Pattaya Daily News

31 October 2009 :: 15:10:15 pm 3247

Businessmen Hear Top Speakers at Pattaya Dinner

In an unusual combined British and American businessmen attended a network evening followed by a dinner, where two very experienced experts on Thailand’s present and future economic situation talked to the guests, followed by a question & answer session.
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Saturday 31st October 2009 [Pattaya Daily News]: – The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) and AmCham, which is the American Chamber of Commerce based in Bangkok, recently both met in the “Rim Suan” room at north Pattaya’s Amari Hotel. There was a 45-minute networking meeting beforehand which allowed businessmen from both nations to introduce themselves and make new business connections. The two guest speakers, Mr. Christopher Bruton and Mr. David Nardone were introduced by the M/c for the evening, Mr. Graham MacDonald. .

Mr. Christopher Bruton, is the Director, Dataconsult Ltd. and spoke first on the topic of “Light at the end of the tunnel? A brighter future for Thailand in 2010.” Chris Bruton is executive director of Dataconsult, which operates the Thailand Regional Forum, a peer group forum for multinational corporate executives. He also regularly organizes major international investment conferences in Thailand and the ASEAN region. During his 40-year of residence in Thailand he has managed publishing, finance, mining and real estate businesses, and is a frequent speaker international meetings throughout the Asia-Pacific Region. His company Dataconsult is a member of both the British and American Chambers of Commerce in Thailand. He has wide business experience of nearly all countries in Asia, and spoke of the relatively good standing of Thailand within the region.

Thailand is rated as N0.13 as a good place to do business and while many think that this may be a little on the high side, this is the result of a well prepared international survey. GDP, manufacturing and vehicle production all remain healthy when viewed as longer term statistics, but he did have reservations about the implementation of the financial aid package. He saw Prime Minister Apisit as the right man for the job, and while the future is looking better than the past, there are many political variables to consider. (Many political analysts consider that Prime Minister Apisit is a little before his time, but no matter, because he is relatively young and he has time on his side).

Mr. David Nardone is President & CEO of Hemaraj Land and Development Public Co., Ltd his topic was the “Industrial Investment Climate” with an update on the Map Ta Phut injunction and government and industry response. He is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Hemaraj Land and Development Public Company Limited, as well as a Director of 17 Hemaraj group companies, joining in 1993. Hemaraj is Thailand’s leading developer of industrial estates, utilities, and property customer solutions. The 6 industrial estates with 31,000 rai or 13,000 acres include 400 distinct customers and 600 factory contracts representing USD$ 18 billion of customer investment. The 131 automotive customers include Ford and Mazda, General Motors, Suzuki, Toyota group companies and leading global suppliers. Hemaraj has under development a 660 MW IPP power plant with Glow Energy, the Thai listed subsidiary of GDF Suez Energy. “The Park Chidlom” completed condominium has become an award-winning landmark on Bangkok’s skyline.

As a returning 16-year permanent resident of Thailand, David previously held senior financial and manufacturing management positions over 14 years in the computer industry while residing in the U.S., Thailand, and Hong Kong. He completed a BS in Finance and Entrepreneurship and a MBA from Northeastern University in Boston, Ma. U.S.A. David contributes to various chambers and forums and has written articles on automotive, manufacturing, property, and foreign investment. He is a Governor at the American Chamber of Commerce from 2008 (previous 2001 to 2004). His involvement includes the AmCham Automotive Council and as the AmCham representative to the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) emphasizing investment climate and competitiveness issues.

David Nardone believes that the government has been slow to act for several very good reasons, one of which was the likely repercussions of secondary court cases if companies suffer financial losses because of these actions. There are also doubts regarding claims that cancer incidence in this area is thirty three times more prevalent, and the Director General presented a report to the court showing that it was the same as other places in Thailand… Furthermore, the report stated that there had been no environmental deterioration for many years, and that groundwater pollution was cause by the local inhabitants of the region. Leukemia levels are a little higher than other areas, but so far a definite reason has not been established. David Nardone expects that the Map Ta Phut injunction will be dropped and that development will proceed as planned, in what is one of Thailand’s leading industrial centres & shipping facilities.

Both speakers answered a big variety of questions, and stressed that their comments were both personal viewpoints and confidential, so if you want to know more, then attend a future meeting when these two leading experts speak again on their views of what is happening in Thailand.

Reporter : Harry Green   Photo : Harry Green   Category : Business News

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