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BANGKOK

BUSINESS BRIEF

Vol. No. 2, Issue No. 3

Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

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Travelin’ man Interviewed By Alan Verstein

A BBB exclusive interview with government officials. Is there Amata Corp’s Chairman, Vikrom anything you feel you’ve learned Kromadit: that people in Thailand can learn from you? BBB: During your travels, you’ve met with many individuals and Vikrom Kromadit: I travelled over 42,000 kilometers during two trips that lasted nine months in total. I found many things.

Inside

General Interest Production Finance/Investment Government/Economy Retail/Services Tourism Real Estate IT/Comms The Chambers The Calendar

2 3 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 22

Second, I found changes in city environments and economics. I went to China for the first time in 1980. I went to Vietnam in 1991. Laos, of course, was the same. Because of this, I could feel the economic progress very deeply when I looked at today and then thought back about history. The economic growth seems nonstop First, I really feel that Asia has so and the angle is very steep commany interesting and different pared to other countries. cultures. While travelling by car from village to village, province Of course, China is the most acto province, city to city, we saw tive. I don’t think I’ve seen any many differences in cultures that country that had such a great we’d never seen before. We went change in the last 20 years. They to very remote areas and very de- opened their doors about 30 years veloped cities. So the first thing I ago, but in the past 20 years, we’ve found was the culture. seen the most change. After they

adjusted the peoples’ philosophy, the environment, the infrastructure development… the last 20 years has seen many changes. I think that if China doesn’t have any internal problems or changes in politics, they should be able to surpass America. The first thing a country needs is stability. It also needs direction. You need to have the people moving in the same direction. That is one incredible thing I learned from my trip. When you look at China you have to ask, “How can a country of this size with so many people achieve this?” There are so many languages and culStory continues on Page 20


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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs General Interest

http://goo.gl/ozbNM

Five fatal mistakes made by job-seekers In my last column, “How to Make the Headhunter Hate You”, I looked at five faux pas committed by people in the course of applying and interviewing for new jobs. To recap briefly, they were: getting people’s names wrong, an overlong resume, dressing for the disco instead of for an interview, failing to prepare, and faking your qualifications. But it gets worse: • “You forgot to mention that allowance of 25,000 baht”: At the end of any recruitment process, we start negotiating compensation and benefits. The headhunter will usually liaise with both parties as a buffer, just to ensure there are no hard feelings because of some tough negotiations. Once you have tabled all the details

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Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: of your current package, it’s a killer in any discussion, suddenly and late in the process, to claim that you forgot to mention the 25,000-baht allowance you also receive every month. Honestly, we all look stupid in the eyes of the prospective employers, who no doubt will see this as a scheme to deceive or outwit them. To pull this trick out of the hat when the employer has tabled you an offer makes you look either... Full story at http://goo.gl/g821z

Jet set ready for take-off

Thailand’s super-rich are playing catch-up with their counterparts abroad in owning a private jet, regarded as the ultimate status symbol. Taking possession of executive jets is becoming fashionable with very well-heeled individuals and families seeking to fly their own aircraft both for business and pleasure. “It’s becoming trendy and more visible now among Thailand’s super-rich to have a status symbol of luxurious private jets,” said Jaiya-

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

vat Navaraj, executive chairman of Mjets, Thailand’s largest largest private jet charter service provider. He said several affluent Thais seem to be in the market for buying preowned private jets, though any transactions are normally kept away from the public’s eyes. What they normally do is make an extra buck along the way by offering their... Full story at http://goo.gl/adtAA

goo.gl/bH6PF

big companies targeting fresh graduates as their prospective workers. Santi Pirompakdee, a director at Singha Corporation Co, said the “Singha biz course” project selected third and fourth year students to train with the company for nine weeks. “Talents obtained from the project are better than the workers... Full story at http://goo.gl/RcMUs

Companies seeking Thai managers lag out talented students behind regional Major companies have devel- peers in leadership oped training and internship programmes to ensure a flow of skilled people into their ranks even before they have graduated from university, according to a human resource firm. “There has been an increasing number of applicants for all career paths in 2012. However the career choice has not met what the applicants want,” said Tidarat Kanchanawat, regional director for the Adecco Group, a human resources consultancy. She believed that competition in employee recruitment will be higher in 2013, with many

Thai managers lag behind their peers in other countries in their capability to lead and supervise their staff effectively, says Pichpajee Saichuae, managing director of Tower Watson (Thailand). A study by the firm showed that Thailand trailed behind both developed and other fast-growing Asia-Pacific countries in all areas of “manager effectiveness”. For example, only 38 per cent of participating firms in Thailand said their organisations had... Full story at http://goo.gl/0hHTR


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December 20 11

Briefs 3

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-February/Mid-March 2013 General Inte

Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category.

Production

http://goo.gl/UrVpE

Oishi outlines B80m marketing blitz for Fruito line Oishi Group Plc, the Japanesethemed food and beverage firm, is ready to fully compete in the contested ready-to-drink green tea market as it increases its budget this year. Some 800 million baht has been allocated to promote ready-todrink green tea, following the return to full capacity of Oishi’s production at flood-ravaged Navanakorn Industrial Park.

rest

Japanese auto-maker Nissan recently staged the stone-laying ceremony for its second assembly plant in Thailand in Samut Prakan. Production at the new Bt11-billion plant is scheduled to commence in August next year for Navara 1-tonne pickup trucks. The factory will raise Nissan’s annual production capacity in Thailand to 370,000 units and allow the auto-maker to use the Kingdom as an important production and export base, company executives said. The new facility will keep Thailand as Nissan’s largest manufacturing centre in the Asean region, the executives said. Adding 150,000 units of production capacity will not only enable Nissan to raise its competitiveness in the domestic market, but will ensure Thailand’s position as a... Full story at http://goo.gl/OZ00P

...added that the set aside a signi company had budget of Bt20 ficant investment million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion Full story at http: . //goo.gl/bH6PF

goo.gl/bH6P

F

Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, mo http://goo.gl/o on, the tides. ” Azman In Caught up in da zbNM India, China ily details, we eas Mokhtar, the managing and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD Sponsored by

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of a Bt300 minimum daily wage. These efforts range from trying to trim logistics costs, to improving production efficiency, to hiring only skilled workers. Tawee Piyapattana, president of Pacific Fish Processing Co, which specialises in the production of frozen seafood, said the company, which employs 3,000 staff, would not lay off people to cut costs but would focus more on trimming logistics expenses. It will also boost efficiencies in production and human-resource management.

It will not raise prices in the short term, which would risk loss of market share during a time of intense competition in the export market. Total export of processed seafood Some Oishi items such as Fruito, last year dropped 15 per cent amid which is green tea mixed with fruit tough competition from exporters flavours, disappeared from retail in neighbouring countries. shelves by over 15 months, said Aniruth Mahathorn, executive vice- The wage increase will also pressure president of beverages. He said Oi- manufacturers in remote areas to shi Fruito will return to the market relocate their plants to urban areas in order to lure teenagers. Of the to save logistics costs, or they could marketing budget, 80 million baht... migrate to low-paying neighbourFull story at http://goo.gl/ha1Gt ing countries. Therefore, it is possible that in the future... Nissan founds Full story at http://goo.gl/8rbDK

2nd plant in Samut Prakan

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To read the fu ll article of a story brief, enter the shor t code at the end the story into your browser: of liam Shakespe are

Miyamoto sees tremendous growth opportunities in Asia

Miyamoto International, a global earthquake and structural engineering firm, expects revenue from Asia to grow by 30% per year from this year onwards, says Kit Miyamoto, the president and chief executive. “We see tremendous growth potential in Asia, as these risks are near and developers are growing rapidly,” said Mr Miyamoto, adding that the company’s prime focus for business expansion is Southeast Asia.

Miyamoto currently has two offices in Asia – one in Tokyo and the other in Bangkok. It will open an office in Manila next month and another in Myanmar later this year. “We are talking to many developers [in Thailand] right now, and we are going to work with commercial buildings, both new and existing ones Companies get like bank headquarters and schools. lean and mean Hospitals are also very dangerMany labour-intensive sectors have ous buildings,” said Mr Miyamoto. tried to adjust their operations to Buildings that are prone to... deal with the nationwide imposition Full story at http://goo.gl/uJM2w

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Finance / Investment

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Myanmar eyes Dawei do-over Myanmar is seeking to modify the Dawei deep-sea port and special economic zone contract to have a holding company to be set up soon handle the investment instead of Italian-Thai Development Plc. “Myanmar is worried about the long delay of the project and wants to change the concession to a new holding company or specialpurpose vehicle to be set up soon,” said Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board. He said the new company will likely be formed by Thai state-owned enterprises, Japan’s investment organisation, the Myanmar government and ITD. The joint-venture

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Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: company is instrumental in creating confidence in the project, but the two countries differ on the format of the new entity. Thailand prefers a special-purpose vehicle or one key holding company to handle investment in all parts of the project,... Full story at http://goo.gl/Dou2m

1,550 points for Thai bourse doable

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

goo.gl/bH6PF

recovery in Thai exports, he said. yudh is chairman of PM Group, This will support healthy growth in while his son Chalermchai is chief listed companies’ profitability this executive. year. Mr Chalermchai declined to give Apart from the strong economic details of PM Group’s assets but said fundamentals, there is ample and the company has invested in listed increasing liquidity in global capital and non-listed firms and property markets thanks to continued quanti- projects. These include The Nest tative easing measures in the US and Ploenchit, a high-end Bangkok liquidity injections in the EU. “This condominium; Lakewood Country will support continued foreign fund Club, a golf club in Samut Prakan; flows into the Thai capital... and the Mountain Creek Golf ReFull story at http://goo.gl/QblCU sort and Residences in Khao Yai. PM Group also plans to acquire a Mahagitsiri Group hotel in Yangon, upgrading the... eyes Myanmar hotel Full story at http://goo.gl/XG69O

ING Funds (Thailand) believes the Thai equity market has a good chance of reaching 1,550 points this year. Chief executive Jumpon Saimala said domestic fundamentals remain sound and continue to improve in line with the global economic outlook. Mahagitsiri Group plans to invest in a five-star hotel in Myanmar but The main engines driving the Thai will focus on alternative energy, eneconomy, which is expected to grow tertainment and technology in the between 4.5 % and 5.5% this year as Thai market. The group is owned per projections from the National by Prayudh Mahagitsiri, an eminent Economic and Social Development investor who has pioneered many Board and the Bank of Thailand, first-in-Thailand projects. will be increased domestic consumption, public and private invest- He also set up PM Group two years ment stemming from new govern- ago as a private fund to invest in ment infrastructure projects and a high-potential businesses. Mr Pra-

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BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

Briefs

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General Inte

Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. the lending rate to 6 per cent. Meanwhile, growth of gross domestic product continues to be high, although it slowed down to 7.4 per cent in the third quarter of last year. Emerging are signs of economic recovery, especially in manufacturing, as manifested by the Purchasing Manager’s Index for its non-manufacturing sector, which surged for the third straight month. China’s value-added industrial output rose 10.1 per cent year on year in November, up from 9.6 per cent in October and 9.2 per cent in September. Retail sales increased by 14.9 per cent and loan growth was more than 15 per cent, which is still high, and inflation remained low at 2 per cent in November.

rest

December 20 11

To read the fu ll article of a story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enteMid-February/Mid-March r the short co ...added that the de at the end set aside a signi company had the story into budget of Bt20 ficant investment goo.gl/bH6P your browser: of million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion F liam Shakespe Full story at http: . //goo.gl/b are

Banks ready retail

H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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Baht surges to 16-month high

At close to 30 per US dollar, the baht has climbed to a 16-month high on speculation that the Thai authorities will not rein in the exchange-rate spike. Traders expect the currency to touch 29 per dollar in the coming period due to continued capital inflow.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said that neither the Finance Ministry nor the Bank of Thailand planned specific action to tackle the unit’s appreciation. He said the government would rather promote direct overseas investment by Thai companies and investment in financial products for overseas investment.

“In such a low-yield environment, core government bonds are not at- tactics amid fear tractive, but we see specific oppor- personal debt levels tunities in the equity and highertoo high yielding bond markets, especially... Full story at http://goo.gl/bln1B While the banks are bullish on retail lending, the industry is being chalGold likely to lose lenged over rising levels of houseits sheen hold debt and has been urged to Gold prices will likely decline to tone down advertising seen as influUS$1,760 an ounce on average in encing people to borrow too much. 2013 from last year’s average of Most banks say they are aware of $1,850 after factoring in the 2012 this warning by the Bank of Thaiyear-end price of $1,675, accord- land and will make their adverts less ing to research by HSBC Securities aggressive if they are persuading (USA) Inc. people to get too much in debt. James Steel, a chief commodities analyst for the company, said the forecast is for an average of $1,775 an ounce in 2014 and $1,675 in 2015, with the long-term forecast of $1,500 an ounce unchanged. This year, the company estimates a wide trading range of $1,575 to $1,950 an ounce in line with volatile market sentiment, he said.

All these factors illustrate that China’s economy is improving. Also, the Asian Development Bank recently predicted that China’s GDP would... Full story at http://goo.gl/TPlHt

The government has supported the private sector in its importation of capital products, he said, adding that these imports could raise demand for foreign currencies and, in part, help prevent the baht’s excessive appreciation.

Nok Air plans to issue an initial public offering this August. The budget airline and its financial adviser, Siam Commercial Bank, is preparing a listing application for submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission in March.

Kittiratt also gave an assurance that the government would rely on Dawei cost estimate domestic financing for the Bt2.27- up to B325bn trillion seven-year infrastructure The investment cost for the Dawei investment plan, to help suck... megaproject in Myanmar has been Full story at http://goo.gl/meVXy increased to nearly 325 billion baht to reflect higher construction costs, HSBC predicts according to the latest study by the ‘low-yield’ year government’s planning unit. The global investment outlook this year will remain sluggish as the big The National Economic and Social economies stay mired in economic Development Board reported to hardship, says HSBC Global Asset the House Standing Committee for Management. HSBC’s investment Industry that the new cost for the unit said 2013 will present a “low- deep-sea port and special economic yield world”, with the major econo- zone is estimated at 325 billion baht, mies constrained by three issues: up from 200 billion baht projected the ongoing euro-zone crisis, the two years ago by Italian-Thai DevelUS fiscal adjustment and the lower opment Plc. growth trend in China. NESDB deputy secretary-general Asian companies with stable earn- Chanvit Amatamatucharti said 249 ings, though, are offering attractive billion baht will be spent in Myanvaluations, with China and South mar and the rest in Thailand. The Korea the preferred choices among first phase of the massive project remarkets. For stocks, cyclicals with quires about 205 billion baht, while a focus on the consumer discre- the cost for the second phase is 120 tionary sector are favourites. Asian billion. bond markets are also likely to perform well in 2013. These include eight projects including the first phase of the deep-sea Philip Poole, global head of macro port costing 45 billion baht. A road and investment strategy at HSBC, link from Dawei to Ban Phu Nam expects interest rates in key devel- Ron in Kanchanaburi will cost 35 oped markets to stay ultra-low for billion baht, while 5 billion baht is... at least another two years or longer. Full story at http://goo.gl/TpYoY

Nok Air eyes mid-year IPO

Nok Air chief executive Patee Sarasin said it is all a part of the eightyear-old carrier’s strategic plan to raise billions of baht in fresh capital to support growth. Details of the planned IPO have yet to be finalised, though Mr Patee said as much as a 30% stake in the company would be offered with existing shareholders’ holdings reduced pro rata. Nok Air’s IPO plan is being firmed up as the airline posted an unaudited net profit of 480-500 million baht, a major turnaround from 2011 when its operation was hit by the great flood in October and November. Nok Air also plans to resume international services this year after they nearly pushed the airline into bankruptcy five years ago. It suspended loss-making international flights to Vietnam and India as part ofa turnaround programme, but now wants to relaunch in... Full story at http://goo.gl/evUGV

5

Gold dropped sharply in last year’s second and third quarters as markets scaled back expectations of a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) by the US Federal Reserve. It was also undercut by a weaker... Full story at http://goo.gl/pDkZv

Bank of Ayudhya, a major player in retail banking through the Krungsri Consumer brand, expects retail loan growth this year to return to a normal level of 12-15 per cent, after lending was accelerated in 2012 by the recovery from the previous year’s flood disaster. Thakorn Piyapan, managing director of Krungsri Consumer, said the bank would temper its advertising and prepare for economic volatility. “We have to have new channels to attract consumers, but pricing is not our strategy. To win the hearts of clients, customer relationship management is important because it will help the bank know what it should provide to meet customer requirements.” He said the robust growth of the auto sector last year would... Full story at http://goo.gl/TWGU6

M&A to support Asian loan volume

Continued strong mergers and acquisitions could push lending to new highs this year in major markets including Hong Kong and Singapore, according to Thomson Reuters. John Corrin, global head of loan syndications with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, said 2013 “may exceed 2011’s record volumes”. Japan, Asia’s largest loan market, borrowed more than the rest of Asia combined in 2012, offsetting a contraction in Asia-Pacific lending, Thomson Reuters data show. Volume in Japan and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region was supported by the highest levels of M&A financing since 2007, as Asian companies took advantage of the euro-zone crisis to snap up foreign companies. Japanese companies borrowed Bt9.9 trillion last year, 13 per cent more than in 2011, supported by $30.6 billion of M&A financing. Top Japanese firms took advantage of... Full story at http://goo.gl//EmHou


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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Government / Economy

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Govt may shun solar plants The Energy Ministry might focus less on solar power plants because of their high cost, which could strain household budgets. Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal said recently that he would focus more on Napier grass instead. The ministry is drawing up a plan to promote production of 10 gigawatts within 10 years from the grass for submission to the Energy Policy Administration Committee soon.

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To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: had advised the PEA to consider cancelling the contracts of projects with low viability as part of the state enterprise’s target to source 2GW... Full story at http://goo.gl/yLbgm

Risk of double-blow raised

Thailand should brace for political conflicts at home and overseas, which could deal a double shock to the Kingdom’s politics and economy, according to Standard Chartered Bank economists.

Speaking at the bank’s Global Research Briefing 2013 for corporate customers, they said political conflicts, chiefly in the United States and Europe, could rock global economic stability this year. Meanwhile, Thailand could also be haunted by rows The adder for the first round of solar over Preah Vihear and the Pheu plants is Bt8 per unit and Bt6.50 for Thai Party’s push for constitutional the second round. That is on top of amendments. the base rate paid by the Provincial Electricity Authority of Bt3 per unit. David Mann, Standard Chartered’s Pongsak views the high cost as pos- head of regional research, Asia, said sibly a big burden on consumers. A that these days, politics seemed to ministry source said the ministry play a bigger role in dictating ecoFOR MORE INFORMATION 02 653 1971

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

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nomic direction than economic is- pable of printing money. Its direct sues themselves. impact is inflation. In effect, the state borrows by printing money The narrowly averted “fiscal cliff ” at the expense of the public’s purin the US and the lack of clear solu- chasing power. The potential fallout tions to the European debt crisis are can readily be seen from the Latin examples of the risks we now face, American crisis of the late 1980s. he said. Another cliff is waiting as US and European politicians nego- Certainly, there are some laws and tiate spending cuts. The situation in regulations that central banks stick Europe deserves great attention, as to when they carry out currency any political change may put pres- expansion. However, in the case of sure on the process to end the... Thailand, we can’t claim that every Full story at http://goo.gl/c8zNT baht that is newly created is backed by some amount of reserves.

A forceful return of government borrowing

Government borrowing is always and everywhere an economic phenomenon, to abuse Milton Friedman’s classic quotation. The fact is, the state can blatantly borrow from us and run a Ponzi scheme that will continue to take money from future generations. Economists call this “seignorage revenue”. Its mechanics are simple as long as the state, the central bank included, is legally ca-

In reality, some leeway or slackness always exists for the authorities to print more money. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Americans are experts in this area. Look no further than the recent bouts of quantitative easing. Theoretical discussion aside, our government is running yet another fiscal deficit, the seventh straight year of spending more than planned revenue. The Budget Bureau plans a deficit of 300 billion baht in the

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. 2013 fiscal year that runs until Sept 30, down from 400 billion in fiscal 2012. This worries markets and economists alike, particularly in light (or dark) of... Full story at http://goo.gl/Df0Of

World Hindu Forum to hold second meeting in Bangkok in August The World Hindu Economic Forum will convene its second global meeting in Bangkok this August. “The mission of WHEF is to restore prosperity to the Hindu world, which represents one-sixth of humanity, thereby contributing to global prosperity and peace,” Gautam Sen, a member of the organising committee and a keynote speaker at the event, said. Sen, a retired lecturer at the London School of Economics and Politics, said at least 500 Hindu businessmen from 30 countries were expected to join the second global meeting of the WHEF from August 11-13, after its inaugural conference in Hong Kong last year.

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December 20 11

To read the fu ll article 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enterMid-February/Mid-March the short code of a story brief, ...add ed that the at the end set aside a signi company had the story into budget of Bt20 ficant investment goo.gl/bH6P your browser: of million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion F liam Shakespe Full story at http: . //goo.gl/b are

H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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“Five years as Asean’s secretariat has given me opportunities to reflect on Thailand from the outside,” said Mr Surin, whose term ended on Jan 1. “We keep holding on to our pride that Thailand has never been colonised as a justification to remain contented despite our shortfalls, such as poor English proficiency and lack of competitiveness. “Nearby countries struggled for their identity and national interests, but Thais have thought this unnecessary. Now we are unprepared for an increasingly competitive world.” He said comparatively less expansion abroad by local companies than other Asean members reflected the Thai acceptance of staying in the “comfort zone”. Corruption and public apathy are... Full story at http://goo.gl/ZLbKB

Tax forms now available in English ahead of free flow of labour in 2015

Thailand’s personal-income-tax forms have now been made available in English to support the free flow of labour under the Asean Economic Community when it is integrated in 2015. The English forms are aimed at individuals with income originating in Thailand or who bring in income earned abroad WHEF’s objective is to help facili- and reside here for at least 180 days tate business relations and enlarge of the tax year. the footprint of Hindu business throughout the world. The non- Satit Rangkasiri, director-general of profit organisation is constructing a the Revenue Department, said that global database of Hindu businesses it expected collections of personal and will open its office in New Delhi and value-added tax this year to in two months. It follows other reli- beat the target by 9.7 per cent. Revgious businessmen such as... enue from personal income tax this Full story at http://goo.gl/5AbMo year should improve despite the loss of Bt7 billion from allowing married Surin: Thais couples to start filing separate tax must lose returns as well as other exemptions. From the 1st to 15th centuries, Hindus contributed more than 35 per cent of the world’s economy. However, their share fell to just 1.5 per cent in the 19th century before recovering to about 4.5 per cent now, he said.

contented mindset

Thais must change their contented mentality that has existed since the post-colonial period to adapt in a highly competitive global environment, says Surin Pitsuwan, the former secretary-general of Asean. Though it was a founding member of Asean in 1967, Thailand has been surpassed by other Asean nations in economic integration because of said mentality, corruption and inadequate attention to improving competitiveness, he added.

7

level and that the automobile, information and communica-tions technology, and financial sectors will be the star performers. However, chief executives will focus on cost reduction and improving production efficiency to deal with rising costs, according to the monthly “CEO Sentiment Survey”.

the 1.43-metre international standard gauge. Upgrading the rail system would significantly improve the country’s logistics network and help reduce logistics costs and boost efficiency across the entire economy, allowing Thailand to take advantage of its geographic location to serve as a transport hub for the region, he said. “It’s a pity that the panel overseeing the investments did not see the benefit of upgrading the entire system, but rather decided to only introduce standard gauge on certain routes,” said Prof Teerana.

The CEOs estimate that their companies’ profits this year will grow by 4 per cent on average. They also said medium-sized and large companies were ready to expand into countries with high potential, namely Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and China. They forecast that the Thai economy will expand by... The 2.2-trillion-baht investment Full story at http://goo.gl/JOIrX budget will rely 80% on the public for financing. Prof Teerana FIDF burden eases sector said authorities should consider alin line with growth lowing the private sector to play a... The Bank of Thailand has begun Full story at http://goo.gl/O4DHg servicing debt owed by the Financial Institutions Development Fund Finance under a legal amendment made ear- departments seek lier in 2012. But debt payments by one-stop centre the central bank have been made only to service interest expenses on The Finance Ministry is considerthe liabilities, with only minor pay- ing opening a one-stop centre that ments made against the principal would combine essential data and of the liabilities, incurred from the services for three tax collection debailout of ailing banks and finance partments, says Deputy Finance companies during the 1997 eco- Minister Tanusak Lekuthai. He said since the tax laws are complicated nomic crisis. and the tax data collecting system is For October and November, rep- unorganised, taxpayers have faced resenting the first two months of problems accessing tax experts, refiscal 2013, the central bank repaid sulting in unintentional illegal tax 6.63 billion baht in debt owed by the payments. FIDF, of which just 68 million went towards principal payments. Total To solve the problem, the ministry liabilities owed by the FIDF amount plans to set up a data centre for the to 1.14 trillion baht, of which 159 Revenue, Excise and Customs Debillion baht in debt is set to mature partments, and a tax clinic where in fiscal 2013. Interest expenses for data from all the departments is kept the current fiscal year are estimated in a single IT system. An e-appointat 50 billion baht. ment system would let taxpayers seek advice from officials. PongpaThe government early in 2012 an- nu Savetdarun said it also planned nounced responsibility for the debt to adopt smartphone applications to allow the taxpayers among the over would be shifted to the... Full story at http://goo.gl/pHv7u 10 million smartphone users in... Full story at http://goo.gl/ibWqM

Lion’s share of infrastructure budget for rail upgrade

On the plus side are the government’s economic stimulus measures and nationwide rise of the minimum wage to Bt300 per day. The A proposed bill authorising 2.2 trilimproving economy should also... lion baht in new debt to finance Full story at http://goo.gl/kXAg7 infrastructure investments over next several years will take efCEOs see auto, ICT, the fect in 2014, with two-thirds set to finance sectors as go towards rail improvements. Prof Teerana Bhongmakapat, dean of top growth picks Chulalongkorn University’s ecoThai CEOs are confident that the nomics faculty, suggested Thailand’s country’s 2013 economic growth rail system be upgraded from the will be at least as good as last year’s current one-metre track gauge to

We need to do more to maintain edge

Thailand has the comparative advantage to become the capital of the AEC, but more investment is needed in terms of people, product branding, and research and development. Kan Trakulhoon, president and chief executive of SCG, said Thailand invested only 0.2% of its gross domestic product in research and development compared to 1% by South Korea and 3% by China. “Whether you are a big or small... Full story at http://goo.gl/i8JSW


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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

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Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

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Retail/Services

launch of the Phuket service in early December – demonstrates what an important market Thailand is to us,” said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Far East & Australasia.

http://goo.gl/QyrTE

Emirates brings weekly departures from Thailand to 56 flights

Emirates introduced the fifth daily, non-stop service between Dubai and Bangkok, weeks after it launched a daily service between Dubai and Phuket. From March 31, Emirates will operate 35 flights a week between Dubai and Bangkok, plus a daily Airbus A380 service between Bangkok and Hong Kong, and a daily flight between Bangkok and Sydney, which connects on to Christchurch. These services, along with the Phuket flights, take the number of weekly Emirates departures from Thailand to 56. “Emirates has been operating flights to Bangkok since 1990 and this capacity increase – combined with the

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

“These private jet flyers have tight schedules, and if there is so much trouble getting the needed time slots at Phuket, they’ll most likely go somewhere else,” warned Jaiyavat Navaraj, chairman of the Southeast Asia Airline Operators Committee, “This new service will benefit Thai- part of the Hong Kong-based Asian land’s tourism sector by bringing Business Aviation Association. even more visitors from the likes of the Middle East and tradition- He said these people face the inconally strong markets like Europe and venience of changing flight times or Australasia. In addition, both our landing at other airports such as Supassengers and cargo customers will rat Thani and using other transport have the added flexibility of being... to get to Phuket. Full story at http://goo.gl/AIoKl jet operators and their cliPhuket ‘risks losing’ Private ents are increasingly frustrated by private jets the restrictions of the so-called Slot Coordinator, which gives priority... Restrictions on private jet flights at Full story at http://goo.gl/whCwi busy Phuket airport remain in place even though the 16-day ban on their Fico rolls out pizza movements ended on Jan 3. The de- place, growth plan nials or extended delays for requested times for landing and take-off Fico Group is set to spend 5 billion raise grave concerns that most us- baht to expand its food, property ers of private jets including tycoons and hotel businesses over the next and celebrities will stop flying to the 3-5 years. The budget will be disouthern resort island. vided in half to invest through the

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group, which runs industrial, trading, hotel and property businesses, and Evolution Capital, the operator of restaurants. The funds will come from bank loans and cash flow. “After being in the food business for five years, we see a lot of opportunities and want to focus more on food to balance our business risk,” said Krit Srichawla, chief executive of the family-owned Fico Group. He said Evolution Capital obtained the rights to manage Domino’s Pizza in Thailand for 10 years, with an option to renew for a further decade. The first Domino’s restaurant opened on New Year’s Eve on Sukhumvit Soi 22 at the same plot as the under-construction Holiday Inn. It is the re-entry of Domino’s Pizza, which first came to Thailand briefly in the mid-1990s but pulled out amid fierce competition. Evolution Capital expects to open 75-100 Domino’s stores in Thailand in the next 3-5 years, each one... Full story at http://goo.gl/nzrv4


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Mango Tree expands to US

rest

December 20 11

To read the fu ll article of a story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enteMid-February/Mid-March r the short co ...added that the de at the end set aside a signi company had the story into budget of Bt20 ficant investment goo.gl/bH6P your browser: of million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion F liam Shakespe Full story at http: . //goo.gl/b are

9

H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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units in 2013, he said. Last year, AP Honda sold 1.49 million motorcycles, pushing its market share to 70%. “Growth of 4% is normal for every year. In 2012, the market expanded by 7% because of the impact of floods the year before,” Mr Suchart said.

ity deal with its parent to sell its est cola at the outlets ThaiBev controls. A senior staff member at Serm Suk Coca International, operator of the said that some retail and eatery outsukiyaki restaurants, will take its lets now sell only est, while some... Mango Tree Thai-restaurant chain Full story at http://goo.gl/Km293 Excise tax increases will not have a to the US in 2014. Chief executive big impact on overall sales, though Pitaya Phanphensophon said the Many new models to they will affect big bikes with... US economic downturn has low- hit the road in 2013 Full story at http://goo.gl/euoZv ered the investment cost. New Vios, Toyota eco-car, latest Accord and Teana, Civic Hybrid, Refurbished Siam Coca will form a joint venture with a March and Fiesta minor-change Center reopens local partner to operate Mango Tree models among a host of vehicles to amid Bt600m restaurants in that country, he said. be launched. This is another imporAt the same time, it will introduce tant year for the Thai auto industry grand promotion that partner’s Mexican food fran- due to the effects of the govern- After closing Siam Center last year chise in Thailand. The first Mango ment’s First Car Buyer Programme. for renovations worth Bt1.8 billion, Tree in the US will open in WashSiam Piwat Co has set aside a budington DC covering 500 square me- A total of 1.25 million orders were get of Bt600 million to stage a grand tres and at a cost of 60 million baht. placed under the scheme, which reopening starting this month and amounts to as much as Bt91 billion continuing through March. Bt200 Coca has been in the Thai restau- in excise tax rebates to be given back million will be spent on the opening rant business for 29 years. It now has to qualified buyers. This is three event from January 9-11. Another five food brands: Coca Suki, China times higher than the original Bt30- Bt200 million will be spent in FebWhite, Mango Tree, Mango Tree billion target. ruary and the remainder in March. Bistro and Coca Grill. The company branched out to international Meanwhile, the delivery of vehicles After this campaign, the mall targets markets starting in London 12 years purchased under the scheme will at least 200,000 customers a day. Beago, first with a Mango Tree... take some time, as there are more fore it closed last year, Siam Center Full story at http://goo.gl/UJXoA than 700,000 back orders. This is received 280,000 visitors a day, acconsidered a major milestone in the cording to Siam Piwat’s executive ‘Cola war’ Thai automobile industry, and many vice president for business promointensifies as three expect total auto sales in the country tion, Mayuree Chaipromprasith. major players battle to comfortably beat the 1.2-millionvehicle mark in 2013, compared to She said the renovations were comThe “cola war” in Thailand is heat- the historic 1.45 million vehicles plete and would be unveiled next ing up as the three major brands sold in 2012. week under the theme “Let the Leg– Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and est endary Party Begin”. The theme of – fight to gain significant shares in Many auto companies are also plan- the new-look Siam Center is “Idethe Bt38-billion carbonated-drinks ning to introduce a large number of aopolis”, or “city of ideas”. Siam Cenmarket. Strategies being used in- new models for the Thai market in ter is introducing a globally revoluclude the tying up of blocks of retail 2013. Here’s what to expect:... tionary new retail concept,... and eatery outlets via exclusivity Full story at http://goo.gl/TGlWu Full story at http://goo.gl/db0Is contracts. Competition has intensiBangkok Airways fied since the bottling and distribu- Honda expects to launch Krabi, tion contract between PepsiCo and strong motorcycle its local bottler Serm Suk ended last sales Mandalay services November. Serm Suk then launched its own cola brand, est, to join the AP Honda, the local distributor Bangkok Airways has firmed up a battlefield. of the Japanese company’s motor- plan to launch two new routes and cycles, expects sales growth of 4% increase flight frequencies on existThe company’s move was in line this year to 1.55 million units. It has ing sectors. A Bangkok-Krabi serwith the policy of Thai Beverage, played down fears of negative ef- vice, twice daily, will commence on the new major shareholder of Serm fects from higher excise taxes on big March 31, while a Bangkok-MandaSuk, to expand its portfolio of non- bikes under the new tax structure. lay service, four times a week, is due alcoholic beverages, now including for take-off on Sept 15, the privately Oishi green tea and est carbonated “This year is expected to be a good owned carrier said. drinks, among the network of more year for the [motorcycle] industry, than 200,000 retail and eatery out- thanks to several positive factors in- Its Bangkok-Trat sector, served by lets claimed by the company. cluding sound GDP growth of 5.5%, ATR-72 turboprops, will be ramped increased agricultural prices and the up to three daily flights from two, In many traditional eateries, con- tourism boom,” said sales director while the Bangkok-Male (Maldives) sumers now find it quite difficult to Suchart Arunseangroj. service will step up to five weekly obtain Pepsi as access to the outlets flights from four. Both changes start has in effect been blocked by Serm AP Honda expects to sell 1.55 mil- on March 31. Meanwhile, the airSuk, which is taking advantage of lion motorcycles in a total market line will replace the ATR-72 with its strong connection and exclusiv- forecast to grow 7% to 2.15 million the larger A319 jet on the last of its

four daily flights from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, meaning all flights to Cambodia’s capital will be served by the A319. The frequency of its service between Koh Samui and Phuket, now five daily, will also be increased, though details are not yet available. Bangkok Airways recently launched a direct jet service between Bangkok and Vientiane and an additional... Full story at http://goo.gl/mvYJg

TechArt ready to spoil Porsche lovers

TechArt Thailand is revving up its new model line-up for local Porsche enthusiasts, in conjunction with the Q1 introduction of the visually stunning TechArt Magnum, which is based on the Porsche Cayenne SUV. TechArt Thailand sales director Jittisak Wongsiri said: “The Porsche market has shown positive growth trends from both the grey and official channels. This uptrend automatically translates into increased demand for TechArt products and more importantly, the TechArt brand has an overwhelmingly positive image in Thailand.” Jittisak said this year’s bullish Porsche market would allow TechArt Thailand to consider dealership appointments for the Thai market. According to the Department of Land Transport and grey market sales figures, as many as 1,000 Porsche vehicles were sold in Thailand last year. With TechArt (Germany) pushing an aggressive Asean expansion strategy, Thailand became the second market in Southeast Asia to be appointed as a TechArt franchise outside the German market, he said. Singapore was the first among Asean... Full story at http://goo.gl/ez6V9

City Automobiles is new Jaguar importer

City Automobiles, the official Land Rover distributor, has been appointed as the new Jaguar importer and distributor in Thailand. City Automobiles has been the official importer of Land Rover in Thailand since March 2012, and from this month the company will complete the rebranding and renovation of its Land Rover facility on Wireless Road to also accommodate Jaguar, officials said. It will also be making significant investment in a new facility on Rama IV, which will be... Full story at http://goo.gl/gB92Z


10

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Tourism

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Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

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Chinese lost in Thailand’s charm

The number of Chinese tourists http://goo.gl/fxE4d is expected to increase greatly this year thanks in part to the success of Bangkok ‘best city the Chinese film Lost in Thailand, which has helped to promote Thaifor nightlife’ land’s image. These arrivals are exBangkok has topped the list of the pected to spend several billion baht ten best cities for excellent nightlife nationwide. adventures for travellers, according to a survey by Agoda.com, a lead- As China, the world’s most popuing hotel booking site. Agoda.com lous country, has developed into an has just released the list of the top economic superpower, its middle ten nightlife cities as chosen by its class has more money to spend on customers. travel. China had the most visitors to Thailand last year at 2.5 million, The results were based on feedback up by 47.1% from 1.7 million in from over 113,000 respondents. The 2011. Chinese visitors are expected top spot was taken by Bangkok, to grow by at least 28% to 3.2 milwhich Agoda.com called “Thai- lion in 2013 to help compensate for land’s energetic capital known for its the drop in European travellers. tuk-tuks, temples and street food”, followed by Dubai, the gleaming Chinese tourists will undoubtedly desert city in the United Arab Emir- play a large part if the government ates, and Boracay/Caticlan in the is to achieve its goal of 2 trillion baht Philippines, famous for its white in tourism revenue by 2015. China’s sand beaches and swaying palm... economy remains strong, and for Full story at http://goo.gl/TZqpv the moment there are no negative

...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

political factors in Thailand.

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November-February. The 120-seat Phupirom restaurant will move into a nearby location within the farm and be expanded to 300 seats, while the old restaurant area will undergo a major facelift as a teahouse.

Thai TV series and films remain very popular in China, and the expansion of air connections between the countries will only foster more travel this year. Lost in Thailand (2012), a low-budget comedy, has About a 30-minute drive from set a record by grossing... downtown Chiang Rai on Den Full story at http://goo.gl/bCHDD Ha-Dong Mada Road, Singha Park is hard to miss thanks to the giant Singha plans lion sculpture that guards its enagro-tourist site trance. Established in 1983, the park grounds cover four districts of Chiin Chiang Rai ang Rai and are home to a 2,600-rai Singha Corporation will spend over rubber tree plantation, 600-rai tea Bt200 million this year in turning plantation, 50-rai jujube orchard its 8,000-rai Boon Rawd Farm in and 30-rai barley field. There are Chiang Rai, which boasts extensive also gardens for strawberries, star barley, tea and fruit plantations, fruit, mushrooms and salad veginto a tourist attraction and estate etables. with 20 poolside villas worth Bt100 million. At the end of last year the Ittikorn Banjobdee, manager of the farm’s name was changed to Singha managing director’s office, said last Park to highlight the area as a new week that Singha tried to raise baragro-tourism destination with a ley as a fermentable ingredient for farm tour that is seeing 300-400 its beer, but due to the short winvisitors a day in the trial stage. At- ter and unpredictable weather, the tendance is expected to rise to about quality and quantity weren’t... 1,000 by the next high season from Full story at http://goo.gl/AM4Ia


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Asean poised for beach boom

H6PF Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, http://goo.gl/o ” Azman In Caught up in da moon, the tides. Mokhtar, zbNM India, China the managing ily details, we eas and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e flow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency ll be more crises tune”, wrote Wi around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reFull story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD

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sons for the entire industry to learn worldwide,” he added. The country was also boosted by the rise of intraThe Asean Economic Community, regional tourism. East Asian nations scheduled to kick off three years contributed more than... from now, is creating new business Full story at http://goo.gl/4FKHP potential for beach destinations such as Palawan in the Philippines, Khao Yai resort Lombok in Indonesia and Desaru plans B3bn upgrade, in Malaysia, as well as Thailand’s Krabi and Phangnga provinces. C9 new water park Hotelworks, the Phuket-based in- The largest resort in Khao Yai will ternational consulting firm, predicts add a water park and community Asean will become very much a mall next year as part of a 3-billiongrowth area for beach holidays. baht investment aimed at attracting Indian, Russian and Chinese tourHopes are the Philippines’ island ists. The Greenery Resort, which province of Palawan, strategically has been in business for a decade, located and offering natural beauty, plans to be the first integrated resort will become another Maldives and in Thailand. prove especially popular with Chinese tourists. Indonesia’s Lombok The resort now has 256 guest rooms, island together with the outlying a 500-seat convention centre, nine islands of Sumba, Sumbawa and meeting rooms for 65-450 people Flores is a great growth quadrangle and Life Park with 28 fun activispurred by the new international ties. The upgrade will include a leiairport on Lombok. “This new tour- sure and entertainment complex, a ist location has already started tak- community mall and a condominiing business away from Bali,” said um project with a timeshare proBill Barnett, C9’s managing director. gramme. The resort will also build Splash World, a Yellowstone-like Desaru beach in Malaysia’s Johor water park to draw tourists during state is close to the state capital of the hot season when they usually do Johor Bahru, the second most-pop- not visit Khao Yai due to the heat. ulous city in Malaysia. It will enjoy a spillover from the massive nearby Thawsirit Sivakom, the managing Iskandar project and other key de- director of resort owner Scenical mand generators such as Legoland. Development Co Ltd, said an inteAs well, it can help to drive growth grated resort requires a huge investin nearby Singapore and serve... ment, major development and a... Full story at http://goo.gl/p3igX Full story at http://goo.gl/9HYkV

securely from systems such as Amadeus Travel Office Manager. We are proud to be the first travel technology company to release an applicaThe increasing number of crimes tion for mid-office systems and... targeting foreign tourists will seri- Full story at http://goo.gl/C0cdI ously damage the image of Thailand’s tourism industry unless the Development master state beefs up preventive measures. plan out to make Although it is too early to assess Chiang Mai a global whether foreign visitors will stay away because of notorious inci- MICE destination dents, some observers believe the The Thailand Convention and Exhigovernment has to work harder if it bition Bureau has joined forces with wants to achieve its ultimate goal of local organisations in Chiang Mai earning 2 trillion baht from tourism to promote the northern city as a annually by 2015. global MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) destiThe public wants more effective pre- nation. ventive measures and harsher punishments after many serious crimes Led by the TCEB, eight government against foreigners, particularly the and private organisations yesterday rape and robbery of two Russian held a discussion and helped define tourists in Pattaya on Dec 26. the framework for creating sustainable development for the city to en“Both the police and tourist police hance MICE business in the long have tried their best to help people, run, with an integrated approach but the number of visitors is rising encompassing business, environstrongly and greatly outpacing the ment and culture. Thongchai Srinumber of officers,” said Pol Lt Col dama, the TCEB’s acting president, Aroon Promphan, the chief inspec- said the move was in line with the tor of Pattaya’s Tourist Police. government policy to promote 2013 as “MICE Year”. Russians now account for the largest group of foreign tourists in Pattaya. Chiang Mai is the first provincial The number of Russian tourists in city to have a MICE development Thailand increased from 300,000 in master plan, and its model will be 2009 to more than 1.2 million last... applied for other destinations under Tourism booms in Full story at http://goo.gl/9T05a the bureau’s promotion, including stable Thailand and Phuket at present. The Thailand has recovered from several Amadeus launches Pattaya next city to join the list will be... years of instability by welcoming a new mobile app Full story at http://goo.gl/6AcHM record number of tourist arrivals in The country exceeded its offifor agents TUI considers other 2012. cial target of 21m international arAmadeus has launched Amadeus Phuket departures rivals last year, welcoming a total of Travel Office Manager Mobile, TUI Travel could launch flights be- 22.3m visitors, up 16% year-on-year. an app extension of the Amadeus tween Manchester and Phuket after It also marks an increase of more Travel Office Manager mid-office the successful booking start to its than 50% from the 14.1m arrivals system. Amadeus Travel Office Gatwick services to the Thailand re- achieved in 2009, when Bangkok Manager is a web-based office man- sort, Travel Daily has learned. Garry was in the grip of political protests. agement solution for travel agen- Wilson, TUI’s managing director of cies, which is intended to improve purchasing said the company has Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of operational efficiency and customer already seen 7,000 bookings for the the Tourism Authority of Thailand service, with the automation of doc- first year of the London Gatwick to (TAT), attributed the strong result uments for both customers and sup- Phuket route, which will launch No- to the current peace and stability bepliers. The new app enables agents vember this year using a Boeing 787 ing experienced in the country. “We to complete these functions from Dreamliner. are overjoyed to have achieved this their smartphones. result,” said Suraphon. “Last year, “We always look for multiple de- the world was generally at peace and “Amadeus Travel Office Manager parture points and the next obvious there were no major geopolitical, Mobile enables efficiency and con- choice would be Manchester,” Wil- economic, environmental or natural tinuity of services wherever the son said. disasters and no health pandemics. travel consultants are. People are Travel and tourism can only flourish now used to working anytime, any- TUI is aiming to drive more busi- worldwide if the underlying condiwhere and on any device, and travel ness to Thailand this year with the tions that support it remain free of agencies need to ensure that their new flights, which will also see... disturbance and disruption. That consultants can access information Full story at http://goo.gl/K1H4V is one of the most important les-

Airline alliance will promote Baiyoke to Japanese

The Baiyoke Group of Hotels is confident that its charter airline alliance with H.I.S. Co, the biggest Japanese travel agent, will benefit Baiyoke’s hotel business this year. The charter airline in which Panlert Baiyoke, the group’s founder, jointly invests with H.I.S. will inaugurate its first flight this July. The carrier will operate a couple of leased 767s, running one charter flight a day from Bangkok to Japan. Piyalert Baiyoke, vice-president of Baiyoke Group, said investing in the charter airline with H.I.S. will support the hotel business in the long term. “Our hospitality business will be fully integrated and our charter flights will bring more tourists to Thailand. Many of them will stay with us for sure,” he said. Moreover, the connection with H.I.S. will become stronger and the Japanese travel firm will help Baiyoke... Full story at http://goo.gl/EUpKV


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Briefs Real Estate

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Demand grows for city property in all sectors Bangkok’s property market ended 2012 on a positive note, with strong demand propping up rental values, occupancy and take-up rates across all major sectors. These are the findings of a report by the Californiabased DTZ, the property consultancy unit of Australia’s UGL Ltd. The general political calm and the rebound in business sentiment bode well for the office sector. After several years of retarded growth, the prime office sector rebounded positively in the second half of last year, registering increases in both rents and occupancy on the back of strong demand from corporate clients. Strong leasing activity pushed occupancy levels to 88.5% in the

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...added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion. Full story at http://goo.gl/bH6PF

fourth quarter, from 85.1% in the Matthew Lin, director of the Chisame period of 2011. ang Mai-based property developer Summit Global Developments Co Average rents in the fourth quarter Ltd. of 2012 rose by 2.4% year-on-year to 660 baht per square metre per “In light of the latest measures and month. Selected prime buildings soaring property prices in Singanow command asking rents of 850- pore, investors will definitely run 900 baht per sq m per month. out of Singapore, as they are not confident whether there will be any Low Ming Tze, DTZ Thailand’s as- other measures at home in the fusociate director of consulting and ture,” Mr Lin said. “If Singaporeans research, said with no new supply invest outside their home country, throughout the year... most of them will not go to tooFull story at http://goo.gl/O6Efs far destination such as London but rather Asian countries such as MaSingaporeans pick laysia and Thailand,” said Mr Lin.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s property market is expected to reap a windfall from Singapore’s latest measures to cool its real estate sector as prices in the northern Thai capital are still lower than those in some other destinations in Thailand. Announced on Jan 11 this year, the measures – the seventh round to date – will likely drive more Singaporean investors to buy properties elsewhere, said

Singaporeans are looking for properties in destinations where prices are not high or at their peak. For middle-income investors, top destinations are Johor Bahru in Malaysia, followed by Chiang Mai. The two cities meet their demand and are also holiday destinations. Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are no longer good candidates. They are crowded and offer a lifestyle too similar to... Full story at http://goo.gl/g030d

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HKRI focuses on Thai luxury property market HKR International Limited, the Hong Kong-based listed firm that owns the Sukhothai Bangkok Hotel, will concentrate on the high-end residential market in Thailand over the next 5-10 years. “Our strategy across Asia is very diversified, but we will focus on highend residences in Thailand,” said executive director Benjamin Cha at the official completion ceremony of the Sukhothai Residences, the company’s first ultra-luxury condominium in Thailand. “A part of the reason is because we are still relatively new to this market. We don’t have as much experience as the local developers. Residences are an asset class that we are comfortable with.” The Sukhothai Residences are located next to the Sukhothai Bangkok Hotel in Sathon district. The project was designed to harmonise the spirit

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December 20 11

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. of the 21-year-old luxury hotel. The 41-storey condominium consists of 196 units ranging from one-bedroom units of 88 square metres up to penthouses of more than 1,200 sq m. HKRI says the project offers unique high-quality services under the concept of blending the hotel and residences. About 70% of units were put on the market in 2008 and were snapped up by global buyers at an average price of... Full story at http://goo.gl/3HZnG

The growing influence of technology on property sector

This year, the property market will face more challenges, many of which will be caused by external factors that we are not in control of such as higher land and development costs. The recent labour shortage driven by the increase in minimum wages is one of the major problems that will affect the industry, particularly construction and property management. As the problem grows, I believe technology will play a greater role. Many of us have always doubted how effective social media and Web marketing can be in selling properties, as we traditionally believe in physical inspection and face-to-face communication. Technology has completely transformed consumer behaviour and the ways properties are marketed. Evolving from traditional print advertising and billboards, online marketing has become the most powerful marketing tool in today’s world. As an agent, CBRE receives more inquiries from our website and online channels than any other channel. Our website inquiries have not only increased by 32 per cent year on year, but have also contributed to a better bottom line and sales increase of 36 per cent in value for residential units. Short-messageservice marketing has also proved... Full story at http://goo.gl/fIKov

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...added that the set aside a signi company had budget of Bt20 ficant investment million for over0 million to Bt300 seas expansion Full story at http: . //goo.gl/bH6PF

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F

Nature and life in JuliusCaesar. 1997-98 wa are cyclical _ the impact of s a blessing, as the mains seasons of the yea 2008 would ha above the Europ the phases of the r, life and death, far worse ve been ean average. for the region, mo http://goo.gl/o on, the tides. ” Azman In Caught up in da zbNM India, China ily details, we eas Mokhtar, the managing and Thailand, ily forget that dir ect of or Kh Asia stands to rou aza ghly 12 percent nah the business wo of has cycles, too. rld told the CI Nasional of Malaysia, tion contribute to a the populaWe are all fam MB Asean Confe gain from W pension, while iliar with the econo rence. the we es t mi ak c ne bu sse sin s ess of cycle His com slowdown of expansion, con sion system are Thailand’s penments were... ... covery. Howe traction and re- Full story Full story at htt The shift of eco ver, other cyc at http://goo.gl/d nomic growth p:/ /goo.gl/rtpH3 lic ph al fu2 en u om ena affect... momentum to the Thailand near Preventing up numerous East has opened Full story at http://goo.gl/fJ to p opportunities olr of list of wor that Asian countries Bangkok from out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia bett weakest pensld’s sinking bigges economist. io off, not immun er n t systems: stud challenge The robust eco y from global cr e, no Greece, India, Ch Land subsidence China and em mic growth of is es ina and Thailand erging economi caused by groun are home to the water losses top will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : The As d weake w s ian cri- pensi on systems in st national lems that must the list of probAsian economi opportunity for sis in the late 1990s was a wa es to increase the be the kesol cal up ved wo l for in rld cri Ba , the region that pp wealth from tra ir has turned eig led by a mix of acute sover- kok to mitigate the impact ngde in goods an out to be of the n debt, young climate change services at a tim a blessing in d retire dis e on States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as the guise high ratios of pension ment ages, a study by multin flooding, says region’s ers an ers to worke ational agencies financial sec Full story at htt are... d . p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now strong and study poor pension take-up, a The conclusio showed. tain a certain n C de is gre contained in of shocks from e Grow with th a rep ort the entitled “Clim e Mflow Western Hemi fallout in the The Allianz ate Risks and Ad of cycles sphere, accord ing sion Susta Global Investors Pen- Megac aptation in Asian Coastal to a panellist at a recent As inability Index, ities”, jointly con ‘There is a tid ean conference. ducted by the which Asian De Y tracks the rel e velop ati men, which, tak in the affairs of ity of nationa ve sustainabil- Internation ment Bank, the Japan l al flood CM leads on to for en at the in 44 countries pension systems and the Wo Cooperation Agency tune”, wrote Wi , “There will be more crises around the wo rld Bank in 201 l- future, an in the showe rld, 0. d the Asian MY crisis in tirees d the number of Greek reThe report recom to people of wo rking age reCY Full story at htt mended a... p://goo.gl/20yMD Sponsored by

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billion baht, outstripping its forecast 40-billion-baht target and more than doubling its sales in 2011. Sansiri last year launched 52 projects worth 57 billion baht covering Bangkok and provincial areas in all segments of the market, including condos, single homes, home offices and shophouses. Sansiri’s 2012 revenue is estimated at over 28 billion baht. “The outstanding sales performance was mainly thanks to the company’s strategic plans to penetrate the provincial markets such as Hua Hin, where the company is the condominium leader,” said managing director Srettha Thavisin. CMY

K

In 2012, the company launched 24 provincial projects worth 21 billion baht, nine of which were in Hua Hin, eight in Phuket, two in Chiang Mai, three in Khao Yai, one in Pattaya and another in Khon Kaen. Sales from provincial markets rose to... Full story at http://goo.gl/0Zqfs

Back to home basics Property maven makes a comeback with a family-oriented condominium project amid the clean, crisp air of Khao Yai. Property veteran Khunying Sasima Srivikorn has seen the Bangkok condo scene evolve over the past two decades from a secondhome choice for the rich into a first nest for young workers. The new generation prefers homeownership right off the bat, usually a small one at first, rather than staying with parents, as they just want to live by themselves, said Khunying Sasima, 75. She established the property firm Sasisombat Co last April in partnership with four friends of similar age after taking a five-year sabbatical from the business upon selling her shares in Golden Land Property Development Plc. Khungying Sasima said condominium units 20 years ago tended to be big and expensive, as most buyers were wealthy and simply wanted a city condo to use as a second home in central Bangkok.

web • creative • event dential projects in Bangkok till May 16, 2013 amid concern that the new city plan, which will come into effect at the end of May, will impact their project designs.

“We will not buy new land in the first five months of this year in Bangkok because we don’t know whether Provincial projects “But now condos have become we’ll be allowed to build condominfire Sansiri’s rise small and affordable enough for... iums at the location where we buy The SET-listed property developer Full story at http://goo.gl/188LV the land,” LPN Development manSansiri Plc has set its sights on revaging director Opas Sripayak said. enue growth of 30% to reach 36 Property firms defer billion baht this year, boosted by a land purchase plans However, that delay would did not strong backlog. Sansiri ended 2012 Property firms are delaying pur- affect its investment plan for this with historic high sales worth 42.1 chasing land for developing resi- year when the company bought

13 land plots to develop residential projects since last year. “All our new projects launched this year have already secured environmental impact assessment, to ensure our projects will not be in conflict with the new city plan, because the definition of the area also will change,” he said. For example, some locations are marked as red area meaning a high-density location but the draft will change the definition. As a result the company has to wait and see because the new draft will affect land price, which will rise in some locations and might drop in some... Full story at http://goo.gl/yysxU


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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs IT / Comms

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Mobile, online video to boom Ads embedded at the beginning of online video clips, mobile searches and mobile advertising will be the next big things in online advertising in Thailand in 2013, says leading online agency Topspace. Thais rank fifth in the world in terms of time spent online, said Jakraphan Pwongkaew, vice-president for online media of Topspace (Thailand), under the umbrella of Sanook Online group. He said Thailand’s online advertising market is expected to grow by 30-40% in 2013, up from 2 billion in 2012, thanks to a sharp increase in the country’s broadband penetration rate and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. “Major companies in Thailand will allocate more than 9% of their budget to online advertising in 2013, up from 5-7% in 2012,” Mr Jakraphan said. International organisations normally spend 10% of their total advertising budget on online. Mr Jakraphan said pre-roll video advertising, or ads embedded at the start of online video clips, looks set to grow rapidly and become the most effective way of cyber advertising in 2013 due to the fact that it is... Full story at http://goo.gl/VsVsc

A year to forget for True big boss

The Year of the Dragon was apparently a bad one for Suphachai Chearavanont, the head of True Corporation, Thailand’s leading telecom conglomerate. The son of the country’s wealthiest tycoon faced a slew of thorny problems, especially with his cable TV unit. The trouble began with the failure of TrueVisions to secure the rights to broadcast Euro 2012, one of the world’s most popular football tournaments. About 2 million TrueVisions football fans were left looking at a black screen with an apology for the ban. TrueVisions was asked to pay a 20,000-baht daily fine by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission for

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failing to rebroadcast Euro 2012 20-45 in the central business district football matches. found 32% saying a smartphone or mobile is the device that makes life To this end, the NBTC’s broadcast- good – especially among women ing committee approved a draft of 20-25 years old – followed by televimust-carry rules, requiring free-TV sion sets with 24%, notebooks/tabbroadcasters to transmit all their lets (23%) and music/MP3 players content through all broadcast plat- (5%). forms in the country without any conditions. Some 24% of respondents said they wanted the government to expand Before the year’s end, Mr Supha- free public WiFi coverage with chai faced another headache with higher connection speeds. While TrueVisions after it failed to secure 15% of those polled want a nationthe broadcast rights for English Pre- wide 3G network, 14% want more mier League football, losing out to... closed-circuit TV for better security, Full story at http://goo.gl/TLGlZ 9% want more road traffic displays and 9% want improved pollution Samsung eyes detection. The poll revealed that Indochina expansion 32% want the government to solve Samsung plans to expand its emerg- economic problems and living costs, ing-market footprint in Indochina while 16% each want less political... and Myanmar, positioning Thai- Full story at http://goo.gl/Y9n5e land as its regional hub. The strategy is intended to capitalise on oppor- Semantic launches tunities stemming from the Asean Facebook sales Economic Community in 2016, service for said Gregory Lee, the president and chief executive for Southeast Asia, small firms Oceania and Taiwan. Semantic Touch, Thailand’s leading online marketing firm, has launched Samsung will move into Myanmar a free webstore to allow small and and Cambodia with a plan to form medium-sized enterprises to run a sales team, said Mr Lee. “Thailand their online stores on Facebook will act as our Indochina hub as we with ease. General manager Nutexpand into the two countries,” he thaseth Sirinanthananon said the said. Mr Lee said Samsung believes company spent six months develthe first mover in the market can oping BentoWeb (www.bentoweb. gain advantage through sustainable com), which enables merchants to leadership. sell their products on the country’s most popular social media site. The Southeast Asia is a strong growth software programme also allows area for Samsung thanks to its merchants to manage orders autosound economic growth and strong matically and to make payments, he demand for mobile devices and added. home appliances. “We expect our sales revenue in the region to grow The number of Facebook users in at a double-digit rate this year,” said Thailand has reached 17.8 million Mr Lee. out of 24 million internet users. About 12.8 million Facebook users He vowed that Samsung will this are in Bangkok, aged 18-30. “This year strengthen its leadership po- figure presents huge growth potensition in smartphones, tablets and tial for online merchants,” said Mr smart TVs in Thailand, its second- Nutthaseth. largest Asia-Pacific market behind... Full story at http://goo.gl/CtGIv Semantic provides free online services for merchants selling their first Poll finds five products. The company charges 450-600 baht per month if the numBangkokians ber of products exceeds the quota. gadget-happy Mr Nutthaseth said the company Smartphones, TVs and notebooks/ has 8,000 online merchants selling tablets are the top three technolo- mainly cosmetics and clothing. “We gies that make for happier Bang- aim to have 20,000 merchants by the kokians, says a poll commissioned end of this year,” he said, adding that by LG. Conducted by Suan Dusit Facebook has 400,000 fan pages,... Poll, the survey of 1,037 people aged Full story at http://goo.gl/qtTjJ

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Thai units of Canon, OCE complete integration The integration of Oce (Thailand) into Canon Marketing (Thailand) Co has been completed, Canon announced. This news follows the global announcement made on December 22, 2011, that Canon was the majority shareholder of Oce, enabling Canon to complete the integration for the benefit of customers. The integration has created a company that can provide end-to-end document-imaging solutions, Canon says. The combined entity will provide different technologies, enhanced scale and a larger product portfolio in the print sphere to enterprise customers, said Kensaku Konishi, president and chief executive officer of Canon Singapore, who is responsible for leading and overseeing operations in South and Southeast Asia. He added that both Canon and Oce were leaders that had consistently pushed the technology and service boundaries in the provision of print solutions. “We share a history of constant technology innovation and absolute focus on the customer. With the integration complete, customers of both entities can look forward to an expanded range of products and enhanced services offering, which leverages the expertise of two giants in the print-solutions... Full story at http://goo.gl/uqBpc

Bangkok Bank lends CTH B14bn for football rights

Cable Thai Holding Plc has raised its investment budget by 25% to 25 billion baht after securing the broadcasting rights for the English Premier League in the three seasons from 2013-15. The extra money will be used to install a fibre-optic network nationwide, buy more content and invest in new broadcast technology. Before obtaining the EPL rights, CTH had planned to spend 20 billion baht to bolster its cable network from 2012-14. But CTH signed an agreement with Bangkok Bank for a 14-billion-baht loan to finance the acquisition of EPL rights. Of that, 10 billion baht will be used to acquire


2

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December 20 11

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EPL content and the rest to upgrade lated by law to a maximum rate of CTH’s fibre-optic network. 99 satang/minute, the Office of the National Broadcasting and TeleCTH chairman Wichai Thongtang communication Commission ansaid the loan will have a more than nounced. NBTC commissioner three-year repayment period, given Pravit Leesatapornwongsa, said that that the EPL seasons will run until according to the regulation on maxmid-2016. Apart from extending imum call charges for cell phones the loans BBL will serve as a finan- issued in 2012, service providers in cial consultant to look after financial Thailand could no longer charge liquidity for CTH. “This is just the more than 99 satang/minute. beginning of our cooperation. We hope BBL will help us more by pro- He said the regulation was supposed viding payment counter services... to take effect on April 4, 2012 but Full story at http://goo.gl/tTlv9 the NBTC allowed operators who have prior contracts to carry on unNBTC rings in new til the contracts end, or the latest by year with crackdown Dec 31. “Starting from Jan 1, all mobile phone service providers cannot The National Broadcasting and charge customers more than 99 saTelecommunications Commission tang/minute. Operators can still ofhas again imposed penalties on tele- fer promotion packages, but when it com operators for failure to prop- is calculated per minute, it must... erly register prepaid SIM cards as Full story at http://goo.gl/72wn0 well as failing to scrap the expiration date on prepaid mobile credits. The AIS promises watchdog ordered a fine of 80,000 50 pct 3G coverage baht per day on operators failing by March to comply with the prepaid registration rule. An additional 100,000 Advanced Info Service has set an baht will be imposed per day if op- ambitious goal of accelerating its erators still set an expiration date on new 3G network roll-out and covprepaid mobile service. ering half the population in the first quarter under a budget of 13 billion NBTC issued warning letters yes- baht. The country’s biggest mobile terday for four telecom firms – Ad- operator is also determined to exvanced Info Service, Total Access pand 3G service on the 2.1-gigaCommunication, TOT and CAT hertz frequency (under a new liTelecom – for violating Section 64 censing agreement) to cover 80% of of the 2001 Telecom Business Act, the population within a year. which requires operators to register prepaid customers’ personal data. “We plan a commercial launch of The four companies are supposed to our 3G 2.1-GHz service under the pay 14.6 million baht each for ret- AIS 3G brand by May, with at least roactive fines dating back from last 3,000 base stations in Bangkok and July 6. 18 major provinces,” said chief executive Wichian Mektrakarn. Target The NBTC also sent letters to the customers are the existing 4 million big three mobile operators – AIS, using AIS’s 3G 900-megahertz serDTAC and True Move – for failing vice, he said. to comply with the regulation governing the validity of mobile refill The company has 39 million subcards. The three operators are sup- scribers in all. It wants to make posed to pay retroactive fines of 21.9 3G service affordable to the mass million baht each dating from May market by offering low-cost devic30. es bundled with a variety of tariff plans. The strategy is aimed at per“2013 will be a year of focus on con- suading AIS’s existing 30 million 2G sumer protection,” said Takorn Tan- users to switch to the 3G network. tasit, the NBTC’s secretary-general. “We’ll revise... The National Broadcasting and Full story at http://goo.gl/Sr2cX Telecommunications Commission stipulated 3G licence holders Mobile calls capped has must expand their network coverat B 0.99/minute age to 50% of the total population in All domestic mobile phone calls the first two years after receiving... made from Jan 1, 2013 are regu- Full story at http://goo.gl/glHoz

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BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

B www.BBBrief.com riefs

Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

liam Shakespe are Nature and life ar seasons of the yea the phases of the r http://goo.gl/o Caught up in da m zbNM ily ily forget that Asia stands to the b has cycles, too. We a gain from W with the econo mi slowdown est of expansion, con c tra cov ery. However, The shift of eco o no mentum to the mic growth mo- phenomena affect... up numerous East has opened Full story at http://go op Asian countries portunities that out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia b economist. off, not immu The robust eco fr om global c nomic growth China and em of erging economi will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : Th w opportunity sis in the late 1990 for Asian economi s was es wealth from tra to increase their call for the region that de in goods an out to be services at a tim a blessing i d e States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as t e financial sec Full story at htt are... p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now s tain a cer of shocks from the ta Grow with th fallo e fl ow We ste rn Hemisphere, of cycles to a panellist at a rece ‘There is a tid con ference. e men, which, tak in the affairs of leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi ll be more cris tune”, wrote Wi l- future, an d the Asian Sponsored by

Use your smartphone’s QR Code scanner or enter the short code to go directly to AMCHAM’s website.

...

The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM) 7th Floor, GPF Witthayu Tower A, 93/1 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 254 1041 Fax: +66 (0)2 251 1605 Website: www.amchamthailand.com Email: service@amchamthailand.com

http://goo.gl/mbUpG

Thailand Tourism Forum (TTF) Attracts Industry Leaders On January 31, The Thailand Tourism Forum (TTF) again attracted hotel investors and hospitality leaders to discuss and assess the state of Thailand’s tourism sector. This was the second year that the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM) and C9 Hotelworks have organized the event, which has emerged as the kick-off event of the year for evaluating Thailand’s tourism sector and offers an open forum for dialogue with business partners and government officials in the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, TAT and the AOT.

After-event networking session • Hotel Leaders Summit • Hotel Market Recap 2012 – Major & Secondary Thai Destinations • Investment and Hotel Transaction Market Update • Hotel Entrepreneurs – Developing New Thai Brands • Five Viewpoints on Thailand’s Airports | Will They Enable or Hold • Back the Country’s Tourism Growth? • Th  ailand Tourism: Readiness for ASEAN Econ. Community 2015 The event concluded with a networking reception compliments of the InterContinental Bangkok.

World Bank Sr. Economist briefs AMCHAM TTF Hotel Leaders Summit “Thailand’s tourism sector is among the world’s most vibrant,” said Matt Bradley, AMCHAM President. “In 2012, the tourism industry accommodated 22.4 million arrivals, and this number will continue to grow in 2013 due to increased regional short haul travel, continued improvement in the global economy and Thailand’s inherent strengths and affinity for travel and tourism.”

On January 30, at the Renaissance Bangkok Rachaprasong Hotel, Dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr, Senior Economist at the World Bank, provided AMCHAM members and guests a review of the World Bank’s recently released publication analyzing Thailand’s economy, the Thailand Economic Monitor. Dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr was the publication’s principal author. The event was the January installment of AMCHAM’s Monthly Membership Luncheon program.

Key event participants included senior executives Chanin Donavanik, Chief Executive Officer of Dusit International, Dilip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, and Peter Henley, CEO and President of Onyx Hospitality & Hotels. This year’s event was kicked-off with a clever five minutes promo film produced by C9 Hotelworks and seven panels, headed by sector experts, led discussions on the following issues: • Thailand Tourism Scoreboard

To rea enter the sto

Dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr and AMCHAM Vice President David Nardone


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December 20 11

Briefs 17

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-February/Mid-March 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

liam Shakespe are Nature and life ar seasons of the yea the phases of the r http://goo.gl/o Caught up in da m zbNM ily ily forget that Asia stands to the b has cycles, too. We gain from W with the econo mi slowdown est of expansion, con c tra cov ery. However, The shift of eco o no mentum to the mic growth mo- phenomena affect... up numerous East has opened Full story at http://go op Asian countries portunities that out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia b economist. off, not immu The robust eco fr om global c nomic growth China and em of erging economi will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : Th w opportunity sis in the late 1990 for Asian economi s wa es wealth from tra to increase their call for the region that de in goods an out to be services at a tim a blessing i d e States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as t e financial sec Full story at htt are... p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now tain a cer of shocks from the ta Grow with th fallo e fl ow We ste rn Hemisphere, of cycles to a panellist at a rece ‘There is a tid con ference. e men, which, tak in the affairs of leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi ll be more cris tune”, wrote Wi l- future, an d the Asian Sponsored by

Use your smartphone’s QR Code scanner or enter the short code to go directly to AustCham’s website.

...

The Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AustChamThailand) 20th Floor, Thai CC Tower, 889 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 210 0216-8 Fax: +66 (0)2 675 6696 Website: www.austchamthailand.com Email: admin@austchamthailand.com

2012 AustCham Thailand President’s Award AustCham Thailand would like to congratulate members Andrew Biggs and Paul Kenny who have been recognised in the Australia Unlimited ‘Global Talent’ list of 50 Australian achievers living and working abroad. Released to coincide with Australia Day 2013, the list recognises the contribution of the Australian expatriate community: “Australian expats tend to be well educated, well connected and successful. Some of Australia’s most talented, productive and motivated citizens chose to spend time building their careers away from home. Many retain a strong sense of Australianness and plenty of good-will towards their country of birth.” To view the full Australia Unlimited Global 50 Australia day report please visit: www.australiaunlimited. com/society/australia-unlimited-global-talent. Recognising that the Global 50 list is just the tip of the iceberg of talented and successful Australian expatriates, Australia Unlimited is calling for suggestions, including tweets to @australiaunlimited

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Paul Kenny, Thailand CEO, Minor Food Group Based in bustling Bangkok, Paul Kenny has led Minor Food Group PCL as CEO for over 12 years, following various management positions he held in MFG since 1993. He is responsible for driving the overall strategic direction and growth of the company to where it is today. Currently the company operates more than 15 brands and a network of more than 1,300 restaurants in 16 countries internationally. He is a member of several boards, including Minor International PCL, listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Congratulations to AustCham Global Achievers: Andrew Biggs, Thailand Journalist, author and TV personality, Andrew Biggs Academy Australian journalist Andrew Biggs arrived in Bangkok in 1989 on a two-day stopover and has been there ever since. In the past 24 years he’s become a high profile Thai-speaking farang (foreigner) working as a journalist, radio commentator, TV host, author, publisher and founder of English language school, the Andrew Biggs Academy. In 2005 Biggs was the first foreigner awarded the Phetch Siam Award for excellence in using the Thai language, evidenced by some 16 books he’s written including the 1997 bestseller How to Speak Thai Like a Farang.

Andrew Biggs

To re enter the sto

Paul Kenny

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Learn property investment strategies and build significant tax credits for your return to Australia. Attend our free presentation: 20th February, 6.30 pm Beverage & finger food supplied. For more information or to confirm your attendance: Contact Greg Shand 0909 547 616 or Email Greg@expatpropertyplanners.com.au Venue: Tenderloins Steak House 7/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 33 - BTS Phrom Phong Station


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The Chambers

15 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 309 5250 Website: www.beluthai.org Email: info@beluthai.org

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Danish-Thai CC (Dancham) 34 C.P. Tower 3, 9th Floor Tower A, Phayathai Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0)2 354 5220 Fax: +66 (0)2 354 5221 Website: www.dancham.or.th Email: contact@dancham.or.th

Franco-Thai CC (FTCC)

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Malaysian-Thai CC (MTCC)

3601 36th Floor, Q Houses Lumpini Bldg., South Sathorn Rd., Tungmahamek, Sathorn Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 677 7393 Fax: +66 (0)2 677 7394 Website: www.mtcc.or.th http://goo.gl/Xqn32 Email: admin@mtcc.or.th

Netherlands-Thai CC (NTCC)

Tel: +66 (0)2 309 5250 Website: www.ntccthailand.org Email: info@ntccthailand.org

German-Thai CC (GTCC)

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9th Floor, ITF Tower, 140/26 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 634 3283 Fax: +66 (0)2 634 3004 Website: www.nztcc.org http://goo.gl/7IxHW Email: director@nztcc.org

Singapore-Thai CC (STCC)

25th Fl., Empire Tower 3, 195 South Sathorn Road Yannawa, Sathorn Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 670 0600 Fax: +66 (0)2 670 0601 Website: www.gtcc.org Email: services@gtcc.org http://goo.gl/KizCx

India-Thai CC (ITCC)

193/8 Lake Rajada Office Complex, 1st Floor Rachadapisek Road, Klongtoey, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 264 0680-4 Fax: +66 (0)2 264 0688 Website: www.singaporethaicc.or.th Email: marketing@singaporethaicc.or.th http://goo.gl/hwtqK

South African-Thai CC (SATCC)

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Irish Thai CC (ITCC) Maneeya Center Bldg, 7th Fl, 518/5 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 652 0848 Fax: +66 (0)2 652 0671 Website: www.irishthaicc.com Email: info@irishthaicc.com http://goo.gl/vTn6j

Japanese CC (JCC) 15th floor Amarin Tower, 500 Ploenchit Road, Kwang Lumpini, Khet Patumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 256 9170-3 Fax: +66 (0)2 652 0931 Website: www.jcc.or.th Email: info@jcc.or.th http://goo.gl/Ak9yr

To re enter the sto

liam Shakespe are Nature and life ar seasons of the yea the phases of the r http://goo.gl/o Caught up in da m zbNM ily ily forget that Asia stands to the b has cycles, too. We gain from W with the econo mi slowdown est of expansion, con c tra cov ery. However, The shift of eco o no mentum to the mic growth mo- phenomena affect... up numerous East has opened Full story at http://go op Asian countries portunities that out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia b economist. off, not immu The robust eco fr om global c nomic growth China and em of erging economi will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : Th w opportunity sis in the late 1990 for Asian economi s wa es wealth from tra to increase their call for the region that de in goods an out to be services at a tim a blessing i d e States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as t e financial sec Full story at htt are... p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now tain a cer of shocks from the ta Grow with th fallo e fl ow We ste rn Hemisphere, of cycles to a panellist at a rece ‘There is a tid con ference. e men, which, tak in the affairs of leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi ll be more cris tune”, wrote Wi l- future, an d the Asian ...

New Zealand Thai CC (NZTCC)

5th Floor, Indosuez House, 152 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 650 9613-4 Fax: +66 (0)2 650 9739 Website: www.francothaicc.com Email: contact@francothaicc.com http://goo.gl/QmEcX

No. 13, Sathorn Soi 1, Thungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 287 3001 Fax: +66 (0)2 679 7720 Website: www.itcc.or.th Email: info@itcc.or.th

General Inte

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15 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

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December 20 11

B www.BBBrief.com riefs

Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

Belgian-Luxembourg/Thai CC (BeLuThai)

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

10/143 (1503A), 15th Fl The Trendy Bldg Soi Sukhumvit 13, Klongtoey-Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 168 7416-7 Fax: +66 (0)2 168 7418 Website: www.satcc.net Email: satcc@satcc.net http://goo.gl/szwoZ

Swiss Thai CC (STCC) Bangkok Business Centre Bldg, 18th Fl., Unit 1802 #29, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 714-4177 Fax: +66 (0)2 714-4179 Website: www.swissthai.com Email: info@swissthai.com http://goo.gl/EQ7pz

Thai-Canadian CC (TCCC) 139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower, 9th Floor, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 266 6085/6 Fax: +66 (0)2 266 6087 Website: www.tccc.or.th Email: tccc@loxinfo.co.th http://goo.gl/xOX5c


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Mid-February/Mid-March 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

The Chambers

Thai C. C. Tower 9th Fl., 889 South Sathorn Rd., Sathorn Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 675 8577-84 Fax: +66 (0)2 212 3916-7 Website: www.thaicc.org Email: info@thaicc.org http://goo.gl/nvgVp

Thai-Finnish CC (TFCC) C/O FINPRO Office, Netpoint SEA Ltd. 2nd Floor Wandee Siam Bldg, 58/84 Muangthong Thani, Chaengwattana, Klongklua, Nonthaburi 11120 Tel: +66 (0)2 574 2879-80 Fax: +66 (0)2 574 2877 Website: www.thaifin.or.th Email: tfcc@thaifin.or.th http://goo.gl/bZC1O

Thai-Hong Kong Trade Association (THTA) Empire Tower, 25th Floor, 195 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0)2 343 9000 Fax: +66 (0)2 343 9029 Website: www.thta.or.th http://goo.gl/qY8zE Email: thai-hongkong@thta.or.th

Thai-Israel CC (TICC) 14th Fl., Manorom Building, 3354/45 Rama 4 Rd., Klongton, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 672 7020 Fax: +66 (0)2 672 7021 Website: www.thaisraelcc.com http://goo.gl/ua3Aw Email: ticc@thaisraelcc.com

Thai-Italian CC (TICC) 1126/2 Vanit II Building, 16th Floor, 1601B New Petchburi Rd., Makkasan, Rajdhevee, Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0)2 255 8695 Fax: +66 (0)2 253 9896 Website: www.thaitch.org Email: info@thaitch.org http://goo.gl/AAoTx

General Inte ...

Thai Samut Asset Co., Ltd., Unit J, 16th Floor, 163 Suriwongse Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 634 0147-8 Fax: +66 (0)2 634 0149 Website: www.thai-pakistanchamber.com Email: info@thai-pakistanchamber.com http://goo.gl/PQj3C

Thai-Russian CC (TRCC)

Thai-Norwegian CC (TNCC) 888/142 Ploenchit Rd, 14th Fl., Mahatun Plaza, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 650 8444 Fax: +66 (0)2 627 3042 Website: www.norcham.com Email: contact@norcham.com http://goo.gl/wom78

To re enter the sto

liam Shakespe are Nature and life ar seasons of the yea the phases of the r http://goo.gl/o Caught up in da m zbNM ily ily forget that Asia stands to the b has cycles, too. We gain from W with the econo mi slowdown est of expansion, con c tra cov ery. However, The shift of eco o no mentum to the mic growth mo- phenomena affect... up numerous East has opened Full story at http://go op Asian countries portunities that out, suggests an should not miss Panel: Asia b economist. off, not immu The robust eco fr om global c nomic growth China and em of erging economi will open a ne es KUALA LUMPUR : Th w opportunity sis in the late 1990 for Asian economi s wa es wealth from tra to increase their call for the region that de in goods an out to be services at a tim a blessing i d e States and Europ when the United nearly 15 years later, as t e financial sec Full story at htt are... p://goo.gl/S65D6 able to sus tor is now tain a cer of shocks from the ta Grow with th fallo e fl ow We ste rn Hemisphere, of cycles to a panellist at a rece ‘There is a tid con ference. e men, which, tak in the affairs of leads on to for en at the flood, “There wi ll be more cris tune”, wrote Wi l- future, an d the Asian

Use your smartphone’s QR Code scanner or enter the short code to go directly to a Chamber’s website.

Thai-Pakistan CC (TPCC)

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Sponsored by

14th Floor Loxley Bldg, 102 Na Ranong Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 348 8873 Fax: +66 (0)2 240 3307 Website: www.trcc.or.th http://goo.gl/Pk8wu Email: admin@trcc.or.th

Thai-Swedish CC (TSCC) 34 C.P Tower 3, 9th Floor Tower A, Phyathai Rd, Ratchathewi Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0)2 354 5229-31 Fax: +66 (0)2 354 5232 Website: www.swecham.com http://goo.gl/rPFRL Email: contact@swecham.com

Thai-Taiwan Business Association (TTBA) No. 30/207 Sukhumvit Soi 39, Sukhumvit Rd., Kiongtannua, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 662 7335-6, 662 7385 Fax: +66 (0)2 662 7382 Website: www.ttba.or.th Email: ttba@ttba.or.th http://goo.gl/DdLeZ

Joint Foreign CC of Thailand (JFCCT) 38th Floor, State Tower 1055/914 Silom Rd, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 (0)2 630 6307 Fax: +66 (0)2 630 6303 Website: www.jfcct.org Email: secretary@jfcct.org http://goo.gl/PVRjt

Korean-Thai CC (KTCC) 6th Fl. Rajapark Bldg, 163 Asoke Sukhumvit 21 Rd, Klong Toey Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0)2 204 2503 Fax: +66 (0)2 204 2504 Website: www.korchamthai.com Email: ktcc@korchamthai.com http://goo.gl/H33BK

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to be good doing many dirty things and is so rich?” So, the corruption is the one thing that can disturb and kill the trust and confidence Story continued from Page 1. of the people in their leaders. So, now, the leader of China says he tures in China, but they still maintain control. So I think that stability would like to clean up the corruption, and he has a big job to focus on is most important, and the spirit of the people. and restore confidence. I think this is the new generation of Chinese leadership. Things can’t be done like they were before. So, in China, BBB: China has done a phenomenal job of using cheap labor to ex- I think this is the main problem. In the past twenty years, they have port, and they have refined this over the years and are now are moving been growing well, but things like this will make the people unhappy. towards more importing. They are attempting to build the infrastructure and move people away from the cities and get them out into the BBB: We’ve been talking about China. Do you feel there are lessons countryside. How do you feel this fits in with communications and for Thailand? social media? Twenty years ago, there wasn’t a Twitter or Facebook to think about. VK: Yes, I think we should have more concern for the environment. I travelled down many roads in China, and next to the road, they alVK: You’re right. Normally with economic growth, you see the infra- ways kept it green. They have trees growing everywhere. I think we structure and communications growing in parallel. In China, they are could learn and should be keeping things green. We should be usstill very much controlled. They have to control, and they feel they ing more green energy like wind turbines or using sunshine for solar need to control all of the media. But because of the systems and tech- power. Also things like electricity for motorcycles. nology of today, these things are becoming more difficult to control. So they are slowly changing as people gain knowledge. So this is why BBB: One of the things I’ve noticed in Thailand is that the logistics I said, if China can keep the country stable…. costs are substantially higher than most developed countries. There is a lot of money spent on things like gasoline. So, aside from what you BBB: That’s a big if. With social media, things travel lightening fast. are saying, I feel that if logistics costs were cut and carbon emissions reduced, in the end, solving the logistics problem in itself is greener. VK: [laughs] If you are the leader of China today, technology is probably the cause of a major headache, right? But how about the next ten VK: Logistics costs are most expensive by truck followed by train. The years? cheapest would be by water. Singapore is the cheapest because all of the logistics are coming in and out by seawater. So if you are looking BBB: Worse. Definitely it will be worse. at the GDP, Thailand is higher. If you are in the private sector and your factory is in Korat, what choices do you have? In the old days, first you VK: That is the point. If they can remain stable in the future, they will have a truck. If you really wanted to go to Laem Chabang, your second have the world’s greatest economy. But that is my biggest worry be- choice would be by rail. That’s it. All over the country, that is how the cause in the past, Chinese leaders – take, for example, Bo Xilai, whose structure is. Of course, today, going in a container by rail to the port is wife killed the British man – when people find out about things like getting more popular. But the problem is the business. If you are lookthis, they stop and think, “Oh, why is our politician who is supposed ing at the BOI approval, 50% of the industry is located by the Eastern Seaboard. If we are talking about grain and agricultural products, they are located all over the whole country. What choice do they have but by truck? If you are a businessman, you have to be efficient. How can you rely on the Thai railroads? [laughs] That is a fact. We have to be efficient. We have to send millions of tons of rice, corn, and tapioca every year. If the train was cheaper, more reliable, and more efficient, of course you would be smarter to use the train. If you look back over the past ten years, you may see the train has been moving more and more. However, like I said, if you are looking at the transportation and logistics compared to the GDP, this is why Thailand is higher. This is 124 Sukhumvit 38 because of the structure of the service provided by the government. If Prakanong, Klongtoey the rails were run by the private sector you would see it change. This Bangkok 10110 • Thailand is a problem in our country. Anything run by the government will Tel. 02 712 4052 not be as efficient. So yes, we need to change. We need to improve. At Amata, we have so many container yards. So many are produced Publisher and Managing Director (Thai Sales) per day. But most rely on trucks because of the location. If you are the Pavinee Chaymanee • 084-147-5550 owner, are you going to move your container from the factory on a thailandmagazine@gmail.com truck, then by train, and then from the train…? So, that is the system.

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BBB: Logistics cost represent 14% of the GDP. In most industrialized countries, it is more like six or seven percent. If we could reduce the logistics cost here, then the reduction in fuel and wear and tear on the roads would have to be phenomenal. I would think this would have more impact than planting trees. VK: Sure. Well, they need to do three things. Number one would be to make more eco-cars. Thailand is currently producing a lot of eco-cars. Number two, I feel, is industry. They are trying to save more energy and cut costs. To cut costs means to keep production but reduce energy. So that is what we are doing with the system we call the ‘Smart City.’ We want to be ‘smart’ and keep the same production levels, but cut costs. Number three, I believe, would be trying to switch from gasoline to natural gas. So those are things we are talking about controlling costs while helping the environment. One thing we regret about our country is our leaders don’t come by capability, they come by quota. How much they invest, how many


BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-February/Mid-March 2013

21

seats they will get. That is the trouble. I always have people request me to be the Prime Minister. I just say to them, “I’m a lazy man.” But really, I like to talk. I would like to influence society. I’m talking about positive things, contributing things – not only in Thailand, but for the world. As I mentioned, it’s a strange country. There’s really no system. I’m Thai, but I don’t really agree with the way Thai people are doing things. But if you look at how they’ve been doing things for the past 30 to 50 years, they are still going and going. They say, “Sabai, sabai….” They still survive. They are not serious, but they still get things going. This is one of the things I always wonder about. They are lucky. They are not going by capability. BBB: As Americans say, it is sometimes better to be lucky than good. VK: [laughs] You see. They are lucky. They are not capable, but they are lucky. In our country, there are no earthquakes, no typhoons, no snow. This is already what we call lucky. Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, or wherever.... BBB: It’s not stable. VK: Yeah, not by God. [laughs] That is why we are lucky. BBB: What God gave us was Thai politicians. That’s our calamity. VK: [laughs] In my industrial park today, it’s very, very rare that I see factories dead. Most of them make profit and are growing. Chinese are 100%. I would say, in my factories, 99% are successful. It’s because they are lucky. There are no earthquakes, no floods, no typhoons, no nothing. That is a good thing for them. Government… that does not affect them so much because they are living in a compound. At Amata, we give them one-stop service. They don’t need to be concerned about the government. They don’t care who the Prime Minister is. They just care about what Amata provides to them. They come to stay in Amata because everything is on the table. They don’t need to talk with anyone else. If you are a foreigner and you come, you get the land price, you get the utilities, you get your licenses. You get everything you need. Your duty is your fence. My duty is outside of your fence. We cooperate like that so you don’t have to waste a minute of your time. That is our system. When it flooded many… gone. Many Japanese companies went bankrupt. You can see how important Thai production is by the affect on the Japanese companies. They didn’t have the cargo or supplies because those electronics factories are located in the north of Bangkok. And why didn’t Amata flood? It’s because our location is next to the sea. And when the water comes, where does it go? It goes out to sea. BBB: Do you have positive thoughts about Asean? VK: Yes. Yes, I do. Asean is getting better. In the old days, everyone was living alone. How do you reduce costs? I think, politically, if everyone can talk as a family, they reduce the defense costs. When they come together as a family, there is less cost for maintenance. When people come over to Thailand as a labor force, they can come to work. In Bangkok, they can go shopping or go to the motor show. The movement of people will be greater. And when people are moving, the costs are reduced and efficiency will be higher. It means I bring my money, my technology, and my market to my neighbors. A lot of things have been growing with our neighbors. What does Thailand need? We need labor and raw materials. Thai people will go to do whatever they can do in the production and mining of raw material. Do you think it’s better? Of course! Asean GDP is about growth. The opportunities are more and the costs are less. Lastly, the name of Asean adds more value. Why? Many leaders of the world come to the Asean Summit. If it was Thailand alone, do you think people would come? Laos? Cambodia? No. The world needs a brand. The world needs something more solid.

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The Calendar

For event details, enter the short code below the event into your browser:

17

18

Feb.

Sunday

19 AMCHAM: Professional Women Cmte., Protecting Diplomats: An Insider’s View http://goo.gl/2sLdW

25 AMCHAM: US-Myanmar Trade and Investment Relations – Path Forward http://goo.gl/KfuAf

3

goo.gl/6ngBg

Tuesday

Monday

Bangkok Entrepreneurs http://goo.gl/JihG3

24

Bangkok Trader Networking Party http://goo.gl/6ngBg

26 AMCHAM: Business Economics Cmte http://goo.gl/53ai2 Bangkok Trader Networking Night http://goo.gl/EnNbR

4

5 AMCHAM: Board of Governors Meeting http://goo.gl/zY14m

Mar.

10

11

17

18 AMCHAM: Legal Cmte http://goo.gl/D0C5B Bangkok Entrepreneurs http://goo.gl/JihG3

24

25

12

AMCHAM: HR & Healthcare Cmtes http://goo.gl/x35Ii AMCHAM: BOT Dirs. Mtg http://goo.gl/NC5w0 AustCham: Board of Dirs. http://goo.gl/oGK71 AMCHAM: Mktg Cmte http://goo.gl/cBnkt

19

AMCHAM: ICT Cmte – Digital Television in Thailand http://goo.gl/H8Yhe AMCHAM: Energy & Environment – 2013 Outlook of Thailand Economy http://goo.gl/1t5Wi

26 AMCHAM: Business Economics Cmte http://goo.gl/LIq7i


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Mid-February/Mid-March 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

23

Send us your event details for the Mid-March/Mid-April issue by March 5th to reid@bangkokbusinessbrief.com Wednesday

Thursday

20

AMCHAM: HR & Legal – Annual AMCHAM Labor Environment Update http://goo.gl/CB7Dv AMCHAM: Energy Cmte http://goo.gl/CyqEG

Friday

21

22

23

28

1

2

7

8

9

14

15

16

Tax Cmte: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) http://goo.gl/3mx7d

27

AMCHAM: Customs & Transportation – National Single Window & AEO Program http://goo.gl/0uw3S Joint Chambers: Eastern Seaboard Sundowners http://goo.gl/fZpjp

AMCHAM: CSR Cmte http://goo.gl/EXEPU

AMCHAM: Monthly Luncheon http://goo.gl/3esbS

6 AustCham: Annual General Meeting http://goo.gl/HXagX AustCham: Sundowners http://goo.gl/ufSgH

AMCHAM: Santa Fe ChariBowl Tournament http://goo.gl/9bsu3 AMCHAM: YPC Networking http://goo.gl/6jx02

13

AMCHAM: Food & Agri-Business Cmte http://goo.gl/HFDIz AMCHAM: SME Cmte http://goo.gl/54fJ7 AMCHAM: Social Networking http://goo.gl/MH5en

AMCHAM: Transportation & Logistic Cmte http://goo.gl/PaBIS

AustCham: Voluntary English Teaching http://goo.gl/wS8oK

20

21 AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte http://goo.gl/Hw1q5 AMCHAM: Tax Cmte http://goo.gl/7myuh

27 AMCHAM: Monthly Luncheon http://goo.gl/nxE8K

Saturday

28 AMCHAM: CSR Cmte http://goo.gl/FDGrN

22

AMCHAM: 2013 APCAC Regional Conference Taipei http://goo.gl/Z3UgQ Joint Chambers: Eastern Seaboard Sundowners http://goo.gl/Y1w9l

29

Orion: Computer Forensics Course http://goo.gl/gJoon AMCHAM: Independence Day Picnic Cmte http://goo.gl/It9IJ AustCham: Phuket Sundowners http://goo.gl/LyZI8

23 AMCHAM: 2013 APCAC Regional Conference Taipei http://goo.gl/Z3UgQ

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Bangkok Business Brief - Volume 2, Issue 3 - Mid-February/March 2013  

Business news briefs for Bangkok, Thailand, Southeast Asia, and ASEAN for Mid-February to March 2013

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