What's new in business news: March 5, 2014 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: March 5, 2014

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Singapore world's most expensive city, Chinese carmakers start production in Thailand & Pattaya attracts upscale condo projects. 

A bird’s-eye view of the popular resort town of Pattaya, where Veranda Group is developing its fourth property, aimed at attracting Thais and foreigners alike.

COST OF LIVING

Singapore is world's most expensive city

Bloomberg News News agency

Singapore leapt five spots to top a global ranking of the most expensive cities as a stronger currency and inflation increased the cost of living in Singapore. Singapore beat Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney, while Tokyo moved down to sixth position from first previously after the yen decreased in value.  To derive the ranking the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), took the price of products and services such as food, clothing, transport, private schools and domestic help and compared them between 131 cities, using New York as a base.

Singapore, smaller in size than New York City, has seen home prices surge to record levels in recent years amid rising wealth and an influx of foreigners. The expansion of the Singapore's private banking industry and the presence of regional hubs for global companies have drawn more top talent from around the world. Singapore's rise is partly due to the continued strength of the Singapore dollar, but the city has seen price rises too which have no doubt been compounded by a reliance on imports. Singapore’s unemployment rate held at 1.8% in the three months through December, matching a five-year low reached in the last quarter of 2012, as the government persists with a clampdown on cheap foreign labor that has raised business costs. The city’s transport costs are almost three times higher than New York city. Car buyers in Singapore must pay for excise and registration duties that more than double the vehicle’s market value so car prices are at an astronomical level.

Read full story here 

AUTOMOBILES

Chinese carmakers start production in Thailand

SCB Economic Intelligence Center (EIC)

China’s car industry is very big, almost twice as big as that of the United States, producing 19 million vehicles in 2012, the most of any country, but only about 5% of China’s total car production is exported. China might be an export powerhouse for other kinds of goods, but until the past couple of years, China's carmakers focused almost entirely on the vast domestic market, which grew at a very fast 20% per year. As demand soared and the industry grew, automobile companies got government help including subsidies and a cut in sales taxes. But expansion slowed to about 3% annually starting in 2010. Competition at home has forced Chinese carmakers to go global, especially in emerging markets in Africa and Latin America. For example, Geely, the passenger car company that bought Volvo from Ford in 2010, kept its revenues growing at 24% per year from 2009 to 2012 by focusing on exports, especially to Russia, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. More and more Chinese vehicles are reaching overseas markets, however, and Thailand is likely to become a key destination in coming years for both exports and assembly plants. Already Sunlong claims to have the largest annual market share in sales of buses in Thailand, such as coaches fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Last year, China’s largest carmaker, SAIC, announced a joint venture with Thailand’s CP Group to assemble cars in Thailand under the MG marque, the British brand sold to Chinese owners in 2005. Production is slated to start with 50,000 units this year. Great Wall Motors, known for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), was also looking to invest $300 million in a plant in Rayong with annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles. However, last week it said it was putting its plans on hold because of concern about Thailand’s protracted political standoff. Chinese vehicle companies are coming to Thailand because Thailand has the biggest car manufacturing industry in Asean, producing about 2.5 million units in 2013, including 1.1 million for export

Chinese carmakers face challenges in Thailand, especially in terms of consumer perceptions of quality. Thai car buyers are more demanding than those in most other emerging markets, and brands from China and India have struggled to gain acceptance. As for manufacturing here, the supplier networks are dominated by Japanese brands and their partners, making it harder for Chinese players to break in. Chinese brands are taking the quality issue seriously, such as by increasing R&D and acquiring respected European brands.

By the Economic Intelligence Center (EIC), a unit of Siam Commercial Bank Plc,  www.scbeic.com or contact eic@scb.co.th

Read full story here 

TOURISM 

Pattaya attracts upscale condo projects  

Veranda Group, a luxury hotel company, is spending at least 2 billion baht excluding land costs to build its fourth property in Pattaya, scheduled to finish in the next two years. Located on Jomtien beach, the mixed-use property will consist of the 150-room Veranda Resort and Spa Pattaya and the Veranda Residence Pattaya Condominium, which will have 364 units and four villas. The average condo unit price is estimated at 140,000 baht per square metre.

Managing its own hotels in the provinces should boost the group' s bottom line, but its sole property in Bangkok still needs the management of an international hotel chain that can generate higher room rates. The company's five-star Sofitel hotel in Bangkok is managed by the Accor chain, while its two upcountry properties, the Veranda Resort and Spa Hua Hin-Cha Am and the Veranda Chiang Mai the High Resort, are managed by Veranda itself. Occupancy rates of the two provincial hotels are 70-80%, with an average room rate of 5,000 baht per night.

Last year, Pattaya attracted 8.8 million tourists, of which 6.5 million were foreign and 2.3 million Thai, and they generated income of about 100 billion baht. The top nine tourism markets for Pattaya are Russia, China, Germany, the Middle East, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Britain and Eastern Europe. Tourist arrivals to Pattaya are projected to increase by 10% to 9.6 million this year, generating income of 170 billion baht. Forward booking for the Songkran festival remains small. But several bookings will come late on the back of changing tourist behaviour. European tourists will book two months in advance compared with 3-6 months in the past, while Asian travellers including Thais book one month before they travel.

Read full story project" >here 

Learn from listening

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Vocabulary:

acquire: to get; to obtain - ได้มาซึ่ง

aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย

alike: true for both of them -

amid: happening while something else is happening - ท่ามกลาง

annual: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี

annually: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด

arrival: when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) - ขาเข้า การเข้ามา

assembly: the process of putting together the parts of something such as a vehicle or piece of furniture - การประกอบ

astronomical: extremely large - มหึมา, มหาศาล, ใหญ่โต,

at home: in their own country, not overseas -

attract: to cause someone to be interested in something - ดึงดูดความสนใจ

average: the amount, level, standard etc that is typical of a group of people or things - ค่าเฉลี่ย, ส่วนเฉลี่ย

base: the starting point for making or building something - ฐาน,ราก,หลัก,ที่ตั้ง,ที่มั่น,พื้น

beat: to win over someone; to defeat someone - ชนะ

behaviour: the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว

bird's eye view: a view from a very high place which allows you to see a large area - ภาพที่มองเห็นจากมุมสูง

booking: buying a ticket in advance; to arrange to have or use something on a particular date in the future - การจองล่วงหน้า,การจอง

boost: to increase - เพิ่ม

bottom line: how much money a company makes; the last line in a financial report that shows how much the company made - ผลคะแนน, ผลการแข่งขัน, ผลสรุป

brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ

break in: enter into a new place or market -

capacity: the amount of something that can be produced - ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)

chain: a group of businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc.) owned by the same company - บริษัทต่างๆที่อยู่ในเครือเดียวกัน

challenging: difficult, in a way that tests your ability or determination - ที่ท้าทายความสามารถ

claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

clampdown: a determined attempt by someone in authority to stop people doing something bad or illegal - ควบคุม

coach: a large closed vehicle with four wheels, pulled by horses, used in the past for carrying passengers - รถม้าสี่ล้อขนาดใหญ่

competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน

compound: to make a problem or difficult situation worse - เพิ่ม

concern: a worry - ความกังวล

consist of: to be made of or formed from something - ประกอบด้วย

consumer: someone who buys and uses goods and services - ผู้บริโภค

cost of living: the amount of money that people need to pay for ordinary goods and services such as food, clothing and a place to live - ค่าครองชีพ

currency: the system of money that a country uses - เงินตรา

demand: the need and desire of people to buy goods - อุปสงค์

demanding: expecting a lot of work or attention from others; not easily satisfied - เรียกร้องมาก, ไม่พอใจง่าย

derive: to come or develop from something - กลายมาจาก (ทางภาษาศาสตร์), ได้มาจาก, กำเนิดจาก

destination: the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง

develop: to think of or produce a new idea, product, etc. and make it successful; to build new houses, factories, etc. on an area of land, especially land that was not being used effectively before - พัฒนา

domestic: connected with the home or family - เกี่ยวกับบ้าน, เกี่ยวกับครอบครัว

domestic: inside the country being talked about - ภายในประเทศ

dominated: controlled - ถูกควบคุม  ถูกชักใย บงการ

double: to become twice as big, twice as much or twice as many - เพิ่มเป็นสองเท่า

draw: to attract or interest somebody - ดึงดูดความสนใจ

duty: a tax -

emerging market: countries that have fast economic growth and growing rich quickly but are still developing - กลุ่มตลาดเกิดใหม่

entirely: completely; in every way possible - โดยทั้งหมด, โดยสิ้นเชิง

estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ

excise: dealing with taxes made by a government on some types of goods produced and used within their own country - ภาษีสำหรับสินค้าในประเทศ

excluding: not including something - ไม่รวม, แยกออกไป

expansion: when something increases in size, number or importance - การขยายออก

export: something sold and transported to another country - สินค้าออก

export: the selling and transporting of goods to another country - สินค้าออก, การส่งสินค้าออกไปต่างประเทศ

focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ

force: making someone do something that they don't want to do - การบังคับ

fuel: to supply something with material that can be burnt to produce heat or power - เติมน้ำมันเชื้อเพลิง

gain acceptance: when people start buying or using something after proven to work and do the job -

generate: to produce - ผลิต, ก่อให้เกิด

global: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

goods: things that are produced to be sold; possessions that can be moved - สินค้า, สิ่งของ

group: a business group, a large company that owns other companies -

held at: remained unchanged at -

hub: the central or main part of something where there is most activity - จุดศูนย์กลาง

import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า

in advance: before the time that is expected; before something happens - ล่วงหน้า

in coming years: in the future -

in terms of: measured by -

income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้

inflation: a general rise in the prices of services and goods in a particular country, resulting in a fall in the value of money - เงินเฟ้อ

influx: a large number of people or things coming in to a place - การหลั่งไหล การไหลบ่า  (เข้าไปยังที่ใดที่หนึ่ง)

international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

invest: to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful - ลงทุน

issue: a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น

joint venture: a business activity carried out by two or more companies or groups - การลงทุนร่วม

key: very important - ที่สำคัญ

known for: famous for -

leapt (past of leap): made a large jump or sudden movement, usually from one place to another - กระโดด

level: a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ

level: the height of something in relation to the ground - ระดับ

located: where something is - ตั้งอยู่

luxury: the best and most expensive of something - ที่หรูหรา 

management: the people who run and control a business or similar organisation - คณะผู้บริหาร

manufacture: to make and produce a product - ผลิต

market share: the percentage of sales that a company has in a market or industry compared to total sales - เปอร์เซ็นต์การขายสินค้า, ส่วนแบ่งตลาด

match: to be the same as or very similar to something else - เท่าเทียมกันกับ, เท่ากันกับ

mixed: a combination or mixture of different things - ผสม

network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย

no doubt: certainly - อย่างไม่น่าสงสัย

occupancy rate: the percentage of rooms in a hotel that have paying guests staying in them, i.e., paying guests occupying them -

on hold: delayed; not happening at the expected time -

overseas: in another country - ต่างประเทศ

partner: one of the people who owns a business and shares the profits, etc or works together with another business in an activity - หุ้นส่วน, ผู้ร่วมมือ,

passenger: someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร

perception: a particular way of understanding or thinking about something - ความเข้าใจ

persist: to continue to do or say something in a determined way - ยืนกราน

plant: a factory that produces power or processes chemicals, etc. - โรงงาน

popular: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

powerhouse: a team, country, organisation or person with a lot of influence, power or energy -

presence: when someone or something is in a place - การอยู่ในสถานที่หนึ่ง (ของบุคคล)

previously: before -

private: involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน

production: the process of making goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต

project: a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ

projected: calculated based on information already known - คาดคะเน, ประเมิน

property: a building or buildings and the surrounding land - อสังหาริมทรัพย์

protracted: lasting for a long time - ที่ยืดเยื้อเป็นเวลานาน

province: on of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

provincial: related to "provinces" , the different parts of a country -

quality: the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is - คุณภาพ

ranking: the position of somebody/something on a scale that shows how good or important they are in relation to other similar people or things, especially in sport - อันดับ

recent: happening or starting a short time ago - เร็วๆ นี้

record: the best or most ever achieved - สถิติ

regional: of or relating to a region - เกี่ยวกับภูมิภาค

registration: the process of recording names or information on an official list - การขึ้นทะเบียน, การลงทะเบียน

reliance: the state of needing somebody/something in order to survive, be successful, etc; the fact of being able to rely on somebody/something - การพึ่งพาอาศัยกัน

respected: admired by many people for your qualities or achievements   - ที่เคารพ

revenue: income from taxes or business activities - รายได้

sales tax: a tax paid on things you buy, calculated as a percentage of the price -

scheduled: planned to happen at a particular time or day - ตามตารางเวลา

slate: to plan that something will happen at a particular time in the future - วางแผนสำหรับสิ่งที่จะเกิดขึ้นในาในอนาคต

soar: to rise very quickly to a high level - มีความหวังสูง,พุ่งพรวดขึ้น

sole: only - เดี่ยวๆ

spot: the particular place where someone or something is - ที่, สถานที่

standoff: a disagreement or fight in which neither opponent can do anything to win or achieve their aim; a stalemate - สถานการณ์ที่ต่างเอาชนะกันไม่ได้

struggle: to try hard to do something that you find very difficult - พยายาม; ต่อสู้

subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้

supplier: a person or company that supplies goods - ผู้จัดหาสิ่งของให้, ผู้ผลิตสินค้าและวัตถุดิบ

surge: to increase very quickly - เพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว

talent: a person with a natural ability to do something well - ผู้ที่มีความสามารถพิเศษ

top-ranking: of the highest rank, status or importance in an organisation, a sport, etc - ตำแหน่งสูงสุด, ยศสูงสุด

total: including everything; being the amount or number after everyone or everything is counted or added together - ทั้งหมด

transport: moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง

unemployment rate: the percentage of workers in an economy who do not have a job - อัตราการว่างงาน

unit: a single item of the type of product that a company sells - หน่วย

unit: one office or building or group of people - หนึ่งหน่วย

upcountry: areas outside of the Bangkok area; connected with an area of a country that is not near large towns - ต่างจังหวัด, ที่อยู่ในชนบท, ที่อยู่ห่างไกลจากเมือง

upscale: designed for or used by people who belong to a high social class or have a lot of money - มีราคาแพง (สำหรับคนมีรายได้สูง)

value: how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged - มูลค่า

vast: extremely large in area, size, amount, etc. - กว้างใหญ่, มหาศาล

vehicle: a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. - ยานพาหนะ

villa: a house usually in the countryside or near the sea - บ้านพักตากอากาศ, บ้านพักของเศรษฐีในชนบท

wealth: a large amount of money, property, etc. that a person or country owns - ความมั่งคั่ง

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