SRCC and Suvarnabhumi Campus, Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand hosts venture on Corporate Governance and Business Sustainability


The 27th Prime Minister of Thailand, His Excellency Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva inaugurated the Conference with his address on “Corporate Governance Reforms in Asia.” He spoke about how South Asia came out of the financial crises in the past and have shown the way towards resurgence of the economies of these countries. The family based system of corporate governance has been attempted to be modernized on the lines of the OECD Principles by introducing the concepts of independent directors, audit committees and disclosure. But the challenges of implementation of the laws and regulations particularly concerning protection of minority interest, and slow legal process are the dampening factors. He also emphasized the inclusion of ordinary citizenry, particularly women, in issues concerning corporate governance, involvement and investment. He commended the efforts of SRCC and AU in putting together this international conference at a point in time when the world is turning its attention on Asia.

Attended by the founder of Assumption University and President Emeritus, Rev. Bro. Martin, its President, Rev. Bro. Bancha Saenghiran, Chairman of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Mr. Ajay S. Shriram, its Principal, Dr. P. C. Jain, faculty members, students from both institutions, delegates, paper presenters, dignitaries from the academic and corporate communities, it was a coming together of people from all parts of the world. Bro. Bancha welcomed the guests and elaborated on the concept of this collaborative effort.

Mr. Ajay Shriram spoke on corporate governance issues in the context of India and referred to how family businesses were tackling matters related to governance. He was appreciative of the initiative between the two institutes as a new beginning in the direction of global collaborations. Conference Secretary, Dr. Anil Kumar proposed a Vote of Thanks and expressed his happiness and gratitude to all segments that made the Conference possible.

On the second day of the Conference a Roundtable Discussion: “Exploring Collaborative Pathways in Corporate Governance and Sustainable Business Partnerships” was organized. The Indian Ambassador to Thailand, H. E. Mr. Anil Wadhwa, the Secretary-General of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Kalin Sarasin, the Director, Board of Studies, Institute of Chartewred Accountants of India, Mr. Sutanu Sinha, Chief Executive, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Dr. Raj S. Dhankar, Dean, FMS, Delhi University and representatives of Tata, Thailand and Birla, Thailand participated.

There were fifteen technical sessions: Strategic Management and Corporate Governance (CG), CG – Performance & SMEs, CSR, Management and Sustainability, Finance & Economics, Education, Marketing and Information Technology etc.  By the sheer number of paper presentations, this conference not only addressed the depth of issues but also the diversity and range of topics. In all, fifty-four papers were presented. An eminent jury chaired by Prof. Raj S. Dhankar, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, Prof. K. V. Bhanu Murthy, Faculty of Commerce and Business, Delhi University, Mr. Vijay Kapur, Director, Board of Studies,

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, adjudged the best papers. The best papers will be published as a special edition of Business Analyst, the bi-annual journal of SRCC.

The Conference provided a great opportunity to interact and learn from each other’s experiences, not only in the conference matters, but more importantly to understand the academic practices and orientation in different parts of the globe, especially in Asia. The ACCGBS 2013 was sponsored by the National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG).



India’s lack of infrastructure, transport deter Thai tourists, says envoy


Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum deputy head of mission Royal Thai Embassy in India said Thailand – India relations are building up in the post-cold war era and Thailand as a member of Asean is looking towards India for strengthening friendship bonds between two countries.

“Thais are more interested and keen to visit India to have a first-hand experience of India’s history and culture, especially in the wake of India being Buddha’s native land, but improper infrastructure and transport facilities is holding back Thais from visiting India in large numbers,” he revealed, adding that on an average 90,000 Thais visited India, of them half being Buddhist pilgrims.

“My gut feeling is India should initiate various measures and build infrastructure and create best transport facilities to attract more tourists from all over the world in general and Thailand in particular,” he pointed out suggesting Mysore university to take up various tourism courses with Mysore being a heritage city. Universtiy vice-chancellor Rangappa said he is serious to start various programmes related to tourism. “Though we have a PG course in tourism, it has failed to attract students, now is the time with the help of Chulalongkorn University we will take up various courses which can boost the country’s tourism”.

“We will make these courses more attractive and job oriented,” he added.


‘We’ll trade you yoga for Thai massage’: India proposes duty-free services deal with Thailand


If everything goes well, Thai massage parlours and spas will soon make a foray into India.

A yoga-for-massage barter proposal which is doing the rounds in the Commerce Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs may break the logjam with Thailand over the free trade agreements (FTAs).

As per the FTAs, Thai massage parl

At a time when the government officials privy to the negotiations say that the money earned by Thai operators can be repatriated without any tax deductions, the external affairs ministry wants a compromise formula from Bangkok: yoga parlours in Thailand.

Earlier, South Block had asked the Ministry of Commerce to reexamine some of the key free trade agreements (FTAs) that India had signed with Singapore, Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

According to it, India had failed to achieve the main objective of leveraging the services trade with those countries. Officials, however, hope to clinch the deal with Thailand.

India is also looking to expand cooperation with Bangkok with the increasing activities of anti- India groups in that country and Indian mafia dons in South East Asia. India has been in talks over FTAs with Thailand since 2004 when both the sides launched the Early Harvest Scheme, under which duties on the import of 82 items were abolished.

The government, which is yet to take a decision on Thai massage parlours, may come under fire from moral policing groups and Ayurveda massage parlours that may have to see their business eroding.

Sources say while the government will come up with several safeguards to ensure that only genuine Thai spas and massage parlours would come in, the move will also boost the tourism industry in India.

At the same time, critics suspect whether Indian yoga parlours would be able to make it big in the Thai market. As part of its economic diplomacy, India had gone on an overdrive and signed a number of agreements but failed miserably in augmenting its exports.

The issue of a services agreement was also flagged during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meet with his Thailand counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra who stressed on a comprehensive free trade.

The second protocol to amend the framework agreement for establishing FTA between Thailand and India was signed during the Thai PM’s visit to India in January 2012.

Also, the India-ASEAN agreement on trade in goods was signed in Bangkok in August 2009 by Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma. It was operationalised on January 1, 2010.

The services and investment chapters of the India-ASEAN FTA were concluded in December 2012. Bilateral trade between India and Thailand has multiplied eight times since 2000 to reach $8.68billion in 2012.


Thailand is the most popular destination for Indian tourists

Thailand is the most popular destination for Indian tourists, with nearly one million flying to the land of temples and therapies. “Indians are value conscious travellers and Thailand is the ultimate value-for-money destination,” says Sethaphan Buddhani, director, Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Mumbai: Today, September 27, is World Tourism Day and it could well be the Indian tourist’s day.

According to a World Tourism Organisation (WTO) report, India is the fastest-growing outbound travel market in the world, now accounting for over 12 million tourists annually – a growth of over 100% from less than 6 million in 2004.

Boosted by the buoyant economy, affluent Indians are travelling like never before, with Mumbai alone accounting for nearly 25% of outbound tourists. “It’s exciting to see the increasing affluence of the Indian traveller and the growth of the country’s outbound market. I travel around the world and it’s amazing to see Indians all over,” says Simon Turner, president – Global Development, Starwood Hotels, adding that the Indian traveller has come of age.

“Once you have a good house, two cars and worldly possessions, then you want to travel and accumulate experiences. That time has come for the affluent Indians,” said Turner.

Thailand is the most popular destination for Indian tourists, with nearly one million flying to the land of temples and therapies. “Indians are value conscious travellers and Thailand is the ultimate value-for-money destination,” says Sethaphan Buddhani, director, Tourism Authority of Thailand.

He added that the Indian market is maturing and new niches such as golf, luxury holidays, weddings, medical and Bollywood tourism are increasingly heading to Thailand. While 28% of the outbound Indian tourists go abroad to visit friends and relatives, a good 20% fly out exclusively for leisure activities.

“Inbound tourism from India has been on a consistent rise,” said Celia Ho, regional manager, South East Asia, Tourism Victoria, adding that the VFR segment registered a 20% growth compared to last year and continued to account for the largest volume of Indian visitors to Victoria in the year till June. Europe continues to be the top destination for the aspiring Indian tourists, with Switzerland topping the list. “We have registered a 100% increase in the number of Indian tourists in the past five years and are still aiming for more,” says Ritu Sharma, deputy director, Switzerland Tourism. While 51% of Indians go on self-organised foreign holidays, 33% go for package tours and the rest opt for customised travel packages.



Aura Thai Spa Services Private Limited (ATSSPL), a Dubai-based Spa and Wellness service brand is soon coming up with four centres in Delhi and one centre each in Goa, Allahabad and Varanasi via franchising. Also, the company is aiming to open 300 spas by 2015.

Currently, Aura Spa has four operational spas in Dubai and seven franchised centres in Mumbai. The company started its operations in 2006 in Dubai, UAE and entered the Indian market in January 2010 through franchise route. The company recruits trained Thai masseurs certified by Ministry of Health and Education, Thailand.

Bilateral trade between India and Thailand is expected to go up to $10 billion by 2012, a Thai envoy here said Thursday.

“Currently bilateral trade between India and Thailand stands at $5.6 billion. Bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to go up to $10 billion by 2012,” Sukoom Somprasonk, deputy consul general at the Royal Thai consulate said while speaking on “India’s Trade Prospects with Thailand” here.

“Bilateral trade between the two countries has tripled in the last six years. We expect that within the next two to three years, the comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries will be concluded,” he said.

“India’s Look East Policy complements Thailand’s trade policy. Thailand always considers India as a strategic partner in trade, commerce, tourism and education,” Somprasonk said.

Informing that currently India’s investment in Thailand was $1 billion, he said there was scope for Thailand’s investment in India in real estate and infrastructure.


Bangalore: The bilateral trade between Thailand and India would touch $1 billion in 2011, said Chanchai Charanvatnakit, Thai Council general in India.Last year the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $ 850 million with a majority of transactions coming from the sectors like pharmaceutical, plastic, construction materials and textiles. He said both the countries are working to come out with a full-fledged free trade agreement (FTA), which is expected to be signed by this year. Once the full-fledged FTA is in place, he said, the trade transaction between the two countries will increase dramatically

The agriculture and real estate industry would emerge as major sectors in the future in bilateral trade between India and Thailand. Notably a Thai-based real estate major Pruksa Global has started making huge investments in India, he added.

Charanvatnakit was in Bangalore to inaugurate a residential project promoted by Pruksa Global, which is committed to invest around $ 300 million in various real estate projects in the first phase in India. The Bangalore project christened Pruksa Silvana is the first real estate project for Thai company in India. The company will also expand its real estate projects in Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad soon.

Listed in Thai stock exchange, Pruksa is one of the top real estate firms in Asia and India is the first country for the company to invest outside Thailand due to high potential for residential projects in India, he added.

The company has Asia’s largest precast factory, where the different structures of house are manufactured through precast technology. These readymade structures are used to construct a house. Through this technology, low rise building could be built in 45-60 days and villas within 180 days.

Mohan, assistant vice-president of Pruksa Global, said “Pruksa is the only company having

Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot yesterday began a four-day visit to India to discuss ways to expand free trade with countries in the Bay of Bengal region.The government hopes to revive free trade talks that have been stalled since June last year, said Mr Alongkorn, who will visit New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai along with Thai trade negotiators.

He is scheduled to hold talks with Jyotiraditya Scindia, India’s minister of state for commerce and industry, on FTA agreements under the framework of Bimstec (the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-operation).

Thailand and India have been pursuing expanded free trade agreement under Asean co-operation framework since early this year.

Bimstec economic and trade ministers signed a framework agreement in 2004 in Phuket, to establish a free trade area by 2012, leading to liberalisation of trade in goods, services and investment.

The Bimstec group comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The seven countries held 18 rounds of negotiations before talks were suspended last June due to political conflicts between member countries.

The group’s initial six areas of co-operation have now risen to 14. Agreement has been reached on the issues of: trade and investment, transport and communication, energy, tourism, technology, fisheries, agriculture, public health, poverty reduction, anti-terrorism and international crime, environment and natural disaster management, culture, and climate change.

Two-way trade between Thailand and Bimstec totalled US$10.40 billion last year, a drop of 11.4% from a year earlier. Exports from Thailand were worth $5.8 billion, a rise of 2.66%, with imports worth $4.6 billion, down 24.5%.

Mr Alongkorn is also due to meet Kamal Nath, India’s minister for roads and highways, to talk about logistics co-operation between Thailand and Bimstec members.

The Thai delegation also intended to hold talks with Bollywood film executives in Mumbai on the possibility of working together in entertainment projects.


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