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Thailand Stages a Comeback

321 comments on “Thailand Stages a Comeback

  1. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    Hello, hello. Testing the room, and lighting it up. 

  2. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    Hey Susan! Looks like you wanna start a Fire!

  3. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    Thailand were very big in the Hard Disk and Auto space.Massive-Massive exporter of both these products.I remember Apple warning their IPhone deliveries will be hit after Thailand's floods.

  4. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    Hey, T4P! (I found you a new short name:)Well, just to keep us warm around the fire while we listen to Jennifer's stories about Thailand'd manufacturing news and surprises. 

  5. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    Hi, everyone! Early birds are already here.

  6. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    ah yes-that will do susan!

     

  7. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    Hello, @HH! 

  8. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Hi everyone. How's summer treating you?

     

  9. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Susan T4P ( I like that nickname), and Hospice (can we call you HH?) you're always early.

     

  10. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    Hello, @Jennifer! 🙂 It's been raining in this norther part of the world all day long. But nice, anyway. What about the south? 

  11. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    hi everyone. I am representative from Thailand Broad of Investment. I am really happy to meet you all here.

  12. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    Hi people. @Jennifer, summer has been fair enough though here in UK. One thing – highly unpredictable.

  13. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Too hot…. my brain is melting. Apologizing now for typos and missed words….

  14. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI New York, you welcome.

  15. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Hello BOI. Thanks for joining us.  Who's the lucky person?

     

  16. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer: I have been calling Hospice HH for quite a long time now. 🙂 Today I satrted calling tech4people T4P. They know I always find new names for them if they are long. 😀 

  17. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Good on you, Susan. Short is better.

     

  18. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @Susan, you done well!

  19. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Waiting a few minutes for Bolaji and then we'll get started.

  20. jbond
    August 23, 2012

    Good Morning Everyone

     

  21. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI: Hello! Welcome to EBNOnline, and thanks a lot for being here with Jennifer and us today. 🙂

  22. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    hello all

     

  23. ITempire
    August 23, 2012

    Hi everyone

  24. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    What a world! Some people busy with works right now, while some still sleeping and just waking up.

  25. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    2mns to 11a.m

  26. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Just a reminder: I'll be making a few introductory comments soon. Today, we're lucky to have some folks from the Thailand Board of Investment on the call. I will ask them a few questions about Thailand's electronics industry and the flood recovery. Then we'll open the floor for a broader Q&A, ok?

  27. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Wale: Hello!

  28. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @jbond! hi!

  29. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Hello all. We will begin the Live Chat in a few minutes

  30. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    Welcome Jennifer!

  31. ITempire
    August 23, 2012

    Sounds great Jennifer

  32. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Waqas: hello! 

  33. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @FlyingScot! Hello!

  34. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Bolaji: Hello! 

  35. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Hi everyone… thanks again for joining us. Ready?

     

  36. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    Hello everyone

  37. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Hello everybody Good -noon-evening

     

  38. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Welcome to today's Live Chat with Jennifer Baljko. First a few words of introduction.

  39. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    I was in Thailand a few weeks ago. The Thailand Board of Invesstment invited journalists to tour the country and visit with executives in the electronics industry.

  40. ITempire
    August 23, 2012

    Hi Susan

  41. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    Hi, Bolaji

  42. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer: Yes, it sounds great. 🙂

  43. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Barbara: Hello!

  44. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    We talked about the floods that hit large parts of central Thailand last year, the impact it had onthe supply chain and how electronics companies have recovered.

  45. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @prabhakar: hello! 

  46. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    We also talked about plans they have to continue builing in Thailand, and how the country is evolving its manufacturing strategy.

  47. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Hi Susan!

  48. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Jennifer Baljko has been reporting on the electronics industry supply chain for years and will be chatting with us today on the impact of last year's flooding on the electronics supply chain. She recently visited Thailand on the invitation of the Thai trade board. She will also be introducing a participant from the Thai board during this chat. Please go ahead.

  49. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    You can see some of the posts I wrote on EBN, and soon there will be a few other stories in the Velocity ezine.

  50. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Please hold all comments and questions until Jennifer has posted her initial comments.

  51. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer: Tell us about your visit to the Thai Land. NO more sign of the flood there, I hope

  52. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    I will inform the audience when to chime in with comments and questions. Thank you.

  53. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    we do have someone from the Thailand BOI on the chat. Can you chime in and say hello and introduce yourself. 

  54. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    hi everyone I (Polapat ) and My boss (Ms. Supisara) ready to chat with you

     

  55. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Yes, I will be talking about the flood and the amazing recovery job. First, though, I'm going to ask the BOI to gives us a little information about how big the electronics and automotive industry is in Thailand. These are major makrkets for them

  56. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    Just saying hello, I know to hold off on questions.

  57. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer I did't join the trip to Thailand .. but I also want to know how eas it

  58. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Hi Polapat and Supisara. Nice talking to talking with you again.

     

  59. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    One of the things that struck me most was just how big the electronics sector is in Thailand. It accounted for about $17 billion in exports in 2011.

  60. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    I believe the word for welcome in Thai is Sawadeeka! Thank you for joining the conversation.

  61. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    for the HDD thailand have WD Seagate hitachi and Fujitsu

    total export for E&E last year was 32.7 bil $

  62. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    I stand corrected – the number I cited was for computer and parts, not the whoe E&E exports.

     

  63. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    avout auto we produced amost 1.5 million cars last year

     

  64. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    How does that compare from the year before?

  65. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we are ranked no. 14 in the world

  66. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    Hello Everyone

  67. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    The floods that blanketed the area hit many of the HDD makers and electronics industry pretty hard. What was was the biggest impact in terms of financial number, or supply chain operations?

     

  68. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    compare to last year we produce less mainly because of the mega flood

  69. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI-Who do you see as your Chief competition in the Hard Disk and Auto space Today?

  70. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    for HDD may be WD and for auto is Honda

     

  71. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Ashish, Please hold the comments for now. Thank you.

  72. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    What struck me most about being in Thailand, was that so many of the conversations with executives talked about the floods as a major event, but also how quickly they were able to move manufacturing and second source supply

  73. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @tech4people I think China

     

  74. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    BOI – What do you think was the biggest advantage Thailand had in dealing with the flood? How are the recovery effort tracking now?

     

  75. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we do have implemented plan

  76. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Production lines at Western Digital, for example, were shut down for 46 days. All of their equipment was under water, and had to be taken apart piece by piece. One of their key suppliers was down for months. But WD and other companies like Benchmark, Celestica, Seagate, were able to transfer some of the production to other plants

  77. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    in 3 stages

    first the construction of dykes and repair works which is underway

    second  dredging canals, fixing water sluice gates, and building the Kaem Ling – Monkey's Cheek – water retention systems.

    third  dredging canals and making sure that sewerage systems are effective in Bangkok and other provinces in the lower central region.

  78. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    BOI – what are some of the plans you have in mind? What are the top flood preventation projects on your radar screen for this year and next?

  79. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    What's also worth noting is that Thailand developing quite a bit of port, rail and road infrastructure. BOI can you speak to that? I think it's a big deal for supply chain professionals, and the port expansion is particularly interesting.

  80. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we have to have bettter both weather prediction system and draining systm

  81. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    In just a few minutes, we'll open the floor up for questions. There's a lot of ground to cover. Thanks for your patience.

     

  82. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Also, another important thing to mention….

  83. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @jennifer I do agree with you

  84. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we do have aplan to find another place to set up a new deep sea port

  85. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Thailand is moving away from being known as a high-volume manufacturing company to producing more complex products

  86. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Moving away from the flooding, what are the key strengths of Thailand that can help it remain competitive as a manufacturing zone?

  87. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Bolaji – to your point.. high tech companies are working with universities to create  more focused engineering programs

  88. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @jenn: earlier you mentioned executives/compnaies being able to move manufacturing and second source supply. Do you mean that OEMs went to alternative sources, or suppliers were able meet demand by tapping capacity elsewhere?

  89. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    thailand is the middle of ASEAN and now many many ASEAN countries are more open

  90. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    WD said they are working with professors to create specific HDD-engineering cirriculum

     

  91. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    so the market are there 600 million people of ASEAN

  92. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Barbara – both

  93. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    OEMs and CMs had to tap other suppliers to fill teh gaps, but also worked well were the VMI huns

  94. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    hubs

  95. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Thank you for joining. Please join the conversation everyone.

  96. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    This is a comment more than a question: Kudos to BOI and the electronics compnaies in Thailand for being so open and candid. I read every word of Jenn's stories and I was impressed with the level of information that was shared

  97. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    in terms of the revenues earned how does the Thai electronics industry fare with the tourism which has been the main stay for Thialand for many years

  98. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Companies said hey were able to move inventory — albeit inventory was only at about 2 weeks in some cases — and deliver to other manufacturing sites

  99. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    Thanks, @Bolaji. 

  100. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we also have many suppliers in many sector to support investment in Thailand

  101. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @jenn and BOI: of the companies that moved to alternative sources–is this business coming back?

  102. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI-Are you sure China is your biggest competition?Are'nt wages in China higher than in Thailand today?

  103. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    BOI – I'll let you answer the tourism vs tech question

    Both seem super important to me….

  104. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    How much can be called as a monetary loss due to the floods?

  105. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Yes, wages may be higher in China, but the “everyone wants to be in China” fad hasn't yet ended.

  106. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer do you see it ending soon?

  107. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    How important is the Emerging Competition from the Phillipines,Cambodia and Laos?

  108. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Prabhakar – WD said the recovery cost them  million and millions of dollars. I had cited an economist in one of my stories abt the total estimated loss. I don't have that number right at my finger tips. 

  109. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI I picked up on your mentioning better weather data. It got my interest because I once wrote about the use of big data in long term weather predictions and how useful that can prove for businesses — even when it doesn't include potential disasters from flooding. 

  110. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI

    What is the  percentage decrease in production of HDD as a  result of the flood disaster

  111. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @T4P: You may be correct, but chna labour market is still apealing to most western companies

  112. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we didnt look China as the competitor but we can work together as ASEAN+6

  113. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer: Do you mean tourism vs. tech as ways of exports or something else? 

  114. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we produce the the good an ser vice that match for our country

  115. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Ok Jennifer. I will find out from your older blogs

  116. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Ariella- see what ending soon – the China fad? Nope, although I think countries like Thailand and Malaysia offer competitive alternatives. People are getting frustrated with things in China and it is getting more expensive do biz there, but it's still a huge market that can't be ignored.

  117. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    Do you see HDD -education curriculum making a different to Thailand HDD market in future?

  118. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer yes, that's what I meant. Thanks for responding.

  119. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI: You are not looking at just one asean country. That's a very smart strategy

  120. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    As I know some part of China thelabor cost is going up too 

  121. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI

    I there is a huge setback in the production of HDD, What effect do you think this will have on Notebook

  122. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    By torurism Vs tech I want to compare the dependancy of the nation

  123. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    T4P – interesting that you mention Laos, Philippines and other SEA countries. They are very much on people's radar screens

  124. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Hospice-I disagree.The value of keeping production(for exports) in China is shrinking for most Western manufacturers(especially as they build automated asembly lines back home very easily).

  125. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Celestica told us they were considering setting up operations near the Thai border and sending some of their low-end engineering work there to start building skills in that area

  126. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    I also see our costs in China increasig now.

     

  127. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @Hospice_ Houngbo thank you and now we try to like this all countries together with trasportation system

  128. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    Question to anyone: isn't the industry moving away from HDD and to chip-based storage? If so, does that signal a change for Thailand?

  129. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    I think many companies in Thailand have production base for not only domestic market but also for export

  130. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    will the trend of back to on-shoringback to US, affect Thialand also alongwith China

  131. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Ariella: hi. Big data and weather sure can help countries affected by natural disasters, they could anticipate -if possible-and be prepared in a more efficent way.

  132. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    but for China the investor aim for huge domestic market

  133. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Adeniji – There was a impact on HDD sales, but the industry has mostly recovered faster than expected and many HDD companies reported record sales and profits recently.  I'll be covering just that topic for Velocity's ezine, our sister pub very soon. Bolaji can tell you when that will be live.

  134. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @T4P: You have a point, but not every manufacturer wants to withdraw from China, right?

  135. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Barbara-Not yet.We are maybe 35% through that transistion.

  136. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    How high is the possibility of Thailand experiencing another flood and how well are you prepare for it?

  137. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @T4P: thanks!

  138. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @Flyingscot, increase in cost is very predictable and also think Thailand would become stronger than China later in the future. What do you think?

  139. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @BIO: That's all good!

     

  140. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    prabhakar – the offshore trend is always competitive… Thailand is not really only competing with China.. it's competing with Barzil, Costa Rica, and maybe one day even Detroit.

  141. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    thanks Jennifer

  142. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    for another flood we did expect and the mega flood before last year happened 10 year ago

  143. ITempire
    August 23, 2012

    Labour cost shouldnt be the only concern. Cost of material and availability of natural resources are also a concern while making investment in a country. Not to forget the political environment. 

  144. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @Susan Yes, the more advance notice one has, the better one can  prepare to avert catastrophe.

  145. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI-How expensive or otherwise are Fuel Costs in Thailand today?Both Electricity and Diesel?If you were to compare it the chief competition(China,Laos,Phillipines,Cambodia,etc)?

  146. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Sure HDDs are going to be replaced by Solid state storage in many platforms in my opinion

  147. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @prabhakar: yes, me too. Thailand as a tech hub as mentioned was a nice surprise. I always thought its main source was tourism

  148. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @Adeniji, thanks for the question. Though, its very uncertain as regards weather and natural disasters.

  149. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Adeniji – the chances of another flood of this magnitude, who knows really. This was the first time in 50 years such a flood hit, and there were other issues byond heavy rains

  150. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    flooding  depend on the worldclimate change also

  151. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    @wale.. Thailand OK for prodn plants but I see China moving futher up the food chain now.

  152. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    Jenn: Did the price of HDD also impact those earnings? I know that prices increased — not to imply there was price gouging — but the market-driven demand did drive up prices

  153. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Most companies we spoke with saw the flod as a wake up call

  154. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer-I dont think so.How do you expect cars made in Thailand to be exported all the way to the US?Especially if Fuel costs do keep rising!

  155. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    They are now aggressive implementing emergency management plans or re-evaluating what worked and what didn't

  156. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @tech4people flankly answer both are going up but we try to move to the alternative energy

  157. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    50 years!!, thanks Jennifer.

     

  158. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    How is Thialand placed in terms of natural resurces required for electronics production, compared to China which ahs world's one of the largest natural resources

  159. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, any measure inplace to curb damage if not preventing near future?

  160. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    t4p… some car prdtn may come back to the us, but not all of it will. Also the expansion of the Panama Canal could be a huge boon for East Coast/Gulf of Mexico ports

  161. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI-How much of the electricity Generated in Thailand is made from Coal,Natural Gas,Hydro and Fuel Oil?[Please give percentages]. Also how much of that is imported? Especially Crude Oil and Natural Gas?

  162. ITempire
    August 23, 2012

    Since Thailand is the world's biggest rice producer as well, hasnt the flood made the land fertile for the coming years making rice a potential earner for Thailand  ? (Ignoring the destruction caused by flood to the crops that year)

  163. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @tech4people car manufacturing have there regional production base, so car from Thailand might not sell in US market

  164. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI: do you see a challenge in that flood memories will fade with time? For example in the US, we don't think about Hurricane Katrina/New Orleans anymore, and I'm not even sure the prevention measures were ever completed…

  165. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Barbara – yes HDD prices were impacted — they rose, and surprisingly have stablized at that higher price point. Now that there is industry consolidation happening, analysts don't expect those prices to fall soon

  166. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Prabhakar-You are slightly mistaken.China is now the World's Largest consumer of Energy and almost the Largest Importer.[Crude,Coal,Natural Gas and Uranium]/

  167. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    When some few years back I visited Thialand as a tourist , I hardly saw any factories as such on our way to various places. Is the electronics industry spread around Bangkok or in the countryside?

     

  168. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @WaqasAltaf: Flooding is never a good thing

  169. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI: Do can manufacturing companies sell to Europe?

  170. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Wale – like the BOI said, the govt is working on various flood-prevention project. But also companies are taking preventative measures too…

     

  171. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @WaqasAltaf most of them from Hydro

  172. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    t4p – But China has huge natural resources of rare earth minerals

  173. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    @WaqasAltaf,

    Flooding does not really encourage farming like that .It could lead to total destruction of the land even for farming.It could also lead to loss  in soil nutirents which may render the land useless.

  174. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    …like they are building three meter high retaining walls, moving production up to the second floor, checking to see how the VMI hubs worked in a natural disaster

  175. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @Barbara now we completed flood prevention measure phrase 1

  176. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Susan – I believe most of the Thai companies are selling to Europe. Most of the companies based there are multinationals with a big global reach.

  177. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Prabhakar-China is also the largest importer of Soyabeans.Trouble is you can't eat Rare earths;but you can replace them easily[Japan is doing some great research] & alternative mines outside China[US,UK ,Canada,Australia]

  178. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    I wonder what the flood prevention is costing the government and how this will be paid for in company tax?

  179. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    How is the power grid situation being taken care off – the contigency measures when the floods may force down some of the power plants?

     

  180. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @praharkar You are correct. the industrial zone are located in many province of Thailand

  181. ITempire
    August 23, 2012

    @ BOI

    I think its a good sign that government is taking flood prevention measures seriously. There are many countries that dont learn any thing from natural disasters. I am glad Thailand realizes how bad it is for their economy.

  182. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Prabhakar – there are a lot of factories around Ayuthaya, and along the eastern coast, near the port….

  183. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @prabhakar: I've never been to Thailand, but normaly you don't see factories in the cities, where is most likely that you go as a tourist. Or you were looking for factories in particular?

  184. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @prabhakar good question!

  185. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    .. the thai govt is also working on ways to start placing more factories near the Laos and Myanmar border… where some of the lower-skilled, high-volume production may end up as the more mature companies migrate to lower-volume, higher complexity

  186. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @T4P: The question is what will China do to maintain its economic growth when foreign companies would depart from the country?

  187. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    BOI – Thanks.

    Did the floods affect only Bangkok and the resulatnat supply chain operations or they also affected the countryside plants?

  188. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer: Thanks!

  189. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI,

    Pls what will you rate Thailand anomg manufacturing zone?

  190. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Hospice-Beats ME! I guess u shud ask them!!!

  191. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    The floods didn't really hit centrl bangkok.. most people in the many tourist parts of town told me the floods were abt 4 kilometrs from city center

  192. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @Waq yes we all suffer but we need to move forward very fast and you can see Honda now running their production as noral

  193. Anand
    August 23, 2012

      I like Thailand has some of the best infrastructure in the world

  194. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Just scanning the questions… any that we haven't answered yet

  195. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    That's a good idea, moving the factories that are in the zone of more risk makes sense, @Jennifer

  196. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    Especially Soft Infrastructure

  197. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    People are very good and learning all the latest technologies

  198. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    anadvy – yes on the adoption of skills…

  199. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    ..  most executives said that the universities have come a long way from where they were 10-15 years ago when they first opened opeartions there….

  200. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI, is there any concern over emergy/raw materials for HDD in Thailand

  201. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @Adeniji It depend on want sector you want to invest there are different supplier in ddifferent zone

  202. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI: Thailand did move very fast on prevention measures. I am curious…is the government fairly easy to deal with and that's how things got fast-tracked?

  203. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    … the schools are making them more “company-ready”, meaning..

  204. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    @Ashish, which countries are best suited there for manufacturing ?

  205. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer-So u would say that The Thais are not ready to give up their hard-earned manufacturing success in a Hurry.Huh?

  206. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @wale so far no

  207. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    How is the language barrier taken care of by the Thia idustry in communicating with the outside English world.

    I had faced a lot of difficulties while trying to source components from China in terms of verbal communication

  208. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    … they are ready to hit the ground running after  graduations… previously they did need more training after graduating, but that seems to be less of a problem now

  209. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @T4P: Why should they?

  210. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    @prabhakar, I agree with you. English is major concern for them.

  211. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @Barbara we set up special team included all government agency for flood recoverry so that the answer

  212. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    I am sure they are taking steps to improve their communication skills, if you remember China too faced the same problem couple of years back..

  213. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Anand-I like the US ,Thailand and especially Myanmar on the Energy Issue.Myanmar is so rich in Energy resources it boggles the mind!!! The worst off will be India,China and the Phillipines.

  214. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Wale – energy question…no one mentioned any major concerns about problems with energy, or at least non come staright to mind. I will scan a slide presentation I have about that, and put a comment up on the last dispatch I filed from Thailan, ok?

  215. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @prahbakar: At company level you mean? 

  216. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    And, yes, English is a  concern, but…

  217. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI: thanks!

  218. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @PD, i think communication barrier in today's technology is being taking care of bit -by-bit.

  219. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Susan-Nope,it was a question asked in Jest!

  220. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    people are doing what they can to become more English-ready…

  221. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @Jen: Agreed!

  222. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    … one of the principles leads at a research facilty told us he was even taking classes in finance so he could speak the business language of the world….

  223. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Yes Susan In China many of the suppliers preferred only offline communication in English as they could talk English over phone. They had to take translators' help to trasnlate emails and thgeir replies.

  224. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer-I think the value of English in the manufacturing space is Heavily Over-rated! You don't need to know English if your only job is to do repitive assembly!

  225. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer a smart move on his part

  226. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @T4P: I see!

  227. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Generally, too, most of the Thai folks we met – senior management, mid-level managers, research – had a good grasp on English…. better than I personally expected…

  228. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    I mean they could not talk English over phone

  229. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, am not sure i asked question about energy… did i?

  230. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    t4p – agreed… most of the plant workers will never have to communicate in English… they understand how to do they're job and they do it …

  231. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Jennifer that is a good sign. It helps in making delas faster

  232. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    fomr my own experience i never had any language problem when i bring some investor to visit some Thai factories

  233. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    Is it that they don,t want to learn English at all or what?

  234. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, yes Thai english is pretty good compared to chinese…

  235. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Wale – i thought I saw a question from you… but like I said my brain is melting from the heat wave in Barcelona 😉

  236. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @prahbakar: It makes sense to me. They have to learn a diifferent alphabet, after all, it's not the same as just learning a language that uses the same alphabet you are used to. 

  237. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer I know that feeling! It's been a hot summer in NY!

  238. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    @Adenji, its all about culture…i guess english is not given preference..

  239. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    I mean they can communicate with the foreign investor

  240. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Adenji-No,its just that it isnt as big an issue as its made out to be.

  241. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    Many Thai speak better English than Wasterners 😉

  242. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    can you imagine even Japanese investor who use slighty english also succeed in doing business inThailand

  243. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    English is important, but it's not the end all be all … honestly, Thai are pretty savvy entrepreneurs in their own right

  244. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    BOI – That is good ! and essential too

  245. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, I agree with you. Thai english is far better than chinese.

  246. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @FlyingScot-WoW! Now thats a massive compliment!! I am sure the Thais will love u for it!

  247. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Tirlapur-U mean Chin-English?

  248. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @jenn: good point. What is the start-up picture in Thailand in tech>

  249. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, what initiative government is taking to improve the infrastructure, including empowering thais with good english communication skills.

  250. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    When you are on the other side of the table you have to learn the -language, culture and what not – to clinch the deals in your favor

  251. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    we know the situation and we try to teach English more in our education system

  252. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    @T4P: Chin-English?

  253. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    So Thailand has incredible low unemployment rate, and they are business-savvy, especially those who are creating small mom and pop businesses

  254. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, oh sorry about the heatwave. I posted question regarding emerging & raw material.  BOI already answered that though.

  255. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    @prabhakar, so true. Language shouldnt be barrier for any business.

  256. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Barbara- good question… sad to say I don't have a good sense of the high-tech start up scene…..

  257. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    … but what I did see were some impressive research facilities and it seems like there could be a vibrant biz incubator scene, now that companies there plan to stay and grow there.

  258. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    @Jenn–no problem–if I did, I wouldn't need to ask the question 🙂

  259. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    … like one of the researchers told us about a sensor they are creating to better gauge water depth… a handy thing to have, and something being developed in response to the flood.

     

  260. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer: What you mean is that there is no tech startup scene or that you didn't sense it/didn't see it?

  261. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    The one who wins the War after losing the Battle is the Real Winner! That's what makes Thailand so special.Inspite of getting knocked (further because of the Political issues and then the Flood Issues);Thailand came roaring right back!

     

    Awesome!

  262. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    for the hitech we set up national science and technology development agency to promote technology base in Thailand

  263. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Everyone – just a ew more minutes. Any last thoughts?

  264. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    BOI- Has Thialand govt installed some kind advanced warning systems for cautioning theindustry about impending floods-storms and such natural disasters?

  265. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    In the last few minutes, I'd like to invite our guests at BOI to add any last-minute comments on the topic of manufacturing in Thailand…? 

  266. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer and I'm sure it has other applications for which it can be marketed.

  267. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, what exactly is that technology, to measure the waterl level? 

  268. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Susan – I mean I didn't see it… Thailand could very well have a dynamic start-up scene, but I didn't have time this trip to check it out. Next time, I hope 🙂

  269. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    I agree, Language should not be barrier in Business.

  270. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, why can't Thai setup the infrastrcture at higher altitude so that flooding doesnt affect the industry ?

  271. Houngbo_Hospice
    August 23, 2012

    You have been great @Jen, @BOI!

  272. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @rabhakar we do have the National Disaster Warning Center after the flood

  273. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    Its surprising that now Severe drought looms in Thailand

  274. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Anandvy – it's a sensor that can be packaged in multiple ways, and will detect changes in water levels within centimeters… they told us right now the current sensors on the market detetc water level changes within in 50 cms, but in a flood zone, whether your house is flooded or not may be just a couple centimeters

  275. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer @BOI: Thanks for bringing this new view of Thailand. 

  276. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    BOI _ Thanks !

  277. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    The weather is weird in that it goes for flood to drought.

  278. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    thanks Jennifer

  279. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    tiriapur – right – flood or drought… not much different than Northern California, huh – from el niño to water restrictions…

  280. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, thanks for the reply. Is this technolgoy already implemented or still under research ? 

  281. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @TIRLAPUR=Setting things up at higher altitudes brings its own sets of problems-Landslides Anyone?Power and INfra is also usually an issue.

  282. Ariella
    August 23, 2012

    Thanks, Jennifer and BOI

  283. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    BOI – Thanks so much for joining us on this chat. 

  284. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    Scotland goes from flood to flood 😉

  285. Adeniji Kayode
    August 23, 2012

    Thanks everyone.

  286. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer: yay! Yes, maybe it's a good idea to check the startup scene 🙂

  287. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @tech, true but atleast floods which is affecting the GDP of the nation wont have impact on the industry.

  288. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @BOI-Thank you for your information.Learnt a lot!

  289. Barbara Jorgensen
    August 23, 2012

    So, let's wind this down: BOI guests, thank you so much for your availability and willingness to type at lightening speeds, and to Jenn for her perspective

  290. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Jenn, Any closing remarks?

  291. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @Flyingsot, flood to flood ? Is it floods all around the year in scotland ?

  292. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Thanks BOI and Jeniffer for this quite interactive and informative session

  293. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    anandvy – have to check my notes… think it's almost ready to ship. if you need more info  – email me at jenn at jennifer baljko, and I can put you in touch with the research center doing the work.

  294. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Closing remarks….

  295. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    @Fly In my opinion Thailan is not a big country, so flood like last year was heavily effect the country but that kind of flood may not effect US as a whole if it is happen in some part of US

  296. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    I was expecting to see companies still struggling from the massive flood last year. I was happily surprised they weren't

  297. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Bye Susan

  298. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer, sure I will get in touch with you. Thank you.

  299. bolaji ojo
    August 23, 2012

    Thank you Jennifer for your time and thanks to all our readers. Please join us for another Live Chat soon.

  300. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    I am wondering if we can build somemodel similar to this one. We too face lot of flooding problems in our region.

  301. FLYINGSCOT
    August 23, 2012

    bye all

  302. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    Thank you everyone to join this chat. I am looking forward to see you again

  303. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    Thanks Bolaji, Jennifer, Very informative chat.

  304. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Listening to some of their supply chain plans and hearing about their expansion plans gives me every reason to believe that Thailand will be a country worth considering, if companies have their eye on SEA

  305. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    bye @prahbakar!

  306. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Looking forward to the next chat. Thank you everyone… lively discussion as always.

     

  307. Jennifer Baljko
    August 23, 2012

    Bye!

  308. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 23, 2012

    Bye everybody and have a good day

  309. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    Thanks everyone. Its was very informative. Never thought so much progress is happening in Thailand.

  310. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @Jennifer-SEA?

  311. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    Bye, @Jennifer. Stay away from the heat. 

  312. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    I really hope Thailand government will take actions so that thailand will  not face the flooding problems in future.

  313. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    few year ago Vietnam was more open… Now this year myanmar is more open and some investor are know that opportunities are there so they go early.

  314. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    What is SEA Jennifer ?

  315. Ashu001
    August 23, 2012

    @tirlapur-Thailand is an awesome country-Totally Capitalist as well as in touch wid its roots!

  316. BOI New York
    August 23, 2012

    South East Asia

  317. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    Thanks, @BOI, for being here today. 

  318. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @tech, I am planning to visit Thailand soon,

  319. Susan Fourtané
    August 23, 2012

    See you next time, everyone! 

  320. SunitaT
    August 23, 2012

    @Susan, bye. See you in next chat 🙂

  321. Anand
    August 23, 2012

    Bye all.

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