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Asia three most ‘sustainable’ cities. And plenty that aren’t.

The Thaiger

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Asia three most ‘sustainable’ cities. And plenty that aren’t. | The Thaiger
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Singapore, Seoul in South Korea and Hong Kong are the three Asian countries to come out on top of the list of the region’s most sustainable cities.

The 2018 Sustainable Cities Index, conducted by Arcadis NV – an Amsterdam-headquartered global design, engineering and management consulting company – found that the three cities ranked highly in the scores given to ‘people’, ‘planet’, and ‘profit’, the three measures the index uses for ‘sustainability’.

The report gives points to 100 of the world’s most prominent cities. It also identifies ‘evolutionary cities’ and thirteen ‘fast-growing megacities’. The 10 ‘megacities’ were found to be at the bottom of the people index.

The megacities included those situated in the rapidly growing economies of China and India, which were subject to high levels of inward-migration, infrastructure investment and change.

“Cities like Mumbai, Shanghai and Shenzhen exhibit significant inequality in terms of income and access to resources and opportunity,” according to the report.

Of 23 cities in the sample, 14 are in the bottom quartile, facing significant challenges across all pillars, the report noted.

Read more about the report HERE.

At fourth place overall, Singapore is just behind European cities London, Stockholm, and Edinburgh. Asian Correspondent reports that the city state is highly ranked due to its high score in one or two pillars of the index. Like Hong Kong, Singapore are in the top 10 driven by very high ‘profit’ rankings and middle of the road ‘people’ and ‘planet’ rankings.

The index report noted that most of the top 10 cities had high ‘Planet’ scores – these are Northern European cities like Stockholm and, Frankfurt which have been highly successful in combining economic prosperity and environmental stewardship.

Read more about the Asian cities HERE.

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Business

FazWaz accelerates growth in SE Asia property market with latest funding round

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FazWaz accelerates growth in SE Asia property market with latest funding round | The Thaiger

FazWaz, a leading real estate transaction marketplace headquartered in Bangkok, has raised a new round of funding to accelerate growth into 2021. Serial investor and Online Marketplaces Chairman Simon Baker via CAV Investment Group says he’s been closely following FazWaz for the last 3 years since they first attended our Property Portal Watch Conferences in 2017.

“I believe that their mission to use technology to streamline the end-to-end real estate transaction process is the future for real estate sales. Brennan Campbell and his team are very well positioned to be a global leader in real estate e-transactions.”

The latest round of funding will be used to invest further into the marketing, data and technology to ultimately drive FazWaz brand awareness and grow its market share. FazWaz had gone against the traditional startup route and remained 100% bootstrapped for its first 4 years of business while showing 100% growth year on year.

Also participating in the funding round for FazWaz were 500Tuk Tuks, Aries Capital (Indonesian family fund), and Alpha Founders Capital.

Having been launched just under 5 years ago by expat entrepreneurs Paul Trayman, Brennan Campbell and Michael Kenner, the brand has expanded across south east Asia with the latest country launch being Cambodia in November. The portal is looking to digitise property transactions in the country and can count some 500,000 visitors per month to its main Thai site having overtaken some big names to rank in the top 3 property portal sites in the country.

Brennan Campbell, Founder & CEO of FazWaz, says that we now live in an on-demand, digital-first society where users want efficient access to products and services at the click of a button.

“The real estate industry is no different and users are demanding a better online search and offline service experience. As a mission-driven business, the funding and expertise brought on in this round of investment moves us closer to our goal of empowering consumers to make more efficient and informed real estate decisions.”

FazWaz is one of an increasing number of property marketplaces with an end-to-end model that seeks to bring transactions online with users able to make an offer directly on the platform.

Johannes von Rohr, General Partner at Alpha Founders Capital says that Thailand’s proptech (property technology) scene is seeing an exciting amount of activity with two well-known major M&A deals in 2020, one being for Kaidee.com and another being Hipflat.com.

“At the same time, a large amount of investment pours into startups tackling the fragmented real estate market. FazWaz re-envision the real estate sales process with technology. We are excited to back FazWaz as they now enter into the next significant phase of growth.”

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai man tests positive for Covid-19 after illegal crossing from Myanmar

Maya Taylor

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Chiang Mai man tests positive for Covid-19 after illegal crossing from Myanmar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Rath

A 32 year old Chiang Mai man who was employed at the now notorious 1G1-7 Hotel in Myanmar has tested positive for Covid-19 after sneaking across the border into Thailand. The man worked as a DJ at the hotel and entertainment complex in Tachileik until he returned to the Kingdom via an illegal crossing at the Chiang Rai border on November 30.

The Pattaya News reports that the man was experiencing symptoms that included loss of smell and a stuffy nose at the time. He checked in to a hotel in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai for one night, then stayed the next night in the Muang district of the city, before travelling to Chiang Mai by motorbike on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he visited Nakornping Hospital to report his symptoms and request a Covid-19 test. Following the positive result, he is now being treated in isolation.

Health officials say the man was alone on his journey from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai. In Chiang Mai, he visited a 7-Eleven and a nearby market to buy takeaway food, which he took back to his hotel room. It’s understood he was wearing a mask the entire time he was outside his room. Chiang Mai Public Health Chief, Chatuchai Maneerat, says only 5 people are believed to have come in contact with the man, and they are considered low-to-very-low risk, but will be tested for the virus.

Meanwhile, officials are calling on those who were at Singha Park in Chiang Rai on November 29 between 7.30pm and 11pm to come forward for testing. Passengers on Nok Air flight DD8717 from Chiang Rai to Bangkok on November 28 and Thai Lion Air flight SL533 from Chiang Rai to Bangkok on November 29 are also being asked to contact their local public health office for advice on self-isolating and to be tested for Covid-19.

Health officials say there is no need for the general public to panic, but that they should continue to follow the usual health measures of mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-infected Thai returnees: Myanmar hotel in the spotlight

Maya Taylor

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Covid-infected Thai returnees: Myanmar hotel in the spotlight | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Coconuts

With the news that at least 10 Covid-infected Thai women working in Myanmar bypassed health checks and quarantine on their return to the Kingdom, all eyes have turned to their place of work. Interest in the 1G1-7 Hotel has grown as a result of a resident in the border town of Tachileik claiming it is used as a centre for prostitution. The luxury, 100 room, 4 storey hotel is only 1.5 kilometres from the border checkpoint in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.

The hotel is operated as a high class brothel for Burmese generals from Yangon and other high-end business men from around Myanmar.

The Bangkok Post reports that it’s been operational for 4 – 5 years and is one of the largest entertainment complexes in Tachileik. According to a local source, its clients are high-end guests, with room rates going from 1,200 baht to 10,000 baht a night. The hotel has a pub, bar, and disco on the ground floor, with over 20 VIP karaoke rooms on the second floor. The cost of hiring a karaoke room ranges from 500 to 2,000 baht an hour.

The hotel is a joint venture between Thai, Burmese, and Chinese investors. It’s understood one investor from China has the largest stake in the entertainment complex.

The venue is reported to have at least 180 Thais working there, with reports that Thai women are very popular with its clientele, who are described by the Tachileik resident as, “fat military generals from Yangon”.

However, with Covid-19 cases escalating in the town, many of the workers fled, sneaking back into Thailand at various points along the porous border, bypassing health checks and quarantine. All returnees have since tested positive for Covid-19 and are now in quarantine, while officials trace hundreds of people who came into contact with them. One of those contacts, a Chiang Rai man, apparently a DJ working in the hotel’s party areas, has also tested positive for the virus.

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