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Korean summit kicks off tomorrow

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Korean summit kicks off tomorrow | The Thaiger

The Korea Herald is reporting that a momentous meeting is about to take place, tomorrow in fact, between the leaders of two (technically) warring nations – North Korea and South Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet at the Military Demarcation Line in Panmunjeom at 9:30am Friday, Moon’s chief of staff Im Jong-seok said today (Thursday).

According to Im, Kim will cross the Military Demarcation Line between the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission offices, where he will be greeted by Moon.

The Korean War aka. “Fatherland Liberation War”, was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the principal support of the United States). The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border. The UN, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union also gave some assistance to the North.

The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty has ever been signed, and according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. Wikipedia

“The two leaders will meet at the MDL, and walk to the venue of the welcoming ceremony, escorted by a South Korean traditional honor guard,” Im said. The two leaders will then attend the welcoming ceremony from about 9:40am. The ceremony will include a review of South Korea’s honor guard.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, the decision to include a honor guard review was made in light of North Korea including the ceremony during late Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun’s visits to Pyongyang.

Korean summit kicks off tomorrow | News by The Thaiger

Kim Dae-jung visited Pyongyang in 2000 for the first inter-Korean summit, while Roh visited the North Korean capital in 2007. Both former presidents met with Kim Jong-il.

Friday’s summit will then begin at 10:30am. at the Peace House.

Im said that the talks will adjourn for lunch, and resume in the afternoon, after Moon and Kim take part in a tree-planting ceremony.

“The two leaders will plant a pine tree, a symbol of peace and prosperity, on the MDL that has symbolised conflict and division for 65 years,” Im said.

The tree, which is said to have germinated in 1953, the year the armistice was signed, will be planted using soil gathered from Hallasan on Jeju Island and Baekdusan in the North.

The summit talks will resume after the ceremony, at the end of which Moon and Kim will sign a joint agreement.

Read the rest of the article about this historic summit HERE.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Business

Thailand’s sponsorship market grew 19% – 2018

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Thailand’s sponsorship market grew 19% – 2018 | The Thaiger

ASN (Asia Sponsorship News) has just released its Sponsorship Market Overview for Thailand 2018. Local agencies have had their say on the performance of the Southeast Asian sponsorship marketplace.

2018 was a robust year for Thailand’s Sponsorship market, growing 19% year-on-year to US$223.4 million (2017’s total investment was US$188.2 million) and making grounds on reaching its previous (outlier) market peak of US$247.8 million in 2015. Since 2015, the market had been creeping backwards to a recent low of US$187.2 million.

General market health -in GDP terms – for Thailand was generally positive. In November last year, the country forecast a slightly reduced GDP forecast in the mid-4% range for itself for the year.

Back to the Sponsorship market and the leading spending brands are as follows; the Top 10 includes the usual major players, but also some newcomers since ASN last analysed the market in 2016…

2018 (US$)
Toyota  11,749,000
Chang  10,347,050
PTT Petroleum  7,372,000
Singha  6,935,525
PTT Group  5,573,000
Tourism Authority of Thailand  5,532,000
Thai Beverage Plc  5,173,050
Adidas  5,075,000
Pepsi  5,065,000
Carabao  4,389,000

These 10 brands contributed almost 30% of the total investment in this Southeast Asian market.

In terms of the movers and shakers within the Top 10, versus 2016…

  • Toyota was 4th spending US$6.8 million
  • Chang was 1st with US$14.4 million
  • AIA was 2nd, Its dramatic fall caused by the cessation of its Thai Umbrella Football Club partnership, with the FAT, in 2017
  • Carabao and Adidas are newcomers for 2018

Then there are the broader market dynamics that moved the needle – across the various ways to slice ASN’s market data:

  • Platforms: Motorsports and Multi-sports outperformed (+98% and +103% respectively); while platform leaders Football (US$90 million in 2018) and Athletics (US$32 million) gained a healthy 23% and 15% respectively
  • Categories: Two of the Top 10 categories – Petrochemicals and Conglomerates – dipped into their budgets significantly in 2018 (+119% and +590% (!) respectively)
  • Genres*: Unsurprisingly, Content was the biggest mover with a 114% uplift. Events, the perennial Genre leader, gained 33% as well

Commenting on the market movements is eponymous Founder of Paul Poole (South East Asia) Company,  a marketing consultancy specialising in commercial sponsorship in Thailand says, “The 19% year-on-year increase in Sponsorship spending in 2018 is testament to a strong industry.”

“To see big brands and organisations such as AIA, King Power, Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), Honda and Siam Cement Group falling off the list is somewhat of a surprise given their visibility in the marketplace and their sponsorship history.”

“However, it is refreshing to see new additions to the list such as Adidas. It speaks of a dynamic and ever-changing market.”

“Sponsorships have the potential to reach beyond short-term sales to build a brand’s identity. Brand strength contributes 60 to 80% to overall sales, making this benefit critical for sustained, long-term sales growth.”

Poole is convinced consistency is key to building brand awareness and companies like Toyota and Adidas are good examples of companies pushing through content on all platforms, especially social media.

Since brand ambassadors are now typically anyone sharing content – especially online via video content – brands are getting leverage from the increasing use of social media platforms across the world. And Thailand is one of the most gluttonous consumers of online content!

So the Thai market is in good health: let’s see if 2019 can sustain the growth.

To read more of the report click HERE.

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Thailand

Chinese tourists spend big during Chinese New Year holiday

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Chinese tourists spend big during Chinese New Year holiday | The Thaiger

Spending by Chinese tourists during the Chinese New Year holiday around the world was the highest in Thailand.

Alipay, a leading digital payment platform offered by Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group has done the sums. The transactions were recorded between February 4-10, and data drawn from the 54 international markets where Alipay is accepted.

The number of transactions in Thailand ranked second worldwide after Hong Kong, and topped the list in Southeast Asia with an average spending of 1,646 yuan (7,650 baht).

The high spending was put down to convenience stores and duty-free shops accepting Alipay and offering special promotions for Alipay users.

King Power Duty Free recorded a 50 per cent increase in transactions thanks to discounts for Alipay users, while transactions at convenience stores also rose by 38 per cent due to their “Alipay corner”.

Chinese visitors are also now able to get tax refunds at 7-Eleven branches in the capital.

Chinese spenders, although spending less time per holiday, spend more per person, per day than other tourist demographics entering the country.

Read a previous story about tourist spending patterns HERE.

Chinese tourists spend big during Chinese New Year holiday | News by The Thaiger

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Chronically ill man jumps to his death from Bangkok apartment

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Chronically ill man jumps to his death from Bangkok apartment | The Thaiger

by The Nation

A 66 year old man who lived alone and suffered from chronic ailments has been found dead outside a 15 floor apartment building in Bangkok’s Bang Sue district.

It is believed he committed suicide by jumping from the rooftop this morning.

Taopoon police were alerted at 11am that Charn Wanngern died after he fell to the ground in front of the entrance to Building A of Taopoon Mansion.

Police found a suicide note in the man’s room on the 15th floor. No foul play is suspected in the man’s death.

The note also had the mobile phone number of his close friend. Police called him and learned from the friend that Charn used to own a cabaret troupe in Silom and he recently fell and had been suffering from chronic aliments since.

Charn needed to see a doctor regularly and the friend had to take him to his hospital as he lived alone. The friend said he had a schedule to take Charn to see his doctor this Friday.

Police said Charn’s room was on the west side but he fell from the east side of the building so he likely went up to the roof and jumped down.

SOURCE: The Nation

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