Biz Buzz

Economy July 28, 2014 00:00

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Issue of overcapacity bubbles to the surface

Many executives of Indorama Ventures, one of a handful of global firms based in Thailand, showed up at the Thailand Management Association's conference last week including its CEO Aloke Lohia.
After hearing many optimistic viewpoints about the future of Asia and Asean, he stood up to ask a very tempting question: “Is there any chance to avoid overcapacity in Asia?”
There is a risk of a property bubble not only in Asia, but also in manufacturing, and unfortunately, governments and regulators never seem able to act quickly enough, he said. 
Brains trump sweat, CEO tells professors
PTT CEO Pailin Chuchottaworn recently welcomed a group of professors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a top US business school, who asked him about the merit of the listed energy conglomerate’s project to spend Bt5.2 billion to build and support the operations of the Rayong Advanced Institute of Science and Technology over the next five years. 
US professors asked if this research project, billed as Thailand’s first research university in science and technology, would go against the interests of PTT’s shareholders.
For many Thais, however, this is a much-anticipted projects, one that they have been awaiting for a long time. 
Pailin, who spent his initial career as a university lecturer, strongly believes that the country could do better by selling its “brains” rather than the “sweat” of its labour. 
That’s why he is so cheerful that the energy giant, amid bad news and controversies involving its business conduct, recently bagged the 
“2014 R&D 100 Award” from American Industrial Research.
The research and development magazine cited PTT for its invention of the “PTT Diesel CNG” technology, which allows diesel pick-up trucks to also operate on natural gas.
Second honour for Sasin researcher
 Siriyupa Roongrerngsuke, an associate professor at the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, has been chosen by the Organisational Psychology Department at Birkbeck College of University of London to be an honorary research fellow for 2014-17. 
This is Siriyupa’s second appointment as an honorary research fellow.
She was the first and only Thai to be recognised with this fellowship.
With contribution from Pichaya Changsorn