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18 foreign companies receive licences to operate in Thailand – September

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18 foreign companies receive licences to operate in Thailand – September | The Thaiger
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“Since January this year, 155 foreign companies have been granted licences to conduct business in Thailand.”

The Thai Department of Business Development has granted licences, during September, to 18 foreign companies to conduct business in Thailand.

The director-general Vuttikrai Leewiraphan says most of these companies are from Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, employing 428 Thais and have an investment capital of more than 470 million baht, as well as technological know-how from their countries.

“Thailand is in need of technology transfer in the fields of off-shore rig engineering and decommissioning, petroleum drilling and safety, electrical and electronic systems for platform screen doors, agile software development, aerospace engineering, and more.”

“Among the 18 foreign companies which were granted licences, six are in business services – IT, accounting, financial, organisation development, while five are in consumer services: e-payment, e-recruitment software, equipment renting.”

“As for the rest, five are in private construction contracting and two in the retail business.”

The Nation reports, according to statistics from the department, since January this year, 155 foreign companies have been granted licences to conduct business in Thailand, generating more than 21 billion baht worth of investment.

Thailand has yet to liberalise its services sector to foreign companies, causing these investors to apply for licences to conduct businesses in specific fields first.

The sectors that a majority of foreign companies are interested in include engineering and construction of power plants and elevated train routes, petrol vehicles and equipment management and decommissioning, and resource survey satellite testing and technical support.

SOURCE: The Nation

18 foreign companies receive licences to operate in Thailand - September | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Director-general Vuttikrai Leewiraphan of the Department of Business Development

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Massage workers in Pattaya call for reopening of spas and massages shops

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Massage workers in Pattaya call for reopening of spas and massages shops | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Saeree News

A group of about 50 workers from Pattaya massage shops and spas gathered together to call for the reopening of their businesses after being closed for the past month due to Covid-19 restrictions. The group called themselves the “Pattaya Health Massage” presented a letter signed by 60 massage shops, spas and gyms to Bang Lamung District Sheriff this morning.

Chon Buri is listed as a “high risk” area with maximum restrictions. Many nonessential businesses in the province have been closed including massage shops, spas and gyms.

Now that Chon Buri has gone 5 consecutive days without a local Covid-19 infection, the workers say it’s time for businesses, like massage shops and spas, to reopen.

The workers also raised the point that other provinces and districts across Thailand are loosening restrictions as the number of active cases continues to drop. The workers also said that there are no Covid-19 clusters or major outbreaks related to massage shops or fitness venues.

Bang Lamung District Sheriff Amnat Charoensri met the protesters and collected the petition and says he understands that many people need to get back to work to earn income. Local officials are expected to hold a meeting within the next week to potentially loosen restrictions.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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The ‘office’ is SO last century. Say hello to the world of remote working.

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The ‘office’ is SO last century. Say hello to the world of remote working. | The Thaiger

Do you work from home? Or can you work anywhere have a laptop and wi-fi? Are you a trader or selling stuff online? You’re part of a growing trend in modern work practices as the fancy city office becomes an expensive relic of the ‘old normal’.

2020 became the year of people working from home. In same case, it was the year of being told to stay home so there wasn’t much option. During Thailand’s lockdowns in April and May, offices were closed and employers had to scramble to find alternatives to the “office”. With the rise of Zoom and other video conferencing software, ways of tracking time-on-keyboard and hundreds of other monitoring apps, employers suddenly discovered they could actually run their businesses without an office. There were certainly new dynamics and unforeseen challenges, but for the most part, it worked.

Companies had worked from central office locations for a hundred years. The remote/work-from-home option was a new test for everyone involved but many early wrinkles have been ironed out after an accelerated learning curve due to the Covid-19 situation.

In the early days, most companies weren’t ready to close up the office and send their workers home claiming that some basic operations such as accounting and invoicing were not yet able to be done online (Thailand has a love of hard-copies and paperwork).

Team meetings were also more clumsy online. There were even companies that told their staff to keep coming in to the office as there was no legal barrier preventing them from doing so. But many smaller and less digitally-savvy firms required workers to come in and risk contracting the virus.

In the US, the Bureau of Labour Statistics found only 29% of jobs in the US could be completed from home, while in Thailand (a far less digitised and service-based economy) the percentage was probably lower.

But larger Thai firms, such as Unilever and True Digital allowed nearly 100% of their white-collar employees to work from home early during the lockdown phase. Other companies adapted quickly and found that working remotely, or from home, allowed their businesses additional flexibility. Many workers also say they enjoyed the lack of office interruptions too.

While Unilever was unable to send its factory workforce home, it was able to shift all sales and executive personnel fully online to avoid possible Covid exposure finding hitherto unknown improvements in the firm’s e-commerce presence.

Thai startups such as Eko (“your complete employee experience platform”) was able to capitalise on the rise of work-from-home with its “work anywhere” employee application. Eko experienced 200% year-on-year sales growth in the first half of 2020 as companies looked for solutions to connect employees from home.

Teleconferencing juggernaut Zoom was trading shares at US$88 at the start of 2020, to rise to $568 by mid-October, only to trail off to $337 by the end of the year – the fickle nature of a fast-rising tech start-up.

Employees, generally, prefer the shift to working from home and the flexible hours. It doesn’t suit all businesses or all employees, but it suits many. A study by by recruitment specialists Robert Walters Thailand found 75% of workers want opportunities to work-from-home and only 25% want a return to full-time work at the office.

Last month the police and the Bangkok Metropolitan Organisation police urged businesses to allow employees to work from home at least once a week to cut down on traffic-induced pollution.

The Covid-19 pandemic also forced countries to rethink their supply chains and reliance on foreign goods. China, for example, responded to the outbreak by shutting down factories, some of which other countries relied on for medical equipment needed to fight the virus, and vital components needed for manufacturing of goods in China and other countries.

Whilst there was an initial push-back on China, the international supply chain has become so entwined with Chinese businesses and manufacturers, and China with other countries, that it would take decades to unwind.

One of the biggest winners this year has been the rise of the delivery services. Grab Bike, Food Panda, We Serve and Line Bike are the best known but there are start ups making inroads into the growing delivery space as well as many smaller and larger businesses that have their own deliveries.

These businesses have been able to thrive on the ‘new normal’ stay-at-home culture. Eat at home, work at home, shop from home, watch movies at home – the trend is growing as people realise that they can get almost everything delivered, timely, efficiently and at little additional cost, usually free.

The big test will be once the Covid situation settles down, whatever that means and whenever it happens, and companies look back at the successes and failures of their employees working from home. But there’s no doubt the pandemic and the imposed restrictions ave accelerated the need to develop new ways of allowing employees to work safely, remotely or from home.

The successful transition of some office work to work-at-home will also put continued pressure on the commercial real estate market. Many employers are looking at their monthly office rental outgoings and starting to measure the return on their investment.

The rise of the work-at-home phenomenon and the digital nomad will be the main trends for office work in 2021.

This article was written laying on a couch, at home, at 6.15am in the morning… because we can.

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