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Member News provides news about AustCham member achievements and announcements
  • Thursday, December 13, 2018 15:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    World’s Best Multihulls On Display At 2019 Thailand Yacht Show And Rendezvous

    Multihull Solutions will be showcasing some of the world’s most acclaimed catamarans at the 2019 Thailand Yacht Show & RendezVous from 10-13 January.

    Now Phuket’s only official boat show, the event is the result of a collaboration between the organisers from the Thailand Yacht Show, the Phuket RendezVous and the Phuket Yacht Show.

    As the region’s biggest and ultimate maritime event, the Thailand Yacht Show & Rendezvous will be held at the award-winning Royal Phuket Marina and combines the finest elements of the boating, charter and luxury lifestyle industries.

    With support from the global yachting community and the Thai Government, the Thailand Yacht Show & RendezVous will enable nautical lifestyle-seekers a unique opportunity to view some of the world’s most iconic brands at Thailand’s premier waterfront environment.

    Visitors can view more than 50 yachts on display and meet with local brokers, property developers and bespoke travel operators, as well as specialists within the hospitality and food and beverage industries.

    The event is also ideal for those interested in working their way towards yacht ownership through charter investment. Thailand’s superb cruising grounds, excellent facilities and reliable staff make Multihull Solutions’ Phuket Sales Centre the first choice for both private and charter sales.

    Multihull Solutions will be showcasing three of the world’s leading multihulls at the 2019 event, including the award-winning Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 sailing catamaran and MY 44 power catamaran, as well as the impressive ITAC 54 power catamaran.

    Further information and inspection bookings can be obtained by emailing Multihull Solutions Asia on or visiting or the event website at

  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018 15:53 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Best Western® Hotels & Resorts Unveils Attractive New Website Dedicated to Hotel Developers and Owners in Asia

    Best Western Hotels & Resorts has launched a brand new website that provides essential information to hotel developers and owners in Asia.

    The new website, which is now live at, is dedicated to hotel developers and owners, offering a complete source of content for any company or individual looking to harness the power of Best Western’s global brands to enhance the value and performance of their property.

    The website offers in-depth information to all existing, new and potential development partners. This includes an interactive map that allows users to visualize the company’s existing portfolio of hotels and resorts in Asia, and an overview of Best Western’s regional pipeline of properties. Visitors to the website can also discover the strength of Best Western’s reputation by exploring the company’s many industry awards and extensive media coverage.

    The “Why Choose Best Western” page reveals the many advantages of working with Best Western, such as the company’s highly profitable business models, which include management and franchise options with attractive fees. There are also details of the services provided by Best Western’s central support network, including global sales, marketing and distribution, revenue management, professional training, state-of-the-art technology, quality assurance and access to the award-winning loyalty program, Best Western Rewards®.

    Developers can learn more about Best Western’s wide-ranging portfolio of brands. With 13 distinctive and innovative concepts to choose from, ranging from economy to upper-upscale, Best Western has an option to suit almost any property type or location.

    The most recent of these brands, Sadie HotelSM and Aiden HotelSM, which launched in September 2018, are dedicated to conversion projects. These are now available alongside the timeless trio of classic brands, Best Western®, Best Western Plus® and Best Western Premier®. The brand portfolio also includes Vīb® and GLō®, the cutting-edge midscale concepts that are tailored to new-build projects; and two soft brands, BW Premier Collection® by Best Western and BW Signature Collection® by Best Western, which allow owners to retain their distinctive style and identity. Meanwhile, Executive Resid ency by Best Western® enables developers to tap into the modern trend for extended stays.

    Finally, the recently launched franchise offerings, SureStay® Hotel by Best Western, SureStay Plus® Hotel by Best Western and SureStay Collection® by Best Western, provide three ideal options for owners and developers who want to avoid high costs, whilst also harnessing the power and support of a global brand.

    “Demand for Best Western’s world-class hospitality has never been stronger, so we are delighted to unveil this new dedicated resource for hotel owners and developers in Asia,” commented Olivier Berrivin, Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ Managing Director of International Operations – Asia. “With our expanded portfolio of 13 intuitive brands, we now have a product to suit virtually any hotel, from urban conversion projects to out-of-town new-builds, upscale resort rebrands and many more. With our new website, we are putting our full collection of products and services at the fingertips of our Asian partners.”

    Best Western currently operates a portfolio of 56 hotels and resorts across Southeast Asia and Japan, comprising more than 5,000 rooms across five of its brands. This region-wide inventory is set to more than double in the coming years, with over 6,800 comfortable and contemporary rooms expected to open across Asia. In total, Best Western has 37 hotels in its Asian pipeline, covering seven of the company’s 13 brands.

  • Tuesday, December 04, 2018 14:26 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Amata Spring’s Positive Trajectory

    In the concluding instalment of an exclusive two-part interview, David Townend, Principal of Azalea Hospitality and General Manager at Amata Spring Country Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, looks ahead to next month’s inaugural Amata Friendship Cup presented by Toyota and discusses his vision for the future of the award-winning Thai venue.

    AGIF: What is the ambition and vision for the club and how does the renovation programme fit into this? 

    DT:  The vision is to maintain Amata Spring Country Club’s status as one of the premier clubs in Asia and a leading championship venue in Thailand.

     One of the features of our club is the belief in how hosting events positively impacts the Thai community and how it helps inspire youngsters, but also brings people together.

     The journey of Thailand’s top-flight golfers is perhaps only comparable to Korea and Japan. The abundance of great players is a by-product of the vision the likes of our Board has for the game and the extraordinary ability to pull them off.

     Everybody at the club wants to have a course that lives up to its billing, day-in, day-out. That means having quality surfaces, with a healthy eco-system that encourages the best experience possible.

    AGIF: How do you feel the club has benefitted since employing Azalea Hospitality?

    DT: Any time you have a group employing a specialist group, it is to benefit from knowledge, intel and expertise. I feel I have been able to provide the Board with the critical intel that has helped shape their philosophy on how they want the club to run, whilst bringing some creative ideas.

    The golf industry is a niche sector, awash with nuance. How you navigate this is in most instances based on levels of understanding. My job is to implement a new best-practice model for club management and operations, injecting a new culture of hospitality, bringing state-of-the-art technology to increase communications and efficiencies, framed by a world-class golf course, flanked by some of the finest private residences.

    As a private club, the emphasis is always on delivering product and service to our members that goes well beyond their expectations. We have a membership that is almost perfectly balanced between Thais and Japanese, therefore creating activities and events that appeal to them and allow them to interact and socialise both on and off the course has been paramount to the outstanding results that we have achieved over the last year and a half.

    We have had a record year in terms of financial performance in 2018, with positive trajectory and plans for 2019. For me, that is my focus – balancing short-term revenue performance with a clear and achievable long-term sustainable plan.

    AGIF: You are the Tournament Director of the Amata Friendship Cup presented by Toyota. How will you have the course set up?

     DT: It is going to be a great privilege to be Tournament Director. We have a great team working on the event, with Jed Moore and his team from Performance54. I am focused on working with Mike McKenna, our Superintendent, and someone I rate as one of the most diligent professionals, on getting the course in optimum condition.

    I have spoken with each of the team Captains on my vision for how the course will play its best and have had their unanimous support.

     I don’t want to give too much away – but the course will be second only to the players in putting on a great show. Expect some firm conditions, pure and slick greens – but all in all a fair and fun test for the players. 

    AGIF: So, what is next at this pantheon of Asian golf?

    DT: We have a lot to do still on the course. Our programme will take another two years, so the teams are focused on realising the end vision.

    We have continued developments to the residential community, which has undergone its own makeover in tandem with the course. We have some further news in store on plans for the Amata Spring Country Club residential masterplan and some additional exciting new additions – which will come to light in due course.  

    Technology investments are also right around the corner – which is something we will be telling the golf industry more about in due course.

  • Tuesday, December 04, 2018 13:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bumrungrad International Hospital recently received a “Distinguished Award”

    Bumrungrad International Hospital recently received a “Distinguished Award” for Product/Service Excellence at the Thailand Corporate Excellence Awards 2018, held by the Thailand Management Association (TMA) in collaboration with the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University.

    Assoc. Prof. Dr. Somsak Chaovisitsaree, CEO and Medical Director of Bumrungrad International, accepted the award on behalf of the hospital from Dr. Uttama Savanayana, Minister of Industry. The hospital’s management team also attended the ceremony.

    The ceremony was held in the Chadra Ballroom at the Siam Kempinski Hotel in Bangkok on November 29, 2018.

    Awards are given after a vote by 1,000 senior executives of Thailand-based companies.

    Bumrungrad International Hospital is renowned for providing high quality medical care. Internationally accredited, the hospital has a team of specialists from all major medical fields, utilizes advanced technology, and embodies its core values of care and generosity to ensure the best possible care and experience for all Bumrungrad International patients.

  • Monday, December 03, 2018 15:06 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bangkok Commercial Properties Facing New Market Trends

    According to CBRE, an international property consultancy company, the Bangkok office market continued to remain strong with steady demand. As a result, landlords have enjoyed an increase in rental rate. The total net take-up of office space in Bangkok for the first nine months was 140,000 square metres. CBRE expects the total net take-up will be close to 200,000 square metres by the end of this year.

    Based on the latest survey by CBRE Research, there is over 850,000 square metres of new office space under construction which is due for completion between Q4 2018 and Q4 2022 with more than half of the total supply under construction in the central business district (CBD). There is still over 1.7 million square metres of office space being planned. CBRE expects construction to start on more projects in 2019 which will increase the future supply completed in 2022 to be completed over 500,000 square metres.

    According to Mr. Nithpat Tongpun, Head of Advisory & Transaction Services – Office, CBRE Thailand, the office market outlook remains the same with a steady level of demand growth of around 200,000 square metres per year and rents continuing to rise but at a slower rate until around 2022 when new supply will exceed demand. Co-working space has continued to become an emerging source of demand, especially in new Grade A office buildings, with 44,000 square metres of space leased over the last 18 months. As more co-working space is completed, this form of office will compete more directly with traditional office space and may reduce net take-up.

    The Thai retail industry continued to recover following the moderate expansion of the economy. Consumer confidence grew, but the retail property sector still faces challenges from weak domestic consumption and due to the rapid transformation in global retail landscape. The retail sales index in August 2018, as estimated by the Bank of Thailand (BOT), was 275.22, representing a 17.74% increase from the same period last year. Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in August 2018 also increased by 9.73% from last year. Nonetheless, household debt remained high at 78% of total GDP, still affecting the spending power of local consumers.

    The Thai retail industry is under intense competition from new retail supply and e-commerce. Based on a survey by CBRE Research, in 2018, 200,000 square metres of new retail supply in four major developments was launched including ICONSIAM, Gateway At Bangsue, the second IKEA at Central WestGate and The Marvel Experience Thailand at Mega Bangna. Despite the positive outlook on macro-economic indicators, many major retailers reported flat same-store-sales growth (SSSG) due to weak domestic consumption.

    Looking ahead, the future supply if retail space in Thailand will continue to grow. As of Q3 2018, there was about 1.4 million square metres of under construction or planned space in Bangkok. With growing competition, the challenge for retail landlords is the ability to evolve from offering similar products and services to creating retail experiences that will meet customer’s high expectations.

    According to the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), the value of Thailand’s e-commerce market in 2018 is 3.06 trillion baht and, according to JD Central, the e-commerce market currently accounts for 3% of total retail sales which is expected to increase to 10% within five years. E-commerce in Thailand is growing faster than predicted, but still accounts for only about 2% to 3% of total retail sales, according to the Bank of Thailand.

    “As a growing number of consumers prefer to use both online and offline channels, bricks-and-mortar retailers are being forced to adopt omni-channel strategies to integrate their physical stores and online shopping in order to create “experiential retail”. This rapid transformation of the retail landscape means malls must innovate or die,” said Ms. Jariya Thumtrongkitkul, Head of Advisory & Transaction Services – Retail, CBRE Thailand.

    The Thai tourism market continued to grow steadily. China remains Thailand’s largest feeder market accounting for around 30% of total international tourist arrivals. After the big increase in recent years of Chinese inbound visitors , the Thai hospitality industry is now bracing for a slowdown in growth from the Chinese market following the Phuket boat incident in July, which resulted in the drop of Chinese inbound arrivals by 8.8% Y-o-Y in Q3 2018. However, CBRE believes that Bangkok was less affected by this as the total number of international tourists disembarking at both Don Mueng Airport and Suvannabhumi International Airport has not declined from last year.

    According to STR Global, the average occupancy in downtown Bangkok remained high since the beginning of the year and is currently at around 80%. Hoteliers had experienced many periods of record high occupancy in the past two years and are now more confident in raising room rates. In Q3 2018, Average Daily Rate (ADR) increase by 4.3% Y-o-Y while occupancy remained stable. Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) also increased, showing a positive trend for the Bangkok hotel market.

    By the end of 2018, there will be 46,800 keys in the Bangkok downtown market, increasing 4.6% from 2017. CBRE Research forecasts that there will be 11,000 more keys completed by 2022, based on announced developments. The total hotel supply in downtown Bangkok will then grow by 25% to around 58,000 keys, with most of the future supply in mid-range grade hotels. The challenge remains on winning back the Chinese tourists to respond to the large amount of incoming future hotel supply.

    “Considering that Bangkok is the top overnight market tourist destination in the world, according to the Mastercard’s 2018 Global Destination Cities Index, we optimistically expect to see healthy performance in the high-season of Q4 2018, driven by the end of year Christmas and New Year holiday,” reported Mr. Atakawee Choosang, Head of Capital Markets - Hotels, CBRE Thailand.

    Bank lending for real estate remains tight for both developers and buyers. Growing concerns about residential mortgage lending prompted the Bank of Thailand to reduce loan-to-value for second home mortgage to 80-90% and 70% for third home mortgage which will restrict speculators and investors in the property market. For property developers, the Thai banks’ tight lending policies have driven Thai developers to source fund overseas through joint ventures. Since the beginning of 2018, there have been more than 15 major joint venture partnerships formed between Thai and foreign companies, at least 75% of the joint venture projects were formed with Japanese developers.

  • Friday, November 30, 2018 14:49 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Amata Spring: Changing Face of Thai Masterpiece

    The name Amata Spring Country Club will conjure up fond memories for the world of golf. Host to some of the region’s most prestigious championships, the unique golf course has been a mainstay on televisions around the world for over a decade.

    So, many will be glad to hear that an exciting new championship will be taking place this December at the coveted club. The Amata Friendship Cup presented by Toyota will see Team Thailand take on Team Japan in a mixed format. Inspired by the world’s best-known team events – the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup – this event has introduced an added twist by mixing the teams with men and women and including two amateurs (one male and one female) into the fold.

    Whilst the event proposition is certainly one of the modern breeds of golf events, a major renovation programme has been taking place the award-winning venue, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

    In the first instalment of an exclusive two-part interview, David Townend, General Manager at Amata Spring Country Club and Principal of Azalea Hospitality, explains what the players, spectators and viewers can expect and why the course has undergone such an advanced development programme.

    AGIF: What inspired the change at what is known as one of Asia’s finest clubs?

    DT: I have been at the club for coming up to 18 months now, when the Board of Directors appointed Azalea Hospitality as the management and operations group. Given the reputation and vision of the club, it was necessary for me to permanently base myself at the club, as acting General Manager.

    What was immediately apparent on early inspection was the course had fallen behind the club’s global reputation. There are so many compelling features to the Schmidt-Curley design, but it was clear that it wasn’t playing as the design intended.

    On further examination, it was clear that some of the practices were not matching what we believed had been envisaged. We felt with some concentrated efforts, we could create improved conditions, far more consistently, whilst tweaking the playing traits of the course.

    There are of course features that are irreplaceable at Amata. Our membership is as strong as ever, with some great characters. The spectacular 17th hole is without doubt one of the world’s most unique and recognisable par-threes. The island green, only traversable via boat, is the signature centrepiece. Fixtures, such as the mystical Amata Castle stand stronger than ever and make for as fitting a backdrop to this masterpiece as you could wish to find. The clubhouse as well, which shapes club life, is as distinguished now as ever – with a welcoming atmosphere, underneath its Mediterranean style.  

    AGIF: What was it about the course you felt needed to be changed?

    DT: The course surrounds were so heavily vegetated; the lack of strategic landscaping had meant vital aspects needed for great course conditioning were impeded.

    The vegetation had become so cumbersome on the course, blocking air flow and sunlight to many corners that disease was a more frequent occurrence and grass quality was weak – with low coverage and density. Every effort was being made to maintain quality standards, but it was futile without the re-engineering of key requisites. The playing experience was also an obvious challenge for me. There was no roll to any shot and the course had taken on a character dictated by its surrounding environment, as opposed to managing it.

    By eradicating some of the unsightly vegetation we would enhance the aesthetic, whilst giving the course a much-needed rest bite. We could see the golf course was struggling to win the battle for nutrients, as some of the wilder plant life and condensed tree population sprawled deep into the course. This is a problem many courses come across – but with more detailed planning at construction phase can be avoided.

    The reduction in surrounding vegetation also gave the course far better airflow, by unblocking some of the natural wind corridors. If we could improve circulation, allowing for more natural moisture management we would help prevent the threat of disease.

    AGIF: How expansive is the renovation programme?

    DT: We are still in Phase One, which was prompted by the Amata Friendship Cup. The passion for the game and the desire to bring great events to Thailand is an undeniable feature in the Board’s vision at the club. I would be surprised if golfers hadn’t at some stage caught at least a glimpse of the course given the roster of events the course has staged.

    Once I had a chance to understand the course, its character, but importantly the climactic conditions in the area, I was able to set about refining where I felt improvements could be made and what would yield the best results.

    One area that was a common reference point was the depth and severity of the rough. Many of Thailand’s most popular and best-known touring professionals were once common visitors at the club. Over the last few years, their visits had become less frequent, which when enquired upon centred on how severe the rough had become – risking injury and reducing the enjoyment. We stripped back the rough, so it was more manageable in the short term, but with the renovation plan, we knew the grass would behave more consistently. Since doing so, the club is now buzzing with a swathe of Thailand’s best players, which adds to the energy and atmosphere around the club.

    Any time you are fortunate to work for a group whose over-arching vision is to safeguard standards and invest in surpassing expectations, you are in a fortunate position. On sharing my new vision for the course, the support was unanimous, and we set about authoring a three-year programme.

    AGIF: So, what have the early signs shown you?

    DT: The course’s response was immediate. We saw a dramatic improvement in consistency close to many of the over-populated areas. We saw deeper roots forming and far better coverage. It gave us the ability to vary the management of the turf, bringing green speeds up when we chose to, but delivering the most consistent surfaces to our membership.

    One of the areas that has caught everyone by surprise is the aesthetic of the course. With the removal of some of the most dense canopies, we have introduced previously unseen vistas. You can see so many more parts of the course – which gives you a proper appreciation of the undulations, but in fact the true beauty of the property.

    We have also introduced a woodchip initiative, which has allowed us to reduce grassed areas with a mahogany coverage that really helps define the course parameters. We will be introducing flora and fauna species amongst the woodchip which is going to give us some dramatic splashes of bright colour – leaving us with a rich canvas of colour and contrast.

    Source :

  • Friday, November 30, 2018 09:21 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Amazing Thailand Forum “Focus group in India, Muslim and Vietnam market”

    On 26 November 2018, Lancaster Bangkok was honoured to be a venue of Amazing Thailand forum “Focus group in India, Muslim and Vietnam market”.

    The global travel industry can see the potential of a new generation of Indian, Muslim and Vietnamese travelers. Late last year the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said Thailand had welcomed approximately 10 Million travelers from across these three segments in 2017.

    To achieve successful results in those markets, TAT will promote Thailand as a “Weekend Destination” for short-haul travel. TAT expects this initiative to boost the frequency of travel in five main directions: Go High / Go for New Customers / Go Local / Go Low Season and Go Digital - reaching different target groups in each region.

    The direction of TAT’s international communication concept will be the “Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades” campaign by presenting “The Millions of Hidden Shades”. Foreign visitors will be invited to travel to previously unseen parts of the Kingdom and experience its many hidden and unique aspects.

    The direction of the domestic market promotion will be focused on content creation with interesting stories to enhance the knowledge of and love for Thailand among the Thai people, and boost the value of the Kingdom’s tourism products. This will lead to increased regional revenue by growing the frequency of travel into emerging Thai destinations, giving a sustainable and experiential authentic local experience.

    For reservations and more information, please call Tel. +66 (0) 262 8000,, or become a fan at

  • Thursday, November 29, 2018 10:07 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New MLA Directors elected

    More than 800 producers and industry representatives are participating in a packed program of events as part of Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Red Meat 2018 in Canberra, which has included the 2018 MLA Annual General Meeting (AGM).

    The formal proceedings of the AGM included consideration of MLA’s accounts, the election of two Directors to the Board and one cattle producer representative position to the MLA Board Selection Committee.

    MLA members voted on the election of two Directors to the MLA Board – both first-time Board Directors (see extended biographies below):

    • Professor Manny Noakes – an expert in many fields of nutrition and health including the food regulatory system and functional food substantiation, with an in depth knowledge of the role of red meat in human nutrition, received 88% votes in favour.
    • Jo Pye – an expert in large scale customer engagement, marketing and strategy within the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry (with a focus on food and beverage), received 91% votes in favour. 

    The MLA Board is a skills-based Board. Directors have complementary skills to reflect the diversity required to make important decisions in the best interest of members and for the long-term benefit of the livestock industry.

    MLA members also voted on the election of one cattle producer representative to the MLA Board Selection Committee.

    The successful cattle producer representative was:

    • Mick Hewitt as the grassfed cattle representativeThe role of the Selection Committee is to call for applications, review, interview and then report to members on the suitability of candidates for election to the MLA Board.

    The Committee is currently made up of two non-voting MLA Directors, three representatives nominated by producer peak councils and four producer members who have been directly elected by MLA members – one sheepmeat, one grainfed cattle and two grassfed cattle representatives.

    MLA Chair Dr Michele Allan provided the AGM with an overview of the industry over the last 12 months.

    “With many of the Australian red meat and livestock industry’s key supply regions in the grip of drought, 2018 was a challenging year for many of MLA’s producer stakeholders,” Dr Allan said.

    “Seasonal conditions will always have implications for national herd size, slaughter numbers, supply chain profitability, export volumes, domestic pricing and consumption – but it’s a continuing testament to our industry’s resilience that these impacts do not alter its overall progress. 

    “In 2017-18 MLA has worked exceptionally hard to support our producers’ efforts by keeping Australian beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat at the forefront of consumers’ minds in what has become an increasingly competitive global market.”

    Outgoing MLA Managing Director Richard Norton, who is stepping down from the role after four and a half years, reported on the performance of the MLA over the last 12 months.

    “Today, MLA today has just under $600 million in contracts for research, development and adoption across the entire red meat value chain,” Mr Norton said.

    “Breaking that down, MLA has attracted $180m in research funding from entities outside of producer levies and Government funding.

    “MLA invested $262.2 million in 2017-18 which was 36% more than last year. This increase was primarily due to MLA Donor Company (MDC). It resulted in the MLA Group using almost 99% of the Government matching funds available in 2017–18.

    “The added dividend for our levy payers is that MLA is now also generating $5.5 million annually for our industry in returns from service fees and royalties. This is being reinvested back into research and marketing.”

    Looking ahead, Mr Norton stressed the importance of the red meat and livestock industry working together to manage risk.

    “There is a review underway of the industry’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which sets out the roles and responsibilities for the red meat industry’s peak councils and service providers. Currently though, roles and responsibilities for issues and crisis management are not covered and not clear,” Mr Norton said.

    “For the sake of our levy payers and their businesses, for the sake of the families and communities and the local and national economies that depend on them, I make one final recommendation in this role.

    “And that is, that this review of the industry’s MOU resolves the ownership of industry risk and the responsibilities for managing issues, because the current situation is not working in the best interests of our industry.”

    Mr Norton said it had been a privilege to serve Australian red meat and livestock producers.

    “You’ve shared your vision for your business, you’ve shared your ideas, you’ve shared your frustrations and you’ve shared your feedback about MLA’s performance, good and bad. You’ve kept me focused on what matters to you – and what you expect from your service provider,” Mr Norton said.

    Elected MLA Board Directors – biographies:

    Manny Noakes

    Qualifications:BSc, Dip Nut & Diet, PhD

    Professor Manny Noakes is a key opinion leader and trusted advisor in nutrition and health both nationally and internationally. With over 25 years’ experience she has extensive knowledge in many fields of nutrition and health including the food regulatory system and functional food substantiation, and an in depth knowledge of the role of red meat in human nutrition. Professor Noakes is the recipient of three CSIRO Medals, is a Distinguished Alumni of Flinders University, holds a research excellence award from the University of Adelaide and was a recipient of the Zonta Club Woman of International Achievement award in 2007. In 2014, Manny was named in the top 50 influential women in South Australia as part of International Women’s day and in 2017 was nominated for Australian of the Year. Professor Noakes is currently an Adjunct Research Professor with the University of South Australia and a member of the Nutrition Society of Australia. In addition she is also a member of the National Committee for Nutrition for the Australian Academy of Sciences as well as being on its Expert Working Group Special Project: Nourishing Australia: A decadal plan for nutrition science.

    Previous roles:
    Professor Noakes was formerly a Senior Principal Research Scientist and Director for the Nutrition and Health Program at CSIRO. She has been an executive member of the Federal Government Food and Health Dialogue, the National Heart Foundation Food and Nutrition Advisory Committee and an Executive Member of the Lion Nutrition Advisory Panel amongst numerous other advisory roles for industry and government.

    Jo Pye

    QualificationsBSc Food & Nutrition, MBA

    Ms Pye has 20 years’ experience in large scale customer engagement, marketing and strategy within the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry (with a focus on food and beverage) across numerous roles covering food science, product and strategic marketing management, consumer insights and strategic planning. She has held senior positions across local, regional (APAC) and global (USA, UK, APAC) markets including a three-year assignment in Shanghai, China where she was responsible for strategic planning and implementation to drive regional business growth. Ms Pye has excelled in both global corporate and lean start up environments and in designing and delivering high quality strategic market advisory and implementation projects. She is currently Director – Food Service for The NPD Group, is undertaking a Diploma in Leadership Coaching and is a member of the Australian Institute Food Science & Technology (AIFST).

    Previous roles:
    Ms Pye was Global Head of Insights & Customer Experience at Watch Me Think, Global Director of Insights & Client Service, Mintel International and was Marketing Director Australia & NZ DuPont (formerly Danisco).

    Elected Board Selection Committee producer representative – biography:

    Grassfed cattle representative: Mick Hewitt

    Mr Hewitt has served on MLA’s Selection Committee for the past three-year term and has elected to renominate. He combines experience acting as a committee member representing grassfed beef producers, with a solid understanding of the broader beef industry including insights from production and consumer perspectives. Mr Hewitt’s career and current executive role as CEO of Hewitt Cattle Australia includes negotiating and selecting senior positions for people in significant roles of responsibility. He offers extensive experience in building people performance and operational capacity to meet strategic and governing requirements and is well-positioned to make a valuable and ongoing contribution to the role. Mr Hewitt feels it would be a privilege to contribute to the beef industry through this critical function of the MLA Board Selection Committee.

    Photo caption: MLA Chair Dr Michele Allan (centre) with newly-elected Directors to the MLA Board, Jo Pye (left) and Professor Manny Noakes (right).

  • Monday, November 26, 2018 16:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    PTTEP received two ASEAN Corporate Governance (CG) Awards

    PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) received two ASEAN Corporate Governance (CG) Awards for the Top 50 ASEAN PLCs (Top 1-10) and the Top 3 PLCs (Thailand) categories from the ASEAN Capital Market Forum (ACMF). The awards were given to the listed companies with highest score based on ASEAN CG Scorecard assessment. The ceremony was recently held at Malaysia.

  • Friday, November 23, 2018 14:15 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Uncertainty is looming the Bangkok residential property market, according to CBRE, an international property consultancy company. Although developers have recently increased their launches of condominiums, sales to Thai buyers have slowed in some locations and are likely to slow further with the coming imposition of tighter mortgage lending. Some developers are trying to find locations where there is real demand from Thai end-users and develop projects that buyers can afford. Others have increased their reliance on foreign sales where there is uncertainty as to who will be the final occupier. The downtown expatriate rental market is stable, but CBRE thinks the local rental market in the midtown/suburban areas is quite flat, so buy-to-rent investors may not achieve the yields they were expecting.

    The Bank of Thailand has recently imposed tighter regulations on mortgage lending by reducing loan to values (LTV) for certain categories of purchasers in an effort to curb mortgage and property market risks and improve housing loan quality. Effective from April 1, 2019, these new measures will favour first home buyers with genuine demand as opposed to buy-to-rent investors with multiple outstanding mortgages, who are searching for yield. Although the new regulations will not force developers to collect minimum down payments at contract signing, it will encourage them to collect higher down payments to reduce the risk of loan defaults upon transfer. This will reduce the demand from speculative buyers as they will be required to pay up to 20-30% for the down payment from today’s 10-15%. These measures will certainly cool down and stabilize the overall market situation.

    As domestic demand is expected to shrink as a result of the new mortgage restrictions, CBRE anticipates a domino effect where developers will further shift their reliance towards foreign buyers, who purchase primarily with their own funds, as all the money must come in from overseas as foreign currency to comply with the foreign condominium ownership regulations. Many developers have reported that they have increased foreign condominium sales, particularly to Chinese buyers, both in the form of individual purchases and bulk purchases by Chinese property agencies. Several projects have revealed that they have reached their limits of foreign ownership quota (49% of the saleable area) which has been a very rare occurrence in the past.

    “This further raises our concerns on whether high reliance on foreign sales is positive. It is still uncertain whether these foreign buyers will transfer title if they were speculators and there is no clarity on who will live in these units once construction finishes. Most of the foreign buyers are investors and we doubt that they will live in the units which they bought,” said Ms. Aliwassa Pathnadabutr, Managing Director of CBRE Thailand.

    Based a survey by CBRE Research, roughly 7,200 units were launched in the downtown area in Q3 2018, compared to only 1,300 units launched in the first two quarters of the year. The total number of downtown units launched in the first three quarters of 2018 represents an 8% growth from the same period last year.

    The average asking price of units in freehold condominium projects which were under construction (high-end and above) in downtown Bangkok increased slightly by 1.7% Y-o-Y to THB 277,000 per square metre. CBRE does not believe that average prices in the downtown area will drop, except possibly in a very limited number of completed projects with a high level of unsold inventory. According to developers, sales performance of under construction condominium units in the downtown area has dropped to 67% compared to 77% from the same period last year. The outlook is that sales will be relatively slow for most projects in the downtown area with buyers being more selective, especially for projects that are asking for more than THB 300,000 per square metre. Developers looking to achieve high price levels will have to convince buyers that their project is really worth top prices.

    CBRE Research reports that a total of 18,200 condominium units were launched in the midtown/suburban areas this quarter, the highest number of units launched in a quarter since Q3 2013. The total number of midtown units launched in the first three quarters of 2018 represents a decline of 4% from the same period last year. Developers are now focusing on locations along the future mass transit lines such as the extensions of the BTS Green Line and MRT Blue Line as well as the under construction MRT Orange Line, Yellow Line and Pink Line.

    The average asking price of off-plan condominium units in midtown/suburban Bangkok increased slightly to THB 99,700 per square metre, up by 5.6% Y-o-Y. The sales performance of more than 200 midtown/suburban condominium projects that were under construction was 71%, compared to 59% in the same period last year. CBRE believes that the improvement in sales performance of projects in the midtown/suburban areas can be attributed to block sales to Chinese property agencies, although it is uncertain whether these sales will actually translate into transfers at completion.

    With rising supply and uncertainty about domestic end-user driven demand and some fears about the sustainability of foreign demand, the outlook for the condominium market has become more uncertain. In the downtown market, there may have to be some realignment of developers’ expectations on prices in the prime areas or concentration on central locations with slightly cheaper land prices such as Sukhumvit 63 (Soi Ekkamai) rather than Sukhumvit 55 (Soi Thonglor). The midtown/suburban market will have to be increasingly reliant on Thai end-user demand for projects where buyers can get a mortgage with fewer speculators and buy-to-rent investors.

    In the downtown expatriate residential rental market, the number of expatriates with work permits increased slightly by 2.7% Y-o-Y and there was no change in monthly residential rental budgets. The market situation overall remains unchanged with limited new apartment (single ownership) supply, but increased condominium supply where CBRE estimates that around 30-40% of the new condominium supply will be offered for rent by the individual owners when the buildings are completed.

Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce

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