The Nation




Hiroyuki Yoshimoto

Hiroyuki Yoshimoto

Nissan appoints new head of Thai operations

Nissan has announced the appointment of Hiroyuki Yoshimoto, currently deputy managing director of Nissan Motor (Thailand), as president of the Thai unit, effective January 1.

Current president Takayuki Kimura remains Nissan Motor (Thailand) regional vice president of Asia and Oceania, president of Nissan Motor Asia Pacific (NMAP), and president director of PT Nissan Motor Indonesia.

Yoshimoto also maintains his post as deputy managing director of NMAP and will continue to report to Kimura in both capacities.

"Yoshimoto's broad experience and leadership will help us achieve our business goals," said Takao Katagiri, executive vice president of Nissan Motor.

"I want to recognise Kimura's contribution to date, and the new structure will allow us to further focus on the execution of our Asean mid-term business plan in this very important market."

Yoshimoto began his career in 1991 and has held various management positions across diverse disciplines, leading turn-around projects, quality enhancement, human resources, information systems and process innovation within the international automotive industry.

He moved to Thailand and assumed his current position in October this year.

Indorama in Abu Dhabi plant JV

Indorama Ventures has signed a joint-venture agreement with Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company (ChemaWEyaat) to develop the Tacaamol Aromatics Plant on Madeenat ChemaWEyaat Al Gharbia's site in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.

The JV plant is expected to have an annual capacity of about 1.4 million tonnes of paraxylene and 500,000 tonnes of benzene.

Indorama Ventures will hold 49 per cent of the equity and ChemaWEyaat the remainder in a new JV business to be known as Abu Dhabi Chemicals Integration Company.

AirAsia ups Indochina flights frequency

AirAsia has strengthened its Indochina network by increasing the frequency of flights on its most popular routes in response to growing demand.

Bangkok (Don Mueang)-Yangon will have up to 28 flights weekly starting January 24, and the Bangkok (Don Mueang)-Siem Reap route will rise to 14 flights a week from January 27.

Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said the Indochina market represented another important market for AirAsia, which has enjoyed sustained high passenger growth and at present flies to six destinations in the region; Yangon and Mandalay in Myanmar, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Asia can handle impact of Fed tapering, ADB chief says

Asian Development Bank president Takehiko Nakao is confident emerging Asian economies will weather the impact of reduced US monetary stimulus, predicting average growth of about 6 per cent this year and next.

"I would like to give a more sanguine view about the impact of tapering of Federal Reserve asset purchases," Nakao said at the ADB's Tokyo office.

"The market has already incorporated elements of the tapering-off to some extent and there was a certain overreaction on the side of the market."

Strengthening US and Japanese economies should help emerging Asian nations in 2014, Nakao said.

At the same time, it is important that policy-makers in the region use the period of stability to address domestic policy needs.

The ADB raised its 2014 growth forecast for China to 7.5 per cent from 7.4 per cent this month while cutting its forecast for Southeast Asia to 5.2 per cent from 5.3 per cent. It maintained its forecasts for developing Asia's gross domestic product to grow by 6 per cent this year and 6.2 per cent next year. - Bloomberg

Egat 'ready' for gas cut-off

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand says it is prepared for a disruption of the gas supply from Myanmar.

The supply of 1,100 million cubic feet per day of gas from Myanmar will be suspended from next Tuesday to January 14 for annual maintenance.

Suthon Boonprasong, Egat deputy governor for transmission systems, said the disruption would affect power plants in the west, including southern Bangkok, which generate 3,000 megawatts.

It is estimated that 111.3 million litres of bunker oil will be used for power generation during the period, as well as 10.7 million litres of diesel.

Suthon said the fuel supply was ready and Egat had a backup supply for another five days if the maintenance is delayed.

Peak power demand in the period should not exceed 23,000MW thanks to cool weather. However, Egat urged all to be mindful of their use of electricity.

AirAsia to fly Chiang Mai-Hangzhou

AirAsia on February 21 will introduce daily direct flights between Chiang Mai and Hangzhou, eastern China, to strengthen its connectivity to the Chinese market as well as support Chiang Mai as Thailand's northern air-travel hub.

Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said Chiang Mai had consistently displayed the ability to serve as an air-travel hub and as an attractive destination for tourism investment with its varied travel appeal, which extends from cultural and religious to natural attractions.

Tassapon believes the route will be successful. It is the latest connection between Chiang Mai and China, the world's largest market and one of the fastest-growing.

Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, is building itself as a centre for tourism, business and transport.

The city is already a convenient jump-off point to Shanghai, which is only a little over an hour away by high-speed train.

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