Posted: March 12th, 2013 | Author: Tingdong Lu | Filed under: Asia-Pacific, China, International Business, International Relations | Tags: China, NATO, Russia, SCO, U.S.
The logo of SCO
In June of 2012, Russian President Putin and other world leaders came to China to attend the twelfth summit of the hanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The summit was held in China’s capital Beijing. The SCO is the predecessor of the Shanghai five meeting mechanism”. Later, in 2001, the group officially became known as the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization” hich includes 6 members, namely China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. At that time, Putin was in the first term as Russia’s President. Since then, the SCO summit has been held annually in the location rotates. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Author: Tingdong Lu | Filed under: Economics, International Business, National economy, Thailand | Tags: air cargo, logistics, Suvarnabhumi International Airport
The new terminal of Suvarnabhumi international airport
Background of Suvarnabhumi International Airport
“Suvarnabhumi International airport, as the air hub in South East Asia, is situated about 30 km from central Bangkok, which is opened in 2006 with limited domestic flight at the beginning and has expanded to be one of the Asian largest airport now in the past six years. Since the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport, new business opportunities, especially in the property, tourism, logistics and export sectors, have continued to be mushrooming. There has been talk of plans to further develop the area into financial street, consisting of banks and financial institutions with an investment of approximately 40 billion Baht. “—From official website of Suvarnabhumi International airport Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 1st, 2013 | Author: Nina | Filed under: Asia-Pacific, International Business, Thailand | Tags: ASEAN Economic Community 2015, English Proficiency
English is the main tool for international communication nowadays. It is often referred to as a “world language” and it is most often taught as a foreign language. There are many countries around the world whose native language is English. These have been classified by the UK Border Agency. If you are interested in knowing which countries these are, click on the following link. In addition, English is the official language for aeronautical and maritime communications and it is commonly used in sciences, tourism, trade, computing and diplomacy. It is worth mentioning that it is also the official language of many international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Olympic committee and the European Union. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 30th, 2012 | Author: Tom van der Made | Filed under: Asia-Pacific, Economics, Government, International Business, International Relations, National economy, Politics, Thailand | Tags: 2015, ASEAN, competition, diverse, economic, FDI, free, GDP, governance, investment, Thailand, trade
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) of 2015 draws nearer, allowing free trade among the ten member states. Based on the political, economic and social state of Thailand’s current situation, change is needed in several aspects to truly be prepared and to benefit from this singular economic identity.
Thailand is historically known as a politically instable country, with over 20 coups since 1932 and with the most recent military coup in 2006, the Thaksin Shinawatra government was overthrown by the military. At this moment his younger sister Yingluck is leading the country and in pursuit of reconciliation. Through proposals in order to change the “undemocratic” constitution set up by the military in 2007. In addition, populist policies the government did not manage to create an end to the political unrest, especially since the amendments are believed to try and grant amnesty to Thaksin Shinawatra. In addition, the government limits freedom of speech in some cases, for example, through the lèse majesté law, which allows no critique towards the royal family, even if this is someone’s personal opinion. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 29th, 2012 | Author: Franziska | Filed under: Economics, Human Rights, International Business, Politics | Tags: BRIC, India, poverty gap
Skyscrapers buildings in Mumbai, while the poverty is increasing
India is a country with a population of 1.21 billion people (India Census, 2011). The economic boom of the second most populated country is continuing even though all over the world the effects of the economic crisis may be felt. Europe is currently fighting against the recession and other economies are struggling to maintain their economic growth rate. India, however, enjoys a continuing economic growth. According to the India Central Statistical Organization (2012), the economy grew by 7.7% in 2011. Nevertheless, the country is still receiving development aid. This contradiction is forcing more and more donors to raise the question if India, as one of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), should still receive development aid.
However, the picture of India as a successful emerging economy is harmed by the growing poverty gap, especially when comparing the rural areas of India to the developed cities. Although the economy has been growing at 8%, it is necessary to consider the 645 million people, who live beneath the poverty line. These people account for 55% of the Indian population and are left behind. Although the living standard is increasing, the majority of the population does not have access it and continue to live beneath the standard of the 21st century. Nafisa D’Souza, the founder of the Laya Resource Center, a non-organization promoting the rights of the indigenous population of India, states that the country is only interested in its growing economy. She claims that once the government has to make a decision concerning the profitability than human rights are less important. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: Marian | Filed under: Asia-Pacific, Economics, International Business, International Relations, Politics, Thailand
Last week the highly regarded World Economic Forum on East Asia took place in Bangkok. By leaders like Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s Prime Minister, and Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s democrat-icon and opposition leader, the event was classified as: “Very successful”. However a view on its history can be helpful to understand the WEF’s purpose as the Forum’s outcome cannot be measured in form of a contract or something else that is tangible and concrete.
The Forum was founded in 1971, by Klaus Schwab a German born professor in Davos, Switzerland and originally was named the “European Management Forum”. However its name was changed to the World Economic Forum in 1987 as a change of focus took place early on. In 1973 participants of the meeting discussed the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rate mechanism and the Arab-Israeli War. Thus the annual meeting clearly expanded its focus from management to economic and social issues. Next political leaders were invited for the first time to the annual meeting in 1974. As the years went by, political leaders began to use the annual meeting as a neutral platform to resolve their differences: The Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey, helping them to turn back from the brink of war. In 1992, South African President F. W. de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the annual meeting, which marked their first joint appearance outside South Africa. At the 1994 annual meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat reached a draft agreement on Gaza and Jericho. Over the years the single event in Davos spread over the world and now more regional events take place such as the World Economic Forum on East Asia. This year’s event was the 21st edition. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 31st, 2012 | Author: Marian | Filed under: Asia-Pacific, Economics, International Business, International Relations, Thailand | Tags: ASEAN Economic Community 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi, Bangkok, World Economic Forum, World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012
Thinkers & Doers, Movers & Shakers will gather from the 30th of May until the 1st of June in Bangkok for the annual World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012. The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by shaping global, regional and industry agendas. In the past the event proved to combine economics with social aspects. Thus the interactive and outcome-oriented session of discussions will be interesting to follow no matter whether one is particularly attracted by economic topics or not. As the meeting is considered to be among the highest ranking economic discussions world-wide it will draw a great deal of attention and his outcome has the ability to influence the world economy in the foreseeable future.
This year’s event will engage business, political, academic and other leaders of society to have a lively debate. Doubtless the participant who will attract the most attention will be Burma’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. This will mark her first overseas trip in 24 years, in which she didn’t leave Burma out of fear she wouldn’t be allowed back into the country by the military regime. Her international journey follows months of dramatic change in Burma, including a historic election in April that won her a seat in a parliament that replaces nearly five decades of oppressive military rule. Presumably as a result of Aung San Suu Kyi appearance at the event Burmese President and Ex-General Thein Sein canceled his participation, even though he named “urgent matters” inside the country as the reason. However most other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will participate as the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 will be the major point of discussion throughout the event.
According to the summit’s website the event will be under the theme “Shaping the Region’s Future through Connectivity”. Thus the debates will be about how to ensure a competitive and connected region, as well as to reinforce ongoing integration efforts toward the proposed ASEAN Economic Community 2015. To achieve this major milestone in only three years, stronger linkages across Southeast Asia are urgently needed. Therefore the program objectives include:
- How will leaders from ASEAN better link the region’s transportation infrastructure, health systems and institutions to maximize convergence of people, goods, services and economic-hubs?
- How will governments and institutions develop the financial policies to manage inflation, capital outflows, commodity price volatility and balanced growth towards greater domestic and regional demand?
- How will the region leverage its demographic dividend and technology base to develop the models to increase growth through innovation, improve talent mobility, entrepreneurship and skill building?
- How can the high economic growth economies of ASEAN help to rebalance both the global and the regional overall economic outlook?
Whether the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 will be a success is still doubted by many critics who say that the region is still too diverse for such integration. For that reason the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012 will be a good indicator on the readiness for ASEAN. Check Asianowblog next week for a follow up on the World Economic Forum 2012.
Posted: May 28th, 2012 | Author: Marian | Filed under: Economics, International Business, Thailand
Burma is opening up. After decades of military rule and international sanctions Burma has set sails towards a new future. The long-isolated country is transforming itself from an old socialist state into a modern market-oriented nation. However the road ahead is long. Foreign visitors to Burma often have the indentation to be travelling backwards in time. Basic things such as electricity and other signs of functioning infrastructure are hardly to be found. Thus bringing the economy to life is tremendously important to supplement the ongoing political progress and to improve the living standard of this dirt-poor nation. The first step was done with opening up economically due to lifted sanctions. Now bringing in direct investments and building up an infrastructure must be on top of the agenda. This meets the point of view of decision makers throughout the region and is reflected by the mega project of a deep-sea port in Dawei, in the south of Burma.
Next to the port, links to economic regions need to be created. Transforming this dirt-road into an eight lane highway is one of these projects.
In November 2010, Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) signed a 60-year framework agreement with the Myanmar Port Authority to build a port and industrial estate on 250 square kilometres of land in Dawei. The contract for the entire project is estimated to be at least US$58 billion. The outcome will be Burma’s first special economic zone. The project is set to be finished in 2020 and covers, next to the port and an industrial estate, the development of major infrastructure linking Burma with his neighbors.
The port itself has a planned capacity that will allow 25 vessels to berth at 22 wharfs in two adjacent ports. Together the two ports will be able to handle upward of 100 million metric tons of goods a year. The industrial estate, which is likely to become the largest in Southeast Asia, will encompass six zones: port and heavy industry, oil and gas, upstream and downstream petrochemical product complexes, medium industry, and light industry. The infrastructure projects are mostly focusing on connecting the port with close by neighbor Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. For that reason work on a highway linking Bangkok and the Dawei deep-sea port is under construction and scheduled to be finished already in one and a half years.
The Dawei port project envisions that new Burmese trans-border corridors will promote regional integration throughout Southeast Asia. Through the port and transport links, an average of 10 days will be cut from the journey of goods bound for Thailand, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos because cargo will no longer need to pass through the Strait of Malacca. As in modern logistics short lead time is the key competitive factor and can be directly related to profit this project will enhance the economy throughout the region. Next it reduces the geo-political need to rely on the Strait of Malacca as the only transport route.
The Dawei Port will open new transport routes which will have positive influence on the region’s economy.
As Thailand is the richest country in the region and is also profiting the most from the new port the Thai government is also a major financier. The Thai cabinet approved last Sunday 203 projects worth over 30 billion baht to support the Dawei project. Mr. Anusorn, acting government’s spokesman, said: “(Dawei) can be a gateway for trade with the western side of the ASEAN region and a bridge linking Southeast Asia with other countries in the region. It will increase the GDP of Thailand by 1.9%,”. This statement is underscored by figures who are indicating that Thai-Burmese border trade has been increasing at an astonishing 55 per cent year-on-year over the past five years and is likely to increase even more with the Dawei port. Next with Dawei set to become a distribution point for Thai agro-industry exports, Thailand will consolidate its position as one of the world’s major food suppliers. Production bases in western Thailand in particular will benefit the most from the Dawei gateway.
However not only Burma’s neighbors are the ones benefiting from this project. The Dawei port will enable Burma to trade efficiently with the world and thus will enhance Burma’s reputation as a location for production. This will draw (foreign) direct investments, which is the key to build up the Burmese economy. Next it strengthens Burma’s political influence in the region.
Posted: April 20th, 2012 | Author: Franziska | Filed under: China, Economics, International Business
Does Made in Germany and managed in China go together?
Made in Germany and Managed by China – can this go together?
Usually, when people talk about products made in Germany, words such as, knowledge and quality are utilized. However, when “Made in China” is discussed, products often are associated with providing less quality and being cheap – if not even being copied from another product.
Even though Europe plays only a marginal role in the Chinese trade strategy, the amount of direct investments in Germany is strongly increasing. While the direct investments amounted to 157 million Euros in 2000, it increased to a total of 629 million in 2009. According to the Agency Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), the US was the most important trading partner for Germany until 2010, when China became number one. Chinese investments increased rapidly and managers were afraid that their company would be bought without a negotiation – just like being on sale. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 13th, 2012 | Author: Franziska | Filed under: International Business, International Relations
Usually tourism is profit-oriented but can it support peace making?
What about considering sustainable tourism as part of peace making? Generally, I have to admit that combining tourism with creating peace may sound rather far-fetched, as it is a profit-oriented business and not necessarily focused on creating understanding between nations. Nevertheless, I believe that sustainable tourism can lead to a more peaceful world.
According to the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), more than 940 million leisure travelers crossed the borders of states in 2010 This is unprecedented. Dr. Ian Yeoman, the founding editor of the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, suspects that this number will increase to 1.9 billion people by 2030. The UNWTO mentions on its website that today’s tourism industry may generate up to 5% of the gross domestic product of a country. Additionally, it is stated that globally one out of twelve jobs is tourism-related. Taking into account the increase in the number of conflicts, the travelers and the tourism related jobs, it seems clear that this creates new challenges as well as opportunities for the tourism industry and politics.
One of these opportunities is sustainable tourism. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) states that sustainable tourism requires the “informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building.” In order to achieve this objective, the United Nations are calling for a Global Ethics-Code for Tourism. This code aspires to strengthen the positive effects of tourism, such as a higher cultural awareness and a stable economy. Furthermore, it is aimed at minimizing the negative aspects of unsustainable tourism, for example damaged nature or vanishing cultural identities.
Mass tourism harmed cultural identities for centuries but now diversity is cherished by tourists
On big issue are cultural identities being by-passed by the mass tourism. However, Louis D’Amore, president and founder of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), mentions that travelers are not only seeking to experience the country anymore. Nowadays they strive to meet the locals as well as to comprehend their culture and history. This statement is supported by the fact that the fastest growing tourism sectors are the cultural and educational journeys. This trend creates a new generation of global citizens. People are motivated to comprehend cultural differences, which will automatically decrease prejudice. In a broader context, these travelers function as cultural diplomats as they create friendships and promote their newly achieved perspectives, once they are back in their home countries. The exchange of experience and can lead to reconciliation as well as curing the damage caused by a conflict between nations.
The new trends in tourism can change politics and can be valued as an opportunity to decrease the threat of conflicts. Even though the world is becoming a global village, cultural diversity is promoted more than ever and a new mutual understanding is created. As citizens of the world started to take the first step toward a more peaceful world through respecting cultural diversities, politicians still have to follow. By creating policies, such as the Global Ethics-Code for tourism the collaboration amongst nations can be reinforced and the sustainable development of countries will be strengthened.
Sustainable tourism decreases prejudice and creates mutual understanding
Even hotel chain Marriott stated at the recent World Economic Forum that “the more people experience other countries and cultures, the more peace will spread.” Furthermore, the UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, explains that, the Globalization should function as a role model and promote a more tolerant world. This world should be ruled by respect between countries and cultures. Therefore, sustainable tourism can function as peace maker. It considers the values of different nations as well as cultures. It establishes an environment, which involves all stakeholders and politics to build up a tourism industry that is based on consensus building and the partnership of all participants.