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Expat shift drives changes in Bangkok’s condo market

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Thailand’s dominant working expat nationality in past decades has been Japanese, currently making up 18% of expatriates in the country. But, while Japanese expatriate numbers are decreasing, a CBRE report notes that Chinese and Filipinos are on the rise. There were 28,560 Japanese expats in Thailand as of Q3 2020, just ahead of the Chinese expat contingent at 25,811.

As China’s manufacturing has shifted overseas and Filipino expatriates have increased in line with local demand for teachers fluent in English, there’s been a continuing de-centralisation of the expat communities living in Thailand.

Rathawat Kuvijitrsuwan, Head of CBRE Research and Consulting, Thailand says thatJapanese expatriates primarily work in manufacturing, export/retail/automotive, real estate services including leasing, and business services sectors.

“The decline in the Japanese expatriate population in Thailand is due to high industry maturity where locals can fulfil expatriate jobs competently, relatively high wages, and industrial relocation to neighbouring countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia.”

Rapid industrialisation in Thailand between the mid-1980s until the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 saw a surge in the Japanese expatriate population culminating in Thailand as the fourth largest Japanese population outside Japan at its 2015 peak after USA, China and Australia. However, the population size has experienced a 22% decrease since then, the lowest amount since 2012.

Meanwhile, the amount of Filipino and Chinese expatriates, the two fastest growing nationalities, have increased by 38% (13,146 to 18,472) and 31% (from 18,812 to 25,811) over the past 5 years, according to the Foreign Workers Administration Office.

Chinese nationals in Thailand work mainly in manufacturing as the country shifts its production outside China to avoid US tariffs on Chinese-made goods. Filipino nationals work mainly as teachers due to their native fluency in English and the relatively lower wages than their European, North American, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, making them a strong force behind international and bilingual schools in Bangkok.

CBRE Research reveals that extensions of downtown Bangkok such as Rama IX and Ratchadapisek have become Chinese expatriate hotspots due to amenities such as Chinese-centric restaurants, shops and convenient MRT access. Similarly, On Nut is a preferred area for Filipino expatriates due to lower rentals than early to mid-Sukhumvit while still affording convenient BTS access.

Condominiums for rent along Ekkamai BTS generally command over 15% premium in rent compared to condominiums along Phra Khanong BTS, despite being just one station apart.

“This means affordable midtown condominiums along mass transit lines with a maximum of two interchanges away from expatriate office hotspots could become increasingly attractive to investors seeking rental properties with expatriate demand as expatriate areas could de-centralise outwards in line with high-growth expatriate nationalities and their respective preferred areas.”

SOURCE: CBRE

To find the best selection of condos and other property in Thailand go to Fazwaz.com

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jack Deans

    October 1, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I am an elderly retired gentleman and would be interested in teaching English or mathematics.

    • Avatar

      don R

      October 5, 2020 at 12:07 am

      ESL is not really a good retirement gig. It requires high energy levels and can be stressful. In Thailand the pay is very low, and the hours are long.

  2. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    October 1, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    CBRE advert?
    “CBRE Group, Inc. is an American commercial real estate services and investment firm. The abbreviation CBRE stands for Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis. It is the largest commercial real estate services company in the world. The firm is ranked 128th on the Fortune 500 and has been included in the Fortune 500 every year since 2008. CBRE serves more than 90 of the top 100 companies on the Fortune 100.”

  3. Avatar

    W Ho

    October 18, 2020 at 4:53 am

    “Filipino nationals work mainly as teachers due to their native fluency in English” …
    555 😉

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Hong Kong

Up to 5,900 jobs to go as Hong Kong carrier Cathay Dragon shuts down

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Kwok Ho Eddie Wong / Flickr

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific is set to close its subsidiary, Cathay Dragon, with the loss of up to 5,900 jobs. The carrier, that used to be called Dragon Air before being absorbed by Cathay, has become yet another casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic that has decimated the aviation business.

The Bangkok Post reports that 5,300 jobs are expected to go in the airline’s Hong Kong base, with a further 600 axed overseas, accounting for 17% of Cathay’s total workforce. Cathay Dragon primarily operated short-haul routes within Asia, including direct flights from Hong Kong to Bangkok and Phuket.

Cathay Pacific bosses have hammered out a HK$2.2 billion restructuring plan that involves thousands of job cuts, pilots and cabin crew having to sign cheaper contracts, and total closure of its subsidiary carrier. The South China Morning Post describes the plan as, “life or death”, reporting cuts to a total of 8,500 jobs across the group. The parent airline is understood to be applying for approval to absorb Cathay Dragon’s routes into the Cathay Pacific network, as well as that of its low-cost carrier, HK Express.

Cathay Pacific CEO, Augustus Tang, says the restructuring plan is essential to Cathay’s future survival as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic show no sign of abating.

“The global pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on aviation and the hard truth is we must fundamentally restructure the Group to survive. We have to do this to protect as many jobs as possible and meet our responsibilities to the Hong Kong aviation hub and our customers.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| South China Morning Post

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Business

Thailand’s media spend shrinks as brands shy away from ‘bad’ news

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PHOTO: Thailand Business News

Young protesters, who use social media and messaging intuitively vs Thai officials and police who try and track those messages to keep up with the plans of the protest movement. Although Thai police have water cannons and brute force, the Thai youth at the core of the current protest movement also have a valuable weapon. And it’s being used more than ever at the moment. But this increased traffic is not transforming into increased media spending from Thailand’s main brands.

Social media analyts Wisesight say social media is being ‘weaponised’, not only to plan and communicate with fellow protesters, but also “spread the word” of the issues behind their campaign and share their stories with friends. Posts on social media have nearly doubled to 40 million messages a day over the past week. The daily average of posts in past months are around 20-22 million a day.

“Some 40 million messages were posted on social media in Thailand on Oct 15, mainly driven by political strife,” according to Kla Tangsuwan, CEO of Wisesight.

But the increased traffic on social media hasn’t meant that brands are increasing their spending to take advantage of the additional ‘reach’.

In fact, Wisesight say brands are pausing digital media spending after the political conflict ramped up this week. Usually digital media spend spikes in Q4 with the approaching festive season, a peak buying time for consumers. Media were hoping that sentiment would rebound as the world “pandemic” started the settle in October, but fresh political protests, and a surge in new global Covid-19 cases, have caused brands to “pause or wait and see”.

“Brands have begun to hold back on digital media spending in the fourth quarter as political messages flood online platforms, drawing attention away from commercial activity.”

According to the business director of Media Intelligence, Pawat Ruangdejworachai, businesses are pausing their media spend.

“They lack confidence and are hard to gain attraction from audiences that have more interest in political movements.”

The report also notes that Thailand’s social media landscape, and broader media landscape generally, are entering a new paradigm where usage is driven mainly by Generations Y and Z who use their media intuitively and consume it in real time, the vast majority on their smartphones.

Gen Y. Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1980 and 1994. They are currently between 24-39 years old.

Gen Z. Gen Z is the newest generation to be named and were born between 1996 and 2015. They are currently between 5-24 years old.

According to Media Intelligence, media spending is expected to fall 20% in Thailand to 71.2 billion baht this year. Internet channels are forecast to be the only media which will see growth this year, up 0.5% to 19.7 billion baht.

SOURCE: wisesight.com

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Business

Foreign investors and businesspeople seek clarity about the current “situation” in Thailand

The Thaiger

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Foreign investors and businesspeople seek clarity about the current “situation” in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Are business groups still able to "meet"? - EU Business Avenues

With Thailand battling to come up with a safe and sustainable manner of re-opening its borders, and the footage of the street protests reaching out to a world audience, foreign investors are saying they need more details of what they can or cannot do in Thailand under the new State of Emergency.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce is calling for additional details and a long term “plan” about how Thailand is going to slowly re-open and how foreign businesses can continue to invest in the country under the current “restrictions”. The State of Emergency, announced hastily on Thursday morning at 4am and then endorsed by the Thai cabinet yesterday afternoon, sends mixed signals to business and the Thai Chamber of Commerce is seeking more clarification.

TCC chairman Kalin Sarasin says that foreign investors are enquiring whether they can go ahead with holding conferences and meetings in Thailand, after the decrees’ ban on gatherings of more than 5 people. People in a BTS Skytrain carriage, or even the meeting of the Thai cabinet yesterday are gatherings of more than 5 people, so the TCC want answers to what, specifically, is allowed and what is not.

The Nation reports that Chambers of commerce in Thailand’s provinces are also asking Kalin if they will be able to continue with planned activities.

“It would take a few days to judge whether emergency rule will hit foreign-investor confidence. The economy could escape damage from political turmoil if the anti-government protests end soon.”

Meanwhile, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation, Japanese “faith in Thailand remains high”, JETRO president Atsushi Taketani says that Japanese investors “were still confident in Thailand and remain committed to driving its economy regardless of current political situation”.

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand says that Thailand’s core economic showpieces, including development of the Eastern Economic Corridor, won’t be affected by escalating political tensions.

And the deputy governor of the authority, Attapon Jirawatjanya, stated that… “ongoing anti-establishment protests would be a short-term problem”.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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