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BANGKOK

BUSINESS BRIEF

Vol. No. 2, Issue No. 6

Mid-May/June 2013

Photo by Mark Fischer from Flickr under Creative Commons License

Read new business briefs everyday at www.BBBrief.com

Thailand maps out a plan By Warren Jensen

Inside General Interest 2 Government/Economy 3 Finance/Investment 4 Production 5 Retail/Services 6 Tourism 7 Real Estate 8 IT/Comms 9 The Chambers 10 The Calendar 14

After months of discussion and speculation about the government’s ambitious plans to upgrade Thailand’s infrastructure over the next seven years, more details have finally emerged. As reported in the ‘beyondbrics’ blog of the Financial Times, Thailand’s transport minister, Chadchart Sittipunt, gave a comprehensive presentation to the Japan-Thailand Association on Friday April 26th, in which he described the government’s plans in some detail for the first time.

The seven-year plan proposes 57 projects that include both upgrades and new construction in four main areas of transportation: railways/mass transit, roads/highways, ports/waterways, and airports. The majority of investment (64%) would be for railways and mass transit with four high-speed railways linking Thailand to its neighbors, as well as an additional 13 lines and 410 kilometers of new mass transit tracks across the Bangkok Metropolitan area. Four

new international ports would be added and Thailand’s airports would also get makeovers and improvements. The priority for the projects is to start with highway construction and improvements, extend the mass transit system in and around Bangkok, then double track the existing rail network while building new double gauge rail lines. The four high-speed rail projects, Story continues on Page 12


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General Interest

“Countries standing out in terms of growth across all four metrics are Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia... Full story at http://goo.gl/SbSFh

http://goo.gl/ozbNM

Advice from a leading industrialist

PTT leads 16 Thai firms on Forbes’ Global 2000 list Only 16 Thai enterprises – led by PTT, the national oil and gas conglomerate – are included in Forbes’ list of the 2,000 top global companies. Aside from PTT, the Kingdom’s largest public company, which ranked 144th on the list with market value of Bt945 billion, others included Siam Commercial Bank (No 447), Kasikornbank (524), PTT Global Chemical (607), Siam Cement (633), Bangkok Bank (640), Krungthai Bank (735) and Charoen Pokphand Foods (914). Others are Advanced Info Service (964), Thai Beverage (1,080), Bank of Ayudhya (1,086), CP All (1,257), Thai Oil (1,368), InTouch (1,604), Total Access Communication (1,833) and Thanachart Capital (1,853).

The visitor to the headquarters of Kulthorn Kirby Plc can’t help but notice the big sign hanging in the main lobby, which declares “Be Diligent _ Be Honest _ Be Frugal”. “It’s also my personal motto,” says Suraporn Simakulthorn, the executive chairman of KKC, the major SET-listed maker of air-conditioner compressor motors and refrigeration product equipment. “I started my career with the Telephone Organisation of Thailand back in 1963, then moved to work at Ericsson in 1967 for 13 years,” he explains. “Learning from my own personal experience, I believe we must be diligent and have a conviction to get the job done. “Honesty is second to none when you work with others. In our 32-

...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

year history at Kulthorn Kirby, we’ve gone through a number of cooperative ventures with partners including Western and Asian counterparts. Honesty is the key element... Full story at http://goo.gl/2D1yW

Coaches vs trainers

People are often confused about the difference between a coach and a trainer, and unless it is cleared, these two terms will remain ambiguous. Plus, this has become a rather “hot topic” of discussion since the Coaching Standards was launched in March. Here’s an explanation: Is a coach the same as a trainer? No, a coach is not a trainer, and a trainer is not a coach. They operate differently. A coach is a process expert, while a trainer is an expert in subject matter. The implications of this is that a coach can support many people and organisations without knowing the subject matter, while a trainer is more restricted as they can only support those who require their technical expertise in a specific field.

What is a process expert? A process expert is a coach who can stretch and challenge the mind of the person and help them find a solution that they believe lies inside... Full story at http://goo.gl/wT7SJ

Isara gets sweet TCC promotion

Isara Vongkusolkit, the first vicechairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, was selected as the new chairman. Mr Isara won a unanimous 76 votes from members at the meeting. He is chairman of the Mitr Phol Group, Thailand’s leading sugar cane business. As vice-chairman, Mr Isara carried on the 1 Rai Earns 100,000 Baht and 1 Company 1 Community projects that ex-chairman Dusit Nontanakorn started to decrease economic disparity. He pledged to enhance the competency of Thai companies, particularly SMEs, in preparation for the AEC. He is also committed to developing networking and cooperation between the public and private... Full story at http://goo.gl/kKC3B

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ADB expects robust Asean growth

Southeast Asian economies will maintain resilient growth this year and the next thanks to robust domestic demand and deeper regional integration, but capital inflows will continue to pressure currencies, says the Asian Development Bank. In the Asian Development Outlook 2013 report, the ADB forecasts Asean’s economy will grow 5.4% this year, on par with last year’s growth of 5.5%, with estimates of 5.7% for 2014, with an expected increase of intra-Asean trade. The economies of India and China _ the two giants of Asia _ are showing signs of recovery. India’s growth is forecast at 6% and 6.5% for 2013 and 2014, respectively, compared to 5% last year. China’s economy is projected to expand by 8.2% this year, up from 7.8% in 2012. The projection for 2014 growth increases to 8%.

rest

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

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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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less of an advantage from buying raw materials and parts from overseas as we have already increased local content at our plants to 50-80 per cent of total raw materials,” she said. There were not so many complaints yet from local manufacturers and exporters, as many of their overseas customers tend to place orders about six months in advance. “However, many Japanese customers have been entering the new fiscal year starting this month. We have seen clear signals of falling orders due to higher quotes compared to other countries,” she said. The government needs to upgrade the skills and quality of workers and promote the shift towards... Full story at http://goo.gl/gAjaZ

BOT can invest in US state bonds

The Bank of Thailand has come up with another measure to balance capital flows, which, coupled with the unsubstantiated report of a levy on short-term bond investment, helped contain the baht’s advance. “In the US there are 50 states, but the central bank can invest only in US Treasuries,” Charnchai Boonyaritchaisri, an assistant governor and secretary of the board of governors, said after the board allowed the central bank to invest its foreign reserves in US state bonds.

Luxmon Attapich, ADB’s senior country economist, said gross domestic product growth for Thailand is forecast at 4.9% and 5% for 2013 and 2014, respectively. This is... Full story at http://goo.gl/ltNMv Most of Thailand’s foreign reserves, which with forward positions stood Baht rise adds at Bt5.857 trillion as of April 12, are to woes of invested in government bonds, gold producers, exporters and deposits at the International Monetary Fund. The central bank Local manufacturers and exporters will need some time to study such are crying for help to alleviate the factors as the credit ratings of eligieffects of the baht’s appreciation, ble state bonds before investing in... which has added another negative Full story at http://goo.gl/X3ae0 factor to the higher labour and energy costs that have already eroded 60bn yen loans to be their profitability and competitive- repaid in 2013 ness. The Finance Ministry sets to repay altogether 60 billion yen-denomiKobkarn Wattanavrangkul, chairnated loans in advance or approxiwoman of Toshiba Thailand, said mately Bt20 billion in this fiscal that besides the surging baht, Thaiyear, to take advantage of the baht land has been challenged by many appreciation against Japanese yen. problems that have handicapped Chularat Sutheethorn, the directorthe country against rivals such as general of the Public Debt ManageIndonesia, Myanmar and Camboment Office, said that the repayment dia. The problems include higher ahead of schedule has won Japan labour and energy costs and the International Cooperation Agency’s shortage of skilled labour. Toshiba consent and waiver of prematureexports 30-90 per cent of its electric repayment fee. “We are taking adappliances and parts depending on vantage of baht appreciation in... the product category. “We have got Full story at http://goo.gl/lnegX

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Finance / Investment

ing low-yielding currencies to invest in high-yielding currencies. The yen is always the prime currency for carry trade activities as its current http://goo.gl/wKeiJ interest rate is close to zero and the the Bank of Japan just announced a Baht sets huge stimulus programme aimed at kickstarting the economy and draganother high ging it out of years of deflation. Jaas yen nosedives pan’s easing policies are appropriate The baht hit a 16-year high on con- and the impact on the yen is a... tinuing capital inflows as Thailand, Full story at http://goo.gl/BF8IW and the bond market in particular, is expected to remain a popular desti- Capital inflow and nation for investor borrowing cheap investment in the yen following the Bank of Japan’s Thai bond market aggressive monetary policy easing. Over the past month or two, capital The baht rose to 28.96/99 against the inflow from foreign investors has greenback, while the local currency become the hottest issue in Thaialso gained to 28.93/29.46 against land’s financial market. This contin100 yen. The baht is the strongest ual inflow caused the baht to apprecurrency in Asia against the dollar ciate during the period to its highest this year, rising 5.4%. level in 16 years, at 29.19 per US dollar. However, there are a num“Offshore funds continue flowing ber of fundamental reasons for the to Thailand and the yen carry trade country attracting foreign funds. is also elevating the baht as the yen First, liquidity from the recovery is expected to weaken further,” said and economic-stimulus packages a foreign exchange dealer at a local in other countries around the world bank. Carry trade involves borrow- has caused a global imbalance in

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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

capital flows. Second, the return or yield from investing in Thailand is still attractive, while the recovery and growth rate of the Thai economy have been stronger than in other countries in the region. The Bank of Thailand, which is responsible for and oversees the stability of the baht, has several measures to monitor and track the appreciation of the currency... Full story at http://goo.gl/tv2h2

Loei ‘could yield 1 million tonnes of gold’

Initial data from the Northeast province of Loei indicates the likely discovery of gold ore deposits in quantities large enough to free Thailand from its current and future debt burdens. The ore was discovered by a foreign company that has been operating in the area for some time, said a high-ranking official from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. “They said the probable mineral reserves

goo.gl/bH6PF

were a million tonnes of gold,” the source said, asking for anonymity, as the discovery remains classified. “We are yet to prove the discovery and we don’t want to spark premature excitement among the local and global communities,” he said. Gold mining in Loei has been going on for more than a decade, with Tungkum and Akara Mining as... Full story at http://goo.gl/Q9y5Y

On the right track

Investors seeking steady and predictable returns over years and yields far above those offered by high-street banks may be tempted by infrastructure funds. An investment in infrastructure assets provides benefits of diversification from traditional equity and fixed-income investments. It can also reduce risks due to its monopolistic nature, so it has high barriers for new players to enter and low competition. It may also be a hedge against inflation, as transport concession holders have the right to raise prices or fares... Full story at http://goo.gl/zDpUd


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Production

http://goo.gl/UrVpE

More acquisitions in international markets sought

rest

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SEAT Boat Co, the oldest fibreglassboat builder and broker in the country, says it has seen growing interest in large private yachts over the past 12 months. The company recently imported its largest yacht so far, valued at more than Bt32 million. The yacht, a 14.6-metre Meridian 441, was built in the United States and was recently delivered to a customer at Laem Chabang port. Managing director Ruangrut Bencharit said a second delivery, of a 12.2-metre, Bt24-million Meridian, will take place in June. She said the top concern of customers in Thailand, even before price, was the availability of after-sales and back-up service for the maintenance and upkeep of the boat. The company’s businesses include building boats, importing... Full story at http://goo.gl/tOcLq

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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

...

Austal, Unithai sign MoU on US ship repairs

Austal, an Australian-headquartered global specialist in the design, construction and maintenance of high-performance vessels for military and commercial purposes, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Unithai Shipyard and Engineering. The MoU strengthens the companies’ cooperation and collaboration in sharing expertise and providing high-quality shiprepair services to vessels operating in the Asia-Pacific region.

Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc is looking for investment opportunities in the US and Europe, where distressed assets are available and economies are beginning to recover. But the company insists any acquisitions will involve assets with sound and promising businesses. They must also complement CPF’s exist- Based on the MoU, Unithai Shiping businesses. yard will be Austal’s preferred repair yard for US-owned commercial and “We will focus on food, which we’re military vessels, such as the US Navery good at,” said Adirek Sripratak, vy’s littoral combat ships and joint the president and chief executive. Mr high-speed vessels, that require reAdirek’s remarks came after Dhanin pairs when operating in the vicinity Chearavanont, chairman and chief of Thailand. Austal is currently conexecutive of the Charoen Pokphand tracted to build 10 103-metre JHSGroup, recently told a Thai-Chinese Vs under a US$1.6-billion (Bt47Business Council forum that the billion) contract and six 127-metre group is looking to invest in the US LCSs, four of which are a part of a retail and food sectors, with nego- 10-ship, $3.5-billion contract. Austiations pending. More details have tal has already delivered one LCS yet to be disclosed. and one JHSV. “We recognise that Unithai Shipyard is one of largest... Mr Adirek said CPF alone will Full story at http://goo.gl/V1Fea spend 75 billion baht over the next five years, half of which will go to More camping expanding its international feed, grounds ignite farm and food interests. The... motorhome Full story at http://goo.gl/6TToZ

Yachts gaining popularity in Kingdom

...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

popularity

Long holidays may prompt adventure lovers and tourists to go on camping trips and motor homes and camping cars seem to offer a perfect fit. According to Somsak Siyano, managing director of Motorhome & Camping Car, a Thai-Japanese joint venture, camping trips are becoming more popular in Thailand, driven by expanded parking areas in national parks and resorts. Currently, around 40-50 national parks and resorts in the country have set aside areas for campers. “Now, rich Thais are more interested in owning home trucks for domestic travel,” said Mr Somsak. “We expect the trend to become more popular once the AEC is fully implemented.” Founded 20 years ago, Motorhome & Camping Car sold 30 units in the domestic market and exported 400 units last year. Its assembly plant is in Phanat Nikhom... Full story at http://goo.gl/cLvwq


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Briefs Retail/Services

http://goo.gl/QyrTE

Big retailers bank on fashion to win sales

As competition intensifies in the retail market, big players are working harder to lure more customers by offering more fashion products, the segment they unanimously agree has the highest potential. The Mall Group and Siam Center have developed their own multi-brand fashion stores, while Central Group has joined forces with major fashion companies to update their collections more frequently throughout the year. They share the same goal: making their complexes the fashion destinations of choice for young people. Voralak Tulaphorn, The Mall Group’s senior vice-president for fashion merchandising, said its sales of women’s fashion items last year rose impressively by 32%, prompt-

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Mid-May/June 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: ing the group to expand its fashion sector and branch out to full-scale high-end fashion products for the first time this year. Its first own multi-brand shop-in-shop for... Full story at http://goo.gl/9PuW0

...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

flight connectivity as Suvarnabhumi and lags far behind in terms of services geared towards the premium passengers that are Oneworld’s prime focus,” he said. Oneworld’s focus is on frequent international travellers, primarily business travelAlliance rejects lers whose needs cannot be met by Don Mueang one single airline and who expect Oneworld, one of the world’s three high-quality service on their... largest airline alliances, has set the Full story at http://goo.gl/5k9Qd record straight _ none of its 12 full members has expressed any inter- Tesco Lotus est in moving the group’s Bangkok launches base to Don Mueang airport from online grocery Suvarnabhumi. The alliance, which includes giants such as British Air- Tesco Lotus, the UK-based retail giways and American Airlines, has ant, yesterday officially launched its denied a suggestion by Airports grocery home shopping service for of Thailand Plc that the group was online shoppers in Bangkok, aimkeen to relocate its operation to ing to cash in on the tremendous Bangkok’s old airport. growth in Internet and smart-phone use in the capital. The UK-based reMichael Blunt, Oneworld’s vice- tail giant has already invested about president for corporate commu- Bt300 million in the development nications, cited flight connectivity of its online shopping business in constraints and service quality for Thailand, including IT system, stock premium passengers as key impedi- management and related equipments. “Don Mueang does not of- ment, such as 30 delivery vans. The fer anywhere near the same level of online service will be first launched

goo.gl/bH6PF

in Bangkok to ensure that the service will be absolutely right and fit in with customers’ needs before... Full story at http://goo.gl/oQ7uv

Thai AirAsia ready to serve Chinese boom

The influx of Chinese travellers to Thailand is making a huge impact on passenger traffic outlook for Thai AirAsia, which expects their cumulative numbers over the next five years to hit the 5-million mark in 2018. TAA chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld provided the projections based on the backdrop of the fact that the no-frills carrier was accounting for about half of all the Chinese who arrived in the kingdom by air in the past 15 months. Last year, the airline carried 1.1 million Chinese to and from Thailand, while the tally for the first quarter of this year amounted to more than 425,000, or over 50% of all Chinese arrivals to Thailand in the period. TAA’s Chinese passengers in the... Full story at http://goo.gl/zYBR1

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Tourism

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WEF: Singapore, Malaysia ahead of Thailand for tourists When it comes to favourite destinations for tourists, Thailand is behind Singapore and Malaysia, according to a report of the World Economic Forum. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report for 2013 placed Singapore on top of the countries in Southeast Asia and put Malaysia one spot above the kingdom. It praised the friendly attitude of Thais towards foreign tourists and the solid performance of the private sector in Thailand to bolster tourism. But the industry was hampered by natural disasters, political unrest, the protection of property rights and red tape to start a business, noted the report, which is conducted every two years.

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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 Scan Sponsored by

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Russians spread their wings to South

Khao Lak, Krabi and Koh Samui are expected to become popular destinations for Russian travellers thanks to beautiful beaches and convenient transport. C9 Hotelworks, a Phuketbased hospitality consulting firm serving the Asia-Pacific region, has spotted a trend of Russian tourists switching to new destinations after previously spending most of their time in Pattaya and Phuket.

Samui has also reported strong interest from Russians during the high season that started in October. Many used charter flights to fly to Surat Thani before travelling to the island by bus and boat. Krabi has also benefited from Russian charter flights. “We see Khao Lak, Samui and Krabi as the emerging tourist locations for Russians,” said Bill Barnett, MD of C9 Hotelworks. “We don’t have the Dream GYM A5_c.pdf 1 27/3/2555 14:17:26 actual figure for Russian tourists in Krabi, but after talking to hotels and tourism operators over there, we are confident that there will be a big number of Russians visiting the southern province from October.” He said there will be more direct charter flights to Krabi... Full story at http://goo.gl/l8lWy

Thailand projects 24.5 million tourists this year, up from 22.3 million in 2012. The Tourism Department hopes 30 million visitors will come to the country in 2015. Thailand ranked 43rd in the world’s rankings, dropping two notches from Sky’s the limit the last survey in 2011. It also was for tourists with the ninth most popular country in stunning views from the Asia-Pacific region also lead by Singapore. “Singapore benefits from hot-air balloons excellent transport infrastructure”, The Thai tourism industry is booming and hot-air balloons could be including ground and airport... Full story at http://goo.gl/Mntyv used as a marketing tool to attract visitors to certain tourist atThailand promotes more tractions. Jean Christophe Brassart, cycling holidays CEO of Planete Balloon, a French The TAT is aiming to expand in- tourism consultant specialising in terest in cycling holidays in the ballooning and outdoor activities, country. As part of its focus on the said Thailand has many marvellous environment, the tourism board is places and attractions for tourists planning to expand interest in cy- to discover and the scenery will be cling among Thai nationals, as well even more beautiful if they can see it as boosting interest in cycling holi- from a hot-air balloon. He said hotdays among international tourists, air balloons can add more value to with the expansion of cycling routes the Thai tourism industry if operaacross the country. tors know the right way to use them to promote tourism activities. Currently the most popular tours in Thailand are day trips, two-day The company recently helped a clitours, and to a lesser extent, week- ent build a tethered balloon park in long tours. The TAT has supported Hua Hin. Magic Balloon Park ofcycling tours in the past but, due fers balloon services taking tourists to infrastructure limitations, these 100 metres above Hua Hin and lets have been confined to a few prov- them enjoy a panoramic view of the inces, including Ayutthaya and... seaside town and surrounding... Full story at http://goo.gl/VYKDK Full story at http://goo.gl/RWY5e C

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Jones Lang LaSalle says no bubble

Despite rising concerns over a property bubble, cooling measures are not needed at this stage, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, a professional services firm specialising in real estate. The Bank of Thailand recently asked commercial banks to adopt a more cautious attitude to mortgage lending, particularly to borrowers who are suspected of buying houses or condominiums for speculative purposes.

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Mid-May/June 2013

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: sumption that many people who have made a profit from the stock market may invest in the housing or condominium market. But there have been no clear signs of a bubble in Bangkok’s condominium market so far.” He added: ”A real estate bubble can occur when there is excess demand from speculative buyers and abundant liquidity through borrowing that drives property prices to levels well above their fundamental economic value.

“Bubble conditions can also be caused by developers themselves, undertaking development without proper market studies and planning, leading to overbuilding. However, our close monitoring of Bangkok’s core and central... ”As the Thai stock market heats up Full story at http://goo.gl/Njq7j and the baht continues to strengthen, some economists in both the Developers in mad public and private sectors have dash for EIA nods voiced concerns over a possible At least 30 property projects in bubble in Thailand’s real estate mar- Khao Yai worth over 50 billion ket,” said Suphin Mechuchep, man- baht have rushed to seek environaging director of Jones Lang LaSalle. mental impact assessment approval “This is probably based on an as- before Nakhon Ratchasima’s new

...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

provincial plan imposes regulatory changes. Theadsak Boontos, managing director of condo developer K.D. Asset & Development Co, said the huge number of projects seeking EIA approval run the gamut of sizes and styles.

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middle class, who saw real estate as a solid investment, as well as the need to stimulate the economy to maintain growth. It is reported that China is building new cities at a rate of 12-24 per year. That is simply astonishing. They have tried to create new satellite economic and social ecosystems and lure people from existing big cities to live and work there, but the scheme has not worked well. Now, let’s move across to the other side of the world. There have been recent reports of similar phenomena in... Full story at http://goo.gl/z5IYD

“Many landlords with large plots in Khao Yai are trying to get construction permits as soon as possible before the new provincial plan is announced in May, no matter whether they will develop the project or not,” he said. They want to protect their plots from a possible drop in value if the new plan does not allow commercial or housing developments, said Mr Theadsak. After receiving Isan real estate a big an EIA approval, developers can draw for developers submit for construction permits. New transport routes and potential changes in the provincial plan Some projects that already own have more than doubled land prices construction permits have not start- in Nakhon Ratchasima, attracted development and keep extending ing two big developers to buy large permits when they expire, he... plots. Krit Hiranyakit, president of Full story at http://goo.gl/dTX5x the Korat Real Estate Association, said the bypass road is one of the A tale of two most attractive locations for large ghost towns Bangkok-based developers, which Regular people like us who have have bought large plots of land and lived in a city like Bangkok all our tried to submit construction perlives may not understand what mits before the new provincial plan a “ghost town” or “ghost city” is, becomes effective. or what these labels mean. The terms have been used recently not Land and Houses Plc bought one in a supernatural sense but to de- block of land, while Sansiri Plc scribe towns or cities with very few bought a 100-rai plot on the bypass residents, characterised by empty road and 200 rai on a new provinbuildings and complexes, and cial rural road running between Nawhich are eerily quiet. In China, we khon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen have seen and heard stories of this named Sai Chor Road that will be phenomenon in the past few years completed in 2014. “After the great as a result of the country’s real-estate floods in 2011, the property market boom, which came after the govern- in northeastern provinces boomed,” ment changed its policy almost two said Werapol Chongjaroenjai, the decades ago and allowed people to association’s vice-president. “New buy their homes. This was coupled transport routes planned for the... with the rise of the nation’s wealthy Full story at http://goo.gl/ebISM

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-May/June 2013

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Mr Thanachart wants the state to remove existing barriers and increase permits for foreign workers. He said the government must focus on execution, rather than just planning, while adding incentives to encourage tech entrepreneurship. Skills training, especially in the fields of cloud computing and mobile apps, is sorely needed to serve increasing demand, he said. Thailand has an exploitable advantage in software, thanks to an abundance of developers. Evans Data Corporation put the number of Thai software developers at 268,000 last year, rising to 377,000 by 2018.

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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

...

Thailand ranked 15th by number of software developers last year and would place 10th by 2018, according to Evans Data.

Mr Thanachart said software writers in developed countries make the salary equivalent of 1 million baht... Total Access Communication vows Full story at http://goo.gl/XdhFe to be at the forefront of the 3G mobile broadband market this year TrueVisions thanks to its upgraded network plat- prepares for life form. The country’s second-largest after EPL mobile operator expects to almost triple its 3G mobile subscribers With the English Premier League from 3.5 million to 10 million this no longer on its programme list, year, using its 850- and 2100-mega- TrueVisions, a leading subscriphertz frequencies. tion-based television operator, has earmarked more than Bt1.5 billion Prathet Tankuranun, senior vice- for new content and technology, ofpresident for network operations of fering more high-definition chanDTAC, said the company could in- nels and a fee discount for existing stall 300 3G base stations per week customers to retain them. The audio thanks to its existing 3G-ready net- and visual broadcasting rights to work implemented two years ago. the EPL soccer matches for the next “DTAC is the only operator with three seasons were secured by Cable an entire modern 2G network on Thai Holdings, a group of 300 local 1800-MHz, and 3G networks on cable operators. 850- and 2100-MHz frequencies,” said Mr Prathet. DTAC upgraded A top executive at TrueVisions inits 2G network nationwide with in- sisted that losing the EPL would ternet packet radio access, boosting have only a small effect on his comits data transfer capacity to 1 Gbps pany. It conducted a survey on the from 2 Mbps. This enables DTAC to likely impact on its business after quickly install additional 3G bases,... the broadcasting of the current EPL Full story at http://goo.gl/GRP9U season ends. Attaphon na Bangxchief programming officer, said Research firm urges ang, the company would offer six more local software boost HD channels – Motor Vision, OutThailand’s software industry value door Channel, NBA TV, HBO Sigwill reach 100 billion baht within the nature, HBO Hit and H2 – in addinext few years, thanks to burgeon- tion to the current 17. Besides new ing cloud computing and mobile HD channels, TrueVisions will offer app demand, says the IT researcher more standard-definition channels IMC Institute. The local software and repackage them to increase the market was valued at 34.4 billion value for existing customers. The... baht in 2012, according to executive Full story at http://goo.gl/E3El9 director Thanachart Numnonda.

DTAC continues 3G network expansion

...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

Digital media essential

Brands should focus on digital media and use them as a powerful “owned and earned” tool to communicate with consumers, says digital agency mInteraction. Siwat Chawareewong, CEO of the agency, said the launch of 3G mobile service will make online brand competition more intense for many segments, especially personal care products, hotels and airlines. Almost all brands in Thailand have already used digital media to communicate directly with target customers, but brand marketers must prepare to cope with changes in four key areas.... Full story at http://goo.gl/c7KwI


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BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

B www.BBBrief.com riefs

Mid-May/June 2013

The Chambers

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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 AMCHAM’s website.

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

http://goo.gl/mbUpG

Forum on Intellectual Property, Creativity, Innovation and Collaboration Organized by AMCHAM and the U.S. Embassy, leading experts from the U.S. and Thailand discussed Intellectual Property and its effect on Creativity, Innovation and Collaboration. The event was held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok. The event was part of the yearlong celebration of Two Nations. One Friendship – 180 Year of Thai-U.S. Relations. The event featured five informative presentations, courtesy of AMCHAM Thailand’s Legal Committee. The first speaker, Q. Todd Dickinson, executive director of the American Intellectual Property covered on the role of law in stimulating innovation and creativity. Kenneth Kunho Cho, partner of Kim & Chang, discussed on commercial innovation and building successful brands. The next speaker, Siraprapha Rungpry, project manager of IP management from National Innovation Agency highlighted on innovation through collaborative research and development. The event also featured special lunch with guest speakers, Piyavara Teekara, director of Her Majesty the Queen’s Textile Museum and Kullawit Laosuksri, chief editor of Vogue Thailand, along with special fashion slideshow, which displayed Thailand from the ‘60s to the present. The next speaker, Polpat Asavaprapha, president of Bangkok Fashion Society, shared some advice on designing for life through creating and marketing a lifestyle. The last speaker, Chaiyong R. Angkura, chairman of Subcommitte of Thai Creative and Design Center-invited, highlighted on a creative life through creativity, intellectual property and commerce.

Participants included H.E. Nattawut Saikua, Deputy Minister of Commerce, Judith B. Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy and Christopher Knight, CEO Evert Knight.

Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce Spring Summit The March 2013 APCAC (Asia-Pacific Council of American Chamber of Commerce) annual Spring Summit was held in Taipei on March 21-22 and attended by over 300 delegates. Primary issues discussed included increased commercial engagement with Asia and leveling the playing field for Americans abroad. These issues and others will be raised with the Administration and Congress during the annual Washington D.C. doorknock June 9-12. APCAC strongly supports the following measures: successful conclusion of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement; a U.S. Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN; implementation a territorial taxation system for U.S. companies and citizens; availability of the APEC business card for U.S. citizens.

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The 2013 APCAC Board which represents 22 AmChams


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December 20 11

Briefs 11

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-May/June 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

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

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

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Dawn service and wreath-laying ceremony in Kanchanaburi Once again this year on 25 April, AustCham members and friends took a bus to Kanchanaburi province for the ANZAC Day memorial service. Over 1,000 people gathered at Hellfire Pass for the Dawn Service and then at the Cemetery in Kanchanaburi town for the wreath-laying ceremony to remember and pay their respects to the many thousands of men who suffered and died during World War II while constructing and maintaining the BurmaThailand railway. Also known as Death Railway, the Japanese were determined to build a railway to create a new route from Rangoon through to Bangkok with the thought that by relying on sea routes only they’d be vulnerable to attack by allied forces.

Australian Minister for Defence, Mr Stephen Smith MP was present to give an address at both the Dawn Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony.

Originally, they estimated that it would take five to six years to finish the entire line; it didn’t. Building over the bodies of the dead while being forced to work at an inhumane speed, the line took only a mere 16 months to complete. To clear the stretch of mountain we now know as Hellfire Pass, Prisoners of War and Asian labourers were forced to excavate the soil and rock from this particularly difficult and dangerous cutting to a depth of 20 meters using no more than picks, hammers and their bare hands during the 12 weeks they were there. They endured starvation, exhaustion, and the agony of disease as well as the harsh and deadly treatment of their captors. When the Australian survivors marched away from the railway they left behind nearly 2,800 of their number in small camp cemeteries. The unimaginable horrors of this dark time during the war can be summed up by the name given to Hellfire Pass, chosen because the sight of emaciated prisoners labouring at night by torchlight is said to have resembled the Jaws of Hell.

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BlueScope 2013 AustCham Ball “The Big Blue” True-blue about Australia and Thailand? Then join us for an evening of sophistication, entertainment and top quality food and wine. Don your most sophisticated blue gown, blue tuxedo (ok, black will do), or showcase your blue-inspired creative-wear for a fantastic night with Aussie mates. Date: Saturday 1 June 2013, 18:30-02:00 Tickets: Baht 3,500 per person Book a table of ten only Baht 31,500 (one free ticket)! Book two tables of ten only Baht 59,000 (three free tickets)! Location: “Ballroom”, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Bookings and Further Information: Alternatively call +66 2 210 0216 or email chanakarn@austchamthailand.com.


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Thailand’s ambitious infrastructure plans Story continued from Page 1.

as well as the ports and airports improvements, would come toward the land’s debt to GDP ratio (44% in 2012), finance minister Kittiratt Naend of the 7-year timeframe. Ranong was recently quoted as saying that the ratio would not exceed 50%, even with the infrastructure borrowing. Why are all of these upgrades necessary? Thailand currently has 70,000 kilometers of roads, but only 4,431 kilometers of slow, mostly single- Indeed, with the Thai economy humming along at annual growth rates track rail lines (excluding Bangkok). For anyone who has ever spent of 5-6%, analysts in the region generally like the infrastructure investtime in Bangkok’s notorious traffic, or taken a long train through the ment plan, which the government predicts will add 1% to the country’s countryside, it’s not difficult to understand why one development ana- growth rate each year and 500,000 new jobs. Foreign investors from lyst recently described Thailand’s infrastructure as “running at full ca- Japan, China, South Korea, and some European nations also see enorpacity.” mous potential and have expressed interest in bidding for some of the projects. For these investors, the rate of return on investment in existThe total price tag for these projects would be 2,000 billion baht (US$68 ing mass transit companies in Thailand has been good. BTS Group, the billion), a number that has raised eyebrows in many circles. While very company that runs the SkyTrain system in Bangkok, just registered the few would question the need for infrastructure improvements, many largest IPO in Asia (excluding Japan) this year by raising 62.53 billion wonder how the country can afford to pay the bill, and whether some of baht (US$2.13 billion). the money might be better spent on long-term social programs. Other analysts are quick to point out that ultimately, it won’t be the In fact, the financing is still up in the air, with the government propos- financing that will be the issue, but the logistics and execution of the ing ‘phased’ borrowing through domestic bond issues, a move that is plan that will be the main obstacles. Securing land, dealing with commeant to avoid external currency risks. That proposal is currently being munity concerns and Thailand’s historical problems with graft and budconsidered in Thailand’s parliament, where some critics are calling the get skimming will all be concerns for anyone involved in these projects. whole idea ‘dangerous’ and ‘too ambitious’ and that the government is asking for a ‘blank cheque.’ Thailand’s largest investor, Japan, is embarking on an infrastructurespending spree of its own that is massive in terms of amounts and the Chadchart noted however, that all of the borrowing would probably be timeframe, with over US$100 billion earmarked for infrastructure projon a project-to-project basis, so there would be no lump sum payment. ects over the next 15 months. In contrast to Thailand, Japan already has And addressing concerns about how this spending would affect Thai- 1.2 million kilometers of roads, the fifth largest network in the world, as well as 250 bullet trains and 98 airports. While Japan has long been criticized for building white elephants (expensive unnecessary projects), this infrastructure spending seems to be planned as a short-term fix for an ailing economy. The new Japanese government hopes that these measures will revive an economy that has been hit by natural and man-made disasters, and has been saddled with low growth and deflation for many years.

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Tel. 02 712 4052

Publisher and Managing Director (Thai Sales) Pavinee Chaymanee • 084-147-5550 thailandmagazine@gmail.com

Managing Director & Creative Director Reid Nixon • 080-246-9000 reid@bbbrief.com

As Europe – and to a lesser extent, the U.S. – deals with the effects of their austerity measures and the fallout from the recent controversy over the academic study that was the basis for austerity, many analysts and government officials will be watching Thailand and Japan closely to see how these plans affect GDP and whether the increase in debt negatively affects the economies of these two trading partners. Both plans are ambitious, but both seek to address separate issues that each of the two economies face. For Thailand, long-term, sustainable growth in order to become a hub for both Asean and the Greater Mekong Sub-Region seems to be the goal. Whether this goal can be achieved through this infrastructure spending plan remains to be seen. But the debate over the merits of the plan will certainly continue for some time to come.

Business Development Manager (English sales) Andy Hyde • 080-814-9080 andy@bbbrief.com

Delivery

Anan Boonma

In cooperation with Siam Gazette Co., Ltd. Alan Verstein • 081-761-9302

Volume 2, Issue 6 • Mid-May to June 2013 Copyright 2011-2013. All rights reserved.

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


14

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

www.BBBrief.com

Mid-May/June 2013

The Calendar

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

12

13

May

Sunday

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

goo.gl/6ngBg

Tuesday

Monday

14 PPI Professional Hour http://goo.gl/EbSqX

19

20 AMCHAM: Joint Legal & Myanmar Task Force – IPR Roundtable http://goo.gl/e3TZX

June

26

27

2

3

21

AMCHAM: Loyola http://goo.gl/xrMia AMCHAM: Energy Cmte http://goo.gl/EpC72 AMCHAM: Prof. Women http://goo.gl/7qXpr Bangkok Entrepreneurs http://goo.gl/JihG3

28

AMCHAM: Special Luncheon Organizing to Win http://goo.gl/I2HcS AustCham: Boardroom Brief – Cybercrime, would your business know how to respond? http://goo.gl/EqXSx

4 AMCHAM: Independence Day Picnic Cmte http://goo.gl/52CLV Bangkok Trader Networking Night http://goo.gl/EnNbR

AMCHAM: USA Fair 2013 http://goo.gl/xiOjG

9

10 AMCHAM: University of Virginia briefing http://goo.gl/NXXNH

16

17 AMCHAM: Legal Cmte – Anti-Dumping http://goo.gl/4Lwix WebMob Thailand: http://goo.gl/dEu8F

11 AMCHAM: Marketing Cmte http://goo.gl/p9vLL PPI Professional Hour http://goo.gl/EbSqX

18 AMCHAM: ICT Cmte http://goo.gl/p2TEy AMCHAM: Professional Women Cmte http://goo.gl/5cBVV


www.BBBrief.com

Mid-May/June 2013 BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

15

Send us your event details for the Mid-June/July issue by June 5th to reid@bbbrief.com Wednesday

Thursday

15 AMCHAM: 101 – New Member Orientation http://goo.gl/QHIxr AMCHAM: Social Networking http://goo.gl/QHIxr

22

AMCHAM: Monthly Luncheon State of the Economy http://goo.gl/F7bKu MBMG: Australian Tax, Invest. Opportunity & Superannuation Presentation http://goo.gl/cgLtb

Friday

16

AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte http://goo.gl/Fo8gO AustCham: Boardroom Brief – Australian Federal Budget Update & Economic Outlook http://goo.gl/TYbVi

AMCHAM: Memorial Day Charitee Golf Tournament 2013 http://goo.gl/LwjPa

AustCham: Voluntary English Teaching http://goo.gl/LcN2D

25

30

31

1

AMCHAM: USA Fair 2013 http://goo.gl/E09k3 Movers & Shakers http://goo.gl/xOfWr

AMCHAM: Transport. & Logistic Cmte http://goo.gl/kgtDJ AMCHAM: HR Cmte http://goo.gl/HmWh6 AustCham: Commonwealth Sundowners http://goo.gl/JoiVD

5

12

6 AMCHAM: YPC Networking http://goo.gl/iGQjs

13

AMCHAM: USA Fair 2013 http://goo.gl/lyNri AustCham: BlueScope 2013 AustCham Ball http://goo.gl/eknbm

7

8

14

15

AMCHAM: Board of Governors Mtg http://goo.gl/yt42g AMCHAM: Auto Council Cmte http://goo.gl/K8YSP AustCham: Volvo Convoy for Kids Charity Golf http://goo.gl/X6aNX

Movers & Shakers Pattaya http://goo.gl/fYXvN Joint Chambers: Eastern Seaboard Networking Event http://goo.gl/1w1nt

AMCHAM: SME Cmte http://goo.gl/qspsN AMCHAM: Social Networking http://goo.gl/nHqvF

19

18

24

WebMob Thailand: http://goo.gl/dEu8F

AMCHAM: Energy Cmte – Gas Supply Outlook by DMF http://goo.gl/tCFxL

17

23

AMCHAM: Travel & Tourism Cmte http://goo.gl/VHV5s AMCHAM: Community Engagement Cmte http://goo.gl/reWyy AMCHAM: CSR Cmte http://goo.gl/O1slB

29

Saturday

20 AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte http://goo.gl/N5q7D

21

22 AustCham: Voluntary English Teaching http://goo.gl/LxgMn



Bangkok Business Brief - Volume 2, Issue 6 - Mid-May/June 2013