Economy October 25, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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Deals struck to lure Japanese SME investment

Japanese financial institutions and state agencies will work with the Industry Ministry and the Board of Investment to promote more investment by Japanese SMEs especially in the steel, automobile, consumer electronics, and machinery and equipment industries.

Udom Wongviwatchai, secretary-general of the BOI, said yesterday that the BOI and the ministry would promote investment from Akita, Japan’s sixth-largest prefecture with strengths in electric components, machinery, foodstuffs, forestry and wood products, and chemicals.

The BOI will also link up with Japan’s Fidea Holdings, a financial group comprising Hokuto Bank and Shonai Bank, which have 82 and 80 branches in Japan.

Most of their customers are SMEs in such industries as automobiles, consumer electronics, and machinery and equipment, which have strong potential and are a target group for investment in Thailand.

In the first nine months of this year, Japanese companies accounted for 60.3 per cent of all foreign applications for BOI privileges, with projects worth Bt211.35 billion, mainly in autos and parts, steel, machinery and equipment, consumer electronics, chemical products, and paper and services.

Thai Airways wins accolades

Thai Airways International recently placed in the top three of four categories for Business Traveller’s Asia-Pacific Travel Awards, which are based on readers’ comments.

The flag carrier came in third in Best Airline, Best Asia-Pacific Airline, Best Economy Class and Best Frequent Flyer Programme.

THAI president Sorajak Kasemsuvan said yesterday that the accolades were a testament to the airline’s premium services at every level.

Agreement on Nakhon Kasem rents

TCC Land Co, the property arm of beverage tycoon Charoen Siriwattanabhakdi, and business communities in Bangkok’s Nakhon Kasem area yesterday reached a preliminary agreement for existing land-rental rates to be extended by one more year, a source from the communities said.

Rent was already raised about a year ago by 25-100 per cent depending on proximity to prime streets.

TCC Land bought more than 14 rai of land and commercial buildings with 440 shophouses in the area. The source said TCC Land wanted to start developing the area next year but would retain its old value and identity.


Staff budget mulled for ‘superboard’

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will meet today to consider a proposed Bt20-million personnel budget for the “superboard”, whose mandate is to evaluate the NBTC’s performance.

The superboard was appointed by the Senate in April and it completed its working regulations in August but it is still not functioning as it has to wait for the NBTC to approve its operating budget.

Earlier the body received Bt40 million from the NBTC to engage project advisers, but this Bt20-million budget is about human resources, Takorn Tantasit, secretary-general of the NBTC, said yesterday.

48 foreign investors get approval

Forty-eight foreign investors were given the nod to operate businesses in Thailand by the Foreign Business Committee of the Department of Business Development on Tuesday. Their combined business investment amounts to Bt1.629 billion and they employ 586 Thai workers.

Of the 48, 30 are in the service sector with total investment of Bt1.110 billion. The investors come from Singapore, China, France, Japan, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Germany, the Netherlands, the US, Norway, Australia, the UK and Brunei.

Of the rest, seven entered Thailand to set up representative offices at a cost of Bt21 million and most of their activities are to report information such as economic and market movements to headquarters. They come from Japan, France, Germany and the US.

The other four are in the retail sector with combined investment of Bt40 million – from Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Luxembourg – while the other four are in the wholesale business with combined investment of Bt115 million – from Italy and Japan.

As of October, the number of foreigners approved for investment in Thailand rose 9 per cent on a month-on-month basis, while investment surged 332 per cent month on month. Year on year, this number rose 109 per cent, but investment dropped 18 per cent.

House and Condo Show

The Housing Business Association, the Thai Condominium Association, and the Thai Real Estate Association jointly announced that the 29th House and Condo Show will run from November 14 to 17, 2013 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.

The four-day event is expected to bring up to 100,000 visitors and effect sales worth Bt3 billion.

Roonganant Limthongthaeng, who chairs the organising committee, said that demand for housing units had been growing, especially when it comes to property projects along rapid transit routes.

During the first seven months of 2013, a total of 39,117 new condo units have been registered. It is up by 7 per cent when compared with the same period the previous year. (New condo units account for 56 per cent of the total new housing units).

DHL Global Forwarding sets up office in Yangon

DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post, has strengthened its Southeast Asian operations with the establishment of a wholly owned Myanmar office in Yangon.

The move is the culmination of almost 20 years of operations through agency representation and includes the appointment of Christoph Beier as country manager.

Kelvin Leung, chief executive officer for the Asia-Pacific region, said yesterday that Myanmar had the potential of becoming one of the largest markets in Southeast Asia.

A favourable production environment is also attracting investment from major international corporations across various industries.

The company’s logistics experts based in Yangon will help bridge businesses in Myanmar with a network of international business partners both within and beyond the region.