BUSINESS & TRAVEL
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Japanese steelmakers keen to invest in Thailand

Combating Human Trafficking Training Course held in Khon Kaen

New oil field found in northern Thailand

Sterling Assets wealth management seminar

Hard Rock International wants to climb global charts

Japanese steelmakers keen to invest in Thailand

Tokyo (TNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Industry Minister Kosit Panpiamras says that top Japanese carmakers and steel conglomerates are keen on investing in Thailand despite short-term factors including oil prices.
Kosit spoke to reporters last Saturday after meeting top executives of Nissan and the Nippon Steel Corporation.
The minister expressed his view that the companies are “long-term investors” who look beyond the host of short-term volatilities.
In particular, he said, Nippon Steel is interested in upstream activities of steel production, which is what Thailand wants.
Top executives of Nissan Motors meanwhile inquired about incentives for investment in environment-friendly vehicles, the so-called eco-car project. Kosit emphasised the high value and long-term benefits of these two potential investment projects.
“In the eco-car segment, we are confident that at least two companies are prepared to put Bt15 billion into Thailand and more should follow. As for upstream steel production, the potential investment could be worth over three billion dollars,” the minister indicated.
Kosit said the National Economic and Social Development Board has been assigned to prepare a detailed plan to develop the upstream steel industry in Thailand, most likely to be located along the southern seaboard development zone spanning the provinces of Chumphon, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The minister emphasised that any detailed plan resulting from NESDB work will undergo a public hearing process in order to avoid setbacks experienced by, for example, the development of the Maptaphut industrial estate in Rayong.


Combating Human Trafficking Training Course held in Khon Kaen

Mekong Institute (MI) Director Dr Suchat Katima, seated 5th from right, posing for a group photo together with 28 course participants who were the representatives from the six GMS countries during the Graduation Day ceremony of the Regional Training Programme to Combat Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). Seen with Director Suchat, at 6th from right, is Ms. Melissa Stewart, Senior Project Advisor, UNIAP - Anti Human Trafficking. The training was jointly organized by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (UNIAP) and MI on November 5-13, 2007 at the MI Conference Room.


New oil field found in northern Thailand

Phetchabun (TNA) - Pan Orient Energy (Thailand) Ltd., a Canadian energy firm, has found an additional oil field with a volume of about 5,000 barrels per day in its concession area in the northern province of Phetchabun, said a senior Energy Ministry official last weekned.
Krairit Nilkuha, director-general of Mineral Fuels Department, said the discovery was made during a recent survey by the company in its Wichian Buri concession area.
Currently, the company is producing between 600-700 barrels of oil per day from the same area, said Mr. Krairit, adding that the new oil field would help lower oil imports by Thailand.
The Energy Ministry has given a concession of 65 plots for a survey of oil and gas to companies and it is expected that around Bt3-4 billion baht would be spent as exploration expenses within the next three or four years.


Sterling Assets wealth management seminar

This month, Sterling Assets hosted its end of year expat seminars in Chiang Mai and Bangkok

(l-r) Krit Suktakchan and Ed Schoeder both from Sunbelt, Jackson Bryan III, Richard Colburn and Jackson Bryan II

At the Amari Rincome on Thursday November 15, Sterling Assets Managing Director Richard Colburn gave a presentation introducing the main features of estate planning. Having mentioned to a number of friends where I was going; I had heard from 3rd parties that Richard was extremely well qualified – probably one of the highest qualified independent financial adviser in the Far East. Anyway there were over 30 people attending this first seminar. He also announced some radical changes in UK legislation that now allow expats of any nationality to transfer their UK pension rights outside the UK. What I liked most was one line he used ‘ you should never give your money to a financial advisor’ – I was amazed – then he qualified the statement saying the money goes direct to a major bank or financial institution that he recommends. He discussed various aspects of Sterling Assets – Estate Planning and Asset Protection being two of the most important. What happens in the unfortunate event of a persons death etc etc.
He explained that in many cases it differs for each Nationality.

(l-r) Richard Colburn, Frank Wicks and John Robertson were the speakers at the seminar.
Ed Schroeder from Sunbelt was invited to give a briefing on his company. Most of the audience had previously heard of Sunbelt if not actually had dealing with them. He explained the core businesses ie property, business services but also went on to explain they now deal in accounting services and Visa problems amongst other things. Sunbelt has had a long history – 30 years it started in the US and it has been in Thailand for 9 years; so a wealth of experience to help the ‘expat community’.
John Robertson, Managing Director of the Synergy Partnership, a specialist investment research company, discussed the niche services that his company provides in support of Independent financial services companies like Sterling Assets. John went into quite a bit of detail of several funds Having lived and worked in the Far East for over 20 years; he has built up a large network of contacts in the financial sector from around the world. However he mentioned that all the funds are approved by the monetary authority of Singapore.
Frank Weicks, Board member of FERC, a local charity that supports rural children in the North of Thailand, mentioned their work and the upcoming fund raiser, ‘Sweet Charity’ being held on November 30 in support of scholarships to local children. It is 1000 baht per ticket and is being held at Hinlay Restaurant.
Richard explained that Sterling Assets intends that all future wealth management events will include a community element in which at least one professional expat business is able to present the benefits of their services to the community. They will also invite a featured charity or good cause to talk about their work and fundraising events.
These events will be sponsored entirely by Sterling Assets. Guest speakers from local expat businesses will be selected entirely on merit.
Attendance at these community events will be free of charge to all attendees, including guest expat business speakers. I believe this was the first one of its kind here in Chiang Mai – however I am certain it will grow and the next seminar will need a larger room at the Amari Rincome Hotel. The next seminar is planned for February/March 2008
For more information on professional financial planning and future community seminars please email: [email protected] or telephone 053 839 463.


Hard Rock International wants to climb global charts

Hard Rock International intends to have 100 Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos worldwide, 10 to 15 of which will be in Asia.
Acquired by Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment in December 2006, Hard Rock International presently owns, operates or has licensed rights to seven full-service hotels in Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, Tampa, Hollywood, Bali and Pattaya. Three more are opening in Biloxi, Penang and Macau.
Hard Rock International president and CEO, Mr. Hamish Dodds, said in a visit to Manila he envisioned rapid growth for the hotel brand, driven primarily in the short-term out of the US.
“We are now turning our attention to international markets, with a particular focus on Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” he said. “Within Asia, the growth prospects for our hotel, gaming and cafe products are tremendous, given the big population base and the increasing wealth of Asian economies. We just have to be pragmatic in choosing our priorities.”
Mr. Dodds added the company was exploring opportunities for a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino or resort in the Philippines. “The Philippines offers both the business and resort opportunities we are interested in. If we come across the right deal, which is good for our brand and the market, we are very open to it.” (TTG)