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Nikkei Group seeks Thai partner as it eyes region

NIKKEI GROUP, one of the largest news corporations in Japan, is eyeing a partnership with a TV production house in Thailand to capitalise on the expected economic growth driven by the regional economic integration.

"Thailand is among high-potential markets in this growing region where the group expects to have a foothold. Other markets include Indonesia and Vietnam," Yosahiko Sakurai, executive officer for Nikkei-TBS Smart Media Business Partnership and senior consultant for broadcasting and telecommunication bureau at Tokyo-based Nikkei Inc, said yesterday.

Like other leading Japanese companies, Nikkei Group, which specialises in publishing financial, business and industry news, is also shifting its focus to Southeast Asian countries to capitalise on the Asean Economic Community that comes into effect next year. In recent years, a number of Japanese firms and brands have been flocking to this region, particularly Thailand.

Sakurai added that the group owned TV Tokyo, one of the major networks in Japan, and produced several programmes in close cooperation with Nikkei's editorial bureau.

Given its strong broadcasting arm, Nikkei Group wants to have a deeper collaboration with Thai content producers to facilitate its business expansion here and to create a strong business relationship between Thailand and Japan.

Additionally, the Nikkei Group has a cooperation with GroupM, Thailand's leading full-service media-investment management operation, to launch an business documentary from Japan called "Dawn of Gaia" on Channel 3 SD, a new digital channel. The programme will telecast its first episode on Sunday, July 6, from 11pm to midnight.

Hideaki Imai, managing director of Nikkei Group Asia based in Singapore, said the TV documentary series was very popular among Japanese businesspeople. It features people and companies who have faced challenges and difficulties and used their ingenuity to overcome challenges in Japan. This TV documentary was a cooperative venture between the editorial bureau of Nikkei and TV Tokyo.

Rathakorn Surbsuk, GroupM's trading partner, said this TV programme had niche content that could attract unique audiences such as business owners, young entrepreneurs, office workers and students who are looking for business inspiration.

First in a decade

Surin Kittayaphonghun, executive vice president of Bangkok Entertainment and Channel 3 SD, said this TV series was the first Japanese show in a decade that would be broadcast on the company's TV channel.

Sakurai added that his company also aimed to bring two other TV shows related to economic news and Japanese lifestyle to Thai viewers soon.

Apart from this movement, the group also has the regional office of Nikkei Asian Review magazine in Bangkok.

Early this week, another JapaneseTV broadcaster, Nippon TV, established a joint-venture company named Kantana Japan Corporation.

Under this partnership, Nippon Television Network Corp (Nippon TV), Nikkatsu Corp (Nikkatsu), and Kantana Group, a leading entertainment company in Thailand, aim to develop global film-production workflow.

The newly established company's main business is to receive orders throughout Japan for computer graphics |production.


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