Japan investor post-flood wish list
published : 14 Oct 2011 at 14:02
writer: Jon Fernquest
Japanese business suggestions for improvement include more accurate information. Floods biggest disruption in manufacturing ever.
The infographic above shows the major industrial parks affected by the flooding. Japanese factories are located in many of these parks.
Photo below of tearful hug when floodwater finally broke through the dyke at Hi-Tech Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya yesterday, between Japanese businessman and Kittiratt Na-Ranong (Commerce Minister and Deputy Prime Minister)
Click button to listen to Japanese Business Concerns to download
FLOODING: Japanese firms urge improvement, Faulty information a serious concern by Nareerat Wiriyapong
While foreign direct investment remains intact, Japan's Toshiba says it is critical for the government to provide more accurate flood information and implement long-term prevention measures.
At Pathum Thani's Bangkadi Industrial Park, one of Toshiba's largest production centres in Asean, factories making semiconductors, lighting, fluorescent lamps and home appliances shut down on Tuesday for at least five days.
The suspension is due mainly to a shortage of raw materials. Employees have been deployed for flood-prevention efforts at the factories and the 24-year-old industrial estate itself.
Bangkadi is one of eight industrial estates warned on Wednesday by Industry Minister Wannarat Channukul that they are in danger of being flooded.
The others are Bang Chan and Lat Krabang industrial estates in Bangkok, Bang Phli and Bang Pu in Samut Prakan, Kaeng Khoi in Saraburi, Hi-Tech in Ayutthaya and Navanakorn in Pathum Thani.
"So far nothing has changed regarding Toshiba's investment in Thailand, but this situation must not happen again," said Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, chairwoman of Toshiba Thailand.
The government has to understand that after the floodwaters recede, it must immediately implement flood prevention measures. It does not matter how much it costs, this must be done.
She said the widespread flooding has resulted in unprecedented manufacturing disruptions, and it will take factories a long time to recover.
"We'll have to reinvest in our factories and recoup lost business opportunities. Buyers could opt for products from elsewhere and never come back," said Ms Kobkarn, who is also the president of the Thai-Japanese Association.
She said one of Thailand's weaknesses is the dissemination of inaccurate and even contradictory information by different government agencies.
Yasuo Ashizawa, the president of Toshiba Semiconductor (Thailand), said his company was suffering a shortage of raw materials, as vendors at the Saha Rattananakorn and Hi-Tech industrial estates in Ayutthaya have been socked by the flooding.
One of the world's top three semiconductor makers, Toshiba produces a billion pieces a month at Bangkadi Industrial Park in Pathum Thani, where it employs 1,600 workers.
"The Japanese government has been very active in providing information on several occasions including the tsunami," said Mr Ashizawa.
In Thailand, flood information has proved inaccurate. We do not know what the situation is in other areas. The government should offer a forecast for the coming months too.
Canon Inc said yesterday that it would shift production of its two plants in Ayutthaya after they were inundated.
"Canon may shift inkjet printer production to another plant in Thailand or one in Vietnam," said a spokesman at the company's Tokyo headquarters.
Japan's Nidec Corporation suspended operations at six of its seven plants in Thailand. Three of the plants have sustained flood damage.
Nidec's hard-disk drive motor plant in Pathum Thani will be closed until Sunday. No time frame for reopening the other plants was given.
The Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) called on the Thai government to speed up crisis-control measures in order to minimise effects across the supply chain.
Setsuo Iuchi, the president of Jetro Thailand, said relevant information must be provided more quickly so investors in industrial estates can react to the situation in a timely manner.
"Japanese investors are still confident in Thailand and the government, but I could not say whether they will relocate to other countries," said Mr Iuchi.
(Source: Bangkok Post, FLOODING, Japanese firms urge improvement, Faulty information a serious concern, 14/10/2011, Nareerat Wiriyapong, link)
Flood Emergency Vocabulary
Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) - (日本貿易振興機構 Nihon Bōeki Shinkōkikō?) (ジェトロ JETRO) an independent Japanese government agency established in 1951, maintains seventy-eight offices in fifty-seven countries, activities include promoting exports to other countries as well as "the furtherance of mutual understanding with trading partners, import promotion, liaison between small businesses in Japan and their overseas counterparts, and data dissemination. Import promotion services have included publications, promotion of trade fairs, seminars, and trade missions. JETRO also provides information and support to foreign companies looking for successful entry and expansion in the Japanese market. JETRO provides a wide-range of services, such as timely market intelligence, extensive business development support, and relevant business events, designed to encourage new business between foreign companies and Japan. JETRO also provides current information on the laws and regulations surrounding new business operation in Japan to assist companies in expanding their business to Japan. JETRO also runs a test of proficiency in business Japanese, known as the BJT (Business Japanese Test)" (See Wikipedia and website)
foreign direct investment (FDI) - when companies invest in a foreign country to do business there with ownership of productive assets, such as factories, mines and land (See Wikipedia)
intact - not harmed, damaged, or lacking any parts as a results of something that has happened สมบูรณ์ ไม่บุบสลาย
foreign direct investment remains intact - foreign companies doing business in Thailand and running factories here have not decided to leave the country
unprecedented - never having happened before ที่ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นมาก่อน
disruption - when some activity is stopped (in the middle, not finished)
unprecedented manufacturing disruptions
biggest disruption in manufacturing ever
industrial park - a special area for factories, that has special infrastructure to support industry: transportation (trucks, trains, container ship ports), electricity, waste disposal and water services (See Wikipedia)
industrial estate - same as "industrial park"
semiconductors - the microscopic electronics technology used to make computer chips (See Wikipedia)
fluorescent lamps - the popular and energy efficient form of lighting found in homes as well as offices all over Asia (See Wikipedia)
home appliances - electrical machines used in the home such as refrigerator, washing machine, oven, stove, etc. (See Wikipedia)
supply chain - all the steps in production and manufacturing of a good from raw materials to final product sold in stores; nowadays the different parts of a good such as a computer or a car may be made in many different countries (See Wikipedia)
minimise - to reduce something harmful or unpleasant to the smallest amount or degree ลดจำนวนลง ลดให้เหลือน้อยที่สุด
minimise effects across the supply chain.
faulty information - information that is not correct (not accurate, with mistakes)
accurate - correct, exact and without any mistakes ถูกต้อง, แม่นยำ
accurate flood information - flood information that is correct, without mistakes
shortage - when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
raw materials - materials in their natural state before being processed or used in manufacturing
shortage of raw materials - not enough raw materials to make goods in factories
suffering - having problems or physical or mental pain ความทุกข์ทรมาน
suffering a shortage of raw materials
urge - to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take วิงวอน ย้ำเตือน
improvement - when something gets better or when you make it better การปรับปรุง, การทำให้ดีขึ้น
urge improvement - say strongly that something should be improved
concern - a worry ความกังวล
a serious concern - a big worry (some issue they worry about a lot)
investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
critical - extremely important because a future situation will be affected by it สำคัญยิ่ง
implement - put a plan into action, make a plan work นำมาใช้ นำ แผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ
prevention - take action to stop some bad even and damage from happening (make safe from danger)
measures - actions taken to deal with a problem มาตราการ
implement long-term prevention measures
shut down - close (stop operation of factory)
suspension - stopping for a period of time (temporarily)
deployed - prepare a resource so that it is ready to be used
efforts - the work done towards achieving some goal; people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal ความพยายาม
flood prevention efforts - actions to stop flood damage
employees have been deployed for flood-prevention efforts at the factories
recede - to move back; to move further away into the distance ถอยหลัง
floodwaters recede - floodwaters move back the river (dry land becomes dry again)
immediately - happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
must immediately implement flood prevention measures
does not matter - not important (any amount ok)
It does not matter how much it costs, this must be done.
widespread - happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
widespread flooding - flooding in many places around the country
recover - when the situation improves, gets better; become healthy and fit again after an illness or injury การฟื้นไข้
will take factories a long time to recover
recoup - get back again, something lost in the past
opportunities - benefits or profit that it is possible to get (situations in which it is possible to do what you want or need to do)
business opportunities - situations where it is possible to sell people goods and services they need and make a profit by meeting these needs
recoup lost business opportunities - gain back again, the business opportunities they had before the flood (lost orders from customers)
opt - to make a choice or a decision from a range of possibilities เลือก
buyers could opt for products from elsewhere
inaccurate - not completely correct or exact ซึ่งคลาดเคลื่อน,ซึ่งไม่ถูกต้อง
contradictory - when two things are said, that cannot both be true
dissemination of information - providing information to people (who need it)
dissemination of inaccurate and even contradictory information by different government agencies.
vendors - sellers พ่อค้า
sock - hit (an even causing a sudden damage and injury)
socked by the flooding - hit by the flooding
active - working, operating, doing its job
forecast - a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
shift - to transfer; to move from one place to another เคลื่อนย้าย
inundated - flooded ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ
plants - factories
would shift production of its two plants in Ayutthaya after they were inundated.
headquarters - the place where an organisation or company has its main offices กองบัญชาการ สำนักงานใหญ่
the company's Tokyo headquarters
suspended - stopped for a period of time (temporarily)
suspended operations - stopped production at their factory for a period of time (temporary, not permanent)
sustained flood damage - experienced or received some damage to their factory by the floodwaters
time frame - the length of time during which an event happens (how long it takes)
time frame for reopening plants - how long it will take to reopen the plants
crisis - a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point วิกฤต วิกฤตการณ์ ช่วงวิกฤต
crisis-control measures - actions control the "crisis" situation (make crisis situation less dangerous, more safe)
speed up crisis-control measures - act faster to control the crisis situation (and make situation safer)
relevant - directly connected and important to what is being discussed or considered ที่เกี่ยวข้อง ที่เกี่ยวข้องโดยตรง
timely - doing quickly, on time, done in time to get benefits from doing it ถูกกาละเทศะ
manner - way วิธีการ
in a timely manner - doing something quickly and on time (before it is too late and damage has already happened)
react to the situation in a timely manner.
confident - being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
still confident in Thailand and the government
relocate - move to another location ย้ายไปตั้งอีกที่หนึ่ง
relocate to other countries - move to other countries