What's new in business news: October 9, 2013 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: October 9, 2013

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Flooding hits biggest industrial estate in Thailand, condos stall on failed Environmental Impact Reports & mobile phones equalize rural & urban young people. 

Young upcountry Thais are quickly adopting the smartphone habits. THANARAK KHOONTON


Flood hits Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate

Fears of a repeat of 2011 spark preparations

More than 700 factories in the Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate in Chon Buri have been cautioned to monitor the floods closely, as they may face a repeat of the 2011 flood problems. Amata Nakorn, the biggest industrial estate in Thailand, serves nearly 700 factories with a total area of 20,000 rai. It has a combined manufacturing investment of 1.2 trillion baht with around 400,000 employees.

The estate has seen minor flooding in phases 7-9 where 200 factories are located. The industrial estate's 40 units of pumps are prepared and all six canals around the areas have been evacuated to be ready for immediate drainage.

Most of the manufacturers in the industrial estate are Japanese auto-parts makers producing for companies such as Toyota, but there are no car makers in the estate. The auto-parts makers have raised their production output to ensure they have enough inventory in case logistics routes are disrupted by floods. 

This is the first time floods have hit Amata Nakorn. Floodwater is moving in a different direction from that in 2011, when water flowed towards Bangkok from the North. This time it is heading towards the eastern provinces, so there's a chance industrial parks that were not hit last time could face flooding this time around.

[Read full story here ]


Condo projects stall on failed Environmental Impact Reports (EIAs) 

Cancelled bookings, design revisions

A growing number of condo projects already launched and for sale have failed to win environmental impact assessment (EIA) approval, forcing developers to return booking money and revise project designs. The problem, which causes projects to be delayed or even scrapped entirely, was common a few years ago and has recently re-emerged in the booming condo sector.

In one case, a company that had its EIA rejected relaunched a condo project from two years ago after revising the project design. The project failed to provide the required amount of green area outside of the building, only providing green area within the building. Before revising its EIA the company returned all booking money with interest to customers after achieving sales of up to 30% of the project. Land for the project on Surasak Road that cost 500,000 baht per sq wah two years ago is now nearly 1 million baht but the company still claims it lost money on its investment. 

Another condo project failed to obtain a construction permit because the project was near the new parliament, an area where high-rise buildings are banned. Other companies are waiting for EIA approval before launching their projects.

[Read full story here ]


Rural young getting connected, poll says

Access to information among young people in rural areas is almost on par with that of their urban counterparts thanks to the proliferation of budget smartphones. A study showed the rural young generation can easily read information and watch video content by using a basic internet-enabled mobile that features a camera and Facebook in the price range of 3,000 to 5,000 baht. The study was aimed at discovering the differences between young people in rural and urban areas. Thailand's mobile phone market grew significantly in the first four months of this year. Growth was fuelled mainly by a 334% surge in the Northeast.

Laptop computers are also regarded as a must-have educational tool that rural parents should provide. 67.9% of Thais access the internet via laptops, almost double the number last year. Young people access the internet via public WiFi, mostly in temples, schools and government offices. Facebook is their favourite communication platform to express their self-esteem, followed by YouTube, Socialcam and Instagram.

[Read full story here ]

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