Economy April 16, 2014 00:00

By Pichaya Changsorn
The Nation

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not-so-hidden talents

Dr Alexander Paufler, the former CEO and president of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), disagrees somewhat with Thailand Tatler magazine, which recently noted his “hidden talent” for musical composition. “I’m not that hidden,” he joked.

Actually, Paufler said he would join in a charity concert of the VieTrio (consisting of the Srinarong siblings Paye, Parn and Pintusorn) on May 29 at the Conrad Bangkok Hotel, where they will perform one of his compositions.

He is also very excited that his book that was first printed in Thailand by the Nation Group under the title “Creativity Gym”, and later in Thai by Nanmee , is going to be published in Taiwan and mainland China very soon.

After he retired from Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) last year, Paufler has been working full-time as a lecturer at Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration’s faculty of management. He has also kept himself even busier with a few more jobs including being deputy chairman of Soffico (Thailand), a provider of advanced software solutions for healthcare and other industries.

art business booming

Subhashok Unkasuvarnasiri, chairman of the executive board of Adler Subhashok Art Gallery, recently spent Bt150 million to buy a 300 square way piece of land next to his current gallery in the middle of Soi Sukhumvit 33. Even though art galleries are a relatively new industry in Thailand, he said, Adler Subhashok Art Gallery has attracted interest from local and foreign art dealers who flew in from abroad to meet with Thai art collectors and artists.

Ford assists BOI

Matt Bradley, president of Ford Asean, skipped a planned overseas trip to organise an interview with a group of foreign media in Bangkok last Friday, the final day of work before the long Songkran holiday. Companies normally avoid holding events at that time, as many Thais prepare to leave Bangkok ahead of time to avoid traffic nightmares, since millions of people traditionally go back to their homes upcountry.

Bradley held the press conference in the presence of Ogilvy public relations staff and Board of Investment officials, to talk about Ford’s commitment to Thailand and Phase 2 of its eco-car plan.

On the sidelines of a BoI press conference held earlier, board officials whispered to reporters that Ford was preparing to speak about its commitment to the eco-car programme, and handed phone numbers of Ford executives to journalists.

falling Angel

Bloomberg quoted an AT Kearney report released early this week saying Bangkok had tumbled 15 positions over the past six years in the consulting firm’s Global Cities Index ranking. The fact is, however, that the City of Angels fell 20 positions on the list during the period, from 22nd in 2008 when the index was started to 42nd in this year’s ranking.

Bangkok also does not appear in the consulting firm’s Emerging Cities Outlook ranking, produced for the first time this year. Jakarta, Manila and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, top that list, which identifies emerging cities likely to improve their global standing over the next 10 to 20 years. Cities in emerging Asia made up half of the top 20. The ranking metrics included business activity, human capital and innovation.

Nevertheless, if compared with the previous analysis done in 2012, Bangkok inched up one position on the main ranking that gauged 84 municipalities worldwide.

Contributed by Pichaya Changsorn