ASEAN SME NEWS

 
Latest ASEAN news

A SEA of Opportunities: Understanding Southeast Asia

InCorp Global (https://www.linkedin.com/company/incorpglobal/) has launched an eBook in collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) (https://www.linkedin.com/company/singapore-economic-development-board/) to assist business leaders and entrepreneurs to understand and navigate the business landscapes and operating environment in each of the ten Southeast Asian countries.
 
Here’s what you can gain from the eBook:
• Learn from the successful experiences of global business leaders;
• Access information on the different Southeast Asian markets, such as business landscapes, trends and growth opportunities;
• Understand the talent and skills profiles of Southeast Asia’ workforce;
• Understand company setup requirements and procedures; and
• Learn about the variety of tax benefits and strategies to use to your advantage.
 
Download it HERE

The ASEAN Access network is looking for new partners!

We’re growing!

ASEAN Access is looking for public or private organizations, in ASEAN and beyond, that support and contribute to internationalization of businesses and who would like to collaborate with ASEAN Access as a Network Partner.

As an international network, ASEAN Access supports SMEs with market entry, by offering trade information, a Service Providers directory connecting users to hands-on market entry support, country and sector briefs, and a comprehensive pan-ASEAN events calendar. We are also launching our ASEAN Access MATCH platform, which will become the centre of our virtual matchmaking and market information events, knowledge workshops, and many other events that help businesses internationalise. 

How can you as a Network Partners collaborate with ASEAN Access?

  • Help businesses grow, by organising information, training and matchmaking events
  • Help inform businesses, by publishing relevant news, business and trade events
  • Help us grow, by directing visitors to ASEAN Access by promoting the portal.

What you get in return?

  • You can use the MATCH platform free of charge* for unlimited events of your choice
  • You can use our intranet for more matchmaking activities and join our internal communication
  • You will build your professional network in ASEAN and beyond
  • You can promote your own events in the events calendar
  • You can choose which news and articles ASEAN Access visitors should be reading
  • You will be part of the official ASEAN business support network and can help direct its growth.

*PS! The usual starting cost for similar matchmaking and virtual event platforms on the market is USD $960 per event, you’ll get to use ours for free!

Interested?

Please email us at aseanaccess@sme.go.th and let us know you are interested. You will be directed to your national contact point who can give you more information. If you already know one of the national contact points of ASEAN Access, you can contact them directly.

The future of agrifood tech in Southeast Asia: novel foods

Asia is likely to experience exponential growth in food demand—and consequently spending on food—in the coming decades. According to a report titled “The Asia food challenge: Understanding the new Asian consumer,” by 2030, consumers will be actively driving USD 2.4 trillion of Asia’s projected USD 4.4 trillion increase in food spending. Southeast Asia is expected to account for one of the continent’s greatest increases in food expenditure, which is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7%

Part of Asia’s growing food demand stems from a higher consumption of meat and seafood. From 1961 to 2018, the daily protein intake of meat and animal products per capita in Asia increased by over 600%. Growing populations, higher incomes, and increasing urbanization will drive a 78% increase in meat and seafood demand from 2017 to 2050.

Traditional methods of livestock production are neither sufficient nor sustainable to meet this increasing demand for food. Currently, the livestock sector is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing traditional production of livestock would only worsen the climate crisis.

Therefore, advances have been made in foodtech, especially in the alternative proteins space, as technology startups look for more sustainable and healthier ways to feed the world.

Meat from plants and labs

There are several types of alternative proteins, namely plant-based “meats” made from soybeans, fruits, or other crops, cultivated meats that are grown in laboratories, and proteins derived from insects. The production of these types of proteins is typically less resource-intensive than traditional livestock production, and the adoption of alternative proteins can reduce agricultural emissions by up to 60%.

The environmental and business potential of alternative proteins have led to more resources being devoted towards R&D for plant-based and lab-grown food. In a survey conducted by Economist Impact for a report, 26% of agrifood business leaders said they would be interested to adopt technologies in alternative proteins over the next five years. In 2020, the plant-based meat and cultivated meat industries raised USD 2.1 billion and more than USD 360 million in investments, respectively.

Within Southeast Asia, most of the business activity around plant-based and cultivated foods has been concentrated in Singapore. Recently, Singapore-based venture capital firm Good Startup raised a USD 34 million fund for investments in alternative protein. Next Gen Foods, known for their plant-based chicken products, made global headlines in February this year after raising USD 100 million, the biggest Series A funding round ever raised by a plant-based meat company.

Karana was the first to introduce plant-based pork to Asia by creating plant-based alternatives to popular Chinese foods like char siu bao (steamed buns with barbecue pork filling) and dumplings using jackfruit. Umami Meats focuses on creating cultivated seafood that is free from heavy metals, microplastics, and antibiotics, which serve as sustainable alternatives to endangered species such as the Japanese eel.

Singapore’s plant-based meat sector has given rise to manufacturing platforms for large-scale production. These platforms provide the common underlying infrastructure for a multitude of users, allowing them to share equipment to develop complementary products and services. SGProtein, a contract manufacturing platform for meat analogues, allows fledgling companies to scale their production quickly, making it easier for entrepreneurs to enter the market without setting up their own facilities. Similarly, FoodPlant, Singapore’s first shared facility for small-batch food production, provides companies with equipment to trial new food products for early market testing, speeding up the food innovation process.

Alternative, yet familiar, proteins

Another source of alternative proteins, albeit one less discussed, are insects that are high-fiber, high-protein foods. Compared to conventional livestock, insects require less feed, grow and reproduce quickly, and are more efficient in turning their food into energy. The process of rearing and harvesting insects also produces less waste and emits smaller volumes of greenhouse gases, resulting in a much smaller carbon footprint compared to livestock farming.

Vietnamese startup Cricket One has developed a cricket-farming system that can process crickets into protein-rich ingredients for food manufacturers. Malaysian startup Ento has a direct-to-consumer approach. Not only does it process crickets and larvae into snacks and cookies, the company has also developed an insect-based burger patty.

So far, insect-based proteins have not been widely accepted among consumers in Asia, even in some Southeast Asian countries, where insects are considered traditional foods. Consumer attitudes on insect-based food products vary widely between rural and urban populations.

Insects can also be a sustainable source of agricultural materials and biomaterials. Singapore-based Insectta rears black soldier flies through a zero-waste method. They utilize food waste as feed for the black soldier fly maggots, which can be turned into animal feed. Excrement from the maggots can be converted into agricultural fertilizer. Insectta has also found a way to process the exoskeletons of black soldier flies into a sustainable source of biomaterials that are used in a variety of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

Designing the same food, but better

In the foodtech industry, 3D food printing is another emerging field that deserves some attention. A 3D printer can be used to produce food materials in a paste or gel form. Through this technology, food can be personalized to the nutritional needs and preferences of consumers.

For example, Singaporean startup Anrich3D is looking to provide consumers with pre-packaged, ready-to-eat meals that can be tailored to the consumer’s profile.

3D printing can also be used to customize the nutritional value of food. For example, researchers have found a way to 3D-print chocolate to reduce its sugar content. This technology’s ability to customize the flavor of food and its nutritional content can revolutionize the way people, particularly the elderly and frail hospital patients, consume food.

Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design have been working with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to create nutritious and visually appealing 3D-printed purée meals for the elderly and hospital patients who have trouble swallowing food. As Asia’s population ages rapidly, 3D food printing could become an invaluable tool for older generations.

Challenges to overcome

The market for plant-based meat in the Asia Pacific region is expected to swell by 25% from 2020 to 2025, with increases of up to 200% in China and Thailand. In all, 75% of Asia Pacific consumers are willing to pay for plant-based meat if the price is similar to that of regular meat. Despite their market potential, Asia’s foodtech companies are facing challenges such as high costs, scalability, and government regulations.

Mainstream consumer acceptance of plant-based proteins primarily comes down to taste and texture. On top of the cost factor, most consumers would typically only consider switching to plant-based meats if the flavor profile is on point. This is due to changing demographics in Asia, where there is a growing middle class of younger and educated consumers who expect high-quality food.

The alternative proteins industry also faces many regulatory barriers and long approval processes in many countries. Although Singapore has launched a few manufacturing platforms, there is still a considerable lack of infrastructure in Southeast Asia for alternative proteins to be produced at scale. Many of the commercially available alternative protein products have to be priced higher than regular meat to cover the higher costs of production.

While higher consumer demand can improve the economies of scale for alternative protein production, there has to be adequate infrastructure in order to meet the increased demand. This issue needs to be resolved for alternative proteins to become a truly viable food alternative in the region.

The foodtech industry has created, and continues to churn out, new and innovative methods of producing food. Despite the recent advances, there is still some way to go before these novel foods can feed the world.

Source: KrASIA

Written by Deloitte Southeast Asia Innovation Team

Read the original article HERE

Digital payments rapidly gaining ground in Cambodia

In its Consumer Payment Attitudes 2021 study, Visa highlights a rapidly changing payment landscape in Cambodia, with cash losing ground to digital alternatives, said Visa in a news release issued on June 29.

Fourteen percent of Southeast Asian consumers currently do not use cash and this trend is led by consumers in Cambodia (36 percent), it pointed out.

Going by broad categories, it continued, e-wallets and cards are predominant in the market. They are used by around 4 out of 10 Cambodians today and 14 percent of the population have both e-wallets and cards. QR payment and card swipe/insert outpaced other cashless categories both in annual growth and market penetration.

“Cambodians are quickly taking to digital payments, relishing the convenience and security they bring. Visa is offering all stakeholders the solutions and the insights to find their footing in Cambodia’s budding digital economy,” Monika Chum, Visa Country Manager for Cambodia said.

According to the press release, there is a clear age divide in the payment landscape, with the majority of those preferring cash (78 percent) being the elderly. Meanwhile, cashless alternatives are most popular among the youngest age groups (Gen Z and Gen Y), over 21 percent of whom prefer QR payments. Card payments are more evenly liked among the generations.

Dedicated user bases – those using a payment method at least four times a week – are the strongest for QR payments and card online with one in five consumers currently using them. Meanwhile, almost half of contactless cards are used at least once a week. In addition, Cambodia leads Southeast Asia with the most first-time users of mobile banking apps during the pandemic (29 percent).

For full article, please read here



Author: AKP-C.Nika
Source: Khmer Times

Tapping into the vast halal market

JOHOR BARU: The upcoming Export Excellence Awards (EEA) 2022 roadshow, which will be held here, will see industry experts coming together to share their knowledge on export opportunities in the halal market.
 
It will be held on July 5, starting 1.30pm, at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Johor Bahru.
 
Those interested to join can register online at HERE.
 
The roadshow will host a panel discussion on ‘Halal Export Opportunities’, which will feature Guan Chong Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Brandon Tay Hoe Lian, Halal Development Corporation Bhd (HDC) senior manager Faridah Ali and Standard Chartered Saadiq Malaysia Islamic Business and Product Management executive director Bilal Parvaiz.
 
The panellists will be looking into the export opportunities available in the halal industry, funds and grants available for exporters, as well as the role of technology and innovation on halal markets.
 
Tay, who was appointed to his position in January 2005, has had extensive experience in the area of export, having been in the business since he graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Toledo in the United States.
At that time, he was appointed as the manager for JB Cocoa Group Sdn Bhd’s transport division and oversaw the division’s operations.
 
In 1997, he joined Guan Chong Cocoa Manufacturer (GCCM) as its marketing manager, during which time, the company successfully marketed cocoa powder to the European, Middle Eastern and South American markets.
 
He was selected as a director of GCCM in 1999 and was later promoted to the position of general manager in 2002 and managing director in 2003.
 
Under his leadership, GCCM successfully expanded its production capacity to become one of the leading players in the global cocoa bean processing industry in terms of processing capacity and market share.
 
In addition, he was chosen as a member of the Malaysian Cocoa Board by the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry, a position he held from February 2013 to January 2015.
 
Faridah, who undertakes brand development for the Malaysian halal industry, joined HDC in 2009.
 
The HDC champions the development of the nation’s integrated and comprehensive halal ecosystem and infrastructure, with the aim of positioning Malaysia as the most competitive country in the global halal industry.
 
It facilitates integrated services and offerings to unlock the potential of halal markets, putting companies on a stronger foothold to take advantage of the opportunities and resources in one of the world’s fastest moving consumer segments.
 
Meanwhile, Bilal joined Standard Chartered Saadiq (Malaysia) Bhd in 2014 as part of the Islamic corporate team.
 
Aside from leading the corporate products team, he spearheads the Halal360 initiative and is the country champion for sustainable finance.
 
He is also responsible for some of the regional initiatives of Saadiq in Asean markets.
 
Prior to his move to Malaysia, he was with Standard Chartered Saadiq (UAE) as part of the global Islamic banking team, managing structured trade finance and transaction banking. Bilal played an instrumental role in originating landmark transactions across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, South Asia and Asean.
 
An associate member of the Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals, he holds a Masters of Business Administration, along with various academic and professional qualifications, including certification in sustainable finance from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and the University of Cambridge’s Sustainability Leadership Programme.
 
EEA is organised by the Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered Malaysia, with PKT Logistics Group as co-sponsor and Matrade as patron. It is audited by BDO. For more information on EEA, visit Export Awards or email eea@thestar.com.my.
 
Source: The Star

ASEAN for Business Bulletin June 2022: ASEAN as Market and Regional Manufacturing Hub for Electric Vehicle

In Focus: ASEAN as Market and Regional Manufacturing Hub for Electric Vehicle

With huge market size, wide-ranging government incentives, and advance trade facilitation initiatives, ASEAN’s potential to be the market and manufacturing hub for Electric Vehicle (EV) is promising. The ASEAN Secretariat spoke with Heo Junheang, Vice President of Sales Group Asia Pacific, Headquarters of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (HMMI), to encapsulate their experience in establishing and expanding HMMI’s EV business in ASEAN.
 
Read more about EV in ASEAN from this link.


Past Issues
April 2022 Issue (link)
RCEP further modernize the IP regime to enhance market confidence for business operating in the region. Learn more about the Intellectual Property Protection under the RCEP in this bulletin.

February 2022 Issue (link)
The world’s largest ASEAN-led Free Trade Agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has entered into force on the 1st January 2022. The streamlined rules of origin (ROO) under the RCEP provides flexible options for the businesses to enjoy tariff concessions. Learn more about the competitiveness and benefits offered by the ROO under the RCEP in this bulletin.

Navigating The New Normal Of Hybrid Work

In February, David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, declared it was time for the company’s 10,000 New York City-based employees to return to the office full time. Only half that amount showed up for work. Since then, junior bankers have been complaining publicly and have posted on anonymous forums they are looking for more flexible jobs in tech. Solomon’s rationale is that Goldman’s “special sauce” is its culture and the network of relationships that can only be built by in-person experience.

As companies around the world now deal with the new normal of hybrid and remote work, Goldman Sachs is an outlier. On the other end of the spectrum, Airbnb recently announced it was joining the ranks of companies going remote first, a list that already includes household names like 3M, SAP, Nationwide, Fujitsu and PwC.  

At the extreme opposite of Goldman is a tech startup called Levels. Levels is not just fully remote, it doesn’t have an office at all—and its CEO is nomadic, living out of a backpack while moving from one location to another. In a fascinating case study, Mario Gabriele shows how CEO Sam Corcos has assembled a team of world class talent and created a high performance operating culture—not despite being fully remote—but because of it.

With most companies planning to adopt hybrid work models, it’s important to be intentional.

Goldman and Levels are unique cases: Harvard Business Review estimated that 90% of all companies would adopt at least a hybrid work model in 2022. This is the “messy middle,” where managing hybrid workers, fully remote workers, as well as freelance workers will present complex organizational and cultural challenges. In a hybrid world, questions of why and when workers come to the office become crucial. Issues of fairness, in terms of compensation versus flexibility and other benefits, come to the fore. Should workers who are fully remote, saving the firm office costs, be given help with day care expenses? Can managers overcome biases that lead them to promote workers they see every day more than those they don’t? How can a strong culture be maintained with less in-person interaction?

To borrow a phrase from a recent report by Microsoft, business leaders will need to approach this new normal with “radical intentionality.” Communication, especially about the “why” and “how” the firm does business, needs to go from implicit to explicit. This is one of the key lessons for making hybrid models successful.

Document everything.

For companies offering hybrid work styles, it’s important to document everything about the business, from minute workflows to core strategy briefs. For example, Levels maintains a massive repository of content in the form of documents, video recordings and blog posts. Goldman Sachs’ vaunted corporate culture is the unwritten collective know-how and expertise that gets passed down and disseminated in a multitude of shared in-person interactions. Look for ways to create a similarly powerful culture through radical transparency and a living library of information that can be accessed by anyone in the company, anywhere, at any time.

Minimize synchronous interactions.

Another key lesson is to minimize synchronous interactions. This means having fewer meetings (via video) and shifting away from a reliance on instant messages. Levels found that these constant interruptions can distract from the “deep work” of coding, writing, designing and building. By limiting meetings and forcing a discipline of asynchronous communication, you can give high performers maximum freedom to do deep work and avoid what Microsoft calls “digital exhaustion.”

Use the office to promote and deepen social ties.

Microsoft’s research supports David Solomon’s assertion about culture in one way: social capital, or the strength of workers’ personal relationships in an organization, has suffered somewhat for hybrid workers and more significantly for fully remote workers. This social capital—having friends and mentors—is crucial to employee well-being and makes them more productive and less likely to leave the firm.

Companies with hybrid workers would do well to use the office to promote and deepen social ties. One idea would be to have managers and senior execs give open office hours where anyone can schedule one-on-one time. Building social capital with fully remote workers will take more creativity. One idea that’s gaining traction, including at my own company, SellX, are meetings in VR—an environment in which everyone is an avatar sharing the same experience.

Goldman Sachs notwithstanding, the genie is out of the bottle for most workers. Especially for Gen Z, they are demanding more flexibility as to how and where they work. Managers will have to find ways to maintain culture, use best practices for digital work and provide workers with ways to build good relationships even when working remotely. While it may not be easy, the companies already finding success with hybrid and remote workers show it can be done.

Source: Forbes

Read the original article here

Preparing for the digital decade with the right workforce strategies

Article by Infosys Compaz CEO Manohar Atreya.

When Bob Dylan sang his immortal, The Times They Are A-Changing, he probably didn’t have the digital economy in mind, but he may well have. For a decade that started under the pall of the pandemic, the 2020s is poised to end with a bang with the digital economy swelling to a high across the world. Consumer buying, healthcare, education, financial services – to name a few – are set to look very different in another eight years as digital transformation accelerates. 

For Southeast Asia (SEA), which in many ways is helping to define the future of technology globally, the digital economy is projected to scale $1 Trillion by 2030 in a charge led by e-commerce and supported by the digital transformation in other sectors. The digital economy is poised to play an even bigger role in the region’s future than previously imagined, Google’s Southeast Asia vice-president, Stephanie Davis, blogged some months back.

In Singapore, macro-economic trends, new business models, and technology innovation are already accelerating the emergence of new jobs and skills, finds the SSG Skills Report. Singapore also leads the world when it comes to cloud development and innovation, according to a comprehensive report by MIT Technology Review and Infosys that ranks 76 of the world’s major economies on their cloud ecosystem – the foundational resource for digital technologies.

What could be a party pooper though is the shortage of technical skills to aid this digital transformation. Companies have started grappling with skills shortages and rising attrition. With digital skills in short supply and demand outstripping availability of talent, employees with in-demand skills have started shopping for the best deals they can get – be it in terms of fatter pay cheques, attractive perks or better work-life balance.

One of the critical challenges facing employers and HR managers today is how to expand their existing talent pool to cater to the demand for digital technologies based on the cloud. In terms of sheer volume of work, the resources required to execute these projects is significant. And not all technical talent is equipped with skills to implement cloud projects – some have worked on legacy systems and need to be re-skilled in newer digital technologies.

While there is some amount of reskilling that is happening, the pace falls short of the projected growth in SEA’s digital economy and the demand for cloud and digital technology skills. So, in the short term - for the next 2-3 years at least - until the gap between talent availability and demand narrows, companies will feel the pinch with their key talent leaving for better pastures. 

The trend is already visible with attrition levels now ranging anywhere from 20% to 40% for service providers. Where your firm’s attrition falls in this band depends on how well you treat your talent and what retention strategies you have in place. 

Employers need to think through what can keep their talent happy and satisfied. From giving them projects that excite them to opportunities for learning and getting trained, employers need to offer their employees careers rather than just jobs. While a lot of training in technology tends to be in hard skills, training in soft skills is also as important.

The SSG Skills Report points out that beyond technical skills, there is a set of transferable soft skills that is critical for the digital decade. These critical core skills would not only enable integration of knowledge across disciplines for effective decision making and problem solving but also help influence stakeholders through empathy and consensus, while managing one's own well-being, personal effectiveness, and personal brand.

For individuals, these are also the skills supporting the building of other skills, according to the report. Some of the more successful organisations will be those that treat their talent, and more so, their outstanding talent, with respect and due consideration of their personal goals and objectives. The pandemic has made everyone think deeply about their relationship to work and there is a deliberate movement towards making sure personal objectives are fulfilled through work -  passions and areas of interest are very important to employees.
 
A bad manager, disrespectful client, understaffed team, all can frustrate people. In a scenario where many employers are chasing limited talent, it is the employee engagement models that will make a difference.

Source: Security Brief Asia

Read the original article HERE

Call for Greentech solution providers to solve business challenges of tomorrow

The concept of sustainability has been growing in importance for businesses. A business that is sustainable is one that functions in the best interest of the environment, promoting awareness amongst both the local and global partners with the practice of responsible production.

According to the Paris Climate Accord, businesses can impact up to 60 per cent of emission cuts by 2030, and now is the time for business owners to take part in the sustainable movement to promote a more liveable planet for all.  

As we move to the future, companies with practices and technologies to promote sustainable development and carbon neutrality are more likely to attract sustainable investments and long-term growth.  

The FinLab is a keen supporter of sustainability and has launched The Greentech Accelerator to grow and nurture more Greentech solutions for industry partnerships and adoption.

About The Greentech Accelerator

The Greentech Accelerator by UOB’s The FinLab is a three months programme that welcomes regional and global Greentech solution providers focusing on energy efficiency,  zero-waste supply chain, and carbon management and reporting to join forces in the sustainability transformation movement.

The three areas of focus are tailored with close alignment with the sustainable development goals and they are examples of how the participating Greentech solutions can get more involved in the sustainable movement in business operations. 

Energy efficiency

Efficiency is a measure of how we can reduce waste and in this case, is to reduce the amount of energy consumed by the industry of focus. Low-energy infrastructure, IoTs that help to monitor energy consumption, electric vehicles, and solar and energy deployment are examples of innovations that improve the efficiency of energy usage, hence minimising energy waste that pollutes the environment. 

Zero-waste supply chain 

Supply chain efficiency is important in business operation which includes minimising logistic costs while maximising profits. However, how can we achieve the same results while reducing electronic, food, plastic, and water wastage?

Examples of potential innovation can include waste collection or upcycling systems, waste processing, resource management to increase efficiency, and industry symbiosis to encourage energy re-channelling. 

Carbon management and reporting 

Technologies in carbon management can include the analysis of the releases of greenhouse gases and the optimisation of carbon emissions. Methods that improve the process of carbon capture, carbon credits, monitoring, and reporting of scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions are the areas that would enable better management of sustainable actions.

What do I need to participate in?

In order to participate and stand out from the participating Greentech solutions, candidates should have a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6  and above, meaning a ready prototype demonstration. Companies would also be assessed for their scalability, traction, and readiness for deployment. 10 shortlisted Greentech solutions will be selected for the three months programme from August to November 2022.

How do you benefit from the programme?

  • Sustainability and Business Masterclasses: Design with expertise from the bank and the industry, the masterclasses cover topics such as management, sustainability, commercialisation, and international market expansion. 
  • Mentorships and Partnerships: Be mentored by our pool of domain experts and tap on the extensive network of governments, corporates, SMEs, researchers, and tech providers to expedite the development of solutions.
  • Pilots and test-bedding: Tackle actual sustainability-related challenges from corporates and SMEs to pilot and test-bed solutions.

How to join the programme?

Interested startups can apply to the programme HERE and embark on building a sustainable ecosystem for future generations and the planet. Applications close on Tuesday, 12 July 2022.

41 foreign companies get the nod in May to invest in Thailand

Forty-one foreign companies have been allowed to conduct businesses in Thailand under the Foreign Business Act, Sinit Lertkrai, the deputy commerce minister, said on Friday.

These foreign companies have invested over 18.69 billion baht in Thailand and generated up to 753 jobs for local people,” he said. “Most of these companies are from Singapore, Japan and Cayman Islands.”

Sinit said that allowing more foreign companies to invest in Thailand will help promote knowledge and technology transfer, especially in the areas of petroleum rig control, multiverse platform operation, coronary angioplasty, enterprise software development, data and predictive analytics, and integrated circuit manufacturing.

Sinit added that 12 foreign companies have been approved to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), or 29 per cent of all approved foreign companies in May. These companies have invested 15.16 billion baht in the EEC, accounting for 81 per cent of total foreign investment. Most of these companies are from Japan, Singapore and the Netherlands, while businesses in the EEC that received foreign investments include data collection and processing services, electronic component installation, digital camera and lens manufacturing.

The Commerce Ministry expects more foreign companies to apply for investment in Thailand in the rest of the year due to the improving Covid-19 situation and the easing of restrictions for foreign arrivals, which will help restore confidence among foreign investors.

Source : The Nation Thailand

Thailand BOI approves US$6.2 billion in investments, including Foxconn-PTT’s EV venture, and improved battery, smart zones incentives

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) at a meeting on June 13, 2022, approved a combined 209.5 billion baht (US$6.2 billion) worth of investment applications in manufacturing and infrastructure projects, including 36.1 billion baht by Horizon Plus Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Taiwan’s Foxconn and Thailand’s PTT PCL, to make battery electric vehicles (BEV). The BOI also approved enhanced benefits for investment in battery production, building on a policy to become Southeast Asia’s EV manufacturing hub. A set of improved incentives to promote investments in smart industrial estates and smart systems, including upgrades of existing industrial estates, were also approved.

“The roll out over the last three years of the measures to boost investment in EVs is already showing clear results,” Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, told reporters after the BOI meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. “By improving the incentives for battery production, an essential element of the industry’s transition, we hope to further strengthen the supply chain.”

Under the revised benefits, both existing and new projects using advanced technology in the production of EV batteries, from battery cells to battery modules, and in the production of high energy density batteries, will enjoy a 90 percent reduction of import duty on raw and essential materials for 5 years in cases where the output is sold domestically.

So far, a total of 16 projects, with a combined investment value of 4.82 billion baht, by 10 different companies, have been granted promotion benefits for investments in the manufacture of EV batteries. Another 3 projects, with a combined investment value of 6.75 billion baht, have been promoted for investment in high energy density batteries.

Smart industrial estates incentives

The board also approved an improved package for the promotion of investment in smart industrial estates/zones as well as an incentive package for upgrading existing general industrial estates/zones. To apply for promotional privileges or to upgrade conventional facilities to smart industrial estates/zones, the projects must provide intelligent system services to their customers in five key areas: Smart Facilities, Smart IT, Smart Energy, Smart Economy, and at least one of the three other intelligent system services, namely, Smart Good Corporate Governance, Smart Living, and Smart Workforce.

Investment promotion benefits now also extend to investments in the development of smart systems for use in industrial estates and zones. Approved projects will be granted an 8-year corporate income tax exemption. Those located in the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) area, will enjoy a 50 percent corporate income tax reduction for an additional period of 5 years.

While investments in smart industrial estates and zones require at least 51 percent Thai shareholding to be eligible for the benefits, there is no shareholding limit for investments in the development of smart systems.

Facilitation of land ownership for foreign juristic persons

To facilitate the operations of international companies investing in Thailand, the board also approved a measure allowing BOI promoted foreign juristic persons with registered and paid-up capital of not less than 50 million baht to own land to set up offices and residential quarters for executives and foreign experts.

“The measure represents a major step in business facilitation because land ownership is one of the key factors when it comes to attracting foreign investment,” Ms Duangjai said.

Project approvals

Besides the Horizon Plus project, investment applications approved by the board on June 13 comprise:

  • Asia Era One Co., Ltd. received approval for its 162.3 billion baht investment to build a high-speed rail project connecting the three airports located in Bangkok and the EEC.
  • Kingboard Holdings Group, a Chinese company, received approval for its total 8.23 billion baht investment in technical fiberglass yarn and fabric for use in the production of multi-layer PCB.
  • IRPC Clean Power Co., Ltd. received approval for the 2.83 billion baht expansion of its cogeneration power plant.

Source Bangkok Post  

Thai digital content fetches global deals worth THB690.65m

Digital content created by 53 Thai companies fetched some THB690.65 million from foreign buyers in the latest fair organised by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP).

            The department’s director-general, Phusit Ratanakul, said the DITP had recently organised the Bangkok International Digital Content Festival 2022 (BIDC 2022) with cooperation from eight private and state partners to help Thai digital content producers sell their products.

            He said the fair successfully matched 46 leading global firms from 12 countries with the 53 Thai digital content makers.

The matchings led to 266 online negotiating partners and helped the Thai firms sell products worth THB690.65 million, Phusit added.

Animations accounted for THB412.9 million, digital characters for THB150 million, games THB103.9 million and e-learning courses THB23.6 million.

The foreign firms were mostly interested in Thailand’s animation outsourcing services, followed by game outsourcing service, game development and animation co-production, Phusit added.

Thai digital content fetches global deals worth THB690.65m It was the ninth time that the DITP had held the fair with cooperation from the Thai Game Software Industry Association, the ACM SIGGRAPH Bangkok Chapter, the Digital Content Association of Thailand, the E-Learning Association of Thailand, and the Thai Animation and Computer Graphics Association, Phusit said.

Three public organisations — Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency and the Creative Economy Agency — supported the fair.

Thai digital content fetches global deals worth THB690.65m Phusit said the DITP and its partners wanted to promote digital content as one of key industries for steering the country’s economy in line with the government’s creative economy policy and plan to promote Thailand as digital content hub that will also become the country’s soft power.

 

Source : The Nation Thailand