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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

1

BUSINESS BRIEF

Vol. No. 1, Issue No. 10

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

Daily business news briefs at www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

A BBB Exclusive Interview with Capt. Woranate Laprabang, MD of THAI Smile THAI Smile, a sub-brand business unit of THAI Airways, began service between Bangkok and Macau on July 7th and starting today roll out operations between Bangkok

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

2 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 14 22

and Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Surat Thani, and Bangkok and Krabi, and then between Bangkok and Phuket on September 16th.

their brand as a “trendy, friendly, and worthy” airline by trimming down on some of the frills such as in-flight entertainment while still providing customers with excellent The airline is using the Airbus A320- service, as well as their own unique 200, a smaller, more fuel-efficient brand of fun and value. plane than those used by THAI Airways and which is more suitable for Bangkok Business Brief was able to short-haul flights of up to 3 hours. sit down with Captain Woranate While THAI Airways International Laprabang, Managing Director of prides itself on presenting “Thai- THAI Smile, and discuss the conness” to its passengers and provid- cept behind the brand, the customer ing first-class service, it is the posi- experience and future plans for the tion of THAI Smile that on short airline. flights there is only so much service one can provide. While clearly not Bangkok Business Brief: THAI intended to be considered a low- Smile will be opening new routes cost carrier, they aim to promote to destinations such as Chiang Mai,

Phuket and other places THAI Airways currently has service to. Will THAI Smile be looking at duplicating these routes or replacing the current THAI Airways routes? Woranate Laprabang: Yes, in the future, several secondary destinations currently flown by THAI Airways will be transferred to THAI Smile. At the moment, many routes are currently being flown with 737400 aircraft. The target is both replacement of existing routes and adding additional routes. We would like to focus in three main areas: China, India, and Asean. In the past, we always felt there was opportunity Story continues on Page 18.

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs General Interest

http://goo.gl/ozbNM

Oriental’s new GM aims to scale greater heights As the general manager of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Amanda Hyndman airs her abiding passion and ambition to take on challenges, a characteristic that made her a hotel general manager at the age of only 28. Being the fourth female GM of this 136-year-old property, she looks up to nobody but Kurt Wachtveitl, the legendary figure in the hotel business who ran the property for 40 years and who is still advising the group. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can’t say no, because of the reputation and the heritage” of this hotel. “I wanted it so much I would have killed. In Europe, this hotel... Full story at http://goo.gl/E91XI

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser:

Using copyrighted materials from the internet You are preparing a slide presentation for a speech or an internal company meeting and want to use some photos you found on a Google Images search in your slides. Is it necessary to ask permission for all the photos you want to use? If you really want to use them and are willing to give credit, what form should this take for your use to be deemed sufficiently appropriate and legitimate? With the rapid expansion of the internet and the broad transmission of information online, many internet users are convinced that materials found online are free to use. Although everyone perceives that images, videos and writings found online must be owned by someone, the current practice of using others’ works on the internet remains ambiguous. Right of copyright owner: Thai copyright law protects the original expression of creative ideas... Full story at http://goo.gl/BwvTk

MBMG Group is a multi-award-winning professional research and advisory practice that provides a full spectrum of investment, insurance, financial and legal services for individuals, corporations and institutions throughout Asia. Founded in Thailand in 1996, MBMG Group has since established a reputation for providing sound, intelligent and impartial advice to clients from all walks of life. But don’t just take our word for it, look at the awards we’ve won.... • ACQ Finance Magazine Global Award, MBMG Group, Business Advisory Firm of the Year, Thailand 2012 • ICFM Leading Regulated Fund Management Provider, Thailand 2012 • ICFM Continental Awards, Thailand 2012 • Finance - Monthly Tax & Estate Planning Firm of the Year, Global Award 2012 • Finance - Monthly Tax & Estate Planning Firm of the Year, Thailand 2012 • Lawyers World Global Leading Firm, Top Tier Rankings 2012 • Lawyers World Annual Jurisdiction Awards 2012 • Lawyers Monthly Legal Award 2012 • The DealMakers M&A Awards 2012, Independent Financial Consultancy Firm of the Year (Thailand)

MBMG InTernaTIonal Co., lTd. 75/56 Ocean Tower II, 26th Floor, Soi Sukumvit 19 Klongtoey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0) 2 665 2537 - 9 Email: info@mbmg-international.com Web: www.mbmg-international.com

...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

With product development and small-firm mindset, Red Bull succeeds the Steve Jobs way

goo.gl/bH6PF

Thai service sector needs to prepare

Preparation is key to the service sector, especially in terms of understanding different cultures, if it wants to cash in on the “free flow of services” once Asean liberalises in three years. Nithi Patarachoke, managing director of SCG Logistics Management, suggested that the best way to prepare human resources for the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC) would be to encourage more Thais to work overseas. “Building the capability of workers would have to span from high-ranking officials to unskilled labour,” he said.

As a latecomer to the ready-to-drink tea market, Red Bull knew it had to be different. And in an era of high competition, the difference had to be large enough to be noticed and valued by consumers, marketing manager Suwandee Chaiwarut said. So while everyone was competing with green-tea products, Red Bull chose eight years ago to go ahead with “white tea”, which some research has found to have three times the antioxidant content of green tea. When all Asean nations open their doors, the AEC will have a comThere was no easy path, nonetheless. bined population of 600 million, a She said Red Bull struggled with its gross domestic product of US$1.5 Puriku white-tea product during its trillion (Bt47.27 trillion), $50 billion first year. Some consumers, for ex- in foreign direct investment and 65 ample, complained that they hardly international tourists, ranking secnoticed any difference between the ond globally next to France. Nithi tastes of white and green tea. “We said the “middle-class” population could hardly sell any during its... was growing globally, with the... Full story at http://goo.gl/hT9YE Full story at http://goo.gl/H4Vx4


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 3

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012 General Inte

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Finance / Investment

http://goo.gl/wKeiJ

KBank set up investment banking arm Kasikornbank has set up a new investment banking division to help access the equity-capital and debtcapital markets to cash in on the expected Bt800 billion in project investment in the next 18 months. According to Krisada Lamsam, a senior executive vice president at KBank, 40 per cent of that total would be multifaceted investments through mergers and acquisitions in the European, US and Asean markets, and 40 per cent investment in local infrastructure such as roads, mass transit and power. The remaining 20 per cent will be business expansion in main provinces.

rest

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

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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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emerging markets ready to tap into high investor demand for real estate investment trusts. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in Asia are becoming increasingly attractive for western investors who are seeking a safer haven for their money than the fragile economies in the US and Europe. However, rules and regulations in a number of emerging markets, notably Thailand and Vietnam, are needed in order to give investors more choices beyond the well established REIT markets such as Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Trading prices that are lower than their net asset values (NAV) have made REITs in Asia very “sexy” for investors, according to a report released last month by APN Property Group, an Australian real estate investment manager. “There is no better time than now to take advantage of the buying opportunities, which are likely to generate strong risk... Full story at http://goo.gl/HpsME

He said investment by mediumsized businesses with annual sales New 3.99% bonds of Bt400 million to Bt5 billion was targeted at retirees more active because they have to... The Finance Ministry’s new 80 bilFull story at http://goo.gl/KxWbK lion baht in bonds are aimed at retirees and offer a yield rate as high as SEC eases private 3.99%, besting fixed deposits, says equity, venture Chakkrit Parapuntakul, directorgeneral of the Public Debt Managecapital regulations ment Office. The savings bonds can Market regulators have relaxed rules be purchased at counters and ATMs to make it easier to set up private at branches of Bangkok Bank, equity or venture capital firms. The Krung Thai Bank, Kasikornbank move is aimed at helping startups and Siam Commercial Bank. The and entrepreneurs raise money to minimum subscription is set at one finance their businesses. unit, or 1,000 baht, and a maximum of 2,000 units, or up to 2 million Private equity firms (PEs) and ven- baht. Retirees aged over 60 will have ture capital firms (VCs) invest di- priority to purchase bonds on... rectly in private companies in which Full story at http://goo.gl/cMua1 they see high potential. They help companies to grow and then usually Myanmar: great “exit” or sell the investments after potential, but profits reach the goal. patience needed Since such companies help small businesses, the requirements to set up such firms have been eased, said Vorapol Socatiyanurak, secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).The SEC is also revising rules to allow PEs to establish trusts, allowing ... Full story at http://goo.gl/4Kcfo

...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

Rarely do you have the opportunity to observe closely, let alone participate, in the opening up to the world of a long-cloistered country. But that’s exactly what’s happening right on our doorstep with Myanmar. There are undoubtedly great opportunities. Equally, there are great obstacles to overcome, as you would expect. The Asian Development The right time and Bank introduced a cold dose of replace for REITs ality to those who see quick gains... Thailand and Vietnam among the Full story at http://goo.gl/7Hwjt

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4

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Government / Economy

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: The most pessimistic about continued improvement in the country’s economy is the Manufacturing sector (26 per cent) while the Finance sector (8 per cent) was the least pessimistic.

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com ...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

stocks dropped by over 90 per cent.” set clear goals on which export segMBMG is a global financial advi- ment it will support. It also has to sory service. strike a balance between the export and domestic sectors, Somkid said. http://goo.gl/EIbH6 Gambles said it was not possible to predict the exact time of the global It will be difficult to build wealth in MSMEs reveal economic collapse, as it would de- the next decade as the global ecoUp to 93 per cent rated the availabilpend on what financial event trig- nomic slump will last for four or five decreasing ity of credit for their company as... gers it, which would be very much years and it will take at least four confidence in Full story at http://goo.gl/imuYb a political decision. Nonetheless, he of five more years for the recovery. economy, banks said, “There are two economists... The government should increase Thailand’s business confidence in- Another Full story at http://goo.gl/3bT5o purchasing power at the grass-roots dex among micro, small and me- Great Depression level by instituting genuine... HSBC puts dium enterprises (MSMEs) has de- ‘a sure thing’ Full story at http://goo.gl/7pavf Thai growth at 5.5% clined from 62.9 in the first quarter ‘White lies of this year to 61.7 in the second Well-known regional financial ex- as Asia shrugs off sometimes needed’ quarter, according to a survey by pert Paul Gambles expects the world Hong Kong-based market research economy to fall into another “Great Thai gross domestic product will Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Raagency, Radar Global. Depression” any time between now grow by 5.5 per cent this year and 4.5 nong admitted yesterday that someand 2014, and that it will last for five per cent in 2013 as Asian economies times he had to exaggerate about The research shows that 33 per cent to 10 years. are still holding up despite Europe’s the country’s economic growth, of respondents were positive about woes and sub-par expansion in the even though the government has the country’s economy over the next The MBMG International manag- United States, Su Sian Lim, HSBC been fully aware since early this year 6 months, down from 40 per cent in ing partner who appears frequently Asean economist, said yesterday. that the global economic slowdown the first quarter of this year. Mean- on CNBC and other media and She said Thailand and other Asean would likely swamp Thailand. while, 87 per cent were positive at financial events said: “Our best economies had outperformed marabout their own company’s finan- case is that stocks will fall 30-40 per ket expectations in the first half of “But [the government] must aim cial prospects and 78 per cent were cent from where we are now. The this year. Thai GDP expanded 4.2 high in order to create confidence,” positive about their own industry’s worst is hard to predict, but during per cent year on year in the second Kittiratt, who is also a deputy prime prospects. the Great Depression in 1930s, US quarter. minister, said. “The finance minister needs to lie sometimes to create Much of the upside surprise in good feelings. The world knows this Asean has come from domestic de- as a ‘white lie’. The goal is to create mand, which has more than offset confidence, which in turn benefits declining contributions from ex- the country’s economy as a whole,” Textiles & Apparel Services in Asia ports, Lim told a news conference. he said. She said investment growth had Sourcing | Buying | Production | QC been especially strong. With robust He added that he was not surprised domestic demand providing a buf- when the National Economic and TrisMart Ltd is registered in Hong Kong and offers sourcing and fer against weaker external demand, Social Development Board (NESconsultancy services to Western apparel importers and retailers the slowdown in overall economic DB), the state planning agency, refor all their textiles and apparel needs from Asia. growth in Asean is likely to be mod- vised its forecast for export growth erate, she said. down to a mere 7.3 per cent this Product develoPment GrouPs year due to the slumping global 1. Apparel: knitwear, woven, sweaters, denim,… 2. Textiles: yarns, fabrics, home textiles, leather,… Low inflation, cheap credit and still- economy. The NESDB downgraded 3. technical: clean-tech, eco-tech, med-tech, pro-tech, sports-tech,… tight labour markets should help export growth but maintained gross 4. Made Ups: bags, belts, headwear, socks, plush toys,… keep Asean investment and... domestic product (GDP) growth 5. Accessories: labels, badges, patches, hangtags,… Full story at http://goo.gl/36CMi at 5.5 to 6 per cent, which is close to the government’s projection, he Be cautious in case said. In the past, export expansion euro crisis drags at only 7.3 per cent would not be Somkid Jatusripitak, former deputy enough for GDP growth to reach... prime minister and finance minis- Full story at http://goo.gl/Sp2gl ter, yesterday advised investors to take a cautious stance, as the Thai Survey: Approval one TRISMART LTD, Hong Kong stock market could become volatile year on, just barely Sourcing & Production of Textiles & Apparel in Asia amid the prolonged euro-zone debt Businessmen give the government a Challenge Us To Find What You Couldn’t Find! crisis. This euro crisis could go on passing score of 6.71 for how polisales@trismart.net www.trismart.net for five more years, he told a semi- cies were carried out but a failing nar on building Thailand’s wealth in score of 4.66 for solving corruption the next decade organised by Kiat- and some 85% of businessmen have “If it’s made from textiles, nakin Fund Management. no confidence in assurances there Tris Mart Ltd can find it for you in Asia.” will be no new flood crisis this year Thailand’s export sector shows a says a survey of its one-year adminVast Network of Partners in these Asian Countries of Production: tendency to become weaker in 10 istration. It awarded a a 5.9 for easyears, so the government has to set ing high raw material costs. The... a clear strategy to strengthen it and Full story at http://goo.gl/ENF6l Bangladesh China India thailand Vietnam Laos

Tris Mart Ltd, Hong Kong


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 5

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012 General Inte

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

Production

http://goo.gl/UrVpE

ThaiBev ready to work with Heineken Fraser and Neave (F&N) and Heineken have agreed on a US$4billion (Bt126.4 billion) takeover deal for F&N unit Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), while F&N stakeholder Thai Beverage said it was ready to work with the global brewer. Bloomberg quoted three people with knowledge of the matter as saying that F&N’s board of directors would recommend its shareholders sell APB shares to Heineken at 50 Singapore dollars (Bt1,268) apiece. Acquiring F&N’s 40-per-cent stake in APB will give the Dutch brewer control of the Singapore-based maker of Tiger beer. Heineken already owns 42 per cent and said July 20 it would offer as much as S$7.5 billion for the rest.

rest

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

...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

Bangkok Business Brief

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

...

seas business investment, which we will be able to realise through this transaction in order to fully begin developing Fuji Pharma’s overseas business,” he said.

Under the share sale agreement signed with Zurich-based DKSH Group on August 3 and to be completed in October, Fuji Pharma will spend 52.5 million Swiss francs (Bt1.7 billion) for the 99.91-percent stake in OLIC. Both companies have been business partners for years. Joerg Wolle, president and CEO of DKSH, said the sale is in line with the group’s strategy to refocus on its core business as a... Full story at http://goo.gl/6Ic7y

Held back by Euro crisis, Delta Electronics forecasts flat revenue growth this year

Delta Electronics (Thailand) has lowered its expectations for revenue to flat growth mainly because of the impact of the euro-zone crisis and global economic uncertainty, said its president Henry Shieh. Previously, Delta projected revenue would grow by 10 per cent, but sales in the first six months increased only slightly to Bt19.07 billion from Bt19.06 billion in the same period last year. “The European situation has had a major impact on solar products, so sales revenue for the entire year might not surpass last year’s figure of Bt38.40 billion,” he said.

Heineken, which accounts for about 8.8 per cent of the global beer market, has the smallest emergingmarkets presence of the world’s big three brewers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About 37 per cent of operating income came from Western Europe last year. The Dutch brewer, which has been involved with APB since 1931, made the offer to protect its position in a key emerging-market asset after ThaiBev, controlled by billionaire The company yesterday reported a Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi... consolidated net profit of Bt899.16 Full story at http://goo.gl/F3lpL million for the second quarter, from Bt911.67 million in the Japan’s Fuji Pharma down same quarter last year. Shieh said set to take 99.91% in that if the global economy does not Kingdom’s top drug- improve by next year, Delta’s revenue might not even match this year’s maker OLIC performance. Delta needs to cut its Fuji Pharma is taking over OLIC investment budget this year to cope (Thailand), the country’s largest with the situation, he said, to... contract pharmaceutical manufacFull story at http://goo.gl/nRWr3 turer, in its quest to grow its business outside Japan. Animated growth The focus is increasingly on Asia as “Under Fuji Pharma’s medium- a digital content production hub, term business plan themed ‘Good and Asean, especially Thailand, is to Great’, the medium/long-term taking the lead – With demand for vision for 2015 is to grow overseas digital entertainment expanding exand to establish a new competitive ponentially across Asia, content deedge as a pharmaceutical company,” velopment is increasingly shifting to Hirofumi Imai, president and CEO this high-growth continent. of Fuji Pharma, said in a statement yesterday. “To achieve these objec- “Over the next year or two, Asia will tives, our priority has been on over- grow in importance as a hub for

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Volume 1, Issue 10 • Mid-September to October 2012 Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

digital content development,” said Wiwat Wongwarawipat, a board member of the Information and Communication Technology Ministry’s Software Industry Promotion Agency. He said economic risks in the euro zone and the US have tarnished demand there, leading to a... Full story at http://goo.gl/f9Ij8

tive Jantana Puapatanakajorn said the company will spend 1.2 billion baht, about 20% higher than its earlier plan, to set up a second factory on 12 rai at Chachoengsao’s Wellgrow Industrial Estate.

Construction will begin early next year and take 18 months to comThe new factory is expected Thai-German Meat plete. to create about 200 new jobs, and beefs up expansion funding will come from cash flow Thai-German Meat Product Co and bank loans. (TGM) will resume its investment next year after postponing the plan It will produce Western meat prodfor two years due to political uncer- ucts such as sausage, ham, bacon... tainties and flooding. Chief execu- Full story at http://goo.gl/WKTYJ


6

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Retail/Services

http://goo.gl/QyrTE

KidZania to open Bt760m centre in Siam Paragon

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: the globe: Mexico City, Monterrey (Mexico), Cuicuilco (Mexico), Tokyo, Koshien (Japan), Jakarta, Lisbon, Dubai, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Santiago. KidZania in Bangkok will be the third-largest operation, behind Cuicuilco and Seoul.

...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

business system had helped him to understand what was needed to run a successful operation. The Daily News, the country’s leading daily newspaper founded by Dom’s grandfather Saeng Hetrakul in 1964, is now run by his father, Pracha Hetrakul.

“Thailand is very attractive to KidZania, thanks to its having a big... “All businesses have their own KidZania, the world’s fastest-grow- Full story at http://goo.gl/MDDjG framework and by entering any ing “edutainment” brand, is prebusiness, it means you enter into a paring for the December opening Big-bike passion system. Anyway, any business sysin Bangkok of its 12th site, and the translates into tem can collapse without the love third-largest in the world, with an business success and passion to make it successful,” investment of more than Bt760 milsaid Dom. “For myself, I’m doing... for Dom lion. Full story at http://goo.gl/EGCeq Dom Hetrakul, well-known actor Located on the fifth floor of Siam and member of the family that has Starbucks launches Paragon and covering floor space run the Daily News for nearly 50 two new lifestyle in excess of 10,000 square metres, years, set up his own business out of concept outlets KidZania will be a meticulously re- a passion for big bikes and the inspialistic, scaled-down replica of a city, ration they had given him from an Starbucks Coffee Thailand has inwith streets, buildings, utilities and early age. troduced two new lifestyle concept vehicles providing children aged stores in Thailand to strengthen its from four to 14 with the opportu- Dom, 36, who is managing direc- business here this year. nity to experience the jobs of adults. tor of Britbike, the authorised distributor of Triumph motorcycles Managing director Murray Darling There are currently 11 KidZania from the United Kingdom, said that said the US-based coffee company edutainment centres in cities around growing up in a family with a solid recently opened its first Starbucks

goo.gl/bH6PF

drive-through concept store at a two-storey building with 434 square metres of space at Porto Chino on Rama II Road, offering a fast and convenient way to enjoy its coffee. Starbucks food concept store was also introduced for the first time at Exchange Tower at the Asok intersection. The 110-square-metre Starbucks food cafe offers the new Starbucks experience with a wide range of foods including pastas, soups, pies and salads. The store is opened daily from 7am-9pm. The target groups are office workers, expats and neighbourhood mall shoppers as well as passers-by. He said although drive-throughs are familiar in the US, it concept is a novelty in Asia Pacific. Currently, there are Starbucks drive-through concept stores in the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan, and Starbucks food concept stores in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia. The introduction of the two new concept stores to the Thai... Full story at http://goo.gl/kV6dm


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 7

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012 General Inte

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Soul-searching journey led to execcoaching career It was the death of a colleague in Germany that led Dr Gerrit Pelzer to review his career and life goals, which ultimately took him on an entrepreneurial expedition as an executive coach in Thailand. Pelzer was formerly the site manager of the Chon Buri factory of Cognis, a German additive maker that was later taken over by global chemical firm BASF. Now 44, he said the unfortunate loss more than two years ago of one of his valued colleagues launched him on his “soul-searching” journey.

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I Spa, which operates 15 luxury Thai spas in China, is expanding into Thailand with the opening of two new spas at five-star hotels in Bangkok and Phuket.

goo.gl/bH6P

F

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

...

MEA opens electriccar charging station

Thailand’s first station to charge electric vehicles (EV) opened Wednesday at the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA)’s headquarters on Phloenchit Road. Although Thailand only has three EV cars, given to MEA by Mitsubishi Motors, MEA plans to raise awareness among the public about these environmentally friendly vehicles, said MEA governor Arthorn Sinsawad.

Mitsubishi signed an agreement with MEA last September to start joint field testing of the Mitsubishi Innovative Electric vehicle (MiEV). The Japanese automaker launched the MiEV in Japan in March 2009 after two decades of research and development. About 5,000 prototype units are running in Japan and 10,000 have been shipped to the US and Europe.

Pelzer got into a coaching session with Jean-Francois Cousin, a leading executive coach in Thailand, who helped him realise that coaching might be the new career he had always looked for. He eventually quit Cognis in August 2010 and took on an International Coach Academy Under the agreement, Mitsubishi course to become a certified coach will start researching acceptabiland set up his Vivo Consulting. ity, marketability and availability of charging infrastructure. Mr Ar“It was not an easy decision,” Pelzer thorn said MEA plans to develop said. “As an expat, I had nice salaries, only quick-charge stations, which... car, drivers. Leaving this to start... Full story at http://goo.gl/RbT6M Full story at http://goo.gl/gS7uD

Luxury spa brand launches in Thailand

Expatriate Medical Insurance ...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

Mellow Digital makes Thailand product innovation and testing centre

Mellow Digital Innovations, the country’s first integrated LED company, is making Thailand its product innovation and testing centre. Mellow Digital’s manufacturing and distribution base is located in China. The company, which expects its domestic sales to reach Bt200 million this year out of a market worth some Bt300 million, hopes to expand into 50 overseas markets next year. It also plans to invest next year with a view to cashing in on the single market under the Asean Economic Community from 2015.

The company currently operates high-end wellness centres in Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Tangshan, Nanjing, Xi’an and Sanya, but the brand will officially arrive in its spiritual home of Thailand today with the opening of an I Spa at The Landmark Bangkok. Occupying a 750m² space on the hotel’s ninth floor, I Spa at The Landmark Bangkok features 10 treatment rooms with 12 spa beds and four foot ther- The company is in the business of apy rooms with five loungers. manufacturing and selling huge digital LED display screens known Details of the Phuket spa are yet to as “intelligent screens” for stadia and be announced, and the company is concert-hall use both at home and in discussions to expand the brand abroad, managing director Sukrit further across the region. “We are Apinatapu said yesterday. “We are under negotiations with other ho- the first Thai company undertaktels in Thailand and Cambodia, and ing an integrated business under the we look forward to... concept of ‘total LED’ with an... Full story at http://goo.gl/rn0Zh Full story at http://goo.gl/4bEMB

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8

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Tourism

http://goo.gl/fxE4d

Moevenpick to expand number of Thai properties over next three years

Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts is looking to add more properties to its growing Thai portfolio. The Swiss company already has two hotels in Phuket and one in Chiang Mai, with others in Bangkok, Samui and Pattaya scheduled to open next year. “We are looking at even more locations in Thailand. Six hotel developments will open in the next two or three years, but even seven or eight is quite conceivable,” Markus Mueller, vice president for sales and marketing in Asia, said yesterday. “Much of the investment is targeted in Asia, particularly through property clusters in Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam,” he said.

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

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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

goo.gl/bH6PF

The hotel group expects to have 100 properties open worldwide by the end of 2015. “In Thailand, we already have two properties open in Phuket, with another hotel conversion in Chiang Mai. A city hotel in Bangkok close to the Victory Monument, a resort project on Samui and the major White Sand Beach development in Pattaya are all scheduled to open next year,” he said. With the Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts’ regional office also situated in Bangkok, the investments reflect... Full story at http://goo.gl/gcGsf

Thailand aims to promote ‘Thainess’

Thailand has conducted a major new study of its key visitor source markets in an effort to boost the message of its upcoming “Thainess” tourism campaigns. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s Thainess campaigns will highlight unique attractions of the country, such as Thai boxing, cuisine, massage, heritage and other characteristics of the country’s identity.

web • creative • event “The most important factor in the advertising message always has been the quality of the imagery. But with the many changes taking place these days, both the content and means of delivery of those images had to be re-examined within the context of our Thainess campaign strategies,” said the TAT’s Governor, Suraphon Svetasreni. “We found that some of the traditional perceptions of Thailand were still strong, such as those related to fun, excitement, good service, hospitality. This works well when trying to attract the family market, for example. Other images may need to be... Full story at http://goo.gl/wX0Im

IHG: Improve transport grid Thailand’s tourism industry could face significant problems if the country’s infrastructure is not upgraded soon, says the InterContinental Hotels Group. Alan Watts, IHG’s vice-president for Southeast Asia, said Thailand remains a strong magnet for both long- and shorthaul travellers, but the growing influx of tourists may create capacity problems for the transport network.

He commended Airports of Thailand for investing in capacity upgrades to Suvarnabhumi airport to meet 60 million passengers annualOnyx starts work ly by 2017. However, improvements on new Ozo hotel to the general transport infrastructure _ road and rail alike _ catering in Samui to travellers’ needs are necessary Thailand-based Onyx Hospitality to avoid frustration and maintain Group has broken ground on a new Thailand’s advantage, Mr Watts hotel project in Koh Samui. Located added. in the resort area of Chaweng, the new Ozo hotel will be the brand’s Suvarnabhumi’s annual passenger first property in Thailand. Ozo is a capacity is 45 million passengers, budget brand which, according to but in the first six months of fiscal Onyx, is aimed at “travellers looking 2012 the number of passengers was for insider experiences and a great 26.4 million, up by 7.5% year-onsleep”. year. The full-year total will be an estimated 52.5 million passengers. “We are delighted to be breaking ground for the second Onyx prop- Mr Watts said IHG has seen much erty on the island of Koh Samui improvement in the work flow which, as a destination, continues at Suvarnabhumi recently and is to attract visitors from around the pleased the cabinet is revamping... world,” said Onyx’s CEO, Peter Hen- Full story at http://goo.gl/ZuxFt ley. “We are confident that our select service brand, Ozo will be a popular Centel to tap addition to the hospitality landscape budget market on this popular resort island, offer- as AEC looms ing comfortable and good value accommodation.” Scheduled to open Central Plaza Hotel Plc (CENTEL) in early 2014, Ozo Chaweng Samui is set to launch a budget hotel brand will offer... by the end of next month, a move Full story at http://goo.gl/gxN9K aimed at accommodating growth


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 9

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012 General Inte

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rest

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Room size is estimated at 18 square metres with 150-200 rooms costing 1.5 million baht each, bringing total investment per hotel to about 300 million baht. “We’re talking with a commercial bank to create loan package for investors interested in our budget hotel brand,” said Dr Ronnachit. “We see huge potential for this segment... Full story at http://goo.gl/97sOa

...

Minor model after buying Evolution

Fico Corp, a hotel operator owned by the Srichawla family, is committed to pursuing the business model of Minor International Plc, which has built a conglomerate from its food and and hotel business. Krit Srichawla, CEO of Fico and newly appointed chairman of Evolution Capital, said the prospect of the food and budget-hotel business is promising in both Thailand and Asean, particularly after the regional integration in 2015.

Fico, which owns five hotels in Thailand managed by Accor, acquired a couple of weeks ago a 33.7% stake in SET-listed Evolution Capital, a diversified alternative-asset manager investment adviser focused on Inspirato enters Asia and Asia. Evolution, formerly known with new properties as Siam2You Plc, has major investments in the budget hospitality secin Thailand tor. Its main asset is shares in Red Luxury destination club Inspirato Planet Hotels Limited, the rapidly has added two properties in Thaigrowing franchisee of Tune Hotels land and three in Maldives to its Regional Services Sdn Bhd. global vacation portfolio, representing the club’s entrance to Asia. The Red Planet operates the limitedclub’s offerings in Thailand are a service Tune Hotel chain in China, 260-square-metre ocean-view villa Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and a 470sqm private retreat within and Bangladesh. Red Planet, which the Soneva Kiri resort on the nearly last month acquired a 16.05% stake untouched Koh Kood in Trat provin Tune Hotels, currently operates ince. Inspirato members can enjoy seven hotels. It plans to open three private infinity-edge pools, personal more by the end of this year and butler service, world-class snorkelanother 10 next year. The company ling and scuba diving, and the replans to own and operate 83 hotels... sort’s treetop dining pod. Full story at http://goo.gl/nGVbs In Maldives, Inspirato members can now choose from three private residences within the Soneva Fushi resort, the only inhabitant on Kunfunadhoo Island, including a one-bedroom villa, a spacious two-storey, two-bedroom suite and a four-bedroom reserve complete with a private spa suite, gym and steam room. All residences are beachfront and include private seawater pools, personal butler service,

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

goo.gl/bH6P

F

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

under the Asean Economic Comprivate outdoor seating areas and munity (AEC) from 2015. The SETopen-air garden bathrooms. listed operator of Centara Hotels & Resorts plans to operate at least 20 Inspirato partnered with leadbudget hotels in 2016. ing luxury-resort operator Soneva Group to bring its members the Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, the club’s latest travel options. Besides senior vice-president for finance stunning views and five-star service, and administration at Centel, said Inspirato members vacationing in vibrant low-cost airlines and the Thailand and Maldives will have... single economic community of the Full story at http://goo.gl/3X8bs AEC will be factors boosting tourism in the region. Fico to follow The company began studying the feasibility of expanding into budget hotels during the last two years. Centel believes the budget hotel brand will cater to not only domestic and international tourists but also working people who are expected to be the biggest traveller group.

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TAT hopes to boost off-peak travel with weekday scheme

The Tourism Authority of Thailand kicked off its Amazing Weekday campaign aimed at boosting tourism during the low season. The two-month campaign is expected to generate revenue of more than 500 million baht. Thawatchai Arunyik, the deputy governor for the domes-

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These are must-see units with many benefits. Make an appointment today for a viewing and the best possible deal. 02-262-0747 info@bangkokfinder.com www.bangkokfinder.com tic market, said the target groups for tourists, whose power is in their the campaign are retirees (number- sheer numbers and the amount of ing 7.4 million nationwide), house- money in their pockets. wives and business owners. Chinese travellers and shoppers are The campaign is also focusing on already going abroad by the milfirst-jobbers, families and white-col- lions, spending much more on luxlar workers aged 25-39 (numbering ury products and activities abroad 3.4 million). Designed specifically than they do at home. Tourism profor Thais, the campaign is meant to moters everywhere – Thailand is no help operators fill their businesses exception – are all trying to figure on weekdays, especially during the out how to draw that money to their low season. countries. “Amazing Weekday will also help increase the trip frequency for domestic travellers,” said Mr Thawatchai. “We believe the continuing boost of domestic tourism will be key to meeting our tourism revenue target of 2 trillion baht by 2015.” The TAT expects the number of domestic trips this year to increase by... Full story at http://goo.gl/CYkDh

The battle for Chinese tourists

Over 100 million Chinese expected to be travelling annually by 2020. Prepare your kitchens and lots of activities, say professionals. The welcome mat is out all over the world for a new wave of big spenders. They’re not celebrities, sports stars or public figures. They’re Chinese

“China will become the world’s most powerful economy. And think what will happen if the Chinese are nine times richer than they are today – there will be more than 100 million tourists planning to travel overseas. What matters is where they will be going and how can we attract them”, Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman and CEO of the Charoen Pokphand Group, said earlier this year. As the head of the very first foreign company to enter China in the post-Mao era, and one of the largest investors there to this day, Mr Dhanin knows the country intimately. Looking ahead to the closely watched Communist Party Congress in October, he expressed confidence that the new generation of leaders will continue to work with a socially... Full story at http://goo.gl/Uh9x4


10

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs IT / Comms

http://goo.gl/VwYn9

HP vows to overtake Asus in notebooks Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world’s largest technology firm, has vowed to overtake Asustek as the No.2 seller in the Thai notebook computer market within a year. After a full year of restructuring its global organisation and supply chain system, the US-based company is proceeding with its marketing plan to promote its notebooks to capitalise on the upcoming commercial thirdgeneration mobile broadband services. HP’s market share of the local notebook market last year slipped to No.3, behind Asus. Acer remains the market leader. Vatsun Thirapatarapong, the general manager for printing and per-

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: sonal system of Hewlett-Packard (Thailand), said the local operating unit has already completed its merging of printing and personal computer businesses. The merger followed the global restructuring policy embarked on in March. The new business unit generated global revenue of US$65 billion.

...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

ADDING A NEW DIMENSION TO

Apiradee Paholvech, the group product and marketing manager at HP, said the company will focus... Full story at http://goo.gl/zc3g8

True and PSI team up for satellite scheme

Pay-TV operator TrueVisions has joined hands with PSI Holding Co, a satellite TV provider, to compete in the satellite receiver industry by launching the new PSI-True TV satellite box. Ong-ard Prapakamol, chief commercial officer of TrueVisions, said the company is entering the free-to-air satellite receiver business in order to penetrate the lowerincome market.

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www.kudozonline.com/interactive “We have been talking about the Mobile battery development of the box for several for life months, and now is a good moment to roll it out as a new season of Eng- At the end of 2011, the number of lish Premier League football will Thai mobile users hit 75.35 million. kick off soon,” he said. The number is huge compared to the 65 million population. But bigPSI is the market leader for satellite ger than that is the environmental TV service providers. Its satellite impact from this lifestyle deriving dish uses the C-band system, while from the thrashing of a number of TrueVisions uses the KU band. mobile phone batteries, estimated to Anat Mekpaiboonvatana, managing last 2 years on average. director of TrueVisions, expected... Aside from Nokia, Total Access Full story at http://goo.gl/0PhJo Communication (Dtac) is active Thailand next up in campaigning for appropriate for US internet thrashing of these hazardous waste. Located at its 22 branches nationsecurity firm wide are boxes where any can put in Corero Network Security plans to used batteries and mobile phones. make inroads into the Thai market These electronic waste will then go next year to capitalise on increased to a proper disposal programme, to information security spending. reduce toxics to the environment. The US-based online security firm The network is now expanded to wants to tap the local telecommuni- cover Lenovo’s exclusive store and cations sector, government agencies 20 service centres. and educational institutions. Perapong Klinla-or, vice-president “We’re looking to set up a local office for corporate social responsibility here in 2013,” said Eryin Halmen, of Dtac, said that such campaign Corero’s newly appointed manager is drawn on growing concern of for Southeast Asia. Mr Halmen calls the environmental impact. Having Thailand a key strategic country in launched the campaign 5 years ago, Southeast Asia and one of its high- Dtac is ready to partner with any... est information-technology (IT) Full story at http://goo.gl/ElHIR spenders. “Having a local operating unit will help us serve more local Sawasdee adds money wire needs,” he said. SawasdeeShop, the international Corero pioneered products to coun- calling card service provider, is diter distributed denial of service versifying into mobile remittance (DDoS) attacks. DDoS occurs when service to create a new revenue a multitude of compromised sys- stream and offset plummeting intertems attack a single target, thereby national calling revenue. Thailand’s causing denial of service to users of international calling and roaming the targeted system. markets, worth 100 billion baht annually, have been hit hard by the inThe firm is introducing its First... creasing popularity of the internetFull story at http://goo.gl/acFBq based telecommunication option


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 11

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012 General Inte

Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. including voice-over-internet protocol and messaging services like Viber, Skype, Whatsapp and Line. “We plan to offset the 50% reduction in our international calling card sales from last year as people shift to data roaming when travelling and use communications apps or social networking to keep in touch, instead of voice calls,” said Aswin Phlaphongphanich, Sawasdee’s president and chief executive.

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

Lenovo is introducing a series of new desktop models and notebooks, the Edge series, to specially serve SMEs. Mr Jeerawut said this is the first time Lenovo has offered product prices... Full story at http://goo.gl/X6cKe

goo.gl/bH6P

F

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

...

Seagate aims to invest $100-$200m in Kingdom annually

Seagate Technology has committed to investing US$100 million to $200 million (Bt3 billion to Bt6 billion) in Thailand annually. Dave Mosley, executive vice president for operations at the giant manufacturer of hard disk drives (HDDs), said that Thailand was strategically important for Sawasdee has joined True Move H, the company. the 3G mobile service arm of True Move, to bundle its international With that much annual investment, calling service with the operator’s Seagate will increase the producSIM cards, enabling tourist cus- tion capability of both its plants, by tomers to use both voice and data 20-25 per cent for HDDs and 25-40 roaming. Mr Aswin said Sawasdee per cent for components by 2015. is preparing to launch its mobile Currently, Thailand supplies 20 per airtime and remittance services by cent of Seagate’s HDD shipments in year-end, targeting 3.5 million im- the global market. The other 80 per migrant workers in Thailand. Sa- cent comes from its two factories in wasdee, in partnership with Mobi- China and its outsourcers. Tel, a mobile operator in Cambodia, has already... Last year, even though much of Full story at http://goo.gl/dq36t Thailand was flooded, Seagate managed to ship 60 million HDDs to the Lenovo to use global market. “Just in the last quarstimulus to cash in ter of our fiscal year – March to June on consumers, SMEs 2012 – Seagate supplied 66 million HDD units to... Lenovo, the world’s second-largest Full story at http://goo.gl/G6j4k computer maker, is focusing on the high-growth consumer and small Getting Asean and medium-sized enterprise mar- shopping online kets thanks to the government’s eco- International e-commerce firms jostling to serve a market that is nomic stimulus scheme. coming of age as choices of online Jeerawut Wongpimonporn, Leno- platforms and payment systems imvo’s country general manager, said prove. Its size may be dwarfed by populist policies such as increasing those of Japan, Korea and China, monthly salary and labour wages but the e-commerce business in are boosting IT spending in the re- Southeast Asia has been witnessing tail and SME segments. “We expect steady growth of about 15% a year. to see a double-digit increase in Online shopping in Asean now apcomputer sales this year, up from a pears poised for a breakthrough to single digit during the past several the next level, as more international e-businesses enter the region. years,” he said. Sales of computers in the SME market averaged 500,000 units per year. Seventy percent of the total came from desktop computers and the remainder from notebooks, said Mr Jeerawut.

...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

Many factors support online shopping in Asean. Growing economies and a swelling middle class, many of whom now have credit cards, provide the fundamentals. Computer and internet penetration is respectable. Logistics and distribution networks are greatly improved in many parts of the region of 600 million people. But the industry has also learned that in developing economies, it needs to be able to serve people who have neither computers nor credit cards. Mobile platforms... Full story at http://goo.gl/Z7SZn

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12

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

Briefs Real Estate

http://goo.gl/hPK52

CPN launches CentralWorld office fund SCB Asset Management has joined with Central Pattana (CPN), Thailand’s leading property developer, to launch a new property fund named CPN Commercial Growth Leasehold Property Fund (CPNCG) with an expected size of 4.1 to 4.3 billion baht. The leasehold property fund will invest in the leasehold rights of The Office @ Central World, subleases on land, leases on buildings, utilities and control systems as well as car parking rights, all for the same complex.

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

To read the full article of a story brief, enter the short code at the end of the story into your browser: It is renewable for the next 30 years. The office has rental space of 74,605 sq m and total space of 113,328 sq m. Kobchai Chirathivat, CPN’s president and chief executive, said the average occupancy rate of the property is more than 90% the past... Full story at http://goo.gl/8VKni

Due diligence checklist for property buyers

Any time you acquire property, you face certain legal risks. Whether you acquire the property through a merger and acquisition of a corporation that holds property, or through a direct acquisition (such as land purchase), unforeseen legal problems can arise. Some common problems faced by real property buyers or transferees include eviction issues, restrictions on land use, or restrictions on building conThe building is located on a two-rai struction. plot at the Ratchaprasong intersection, which CPN leases from the If you plan to acquire any immovCrown Property Bureau, with 20 able property in Thailand, before years of remaining leasehold rights. completing the purchase you should

...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

conduct due diligence to ensure that the seller is the legal owner and has the right to sell the property to you, and to check for any legal encumbrances or attachments. In practice, a property practitioner with a strong legal background can conduct real estate due diligence for you by reviewing copies of the land documents (such as the title deed [chanote], Nor Sor 3 Gor etc), checking for building construction permits, and conducting a title search at the Land Office where the land is located. More specifically, you should ensure that you receive... Full story at http://goo.gl/i11oK

Khao Yai a secondhome mecca

goo.gl/bH6PF

intended to be alternative homes should something unexpected happen to their primary homes, according to Plus Property Co’s research. Anukul Ratpitaksanti, the deputy managing director, said most people would first look for resort towns or cities closer to Bangkok, so demand has almost matched supply in the areas. Yuthana Tantiyanon, the director of Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Ltd, also noted there is currently a clear upward trend for second homes, especially in Khao Yai, 205 kilometres from Bangkok.

The resort area in Nakhon Ratchasima is relatively urbanised and... Khao Yai National Park is making a Full story at http://goo.gl/GoWsw comeback as a major destination for urban dwellers looking for second Woraluk to invest homes to diversify potential risks to 1 billion baht in their residences, say property firms. W District complex Since last year’s floods, Thais have become active in looking for sec- Woraluk Property Co will spend 1 ond homes and country bungalows billion baht to develop W District for holiday purposes. They are also community mall, the last project on


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs13

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012 General Inte

Use the QR Code reader in your smartphone to see all the stories in a certain category. a 12-rai plot in the Phra Khanong area where it has developed two condominium projects launched in 2007 and plans to launch a budget hotel by late 2013. Woraluk’s president Wichai Poolworaluk said W District, which features a shopping area totalling 10,000 square metres, would be located in front of the two condominium projects. It will be launched in next year’s third quarter. The budget hotel, named Hi Hip Hostel, will be a four-storey building with a total of 100 beds with room rate of around 1,000 baht a night. It will be located behind the condominium projects.

rest

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

Bangkok Prime Estate Group plans to target expatriates for its Bt300-million apartment project on Ruamrudee Soi 2 off Wireless Road. Managing director Tanavat Vashrangsi said yesterday that the company decided to develop the first expat apartment building on Ruamrudee Soi 2 after noticing rising demand for residences and the area’s potential as new business centre in Bangkok. The project called Prime@2 is set at the most tranquil and convenient location, with proximity to the Skytrain, office buildings, supermarkets, many restaurants and various shopping centres. The eight-storey building occupying 220 square wah (880 square metres) of land will offer 59 units with one or two bedrooms for rent.

goo.gl/bH6P

F

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

...

presently 91 per cent. There is good potential in the market for a... Full story at http://goo.gl/BgOFa

Raimon Land back in black

Raimon Land Plc (RML) will turn a profit this year after several consecutive years of losses. The Stock Exchange of Thailand-listed developer expects to realise annual revenue of at least 7 billion baht from 2012-14. Chief executive Hubert Viriot said the company had a sales backlog of 18.3 billion baht as of the end of June, to be realised from the second half of this year until 2014, mainly from its large, often-delayed condominium project, The River. About 11 billion baht of the backlog sales are from The River, which started transfers in June. One-third are from 185 Rajadamri, 10% from Zire Wongamat and, in Pattaya, 5% from Unixx and Northpoint.

“Phra Khanong is regarded as Sukhumvit midtown that connects with downtown. In the midtown area there are more residences and more people living in this area, and they need quality urban facilities to suit their lifestyle,” he said. The two condominium projects are already... In order to realise revenue in 2015, Full story at http://goo.gl/ZhIhE Raimon Land needs to launch new projects this year. It is looking for 1 Developer looks billion baht worth of land in the... to expatriates for Full story at http://goo.gl/Y9ZTI

new project off Wireless Rd

...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

Hemaraj raises land sales target again

Hemaraj Land and Development Plc (HEMRAJ), the SET-listed industrial estate developer, has upgraded this year’s land sales target to 2,300 rai from 2,000 rai, its third increase this year thanks to a solid first-half performance. First-half land sales totalled 1,447 rai, with 67 contracts, 44 new customers and 23 project expansions from existing customers, all record levels.

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Pure Najomtien At one with nature - close to every convenience The Eastern Seaboard’s most luxurious beachfront property is about to open its doors to those looking to invest in a landmark project setting new standards in residential leisure and environmental efficiency. Pure Na Jomtien comprises 320 low-rise, low density condominiums together with a 260-room, four-star hotel and a 24-storey block of serviced apartments on a prime location fronted by 150 metres of pristine Jomtien beach. What’s more, the developer guarantees uninterrupted views across the Gulf of Thailand for all residents – forever! Pattaya with its shops, restaurants and tourist attractions is less than 15 minutes away while Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi International Airport can be reached in under 90 minutes by motorway. World class design and construction elements include earth insulated roofs, double cavity walls, sound-damping heavy concrete ceilings and large, cantilever canopies for maximum privacy and cooling. A range of stylish interior design choices is augmented by an innovative ‘bare shell’ purchase option for those wishing to combine condominium units or reconfigure living space.

Net profit totalled 955 million baht compared with a net loss of 1.85 billion in the same period last year. Pure Na Jomtien will hold special appeal for golfers. More than 20 excellent courses Revenue for the period rose by are within an hour’s drive while on-site facilities will include an air-conditioned amphitheatre housing eight state-of-the-art simulators featuring many of the world’s 120% to 3.2 billion baht.

David Nardone, the president and chief executive, said Hemaraj’s fullyear land sales forecast is now 2,300 rai, up from an original target of 1,500. Revenue this year is expected to increase by 50% from last year’s The company’s market research con- 4.23 billion baht. firmed demand and showed that the rental apartment market is healthy, Hemaraj’s 660-megawatt Ghecoparticularly for the highest quality One power plant began commercial buildings. This has meant that new operation on July 26 and is expected projects could find tenants and not to post annual profits of 1.4 billion many vacant apartments are avail- baht through 2020. In a related... able. The average occupancy rate is Full story at http://goo.gl/mF7Tl

top golf courses. There are also practice bunkers and putting greens, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fitness rooms, saunas, steam rooms and a beach house with open-air sunset lounge and poolside bar. Minimising energy consumption and maximising recycling opportunities have been key design imperatives, raising the environmental bar for residential properties in the region to new heights. Pure Na Jomtien will incorporate solar energy, wind-powered generators, a waste water recycling plant, desalinisation facilities, eco-friendly flush lavatories and a rainwater collection system. Drinking water will be pumped directly into all condos to limit the need for plastic bottles and the extensive use of heat-reflecting glass will help reduce the need for air conditioning. Pure Na Jomtien is a traffic-free environment arranged around a landscaped central park. Vehicles are parked unobtrusively underground at the rear of the 33 rai site, 40 per cent of which is devoted to tranquil, green space which makes best use of the natural contours of the surrounding land. Pure Na Jomtien promises a luxurious, stress-free environment which will be, as the name suggests, at one with nature. www.pureNajomtien.com


2

14

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

Briefs

December 20 11

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

The Chambers

General Inte rest

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

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

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

http://goo.gl/mbUpG

Prime Minster Yingluck addresses AMCHAM members and guests at AMCHAM’s 2012 Government Appreciation Dinner.

AmCham ASEAN Survey: American Businesses remain optimistic about ASEAN and Thailand American companies plan to expand operations in Thailand and across ASEAN, according to a survey of conducted by ASEAN American Chambers of Commerce.

regard Thailand as one of the world’s top investment locations.

According to the survey, 65 percent of AMCHAM member companies plan to expand investment in ThaiThe American Chamber of Com- land over the next year. merce in Thailand (AMCHAM) released the survey to Prime Minster In support of this investment, Joe Yingluck and members of her Cabi- Mannix said, “AMCHAM welnet at AMCHAM’s Government comes the opportunity to work Appreciation Dinner on August 31 with the Royal Thai Government at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in and the people of Thailand to asBangkok. sure an environment for Thailand to remain the most desired counAt the Dinner, AMCHAM Presi- try for business in South-East dent Joe Mannix cited Thailand’s Asia.” “economic strength” as a major reason why U.S. companies continue to ASEAN is now the United States’

fourth largest export market and proved political stability, personal fifth largest supplier. security and positive sentiments towards the U.S. The survey showed that ASEAN countries provide a comfortable en- Corruption remains the biggest vironment for foreign companies. concern for American business opOver the next five years, ninety per- erating in ASEAN. cent of survey respondents expect their companies’ trade and invest- The annual ASEAN Business Outment in ASEAN to increase. look Survey is administered by the American Chambers in the ASEAN The rise in trade and investment region, with the cooperation of the is good news for ASEAN workers. U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Sixty percent of surveyed compa- surveys senior executives of comnies expect their ASEAN workforce panies held by or with an American to increase over the next two years. majority interest. The reasons for increasing business activities include the availability of market access, available credit, infrastructure improvements, im-

To rea enter the sto

The complete survey can be viewed on AMCHAM’s website, amchamthailand.com, under Libraries/Articles and Reports.


2

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 15

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

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 BCCT’s website.

...

British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) 7th Floor, 208 Wireless Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 (0)2 651 5350-3 Fax: +66 (0)2 651 5354 Website: www.bccthai.com Email: Greg@bccthai.com

ABOUT Established since 1946, British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) currently has a membership of approximately 600, with nearly 3,000 named representatives covering a broad cross-section of business interests in Thailand. The BCCT is one of the most active foreign chambers in Thailand, holding close to 100 events throughout the year. These range from special lectures, presentations and panel discussions with guests from the Thai and UK government representatives, and the business sectors. Networking evenings are held monthly in Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard. BCCT aims to foster partnerships and strengthen ties between Thailand and the UK. Activities are dedicated to building networks, connecting business and creating opportunities for members. Our focus is on serving the needs and facilitating opportunities for our members. The BCCT has a seat on the Board of Trade of Thailand and is active in representing members’ interests. Membership is open to companies and individuals of all nationalities. ACTIVITIES/SERVICES BCCT Website: www.bccthai.com The BCCT website is the major communications vehicle for the BCCT. Members can find the latest business reports, access to comprehensive list of contacts of the BCCT members list, news and special members benefits offered by other members, amongst other useful information collected in one site.

Networking Opportunities Networking Evenings are held once a month in Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard. Events are also held in Chiang Mai and Phuket throughout the year. Networking events are open to members and non-members thus widening the networking base for BCCT members and providing public relations exposure. Business Presentations A number of special interest topics are presented by experts either over breakfast briefings, luncheons, or evening panel discussions. Guest speakers have included Prime Ministers of Thailand, key government ministers from Thailand and the UK, British Ambassadors to Thailand, senior officials or senior executives from Thailand and the UK. Training workshops Workshops on key business and management skills for junior and mid level are conducted several times a year. Workshops are conducted in Thai and adopt a participative approach. They range from half day to three days. Business Introductions/Referrals Members can utilise the experience and knowledge of BCCT executive office staff to facilitate direct business introductions to other member companies, for face-to-face meetings with visitors from overseas, etc. The Executive Director also meets businessmen during his visits to the UK. Charities The BCCT also supports a wide range of children’s and educationbased charities in Thailand. The Chamber works closely with the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN), which organises the Annual Ploenchit Fair.

To re enter the sto

http://goo.gl/Vav3Q

Sports & Social The BCCT organises annual football tournament and occasional golf events. The Annual Christmas Luncheon is the BCCT’s major social event with approximately 700 guests consisting of members, their friends, families and business associates coming together to celebrate the festive season.

5.30 pm, the BCCT office also incorporates a small library providing access to UK and Thai trade directories/CD ROMs, Chambers of Commerce handbooks, business journals and magazines. There is also a small meeting room available for members use during office hours. For more information visit www.bccthai.com or like us on Office Hours Facebook ‘British Chamber of Open weekdays from 8.30 am – Commerce Thailand’. On 16th August, JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok kindly sponsored the BCCT T3 – Third Thursday Networking Evening at Manhattan Studio Bar.


2

16

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

Briefs

December 20 11

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

The Chambers

General Inte

rest

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

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

...

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

http://goo.gl/N47Gg

AustCham Events for Your Calendar in September-October Tickets on Sale! AustCham AFL Grand Final Event The largest event of its kind outside of Australia, AustCham’s annual AFL Grand Final extravaganza will this year be held on Saturday, 29 September at the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel.

Unbeatable value! At Baht 2,500 for adults, Baht 700 for children aged 6-18 (under 6 free) and a special price of Baht 5,500 for families (two adults and two children), tickets are unbeatable value! To book: visit www.austchamthailand.com Beginning from 9am with a champagne breakfast, the grand final family Event Supporters: • Berlitz Bangkok • The Coffee Club day continues into lunch and includes entertainment for the children, • Lady Pie • Raja’s Fashions giveaways (including airline tickets to Australia), Aussie meat pies, free • Transpo International Limited (Asian Tigers) flow beer and wine and much, much more. The centerpiece is, of course, the AFL Grand Final which is displayed on six big screens - recreating the Bangkok Sundowners and Tour of dtac House MCG big game atmosphere. Sundowners is AustCham Thailand’s monthly business networking function. It is a great opportunity for members and guests of Chamber to meet, network and exchange views in a social environment. As a special highlight for the coming Sundowners, members will be able to join an exclusive glimpse into the dtac organisation and get a tour of their much talked about new headquarters which was designed around ‘people’ and aimed to enhance creativity and increase productivity while ensuring employee’s needs comes first. This tour is a not to be missed opportunity and is set up exclusively for AustCham members!! Corporate Sponsor: Bumrungrad International Catering and Venue Sponsor: dtac Date: Wednesday, 3rd October 2012 Time: 18:00 – 21:00 (last drinks served at 20:30) Saturday 29 September 2012 Sundowners Cost: Baht 500 for members and Baht 950 for non-members The Imperial Queen’s Park Location: dtac House, Chamchuri Square Building

Breakfast starts at 9.00am

Adults : Baht 2,500 Children (6-18) : Baht 700 Children under 6 free of charge Family : Baht 5,500 (includes 2 adults + 2 children)

To re enter the sto

Recent Highlight Events

Key Issues Dinner with HE James Wise – Wednesday 25 July at Grand Hyatt Erawan – Following the Ambassador’s recent trip to Australia to participate in the first official visit of Thai Prime Minister HE Yingluck Shinawatra, he spoke at a dinner to update AustCham members on Australian-Thai relations. During his trip, HE James Wise held a range of meetings with various business, academic and political leaders in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Darwin, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. The Ambassador spoke on the Thai Prime Minister’s Australia visit, the outlook for Australia-Thai commerce and impressions from his consultations in Australia. AustCham wishes to thank Ambassador for his presentation on the night and the robust discussion that followed. All Chambers Sundowners – Wednesday 1 August at Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok – Last month AustCham invited all members of the Chambers of Commerce in Thailand to join the largest Sundowners event for the year. All Chambers Sundowners was a great success with over 400 people attending. Sincere thanks to AustCham Gold Sponsor and Australia’s largest manufacturing investor into Thailand, BlueScope Steel, and the fantastic, newly opened Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok for their sponsorship of this event.


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BANGKOK BU SINESS BRIEF

December 20 11

Briefs 17

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

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) 36/9-10 Chaengwattana Road Kwaeng Thungsonghong, Khet Laksi Bangkok 10210 Tel: +66 (0)2 982 4896 Fax: +66 (0)2 982 4897 Website: www.swissthai.com Email: info@swissthai.com

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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BBB Exclusive Interview: Capt. Woranate Laprabang

will replace these flights using the A320 and increase the frequency to daily flights. Early next year, we will receive two additional aircraft in January and March. There will be Story continued from Page 1. an additional four in the 3rd and 4th in these areas, but we didn’t have quarters of next year. We are lookthe right tools to capture this mar- ing for at least one or two new destiket. THAI Airways fleet plans have nations next year in the target area. always concentrated on wide-body, long-range aircraft. With twenty Our focus will be to determine busiA320 aircraft, we are going to have ness destinations we can identify the right equipment to capture this within 2 to 3 hours flight time from market. In the long term, the posi- Thailand. THAI Airways already tion of THAI Smile is defined as a offers flights to most business destiregional air service. 70% of our des- nations from Bangkok – Singapore, tinations will be international and Hong Kong, Shanghai, which is a bit 30% are going to be domestic. Due too far for THAI Smile. The route to the implementation, the first six network concept for THAI Smile is aircraft will be deployed mostly for replacement, additional, and second domestic flight. base. This is a step to build a customer base and build brand recognition in the area before we are ready to expand into international destinations. We’ve started Macau routes twice daily since the 7th of July. In August, after receiving the second aircraft, we are flying to Krabi to replace a current THAI Airways flight; we are flying to Surat Thani, the gateway to Samui; and we are flying to Chiang Mai. And in September, we also fly between Bangkok and Phuket, and Chiang Mai and Phuket. The concentration is not the sector between Bangkok and Phuket or Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The main focus is to gradually build our brand recognition in Chiang Mai and Phuket. BBB: As far as business travelers are concerned, which routes do you expect to be the most successful in the business travel market? WL: First of all, we are not lowcost carriers. We have no intention to compete in the very-low-cost market, but I’m sure we can capture some of the upper edge of the low-cost market and some of the business travel in the region. Within Thailand, we have some level of business travel whether it be in the government, organization, or local business people. So this will be our target market.

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Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

For the big cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Jakarta, we don’t expect to have THAI Smile replace THAI Airways. As far as additional or new destinations, I don’t foresee any ‘business’ destinations. We are looking at Mandalay, Denang, Luang Prabang, Siem Riep… these are places I don’t consider to be business destinations. I think there are not too many business destinations we can cover. But second base, that will be another story. We will have to wait and see and develop second base, but with second base, we are talking about international flights out from Phuket, from Chiang Mai, and Krabi to international destinations. I can tell you we plan to fly from Phuket to Singapore early next year. We are waiting for approval for a landing slot for Singapore. So business destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, New Delhi, and Bombay that are within range. Yes, we would like to see those destinations flying by THAI Smile, but probably not from Bangkok. These would probably be from second base. We are looking at being able to fly international flights from both Krabi and Phuket.

BBB: One of the things I’ve heard mentioned were ‘enhanced service elements’ for business class. What BBB: You mentioned some of your exactly does this entail? timeline for the rest of the year. When do you anticipate expanding WL: The economy class will be into international destinations? served a snack pack that contains a sandwich and drink, but in busiWL: We are going to start flying into ness class, we will provide full serIndia starting in September. THAI vice. They will have an entrée and Airways currently services this main course with coffee, sweets, route with three or four flights per drinks, beers, and wines, which will week using the A330. THAI Smile be provided free of charge. They

will also share the same benefits as THAI Airways, such as the 30-kilo baggage allowance, lounge use, and mileage rewards, as well as priority check-in, baggage, and boarding. BBB: Can you explain a bit about the extra seats in Smile Plus (business class)?

their products and, at the same time, deliver benefits to our customers. For example, we have joined with some of our partners – hotels, a Japanese restaurant – and they provide us with coupons for discounts or free rooms. We bring this into our ten-minute fun time and have a fun game for our passengers that they will benefit from, while also promoting our partners’ products at the same time.

WL: We are going to leave the middle seats empty, and there will be something letting passengers know this is reserved for Smile Plus busi- BBB: This would also stimulate ness class and is to be left empty for your revenue a little bit? their comfort… something like that. WL: Not really. We don’t target on BBB: If you sell all of the aisle and that. I feel if we focused on that, it window seats, will you then go on to would reduce the partners that want sell those empty seats? to join the program, as well as reducing the benefits to the passenWL: No, no, no. This is what we gers. The first phase is the servicing call the short-haul business class. phase of the flight, and people want We have a moveable curtain, so we to eat and drink. During the second will start to Macau with four rows phase, they just want to rest. But in business class, and so there will right before the descent, everybody be 16 seats with eight empty seats in is waiting, and we want to use that the middle. ten minutes to do something fun that benefits the customers. BBB: We’ve seen the fresh face of this new airline, but further down BBB: Another feature being toutthe line is there going to be anything ed is seamless flight connections that sets it apart as far as technology, through Suvarnabhumi. Could you connectivity, social media, etc.? clarify and expand on that a bit more? WL: We are going for more of the BYOE approach… Bring-Your- WL: We use the same network planOwn-Entertainment. We won’t ning team as THAI Airways. We focus on high-technology service plan the flight schedules targeting business because of the short flight connecting markets. So the timing times. In the future, I’d like to see for the flights is very convenient. things like electrical outlets and For example, if you look at the Mamaybe USB ports. These things are cau-Bangkok timing, it will be very being looked at by our technical de- convenient connecting with destipartment and are being considered, nations in Europe, Australia, and but we have to look at availability many destinations in India. Pasand cost. sengers can also use through-checkin. If they check their baggage in BBB: You’ll be using social media Macau, it will be checked through more as a method of marketing but to their final destination. If their not really for in-flight? departures at their connections can be synchronized, the customer WL: Right, not in-flight. The con- will receive their boarding passes at cept is that this is a fun airline… check-in. more trendy and vibrant. With our young cabinet attendants on board, BBB: Something I would consider we are going to create some activi- important is a good online ticketing ties on-board. We are going to call it system and e-service application. “ten-minute fun time.” We are going What can we expect from THAI to try to implement this, not nec- Smile? essarily on all of our flights, but on many of the segments. WL: We use the same system as THAI Airways. We are currently BBB: What exactly, would ‘ten- developing a new system. It will be minute fun time’ be? switched over next year. So unfortunately, this year will still use the curWL: We can see that people pro- rent system and next year, the new mote their products at high costs, system will be fully implemented, setting up displays and booths in and we’ll see many, many new feashopping centers. We feel that our tures. We are also developing a moaircraft is a good place to promote Story continues next page.


www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com bile service that we’ll be sharing the engine with THAI Airways. Also, the 2-D barcode check-in has been tested, and we expect it to be implemented very soon, but it will only be for Suvarnabhumi Airport. BBB: How long has the process of creating THAI Smile been in the works? WL: We have been in the planning process for about two years. BBB: Was there a look inwards at THAI that indicated there was a need for change? WL: Of course. We are a 50-yearold organization with over a thousand employees in the same group, so there is a lot of complexity. When we look at ourselves, we have a lot of strengths. Luckily, we are located in Thailand, a very popular tourist destination. We are supported by the government. Our service and brand are quite acceptable. But our weakness is the complexity of our organization. We realize our cost is quite high. We look at the options, and we realize that Asean Open Sky is coming, but we don’t have the equipment to cover the market because

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

we focus on wide-body, long-range equipment. We see the growth of low-cost carriers, the newcomers that didn’t exist ten years ago and knew we needed to do something. The strategy that we developed was the portfolio strategy. We decided to look at THAI Airways as a group of businesses and create a portfolio in terms of an airline portfolio and a supporting business portfolio. Each part would be supporting each other but, at the same time, having a level of independence to be able to maintain concentration, focus, and flexibility. In terms of THAI Airways, we feel that it is a good brand providing premium service and global coverage. It has a very good image in Europe, Australia, the United States, and Japan. We will continue to maintain THAI Airways as a premium service but we know that one brand cannot cover all ranges of market segmentation. So we feel that we need at least three brands for coverage, maybe four: THAI Airways, THAI Smile, Nok Air and maybe another low-cost carrier in the future. With these four brands, we would have all of

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19

the market covered. So that’s how How much luxury and premium we arrived at our current strategy. service can you provide with this short flight time?” So that’s why we BBB: You’ve made it very clear that decided to drop down the service THAI Smile is not considered to be level a little, but not as low as the a low-cost carrier. How would you low-cost carriers. define THAI Smile? At the same time, we are doing WL: No, we have not intended to back-office reduction and cost manbe a low-cost carrier from the be- agement. Together, in combination, ginning. We tend to call ourselves we can reduce our cost and reduce a ‘light premium’ to communicate our price to be more competitive. with the market. So that’s why we consider ourselves a ‘light premium’ to try to show that BBB: What market does that ad- we are still a good service carrier dress? still above the service levels of the low cost carriers. WL: I have been asked by the Thai press many times, “Will you focus BBB: You’ve been with THAI Airon pricing?”, “Can you lower the ways for quite some time. Before prices a little?”, “People that are fly- you were Managing Director of ing for two to three hours don’t care THAI Smile, what was your role in so much about the level of service. Story continues next page.


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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

BBB Exclusive Interview: Capt. Woranate Laprabang

Story continued from Page 19.

the organization? WL: I was the VP of the strategy and planning department, so you can see I talk about strategy a lot. I was in the strategy department for about six years and always looking at strategy, thinking, imagining, and working with numbers. To be able to see everything that I used to plan in my head and make it happen, it’s quite a challenge. BBB: With this first aircraft, are there any personal feelings? WL: I’ll say that this is our first baby. In the end, it’s just equipment. I see the aircraft with the crew today for the first time (transfer flight of the airplane from Airbus in Hamburg, Germany to Thailand), and it’s very exciting. I believe with good equipment and the good teamwork I’m seeing for real today, I feel more confident. BBB: You were a former pilot for THAI Airways? How many years were you flying actively for THAI Airways? WL: I’m still a pilot currently. I joined THAI Airways in 1985 with the technical department and started as a pilot in 1987. BBB: How did you get involved in management? WL: I joined a part of management quite a long time ago. Most of the time I was involved in flight operations. I used to be the chief flight instructor on the A300-600 fleet. I used to be involved in the technical side and flight-testing of the Boeing 777. Then, I guess I had too much spare time [laughs], so I studied for a Master’s Degree in Aviation Management with the Griffith University distance-learning program to try to learn more about the aviation management field. When there was a position in the planning department, I applied for it. As a pilot, a good thing is that I can see the real operation. It’s not like some other airline management that would sit in the office and would never see the busy ramp, busy aircraft, or the complaining passengers. I would see all of the operations. I like to sit in the cabin any-

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Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

time I have the chance and watch the crew and the service and see the response of the customers. When I fly to Europe in my spare time, I like to talk with the passengers and ask what they like and don’t like about the experience and that has given me a lot of ideas.

first, additional revenue first, service level later… it’s the opposite way of thinking. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have people from premium airlines trying to do low-cost without being able to change the mindset first.in these areas, but we didn’t have the right tools to capture this market.

BBB: Was the change in the name from THAI Wings to THAI Smile a THAI Airways fleet plans have alconcept change? ways concentrated on wide-body, long-range aircraft. With twenty WL: The idea never changed. It was A320 aircraft, we are going to have just a name change. Two years ago in the right equipment to capture this the strategy department, there were market. In the long term, the positwo ideas for a regional and low- tion of THAI Smile is defined as cost carrier. We felt a need to have a regional air service. 70% of our our own low-cost carrier, but didn’t destinations will be international feel we should do it by ourselves. and 30% are going to be domestic. We were concerned with brand Due to the implementation, the first contamination. Low cost is cheap, six aircraft will be deployed mostly but there is lower service. There are for domestic flight. This is a step lots of customer complaints, so we to build a customer base and build wanted to distance it from the THAI brand recognition in the area before brand. So after the low-cost model we are ready to expand into interwas out, we came back to imple- national destinations. We’ve started ment the regional service. Macau routes twice daily since the 7th of July. In August, after receiving BBB: How does the third service the second aircraft, we will be flying with Nok Air fit into the model? to Krabi to replace a current THAI Airways flight; we will be flying to WL: Nok Air is in our portfolio. We Surat Thani, the gateway to Samui; give them freedom to manage. We and we will fly to Chiang Mai. And coordinate with them at high levels. in September, we also fly between In terms of strategy, we started by Bangkok and Phuket, and Chiang transferring some of the domestic Mai and Phuket. The concentration destinations to them. When we first is not the sector between Bangkok implemented this two-brand strat- and Phuket or Bangkok and Chiang egy, the Phitsanulok and Mae Hong Mai. The main focus is to gradually Son people were very angry with us build our brand recognition in Chibecause they felt that THAI Airways ang Mai and Phuket. had left them, and there was lots of protests. But these days, they love BBB: As far as business travelers are Nok Air and flights have increased concerned, which routes do you exfrom two to four. pect to be the most successful in the business travel market? BBB: Nok Air will continue to maintain some flights? WL: First of all, we are not lowcost carriers. We have no intention WL: When we first implemented to compete in the very-low-cost the two-brand strategy we asked if market, but I’m sure we can capNok Air would be interested in fly- ture some of the upper edge of the ing internationally. But they said no, low-cost market and some of the they are happy with domestic and business travel in the region. Withhave no plans to fly international, so in Thailand, we have some level of it was something we would have to business travel whether it be in the do ourselves. government, organization, or local business people. So this will be our BBB: The last piece of the puzzle target market. would be a low-cost carrier. Is that still under consideration? BBB: You mentioned some of your timeline for the rest of the year. WL: It’s still under consideration, When do you anticipate expanding but it’s not easy to find the right into international destinations? partner. As I said, we are a premium airline. We’ve gotten used to the WL: We are going to start flying into premium way of doing business. India starting in September. THAI We are always thinking how can we Airways currently services this provide a good level of service. But route with three or four flights per with a low-cost carrier, you have to week using the A330. THAI Smile think the other way around. Cost will replace these flights using the

A320 and increase the frequency to daily flights. Early next year, we will receive two additional aircraft in January and March. There will be an additional four in the 3rd and 4th quarters of next year. We are looking for at least one or two new destinations next year in the target area. Our focus will be to determine business destinations we can identify within 2 to 3 hours flight time from Thailand. THAI Airways already offers flights to most business destinations from Bangkok – Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, which is a bit too far for THAI Smile. The route network concept for THAI Smile is replacement, additional, and second base. For the big cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Jakarta, we don’t expect to have THAI Smile replace THAI Airways. As far as additional or new destinations, I don’t forsee any ‘business’ destinations. We are looking at Mandalay, Denang, Luang Prabang, Siem Riep… these are places I don’t consider to be business destinations. I think there are not too many business destinations we can cover. But second base, that will be another story. We will have to wait and see and develop second base, but with second base, we are talking about international flights out from Phuket, from Chiang Mai, and Krabi to international destinations. I can tell you we plan to fly from Phuket to Singapore early next year. We are waiting for approval for a landing slot for Singapore. So business destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, New Delhi, and Bombay that are within range. Yes, we would like to see those destinations flying by THAI Smile, but probably not from Bangkok. These would probably be from second base. We are looking at being able to fly international flights from both Krabi and Phuket. BBB: One of the things I’ve heard mentioned were ‘enhanced service elements’ for business class. What exactly does this entail? WL: The economy class will be served a snack pack with a sandwich and drink, but in business class, we will provide full service with an entrée and main course with coffee, sweets, drinks, beers, and wines, which will be provided free of charge. They will also share the same benefits as THAI Airways, such as the 30-kilo baggage allowance, lounge use, and mileage rewards, as well as priority check-in, baggage, and boarding. – BBB –


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BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF

www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

Oct.

Sept.

The Calendar Sunday

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

17

23

24 AMCHAM: Joint Legal / Customs & Excise Cmte – AEC and the Trans-Pacific Partnership http://goo.gl/nJS58

30

1

7

8 Bangkok Entrepreneurs http://goo.gl/U98Ux

21

18

AMCHAM: HR Cmte – 2013 Compensation Change Intentions Survey http://goo.gl/Q8V53 AMCHAM: Tax Cmte http://goo.gl/dJbpa

25

AMCHAM: ICT http://goo.gl/q6T7Z AMCHAM: Luncheon http://goo.gl/fOagv AMCHAM: Cannes Lions http://goo.gl/Tp3ox BCCT: Eve. Presentation http://goo.gl/bhv6B

2

AMCHAM: Board Govs. http://goo.gl/s1ihy AMCHAM: ICT Cmte http://goo.gl/OWw2L BCCT: Educ. Group Mtg. http://goo.gl/eg7RH Bangkok Trader Netwkg http://goo.gl/EnNbR AustCham: Board of Directors http://goo.gl/DPBbm AMCHAM: Marketing Cmte http://goo.gl/Ogh2R PPi Professional Hour http://goo.gl/6LWVz

15 AMCHAM: 2012 AMCHAM / FedEx Career Camp http://goo.gl/kfE5N AMCHAM: Legal Cmte http://goo.gl/U2Dse

AMCHAM: 2012 AMCHAM / FedEx Career Camp http://goo.gl/pkkPu

goo.gl/6ngBg

Tuesday

Monday

16

14

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

22

9

16 AMCHAM: 2012 AMCHAM / FedEx Career Camp http://goo.gl/DT764

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www.bangkokbusinessbrief.com

BANGKOK BUSINESS BRIEF Mid-September/Mid-October 2012

23

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

Thursday

19

AMCHAM: CSR http://goo.gl/xVpiH AMCHAM: Joint – AEC http://goo.gl/Jnryx AustCham: BIY IT Brief http://goo.gl/6Tq1S AMCHAM: Laos Bus. Chpt. http://goo.gl/spjRv

26 AMCHAM: Laos Business Chapter – Jim Roberts Heritage Foundation http://goo.gl/wSo5W

3

AMCHAM: Food & Agri Business Cmte http://goo.gl/uja4y AustCham: Sundowners http://goo.gl/9icpA AMCHAM: HR Cmte http://goo.gl/S602L

20 AMCHAM: Travel & Tourism Cmte http://goo.gl/iirdM BCCT: Third Thursday Networking Evening http://goo.gl/0XwD3

17

AMCHAM: 2012 AMCHAM / FedEx Career Camp http://goo.gl/N4iJ0 AMCHAM: CSR Cmte http://goo.gl/rqs5H AMCHAM: Monthly Luncheon http://goo.gl/ATMnA

24

Saturday

21

BCCT: Eastern Seaboard Evening Presentation (Taxation) http://goo.gl/hDKmJ Joint Chambers: Eastern Seaboard Networking Event http://goo.gl/tPcDK

27

AMCHAM: Charitable Foundation Cmte http://goo.gl/wHrQC BCCT: Board Meeting http://goo.gl/zDdMl AMCHAM: Santa Fe ChariBowl Tournament http://goo.gl/S41XK

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22 BCCT: Jesters Care for Kids Gala Party Night http://goo.gl/X9H3o

29 AustCham: AFL Grand Final Day 2012 http://goo.gl/kpHUJ

Movers & Shakers http://goo.gl/xOfWr

4

AMCHAM: Travel & Tourism Cmte http://goo.gl/8731o Joint: Professional Women’s Group Networking http://goo.gl/dZBe3 AMCHAM: Young Professional Cmte http://goo.gl/5Thjn

10 AMCHAM: SME Cmte http://goo.gl/pXVaf AMCHAM: Meet The Board Candidates Social Networking Night http://goo.gl/U4Y93

Friday

5

6

12

13

19

20

AMCHAM: Greater Phuket: Phuket’s Emerging Cultural Tourism Market http://goo.gl/oNN3z

11 BCCT: Half-Day Workshop (How to Handle Negotiation with Confidence) http://goo.gl/E2wfn

AMCHAM: Transportation Logistic Cmte http://goo.gl/v2fkB

18

AMCHAM: Customs & Excise Cmte http://goo.gl/gSxVU BCCT: Board Meeting http://goo.gl/FHW9a BCCT: Third Thursday Networking Evening http://goo.gl/k8Fyv

25 AMCHAM: Charitable Foundation Cmte http://goo.gl/qVAux

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

AustCham: Voluntary English Teaching http://goo.gl/JsG05

26 Movers & Shakers http://goo.gl/xOfWr

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Bangkok Business Brief - Volume 1, Issue 10 - Mid-September/October 2012  

Business news briefs for Bangkok, Thailand, Southeast Asia, and ASEAN for Mid-September/October 2012

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