CHIANGMAI, THAILAND - AUGUST 26 2015: Parking Area of Tesco Lotus Meechok. Location on road no.1101 about 3 km from chiangmai city. Chiangmai, Thailand.

The Southeast Asian car market is predicted to face a flat growth next year, that is; 2016, especially in consideration of the unstable state of the regional economy as a whole.


The market is expected to decline by a total of six percent this year, according to Ford Motor Company’s newly appointed president for Asia, Mark Kaufman. This is said to remain unchanged for the upcoming years, as well, given the three million vehicles that have already faced the six percent margin loss.


Adding to this are the prevailing Myriad factors that continually impact the market prospects in a negative fashion; seemingly driving the given economic conditions into jeopardy.


Newer rules and regulations are in line to follow for consequent application with Thailand’s latest excise tax coming into the picture. This excise tax is based on carbon dioxide emissions. It is projected to inevitably affect the future of the domestic vehicles and their retail prices from 2016 onwards. At the same time, Malaysia’s six percent goods and services tax may also take a toll on the market. This one will be put into effect from 1st April onwards.


In fact, a report mentioned by the Asean Automotive Federation says, the first time car buyer scheme introduced back in 2012 observed a regional car market surge of about thirty to four percent in Indonesia which is quite surprising, especially taking into account the 2008 financial crisis.


Thereafter, sales reached a new high with over three million vehicles being delivered as a result of the first  time car buyer scheme. Thailand saw a marginal rise of 2.31%, and a similar number of positive impacts on the domestic sales were observed in Indonesia, as well.


But, Asian market faced a major drop last year. Up to 10.1% to 3.19 million vehicles remained unsold. Moreover, even Indonesia posted a sale of 1.21 million vehicles down by 2%. Thailand posted a drop of 13.6% year-on-year for the period to 621,742 vehicles, while Indonesian sales fell by 17.9% to 853,008. Car sales in Malaysia slightly came down to  1% year-on-year to 541,142 vehicles in the January-October period, whereas Brunei saw a drop of 20.2% to 12,157. The Philippines depicted the sales increase of 22.4% year-on-year to 234,951 vehicles, along with Vietnamese sales up by 59% to 164,571.


Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries’ automotive industry club, Mr. Ong-arj Pongkijworasin has, however, predicted a positive outcome next year. He expects the Philippine and Vietnamese car markets would perform well, thanks to their economic situation that is seeing an increasingly growing foreign direct investment.


Negative factors that strike as slight potentials to impact the economic structure of automobiles on the market, include low farm prices, decreasing private investment, more regulated approvals for hire – purchase financing and other slow state spending reasons among many more.


So, we can only wait and watch about what is destined for the Southeast Asia’s Car Market in the year ahead.

It was announced in November that the Toyota Georgetown, Kentucky plant had plans to activate a landfill gas generator. In doing this, the plant would be able to use methane from decaying garbage from a nearby dump to produce a megawatt of power each hour. The kind of electricity you see from this type of system will help to build 10,000 vehicles at the plant, per year.


Toyota plays with the idea years ago

Toyota talked with the landfill owner in 2010 about the possibility of using a methane-fueled generator. In 2014, their plan was officially announced, and construction began on the project. Once the gas stops burning, an underground line will take the electricity from the dump to the factory to help build Toyota hybrid models, such as the Camry and Avalon. The Toyota company has an overall plan of eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from all factories by the year 2050, and switching to hydrogen-based production. Toyota’s general manager for environment strategies, Kevin Butt, has stated the company’s intention of reducing their carbon footprint over the next 35 years. Toyota isn’t the only auto company utilizing methane from garbage dumps to power factories. BMW and General Motors both use a similar system at two of their plants, in different parts of the country.


Positive changes in the past month

Since announcing that the Georgetown plant would be using a landfill to help produce the electricity that can help build cars, the plant is doing well. They are getting about two percent of their power from a Central Kentucky landfill. The community has shared their appreciation for the plant and that they are turning garbage into something good. With so many in the town employed by this plant, it brings a large sense of pride especially to a community that has recently been struggling with employment rates. These large employment rates increase the amount of debt the citizens have to take on during these hard times in the form of car title loans. Mike Price, the Vice President of Administration for the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, could not contain his excitement for the plan. It is exciting because they are using methane that is no longer being released into the air, and is serving a better purpose. Over the year spent developing the project, the company spent $5 million to build transmission lines that carry electricity to the plant. Kevin Butt explained the process in that the lines go from one site, where it is being generated, all the way to the plant. David Hurley, an employee at the Georgetown plant said that at first, they had a lot of questions about how the partnership with the landfill was going to work. Hurley moved to Georgetown to begin his position with Toyota and respects the partnership the company made. It actually gives him a sense of pride because he is doing good for both the company he works for and his community.


Toyota is doing a great job at really seeing how car emission can negatively affect the environment. Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States, so to change the way methane is used is a huge stride forward. You can learn more about the Georgetown, Kentucky plant and how they are converting landfill methane into energy, by watching this video.


Business is the essence of any economy. While the global business world is thriving after the advent of globalization and privatization, the highly populated Asian countries are emerging as a hub of new business opportunities. For entrepreneurs, Asia has been an inspiration and a challenge for its leadership, talents and proficiency in business skills.  And there is no  better way than to get daily SE Asia Business News for the world to be fully updated and understand the strategies  as well as the ongoing projects in the SE Asian countries?

Any economy can boom, based on the two main sectors – brilliant infrastructure and easily available resources of energy at low cost. Undeniably, SE Asia region is flourishing because of a conductive environment that provides the predicament of good governance and policy proficiency.

Why is it significant for a business person to get daily SE Asia business news?

Though the dynamic business opportunity, cultivated and enriched business leadership and effective utilization of resources have shown the path of revolution in the economic and business condition of SE Asian countries, yet the exchange of technological insurgence and economic Renaissance can only be achieved by getting daily SE Asia business news. There is no secret that advance economy with apposite deployment of resources, and make Asia a business leader in the global market.

Current economic scenario

Obstinacy is natural when more than one leader works together. Asia has also witnessed a contrary behavior in the Asian leadership. Recent economic crisis and terrorist activities across the globe made an adverse effect on Asian business leadership, yet recovery is irrefutable and many Asian countries have overcome from the clutch of hostile economic catastrophe. Countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and others have emerged with the fresh upsurge of economic resurgence.

Diversity yet unanimity is the core of SE Asian business circle

Asia can be generalized as a continent of great diversity, varying nationalities, biggest consumer hub, rapidly growing economies and brawling of business talent. Leadership issue is one of the biggest defies that has kept almost every HR wing of all Asian business organizations in a mayhem. Although, cultural agility and awareness towards the global business happening is the strength of Asian leadership, yet the difference in leadership style as per individual country definitely created chaos for multinational firms having the same HR policy in every country. Nevertheless, the emergences of young business leaders have resolved the issue to some extent and have shown their perfect competency towards global business.

Asian Business Leadership Forum in UAE

The forum that was held  on November 29 has witnessed the participation of many Asian countries. India had also volunteered and attended the forum with utmost zest. To bring the best business ingenuities and enterprises under single podium were the motive behind the forum that targeted the three major regions India, South-East Asia and Gulf countries.

A successful business with profit maximization is the ultimate goal of any enterprise. For a global expansion, awareness and regular update are the key factors and both can be achieved by getting daily SE Asia business news if the target customers are from this region.

A strong and thriving Business leadership in Asia has always been a dream and challenge for many entrepreneurs. So far, the emerging global force has made it quite possible to transform this vision into reality by combining the key sectors of industry. Here, the key sectors are Infrastructures and Energy. To make the vision work, the region is providing a conductive environment for the purpose of good governance practices and policy making.


The progressive governments and dynamics have contributed much to pave those paths, which hadn’t been revolutionized in decades. Such cultivation of business leadership has enriched the lives of billions of people and entrepreneurs over Asia. The efficient utilization and the knowledge creation by advanced and emerging economies is what make the Asian Business Leadership work.


There has always seen a gap in Asian leadership, as Asian leaders does behave contrarily. The recent vast economies crisis did impact Asian Business Leadership as a whole. Recovery has been seen in some parts of Asia such as, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. A new wave of economic revival is predicted through the tiger cubs of economies.


Generalizing Asia is easy relative to its widely varying nationalities, long distances and rapidly growing economies. It has also been seen on frequent basis that, many Asian organizations face the similar challenges in leadership.  HR department in every organization is struggling with leadership issues. Major question arises; is it necessary to occupy a particular leadership style in every country? Or leadership style must vary according to the thinking?  The answer is; yes, cultural agility and awareness is core in Asian business leadership.  Mostly, young leadership capability in Asia stands out to be more competent.


Moreover, the Asian Business Leadership (ABL) motivates friendly leadership style, supports and inputs each and every partner. The Energy and Infrastructure sectors are playing a vital role in engaging the development of education and healthcare in Asia. The new world revolution and emergence has encouraged Asian companies to contribute at much higher levels. Asia does hold a significant position in global economies, political and social criteria.

India volunteered it’s participate and attended the annual Asian Business Leadership Forum event in UAE. Such activity of India would be a beneficial source of conversation and trade collaboration in association with Asian business leadership. The event was held on November 29. The motive of this event was to bring together the best business initiatives and enterprises under a single roof. The event targeted the enterprises of three major Asian business leadership regions; India, Gulf and South-East Asia.


The business relationship between UAE and India formed a fine wave of friendship and a presentable right atmosphere to meet further challenges. Industries such as, Energy, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education, Finance and Technology centralized India in the event.  The ABLF also conducts the Asia’s best business leadership awards followed by every year, to evaluate the role of players who stood out in rising Asia. The business leaders of entire Asia are always welcome to participate and accomplish the challenges in leadership from decades.


The current day Republican party is not exactly known for its appeal and outreach to America’s minorities voters. In fact, the demographics problem is so severe for the GOP that experts predict that unless the party is able to transform its policy positions in order to reach out to more segments of the American population, it will no longer be a national party. This prognosis is usually framed in the context of immigration reform and outreach to Hispanic Americans. However, one minority group, Asian Americans, is growing at an even greater percentage than the Hispanic population and has recently seen a tremendous and almost unprecedented shift from supporting the Republican party to uniform Democratic support.

In 2012, Barack Obama received a staggering 73 percent of the Asian American vote, a number that exceeded the support that he received from Hispanic Americans (71 percent). This has not always been the case. Just 20 years ago, 74 percent of Asian Americans voted with the Republican candidate for president. Bill Clinton received just 36 percent of the Asian vote in 1992, and Obama himself won just 68 percent his first go around in 2008. This kind of dramatic turnaround in support is rarely seen in American politics.

Research suggests that the key factor behind the switch is the Republican party’s hostility towards Asian Americans, often treating them like foreigners even when it is clear that they were born in this country and even when they demonstrate a willingness to vote GOP.

For example, in a recent question and answer session with GOP 2016 frontrunner Donald Trump, when Joseph Choe, an Asian American college student, raised his hand to ask a question, Trump interrupted him to ask “Are you from South Korea?” Choe responded that he is actually from Colorado, a critical swing state for Trump or any other Republican that will win the primary. Trump did not apologize and in fact, Trump’s question and Choe’s response drew laughter from the mostly older white audience. Social media exploded with criticism of the real estate mogul. One Asian American user tweeted “@realDonaldTrump Asked a @Harvard student the one question Asian Americans hate being asked.” David Chan, an Asian American zoning attorney, attended the rally because he was drawn towards Trump’s background in real estate development. Afterwards, he felt ashamed and embarrassed. “I was invited to the event because I donated money to Trump’s campaign. He is a real estate developer and in my field, I trust developers to make the right decision. Afterwards, I felt like Trump insulted me. I wish I could take my donation back.”

Jeb Bush, a self proclaimed “electable” Republican 2016 contender recently referred to immigrants as “anchor babies.” When reporters asked him to clarify, Bush explained that he was actually referring to Asians, rather than Hispanic Americans. The kind of tone and rhetoric used by Trump, Bush and others is an attempt to appeal to nativist sentiment prevalent in the Republican party. Campaign rallies frequently feature supporters that openly express hostility towards any and all minorities.

The Asian American vote is relatively small to the US population, but key in several swing states and is rapidly growing in size. While the white vote has increased 13 percent since 1996, the Asian vote has increased 105 percent. The kind of dog whistle politics that Republicans used through much of the modern era has now cost them another rapidly growing demographic.

Love Kentucky Fried Chicken? Who doesn’t? How about Pizza Hut? Taco Bell? As you may or may not know, these restaurants are all subsidiaries of Yum! Brands, a multi-national, publicly traded conglomerate that also owns WingStreet and East Dawning.

The food at these chains may not be good for you, but boy does it taste good. People all around the world agree. KFCs for instance, have spread like wildfire over the course of the last half century, and it was even the first American fast food joint to open up in China after the normalization of US-Chinese relations.

In an interesting turn of events, Yum! is parting with its Chinese business in the hopes of helping its foreign and domestic units grow.

Recovering from Setbacks

The decision is largely the result of many stumbling blocks currently impeding growth in China. A combination of food safety issues and increased competition from local restaurants has hit Yum! China hard. There was the scandal involving KFC last year in which one of Yum’s major meat suppliers (Shanghai Husi Food) relabeled expired meat. Once word of the situation got out via a television report, consumers avoided Yum! restaurants like the plague for months.

Currency differences and Chinese economic weaknesses have also had an impact on sales. The difference between a strong dollar and a weak yuan, coupled with the relative low income of the average person in China, put Yum! brands at a major disadvantage to local mom and pop restaurants, as well as local chains that sell at lower prices.

That isn’t to say the Chinese unit is a lost cause. On the contrary, the China division alone accounted for 54 percent of overall operating profit in the last quarter. In addition, the Chinese unit is virtually debt-free. Yum! doesn’t want to get rid of their Chinese operations; they just want them run autonomously by people on the ground in China so that they can grow at their own pace while the more mature American division refocuses its efforts at home.

This is exactly what shareholders have been wanting for quite some time now. After the decision was announced, shares rose 5 percent to $75.22.

Bright Prospects Ahead

The Yum! China unit will be based in Shanghai and be publicly traded. It’ll be a franchisee of the parent Yum! Corporation, paying for the rights to KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut with a percentage of its sales.

Although Chinese sales currently aren’t where Yum! would like, hopes for the future are high. It foresees growth from its current 6,900 restaurants to 20,000 within the next few years.

The split is in process–scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2016. By the end of 2016, Yum! hopes to have 95 percent of its Chinese restaurants owned and operated by franchisees. The separation will be tax-free for shareholders.

This move by Yum! entails some risk for the Chinese unit while improving the viability of the parent company. If it works out as planned, it can pay off big time.

Cars are incredibly dangerous. Every year, over 1.3 million people die in car related crashes around the world, with an addition 20 to 50 million injuries or disabilities resulting from auto collisions. In a dangerous world, traffic and road related accidents rank as the 9th leading cause of death, making up around 2.2% of all deaths worldwide. Most of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries in the developing world, where infrastructure is often lacking, cars are typically antiquated, yet the number of cars on the road and the miles travelled continues to go up. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, if no action is taken by governments, traffic accidents will become the fifth leading cause of death worldwide by 2030, just 15 years from today.


It should come as no surprise to anyone that has visited Thailand that a recent UN study on automotive safety has determined that the country has the 2nd deadliest roads in the entire world. The 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety notes that 14,059 people were killed on Thai roads in 2012, a rate of 36.2 casualties per 100,000 people. The only country that ranked ahead of Thailand in the study was Lybia, with a death rate of 73.4 per 100,000 residents.  Making matters worse, the UN concluded that Thailand regularly under reports road related fatalities due to a lax approach to record keeping and decentralized enforcement. According to WHO, the Public Health Ministry in Thailand understates road fatalities by 42%.


Thailand lacks some basic road safety measures found in many other countries, including in neighboring Malaysia and Singapore. For example, Thailand does not have a child restraint or child safety seat requirement, nor a universal seat belt law. New road projects are rarely subjected to safety reviews and audits, and contractors often cut corners to save money on materials. A recently constructed road in the town of Pattaya, which was supposed to separate pedestrians from cars, tuk tuks, and motorbikes, only made the problem worse as the lack of sufficient curb space only encouraged motorbikes to go up on the part of the street that was designed to serve pedestrians. This has already resulted in fatalities for drivers, pedestrians, and even roadside merchants with stands along highways.


The heavy use of motorbikes is also a problem. The mode of transportation is increasingly convenient as roads become more and more congested. In addition, motor bikes are a staple of Thai culture which prides itself on efficient, low cost transportation options. Nevertheless, they present a far greater risk of fatality to drivers than cars, buses, and even tuk tuks. Tourists in popular destinations like Koh Samui are frequently allowed to rent motor bikes with minimal knowledge of the rules of the road and a complete lack of training.


In addition, road and safety rules are rarely enforced, even with increasing government scrutiny. For example, the national drunk driving limit of 0.05 is lower than in most US states, but is rarely enforced.

The Philippines is enjoying an economic boom. Strong domestic growth and Philippine investors flush with cash in search of bargain prices around the world have led to an international buying spree in the billions of dollars for everything from food manufacturers, vineyards, and casinos.

The chain of islands nation is known for exporting inexpensive junk food and shopping malls throughout Asia, but in recent years, Filipino corporations have grown their profits and diversified into other business sectors globally.

Some of the most recent major acquisitions in the news which have surprised global investors include:

Filipino instant noodle firm Monde Nissin announced it was buying British meat substitute manufacturer Quorn for more than $800 million. Monde Nissin also purchased two popular Australian food brands last year including fruit juice brand Nudie and chilled dip manufacturer Black Swan. Monde Nissin owner Betty Ang started the company 30 years ago. According to Forbes, she is the country’s 19th wealthiest person with a net worth of $900 million.

Emperador, a firm controlled by Andrew Tan, the Philippines’ fourth richest man, is a company specializing in inexpensive local brandy. Tan has his eye on spending more than one billion dollars in diversification in Europe. The company said it would bid to acquire French cognac maker Louis Royer SAS. Last year Emperador paid $725 million for Scottish whiskey brand Whyte and Mackay and $80 million for a fifty percent share of Spanish brandy producer Bodega Las Copas.

The Philippines’ third-richest man, Enrique Razon, has made his fortune through casinos, namely a billion-dollar casino in Manila opened in 2013. He’s announced he’ll be buying a Philippine island for another casino resort and opening his first overseas casino in South Korea.

While these are some of the largest overseas acquisitions, Philippine buyers have also expanded into international telecommunications, energy, and oil.

For decades, the Philippines endured low economic growth due to corruption and red tape. But under leadership from the nation’s president Benigno Aquino, the nation has streamlined economic policy and seen some of the highest economic growth in Asia, averaging six percent growth between 2010 and 2014. And under Aquino’s rule, the Philippines has moved up 53 spots in the rankings of best nations to do business in. The Philippines now ranks number 95 out of 189 economies based on the ease of doing business in the nation, according to The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

To further buoy Philippine markets and consumer confidence, the credit rating agency Moody Investors Service reports that the Philippines’ investment-grade sovereign credit rating is well secured, explaining: “The Philippine economy remains resilient to the current headwinds buffeting neighboring countries and emerging markets as a whole.”

It remarked that the Philippines is well ahead of other emerging markets in terms of managing external adversities due to the nation’s strong domestic consumption, a stable banking sector, rising private-sector investments to growth, increasing per-capita income, benign inflation, and a declining debt burden.

Moody predicts that the Philippines, compared with other emerging markets, will remain less affected by external shocks like the Chinese slowdown, weakening global demand and the expected tightening of US monetary policy.

Expect to see more Philippine multinationals on the horizon.