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Thai-Norwegian Business Review 2009 – 3

Norwegian Fish Export, Processing and Sustainable Aquaculture

Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Contents Jan Egil Amundsen - new to the Board


dtac Serves Expatriates’ Needs


The Oceans and its Resources


Kato Ishibashi - Raw!


World Leading Aquaculture


Fish Farming in the Andaman Sea


Marketing Norwegian Seafood


Aquaculture in Vietnam


Getting the Cars across


Norwegian Seafood Processing


High on Oxygen with Akva Design


Andreas Viestad - Flavors


Myths about Wine


Members Directory


Page 7

Page 11

Editor: Karine Slørdahl Journalists: Laurence Civil, Emma Long, Jørgen Udvang Photographer: Jørgen Udvang Design/artwork: Karine Slørdahl Advertising: Elisabeth Bashari Media Commitee: Eric Mallace, Torpong Thongcharoen, Jan Egil Amundsen

Front page picture: Fiskevær by Kjell Ove Storvik Norwegian Seafood Export Council

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There is fish in the water and rice in the fields The first lines of King Ramkamhaeng’s renowned Sukhothai Inscription dating from 1292 reads “There is fish in the water and rice in the fields”. With overfishing threatening fish and seafood populations worldwide, new thinking is needed to ensure sustainability of the stocks so that there still will be fish in the water to feed millions around the world. The sea binds Norway and Thailand, both countries with long and productive coastlines. The ocean has historically contributed to Norway’s prosperity with fish and seafood having been the most important export industry for the country for many centuries. Thailand has become one of the world’s leading shrimp exporters. Farming is mainly taking place in inland ponds and this is causing extensive environmental impacts. In this issue of Business Review, you can learn about Norwegian efforts in increasing yields while reducing costs and environmental impacts caused by fish and shrimp farming. Thailand has the potential to become a world leader in the aquaculture sector, a goal that can be achieved with the help of Norwegian state-of-the art technology built on extensive research and development over many decades. In the other end of the production chain we find Norwegian seafood which is being exported at increasing rates to Asia as the population gets more affluent. Norwegian salmon and salmon trout is considered some of the best in the world coming from the clean and fresh waters of Norway. One of the goals I set when I took up the representation for Innovation Norway last year, was to see to it that Norwegian salmon would get increased shelf space in the major supermarkets in Bangkok and other larger provincial centres, as well on the menus of the many first class hotels in the country. This can only be achieved by working closely with all importers of Norwegian seafood in Thailand. I am therefore especially pleased to welcome Tokhaiya, one of Thailand’s leading importers of Norwegian seafood, as a new member of the Chamber. On 1 December 2009, the Chamber will host a Norwegian Seafood Dinner in the garden of the Norwegian Ambassador. This is a great opportunity to invite your local customers, clients and associates as well as your colleagues for a grand networking dinner. You will have the chance to sample many of the delicious seafood dishes prepared by Kato Ishibashi, our very own Norwegian Japanese chef in Bangkok. We look forward to seeing you there! Sincerely, Axel Blom President Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


Challenge your senses with a visit to our showroom at All Season Place T. 0 2685 3676-8

Jan Egil Amundsen newest member to the Board text and photo by Karine Slørdahl


security. Making sure all floating devices keeps up to the SOLAS standard. ‘It is quite a challenge, but nevertheless a very important position, securing safety at sea’.

Jan Egil has this whole time been with DNV’s shipping department. Focusing on shipping and

He is originally from Kilsund, a small place in the southern parts of Norway, but if he is going home nowadays, he will head towards Denmark. This is where he was living and bringing up his two children all by himself after losing his wife much too early.

an Egil Amundsen, the Managing Director of DNV (Det Norske Veritas) in Thailand is one the new members to theBoard of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce. But he is not at all new to working in the Southeast Asian region as he has been with DNV in Singapore from the mid nineties.

‘It was not all easy being a single father at that time, and it was not at all common, but we managed and it got easier after a while’, Jan Egil says. All this time he was with DNV as well, ‘I started in DNV in 1972 after finishing my Engineering studies at the GTI, Göteborgs Tekniska Institut’, he explains. In 1992 he went to Dubai and later to Singapore and Thailand. At the same time he has also been involved in projects in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Jan Egil has been to practically every country in this part of the world. He enjoys living in Asia; ‘a lot of things are easier here’, he says. However he experiences the language challenges here in Thailand, on the other hand, he can also see improvements from his first visit to Thailand quite some years ago. Jan Egil is very positive about joining the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce. He is a busy man, but still looking forward to contribute in developing the chamber’s activities. He also has experience from similar activity in Singapore and underlines the importance of combining business with pleasure. Jan Egil Amundsen - a secure man on board Thai-Norwegian Business Review


DNV was established in 1864 as a ship classification society, but has diversified into a multi-faceted certification and consultancy organisation, spanning 130 countries on all continents. DNV is one of the world leaders in all its enterprises and takes great care to earn an image of high-tech, deep competence and uncontested integrity. DNV performs statutory ship surveys on behalf of 130 maritime administrations and is accredited by over twenty national accreditation bodies for management system certification. Classification and Statutory Certification of Ships and other Floating Installations - 17% (129 million GRT.) of world fleet in class as of early 2009. - 20% of ships ordered in 2008 - 70% of maritime fuel testing market Certification of Materials Components, Equipment, Systems, Machinery, Pipelines, Process Plants etc. Certification of Oil & Gas Offshore Installations, Pipelines Risk Management Consultancy and Assessment Asset Integrity Management and Risk Based Inspection Programming Certification of Management Systems to standard like - Quality - ISO9001 - Environment - ISO14001 - Occupational health and safety - OHSAS18001 - Information security – ISO/IEC 27001 - Automotive – ISO/TS 16949 - Food safety – ISO 22000 As of early 2003 DNV has more than 8% of world market for management system certification and more than 80 national accreditations and 70,000 certificates issued worldwide. In the forefront with new and innovative assessment and certification services, such as Risk Based CertificationTM, as exclusive approach to management system certification.

Fact & Figures Year Established: Norway 1864, Thailand 1988 Number of Employees : Worldwide 9,000

dtac Serves Expatriates’ Needs


he members of the Nordic Chambers of Commerce, their spouses and business associates were invited to an End of Season joint Nordic networking on Thursday evening 11 June 2009 at Grand Millennium Bangkok Grand Ballroom. The evening was kindly hosted by dtac.   Almost 150 persons showed up for this successful evening and enjoyed the wine, canapés, sweets and each other’s company while learning about the mobile services dtac provides to the market. Mr. Andrew McBean, the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, gave a short presentation of the services which are available to dtac’s foreign customers. He explained that most of the services and offers which previously had been visible only to Thai customers, now have been extended and are available to all foreign customers. If you are staying in Thailand for more than 90 days you are for instance able to get

a post-paid account. All you need is a passport and a credit card, a work permit is no longer required. To fit all the different lifestyles dtac has a wide range of basic plans helping everyone to get what is best for them; either it is prepaid or post-paid. A 24-hour English speaking call centre support is available for help, and you can also manage your service online via dtac’s website. Full details of the services are to be found at After the presentation everyone were welcome to visit the various dtac stands to learn more about each of the many promotional packages available. Since this was the last event which Executive Director, Mrs. Ingeborg Steinholt attended before relocating to Manila, she was given a warm thank you and good bye from the members of the Chamber and from President, Mr Axel Blom. The new director, Mrs. Vibeke Eidsaae Corneliussen was welcomed.

From the left: Andrew McBean, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development dtac, John Svengren, Executive Director, Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Petter Pedersen, Head of International Business, dtac, Axel Blom, President, Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Peter Emil Rømhold, President, Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Martti Ranin, President, Thai-Finnish Chamber of Commerce Thai-Norwegian Business Review


Back in the Land of Smiles ­–­Still text and photo by Jørgen Udvang


angkok, Oxford, Majorstuen, Grottammare, Singapore and Bangkok; from a geographical point of view, it may not seem like an obvious combination, but Khun Proadpran, or “Tooy” to friends, the most recent employee at Blue Business Solutions’, has spent a considerable amount of time in each of these places. Being a native of Bangkok, she studied finance and banking at Thammasat University. After completing her degree, she could choose among a number of well reputed universities for her postgraduate studies, and she selected the over 800 years old University of Oxford in England, a choice that would prove to have consequences for her future life. After completing her Master degree in Environmental Change and Management in Oxford, Khun Tooy came back to Thailand and started working as an ISO 9000 consultant in the pharmaceutical industry and training in ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 as well as statistical analysis. However, Khun Tooy was getting restless in Bangkok. In Oxford, she had met the man who was to become her future husband, a Norwegian of Italian heritage. They decided to move to Norway. Khun Tooy arrived in Norway on a dark winter day in February 2002 and she couldn’t help wondering when the sun would come back.

Khun Tooy at Blue Business Solutions is ready to take care of Norwegian Business in Thailand.

In Oslo, Khun Tooy spent little over a year to master the Norwegian language, before she opened an interior and gift-shop named Oriento at Majorstuen in Oslo. She recalls customers standing outside her window staring in; a little scared to come into her warm and inviting store. She found this very strange. At the end of three and a half years, dealing with both strange customers and government bureaucracy, Khun Tooy


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

had gained experience in a country that according to her is “ok, but cold”. It was time to move on. After staying in Italy and then Singapore for a while, the family, now including a third member, little Philip, moved to Bangkok where they arrived in February this year. Khun Tooy immediately started working for Blue Business Solutions Ltd. who is Innovation Norway’s representative in Thailand.

on for Norwegians between Thai and Norwegian companies, help set up meetings, do surveys and act as a consultant towards the market. - But aren’t Norwegian products too expensive for the Thai market, we ask her. - Although there are often high costs involved by importing from Norway, Norwegian industry is very strong in certain niches, like ICT, the seafood industry and within oil and gas area. Which is true of course, in Thailand as well as in other Asian markets. Norwegian industry can make a difference, and acquiring high-level expertise and good quality products will often help saving costs as well as reflect upon the quality of products further out in the production chain. And with Khun Proadpran taking care of her part, the road to success in Thailand has possibly become even smoother.

When asked about her reasons for accepting her current job, she answers that the work seemed interesting, she feels that she can contribute and that she has the advantage of understanding the attitude of people from both cultures, Thai as well as Norwegian. Khun Tooy’s main responsibilities are to seek opportunities for Norwegian businesses in Thailand, help them to adapt to the local “reality” and to match Thai and Norwegian industry. She will coordinate

The Oceans and its Resources, Important for our future

80% of the Norwegian population lives along Norway’s long and diversified coast. The ocean has historically contributed to Norway’s prosperity with fish and seafood having been the most important export industry for the country. Norwegian seafood is exported to over 150 countries in the world and is recognised for its superior quality coming from Norway’s cold clean waters and adhering to the strictest hygienic standards. At the same time, fish is a source of natural minerals and contribute to a healthy diet. Recently, we have seen several biotechnological companies having succeeded in developing new products based on raw materials from the fishing industry. The Norwegian population has traditionally taken a spoon of cod-liver oil as a health and vitamin supplement during winter. Omega 3 has become a buzz word contributing to a healthier life. Cod-liver oil, Omega 3 and many other similar products are eyeing new horizons in Asia. Overfishing and overuse of natural resources has become a major problem for the world and its growing population. Aquaculture can make a difference and help the world develop sustainable food resources without impacting the environment and depleting the fish stocks. Thailand and Norway are similar in the fact that both countries are heavily relying on food resources from the oceans. Traditional fishing has evolved into aquaculture and Norway has developed leading edge technology in managing marine resources in many areas. By introducing some of Norway’s superior aquaculture skills, harvests from Thailand’s fish and seafood production, both onshore and offshore can be multiplied manifold. The articles in this issue of Business Review will show the determination of the Norwegian marine industry to succeed in this part of the world.

Kato Ishibashi - Raw! by Laurence Civil


enowned Sushi Chef Katsutoshi Ishibashi, Kato to friends, now Operations Manager of Tohkaiya Co Ltd, meets with Laurence Civil to share his experience. “My father Sushi Chef, Hiroshi Ishibashi, went to Norway in 1963, to be Chef to the Ambassador of Japan in Norway. After several years he opened Oslo’s first Japanese restaurant, Sakura, 30 years ago. It wasn’t easy as the fish market didn’t understand the quality of fish required to make sushi and sashimi in a Japanese restaurant, so he had to teach them the cut and the quality he needed. I grew up in the restaurant’s kitchen and knew that was my future.”

“With my years of experience as an executive chef,” he says, “I know what restaurants are looking for and can make sure the product exceeds their expectations. We are producing in-house our own Norwegian smoked salmon and gravlaks which can be found in Bangkok’s leading supermarkets.”

“I then went to Sapporo in Japan to study the cuisine and ice carving. When I came back to Norway I studied at the Norwegian Chef ’s School and became a trainee at Hotel Bristol in Oslo” he says “Then I opened Nippon Art with my dad, and we were the first to introduce sushi into Norway. The initial response was slow but after the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer with many Japanese tourists visiting Norway and the following Winter Olympics in Nagano in 1998, there was a sushi boom.”

After the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer with many Japanese tourists visiting Norway and the following Winter Olympics in Nagano in 1998, there was a sushi boom.

In the mid 1990’s I had a partnership with Kang Wang, a Chinese Business man. This Chinese/ Japanese cooperation further resulted in the East chain of restaurants in 1998. One of these is East Sushi Zone, a restaurant located in a fashionable area called Colosseum Park in west Oslo, where sushi is served on a carousel of polished steel. This concept is in accordance with the new trends in food, where an aim is to combine gourmet-or quality dishes-with the speed of the fast-food outlet. In 2000 I wrote a book; Helt Rått (which translates to “Absolutely Raw”). The book was published by Schibsted Forlag describing a complete range of sushi made from Norwegian Seafood.

Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

“I continued to work in the restaurant for six to seven years and started a sushi production centre to supply supermarkets.


“Three years ago I came to Thailand,” he says “I was working in variety of restaurants in Bangkok and Koh Chang. When I married my Thai wife, I felt it was time for change; the hours working in a restaurant are fine when I was single but now I wanted to calm down the pace of life and to apply my experiences. Axel Blom, President of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce introduced me to Mr. S.S. Loo at Tohkaiya Company Limited, where I became the Operations Manager.”

“I believe what makes Norwegian Salmon a superior product,” he says,”is the careful way it raised in a nonstress environment which results in better colour and texture in the fish.” “Tastes differ around the world” he adds. “The original Norwegian is more salty and smokey to suit their palate, Asians however, like theirs less salty and smokey so we have to find the right balance to suit their taste.” “Having the right diet can reduce the risk of contracting cancer; in Norway there is high risk of breast cancer while in Japan its stomach cancer. I believe that a combined Norwegian-Japanese diet is good for a healthy lifestyle. Being rich in Omega 3 oils, salmon is the ideal food for anyone who suffers from heart disease, hypertension or diabetes.” “We share the opinion of Innovation Norway that there is big potential in the Thai market by catering to affluent Thais and the expatriate market which includes 200,000 Japanese expatriates.”

Sushi Chef Katsutoshi “Kato” Ishibashi Photo: Jørgen Udvang

“I would like to share some tips on how to handle Norwegian Salmon to get the best results,” he says; when defrosting smoked salmon, it should be done slowly, take it from the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator. Don’t accelerate the process by trying to put the fish in boiling water; it will destroy the taste and texture.” ‘Fresh salmon should be poached in water at a temperature lower than 60ºC. If the temperature is allowed to go above you will notice white blotches on surface of the fish indicating it’s over cooked. Salmon is at its best when it’s undercooked.” “In addition to the production centre,” he adds “I also have a catering division that can provide Japanese, Norwegian and Italian dishes. If a group of friends are interested to learn more about cooking I can give classes in their home. In fact for any question they may have, I speak Norwegian Japanese and English and am available to provide the answers.”

In the mood for Sushi? Contact Kato by e-mail:

Sushi - halibut Photo: Jim Hensley, Norwegian Seafood Export Council

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Melvær&Lien The Idea Entrepreneur Photo: Tom Haga


World Leading Aquaculture – from Norway by Jørgen Udvang


hen Jan Erik Svensson accepted the position as regional director for Akva group ASA in Thailand, neither Thailand nor the company were new to him. During 2004-2007, he had worked as Commercial Counsellor and Regional Director for Innovation Norway, stationed at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bangkok, but before that, he had worked for Akva group ASA and in aquaculture industry for 15 years, a job that took him to Asia and other parts of the world on a regular basis.

When his engagement for Innovation Norway came to an end, he realized that there is a great opportunity in extending his valuable experiences in promoting Norwegian aquaculture products and technology and helping develop aquaculture industry in Thailand and other countries in this region, therefore, he chose to take the challenge to represent his former employer (Akva group) with responsibility for all of Asia Pacific What are the origins of the aquaculture industry, and why is it so strong in Norway? - During the 1970s and 80s, when the aquaculture industry was in its infancy, there was no equipment available. What was used was either gear developed for other purposes, or solutions developed locally. Eventually, a specialised industry evolved, and some of those units have formed the basis for Akva Group. Since Norway developed a large aquaculture industry at an early stage, the need for proper equipment led to the establishment of an industry that supported the production units. What is the market situation today, and how does it compare to the upstart 30-40 years ago? - In the beginning, most aquaculture industry, equipment production as well as fish farming were locally based and owned with relatively small units. Today, most of the industry consists of large companies with the financial resources needed to maintain a sustainable production. This situation is particularly dominant in the western world. Akva Group, which started as several independent companies, is today the market leader within most areas. How is the market situation in Asia? – Although a large portion of the world seafood production happens in Asia, a lot of the aquaculture in the region stems from small units, with little value for the local farmer. There’s a big gap between the traditional farming of carp at the rice paddies in China, giving 0.5 kg of fish per cubic meter of water, and industrial aquaculture, which gives from 20 to 90 kg of fish per cubic meter. Given that almost half of the seafood consumed by humans stems from farming, and that water is a scarce commodity in many parts of the world, this difference is very significant for our ability to feed the population.

Jan Erik Svensson Photo: Jørgen Udvang

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


How is that seen from an environmental angle? - It’s better from that angle as well. Here in Thailand, polluted water from seafood farming often finds its way back into the canals. Current production methods also use enormous areas. Still in Thailand, the production of tilapia (the third most important fish in aquaculture after carps and salmonids, with production reaching 1,505,804 metric tonnes in 2002. Thai: Pla Thaptim) occupies around 300,000 rai of land. With modern farming technology, that could be reduced down to 1,000 rai or less, freeing land for other agricultural production and at the same time increasing the yield 300 times. A development like that would mean going from an open to a closed system with less water consumption, better water quality and lower cost. But it requires investments on a level that isn’t possible for most of the current fish farmers. Although fish farming the traditional way does open work possibilities for the local farmers, they are at the same time left with minimal profits. What is the challenge for Akva Group in the region? - We see much of the same development as we had in Norway 30 years ago. There was a lot of resistance against large units, a more industrialised way of thinking and “big capital” entering the business. It’s a political as much as an industrial question. A dialogue with the large food industries as well as local governments is important, a dialogue that is ongoing. Being asupplier for turnkey aquaculture products and technology, able to deliver the complete value chain from planning to harvesting, including computer software, cages and aquaculture farming infrastructure, feeding systems and the physical installation and training, all based on our extensive experience from other markets, we are well placed to give advice and to help build a modernised aquaculture industry in Thailand as well as in other Asia countries. AkvaMarina feeding system Photo: Akva group ASA

Fishfarming software Photo: Akva group ASA

Akva group ASA is standing in the front row of the aquaculture business. As the name indicates, the group has many roots, companies that covered one or more niches within the industry, and that are now corporate brands within the group. Among the most prominent are: • Akvasmart, feeding systems, Norway 1980 • Fishtalk and Wisefish fishfarming and seafood software, Norway 1980s • Polarcirkel, plastic cages, Norway 1974 • Wavemaster, steel cages, Ireland 1985 Akva group ASA has been listed on the Stock Exchange of Oslo since 2006, and the head office is in Bryne, not far from Stavanger in Southwestern Norway. There are offices and production units many places in Norway, including the home town of Jan Erik Svensson, Mo i Rana in Northern Norway, where Polarcirkel has its origins. Their total revenues for 2008 were 866 MNOK compared to 932 MNOK in 2007. The EBITDA result was 52 MNOK compared to 91 MNOK in 2007. The decline is, according to their Annual Report for 2008, mainly due to the global financial crises and the disease problems in Chile. Being “The global leader in land based and cage farming aquaculture technology” (Annual Report 2008), the group is represented on several locations around the globe, mainly in Northern Europe, Canada, Chile and in many Asian countries. The Bangkok office is also the regional office for Asia.


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Half the seafood production is from aquaculture


he fisheries statistics from UN’s Food and Agriculture shows that the aquaculture production totaled 51.6 million tonnes in 2008, which represents an increase of 2.5 per cent with respect to the previous period. Wild capture fisheries were level at 90 million tonnes. Seafood consumption per capita remained more or less the same, at 16.9 kg; 8.5 kg from capture fisheries and 8.4 kg from aquaculture. That means that nearly 50% of the seafood for human consumption originates from the aquaculture industry. Measured by imports, global seafood trade surpassed $100 billion for the first time ever.







Wavemaster feed barge Photo: Akva group ASA

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Working Together in the Andam by Jørgen Udvang


hile the similarities between Thailand and Norway aren’t always obvious, there are two factors that are important to both nations: water and seafood. Both countries are to a large degree surrounded by water, and the seafood industry represents an important part of the culture as well as the economy in the north as well as in the south. Aquaculture, or seafood farming, pays an increasingly important role in sustaining the food supply of Thailand. Developing more efficient aquaculture technology is a necessity to secure diminishing food resources for the Kingdom. Although both Thailand and Norway has developed a substantial production volume, there are distinct differences between the two nations. While the Norwegian aquaculture is mostly based on fish farming in sea cages, the Thai industry is heavily land-based. Also the products differ, with salmon representing a large share of the export volume in Norway, shrimp farming is a backbone of the industry in Thailand.

production of juveniles, fish health management, regulation of big cage marine farming, environmental monitoring and evaluation, economic analysis, elaboration of a strategic plan for development of aquaculture, training and competence building. Cobia (Rachycentrida canadum) was chosen as the first fish to be farmed. This is a very fast-growing, pelagic fish species, which exists in tropical and tempered waters. It has a tasty, white meat, is much sought after and has been important in fish farming projects in Taiwan, Vietnam as well as in Latin-America. Khun Paiboon Bunlipatanon, the Director of Phuket Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Centre, who has long experiences in the aquaculture work and closely involved in this project, says that the project can now produce 80 tons of Cobia annually from their three cages. They have also tried out farming of grouper, and are currently looking into sea bass, a

Norway and Thailand have a history of marine cooperation projects. The project ”Development of Marine Aquaculture and Assessment of Fishery Resources in the Andaman Sea, Thailand” is a follow-up to the Thai-Norwegian post tsunami project started in 2005. The first phase of the project focused on building competence and capacity on fish resource assessment using the hydro-acoustic method through scientific instrumentation and institutional cooperation, drawing on experiences from IMR, FAO and the Nansen Programme in tropical and temperate waters, and to install a modern pilot big cage farm and to develop a strategic plan for the aquaculture sector. The objective of the project, which is performed as a cooperation between CDCF/ Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen, Norway and Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Bureau, Department of Fisheries, Thailand (DOF), is to enable local operators to utilise modern aquaculture technology with local fish varieties. The most important element of the project is operation of a pilot sea cage farm located at Laem Hin in Phuket. This includes assistance in mass


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Khun Paiboon Bunlipatanon Photo: Jørgen Udvang

man Sea fish that is very popular in Thai cooking. Khun Paiboon is working on expanding the operation, making it a commercially viable option for local seafood production as well as for export. Formally, he says, the cooperation project is successfully Feeding of Cobia. completed this year, Photo: Rolf Engelsen, Institute of Marine Research but he looks forward to further expansions and to help making the technology commercially The project has so far resulted in a string viable in new projects along the Andaman coast. While shrimp farming is a big industry in Thailand, fish farming has so far been performed in smaller units. This is where the Thai-Norwegian project can play an important role, being used for developing the local industry, and transferring knowledge to Thai entrepreneurs who wish to develop their business towards offshore based fish farming. The resources are available according to Khun Paiboon, and it’s a question of re-directing them from existing, profitable projects into the new opportunities that this technology represents. In addition to the fish-farming project, an important part of this Thai-Norwegian cooperation is the assessment of fishery resources in the Andaman Sea. The project aims at strengthening the competence in mapping and assessing the seafood resources in the sea at the Andaman Sea Fisheries Research and Development Center. Acoustic instrumentation has been provided for the vessel Pramong 4, as well as basic training in the use of the instruments. The next phase will be extended training and assisting staff in operations and sampling fish stock by trawl in the Andaman Sea. It also includes designing and installing a pelagic (mid-water) trawl with the purpose of sampling fish off the bottom with the ultimate purpose of improving existing trawls and vessels for better operations and safety. Knowledge transfer and scientific instrumentation is an important part of this process, in which Norwegian competence plays an important role. As the summary to the right shows, those involved have all reasons to be satisfied with the results of this project and its future potential.

of positive results:

• Staff at the DOF (Department of Fisheries) fish farm in Phuket have been enabled to independently manage and operate a modern cage based aquaculture fish farm. This was one of the primary targets of the project, and completing this part has been an important objective on the way to a successful project. • DOF have achieved increased knowledge about fish health in general and avoidance of deceases and parasite attacks on caged fish, important elements of successful fish farming. • Education of local fish farmers has been successfully initiated, and is being continued on a permanent basis. • DOF have been given substantial information needed to successfully manage a sea-based aquaculture. The Norwegian regulatory system has been presented, including the system for locality classification and usage of areas for aquaculture. This information will be utilised in the coming revision of DOF’s plan for development of offshore aquaculture 2009-2013. • Equipment needed for the project has been acquired and successfully installed according to plan. The project has been completed according to budget, and the final product; fish for distribution in the target market, has been produced and distributed.

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


Marketing Norwegian Seafood in So by Laurence Civil photo from Mika Tomiyama


orwegian seafood is used to produce on average 27 million meals every single day of the year. Due to the importance of seafood to the Norwegian economy, the Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC) was created by the Ministry of Fisheries in 1991. It is a limited company, in

which all of the shares are owned by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. It’s role is to spread the message that the best seafood comes from Norway. The regional office is based in Singapore from where Mika Tomiyama is Regional Manager SE Asia. “I think that it is quite impressive how Norway has managed to turn a primary industry such as fishing,” says Mika, “to become such a vital and important industry for the country. The industry has always been very dynamic and I find it very interesting.

outheast Asia I studied for an International Marketing degree at the Norwegian School of Management, during which I spent the last three semesters studying at a partner school in Germany. One of my graduate papers was about Norwegian Seafood Industry and how this could be developed to a modern market oriented industry.” After graduating in 1997 Mika applied to be The Council’s Country representative for the new office they were opening in Tokyo, Japan. When they decided to have representation in Singapore in 2007, she was put in charge of the office. “The job in Singapore is challenging but very different from my work in Japan. The market is more transparent and less complex compared to Japan. However being Regional Representative has its challenges. Southeast Asia is very complex and each country has their own language, culture, customs and dietary requirements. Due to certain limitations in the market investment, I cannot do as much as I wish to do, but I am trying my best to work effectively and invest wisely on behalf of the Norwegian Seafood Industry. “I am responsible for representing Norwegian seafood in eight countries; Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam and will also handle enquiries from Cambodia from time to time.”

Mika Tomiyama promotes Norwegian Seafood in Southeast Asia

“We work with major retailers,” she says, to promote Norwegian salmon at the store front by offering point of sales material, recipe booklets, tastings and in-store demonstrations. We also do some limited advertorials in selected magazines to get the message across. Working with culinary academies and cooking schools is also a way to deepen the knowledge among young culinarians about Norwegian seafood. Norway was the official supplier of seafood for Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France in January 2009. The seafood products are Norwegian Fresh Cod, Norwegian Wild Prawns and Norwegian King Scallops. Furthermore we are partnering up with schools and other organization on road shows and work shops to inform general public about Norwegian Salmon.” ”Cold water fish does have other characters and qualities than what you find in the local waters,” she says. The firm flesh of Norwegian Fresh Cod has a delicate white colour. It’s a lean fish whose characteristic flaky structure and mild taste make it ideal for a wide variety of dishes. Norwegian King Scallops have a good colour, a fine, healthy, condition and a good structure and taste in the adductor muscle. The adductor muscle is lean, but contains very high quantities of Omega 3 fatty acids. The roe is especially rich in riboflavin and pantothenic acid, and also contains a lot of zinc. “With the expansion of culinary preferences and acceptance among Asians, increased number of western restaurants and the adaptability of cold water fish to local cuisine give an interesting market for Norwegian Seafood. ”Our primary customers have been in the hotel and restaurant sector,  however with affluent economy and improved distribution, the retail sector has become more important and it is here we see the largest increase.” The value of Norwegian Seafood exported to Southeast Asia in the first half of 2009 was approximately NOK 400 Million (Baht 2.200 billion). Thailand is the region’s second largest importer of Norwegian Seafood with a value in the same period of NOK 190 million (Baht 1.045 billion) and close to 50% market share. The numbers clearly show the significance of Thailand as a market for Norwegian Seafood.

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


An Insight into “Genetic development work has produced phenomenal results,” says Tormod. “Breeding programs for Atlantic salmon has resulted in potential savings worldwide of USD 200 million in feed costs for global production of one million tons. A similar program carried out by AKVAFORSK on Tilapia led to a growth rate in the target population of almost two times the original after only five generations. Work is also conducted worldwide – from Vietnam to Chile - on bass, bream, carps, shrimp and shellfish.” “I am now 61 years old and come from the small town of Ålesund in Norway,” he says. “I was educated as a lawyer and had been administrative leader for a municipality in Norway several years (Rådmann in Sunnda). I made the career move towards aquaculture as I wanted to do something exciting that also involves international activity.

Tormod Spjøtvold inspecting new life

by Laurence Civil photo from Tormod Spjøtvold


ormod Spjøtvold was Managing Director of AFGC from 2001 until 2008 and is now responsible for business development in Asia. He recently explained his role in aquaculture genetic improvement in Southeast Asia. AKVAFORSK (Institute of Aquaculture Research), AS, Norway, has been the leading research institution in the world in developing selective breeding programmes for aquaculture species since the late 1960’s. From the parent company was born AKVAFORSK Genetics Center, AS (AFGC) in 1999 to pursue all commercial activities related to genetic improvement programmes. Today The AFGC is owned by the National Centre for Veterinary Contract Research and Commercial Services (VESO), is the leading provider of applied genetic improvement services to aquaculture industries worldwide. 24

Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

”I was member of the Board of Directors in the mother company and in AFGC. I was asked to apply for the position of Managing Director, mainly to take care of administrative, economic and commercial tasks in the company, after which I was duly appointed and served from 2001-2008 “After seven years as Managing Director of AFGC I turned my attentions to Asia I know many parts of the world, but I find the countries in Asia, and especially Indochina most friendly and hard working to achieve a good future.” “I am now based in Vietnam where we at Aquaforsk Genetics Center AS are working to develop top quality genetic strains of Nile Tilapia, Red Tilapia and Pangasius” he says. “Put into simple terms we select the best animals in a population to become parents of next generation in production. This work is meant to give basis for commercial activity through supplying the aquaculture industry with top quality genetic material of these species.” There are three branches of the Research Institute for Aquaculture (RIA) in Vietnam. RIA 1 which is based in Hanoi and does most of its work in the north of Vietnam and have been collaborating in a Norad-

Aquaculture in Vietnam program, a Norwegian state funded international help and development organization, since 1994. Part of this program was to develop genetic material of tilapia. We followed up that connection. The connection to RIA 2, the sister institution in Ho Chi Minh City, and which does most of its work in the south of Vietnam came up more as a natural consequence of this. “Vietnam is a country well adapted for aquaculture,” he says “the country has a long coastline and there is also a lot of fresh water, lakes and rivers. Maybe Thailand is the country most similar, but there are also other very interesting countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. China must also be mentioned as it is the biggest aquaculture nation in the world by far. ” ”We are in Vietnam not as an investor,” he says, we come here to better the premises for the industry in

a way that will increase profitability. Vietnam was already a big player in the aquaculture sector before we came here, but the Norwegian efforts is about to result in a competence within fish genetics that will strengthen Vietnam compared to many other countries. ”Since working in Asia,” he adds, ”my personal greatest satisfaction has been to meet the hard working people both in science and in industry and the understanding they show in collaborating to develop the industry.” ”For the future as we are a commercial company,” he concludes,“ aims through our contribution is to establish profitable activity from our services and ownership in genetic material. ”

Bridging Societies is our business Nera Networks provides wireless transmission solutions to communication network owners in most market segments including: • Mobile • Broadcast • Enterprises and Internet Service Providers • Government and Educational institutes • Defence • Offshore and Utilities • Retail Payment Solutions Nera (Thailand) Ltd. 26th Floor, 253 Asoke Tower 253 Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke) Road Klongtoeynua, Wattana Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0) 2664 1464, Fax: +66 (0) 2664 4002

Getting the Cars across with Walleni In addition to transporting cars, WW also services the Japanese construction machinery manufacturers, such as Komatsu. It may seem to outsiders that WW is limiting itself by only focussing on the Japanese market, but, as Mr Yamada explains, this market constitutes over 80% of their business, and globally, 3 million automotive and rolling equipment units are processed annually.

text by Emma Long photo Jørgen Udvang


hile sailing the oceans may seem like an adventure to some, to Mr Kenichi Yamada, General Manager of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (Thailand), it’s serious business. Business Review recently met with Mr Kenichi Yamada to learn about this major logistics player. Formed in 1999, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics was previously two independent companies. Wilhelm Wilhelmsen, of Norway, was founded in 1861 and built its success within the shipping industry. Wallenius Lines of Sweden, founded in 1934, built the first car-carrying vessel, pioneered the ‘roll on/roll off’, or RoRo concept and was the first international shipping company to work with the Japanese automobile industry.

Given this exclusive attention to one customer sector, how does WW ensure that it remain competitive, especially within today’s economic downturn? Japanese auto makers traditionally only use Japanese

Following their merger in 1999, the company became one of the largest specialised RoRo transporters, then in 2007, following an acquisition of a major US Logistics company, Wallenius Wilhelmsen rebranded to become the fully integrated logistics and ocean transportation company it is today. With 3,300 employees spread across the globe, the company transports 4.3 million units each year, with 2.3 million of those units transported by sea servicing 20 trade routes to five continents. Indeed, as its website illustrates, ‘..deep sea transportation, transhipment and short sea shipping are our core transportation services’. Annually, the company transports nearly two million cars, rolling equipment and static cargo up to 50 meters long, 6.3 meters high and 350 tonnes in weight. The company has even shipped cargo such as rail cars, power generators, mining equipment and yachts! The primary role of the Bangkok office is to service the Japanese Automobile companies. Many major Japanese automobile brands are made here in Thailand, such as Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan and Wallenius Wilhelmsen (WW) is their primary carrier within Asia Pacific and to Europe.


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Mr Kenichi Yamada, General Manager of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (Thailand)

nius Wilhelmsen carriers, but because WW is one of the biggest RoRo (roll on/roll off) operators, and it has some of the biggest vessels, WW has achieved the position of being the primary carrier for their Japanese clients. As Mr Yamada explained, WW has a niche market and within the current economic climate, the focus is on maintaining a flawless service record to their clients. The current global downturn has seen many a casualty, but WW is riding out the storm. Whilst volume of business dropped suddenly in late 2008, mid 2009 has seen a gradual increase, though as Mr Yamada expressed, not to the same levels as before. A fall out of this is the 22 vessels currently anchored in Norway. So in response to these challenging times, the company embarked on a restructuring programme this year to ensure that, whilst times are lean, it is still able to meet it’s existing customer demands. Even if times may be lean all over the world, the environment remains a major global issue these days and it is a particular responsibility that WW takes very seriously. WW prides itself on being an industry leader in developing solutions to reduce the impact of

its operations on the environment. An example of this is that WW is the sole sponsor of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) High Seas Conservation Programme. Through this programme, WW supports activities that promote marine conservation in the high seas. The high seas are areas of the open ocean that are outside a nation’s exclusive economic zone. Mr Yamada also adds that new technology is being implemented on it’s vessels that use more environmentally friendly forms of energy such as solar and wind energy. It is, says Mr Yamada, an integral part of the culture of the company to continuously look for ways to improve it’s shipping technology that, not only enhance the performance, but are also kind to the environment. Finally, what is the long term strategy for WW? For Mr Kenichi Yamada, it is all about maintaining the service levels for the existing clients, but, also continue to seek out new ones. And by doing so, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (Thailand) will continue to prosper and grow.

Mr S.S.Loo in front together with his Sales Manager Khun Wallapa Nicrothanot and Sushi Chef Kato Ishibashi

Processing Norwegian Seafood by Laurence Civil photo Jørgen Udvang


ohkaiya is one of the major food companies in the country; it has a 30% market share of the Norwegian seafood consumed in Thailand, that’s worth 18-20 million baht a month. It was founded with a 70 % Japanese shareholding by Singaporean businessman S. S. Loo in1999 with just eight staff which 10 years on has grown to an average of 70 employees. The name is Japanese for sunrise over water. Come from an engineering background Mr. Loo calculates every move he makes. He will never compromise on his core value that he only handles imported products catering to an exclusive market. The expansion of his business was intentionally limited aiming for stability working on the basis of calculated risk. When he built the latest of three factories he broke away from traditional Thai construction methods calculating what was the most efficient use of energy to run 1,500 tons cold storage seven days a week 52 weeks of the year. Using concrete flooring steel girders and three inch thick insulated panelling the three storey complex covering with 6,800 square meters of floor space was complete in 159 days. Had he used traditional building techniques it would have taken three times longer to complete. The initial capital cost was 30% more but the investment is paying off as he is saving 20-23% on his energy bill, possibly the largest operating cost in running the business. Tohkaiya is completely green, not because of wanting to be trendy and fashionable, Mr. Loo is simply practicing good business sense. The new facilities were built three years ago in accordance to European and US guidelines and have obtained HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification. The Salmon is packed in Norway on Saturday, sent by airfreight to Thailand and delivered to the factory on the following Monday morning. It’s soaked in salt water for 40-60 hours to extract in the excess moisture from the fish, washed and dried for two hours. The smoked salmon is smoked with beech at 21-23º C for 14-16 hours. Salmon or Rainbow trout has a more red flesh and is used with sushi and sashimi to add colour to the dish.

All raw materials imported by Tohkaiya have been tested and analyzed for their chemical, physical and biological properties by the certifying government agencies that award the health certificates prior to shipping. A first-in first-out inventory management system and hourly temperature checks ensure quality is maintained. With a modern fleet of 20 refrigerated trucks the salmon is delivered all over Thailand with the cold chain supply from the producers to kitchen remaining unbroken and is never more than -12ºc. All the refrigerated trucks are fitted with GPS tecnology to ensure the drivers take the most efficient route to reach their customers. One of the Norwegian brands represented by Tohkaiya is Fossen AS a family owned and run company which was one of the Pioneers in Norwegian fish farming. Fossen AS has been farming Fjord Trout and Salmon since the beginning of the 70’s. 25 years experience has taught them the advantages of using the raw material coming from their own fish farms. Tohkaiya is one of the newest Corporate Members of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce and an active player in the Norwegian seafood market in Thailand. The company has recently partnered with Katsutoshi “Kato” Ishibasi which has joined Tohkaiya as Executive Chef. You can read more about Kato on page 12 Tohkaiya is right now laying their final hands on plans for entering the upscale delicatessen market targeting many of the 200,000 Japanese expatriates in the country. Tohkaiya will also be happy to establish business relationship with larger Norwegian related companies in Thailand and thereby supply the perfect – and healthy - Christmas and New Year gifts for corporate clients. In addition Tohkaiya is able to provide outside catering to corporate events. Contact Kato on e-mail for further details

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


They know that the fish is going to be processed into a highly value added product; they have refined their own recipes for fish food, and have routine procedures to ensure that they get fish 52 weeks a year of the right quality to meet their customers’ expectations of Smoked Fjord Trout or Salmon Fillet. Fosssen AS is the biggest producer of smoked and marinated Salmon and Trout in Norway. Another is Hallvard Lerøy A/S based in Bergen which particularly emphasizes the delivery of high quality products. From its modest beginnings Hallvard Lerøy AS has now grown into Norway’s leading exporter of farmed seafood. Current production volume is more than 15 percent of all the Atlantic salmon produced in Norway. They supply frozen mackerel, fresh salmon trout and fresh Atlantic salmon.

When people think of salmon they think Norway because of the cold, clean water in which the fish are raised. Tohkaiya’s customers are five star hotels, top restaurants, supermarkets, wet markets and the fish dealers who trade upcountry. Khun Wallapa Nicrothanot, Sales Manager has been with the company from the first day and has been responsible for building a long term relationship with her customers based on the quality and consistency of Tohkaiya products. Salmon is a very easy product to deal with and there is no waste. Even the skin can be deep fried and used for maki and snacks. In addition to Norwegian seafood Tokhaiya also distribute Chilled/Frozen Beef, Lamb, Seafood, Fois Gras and Frozen French Fries from various countries such as U.S.A, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France.

Seafood under the Stars A very special evening in the garden of the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence 

The Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce that a Norwegian seafood dinner with specialities flown in from Norway will take place in the Norwegian Ambassador’s garden on Tuesday 1 December 2009. We have secured a Norwegian chef for the occasion to ensure that this turns into a true gastronomic event. This is a great opportunity to invite your local customers, clients and associates as well as your colleagues for a grand networking dinner. Individual tickets will be sold at Baht 3,300 plus VAT including cocktail, soft drinks, beer and wine. Tables of ten seats are available at Baht 30,000 plus VAT. We suggest you book early to get the best tables. Cocktails will be served from 18.30 hrs with dinner starting at 19.30 hrs. Click on the enclosed link to see a map of how to get to the residence of the Norwegian Ambassador at Sukhumvit Soi 38 We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 1 December.

Getting High on Oxygen with Ak text by Emma Long photo Akva Design


ome would say that, given the uncertain economic times that we are currently living in, now would not be the time to start up a new company. However, that has not deterred Jan Kleiven and his business partner, Anders Næss, who together have recently established a new company called Akva Design. The idea with Akva Design started with Anders Næss in Norway. The company’s aim is to find new designs and innovations in aquaculture and water treatment globally. Business Review recently sat down with Jan Kleiven, (Anders Næss is currently based in Norway), to talk about this new venture and why the timing is not only right, in fact it is perfect. We began by discussing how Akva Design came to be established. Jan explained that both Anders and he had been involved in the food/aquaculture industry for over 20 years. They had come to the conclusion that, here in Thailand, there was a gap in the market for a new and improved way of increasing the production of fish through the latest oxygen technology. As Jan explained, seafood consumption is up by almost 50% per capita worldwide, people want to eat healthier food, so this can only increase. Traditionally in Thailand, shrimps and most other types of fish, are cultivated in earthen ponds. Jan said there are currently about 30,000 ponds in Thailand. What Akva Design wants to do is to improve conditions in these ponds by injecting pure oxygen, which means that the shrimps feed better and they grow faster. Jan explained this new approach further: By adding pure oxygen to the ponds, he says, the farmers can reduce their total operating time by 10-20%. This is because, by using this new method, the amount of feed for the shrimp can be reduced, at the moment it is almost 50% of the running costs. The power consumption can also be reduced by as much as 50% since in Thailand as elsewhere in Asia, the process used is the paddle technique. This is a series of paddles that are powered by motor wheels to mix air into the water. This can be a labour intensive and stressful way to grow the shrimp. Jan explains, in Thailand there are frequent power cuts, so a shrimp farmer with 12 paddle-powered ponds will lose power to his entire


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

farm. Each pond would have to be switched back on again, one by one, when the power finally returns. Stressful, not only for the farmers, but for the shrimps as well. With Akva Design’s approach of injecting pure oxygen with a pressure based system, a better quality of water is being produced, there is less waste and less sediment, and because it is not power driven, it is a better environmental solution. So Akva Design knows what they want to do and what needs to be done, but how do they go about it? Jan says the next step is to find an industrial partner who can assist them in bringing this technology to life. Once they found their partner, they can begin running tests in a test farm to show farmers the benefits of this new method.

kva Design A key advantage behind Akva Design is the support and assistance of Professor Chalor Limsuwan of the Department of Fisheries of Kasetsart University. A globally recognised expert in the field of shrimp farming, Professor Chalor will be assisting Akva Design on their research and development and helping to find the ‘demo’ farm that can be used to trial the new technology. Is there a lot of competition out there? There is, says Jan, however they believe they have found a key niche market and that the potential business is huge. Especially when, Jan says, that over 90% of the world’s seafood comes from Asia. The collaboration between Akva Design and Innovation Norway is vital said Jan. The company

has been receiving financial and business support from Innovation Norway, and are now in the process to ask for further support in form of an IFU contract with a time span of two years which will be spent on demonstrating and marketing the products in Thailand and elsewhere. So, what is the next step for Anders Naess and Jan Kleiven? It is about securing the all important industrial partner, making the prototypes and getting out into the industry and selling their idea. It is a simple idea, says Jan, but also one which can change the way shrimps are grown and produced here in Thailand.

We give local ideas global opportunities! Our vision ”We give local ideas global opportunities” Through our presence in Thailand, we seek to assist and promote entrepeneurs and enterprises who are in the process of expanding their business to Thailand, either by entering the Thai market, or by establishing production or other presence in the country. Our services Among our services are: • Identifying Business Opportunities • Market Reports and Industry Investigations • Networking with Government • Partner Search • Assistance with formal procedures Together with the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Innovation Norway has established a Norwegian Business Centre, centrally located in Bangkok, and can offer a one-stop service for Norwegian business in the process of establishing in Thailand.

Contact information, Bangkok We have offices in all Norwegian counties and in more than thirty countries. T: T: F:

+66 2627 3040 +47 2139 9009 (direct line) +66 2627 3042

Address: Mahatun Plaza, 14th Fl. 888/142 Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Thailand

Andreas Viestad’s Thai-Norwegia text by Karine Slørdahl photo Mette Randem


ndreas Viestad is one of Norway’s highest profiled food writers. He is responsible for more than ten cook- and lifestyles books, a weekly food column in the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet as well as a monthly column in the Washington Post. He is also starring in various food-programs on TV, one of them being “New Scandinavian Cooking” available here in Asia (on the TV-channel Food-TV Asia.) His love of flavours is what has inspired him. Andreas’ ability to convey his passion to people has served him as well; in 2002 he received the prestigious Norwegian award “Gullpennen” (the Golden Pencil) for his renewal of Norwegian journalistic language. In 2008 his book, “Where Flavor was Born”, was awarded the ”Best Foreign Cookbook in the World” in the Oscars of cookbooks – Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Andreas really loves his neighbourhood, St. Hanshaugen in Oslo. This is where he has his office and also lives with his wife, son and newely arrived little daughter. Nevertheless, travelling all over the world gives him inspiration for both his cooking

and writing. For his book “Where Flavor was Born” he travelled for four years following the route of spices around the Indian Ocean. Andreas has always been inspired by food, and he thinks food is a good way to communicate. “In Thailand and similar countries I might not understand the language, and even sometimes the culture. I do not know what happens behind closed doors, but I do understand their food,” he says. He was very inspired by Thai food, both Isan Cooking and southern recipes more interacting with Muslim traditions. “Although the Thai Cooking is very distinct, it is exciting to see how the spices make the cooking similar in countries from Thailand throughout India all the way to the Middle East.” Andreas Viestad is planning to visit Thailand sometime in the coming months; he both wants to show his family this wonderful country and the interesting cooking, but he also has “something cooking”. It is too early to tell about the project; unfortunately he denies vehemently that it is a new book on Thai Cooking. Luckily we can enjoy one of his earlier recipes, from the book “Where Flavor was born”; Spicy Fishcake with Lemongrass. Even though the Norwegians like to think of the Fish cakes as a Norwegian invention, Andreas Viestad knows otherwise. “All countries have their own definition of fish cakes, and what make this food exceptional when it comes to spices, is the genius concept of putting all the flavour inside the food. “

ian Flavors Spicy Lemongrass Fish Cakes

Serves 2 as a main course, 4 to 6 as a starter.

Ingredients: • 1 pound (approximately ½ kg) mixed white-fleshed fish fillets
 • 3 to 5 tablespoons green curry paste • 1 to 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped 
 • 1 to 2 small green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
 • 1 to 2 large eggs
 • Peanut oil for shallow frying • Breadcrumbs or all-purpose flour for dredging Preparation:
 1. Rinse fish thoroughly under cold running water or, preferably, leave it in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. This will firm the flesh. Drain, pat dry.

Thailand, one of the countries where Flavor was born

2. Remove any skin, bones, and/or fatty parts, and finely chop the fish using a sharp knife. This is a laborious process, but the results are much better than using a food processor or a blender. 
 3. Combine the fish, curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and chillies (if desired) in a bowl. Lightly beat 1 egg, add to the mixture, and mix well. 
 4. In a large non-stick skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Using your hand and a spoon, mould about 1 tablespoon of the fish mixture into a small ball. Roll in breadcrumbs and add to the pan. If the fish ball doesn’t hold together, beat the second egg and add some or all of it to the remaining fish mixture and make another test ball. When you have found the right consistency, shape the rest into balls, and fry until golden. You may have to fry the fish cakes in two batches not to crowd the pan. Drain on paper towels. Serve with coriander and mint sauce or a chilli sauce and jasmine rice. The Spicy Lemongrass Fishcakes recipe is from Andreas Viestad’s book “ Where Flavor was born”, “Smak av krydder” and is printed with consent from Cappelen Damm, Norway

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


THAI launch

Far top: THAI’s aircraft Boeing 777-200ER , currently operating the route Bangkok - Oslo Top: THAI’s executive vice-president Commerical Department, Mr. Pandit Chanapai and acting president, ACM Narongsak Sangapong with H.E. Ambassador Merete Fjeld Brattested who received a crystal ball which represent the sun from Thailand to Oslo,Norway. 36

Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Top right: From the launching function at Pan Pacific hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.The spectacular performance titled “From the Midnight Sun to the Tropical Sun“ Under: From the Official opening in Oslo, in front of Oslo City Hall

hes non-stop flights Bangkok-Oslo


n the early morning of 15 June 2009, the first ever scheduled nonstop flight from Thailand to Norway took off from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai Airways International launched their five weekly flights to Norway with a big bash at Pan Pacific Hotel in Bangkok. The launch party featured “real” Vikings and celestial Norwegian maidens as well as a large crowd from Bangkok’s “hi-so” clique. Together they enjoyed a Norwegian inspired evening with the performance: “From the Midnight Sun to the Tropical Sun“.

102 years later, the trip was somewhat faster, but the magic spell of the Norwegian fjords is still there for everyone to enjoy. In Oslo, another party was thrown to VIPs in Norway and the Norwegian travel trade. The tourist seasons in Norway and Asia complement each other as they fall at different times of the year. Tourists from Thailand typically travel to Norway in April and October in addition to the summer peak months, whereas tourists from Norway normally travel to Thailand during the winter season to escape the cold weather.

In her opening speech H.E. Ambassador Merete Fjeld Brattested reminded the guests of the words written by H.M. King Chulalongkorn as he was sailing into the Oslo fjord in the early morning of Saturday, 6 July 1907:

Since the start of the operations in June, the number of Asian tourists travelling to Norway has increased significantly. This has resulted in THAI increasing their frequencies to Norway to daily from 25 October 2009. In addition the airline has switched aircraft on the Oslo route to the larger Boeing 777-200ER offering 30 seats in Business Class and 262 seats in Economy Class. This means that THAI now offers more than 2,000 seats per week to and from Norway in addition to the daily flights to both Denmark and Sweden.

“Looking to the shores on both sides we were reminded of the murals of heaven in the Paisal Throne Hall. The houses are like the abodes of angels built in line. And on the erect rocks there should big angels be sitting for pleasure, playing chess, fencing with swords or dancing.”


(Wireles s) road

- Nana it Soi 3 Sukhumv


hum vit


road Wittha yu

Plaza Athéné e

Sukhumvit Soi 4 - Nana

(Wirele ss)

Lang Sua


Mahatun Plaza


it road

ay Express-w


Soi Ruam

British Embassy



Chid Lom

Wave Pla ce

Chid Lo


norwegian business centre


All Season s Place

14th Floor, Mahatun Plaza, 888/142 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: +66 2650 8444 (TNCC), +66 2627 3040 (IN) Fax: +66 2627 3042

Temporary Cessation of Operations: An Option During a Time of Crisis By Chusert Supasitthumrong, Litigator, and Tiziana Sucharitkul, Co-Managing Partner & Director, Dispute Resolution Department, Tilleke & Gibbins International Ltd. Adapted from an article first published in the Bangkok Post on March 13, 2009.


nder the current period of global economic recession when there is a decline in consumption and therefore a reduction in trade, many businesses are trying to find ways to survive. In Thailand, company management often considers the option of whether to temporarily cease business operations when faced with dire circumstances. This is because an employer, when dealing with a period of reduced purchase orders and/or a decline in market consumption for its products, can legally apply this measure to save costs rather than close the business and/or terminate employees. Under the Labor Protection Act (LPA), employers are entitled to temporarily cease business operations and pay employees wages at a rate of 75 percent of normal wages during the period of cessation of operations. However, certain criteria must be met and without a correct understanding of the laws, employers risk facing the possibility of the issuance of a court order revoking the measure regarding the temporary cessation of operations. Under Section 75 of the LPA, an employer is entitled to temporarily cease operations of a business if (i) there is a need to invoke the measure due to the presence of a significant cause affecting the business operation and resulting in the employer being unable to operate the business as usual, whether wholly or partially, and (ii) such need is not considered to be force majeure under Thai law. (Situations arising from force majeure are treated differently as described further below.) Once the basis for invoking the measure is established, the employer can choose to seek the temporary cessation of operations on a full or partial basis. The employer is also obligated to do the following:

1. Fix the period for the cessation of operations 2. Pay affected employees, for the duration of the

cessation of operations at a rate equal to a minimum of 75% of such employee’s working day’s wages received prior to the cessation of operations 3. Provide three days’ prior notice of the intended cessation of operations to a labor inspection officer and the affected employees


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

With regard to what constitutes a “need” for the employer to invoke the measure, the LPA does not provide a definition. One must therefore seek guidance from Supreme Court precedent. Such precedent indicates that (i) a reduction in customer purchase orders and (ii) financial difficulties faced by the employer warrant the “need” to invoke the temporary cessation of operations. It is also clear that an employer’s own failure to conduct its business efficiently does not give cause for such employer to invoke Section 75 of the LPA. The need must also be significant and must seriously impact the employer’s business (Supreme Court Case No. 8193/2000). The Supreme Court strictly considers this element as the consequence thereof affects employees who will receive less than normal wages. In relation to situations of poor business operations resulting from force majeure events, employers are entitled to withhold 100 percent of wages from employees for the duration of the affected period. A force majeure event is defined under the Thai Civil and Commercial Code as “any event the happening or pernicious results of which could not be prevented even if the person against whom it happened or threatened to happen were to take such appropriate care as might be expected from him in his situation and in such condition.” Earthquakes and tsunamis are always considered force majeure events pursuant to Thai law. Accordingly, an employer who operates a hotel business does not need to pay wages to affected employees when such employer temporarily ceases business operations as a result of a tsunami. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the following events are not force majeure events:

• Violent seasonal storms (Supreme Court Case No. 2140/1977)

• Seasonal wildfires (Supreme Court Case No. 830/1976)

• Burning grass causing the destruction of electric

poles (Supreme Court Precedent Case No. 179/1979) • Electricity shortage caused by falling trees (Supreme Court Precedent Case No. 529/1980) • Flooding of an employer’s premises (Supreme Court Case No. 118/1982) • Burning of an employer’s factory. (Supreme Court Precedent Case No. 2560/1986) Note, however, that although the above events do not qualify as force majeure events and thereby business

: closures resulting from such events would not entitle employers to withhold 100 percent of wages, employers may have cause to apply for the temporary cessation of operations under LPA Section 75. It is important to note that employers must fix the period of cessation of operations. Therefore, employers must consider several factors before issuance of the measure. For example, if an employer’s factory was destroyed in a fire, such employer may wish to cease operations fully until such time so as to rebuild the factory. However, if the employer ceases operations due to a reduction in purchase orders, the employer may choose to separate employees into three groups and rotate the employees for a period until such time as the number of purchase orders increases. In addition, an employer must also heed conditions stated in any Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

which it may have with a labor union or with the employees regarding the temporary cessation of operations. If an employer fails to proceed with the required process in the CBA, an affected employee may claim compensation from the employer or lodge a criminal charge against the employer for violation of the CBA. If the employer’s business has a labor union, it is likely that the union will challenge the measures taken by the employer. Therefore, employers should act cautiously when considering measures such as the temporary cessation of operations. In practice, some employers will consult with the labor union committee to find the best way to implement a temporary cessation of operation in order to minimize its impact on employees. Depending on an employer’s surrounding circumstances, employers should ensure that they take the required steps necessary and seek adequate advice prior to implementing a temporary cessation of operations.

Myths about Wine by Axel Blom photo Jørgen Udvang


he conservative atmosphere of Pacific City Club was a perfect frame for a serious wine evening for members of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, or so we thought. Only, the evening wasn’t serious, but fun with lots of learning points to take home. Nobody left the club disappointed after Wine Educator (he didn’t feel comfortable with the esteemed title “Guru”!) Paolo Conselvan introduced us to the world of Italian wines and educated the gathering of some 25 members of the Chamber on a few tricks as well as pairings of food and wine. We started off with something that looked like a strange looking pink bubbly, but which turned out to be a beautiful and refreshing Prosecco Follador Rosè, a wine which paired very well with the delicious tuna tartar snacks prepared by Chef Denis Lartigue. The wine is also great for cleaning the mouth as the bubbles remove the greasiness of the food. Before leaving the Prosecco, Paolo showed us how to open a bottle of sparkling wine or champagne. And it was neither with a big bang nor by the use of a sabre, but gently easing the cork out until a faint sigh “puh”, leaving most of the gas in the bubbles.

What Paolo Conselvan does not know about wine is probably not worth knowing

Our next wine was the Villa Martina Sauvignon, a quite heavy and minerallic white wine. Paolo explained to us that the heaviness was caused by the rich clay soil in which the grapes grow in north-eastern Italy. This wine, although a Sauvignon Blanc, was very unlike the crisp almost colourless “new world” Sauvignon Blancs. It matched wonderfully with the marinated Norwegian salmon canapés served. During the transition to the next wine, Paolo educated us on corks and what do to when the sommelier presents us with a cork in a restaurant. Finally, a red wine, the Chianti Colli senesi Farnetella was served. It was dark reddishpurple with ruby glints and had a overtone of leather and spices. It paired very nice with the chicken liver canapés with onion. Paolo finished the evening telling us about wine glasses and their application. Paolo Conselvan heads up “Tell Me Wine” whose mission it is to educate people in enjoying wine. Paolo can be contacted by email: Cheers from all of us to Paolo for presenting at this happy evening. Thai-Norwegian Business Review


The Power of Goals Henrik Essen

by Henrik Essen


uccess rarely happens by chance, success happens by design and planning. I truly believe that this is a fact of life. Over the last 25 years I have studied and coached hundreds of very successful people. All of them had clearly defined what they wanted out of life. Studies have shown that people who set clear and compelling goals are much more successful and fulfilled than those who don’t. When people seem to lack discipline or willpower it is not that they are lazy, it is just that their daily professional and/or personal life is not exciting enough

Henrik Essen is a Consultant and Executive Coach. His work is to help people raise their self-awareness through individual profiling, define specific goals, remove interference, and release people’s potential in order to help them be successful in business and life. Over the years he has helped many of our members using his philosophy and will also in this number of the Business Review share his views on how to excel in Business and in Life. Today he mainly coaches and consults company leaders, senior and middle managers and management teams, but also individual professionals on a private basis. He also work with organizations, implementing what he calls a “Perform to Win” philosophy. Henrik Essen lives in Singapore but works globally. His main services are: • Executive Coaching • Personal Coaching • Personal Profiling • Perform to Win Projects • Career Transition & Outplacement If you wish to know more about the P-Model and develop your leadership skills please contact:


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

for them. They simply lack dreams and goals, something to strive for in life. They are not clear about what really matters to them. So a very important step towards success in life is to establish your priorities in life and focus on these, nothing else. Pay attention to the results you achieve. Your results don’t lie. You are either financially ok or you are not. You either have what you want or you don’t. You either have a great job or you don’t. You are either happy or you are not. You either command respect or you don’t. You either maintain your ideal body weight or you don’t. You either have a great relationship with your spouse, family and friends or you don’t. So, pay attention to what you achieve in life! What I’m saying is that you can’t escape from the results you achieve. If you don’t reach what you are looking for you need to change your behavior and take new and different actions. This is especially important if you are a manager because you need to lead your team towards future success. In order to do that you need to establish where you (and your team) are today and where you want to be tomorrow. Successful people have crystal clear goals and they always take the necessary actions in order to achieve their goals. Notice that I didn’t say “take action” in general. Just taking random actions is not enough. You need to be willing to do whatever it takes (that always means with integrity). It means to take bold and massive actions in order to achieve what you are looking for. You need to take action now. Just go ahead and do it. Listen to your inner voice and get going today, not tomorrow. Your inner guidance system will tell you what you need to do. If you keep doing what you presently are doing you will get what you presently are getting. If this isn’t what you are looking for you simply need to change your approach. Let’s get straight to the point: If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything you do and experience in life. This includes what results you achieve in your professional and personal life, the quality of relationships you have, the state of your physical fitness and health, your income and financial situation, your feelings and emotions – basically everything!

I’m not saying it is easy to succeed in life, but it’s certainly possible. The problem is that many of us are playing the “blame game”. We blame our parents, our bosses, our colleagues, our friends, our spouse, the economy, the weather, our lack of money etc., etc. We blame everything and anyone for our lack of success or happiness. The “blame game” is useless and simply not effective. What you need to do is to take a deep look into the real reason for your problems – yourself and your lack of goals and actions. If you really want to reach your dreams and goals you need to take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions. You need to take charge of your life! This means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reasons why you can’t take that extra step. It means to stop blaming the world for your misfortunes. You need to take charge and focus on what you want from life instead of what you don’t want. Forget about the past, focus on the present and plan for the future. What I am trying to convey to you is that the results

you experience in life is a combination of your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. If you don’t like the results you are getting you need to change your approach. You need to take new, different and bold actions. That’s why setting goals are so important. It gets us going! Always remember that you are in charge of your own life – you can’t delegate this to someone else. Establish and focus on your priorities and you will have a chance to create wonders for yourself, your career, your family, your company and your general surroundings. Let me finish with some questions for you to ponder:

• Are you in charge of your life or is someone else? • Are you clear about what you want in life? • Have you established what’s most important in your life?

• Have you specified some challenging and

motivating goals in line with your priorities?

• Are you taking the necessary actions in order to reach your dreams and goals?

• If you answer no to any of the above questions, what are you going to do about it?


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

09.09.09 - dtac House Warming

by Karine Slørdahl photo dtac


n the auspicious date 09.09.09 dtac officially opened their new office building in Chamchuree Square. The building was blessed in accordance with tradition with monks, offerings and prayer for employees and guests. In the evening, dtac organized a grand opening for their business partners and employees. The evening was filled with speeches and entertainment and visitors and guests were introduced to the new offices with guided tours around the office floors and common areas.

Tore Johnsen, the dtac CEO, warmly welcomed all the guests. He explained the history and main purpose of moving to the new building. The offices are mainly open working spaces aiming to increase cooperation between different teams and support project work. Local Thai companies and artists mainly made the materials chosen in the decoration of the offices. Dtac also expect to reduce travels costs and CO2 emissions by gathering employees in the same building. The company encourages their employees to utilize laptops to increase flexibility.

Chief Commercial Officer Thana Thienachariya and CEO Tore Johnsen made a spectacuar entrance and greated all the guests with a warm welcome.

Not only Tore Johnsen was on the stand this evening. All the people involved in the arrangements were employees at dtac. It was impressing to see the range of performance they had put on. They singlehandedly managed everything from waiting and serving to dancing, singing and even pantomime. In the new locations dtac has 22nd to 41st floor at their disposal. And the building it self is quite a masterpiece with every square meter thoroughly planned. The lucky dtac employees can enjoy a brand new exercise centre at the 38th floor with nothing less than a 200 meters running track and all the best of equipment available. If you’re in a more relaxed mood

you can choose to hang out in the lobby on the 32nd floor. The building also has a creative floor and of course a very well equipped business centre. Dtac’s new office building also holds one of dtac’s three call centres and a world class Service Operation Centre which is manned by a dedicated team 24 hours a day. Dtac has been in the Chamchuree Square Building since June this year and has managed to relocate all their 3200 employees from the Chai Building on Vibhavadi Road and four other office buildings. With approximately 61,160 square metres ready for use the new location is clearly one of the largest singlecompany offices in Bangkok.

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


With the compliments of

Attorneys at Law

Kamthorn, Surachet & Somsak 31st Floor, Sinn Sathorn Tower 77/131-132 Krungthonburi Road Klongtonsai, Klongsarn Bangkok 10600 Telephone: +66 (0) 2440 0288-97 Fax: +66 (0) 2440 0298-00 E-mail:

Thailand’s Economy Thailand’s Economyatata aGlance Glance Basic Figures Thailand (2008)

















Geography Geographic Area: TH 514,000 sq. km Geographic Area NO: 385,199 sq. km Highest peak TH: Doi Inthanon 2,565 m Highest peak NO: Galdhøpiggen 2,469 m Inland water areas TH: 2,230 km Inland water areas NO: 16,360 km Coastline TH: 3,219 km Coastline NO: 25,148 km



Stock Exchange Index (SET) 7.00






Manufacturing Index 200

Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce







Thai-Norwegian Business Review












Apr09 May09 Jun09 Jul09 Aug09 Sep09


Import 1,348 (1,310) MNOK Export 2,112 (1,985) MNOK




Basic Figures: BOI. Comparisons: Wikipedia. GDP/Capita and Thai Population: Wikipedia. Thai GDP and CPI: Bank of Thailand. Quarterly GDP: NESDB. SET: Stock Exchange of Thailand. Exchange Rate THB/NOK: Manufacturing Production Index: Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce. Bilateral Trade: Statistics Norway. Petrol and BigMac prices as of 30 October 2009

Bilateral trade 2008 400

175 125



















5.38 12.12 11.87 40.00




2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Other bits and pieces Petrol/litre (95 E10) NOK: TH Petrol/litre (95 Octane) NOK: NO McDonald BigMac price NOK: TH McDonald BigMac price NOK: NO


Exchange Rates



65.5 mill 4.7 mill 8,160,522 560,484 71/75 78/82


May09 Jun09 Jul09 Aug09 Sep09 Oct09


Demographics Population TH: Population NO: Population Bangkok: Population Oslo: Life expectancy M/F TH: Life expectancy M/F NO:


2005 2006 2007 2008 2009p 2010p













Some comparisons




0.0 -4.0

Male Female

Thai Consumer Price Index



Thai Population 2008

80+ 70-74 60-64 50-54 40-44 30-34 20-24 10-14 0- 4

Thai GDP Growth (%)


Top 10 Exports 2008 %/value USD bill. IT equipment 10.4%/17.3 Cars and automotive 8.9%/14.7 Refined fuel 4.5%/7.5 Precious stones/jewellery 4.4%/7.2 Rubber 4.1%/6.8 Circuit boards 3.9%/6.5 Rice 3.5%/5.9 Polymers etc. 3.2%/5.2 Iron, steel etc. 3.0%/5.0 Rubber products 2.6%/4.2


10-30% 10-15% 7% 0-37%



Corporate income Tax Withholding Tax Value Added Tax Personal income Tax

GDP/Capita (TUSD)


Export Growth y-o-y 16.8% Trade Balance USD 0.2 bill Current Account Balance USD -0.2 bill International Reserves USD 111.0 bill Minimum wage (Bangkok) Baht 203/day


You work hard for your money We promise to do the same The only Nordic Private Bank in Asia Pacific Tel: +65 63570895, e-mail : 50 Raffles Place #36-01, Singapore Land Tower, Singapore 048623

Thai-Norwegian Business Review 3-2009  

Magazine for the members of Thai-Norwegian Business Review. This issue is about Norwegian Seafood

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