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Posts Tagged ‘Asian Business’

25th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that Chinese Taiwan (also referred to as the Republic of China) has had some noticeable apprehension regarding its place in the Asian and global business communities. To quote directly from an article written by Paul Mozur, Aries Poon, and Jenny W. Hsu posted the official website of The Wall Street Journal, WSJ.com:

TAIPEI—A warning from a government trade council in Taiwan highlights concerns that the island has become increasingly isolated by the burgeoning network of free trade agreements connecting Asia and the rest of the world. Although Taiwan signed a landmark trade agreement with China last year, many experts say the island’s trade negotiations with key markets such as the European Union and Japan have been bogged down by Chinese opposition and political differences. This has led Taiwan’s export-dependent economy to become increasingly cut off from the network of trade agreements that have proliferated over the past decade, giving Taiwan’s regional rivals a competitive advantage that could harm the island’s long-term growth prospects, they argue…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to learn more from an insightful and well written article.

It would appear that some of the Taiwanese apprehension regarding relative isolation springs, at least in part,  from a recent agreement that was forged between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China. To quote further from the aforementioned article:

“This [marginalization] is one key reason why Taiwan hasn’t been doing that great over the past decade … and recently the agreement between [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] and China has given Southeast Asian countries better access to the Chinese market than Taiwan,” said Royal Bank of Scotland economist Erik Lueth. That agreement, known has Asean Plus One, was cited by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou as a key impetus for the signing of the framework agreement with China…

Clearly, there are geopolitical ramifications for all of the Asian economies resulting from the increasingly prominent position of ASEAN, which counts the Kingdom of Thailand and the Kingdom of Cambodia amongst its membership,  in both an Asian context as a well as a global context. Some feel as though ASEAN represents a great deal of potential future growth for Asia as a whole as the economies in Southeast Asia become increasingly vibrant and increasingly interconnected to the other economies of Asia. This same growth potential could also be inferred in a global context as ASEAN seems poised to act as an increasingly important facilitator of trade world wide.

Bearing all of the above in mind, this blogger found it interesting that ASEAN officials are taking measures to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of the recent disaster in Japan.  To quote directly from the official website of the Philippine Information Agency at pia.gov.ph:

MANILA, May 25 -– All hands are up as ASEAN Secretariat seeks volunteers for the ASEAN Caravan of Goodwill to visit survivors in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture in Northeastern Japan, on 3-5 June 2011. The area has been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. What started as a simple idea to lift the spirit of and show comradeship with the survivors by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan—and agreed by the Special ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting on 9 April 2011 in Jakarta—is receiving tremendous response…

The administration of this blog asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this story.

It is certainly positive news that the ASEAN community is concerned enough about the situation in Japan to send Caravan of Goodwill. Hopefully, such endeavors will prove beneficial to the Japanese people as they have definitely been the victim of unfortunate circumstances in recent weeks.

For related information please see: Legal.

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24th March 2011

The tragic situation in Japan (a country recently plagued by Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, and finally Nuclear Meltdown)  is apparently causing other nations in East Asia and Southeast Asia to rethink their options with regard to the proliferation of nuclear power plants. A recent posting on the website AsiaOne.com discussed some of these issues in some detail. To quote directly from the website AsiaOne.com:

Singapore – Japan’s nuclear crisis is likely to prompt Southeast Asian states to look more carefully at their plans to tap atomic energy for power generation, the head of the regional bloc said Monday.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said Japan’s struggle to prevent a reactor meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant will have a “psychological” impact on some ASEAN members.

“They will continue to explore, but I think the sense of urgency will certainly be contained a little bit,” Surin told reporters on the sidelines of a regional economic conference in Singapore.

The administration of this blog highly encourages readers to click on the links above to read more of this article.

Clearly, a disaster of the magnitude of the events unfolding in Japan can have a tremendous “psychological” effect around the world, but what is interesting about the above quotation is the fact that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional organizations that is becoming increasingly important in geopolitical matters, seems to be uniformly ambivalent towards nuclear power as of the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Thailand, an important member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is rethinking its position on the issue of nuclear power. To quote directly from Eco-Business.com:

Thailand has frozen its plans to build its own nuclear power plants in the wake of the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan following a series of meltdowns at the quake-hit power complex in Fukushima.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban announced yesterday that the government would indefinitely halt all plans to build nuclear facilities in the Kingdom.

Again readers are highly encouraged to click on the links above to read more from this posting.

In this blogger’s personal opinion, this decision to “freeze” plans for a Thai nuclear plant is both prudent and necessary. The decision is prudent because it provides the Thai government and people the opportunity to watch the events in Japan unfold. This will provide the Thais with the opportunity to see the extent of the problem in Japan and this opportunity will allow Thai authorities to take a firsthand look at the possible dangers inherent in constructing and maintaining a nuclear facility. Such measures are necessary because failure to be prudent could be costly later, as evidenced by the situation in Japan. This nuclear disaster in Japan is obviously no one’s “fault,” but perhaps failure to take into consideration the fact that Japan, and the reactors present therein, is situated upon one of the most tectonically active locations on Earth may help to explain the nuclear disaster. At this time, fixing the blame for this tragedy should not be at the forefront of people’s minds as the brave Citizens of Japan struggle to overcome this situation, but evaluating the proliferation of nuclear facilities in the ASEAN with a critical eye may help avoid such tragedies in the Southeast Asia of the future.

As economic activity in the ASEAN region, China, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia expands it stands to reason that energy needs will remain an acute concern for the business community as well as governmental authorities, but such considerations would appear to be being weighed in light of the recent events in Japan, as well they should be.

For related information please see: business in China.

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12th January 2011

Those interested in conducting business in the region of Southeast Asia may be interested to note that the country of Laos (officially referred to as the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic) has recently announced the opening of a stock exchange. To quote directly from a recent article on the website of the BBC:

The Lao Securities Exchange opened for business on Tuesday with trading in just two companies.

The country, sandwiched between Vietnam and Thailand, is one of the world’s poorest nations.

It is hoped that the stock exchange will help raise $8bn (£5.1bn) in equity and bond sales to fund investment in the country.

The Laos exchange is initially offering shares in two state-owned companies, Electricite du Laos Generation company and Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao.

The volume of the first day’s trading was thin, about 2.14bn kip ($265,000; £170,000).

Although the exchange itself is small in comparison to that of the United States, the United Kingdom, or even the Kingdom of Thailand it is likely that this move will lead to further business opportunities for foreign investors looking to conduct business in Laos. Hopefully, this announcement will also usher in an era in which Laos plays a more dynamic role in the region. As a landlocked country with a relatively small population and few capital resources it can be inferred that Laos’ best hope for creating jobs and improving the overall economic situation in the country will come through the accrual of foreign capital in the form investment and subsequent usage of that capital in ways that will be both constructive and profitable.

Laos is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In recent months members states of ASEAN have seen a great deal of change in the economic realm as the United States dollar has weakened due, at least in part, to “quantitative easing” measures promulgated by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, the Chinese Yuan has been getting stronger as the Chinese economy continues to show strong growth. These factors, along with others, have resulted a great deal of uncertainty about the future complexion of business in Southeast Asia.

It should also be noted that Chinese News Services have recently reported that Bangkok will be home to a new $1.5 billion Chinese trade complex. This news comes on the heels of the announcement that China, Laos, and Thailand will eventually be connected via high-speed rail link. Hopefully, all of these factors, in conjunction with the additional capital generated by the Lao exchange, will coalesce into a highly favorable business climate for China, Thailand, Laos, and all of the other member nations of the ASEAN community.

For related information please see: US Visa Laos.

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7th January 2011

It recently came to the attention of the administration of this blog that a new trade complex is to be erected in Bangkok for the purpose of facilitating the trade of Chinese goods in Thailand and Greater South East Asia. To quote directly from the Voice of America News website:

Chinese state media say work will begin this month on a massive trading complex in Bangkok where Chinese manufacturers will be able to re-export their goods.

The China Daily newspaper said Thursday that the China City Complex will cost $1.5 billion and sprawl over almost three-quarters of a square kilometer. Chinese manufacturers will be able to import goods to Thailand, taking advantage of a new free trade deal, and then ship to the United States and Europe under more advantageous quotas and tariffs.

It is interesting to note that China officially became the second largest economy in the world in 2010. This plan will likely result in an increasingly prosperous trade relationship between the Peoples’ Republic of China and the Kingdom of Thailand. The Voice of America News website went on:

China has been using trade and commercial projects to improve its diplomatic and strategic standing in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s deputy minister of commerce, Alongkorn Ponlaboot, is quoted by China Daily saying the China City Complex corroborates “a strategic business-partner relationship” between China and Thailand.

China’s free-trade agreement with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations was concluded last year.

Putting aside diplomatic and strategic matters, the ambitious project could result in economic benefits for many ASEAN countries (Association of South East Asian Nations) especially Thailand. The creation of a new commercial project such as the one proposed will likely come with the added benefit of new jobs for Thais near Bangkok, new business opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs, new trade opportunities for Thai, Chinese, and other foreign investors; and an overall increase in the flow of goods, capital, labor, and resources to the Kingdom of Thailand and the Greater ASEAN region.

Each year, foreign companies and individuals opt to pursue business ventures in the Kingdom of Thailand. In some cases, entrepreneurs incorporate a Thai Company in order to maintain limited liability while conducting business. Sometimes individuals opt to do business under a Thai sole proprietorship. Partnerships often prefer the added layer of limited liability that can be conferred upon certain members of a Limited Liability Partnership in Thailand. Large ventures conducting business in Thailand occasionally opt to take their enterprise public through the registration of a Thai public company. In any case, those wishing to conduct trade or business in the Kingdom of Thailand are well advised to contact a Law Firm in Thailand as advice and counsel regarding the unique aspects of Thai law can be highly advantageous for businesses making their first appearance in the Thai market. Foreign nationals employed or working in Thailand should note that all foreigners working within the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Thailand are required to have a Thai work permit in order to lawfully take up virtually any type of employment.

Matters pertaining to the acquisition of Thai property or Thai Real Estate within the context of multi-jurisdictional business transactions can be complex and multifaceted. For this reason it is highly advisable that foreign nationals or foreign companies conducting business in the Kingdom of Thailand retain the services of a firm to assist with Thai property matters prior to making an irrevocable decisions regarding the acquisition of Thai real estate or property.

For related information please see: US Company Registration or Legal.

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31st December 2010

2010 has been a watershed year in many respects, but the most remarkable thing about the year 2010, in this author’s opinion, was the global paradigm shift regarding Asia. Where once Asia might have been viewed by the North American and European press, business community, and public as a sort of afterthought, 2010 proved that one of, if not the, most important geographical regions in terms of economic growth and technological innovation is East Asia.

As always, Asia’s economic importance can be discerned by looking at currency imbalances, industry analysis, and economic growth figures. However, this blogger feels that one of the most significant indicators of Asia’s “coming of age” in the global arena is evidenced by the fact that many nations in Asia are flexing their muscles in terms of enforcing their will upon the internet. Where once Asian governments seemed to fall in line with Western attitudes toward the the regulation of cyberspace and all of the cultural changes that come with the spread of easy access to the World Wide Web, now it would appear as if governments, businesses, and organizations in North and Southeast Asia are coming up with their own strategies for regulating internet access, promoting ecommerce, and connecting people. Counter-intuitive as is may seem to those operating from a Western perspective, many of the strategies adopted by Asian governments are not designed to facilitate broader access to online technology.  In a recent article posted on the Telegraph’s official website www.telegraph.co.uk, it was noted that Chinese authorities are taking stringent measures against Skype, the online communications service. To quote directly from the Telegraph’s official website:

China on Thursday announced that it had made illegal the use of Skype, the popular internet telephony service, as the country continues to shut itself off from the rest of the world…

In the latest move dashing Western internet company hopes of breaking into China, it was announced that all internet phone calls were to be banned apart from those made over two state-owned networks, China Unicom and China Telecom.

“[This] is expected to make services like Skype unavailable in the country,” reported the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party.

Skype is not the only web based company that has experienced its share of problems in the Chinese market. Increasingly, many companies seem to be finding themselves restricted from the internet in China as the Telegraph went on to note:    

Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are already blocked in China and Google closed down its Chinese servers last year after heavy government pressure.

It should be noted that Mainland China (also referred to as the Peoples’ Republic of China) boasts a population of approximately 1.3 billion people. For many firms, especially those with a significant online presence, China represents an emerging market with virtually limitless potential. However, China is not the only nation in Asia which seems poised for a more dynamic place in the international business arena. Countries such as the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of Indonesia have proven to be fertile ground for the same companies which China is attempting to block. According to Internetworldstats.com the Republic of Indonesia saw 27,338,560 Facebook users as of the end of August 2010.   In an interesting posting on www.nickburcher.com, a fascinating website dedicated to providing information and insight regarding the evolution of advertising and media, this blogger found the following graph noting the the increase in Facebook usage as of 2009:

Rank Country Number of Facebook users July 2008 Number of Facebook users July 2009 12 month growth %
1 Indonesia 209,760 6,496,960 2997.2%
2 Romania 9,060 230,600 2445.3%
3 Slovakia 27,960 588,860 2006.1%
4 Czech Rep 51,860 1,088,020 2005.3%
5 Italy 491,100 10,218,400 1980.7%
6 Philippines 162,640 2,719,560 1572.13%
7 Argentina 417,980 4,906,220 1073.8%
8 Uruguay 40,920 395,800 867.3%
9 Taiwan 71,340 685,460 860.8%
10 Portugal 48,180 425,680 783.5%
11 Brazil 119,080 1,015,400 752.7%
12 Spain 695,900 5,773,200 729.6%
13 Paraguay 7,920 63,740 704.8%
14 Poland 83,180 619,180 644.4%
15 Bulgaria 60,240 436,480 624.6%
16 Austria 111,060 728,800 556.2%
17 Slovenia 53,740 343,320 538.9%
18 Lithuania 24,320 153,160 529.8%
19 Thailand 114,180 697,340 510.7%
20 Russia 67,760 412,840 509.3%

The growth percentages noted above are truly astounding especially when one bears in mind that a country such as China boasts a larger population compared to that of those countries surveyed. Furthermore, the above quotation merely notes increased Facebook usage as of 2009. 2010 likely showed further growth. This could be one reason why many online businesses are attempting to find a compromise with China in an effort to enjoy access to such a lucrative market.

In 2010, Google had some problems with the Chinese government as an article on Sky News’s official website pointed out back in July of 2010. To quote directly from that article:

Beijing has renewed Google’s licence in a move that allows the web giant to continue operating in China, the company has said…

Google revealed the development on its blog and said: “We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP licence and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.”

China is the world’s biggest internet market and Google’s right to supply the country’s users was suspended after a row over censorship.

To get around the restrictions, Google began to redirect its Chinese users to a landing page in Hong Kong.

If the licence had been rejected outright, as some analysts wrongly predicted, it could have spelled future trouble for Google’s non-search businesses in China.

As noted above, termination of direct access to the Chinese market could have been particularly problematic even for a company as monolithic as Google since the sheer size of the Chinese market is enough to make the thought of being shut out unthinkable for virtually any company, especially companies whose profitability depends upon open access to their website. Enter Mark Zuckerberg, the “Young Turk” who took the online world by storm with the creation and subsequent expansion of Facebook.com, the online social networking website which is currently unavailable in the Peoples’ Republic of China. Recently, it was reported that Mr. Zuckerberg went to China on what seems to have been a sort of vacation/fact finding tour. To quote directly from a recent article on iol.co.za:

In China Mark Zuckerberg is almost unknown. Now, after pictures of him visiting Beijing’s biggest internet company have appeared online, feverish speculation has erupted over whether he could be set to change that by taking his social networking site, Facebook, into the one country that has resisted its charms.

That Mr Zuckerberg is in Beijing this week might alone be enough to trigger rumours as to his intentions – even if it is nominally for a holiday with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan and no other entourage.

But when he was spotted yesterday at the headquarters of Baidu, the giant Chinese search engine company, with its chief executive, Robin Li, the reaction reached a pitch of excitement far beyond what is good for most people’s health.

Any alliance was denied by Baidu’s spokesman. But there is little doubt that the Chinese market remains a tempting prize for the 26-year-old Mr Zuckerberg. Facebook has been blocked by the Chinese government, denying him access to the country’s 300 million regular internet users.

The most striking piece of information to be gleaned from the above quotation, in this blogger’s opinion, is the fact that the article points out that China boasts regular internet usage by approximately 300 million people. That is almost the ENTIRE population of the United States of America. As can be quickly inferred, such large numbers of potential users make China a very critical market for firms, in virtually any industry, with a major online presence.

On a related note, Mr. Zuckerberg’s Asian journey did not end in China. To quote directly from a recent article on the Daily Mail’s official website dailymail.co.uk:

The Facebook cofounder was photographed in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday night looking dressed for a trip to the pub rather than a party, wearing a pair of blue jeans and green collar-less shirt.

Zuckerberg reportedly came to Thailand to attend the wedding of Chris Cox, a close friend and a vice president at Facebook…

The internet mogul is known for his casual style. In the early days of Facebook he famously went to a meeting with top venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in his pajamas, a scene seen in ‘The Social Network’, the film about his meteoric rise.

Zuckerberg, Time magazine’s newly-crowned Person of the Year,  is in Thailand fresh off a visit to China, where his social networking site is currently blocked by authorities.

First off, it is interesting to note the reaction of many to Mr. Zuckerberg’s informal dress. It is this blogger’s opinion that casual dress will become more the norm as ecommerce businesses and web based companies allow owners, managers, operators, consumers, and users to operate from virtually any location regardless of one’s wardrobe. It is interesting that the founder of Facebook is visiting China and Thailand because both countries seem poised to show strong growth in the coming years especially in areas such as information technology.

It is likely that the reader who has come this far in the post will ask: Yes, but what does all of this have to do with “the end of the beginning” in Asia? One could argue that the beginning of the modern relationship between Asia and the USA began with President Nixon’s famous “Opening of China”. Although the United States had been diplomatically and economically engaged in other areas of Asia prior to opening diplomatic relations with China (most notably in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand). The opening of China marks a pivotal moment for Asia and the beginning of a new phase in economic and political relations between Asia and West. From the 1970′s up until the present time, the United States (and in many ways Europe and the UK) has been the country which, for the most part, has held the dominant negotiating position as the “West” has had something of a technological advantage over its Asian counterparts. In the last decade, many of the comparative advantages of the United States have eroded leaving many Asian nations in a new, more advantageous, position vis-a-vis the USA, EU, and UK.

Mark Zuckerberg represents a new generation of mogul. Where once fortunes were made in America by industrialists in areas such as steel or railroads, now fortunes are made on the internet through control of online platforms and access to information. As Sir Ben Kingsley’s character in the movie Sneakers, a truly prescient film about the confluence of government, business, and information technology, pointed out:

There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!

If the information business were to be analogized in terms of World War II, then this blogger would liken Mr. Zuckerberg to General Douglas MacArthur as he has proven himself to be a shrewd analyst and strategist in the field of information technology. In fact, Mr. Zuckerberg’s preternatural ability to find and control strategic aspects of the way people use the internet could be likened to General MacArthur’s elegant “island hopping” strategy employed in the Pacific Theater during WWII. With this in mind, this author feels as though this is not the last of Mr. Zuckerberg’s forays into Asia nor the Asian markets. In fact, one can almost read “I shall return” between the lines of the recent press releases documenting Mr. Zuckerberg’s travels throughout Asia.

How Asian markets will ultimately view different types of e-businesses remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Asia is no longer a backwater in terms of the global economy. In fact, many jurisdictions in Asia seem especially poised to be trendsetters in terms of information technology and ecommerce.

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18th November 2010

This blogger recently came across an interesting periodical in which the recent World Exposition in China was discussed. For those who are unaware, Shanghai, China recently played host to a World Exposition which is similar to the Worlds’ Fairs which were once a mainstay of the international social order. To quote directly from the periodical of Cenlaw:

Premier Wen Jiabao praised the fair Sunday as a “splendid event” that “truly brought together people around the globe.”

World Expositions are galleries of human inspirations and thoughts. Since 1851 when the Great Exhibition of Industries of All Nations was held in London, the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand events for economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges, serving as an important platform for displaying historical experience, exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating esprit de corps and looking to the future.

These expositions have often been the stage upon which the host nations display their achievements to the rest of the world. In the case of China, few are unaware of the achievements which the Chinese economy has boasted in recent years as the most populous nation on Earth (once something of an economic backwater) has risen, due in no small part to effective economic policy, to become the second largest economy in the world. To continue to cite Cenlaw further:

Expo 2010 Shanghai China focused on innovation and interaction. Innovation is the soul, while cultural interaction is an important mission of the World Expositions. In the new era, Expo 2010 Shanghai China contributed to human-centered development, scientific and technological innovation, cultural diversity and win-win cooperation for a better future, thus composing a melody with the key notes of highlighting innovation and interaction in the new century.

This author finds it interesting to note that the Chinese seem determined to create economic “win-win” situations through cooperation and innovative strategy. Hopefully, these efforts will result in fruitful economic and diplomatic relationships for China, the United States, Thailand, and the many nations in Asia which could stand to benefit from increased trade and business opportunities.

On a related note, in a previous posting on this blog, this writer noted that the US Embassy in China has taken steps to see to it that non-immigrant visa applications from China are processed in as timely a manner as possible. In an effort to deal with the large demand for visas such as the US tourist visa, the American Mission in China has gone so far as to schedule interviews on weekends. Hopefully, the upshot of all of this extra effort will be an increase in the number of tourists traveling to the United States of America.

In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding tensions arising from currency imbalances between the United States of America and the Peoples’ Republic of China. At many points in history there have been situations where global tension came about due to the emergence of a new economic player. China’s situation seems no different from earlier examples of this same phenomenon occurring throughout history (most notably: the example of the United States after the end of the Second World War). Although there may be a period of adjustment, hopefully the rise of the Chinese economy and the trade opportunities and efficiencies arising therefrom will fuel a new resurgence in the global economy. In short, this writer truly hopes that a “rising tide raises all ships” in China, the USA, and throughout world.

For related information please see: American Visa China.

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26th September 2010

Those who track this blog may have noticed that there has been an increase in political activities which have disrupted the otherwise calm political and economic environment in the Kingdom of Thailand. There are many who feel that these disruptions are only temporary and will not prove detrimental over the long term. In the short term, individuals and businesses in Thailand are analyzing some new risks which have manifested themselves over the past 9-12 months. To quote directly from Westlawbusiness.com:

Several companies have recently disclosed risks arising from the political turmoil in Thailand. For example, Priceline.com, an online hotel auctioneer, recently disclosed that “civil unrest in Thailand, a key market for our Agoda business and the Asian business of Booking.com. This may result in “significant year-over-year declines in booking volumes in this market….Thailand has experienced disruptive civil unrest in prior years as well and continued or future civil or political unrest could further disrupt Agoda’s Thailand-based business and operations.”

Communication cable manufacturer General Cable is also reporting that it is subject to business risk arising from unrest in Thailand. The copper, aluminum, and fiber optic wire and cable products provider recently disclosed that its “business is subject to the economic, political and other risks of maintaining facilities and selling products in foreign countries. . . Thailand recently experienced significant political and militant unrest in certain provinces. The country’s elected government was overthrown in September 2006, with an elected government only recently restored.” [emphasis in original]

Political turmoil can have substantial unforeseen consequences for some businesses and business models operating throughout Asia. This is why retaining the assistance of local legal counsel can be advantageous for multinational corporations as professionals with on-the-ground knowledge of local business customs and practices can guide clients away from unforeseen legal, and in some cases; business, risks.

There are many, this author included, who feel that the current political turbulence in Thailand is simply a “bump in the road” eventually leading to overall tranquility and economic prosperity in the Kingdom of Thailand as well as the South East Asia region. Bearing that in mind, those wishing to establish a business or corporate presence in Thailand are well advised to conduct research and due diligence before making irrevocable business decisions as  maintaining a corporate presence in Bangkok, or the emerging markets in Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia, and Vietnam can be fraught with unforeseen legal and business issues which may not arise in jurisdictions such as the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, or Canada.

Many wishing to do business in Thailand opt to do so under a Thai Limited Company as this type of juristic person provides a measure of limited liability. Limited Liability is often one of the first methods employed by those wishing to hedge against unforeseen future business risks. American businesses may also enjoy many benefits pursuant to the language of the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. Regardless of the type of corporate structure, any foreigner wishing to work in the Kingdom of Thailand must obtain a Thai work permit prior to taking up employment pursuant to Thai labor law.

For related information please see: Bangkok Lawyer or Amity Treaty Company.

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