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Phuket Business: Cashing in on Russian relations – Part II

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Mr Phisak Nivataphand, the president of the Thai-Russian Chamber of Commerce and advisor for the Russian Studies Center of Chulalongkorn University, was in Phuket recently to give a speech as part of a seminar aimed at promoting Thai-Russian business relations .

Organized by Thai-Russian media firm, Expert Media Co Ltd, the seminar was held at the Royal Phuket Marina. During his speech Mr Phisak suggested several ways as to how Thai-Russian business could be boosted, pointing to several recent developments across the region, with a particular focus on the ASEAN Economic Community.

In the first part of his speech, as outlined in Part I (click here for article), Mr Phisak highlighted important historical points, such as the friendship between His Majesty King Rama V and Czar Nicolas II; he also covered various factors to consider when trying to penetrate the vast Russian market, as well as his proposal for a currency swap between the two nations.

Mr Phisak went on to examine what kind of exports Thailand should focus on in order to take advantage of the Russian market.

“Products of high weight and labor intensive manufacturing processes are items that SMEs have to think twice about. Attempting to export or sell such items to Russia is unlikely to succeed, unless the products have the selling point of ‘uniqueness’ or have been ‘value added’ .

“For example, take ceramic floor tiles: as you are aware, ceramic floor tiles are heavy in weight and bulky, in some cases, the shipping charges from Thailand to Russia will increase selling prices and such products will be unable to compete with those made in and offered from China, and, likely, Vietnam, with the certain tax or incentive advantages available to them.”

Mr Phisak went on to discuss the advantages of improving transport corridors between far-east Russia and Asia, using Thailand as a central hub.

“It is important for Russians to realize the significance of the ASEAN market of some 600 million people. This market would, be more inclined to accept the quality of products made in Russia than would Japan and South Korea, and even China to a certain extent.

“I have proposed the ‘sea-train’ route to improve transport logistics between the eastern regions of Russia, namely, Vladivostok to carry Russian goods to ASEAN; and perhaps goods from China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong as well.”

Goods from ASEAN/Thailand can, in the same way, be delivered to Russia much quicker than with the present route – having to go down to Singapore and sail up passing the Andaman Sea to Europe to reach St Petersburg which takes 30-plus days, he noted.

“My proposed shipping route from the Gulf of Thailand to eastern Russia would take only 14 days. This proposal will also allow Russia to make better use of the existing and well known Trans-Siberia railway line, running between the East and West of Russia.

Mr Phisak also examined the possibilities that improved transportation and business ties could have for value adding to raw products.

“Why should Russian companies just earn profits on selling plastic pallets, the raw material? Why not set up a factory in Thailand, using the plastic pallets, to produce finished products such as chairs, tables and other furniture to sell to the market of 600 million people in ASEAN to yield much higher profits by greatly reducing transport base costs,” he concluded.

This article appears in the current issue (May 25-31) of the Phuket Gazette newspaper, now on sale at newsstands throughout the island. Digital subscribers may download the full issue, this week and every week, by clicking here.

Keep checking our online Phuket Business pages for the latest local and national business updates. Alternatively, join us on our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter.

— Phuket Gazette

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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