Broadsights (March 2014)
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Broadsights (March 2014)

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It is with great pleasure to present March's edition of Broadsight. The corporate monthly magazine from The Broadgate Financial Group. To view full interactive of Broadsight March 2014, go to ...

It is with great pleasure to present March's edition of Broadsight. The corporate monthly magazine from The Broadgate Financial Group. To view full interactive of Broadsight March 2014, go to http://joom.ag/Z4oX

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Broadsights (March 2014) Broadsights (March 2014) Document Transcript

  • March 2014 Issue no. 10 SUSTAINABLE
  • G eneric Insight Individual Social Responsibility Sustainability C O N T E N T BANGKOK SHUTDOWN : IN BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE7-10 The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) are two institutions that have released reports where the economical outlook has significantly been adjusted for the impact of the political turmoil. GREEN LUNGS OF BANGKOK: THE BANGKOK TREE HOUSE Bang Krachao is maybe the last area in Bangkok with wild nature, animals and clean air. GREEN GADGET: HOW TO CHARGE YOUR PHONE WHENEVER YOU ARE 14 With warm and sunny weather across Southeast Asia, its time to explore some wild excursions! 15 >> p. 5-6 >> p. 17-19 >> p. 15 INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY : MUAY THAI 11-13 Muay Thai has a very long tradition in Thailand and has its roots many centuries ago. PLASTIC BAG: WHO CARES? Many initiatives have been enterprised in recent months in Thailand, and even if the current political situation in the country tends to make it a smaller problem 17-19 NEWS REPORT: ASEAN NEWS4 BROADGATE: WHY SOUTHEAST ASIA 5-6 Develoment News in ASEAN ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), created in 1967, has developed successful trade partnerships among Southeast Asian countries
  • E D I T O R I A L March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 3 Ken Jayaphorn Dear Readers, It is a great pleasure to be part of this issue of Broadsight especially with the new exciting interactive design that makes reading much more enjoyable. Since the start of 2014, there had been many challenges for Broadgate primarily with political instability and we have made some exciting changes concerning the focus of our projects for the rest of the year. These changes will be officially announced in the next monthʼs foreword. In this March issue of Broadsight we continue to bring insightful and innovative stories regarding sustainability. One of the articles in this issue I find exceptionally interesting is about plastic bags reduction initiatives executed by Tesco Lotus, and Seven-Eleven. The overconsumption of plastic bag issue is long over due in Thailand and it is nice that big companies like these are doing something about it. However, it is disappointing to still see that when I go to Seven- Eleven they are still giving me plastic bags without asking if I wanted one. The key to sustainability is the change in peopleʼs habit from overconsumption to optimal consumption. We can see that more and more companies are becoming “greener”, which I am not sure about their incentives. Is it purely for brand image purposes? It seems that many are too focused on publicizing their initiatives to their customers but not so much have changed from their own employees. How can a company convince the society if they do not change themselves? I believe that an initiative can only do so much if not executed properly. Nonetheless, there is always hope as I can see people are becoming more and more aware of the issue we have with sustainability. We can see initiatives being done, new and more efficient technologies being created and even our Broadsight readership is increasing exponentially. Before I leave you today to enjoy your “Next Level Reading”, here is a quote by Eric Lowitt that I find inspiring, “Inaction is no longer acceptable.” E d i t o r i a l Vincent Houzet vincent@broadgatefinancial.com Christoffer Axelsson christoffer@broadgatefinancial.com Muhammad Farhan Azama muhammad@broadgatefinancial.com |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Baptiste Laborde-Balen baptiste@broadgatefinancial.com |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Valentin Fischer valentin@broadgatefinancial.com Prompairoj Ken Jayaphorn Prompairoj Ken Jayaphorn Vice President Business Development
  • E D I T O R I A L March 2014 - Issue no. 10 © Broadgate - A Broadgate Initiative 4 LAOS - Villagers living near the site of the planned Don Sahong dam on the Mekong River in southern Laos have been barred from fishing Source MALAYSIA - Are you going to dump your old milk jug into the trash can again? Source VIETNAM - More than 35 years after the end of the Vietnam War, Washington and Hanoi launched a joint project Thursday to clean up remnants of the toxic defoliant Source MYANMAR - Journalists say the Burma government is imposing new visa restrictions that will make it difficult for them to remain based in the country full time. Source
  • E D I T O R I A L March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 5 “Every Asian country has a really rich culture, with deep history, outstanding cuisine and great people” Fast-growing economy ! ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), created in 1967, has developed successful trade partnerships among Southeast Asian countries thanks to their geographic proximity and cultural similarities. ! Countries like Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand have driven ASEAN's economic growth and it became one of the biggest consumer markets in the world, offering many opportunities for entrepreneurs. In addition to that, investor friendly government policies have drawn many foreign businesses to Southeast Asia. ! Considering ASEAN's free trade agreement, the abundance of natural resources and low-cost skilled labour, Southeast Asian countries are attractive in many different areas like technology, logistics, oil and gas, agri-food WHY SOUTHEAST ASIA
  • E D I T O R I A L March 2014 - Issue no. 10 © Broadgate - A Broadgate Initiative 6 Largest cities in Southeast Asia like Jakarta, Bangkok or Singapore are very dynamic metropolises, where you will always find something exiting to do. Everything is about conveniency: it's easy to find an accommodation, there are many ways of transportation and you can eat at any time of the day/night. In most of these cities you will be able to enjoy at the same time modern skyscrapers with innovative architectures and old religious monuments. This parallel between modernity and tradition is also what makes Asian megacities so special and attractive. ! Every Southeast Asian country has a really rich culture, with deep history, outstanding cuisine and great people. Using cultural experience, uncommon language skills will be also a very efficient way to differentiate your resume for your future job applications. Aside from work experience, cross-cultural knowledge is also very important for professional life. ! The Southeast Asian low-cost everyday life is very interesting for young individuals and student. Even in biggest cities, you will be able to eat for less than 2$. Accommodation and transportation costs are also incomparable to the European/American ones. Baptiste Laborde-Balen
  • R O A D G A T E March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 7 Bangkok A Business Perspective “Polticial unrest -The new normal forThailand” In 2013 Bangkok was ranked as the top visited destination by international visitors, according to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index. Between the 13th of January and 3rd of March Bangkok was under siege by antigovernment protesters under the manifestation “the Bangkok Shutdown”. Altough the intentions of the protesters might have been purely political, the economical impact of such an action is unavoidable. Many domestic businesses experienced difficulties. “Economic losses from the"Bangkok shutdown" is estimated by UTCC to between 700 million Baht to 1 billion Baht a day” SHUT DOWN
  • B R O A D G A T E The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) are two institutions that have released reports where the economical outlook has significantly been adjusted regarded to the impact of the political turmoil Economic losses from the "Bangkok shutdown" is estimated by UTCC to be between Bt 700 million and Bt 1 billion a day where the tourism industry is predicted to be hit the hardest. Tourism revenues account for 10 percent of GDP, so any impact on the sector "should be significant to economic growth," said Pimonwan Mahujchariyawong, an economist at Kasikorn Research Center. Economic losses from the "Bangkok shutdown" is estimated by UTCC to be between Bt 700 million and Bt 1 billion a day where the tourism industry is predicted to be hit the hardest. Tourism revenues account for 10 percent of GDP, so any impact on the sector "should be significant to economic growth," said Pimonwan Mahujchariyawong, an economist at Kasikorn Research Center. Another important factor to economic growth that has been stalled due to the turmoil is government investment. After last election in 2011 the government ambitiously planned to implement several infrastructure projects by borrowing over 2 trillion baht. This large borrowing bill was never fully decided upon since it met political objections from opposing parties. To continue with the legal proceedings and the process towards a decision a fully functioning political system is required, something which now isnʼt expected until the second half of 2014. But while one manʼs joy is another manʼs sorrow some Thaiʼs entrepreneurial qualities were shown at the protester sites where these business owners showed quick adaptation to the circumstances.
  • R O A D G A T E
  • N E W S R E P O R T March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 10 These were losses estimated at the beginning of the turmoil, at the same time Thanavath Phonvichai at UTCC expressed his concern about the future and said that “What is worrisome is that if the situation doesn't end soon”. In order for Thailand to sustain potential growth over the long run public investment is a dire need, but before any decision about such things can be made, there has first to be a fully functioning government, something which Thailand lacks at the moment. It should be considered that itʼs not the first time Thailandʼs political system is experiencing difficulties and that Thailand has due to previous resilience against past unrest been nicknamed “Teflon Thailand”, an economy seemingly impervious to any long lasting effects from regular political unrest. The future will tell whether “Teflon Thailand” actually has taken a hit this time, or if it more likely will be “same same but different”, and business as usual. Printed Sources: Bangkok Post Year-end review | Turning points 2014 Christoffer Axelsson
  • N E W S R E P O R T March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 11 Child abuse, or way to get out of poverty? Muay Thai has a very long tradition in Thailand and has its roots many centuries ago. It started out as a way to defend oneself against foreigners entering from neighboring countries. The increasing popularity over the last decades has made it a very lucrative business. Today, top Muay Thai fighters in Thailand have a status comparable to soccer players in the western world. While the prize money within the sport varies greatly, depending on the proficiency of the fighters, it can reach up to 300,000 baht a fight. For that reason many poor families send their children to Muay Thai camps to provide their child and themselves with an opportunity to get out of poverty. They are provided with food, shelter and the possibility of education. In return the children are required to dedicate themselves to the lifestyle of Muay Thai. But the fighters arenʼt the only ones that profit from the money in the game. Who else is getting a piece of the cake? -The gym -The professional gamblers -And the fighterʼs families. THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY COINS
  • March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 12 All of them try to make money by placing huge bets on their fighter. Even for the battles between the youngest fighters huge amounts of money can trade hands. The bets can range from 100 baht up to 50,000 baht for a child fight. If lucky, child boxers can earn as much in a night as their parents do within a year by growing their rice. Impact on Society From a societyʼs point of view it is questionable if the practice is really value adding in terms of a social benefit to the poor. As the betting is a zero-sum game, some families win while others lose. Finally, only a small fraction of the fighters can make a decent living out of it. In addition to that, Professor Sombat Ritthidetch from Ramajitti Institute pointed out that many kids were often absent from school due to their long hours of training. This can lead to the problem that many teenagers who do not make it pro, end up on the streets again, with no important skills to show for. In the year 2012 the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center (CSIP) arranged a check-up for 40 long- term child boxers. They werenʼt able to detect any physical or mental impairment attributable to boxing. But one has to mention that very little research has been done about this so far. Partly, because the publication of critical research of child boxing displeases many people in the business. The pro child boxing community argues that with proper training and execution children wonʼt get harmed. What about western countries? While the Muay Thai can be an escape from poverty for children in Thailand, it is being used in the west to prevent teenagers from getting into criminal activities. Christoffer Axelsson, one of our associates at Broadsight, is managing a Muay Thai gym back home in Sweden. Teenagers in the “risk zone” (on the edge of getting into criminal activities) are attracted by Martial Arts. They associate it with “cool”, “tough” and “violent” qualities. Christoffer told me that most of them arrive with the aim to learn how to fight, so they can use this later on the street. But Christoffer and his team instead try to encourage them to internalize the values behind the sport such as empathy, respect and discipline. “Open classes”, meaning free training where everyone is welcome to join are supported by government funds. ”We get funded based on how many youngsters we manage to attract, but itʼs nothing like an income, it all goes into paying the rent and worn out material”, says Christoffer. The gyms that participate in the government model become important institutions in the society to provide teenagers with meaningful opportunities aside from hanging out in the streets. These institutions depend on the people behind them, people like Christoffer Axelsson who are devoted to the values of the sport and get along well with youngsters. To get a better picture of the sport Christoffer took me to Meenayothin Gym in Bangkok. He spent several months there, training twice a day to improve his Muay Thai. Christoffer also fights for the Meenayothin Gym under the name Kriss Meenayothin. There I found myself in a very relaxed atmosphere. Farangs and Thais were training together, supporting each other and joking around. After the training they all sat down on the floor and enjoyed dinner together like a big family. “The youngest fighters are 7 years of age”
  • March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 13 To get a better picture of the sport Christoffer took me to Meenayothin Gym in Bangkok. He spent several months there, training twice a day to improve his Muay Thai. Christoffer also fights for the Meenayothin Gym under the name Kriss Meenayothin. There I found myself in a very relaxed atmosphere. Farangs and Thais were training together, supporting each other and joking around. After the training they all sat down on the floor and enjoyed dinner together like a big family. Valentin Fischer Record bet on a Lumpini fight was 6 Million baht It is estimated that more than 30,000 child boxers kick and punch in rings across Thailand ON THE COUCH WITH Valentin BROADSIGHTAUTHOR, VALENTIN FISCHER ASKING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS ANEW SERIES TO BROADSIGHT COMING SOON
  • S E Q U O I A C L U B March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 14 charge your phone where ever you are ? With warm and sunny weather across Southeast Asia, its time to explore some wild excursions! Despite the beauty of nature and the inappropriate place for high-technology devices, who does not use a smartphone at all in this kind of situation? Nowadays, even for a few days trip, being disconnected so long seems an eternity. As new devices are very well-known to consume more and more electricity, it does not take long to drain the battery. So after a full day of trekking, how could it be possible to watch a movie in the tent with no worries? For less than $130.00, BioLite offers you a clean and innovative solution for all your electronic needs. To crown it all, it wonʼt take any additional space in your backpack bag as its original use is to burn everything you can find, such as tinder in order to heat your meals. BioLite BaseCamp, is a simple concept to perfectly reconcile nature lovers and mobile devices addicts. Vincent Houzet
  • March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 15 Also known as the "Green Lungs" of Bangkok, Bang Krachao is maybe the last area in Bangkok with wild nature animals and clean air. As this part of the capital is unknown by most people living in Bangkok and even less by foreign people, Joey Tulyanond has created a fully sustainable hotel in this untouched area to increase awareness and preserving it at the same time. Few examples of his sustainable solutions are that they: • Remove one kilo of trash from the river for every booking • Use solar cookers, cook only organic and in-season food. • Only hire locals living near the Tree House. • Use wind and solar energy to power 100% of outdoor lights • Have developed natural cleaning products. INTERVIEWWIITHJOEYTULYANOND For more information please visit their website: http://www.bangkoktreehouse.com/index... Many thanks to Joey Tulyanond. The Bangkok Tree House GREEN LUNGS OF BANGKOK Baptiste Laborde-Balen As we at Broadsight share the same passion for sustainability, we went to the Tree House to interview Joey Tulyanond and learn more about his idea of running a green hotel.
  • A N A L Y S I S O F T H E M O N T H February 2014 - Issue no. 9 © Broadgate - A Broadgate Initiative 16 APPLY NOW WITH ASIA INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME InternsInAsia.com info@internsinasia.com +66 2264 5706
  • N E W S R E P O R T 17 Many initiatives have been enterprised in recent months in Thailand, and even if the current political situation in the country tends to make it a smaller problem, the soonest is always the best time to act. Most expatriates in Bangkok are extremely skeptical about the success of these recent campaigns as we can read in the main English-speaking forum on Thailand : (bubbles or other) Before taking sides, letʼs analyse what has been made of their impact, and the reason to hope for a greener future in the Land of Smiles. PLASTIC BAGS WHO CARES? Next gimmick please... Forgotten in 2 Minutes! Thailand will adopt this...in time
  • March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 18 Tesco Lotus Action Plan : Less Bags, More Baht It is easy to guess that money is what incentifies most people to give up their old habits. Something that this company understands well, so letʼs now see the two different money savings proposed : Clubcard points and advantages; Tesco Lotus offers 20 clubcard points to every one of its 33 million monthly customers for not using one plastic bag in their basket, even 40 points if they donʼt use any at all. What does this mean in a customerʼs point of view? 1000 points allows customers to receive 10 THB in a cash coupon and the purchase of a Tesco plastic bag a bonus of 500 points, the first month of this green behaviour is potentially synonymous of an extra 10 THB in addition to all the points they already make with their purchases. In comparison, if every commercial establishment would set up the same kind of campaign, the saving would reach over 4 billion tons of plastic yearly and reduce by 40 million THB the budget for the Thai government to collect them. The cost of the clubcard points given to customers seems to be largely compensated both by operational cost reduction and the commercial advantage over their competitors who donʼt have this kind of discount attribution system.
  • March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 19 Recently two Tesco Lotus Express stores decided to set up this initiative that provides reusable bags and cardboard boxes for free or, a shopping bag for 25THB. On the other hand, they totally banned plastic bags from their stores and even when the first few days was the scene of many complaints, people quickly got used to it in so far as they now donʼt even notice it, three months after the starting date of the initiative. The results are very encouraging in so far as 10 000 bags for each of store has been saved within just two months! Lets imagine the potential if all the 1 100 Tesco Lotus Express took the same direction: 66 million less bags every year so almost 600 tons of plastic for one single brand, a clear message to 7-Eleven and its 6800 stores? Results for Tesco Lotus “Green campaign”? In other words, this kind of initiative is not only a money gain for their loyal customers but also an advantage for the supermarket against its competitors. In addition, a better company image towards all people concerned in sustainable development. An even more attractive payoff would be warmly welcomed to substantially cut plastic bag usage and could open the door to more eco-initiatives in Thailand.
  • S E Q U O I A C L U B March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 20 7-Eleven Prevention campaign Since the end of last January, 600 000 daily passengers are witnessing unusual advertising in the screens of the Bangkok Skytrain System (BTS): 7-Eleven, the most popular minimarket brand and also probably the biggest buyer of plastic bags is promoting a wiser use of them, particularly for the smallest that people could easily dispense with. Accompanied by an emotional song, the video clip is edgy, educative and has the ambition to change hundred years of habits in Thai households. This ambition would have looked surely more credible if it would have taken place with concrete action like introducing payable bags or senior management teaching their staff members not to waste them, but the educative side of it will hopefully echo in the ears of the younger generation. And you, do you say “No” to plastic bags when you buy just a lollipop or when the cashier has already wrapped your purchase in it? “ “
  • F U N G A T E March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 21 The web is full of auto-proclaimed experts who do not hesitate to advise the best solutions to fix the environmental problems faced by Thailand and more globally Southeast Asia. One of the most popular ideas we can read in the comments is the use of bioplastics, described as a more realistic option than changing old and entrenched habits of Thai nationals. B i o p l a s t i c s a r e i n d e e d i n t h e o r y biodegradables and disappear naturally only within 180 days, against 420 years for a classic plastic material. Well, that is a huge difference and as it does not require any change for local customers, it looks more and more a credible alternative. In addition to that, their costs become competitive due to the increasing price of crude oil necessary for the production of regular plastics. From this point of view, it sounds quite difficult to deny the quality of the suggestion! But there is a controversy about this, defending the idea that bioplastics are a lure from plastic production companies to keep their businesses growing. What is not very well-known from people is that depending on the biosources used to make it, the plastic bag will require specific industrial composting conditions to be fully biodegradable, which is of course is not the case in water or in soil! Some bioplastics made of polymer materials will split into very small pieces while the plastic will remain in nature, which could even be worse if we consider how harder it is to collect them later and their ability to be infiltrated in the environment. Even if the concept of bioplastics sounds good, the chemical process still has to be improved before taking it as a sustainable alternative. As Xonax, a thaivisa.com member said in their forum: “Plastic-bags can be recycled.  Plastic bags are only a problem if the consumer litters them.  So why not instead teach Thais not to just throw the plastic bags anywhere but put them in the garbage bin, or if no bin nearby, put them in a bin at home? “ Vincent Houzet
  • March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 22
  • F U N G A T E March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 23
  • March 2014 - Issue no. 10 Copyright © 2014 Broadsight - A Broadgate Initiative 24 Broadgate Consultants (Thailand) Ltd. 2811, Level 28, The Offices at Central World, 999/9 Rama 1 Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand +66 2264 5706 +66 2646 1004 info@broadgatefinancial.com 13.4.2014