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Pattaya Daily News

Hilton
16 November 2009 :: 17:11:32 pm 1016

“Thailand Lift Your Game” was AFG Consensus

In conjunction with their monthly sundowner evenings, the Australian Chamber of Commerce (“AustCham”) holds its subsidiary Automotive Focus Group (AFG) meeting shortly beforehand. This month’s meeting saw Mr. Frank Holzer from GM Thailand speak on the problems and competitors facing the Thai automotive manufacturing industry.
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Pattaya, the 14th of November 2009 [Pattaya Daily News]: This particular “Sundowner” networking evening was held inside an ultra modern new conference room at Pattaya’s relatively new Dusit-D2 Hotel on South Pattaya’s Second Road. These monthly Automotive Focus Group (AFG) meetings are always very popular, and the guest speakers are always of a very high standard.

The first speaker, Mr. Frank Holzer from GM Thailand, stated that since the 2008 recession everyone had been on a steep learning curve Statistics showed tat “industry drivers went down 50% overnight, and this was the biggest event that the industry had faced. He spoke on lines of credit, lines of credit and outsourcing versus in sourcing, plus the vital need by manufacturers to maintain market share. He expected that there would be no major recovery until 2011 and that the sales of “pick-ups” in Asia would remain strong, with the export driver of oil increasing by 6 – 8% annually.

Frank Holzer warned that China and Malaysia were increasing their production capabilities rapidly, but the big threat was Indonesia, which has a huge potential and a rapidly growing infrastructure. As the second speaker, M/s Riko M. Webster, was held up in heavy traffic, the meeting proceeded with question & answer time.

During this there were some very thought provoking points made, with the most interesting point being made by one of the member, saying that their company has a lot less problems doing business in Indonesia, with all automotive parts being of high quality and readily available. He compared their experiences concerning the ease of doing business in Indonesia, and stated that “Thailand will have to lift its game” or it will lose out badly. Others agreed that this appeared to be the case, and that while normal living conditions were slightly easier, the minefield of Thai government regulations made doing business more difficult.

Everyone then retired to the well appointed lounge bar and balcony of the Dusit-D2 hotel, who kindly supplied drinks and a delicious range of food, including with an authentic Aussie BBQ.

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

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