Ministry of Commerce: Laying down the road to progress
With exports accounting for two-thirds of Thailand’s gross domestic product, the Ministry of Commerce is looking at how to improve its exporting services and logistics infrastructure by next year.
“We’re looking at service centers that support the needs of the government. Thailand is at the center of Asia and the ASEAN region and we’re working on logistics providers in linking the south,” said Minister Apiradi Tantraporn.
The minister added that Thailand’s development also rests on how it keeps up with the rapidly changing e-commerce, clarifying that it was crucial for government to partner with private institutions and build an environment that will nurture e-commerce entrepreneurs.
On the international front, the ministry oversees the pricing of Thailand’s agricultural products and protects the interests of the kingdom before the World Trade Organization.
“We’re currently negotiating a new FTA with Pakistan and Turkey. Thailand is the No. 1 exporter of cars and trucks in Asia. We have the production of automotive with partners from Japan. The industry is growing in exports to Latin American countries, which is a big market,” Tantraporn said.
Aside from agriculture and manufacturing, Thailand has experienced a boom in medical and wellness tourism, healthcare, digital content production, as well as film production.
Apiradi also sees ASEAN as a vital component to broadening the market of Thailand’s goods and services, which would benefit greatly from better transport, logistics and communications infrastructure. With the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement recently signed, the Ministry is also internally discussing the implications of Thailand joining this agreement.
PrimeStreet Advisory: The new kid gives old hand a run for their money
PrimeStreet Advisory has become Thailand’s top financial and investment consultants and business advisers, judging by its year-on-year growth of revenues since its inception. In less than six years, the company has doubled its revenues.
That enviable performance comes from PrimeStreet Advisory’s consultants--in their background and expertise from international investment banks and consultant firms, such as McKinsey & Co. Boston Consulting Group.
“Most of us graduated from the United States but we understand the mentality here and how things operate here. We’ve worked within international firms but we grew up here. So we have knowledge of the various sensitivities in the region. We blend East and West, and that’s something we do very well,” said Director Chavapas Ongmahutmongkol.
Ongmahutmongkol explained that PrimeStreet Advisory, as a one-stop consultancy, also derives its competitive advantage from formulating lean, effective, and easily executable advice, which has attracted a core clientele from the oil and gas, telecoms, and banking sectors, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses.
“A number of the big firms would say they get competition from us because we’re the largest in size in terms of the number of consultants we have. We’re operating at the same level and wavelength as other international companies. But we consider ourselves a small firm and at times, our junior staff perform like the seniors from other firms,” he also said.
PrimeStreet is a Class A financial advisor listed with Thailand’s Ministry of Finance and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand. Its clients also include the top 10 companies in the Bangkok Stock Exchange.
Dej-Udom & Associates: Staying ahead of the game
Marking three decades of success in its industry next year, independent law firm Dej-Udom & Associates Ltd. is gearing up for the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 and has identified areas of growth that will come with the region’s economic integration.
“We’re prepared for the AEC. If you go to our website, we’re the only law firm that summarizes the legal framework for every country that are members of the ASEAN treaty. We’ve done that as a leader. It’s a window for every investor that’s going to choose the business in Asia,” said Managing Director Dej-Udom Krairit.
The firm, according to Dej-Udom, is recruiting lawyers from Southeast Asia and ensuring that all its lawyers improve their grasp of the English language in anticipation of regional expansion.
Founded in 1986 as a full service law firm, Dej-Udom & Associates Ltd. offers partner-led counsel in litigation, immigration and employment, intellectual property, corporate matters and financial markets and investment.
The practice has represented giant household names in intellectual property, which include Paul Frank and Coca-Cola, as well as handling several trademark cases for counterfeit Samsung mobiles.
Bangkok-based Dej-Udom & Associates currently has 35 Thai lawyers and a support staff of over 40 paralegals and assistants. It is also a member of the Legal 500, the International Lawyers Network, the International Trademark Association, Union International des Avocats and the ASEAN Intellectual Property.
En world: Tapping the best talent in Asia
Growing in a very competitive industry with the likes of Internet giant LinkedIn and numerous global recruiting firms, en world Thailand has identified its competitive edge in order to remain a reliable source of mid-career professionals and managers for global companies in the country.
“One way that we separate ourselves from competition is our specialization, which is one of our key strengths. In our specialization, we offer creditability. All of our consultants are well-trained. While other recruitment agencies have sales people, we have recruitment consultants -- we offer a very good career path,” said Country Manager Belinda Skinner.
“It’s not an easy industry. We don't just see ourselves as an agency providing services, but also a business partner,” added Skinner,who has more than 25 years of experience in human resources and management in her native country, Australia, and in London.
A testament to the successful strategy, en world in Thailand has an 80% return rate for its clients.
According to Skinner, en world is also prepared for expansion in Japan as several companies there are looking to expand their activities in Thailand.
Founded in 1999 as TOPTALENTASIA, en world rebranded itself and focused on middle managers with an adaptability to work across Asia. Aside from the Bangkok office, the Japanese-owned company also has an office in Chonburi, south of the Thai capital.
En world, based in Tokyo, has doubled in size over the last two years and recruits talent for global companies across the Asia-Pacific, specifically India, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Australia.