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BANGKOK

BUSINESS BRIEF

Vol. No. 2, Issue No. 4

Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

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Here cometh the latecomers By Raymond Babbitt

As the world’s attention has mar, investors from around the shifted to the opening of Myan- world seem to be both excited and cautious about the opportunities in this strategically located country with a tumultuous hisGeneral Interest 2 tory. Economically and socially, Production 3 Myanmar’s lowest point was in 1987 when the United Nations Finance/Investment 4 declared that it had joined the Government/Economy 6 ranks of the world’s least develRetail/Services 8 oped countries. While it is curTourism 10 rently the fourth largest nation Real Estate 12 in ASEAN in terms of populaIT/Comms 14 tion, Myanmar’s economy is still The Chambers 16 only one tenth the size of the The Calendar 22 Thai economy, and has a range of infrastructure and institu-

Inside

tional issues that make many potential investors nervous. But while these possible pitfalls exist, Myanmar also has the advantage of what some call ‘Latecomer’s Syndrome’: the ability to learn from the experiences, and especially the mistakes, of neighboring countries like Thailand, that have seen steady, and sometimes dramatic, economic growth over the past five or six decades.

try laid the foundations for its economic growth in the 1980s, the 1990s, and through most of the 21st century so far. During this era, Thailand established its Budget Bureau (1959), Fiscal Policy Office (1961), Board of Investment, and revamped its National Economic and Social Development Board (1959). With the Bank of Thailand, these agencies set annual budgets for the government and placed a After the devastation of World priority on development projWar II, Thailand’s economy was ects, especially infrastructure. agricultural-based, but in the peStory continues on Page 20 riod from 1950-1973, the coun-


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http://goo.gl/ozbNM

Push for language, IT skills development in run-up to AEC

Thailand urgently needs to develop language and IT skills as well as establish a career standard to ensure the competitiveness of professional workers ahead of the free flow of labour under the AEC. At the “7+1professional careers heading Thailand into the AEC” event, organised by the International Institute of Trade and Development, panellists said Thai workers were quite weak in English language skills and information technology when compared with their counterparts in other Asean countries. Agencies therefore need to rapidly prepare professionals to develop their English and IT skills so that

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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

their careers are as secure as pos- foreign companies in the Kingdom sible in light of liberalisation of the will find it harder to get the right movement of workers under the employees in a tight labour market. AEC, they said. Chief among the changes is the In 2015, Asean member states are fact that the coming regional intecommitted under a Mutual Recog- gration is drawing more Japanese nition Arrangement to allowing the companies – facing a strong yen free flow of workers in a number and hence lower competitiveness of key professions. The professions at home – to the Kingdom thanks covered by the pact are doctors, den- to its good logistical position in the tists, nurses, engineers, architects, region. Kasikornbank has reported accountants, surveyors and workers that this year, more than 1,000 mein the hospitality sector. Asean pro- dium-sized Japanese companies are fessionals in these areas will be able planning to expand into Thailand. to work in another Asean country “As Japanese firms increasingly reproviding they... locate to the Kingdom, people who Full story at http://goo.gl/o9RRK have good Japanese communication skills and self-discipline as well Job seekers must as good understanding of Japanese change strategies working culture are among the most The AEC is greatly reshaping the required by such...” job landscape in Thailand, de- Full story at http://goo.gl/tpRnp manding that workers change their strategies for finding and securing Reputation matters positions. Job-recruitment agencies Nissan is reaping the benefits of alhave warned that while the AEC lowing its workers to help rebuild will increase opportunities for some a flood-ravaged community in skilled Thai white-collar workers Pathum Thani. In the culture of the both here and overseas, local and new capitalism, corporate social re-

goo.gl/bH6PF

sponsibility is a key proposition to achieve and sustain business gains. While most big companies are fully engaged in thousands of CSR activities, pouring a lot of money into them, it is vital to make sure the activities are strategic, sustained and meaningful for the people they affect. Nissan Motor (Thailand) recently announced the second year of its joint philanthropic project with charity Habitat for Humanity Thailand to help 33 families in Sam Khok district of Pathum Thani province who were badly affected by the floods in late 2011. Under the agreement, Nissan has donated 4.35 million baht and two Nissan Navara pickup trucks. The cash has been used by Habitat for Humanity to build 15 new houses and repair another 18. Families were able to move into eight new houses last week. Designed and built by the charity’s volunteers, each house took only about two weeks to build. About 100 Nissan Thailand employees also took... Full story at http://goo.gl/VhcKV


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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

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Singha eyes brewery in Myanmar after alliance

Singha Corporation plans to set up a brewery in Myanmar as part of its new strategic alliance with Carlsberg. Piti Bhirombhakdi, regional marketing director, said that Singha was fully committed to making Carlsberg the No 1 premium beer in Thailand and its own Singha beer a top-three brand in Asia within five years. Currently it ranks fifth or sixth in the region. “We will spend Bt200 million this year in promoting Carlsberg beer in Thailand and some neighbouring Asean markets. We expect to sell 5 million litres of Carlsberg in the first year and to grow 15-20 per cent annually in the following years. We also want our Singha beer to penetrate deeper into the global market by capitalising... Full story at http://goo.gl/rtMDC

...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 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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Dirty business thrives

A pig farm has turned dung into cash with a biogas facility that produces electricity. The small pig farm Mercedes-Benz to in Nakhon Ratchasima has proved raise output, centres that businesses can turn green and economical even though certain Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), the Ger- aspects of production are beyond man luxury car maker, will spend their control. 200 million baht this year to raise production capacity in Thailand “Although there are costs that are and 1 billion baht to add five more determined by the market beyond dealer and service centres nation- our control, there are other hidden wide. Alexander Paufler, the presi- costs where we can reduce and opdent and chief executive, said the timise,” says Worapot Sajjawatana, investment will raise production ca- owner of Bua Khaw Pig Farm. “The pacity at its Thonburi Assembly Co key is to figure out where in the proauto plant in Samut Prakan, where duction process these hidden costs Mercedes-Benz cars are produced, lie.” by another 2,000 to 3,000 units from 16,000 now. After 25 years in the business, Mr Worapot was confronted with an Mercedes-Benz expects rising Thai increase in costs, including electricdemand for premium cars from ity and dealing with large amounts both the middle- and high-income of pig dung with little market value. segments, as economic growth is Thinking creatively, Mr Worapot projected to continue at 5% this decided to offset costs by turning year, said Mr Paufler. “We have to pig dung into more than... prepare our capacity for on-shelf Full story at http://goo.gl/J4JCT products, adopt new technology to meet every segment’s demands and Unilever to pour in Bt2.8 bn strengthen our networks,” he said. Unilever yesterday announced that The company now operates 29 deal- it would invest Bt2.8 billion in Thaiers and service centres. The first new land this year in a new factory for centre this year will be introduced liquid home-care products as well as in Nakhon Ratchasima at the end of a distribution centre. The move is to April, with the next one planned for serve the growth of both the domesHua Hin. Others are slated for... tic market and export to markets Full story at http://goo.gl/d3Edu within Asean. http://goo.gl/UrVpE

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Bauke Rouwers, chairman of the Unilever Thai Group of Companies, said the new manufacturing facility for home-care products would be set up at its existing complex in Lat Krabang Industrial Estate with an investment of Bt800 million. Another Bt2 billion would be allocated to a new distribution centre in Bang Nam Prieo district of Chachoengsao province. The investments are aimed at improving logistics and growing the company’s sales of fastmoving consumer goods. He said the company had recognised the positive trends brought about by the improved minimum wage, which resulted in higher purchasing power of individual consumers, as well as the expansion of the middle class. Rouwers said that Unilever has been able to respond... Full story at http://goo.gl/BByRz

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Asco urges analysis of smaller stocks The Association of Securities Companies (ASCO) wants analysts to cover more small stocks, as investors have no reliable source of information for making decisions about small share trading. Chairwoman Pattera Dilokrungthirapop said Asco will begin gathering and providing information on 250 small and medium-sized enterprises to analysts at securities firms by next month.

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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: Asco has also advised the SET that listed firms should disclose more information to the public when share prices turn volatile. “The listed companies just inform the SET they have no idea why the prices rise or fall, and that doesn’t help us. We... Full story at http://goo.gl/3VwPf

Nok Air plans share sale

Budget carrier Nok Airlines, controlled by Thai Airways International Plc, plans to sell shares in an initial public offering in August as it seeks funds to expand its fleet. Nok Air, based in Bangkok, plans to sell a 30% stake in the company and use the money to buy Boeing 737-8 or 737 Max planes, chief executive officer Patee Sarasin said on Thursday. The airline has been profitable She said the move is aimed at help- for the past five years, he said in ing investors get more information. Singapore. He did not disclose the “At least investors can learn the amount the carrier aims to raise. fundamentals, financial results and news of the stocks. Analysts have The carrier also plans to resume inoverlooked these stocks, resulting ternational flights this year with serin a lack of information,” said Mrs vices to China, Vietnam and Myanmar, Mr Patee said. Nok Air seeks to Pattera.

...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

expand operations with the funds raised as surging budget travel demand prompted Singapore Airlines Ltd and All Nippon Airways Co to start low-cost units last year. “It’s a good opportunity for Nok Air to raise funds for expansion,” said... Full story at http://goo.gl/NSL6U

Myanmar’s 2nd reform phase to focus on utilities

Myanmar is in the second phase of reform with an emphasis on public services, Kan Zaw, minister of national planning and economic development, said. Public utilities and facilities will be upgraded under the second phase, which will encompass education, communication, electricity, water sanitation and urban transport.

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very systematic and in the last two to three months. The Myanmar Post and Telecom Enterprise is going to corporatise. It means trying to work with a private-public partnership. This is big progress,” he said. “We will also work together with the private sector and regulators. Originally, the government is the sole proprietor of telecommunications, but after corporatisation, we will have four corporations dealing with the... Full story at http://goo.gl/DG065

Investors warned on Myanmar land

Thai businesses were warned yesterday to exercise extreme caution before buying or renting property in Myanmar, as land disputes are intensifying. Many state authorities are in conflict with local residents, farmers and landowners over the utilisation of land for new investReported earlier was Myanmar’s ment. attempt to grant telecom licences, which drew interest from telecom Constantly increasing prices of land companies in many countries in- in Myanmar have made land owncluding Thailand’s Advanced Info ership a serious problem for foreign Service and True Corp. “We are now investors who find it difficult to

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. check the real owner. The Myanmar government does not have an effective IT system to check against overlapping land deeds, an expert in investment in Myanmar said. Land disputes have escalated into legal battles between local residents and state authorities. Farmers have sued officials from a chemical plant in Sagaing region for allegedly appropriating more land for their plant than they were legally entitled to. There are similar cases in many economic areas near the former capital Yangon.

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To read the fu ll article of a story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter the Mid-March/Mid-April short code at ...added that the 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

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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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Mae Sot in Tak province to Yangon. Surveying and design work is expected to start next year. Ultimately, the link will help forge a roadway the bank plans to mobilise fund- spanning 1,500km from Mae Sot... ing mainly from so-called preferred Full story at http://goo.gl/l7icc customers. Up until now, this group was defined as those with investable Charoen takes assets of 3 million baht. But for cli- reins of F&N; plans ents opening deposit accounts this Chang breweries in year, the minimum is set at 1 milMyanmar lion baht. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi has The bank hopes to double its cus- taken control of Singapore’s Fraser tomer base and targets assets under and Neave, fulfilling his strategic exmanagement to grow by 60 billion pansion into the food-and-beverage baht by the end of the year, he said. and property markets of Southeast It has 12,000 preferred customers Asia, which is booming in compariwith total assets under management son with other regions. of around 100 billion baht now. He expects half of the increase to come Charoen is expected to appoint difrom deposits and the rest from rectors to F&N’s board and send a mutual funds, debentures, bancas- new management team soon, to surance and initial public offering start the know-how exchange with (IPO) shares. F&N executives.

Thanit Sorat, a former secretarygeneral of the Thai-Myanmar Economic Council, said the uncertainty over land ownership would definitely put a brake on investments... Full story at http://goo.gl/GoQ3T “We have a limited network comwith large local banks, so we SET index at 18-year pared can offer more personalised service high,billions surge in for preferred clients. And this cusThai shares were traded yesterday at tomer segment wants better returns the highest level since 1994, with the on their investment rather than... Kingdom having attracted Bt128 Full story at http://goo.gl/fVpjG billion in foreign capital inflows so far this year with little intervention New road links from the financial authorities. Posi- crucial to Myanmar’s tive economic indicators are draw- renaissance ing “hot money” into Thailand and elsewhere in Asia, in search of high- Among emerging markets, Myaner yields than those offered by de- mar has emerged as one of the veloped markets. This has boosted premier destinations for investors Asian shares, bonds and currencies. worldwide as companies scramble to gain a foothold in a country in On the Stock Exchange of Thailand, sore need of investment and techforeign net-buys totalled Bt864 mil- nology following decades of isolion, boosting the year-to-date net- lation. Thai companies and polibuys to Bt16.87 billion. Some Bt100 cymakers are no exception, with billion has gone into the bond mar- many firms already looking to form ket this year. The SET Index closed investment and trade ties with the at 1,506.37 points, which is 19.7 country’s neighbour. times the prospective earnings of listed companies. In the year to date, Transport links will be critical to the index is up 7.7 per cent. facilitating growth. The Finance Ministry, through the NeighbourThe MSCI Asia Pacific Index added ing Countries Economic Develop0.5 per cent, showing regional gains. ment Cooperation Agency, wants At the close, the SET’s market capi- to offer financial assistance to build talisation hit Bt12.8 trillion, leading four new key roadways linking the to anticipation that the Thai market’s countries. weight in the MSCI will be raised... Full story at http://goo.gl/Ztqib Neda president Acksiri Buranassaid the new road links will help CIMBT cuts limit for siri create a new Silk Road by reinforcits rich clients ing land routes linking Thailand and CIMB Thai Bank has lowered the Asean with the Middle East, South minimum asset level required to ap- Asia and Europe. ply for its wealth advisory service in order to expand its customer base. The first project, which will have Adisorn Sermchaiwong, the bank’s the Asian Development Bank as new senior executive vice-president an investment partner, will build a for retail banking, said this year 400-kilometre, two-lane road from

Charoen’s business arm, TCC Assets, bought another 4.1 million shares in F&N, in effect boosting the Thai tycoon’s stake in the Singaporean food-and-property conglomerate to 74 per cent. According to the filing to the Singapore Exchange, Charoen’s group – led by Thai Beverage and TCC Assets – owned 1.07 billion shares in F&N. F&N’s share price was 9.43 Singapore dollars, slightly lower than Charoen’s S$9.55 bid price, which values F&N at about Bt3.36 trillion.

laysia at $2.8 billion and Singapore at $2.1 billion. He said Thai firms returned to expansion mode after projects had been frozen since 2008 when the US sub-prime crisis hit, followed by domestic political strife and floods in late 2011. “This is a good time to raise funds from the market. Normally, when a company raises capital, its share price will decline on the dilution effect, but because of the supporting factors, their stocks performed well,” said Mr Chanitr. The big fund-raisers last year were Krung Thai Bank and PTT Group. This year, fund-raising demand will continue from small and mid-sized firms, but less so than... Full story at http://goo.gl/nhAeK

Grab piece of Asean action, banks advised

Some Thai banks are expected to acquire or enter joint ventures with banks in Asean to take advantage of increasing trade and investment between Thailand and new frontier markets such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, said global financial-service advisers. There is a great opportunity in the financial-service marketplace for Thai banks as Asean moves towards deeper economic integration in 2015, leading to a significant increase in trade finance and trade flows, Sushil Saluja, Accenture’s managing director of financial services for Asia-Pacific, said.

As Charoen looks set to take control of F&N, which has a presence in more than 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific, he is expanding his operations in Myanmar. The Myanmar Investment Commission has “We’re very excited about the opgiven the green light for Thai Bever- portunity and we also believe that age to open Chang Beer breweries... the time to act is now,” Saluja said. Full story at http://goo.gl/ZBNS0 He said Thai commercial banks SET companies should change their strategy of beraised $7.5bn ing takeover targets for banks from Singapore and Malaysia or other last year countries; they should instead look The Stock Exchange of Thailand for opportunities to take over other topped the region last year in terms banks in the region. of raising funds, with US$7.5 billion mobilised by listed companies. As Thailand has a geographic advantage by sharing borders with The strong performance was on many countries in the region, this the back of a strong economy, huge opens the opportunity for its banks fund inflows, low rates and bright to finance increasing trade and inprospects related to Asean integra- vestment flows within Asean, he tion in 2016. said. Chanitr Charnchainarong, the SET’s executive vice-president, said listed companies on the SET and Market for Alternative Investment raised $7.5 billion, followed by Ma-

Thai banks so far have undertaken fewer investment and corporate banking activities in the region than their peers. Their net revenue... Full story at http://goo.gl//F8OQ1


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Who stole my pastry? ABP Cafe (Thailand), the operator of the Au Bon Pain bakery and coffee chain in Thailand, plans to join with other food and beverage operators to seek assistance from the Labour Ministry in order to solve the current worker shortage. The company wants the government to speed up the approval process for foreign employees, which normally takes about three to six months, said Nadim Xavier Salhani, the company’s chief executive. If the Thai government gave its full support to the food industry like the Singapore government does, it would ensure restaurants expand further, which would improve the overall economy, he said.

shortage in the food industry to university graduates’ changing attitudes, as they prefer to run their own businesses rather than working for others. “The daily minimum wage increase throughout the country is causing workers to return to their hometowns,” he said. Furthermore, an influx of international food and beverage chains in Thailand has stretched the workforce even thinner. “Many bakery and coffee firms recruit staff from the same pool as Au Bon Pain, which has been established in Thailand for 15 years,” he said. “We not only lose experienced staff but also recipe secrets they take with them.” Mr Salhani said a broad discussion with operators in the bakery business will take place before forwarding the issue to... Full story at http://goo.gl/pgh8S

...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

tion projects be required to sign an “agreement of virtue” promising not to accept or offer bribes, in a bid to push forward the government’s Bt2.27-trillion infrastructure investment plan. The minister, who has oversight of the huge infrastructure investment and its annual budget of about Bt100 billion, said the AntiCorruption Organisation of Thailand proposal, aimed at preventing bid fixing, would be applied to all projects under his ministry’s responsibility.

goo.gl/bH6PF

Central bank chief says baht under control The Bank of Thailand appears less concerned about a stronger baht, saying appreciation has eased and stayed within the same range as other regional currencies. But governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said the central bank expects risk from foreign capital inflows to rise as crisis-hit rich economies struggle to emerge from their economic doldrums.

“The ACT proposal is good. I like it. And I believe the officials involved will be happy to have more people help them with the scrutiny,” he said.

“The baht was stable during the past few days,” he said. “But it is likely that foreign capital inflows will increase as a result of the measures of large economies that have seen stagAmong the pilot projects imple- nant growth in the past five years. mented under the anti-graft cam- The Thai economy has several tools paign’s proposal would be the Bt13- to handle the impact.” billion procurement of 3,183 buses the Bangkok Mass Transit Au- The Monetary Policy CommitMinister support ‘no for thority, the construction of a second tee will convene to decide whether bribe’ agreement phase of the Suvarnabhumi Airport to leave the policy interest rate at Transport Minister Chadchart Sit- worth Bt50 billion-Bt60 billion, and 2.75%. The Finance Ministry has tipunt supported a proposal that the expansion of the motorway,... strongly asserted its view that the Mr Salhani attributed the staff those involved in state construc- Full story at http://goo.gl/zeaa8 high interest rate differential be-

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Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. tween the local market and high-income economies is the main factor attracting capital inflows and causing the baht to appreciate this year. The ministry has been vocal in seeking a policy interest rate cut. “In the case of Thailand right now, the foremost factor for capital inflows is external perception of risk that reflects investors’ appetite to take on assets in a developing economy, followed by foreign exchange gains. The interest rate... Full story at http://goo.gl/m23KD

Big businesses, hotels gear for April shortfall

Major retailers, hotels and other businesses are planning strategies to cope with a possible electricity crisis in April, preparing to reduce power consumption to prevent blackouts and huge losses in revenue. The supply of natural gas from Myanmar will be disrupted from April 4-12 as two drilling rigs in the Andaman Sea are shut down for repairs. Other fuel sources may not be enough to keep power-generating plants going at full capacity. Viboon Kromadit, Amata Corporation chief marketing officer, said an electricity shortage during the hottest time of the year would affect industrial plants heavily, including those at Amata’s two industrial estates. About 60-70 per cent of its nearly 900 plants would be affected if there were a blackout, he said.

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To read the fu ll article of a Mid-March/Mid-April story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter the sh ort code at th ...added that the set aside a signi company had e end 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

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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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advantages for a country,” Mr Appel said. ‘We have seen that the better the infrastructure, the lower the costs for logistics. When that goes taken the unusual step of asking the down, growth rate... Finance Ministry to compensate Full story at http://goo.gl/RmMd5 it for bad debts caused by the government’s public service initiatives. Commerce probes Executive chairman Pichai Chun- 329 Chon Buri, havachira said the move would im- Prachuap firms for mediately eliminate about 18% of its non-performing loans. That much ‘nominee’ violations of SME Bank’s current NPLs are The Commerce Ministry has found from money lent to debtors under 329 companies in Chon Buri and the public service account system, Prachuap Khiri Khan that are sushe said. While banks normally re- pected of breaching the Foreign port their NPLs to the Finance Min- Business Act by having Thais acting istry, they have never asked for com- as nominees so that foreigners can pensation before. hold majority control. Of the total, 303 are in Chon Buri and 26 in Pra“Since this lending was made to chuap Khiri Khan, Deputy Comserve the government’s public ser- merce Minister Natthawut Saikua vice policies, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. is obliged to set a budget to help banks cut their bad debts,” said Mr Of the 26 companies in Prachuap, Pichai, who is widely known as the two have confessed to the charges mastermind behind the business re- – a real-estate agent and a tailor. Of habilitation of PTT and TMB Bank. the 303 companies in Chon Buri, 20 operate businesses listed in AppenFor example, these PSA loans were dix III of the FBA covering those provided to flood-affected opera- in which Thais are not yet ready to tors and victims of political strife, he compete with foreigners. said. They were approved without proper screening due to the public The Business Development Deservice objectives, and this has re- partment will conduct a deeper investigation into all 303 companies sulted in a high... Full story at http://goo.gl/cSYY1 by questioning their directors and examining their documentation. If DHL chief urges any have committed offences, their govt to support cases will be forwarded to state agencies for prosecution. The minlogistics istry is still looking at cases in three Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL, other major tourism provinces... the world’s largest logistics group, Full story at http://goo.gl/hao7H is urging the Thai government to continue investing in infrastructure Service sector and education to address the chal- concerned about lenges faced by the logistics indus- AEC preparedness try. Chief executive Frank Appel, speaking during a visit to Thailand, The service sector will propose straacknowledged that an increasingly tegic plans to the government in service-oriented continent such as a move to have Thailand well preAsia offers huge opportunities for pared for regional economic inteDHL to grow its business. However, gration. Pongsak Assakul, chairman Asia including Thailand poses chal- of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said a development plan is essential lenges for logistics firms. for sectors such as tourism, con“What will remain a challenge is struction, logistics and information definitely the border processes.” technology that are expected to face Mr Appel said. “They are still very stiff competition once the AEC is complex, and countries can make a implemented in 2016. Without prusignificant difference for themselves dent preparation and strategic planto accelerate growth if they make ning, Thailand will lose its market access to their own markets easier.” share in those sectors, he said.

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding has two power plants in the western province of Ratchaburi, which consume 525 million cubic feet per day of natural gas from Myanmar and have total capacity of 3,645 megawatts. When the supply from that country’s Yadana field is stopped in April, the two plants will be powered by diesel and bunker oil, said Noppol Milinthanggoon, Ratch’s chief executive officer, Some generating units are already prepared for the fuel switch. Ratch has stockpiled 63 million litres of bunker oil and 23 million litres of diesel, sufficient for ... Full story at http://goo.gl/rq6B9 Infrastructure is another challenge, as it has not developed at the same SME Bank asks pace as Asia’s huge growth. “Asia for redress and Thailand should continue to The Small and Medium Enterprise invest in infrastructure and educaDevelopment Bank of Thailand has tion, because these are competitive

The service sector is one of the driving forces of economic growth, accounting for 45% of GDP, even higher than manufacturing (43%). Revenue from the service sector is expected to amount to 50-60% of

GDP after the AEC launches. “The government needs to accelerate the strengthening of the service sector, particularly human capital,” said Mr Pongsak. “Language development, labour skills, occupational standards, technology transfer and educational reform to supply graduates that match demand from the private sector are a must to boost Thailand’s competitiveness to cope... Full story at http://goo.gl/BkkgY

Transport agency in urgent review of Dawei

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning is to review the estimated investment for the Dawei project in Myanmar following a discrepancy over project information, the concern being a potential miscalculation of the return on investment. Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan, who chairs the subcommittee for infrastructure and construction of the Dawei deep-sea port and Dawei industrial estate, said the OTP had been assigned to conduct additional analysis of the overall project’s investment in infrastructure, which includes roads, port, rail link and industrial estate, due to a difference in key details provided by the government and Italian-Thai Development, which has won the project concession. Such a discrepancy could impact on the calculation of... Full story at http://goo.gl/wSOUU

Bid to develop U-tapao as commercial airport

Transport Minister Chadchart Sithipan has instructed the Civil Aviation Department to conduct a feasibility study on the construction of a second runway at U-tapao Airport as part of its plan to transform this airbase into a commercial airport. U-tapao Airport is spending Bt200 million to expand its capacity to serve 3 million passengers a year from the current 600,000 a year. “The number of charter flights at U-tapao has risen and it will also be linked with the high-speed railway in the future, which will bring more passengers to the airport,” Chadchart said. In addition to U-tapao, the ministry will talk to the Royal Thai Air Force on the possible further development of Khuan Khan Airport in Satun province, and... Full story at http://goo.gl/WNtns


8

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Retail/Services

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Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

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ports such as Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, and Krabi to make them suitable to welcome foreign arrivals directly. AirAsia was assured that http://goo.gl/QyrTE the government’s policy is to promote Thailand as a hub for low-cost AirAsia execs seek carriers in Asean. It will more comgovt support to make pletely facilitate connections among all modes of transport including Thailand a hub road, rail and air, not only at home AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes but also linking Asean with such yesterday met with Prime Minis- countries as China, India, Japan and ter Yingluck Shinawatra to ask the South Korea. government to help Asia’s biggest low-cost carrier to expand its flight Yingluck assigned the transport network here so that the country minister to discuss with AirAsia pois strategically located for regional tential destinations in the country to tourism. He was accompanied by connect with neighbouring... group executives including Azran Full story at http://goo.gl/QLwp1 Osman-Rani, chief executive officer of AirAsia X. They were greeted by Fernandes explains Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ra- how low-cost flights nong and Transport Minister Chad- became his religion chart Sittipunt. After the meeting, Fernandes said he was confident of AirAsia has come a long way from using Thailand as a regional hub for being a debt-ridden airline in 2001 the airline. into a successful budget carrier with more than a hundred planes. Chief Yingluck said the government had executive Tony Fernandes gives us been improving key provincial air- his views on the airline’s future.

...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

What are the goals you have for margins, says the Industrial ProAirAsia? motion Department. “In the past three or four years, new businesses I have some pretty lofty goals. My have become much more specific, people think I am crazy, but 10 years catering only to niche markets,” ago, if I said to you – coming from said Bunchua Wonggasem, director the music business – that I wanted of the department’s Bureau of Ento build an airline with 125 planes, trepreneurship Development. She you’d probably have asked what said edible products are the most drugs I was taking. popular choice for entrepreneurs, followed by beauty products and I want AirAsia to be one of the great- clothing. est companies one can work for. Everyone says put customers first, but Food businesses including Westernmy motto is put employees first. If style restaurants, bakeries, nonthe employees are happy, they will alcoholic drinks, health foods and look after the customers anyway. processed fruits and vegetables genI’ve lived an amazing life and I live erate the highest profit margins at so many of my dreams. I want to be 40-50%. Despite the recent global able to give my staff the chance to economic slowdown, exports of live their dreams as well. No 2 is... processed seafood, fruits, vegetables Full story at http://goo.gl/ai6dy and fresh ingredients expanded by 4% to 240 billion baht last year.

Food entrepreneurs expand niche markets

Mrs Bunchua said small food businesses make roughly 100,000 baht a month in sales on average. “They Niche food remains the hot busi- can earn a 50,000-baht profit a ness choice for young entrepreneurs month, much more than the... hoping to cash in on high profit Full story at http://goo.gl/JY9Ff

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Siam Future plans more Bangkok shopping centres Siam Future Development Plc has announced plans to double its domestic retail development business over the next five years. Nopporn Witoonchart, chief executive of the community-mall developer, said the company will develop two or three new shopping complexes in each of these next five years. Each project will cost 500 million to 1 billion baht, with most of them in Bangkok. “Many people believe the community mall business in Bangkok is nearly oversupplied, but we still see room for new projects,” said Mr Nopporn. SF will start developing two or three complexes in the second half of this year, with openings due in next year’s second half. Each will have retail space of 10,000 to 20,000 square metres, similar to its Avenue project in the Ratchayothin area. The... Full story at http://goo.gl/0tfau

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December 20 11

To read the fu ll article of a story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter the Mid-March/Mid-April short code at ...added that the 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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Skytrain fares may rise

Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, the skytrain operator, is considering passing the cost of the minimum wage increase onto commuters by increasing fares. Chief operating officer Surapong Laoha-Unya said the company expects to finalise the issue in April and to announce the new rates to the public one month ahead of the effective date.

He said it is critical for the company to raise fares due to higher costs of labour, electricity and maintenance. These three core operating costs account for 70-80% of the company’s expenses and have significantly increased in recent months.

“Rising costs are due mainly to the higher minimum wage and the fuel charge tariff, which has been rising all these years, while we’ve maintained our fares for a very long time,” Mr Surapong said. “We’ve not yet finalised the fare increase, but the ceiling rate will be 51 baht. This would be only the second time since Central outlines the opening of the skytrain for fares B38bn expansion to rise, the first being in 2005. We don’t think the result of the Bangkok The Central Group of Companies is governor election will have any... poised to explore new business and Full story at http://goo.gl/R9kl0 investment opportunities at home and elsewhere in Asean. A mini- In a first, mum of 30 billion baht has been Counter Service to earmarked for expansion during offer microinsurance each of these next three years, the group announced at a briefing yes- option terday. Counter Service Co Ltd, the payment service provider of Charoen Prin Chirathivat, the chief financial Pokphand Group’s CP All Plc, plans officer, said the group this year will to sell the microinsurance policies spend 38 billion baht for domestic of five leading insurance compaand international expansion. An- nies. The insurers are Muang Thai other 10 billion baht has been set Life Assurance, Bangkok Insurance, aside for mergers and acquisitions. Muang Thai Insurance, Alliance Ayudhya Assurance and Thaivivat Of this year’s budget, 80% will be Insurance. used by the two core companies _ Central Retail Corporation, the Microinsurance will be added to group’s retail operator; and Central Counter Service at most of CP All’s Pattana Plc, the property and retail 7-Eleven stores nationwide. The developer. “The remaining 20% move will give rural people easy acwill be used to expand our food, cess to both life and non-life insurhotel and fashion businesses,” said ance coverage. Counter Service has Mr Prin. Some 30 billion baht will 8,500 points of sale including 6,800 come from cash flow and the rest in 7-Eleven stores. from bank loans and proceeds from a property fund. Sudhitham Chi- Weeradej Ackapolpanich, assistant rathivat, the group’s executive chair- vice-president of Counter Service, man, said five Robinson Depart- said the company is the country’s ment Stores and 350 FamilyMarts... first to be granted a licence for miFull story at http://goo.gl/hA8PF croinsurance, which is defined as

policies with annual premiums of 1,000 baht or less. The firm’s strong networks as well as simple insurance policies and acceptable prices made possible by the partnership will benefit upcountry residents... Full story at http://goo.gl/OEGL6

Thai expat in Dubai works to boost Mideast trade with Asean

To cash in on the coming AEC, Akavut Tangsilikusonwong wants to present the region to the Middle East market through his own exhibition and event organisation. Named Vega Intertrade & Exhibition, the company was set up by Akavut, who relocated from Thailand to Dubai in 1999. Vega Intertrade & Exhibition is known in Dubai as a specialist in international trade exhibitions and events.

A company source said the airline’s charter operation, which ferries Chinese tourists to Thailand, has been relatively good, keeping its aircraft busy and immune from the intense market competition on the domestic front, especially from Thai AirAsia. Orient Thai flew in 290,000 Chinese tourists to Thailand last year, and charter flights from China have become the airline’s cash cow... Full story at http://goo.gl/dohvM

Easy Buy expects car-payment burden to slow loan growth

Consumer-loan provider Easy Buy expects slower loan growth this year as people who bought their first cars under the government’s taxrebate scheme find it harder to pay debts. Chief executive officer Takeharu Uematsu said yesterday that the firm’s loan growth this year was projected at 6 per cent, down from 7 per cent in 2012. Easy Buy has 2 million cardholders, half of whom have outstanding balances. Total outstanding loans are Bt30 billion.

“We provide the infrastructure for Thai retailers and manufacturers to introduce their products to overseas customers, while offering logistical support to achieve maximum benefits,” Akavut said. While it seems certain that the firstcar scheme will decrease consumAs a pioneer in organising trade ers’ ability to pay debt, the extent activities in Dubai, Akavut, 41, of its effect should become clear in has successfully brought together the second half of this year after all entrepreneurs from Thailand and the vehicles are delivered to buyers. neighbouring countries who want After buyers get their new cars, they to establish their businesses in the will start paying instalments, a large Middle East. financial burden that could affect their ability to take on more pay“At that time, entrepreneurs were ments for other products, he said. quite dispersed in Dubai as they had no place to gather. I myself wanted The Japanese-based company foreto do something ‘blue ocean’, as ... casts that now that the first-car proFull story at http://goo.gl/Nnl1M gramme has ended, auto production will be slower in 2014 than this Orient Thai falls year, so employment in the auto... back on lucrative Full story at http://goo.gl//8uhwc

charter service

Orient Thai Airlines, pioneer of the budget carrier concept in Thailand, has sharply reduced its scheduled flight service in a retreat prompted by fierce competition and a dramatic shift towards the lucrative charter business. The privately owned airline terminated two routes from Bangkok to Chiang Rai and Hat Yai, in the latest cutback that reduced its network to merely two sectors. They are two daily flights on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Bangkok-Phuket routes, both regarded as trunk routes the airline is maintaining partly to keep valid its commercial airline operating license and cash in on what are the country’s busiest air routes.

VietJet Air ready to soar in Asia

After soaring above its budget competition to become the second-largest airline in its home country behind state-owned Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air is looking to tap the regional markets in Asia. VietJet Air now operates nine domestic routes and is looking at Asean as well as North Asian destinations such as South Korea and Taiwan, says Pritam Singh, vice-president for business development. It reached a milestone on Feb 10 by staging its first international flight, to Bangkok from Ho Chi Minh City. It’s now considering a Hanoi-Bangkok service and others from Vietnam to Asean countries. “We plan to have... Full story at http://goo.gl/t1QrY


10

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Tourism

http://goo.gl/fxE4d

Hotel markets buoyant amid tourism growth Thailand’s major hotel markets saw robust investment activity in 2012. With strong income growth potential due to continued recovery of the country’s tourism market, hotel investment in Thailand is expected to stay buoyant this year, according to Mike Batchelor, managing director, Investment Sales Asia, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotel and Hospitality Group, who said that 2012 was an exceedingly strong year for hotel investment in Thailand’s key hotels markets, including Phuket and Bangkok. Phuket, in particular, saw four major hotel transactions of more than Bt1 billion each. According to the TAT, the number of visitors to Thailand increased from.... Full story at http://goo.gl//AJyxt

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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

Curtain rises on playhouse mall

Baht rise a threat to tourism: Kittiratt

Mile High Playhouse Co opened its first “playhouse” near Khao Yai National Park as a leisure alternative for tourists. A playhouse is a mall with a stage for shows or concerts as its anchor. Managing director Kusira Punyaratapant said Mile High, which is on Thanarath Road km 20 near the Greenery project, “was built to fulfil the dreams of people who love Khao Yai, music and showbiz, just like us. We wanted to create a colourful nightlife to help make Khao Yai a featured and sustainable destination.”

Tourism operators and Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong yesterday acknowledged that the strengthening of the baht in the long term is a new challenge for the tourism industry, especially in its attempt to achieve revenue of Bt2 trillion in 2015. Kittiratt said the tourism sector is similar to the export sector, which is concerned with foreign currencies. If the baht appreciates more, the tourism sector will be in danger. Clearly, foreign tourists will feel that they get less value from the currency they spent when compared to the previous day.

Ms Kusira set up the company with her banker partner because they felt Khao Yai had limited activities for visitors to do at night. The playhouse cost 30 million baht to build using an environmentally friendly design. The stage has 337 seats, while there are restaurants, a game zone,... Full story at http://goo.gl/MeiYz

He insisted on helping the baht maintain a suitable exchange rate. The issue was raised yesterday at a seminar held by the Association of Thai Travel Agents and Thai Hotels Association. Tourism operators gathered to discuss issues from problems to cooperation with the government in order to strengthen

goo.gl/bH6PF

the industry outlook. Surapong Techaruvichit, THA’s president, said the stronger baht is still acceptable in the industry. It’s not a serious problem right now. Compared to other nations in Asean, they have faced the same destiny with a stronger rate of their local currencies. Also, the Japanese yen... Full story at http://goo.gl/eaHGn

‘Lost in Thailand’ draws more Chinese

Thanks to the movie “Lost in Thailand”, a huge box-office success in China, a great number of tourists from that country are being attracted to visit the Kingdom. “Why not?” asked Jamnong Junnapiya, executive director for East Asia at the TAT, adding: “It’s similar to Korean pop culture, which has influenced Thai society. And this trend has caused Thais to visit South Korea to explore the country culturally. Similarly, Chinese people are coming here.” She said that in Chiang Mai alone there were 26 charter


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December 20 11

To read the fu ll article of a story brief, 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF enter thMid-March/Mid-April e short code ...added 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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flights scheduled during Chinese income for local people, so the govNew Year. ernment must pay greater attention to tourism.” According to Kasikorn Research Centre, research expected the num- He proposes Thailand cut the number of Chinese tourists to grow by ber of farmers, who account for 40% 37.9 per cent to at least 800,000 in of the population now, by half while the first quarter compared with the keeping the same production yield. same period last year. It expected Former farmers could go to work they would spend Bt29.6 billion in in tourism and other industries. total, a 44.4-per-cent increase year... “For tourism, Thailand is located in Full story at http://goo.gl/DPJYz the best location in Asean,” said Mr Thanong. “Besides, it also has sea,... Most Thais Full story at http://goo.gl/RikV8

prefer to travel within Kingdom

Most Thais like to travel in their own country rather than abroad because of lower costs and a good atmosphere, according to a poll released yesterday by the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. The poll found that 80.4 per cent of respondents said they would travel domestically if they had only one chance to make a trip. The other 19.6 per cent who wanted to go overseas would prefer South Korea, China, Japan or Vietnam to get new experiences and explore a different culture. The findings showed 36.6 per cent thought a domestic trip was more worthwhile than travelling overseas and 51.8 per cent said it was safer to stay in the Kingdom. However, on the issue of worthiness of travel in Thailand, those who earned less than Bt5,000 a month were the biggest group with such a preference at 64.3 per cent, followed by 49 per cent in the Bt5,001-Bt10,000 bracket and 30.9 per cent of those earning Bt10,001-Bt20,000. Despite the recent increase in the minimum wage, 49.4 per cent said their spending power for tourism remained... Full story at http://goo.gl/BGql7

Focus on beaches, not farms

The government must make a tradeoff between agriculture and tourism if it wants to maintain leadership in the Asean tourism market, says a former finance minister. Thanong Bidaya said harvesting rice two or three times a year harms the natural environment, while excessive production forces Thailand to sell rice to Africa, a poor market. “Selling rice to poor countries won’t make the country rich,” he said. “But tourism can help to generate more

11

Centara offers loyalty card

Centara Hotels & Resorts, the local hotel management company, will launch a new loyalty card with the aim of increasing its domestic customer base and number of repeat international clients. Centara-The 1 Card is the joint loyalty and rewards programme by Central’s The 1 Card by Central Retail Corporation. Its cardholders will earn five points for every 30 baht spent when staying at Centara hotels, dining at its restaurants, using its spa and shopping at retail outlets operated by CRC. Existing holders of Central The 1 Card will automatically receive Centara-The 1 Card membership and be able to redeem their existing points for free stays at Centara hotels worldwide. Centara will also promote its card through the network of Central The 1 Card, which has about 4 million members.

least 70 billion baht to develop Expo facilities at the chosen site in Ayutthaya, along with related infrastructure.

Thailand is among five countries that have lodged official bids for Expo 2020. The others are Turkey, Russia, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. The winner will be announced in November. The World More than 80 per cent of those votExpo takes place every five years ing agreed that Thailand was now and runs for six months. staring down the barrel of an... Full story at http://goo.gl/49iNJ Supporters of the expo bid campaign have experienced setbacks Bitec to shell out in the form of political changes, B5bn for expansion budget cuts, and more recently, the Bangkok International Trade & vacuum created by the death of Exhibition Centre wants to invest Chumpol Silpa-archa, the former more than 5 billion baht to expand tourism and sports minister. The its exhibition space and build a new Bureau International des Exposi- office with the aim to be a leading tions recently made an inspection trade show centre with MICE devisit to Thailand and left with many mand in Asean increasing by 2015. questions unanswered. The most critical one, said a source familiar Panittha Buri, the company’s marwith events, was how the country keting and sales director, said the intended to use the 1,280-rai expo company plans to build four new site to generate income and recover exhibition halls and a 30-storey ofits costs after the... fice building. It expects the developFull story at http://goo.gl/S7x91 ment projects to be completed in 2016, with the exhibition space inKingdom must creased by 25,000 square metres, up consider legalised from 50,400 sq m now.

gaming soon, tourism forum hears

The nation’s pre-eminent gathering of tourism and travel-industry experts has concluded that while Thailand looks headed for its best year ever for tourist numbers and revenues, action to legalise gaming, improve infrastructure and attract “quality” travellers is urgently needed ahead as establishment of Chris Bailey, senior vice-president the AEC nears. for sales and marketing of Centara, said it expected 1 million new mem- More than 350 tourism-industry bers for both Centara and Central movers and shakers attended the The 1 Card by year-end. “We hope Thailand Tourism Forum at the Inour loyalty programme will increase terContinental Bangkok recently, the number of repeat hotel guests, voting on key issues facing the indoubling their growth over the... dustry and setting alarm bells ringFull story at http://goo.gl/oFPdX ing about the country’s long-term competitiveness in the region.

Expo bid shaky as cost worries grow

Thailand’s ambitious plan to host World Expo 2020 is in jeopardy as the Pheu Thai government appears reluctant to continue with the bidding effort. “The government needs to reconsider whether the bid is worth the investment and what the rate of investment return is,” said PM’s Office Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan. “We should not invest if the project is not worthwhile.” A study by Kasetsart University estimates that it would cost at

generators to attain sustained volume growth,” he said. “There is a very real risk of us slipping behind places like Singapore and Macau in terms of visibility, branding and revenues. Thailand is also facing a glut of hotel rooms, so we need big draw cards like casinos as key drivers of demand.”

Bill Barnett, co-organiser of the forum and managing director of C9 Hotelworks, said more than 60 per cent of respondents at the event who participated in the Thailand Tourism Index survey believed legal casinos would be an important factor in Thailand remaining competitive with other economic and tourism powers in the region. “Thailand’s tourism [industry] needs to study very carefully the issue of gaming and other demand

“Thailand has value for money not only in tourism but also in MICE businesses,” she said. “We have a variety of tourism products that are part of the key attractions. The cost for holding events in Thailand is 2030% cheaper than Singapore.” Another goal for Bitec is to be one of the world’s best exhibition and convention centres by 2020. The AEC is slated to start in 2016, which should benefit MICE business in the... Full story at http://goo.gl/pB6zM

TCT urges next governor to strengthen Bangkok’s tourism The Tourism Council of Thailand urged the next Bangkok governor to strengthen tourism performance in the capital through a cohesive effort from all parties. The winner of the gubernatorial election needs to highlight a policy that makes the capital a clean city and one that tourists find a more convenient and comfortable place to visit, the council said. Safety is also an essential requirement, said TCT president Piyamarn Techapaibul. Tourism revenue from Bangkok makes up 50 per cent of the Kingdom’s total... Full story at http://goo.gl/srhFr


12

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Real Estate

http://goo.gl/hPK52

All-clear sounded for foreign buyers

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: in Thailand. Pace will hit Dubai and Abu Dhabi with a roadshow in March after selling seven units worth a combined 240 million baht in Hong Kong two weeks ago. The Ritz-Carlton Residences will be a luxury condo project with 194 units priced at 280,000 baht per sq m on average for a 99-year leasehold. It is part of the 77-storey MahaNakhon luxury mixed-use skyscraper being built on nine rai of Narathiwat Road next... Full story at http://goo.gl/DIfw7

With the return of political stability, foreign property buyers have resumed their shopping spree for Bangkok condominiums. “This year will be good for the high-end residential market, as foreign buyers’ confidence is growing stronger,” said Sorapoj Techakraisri, chief ex- Foreign relocations ecutive of the luxury property de- to drive Amata sales veloper Pace Development Corporation Plc. Amata Corporation, Thailand’s leading industrial land developer, The company last month sold a expects land sales of at least 3,000 penthouse at The Ritz-Carlton rai this year, up from 2,800 rai last Residences, recently acquired by year, on continued growth in the a retired Indian property investor automotive industry and foreign inbased Dubai, that covers 1,500 vestment. Director and chief operDream GYM A5_c.pdf 1 in 27/3/2555 14:17:26 square metres over two whole floors ating officer Viboon Kromadit said and priced at 480 million baht. It is the SET-listed company predicts claimed to be the single largest and 10-20% growth in land sales this highest-priced condo unit ever sold year.

...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

“Thailand will not only benefit from the booming auto industry, resulting in an increase of supporting industries, but also from Japanese relocations to Thailand as labour costs rise at home,” Mr Viboon told a briefing at the SET. Chinese companies are also relocating to Thailand to diversify risk. In 2012, Amata sold a record high of 2,800 rai at its two industrial estates. About half the customers were automotive companies, led by Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone (acquiring 544 rai). Revenue totalled 6.17 billion baht last year, up from 4.06 billion in 2011, with net profit rising 55% to 1.44 billion baht. The company has a backlog of land sales worth 6-7 billion baht to be realised this year. Mr Viboon said Amata will invest 2 billion baht this year in infrastructure for the two estates. A 1.8-billion-baht property fund will be set up consisting of 108 ready-built factories that generate revenue of 300... Full story at http://goo.gl/nF7dK

goo.gl/bH6PF

AEC, tourism drive investment trends The AEC is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics right now for all economic sectors. Every business is thinking ahead about what impact it might have on its industry. Most of the impressions of the AEC are on the positive side. Developers in most property sectors link what they anticipate is the positive impact of the AEC to their market. However, we should also look at the other side of the coin: drawbacks including human-resource shortages and Thailand’s lack of competitiveness against other Asian countries. Tourism is viewed as being another hot growth sector for Thailand this year. With a record high of 22 million foreign-tourist arrivals in 2012, the country is demonstrating lasting strength in tourism. Projections for 2013 are for the industry to beat last year’s record with 24.5 million arrivals. This is good news for hotels and


2

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December 20 11

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

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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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serviced apartments, which can expect higher occupancy and the opportunity to push for higher room rates.

for penthouses at Bt419,900 per square metre or worth Bt267.47 million per unit, with 637 square metres space.

While there are some concerns over the strengthening baht, I think it will have a minor impact and should not deter tourists. The cost of accommodation, food and beverages in Thailand is still low by international standards and the country is well... Full story at http://goo.gl/utS2u

The next most expensive is 185 Rajdamri on Rajdamri road that offers a price of Bt414,200 per square metre or worth Bt69 million per penthouse and duplex units, with 169 square metres. This is one of condominiums on Rajdamri Road developed on freehold land.

In Laos, luxury market takes flight

...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

Sukhothai Residences has a price of Bt408,800 per square metre or The Emperor House Co Ltd, the worth Bt450.81 million for a pentThai builder of luxury homes, has house or duplex, with 1,102.78 teamed up with Laotian conglomer- square metres space. ate the Insee Group to tap the luxury self-built home market in Laos, The Ritz-Carlton Residences Bangexpecting to sell two houses worth kok on Silom-Sathorn Road, with almost 120 million baht this year. 99 years leasehold, offers a price of Bt356,187 per square metre or Suratchai Kuenghakit, managing di- Bt480 million per unit for a pentrector of The Emperor House, said house, with 1,500 square metres Laos’ economic potential is strong, space. It is fourth most expensive... with foreign direct investment of Full story at http://goo.gl/d9pwK US$15 billion last year, up from $3.4 billion in 2011. The company and its Wooing the rich Laotian partner set up a 50:50 joint Amid tough competition in resiventure, called The Emperor House dences priced at under Bt5 million, by Insee Group, in Laos with regis- many of the top firms are branching tered capital of 5 million baht. The out into the luxury segment Listed company’s Thai houses average 80 property firms are challenged to million baht, with the maximum develop high-end residences by foprice surpassing 300 million for a cusing on design and creating catusable area of 2,800 square metres. egories to boost new demand in the market. Marketing, advertising and sourcing labour will be handled by the For example, Sansiri has revised its Insee Group, which runs construc- plan to launch four luxury single tion, tourism, hotel, apartment, detached house projects under the insurance and microfinance busi- Sretthasiri brand. It has also started nesses in Laos along with one of its construction of a luxury condotwo lottery concessions. Manotham minium at Wireless Road that will Phetsiliseng, deputy director of the offer price not lower than Bt200,000 Insee Group, said the Laotian gov- per square metre. The project is ernment is boosting people’s sala- designed under the fashion condories each year until 2015 including minium theme. by 1.5 times in both 2012 and 2013, thereby boosting local purchasing... Asian Property Development has Full story at http://goo.gl/xle91 launched its premium condominproject, Galerie Rue De 39, at Top projects for the ium Sukhumvit Soi 39 that has only 88 rich and the elite units with a total project value of Most of the top luxury condomini- Bt3.2 billion. The project will offer ums in Bangkok offering a price of prices at between Bt250,000 and more than Bt400,000 per square Bt300,000 per square metre. This metre are located in the central is higher than other luxury condobusiness districts such as Sathorn, miniums on Sukhumvit Road. Sukhumvit and Rajadamri, according to a survey. They are on both LPN Development is expanding freehold and 30-year leasehold land. its business with plans to launch a premium condominium project on The River at Charoenkrung Road Sukhumvit Road. It will be priced... has the highest price in the market Full story at http://goo.gl/na0he

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free consultation Bangkok Office: 1104/157 Noble Cube, Pattanakarn Road Tel: (66) 02.187.2640 - 1 • Email: Bangkok@juslaws.com Phuket Office: The Royal Place, 96/14 Chalermprakiet Ror.9 Rd Tel: (66) 076.304.353 – 5 • Email: Phuket@juslaws.com

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14

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs IT / Comms

http://goo.gl/VwYn9

True busts a Move on 4G True Move will launch the country’s first fourth-generation (4G) commercial mobile service on the international standard 2100-megahertz frequency in April in a bid to beat its bigger rivals. The country’s third-largest mobile operator initially plans to roll out 300 4G base stations in central Bangkok, rising to 2,000 bases in 15 major cities later this year. Suphachai Chearavanont, the chief executive of True Move’s parent True Corporation, said the move reflected the company’s longterm spectrum management strategy to better serve real consumer demand. Advanced Info Service and Total Access Communication are gearing up to launch their 3G service on the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum under the new licensing regime, scheduled in April. True Move will focus on expanding its 3G network coverage on the existing 850-MHz frequency under its partnership contract with CAT Telecom. The company will also spend heavily on increasing network capacity on the 2100-MHz spectrum. True expects to have 13,000 3G bases on the 850-MHz frequency this year plus 5,000 more 3G sites for the 2.1-GHz... Full story at http://goo.gl/C16kY

No stopping social media

While some companies ban employees from using Facebook or Twitter at work, research shows online interaction can bring great benefits. Organisations have embraced social media for tasks such as marketing, product design and recruiting. Many have found that social media can increase productivity, spark innovation and create a more collaborative corporate community. However, social media are not only a forum for new or expanded marketing strategies. The use of social media in the workplace also has its benefits. The UK’s largest telecoms company, British Telecom, views social media as a way to equip its people with

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: the information needed to excel in a fast-changing and competitive marketplace. BT has implemented Dare2Share, an internal YouTubestyle podcasting platform where employees can create and upload short learning nuggets to colleagues in video or audio format.

...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

products while using stolen IT to unfairly lower its operating costs and undercut competition. In October 2012, the Massachusetts Attorney General exercised her authority to enforce the state’s unfair competition law by requiring a Thai seafood processor to use licensed IT in its business operations. She Dare2Share allows employees to announced a landmark settlement learn from each other by rapidly with the company. capturing and spreading learning throughout the organisation in However, this first-of-its-kind enthe form of podcasts, discussion forcement should serve as no surthreads, blogs, RSS feeds and other prise, and is really just a culmination knowledge assets... of the continued momentum of US Full story at http://goo.gl/4v229 legislative efforts over the past year to preserve domestic jobs and softE-books get ware innovation by ensuring a level tablet format global playing field. Recognising The Aspirers Group, an educational that fair competition fosters respect reseller of Apple Inc, has teamed for the rule of law and intellectual... up with textbook publisher Wat- Full story at http://goo.gl/zXAt3 tana Panich Publishing Co to offer e-books on tablets in an attempt to True Internet capitalise on the country’s 8-billion- launches cloud baht digital content market. The co- computing operation will make Wattana Panich the first Asean publisher to provide partnership fully interactive digital content in a True Internet, the online arm of turnkey system not limited to a por- True Corporation, is expanding to table document format e-book. cloud-based digital services to cash in on the country’s 5-billion-baht The Aspirers Group said 30% of the cloud computing market. Under the 39,000 schools countrywide have partnership with Hatari Wireless the potential to transform tradition- and Cisco Systems, True expects to al learning to interactive learning enter the corporate customer segby using e-books on tablets. Wiroj ment this year, said Vasu Khunvasi, Asawarungsri, deputy managing di- general manager of True Internet. rector for IT publishing and system “We aim to overtake the leadership integration, said Wattana Panich has position from the current leader, CS many textbooks from kindergarten LoxInfo,” he said. to secondary school levels. These textbooks will be transformed into True Internet expects revenue interactive e-books and bundled in growth of 30-35% to 1.4 billion special education prices for Apple’s baht this year, said Mr Vasu, addiPad including technical support. ing that the local corporate internet market is projected to grow Worachai Chongpipatanasook, an by 15%, up from 7.5 billion baht. executive of Wattana Panich, said the government’s One Tablet Per Cloud-based digital service is typiChild policy has propagated the use cally offered at a flat monthly fee for of e-books. Digital textbooks each companies adopting digital signage cost 100 baht including a learning and information displays. The cloud management system and testing... service platform could lower the iniFull story at http://goo.gl/ccWlu tial investment cost by at least half when compared with conventional US cracks down on digital signage systems. The averIT theft by overseas age service charge for cloud digital signage is 5,000 baht per display per manufacturers month, said Mr Vasu. Marking an unprecedented milestone in the fight against unfair Wichai Wanavit, chief executive of competition, a state attorney-gen- Hatari Wireless, said the company eral in the United States has taken spent 200 million baht to install legal action against a Thai manufac- Cisco Systems... turer that produced and exported Full story at http://goo.gl/cgZrC

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Thailand under a dark cloud Thailand tied with Vietnam for last place among 14 Asian countries and territories surveyed for the Cloud Readiness Index 2012, says the Asia Cloud Computing Association. The study by the Asian-focused nonprofit organisation showed Thailand and Vietnam had the lowest cloud preparedness among the 14 economies. Thailand fell from 10th place in 2011. The index tracks the development of required underlying infrastructure, data regulations and the investment environment for cloud computing across 14 leading Asian economies. Thailand’s political situation may have settled down, but infrastructure deficiencies remain, especially in terms of broadband connectivity and power grid stability. While the country scored relatively high on “business investment environment” and “freedom of access to information”, it ranked last in “data sovereignty” and “lack of legislation for data privacy protection”. The study suggested Thailand also needs to review its data privacy and sovereignty laws, which were the lowest... Full story at http://goo.gl/zY5jh

SMEs sought for Adobe cloud

be Systems Inc officially launched its Adobe Creative Cloud service to Thailand’s small and medium-sized enterprises. The membership-based service provides users with unlimited access to Adobe desktop applications such as Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Muse and Adobe Edge as well as game developer tools and integration with Photoshop Touch apps. Users can also upgrade these apps with the latest features as soon as they are released. Since its debut in the US market in April 2012, Adobe Creative Cloud has drawn more than 1 million members. It also provides easy management of virtual workgroups, 100 gigabytes of cloud storage per user, expert support services, centralised administration, centralised billing and efficient licence management. The team version is a recommended solution for SMEs, whose biggest concern is budget in the current economic situation. Adobe Creative


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs15

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

General Inte

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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

goo.gl/bH6P

F

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Cloud for teams is available at about tion. Business analytics, social busiUS$840 per user for a one-year plan. nesses and social commerce will be the group’s focus, she said. Customers who have bought Old Creative Suite software through a Mrs Parnsiree said many organisavolume licensing programme may... tions are moving to upgrade their IT Full story at http://goo.gl/x0XoX infrastructure to a new integrated system combining hardware, softCloud masks ware, storage, network and data in hidden costs one single platform. This integraThe increasing adoption of cloud tion will enable companies to speed computing in Thailand has led to up computing processes, especially escalating hidden costs and secu- analytics, which will be shortened rity risks for companies as sensitive from hours to a few seconds. data are placed in the cloud, says a global Symantec survey. The survey IBM is now offering its PureSystem, said 99% of respondents in Thailand its flagship product for integrating... expressed interest in adopting cloud Full story at http://goo.gl/cJw9N computing technology, compared to an average of 89% globally. The DNA tries to respondents included 3,236 organ- replicate Netflix isations in 29 countries, including 100 from Thailand. DNA 2002 Plc, a media and entertainment distributor, plans to Pramut Sriwichian, the country launch a video streaming service manager of Symantec Thailand, a in the second quarter for its homeUS-based data back-up and security entertainment products to raise software firm, said companies are more revenue. The service means experiencing escalating costs tied consumers can watch movies over to rogue cloud use and inefficient the internet without having to buy cloud storage. Rogue clouds are physical media such as DVDs and defined as business groups imple- VCDs. menting public cloud applications that are not managed by or inte- Managing director Samart Chgrated into the company’s IT infra- uasiripattana said the company is spending 150 million baht to destructure. velop software for the new service. Some 67% of Thai organisations It also plans to offer movie downhave lost cloud data, compared with loading for viewing from a personal 47% globally. And 39% of Thai re- video recorder, but has not finalised spondents are concerned about details on this matter. meeting compliance requirements in the cloud, particularly cloud dis- It will offer two packages: a buffet covery regulations requiring com- for unlimited streaming or downpanies to collect data history re- loads per month, and a per-movie cords as electronic evidence. In fact, fee. 70% of Thai... “Teenagers and young people will Full story at http://goo.gl/J6r4U our target audience, as they are IBM places focus on be familiar with digital technology. high-value analytics The movie downloading service can IBM, the world’s largest IT firm, help resolve piracy problems, bewill continue to focus on high-value cause the cost will be cheaper than enterprise analytics software amid physical VCDs and DVDs,” he said. intense competition. The Armonk, New York-based firm will open a DNA sells mainly Thai, Korean and business analytics innovation cen- Chinese films, as well as some Holtre in Thailand in June that will also lywood movies. Among its cataserve other Asean countries. logue is China’s top box-office film Lost in Thailand, as well as Resident Parnsiree Amatayakul, the manag- Evil and Finding Nemo. DNA holds ing director of IBM Thailand, said the rights to only 2,000 movies, so the company this year is focusing its selection is not big enough for on providing innovative technolo- full commercial downloads. The gies and high-margin products company will partner with other and services instead of commodity content providers such as... products amid fierce price competi- Full story at http://goo.gl/bjw2p

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

B www.BBBrief.com riefs

Mid-March/Mid-April 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

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Two Nations, One Friendship 180 Years of Thailand-U.S. Commercial Relations In 2013, AMCHAM is celebrating Two Nations, One Friendship: 180 years of Thailand-U.S. relations. The Friendship officially began in 1833 with the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, but the first U.S. – Thai (then Siam) encounter occurred 12 years before, when an American ship commanded by a “Captain Han” sailed into Bangkok. As a gift to King Rama III, the American captain presented His Majesty with 500 flintlock guns. In return, the king bestowed the title of “Khun Pakdiraja” upon Captain Han and granted a partial tax exemption on the ship’s cargo. Treaty of Amity and Commerce • In 1833, King Rama III received a more significant American visitor, U.S. envoy Edmund Roberts. The two men exchanged gifts, and more importantly, negotiated the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which included a free trade agreement between the two countries, except in rice, firearms, and opium. The treaty was the United States’ first with an Asian nation.

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Economic Boom, Crisis, and Recovery • The military conflicts in Southeast Asia during the 1960s and 1970s strained Thai – U.S. relations, and commerce between the countries slowed. But under stable governments thought out the 1980s and 1990s, Thailand became one of the emerging tigers of Southeast Asia. Demands for American goods and services increased at a remarkable pace and enterprising entrepreneurs, such Bill Heinke (Pizza Company), recognized the changing taste and achieved great success. American investment increased at a dramatic rate during the late-90s into the 2000s. The ‘Detroit of the East,’ as the Eastern Seaboard became known, attracted American automotive companies such as Ford, General Motors, Dana Spicer and Goodyear and in 2005, Chevron acquired UNOCAL and began supplying natural gas for PTT Public Company (PTT).

Looking Towards the Future • Thailand and the U.S. remain ever vital to each other’s success. President Obama said during his 2012 visit to Thailand, “Thailand is America’s oldest friend in Asia. Our men and women in uniform have stood together and they’ve bled together. Our business people and our entrepreneurs work together to create jobs for both our peoples. Our diplomats, development experts, researchers, and students In 1856, U.S. diplomat Townsend Harris and King Rama IV negotiated work together so that our citizens and the people across this region can live a revised “Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation,” and that same in peace and security and dignity.” year the J.W. Parker Company became the first American firm to open in Bangkok, followed by the American Rice Mill in 1858. By 1910, Standard Oil and Singer Sewing Machine had entered Thailand and Ford had begun importing automobiles. In 1941, American imports to Thailand were an estimated U.S.$8 million annually. World War II put a halt to Thailand – U.S. trade, but commercial relations grew stronger soon after the war concluded. Pan American Airways started flights to Bangkok in 1947, helping to grow Thailand as a tourist destination. Bank of America opened their first Thailand branch on New Road. And adventurous Americans, such as Jim Thompson, stayed in Thailand after World War II and began notable local businesses. AMCHAM Established • Eight companies and 24 other members registered The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand (AMCHAM) in February 1957. AMCHAM’s stated objectives were to promote commerce between the U.S. and Thailand, maintain a high level of civic and commercial reputation, promote American interests in Thailand, and give legal and business opinions within the American community. By 1965, U.S. exports to Thailand totaled U.S.$128 million and during the 1960s and 1970s many of America’s largest companies opened Thai based operations, including Dow Chemical (1967), Johnson & Johnson (1970) and Bristol-Myers Squib (1972).

To rea enter the sto


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 17

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-March/Mid-April 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

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To re enter the sto

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

B www.BBBrief.com riefs

Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

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 Sponsored by

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

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

Japanese CC (JCC) 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 Email: admin@mtcc.or.th

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

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

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

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

Thai-Chinese CC (Thai-CC) 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

Thai-Pakistan CC (TPCC) 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: http://goo.gl/Z1VOd Contact: http://goo.gl/OKPmC

Franco-Thai CC (FTCC) 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

Netherlands-Thai CC (NTCC) 15 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 309 5250 Website: www.ntccthailand.org Email: info@ntccthailand.org

Thai-Finnish CC (TFCC) C/O 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

Thai-Russian CC (TRCC) 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 Email: admin@trcc.or.th

German-Thai CC (GTCC) 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

New Zealand Thai CC (NZTCC) 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 Email: director@nztcc.org

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 Email: thai-hongkong@thta.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 Email: contact@swecham.com

India-Thai CC (ITCC) 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

Singapore-Thai CC (STCC) 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: http://goo.gl/WrTpX Contact: http://goo.gl/L727M

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 Email: ticc@thaisraelcc.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

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

South African-Thai CC (SATCC) 10/143 (1503A), 15th Fl, 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

Thai-Italian CC (TICC) 1126/2 Vanit II Bldg, 16th Fl, 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

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

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

Swiss Thai CC (STCC) Bangkok Business Centre Building, 18th Floor, 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

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Here cometh the latecomers Story continued from Page 1.

Investment promotion also began in this period with the Industrial communications and expressways. During this period, the Thai Investment Promotion Act of 1959, but it would be a number of economy grew at an average rate of 9% per year. years before manufacturing would replace agriculture as the primary engine of growth. However, there was also a lack of restraint in the private sector, with the real estate sector and the stock market of particular concern. The next era, 1974-1985, was a period of macroeconomic uncer- While currency manipulation was the trigger that led to the Asian tainty for Thailand with world economic crises and internal politi- financial crisis in 1997, Thailand also had clear macroeconomic cal problems both contributing to this instability. The oil shocks of problems before the crisis with a major land developer defaulting the mid-1970s, coupled with currency issues as a result of Bretton on a Eurobond issue, the collapse of a finance company, and the Woods, domestic political issues, as well as Cold War politics in the resignation of the head of the central bank amid scandal. Thailand’s region, led to current account deficits, a decrease in foreign invest- current accounts deficits also persisted during the run-up to 1997, ment, and inflation. However, one significant change occurred dur- as did external debt, and there was a growing loss of confidence in ing this era that would have a positive effect on the Thai economy the country’s financial institutions. for many years: the shift from Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) to export promotion with the passage of the Investment The Thai economy had recovered by 2001 through a series of IMF Promotion Act in 1977. The change, coupled with the government’s loans and due to increased financial supervision through strong promotion of tourism, helped usher in the country’s most impres- regulation of banks and financial institutions. By 2003, Thailand sive period of growth, from 1985-1996. had balanced its budget and paid off its debts to the IMF, and has enjoyed steady growth since then. The beginning of this boom period for Thailand began with the Plaza Accords, which saw the realignment, and relative stabiliza- Today, despite being viewed by many in the world as primarily an tion of the world’s currencies, and a decrease in oil prices, both of agricultural economy, Thailand’s economy is dominated by the inwhich helped Thailand’s exports. As a result, foreign direct invest- dustrial (39% of GDP) and service sectors (25% of GDP). In fact, ment (FDI) began to flow into the country, and industrial produc- logistics (13.5%) and communications (9.6%) are now larger than tion started to move in from Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. At the the agriculture sector (8.6%). Thailand has been transformed in the same time, growth in the agriculture sector began to decline, but past 25 years from an economy reliant on agricultural exports to a the Thai government was able to maintain fiscal discipline through regional hub for manufacturing, especially for electronics and auits long-established budgetary process. Infrastructure development tomotive manufacturing. While the country’s dependence on FDI also shifted from the public to the private sectors, especially in tele- and exports has led to a certain volitility, it has also made Thailand into “one of the great development success stories,” according to the World Bank and many other analysts.

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Volume 2, Issue 4 • Mid-March to Mid-April 2013 Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

In her book, “The Rise of ‘The Rest’: Challenges to the West from Late-Industrializing Economies” published in 2001, the late MIT economist Alice H. Amsden describes how a handful of countries, Thailand among them, grew throughout the second half of the 20th century to challenge the North American and European economies in the manufacturing sectors. They did so, by adapting and learning from the West and acquiring “large amounts of technological capabilities without initially having advanced technological capabilities of their own.” These ‘knowledge-based assets,’ as Dr. Amsden called them, combined with human and physical capital, allowed these economies to move from agriculture into manufacturing, “the heart of modern economic growth.” Myanmar, like its neighbors, will have to adapt and learn from the economies and the organizations that invest in its economy. All of the countries in the region have gradually moved from a primarily agriculture economy to a manufacturing-based economy. In order to achieve this, Myanmar will need to open itself to foreign direct investment without restrictions, invest in significant infrastructure projects, and develop macroeconomic institutions and controls to oversee the dramatic changes that are about to take place. As Myanmar emerges from 50 years of self-imposed isolation and plays its ‘Latecomer’s Syndrome’ advantage, it’s important to remember that economic growth may come quickly for this important nation, but sustained economic growth will take time.

Read today’s business news briefs about Bangkok, Thailand, and Asean every weekday at www.BBBrief.com


Gala Extravaganza & Golf Tournament F E AT U R I N G

Sugar Ray Leonard in support of local charities E V EN T SC H ED U LE FRIDAY 5TH APRIL ~ BANGKOK plaza athénée bangkok, a royal méridien hotel vip cocktail at glazz bar, gala extravaganza dinner & vip after party at glazz bar SATURDAY 6TH APRIL ~ PATTAYA centara grand mirage pattaya vip cocktail at zulu bar, extravaganza gala dinner, vip after party at zulu bar TUESDAY 9TH APRIL ~ BANGKOK riverdale golf course golf tournament & dinner WEDNESDAY 10TH APRIL ~ PATTAYA phoenix golf course golf tournament & dinner T I C K E T PR I C ES EXTRAVAGANZA GALA DINNER TICKETS EARLY BIRD buy before 1st april 3,600 thb regular ticket price 4,000 thb promotion 1 table ~ 10 seats FREE bottle of champagne GOLF TOURNAMENT 4 players per team per day EARLY BIRD buy before 1st april 35,000 thb per team regular ticket price 40,000 thb per team per player per day EARLY BIRD buy before 1st april 9,000 thb per player regular ticket price 10,000 thb per player

W W W.T H A I T ICK E TM A JO R.COM W W W.LEG AC YO FLEG EN DS.O RG

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I N FO@LEG AC YO FLEG EN DS.O RG


22

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-March/Mid-April 2013

Mar.

The Calendar Sunday

10

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

goo.gl/6ngBg

Tuesday

Monday

11

AMCHAM: Adopt-A-School Dedication for FedEx http://goo.gl/EzIE9

17

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

18 Bangkok Entrepreneurs http://goo.gl/JihG3

Apr.

24

25

31

1

AMCHAM: Myanmar Task Force http://goo.gl/3HM6q AMCHAM: Indiana University Briefing http://goo.gl/7HV3M AMCHAM: BOT of Directors Meeting http://goo.gl/NC5w0

12

19

AMCHAM: ICT Cmte http://goo.gl/H8Yhe AMCHAM: Energy & Environment Cmte http://goo.gl/np1R8 AMCHAM: Professional Women Cmte http://goo.gl/8WCe4

26

AMCHAM: Bus. Economics Cmte http://goo.gl/LIq7i AMCHAM: Marketing Cmte – Optimizing Hospitality Marketing http://goo.gl/cBnkt

2 Bangkok Trader Networking Night http://goo.gl/EnNbR

7

8

AMCHAM: HR & Healthcare Cmtes http://goo.gl/x35Ii AustCham: Board of Dirs. http://goo.gl/x4eAx AMCHAM: Mktg Cmte http://goo.gl/ndmrq PPI Professional Hour http://goo.gl/EbSqX

9

14

15

16


www.BBBrief.com

Mid-March/Mid-April 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

23

Send us your event details for the Mid-April/Mid-May issue by April 3rd to reid@bangkokbusinessbrief.com Wednesday

Thursday

13

AMCHAM: Food & Agri-Business Cmte – World Poultry Industry http://goo.gl/HFDIz AMCHAM: Social Networking Night and Young Prof. Cmte http://goo.gl/MH5en

20 AMCHAM: SME & HR:Tips on Recruiting, Motivating, and Managing Staff http://goo.gl/54fJ7

Friday

14 Irish-Thai Chamber: St. Patrick’s Day Shindig http://goo.gl/uCLJF

21

AMCHAM: 2013 APCAC Regional Confer. Taipei http://goo.gl/Z3UgQ AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte http://goo.gl/Hw1q5 AMCHAM: Tax Cmte http://goo.gl/7myuh

27

28 AMCHAM: Community Engagement Cmte http://goo.gl/cUqTh AMCHAM: CSR Cmte http://goo.gl/FDGrN

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

3 AMCHAM: Food & Agri-Business Cmte http://goo.gl/FPZgp AustCham: Sundowners http://goo.gl/QvNxr

10

AMCHAM: Energy Cmte http://goo.gl/cf8Dv

15 AMCHAM: Briefing with Ambassador Michele Bond http://goo.gl/FIkhv

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

22

23

29

30

5

6

AMCHAM: Food & Agri – CP Tour http://goo.gl/6dDr9 AMCHAM: 2013 APCAC Regional Conference Taipei http://goo.gl/Z3UgQ Joint: ES Sundowners http://goo.gl/Y1w9l

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

4

AMCHAM: Board of Governors Meeting http://goo.gl/8Xp2s AMCHAM: Auto Council Committee http://goo.gl/n7zv2

AMCHAM: YPC Networking http://goo.gl/ht5ne

11

AMCHAM: SME Cmte http://goo.gl/nr9kA AMCHAM: Social Networking http://goo.gl/ERCPX

17

Saturday

12

13

19

20

Joint: Eastern Seaboard Networking Event http://goo.gl/D8LK3

18 AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte http://goo.gl/g2Kc8


Bangkok Business Brief - Volume 2, Issue 4 - Mid-March/April 2013  

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

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