivalled success in cases ranging from minor speeding, traffic light and mobile phone infringements to the most serious cases of drink driving and death by dangerous driving’. It claims that ‘countless motorists have benefited from his resolute and resourceful approach’ – including an unrepentant Tevez. Perhaps he will be taking taxis in Turin.

than a Caribbean sunrise. Even those pesky charity merchandisers are wearing them. Students, mostly, with large letters on their chests. OXFAM, RSPCA, IDIOT. ‘Sign here, pay just £10 a month and adopt your very own Komodo dragon’. Fortunately you can now spot ‘em at 50 paces, giving ample opportunity to cross the street.

And finally... British Airways is letting you turn on your mobile phones immediately after landing - but before the aircraft has reached the gate. I can hear it now. Three hundred excited passengers announcing in unison ‘Hello darling - I’ve just landed’. Pass me the sick bag……..


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BCCT The Link magazine #4 2013  

The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand bi-monthly magazine

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