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At A Glance

Jan 05. 2018
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By The Nation

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AIA Thailand plans recruitment campaign

AIA Thailand is marking its 80th anniversary year of operations in Thailand, with the “Year of Recruiting AIA FA”.

It focuses on recruiting new generation people who are willing to be full-time agents to join AIA Financial Advisor programme in order to strengthen the AIA agency channel as well as to y deliver the best possible customer experience to AIA policyholders. This is an addition from last year that AIA opened nine more FA Centre from six existing ones, to be 15 FA centres, in order to develop its agency force to step up as “AIA Financial Advisor (FA)” through intensive and comprehensive training courses.

Moreover, a marketing campaign will play a crucial part of 2018 ambition to penetrate target groups across the country.

Bill Lisle, regional chief executive of AIA Group, said: “Thailand is the largest market from the total 6 markets which I am responsible for, including Korea, Australia/New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Thailand is a relatively high growth potential but very challenging market as Thai people have different life insurance purchasing behavior from people in other countries. Agency force still plays a key role in their considering and purchasing decision and be AIA Thailand’s key engine of sustainable growth to stay on leading position in life insurance business in Thailand for long decades. I am, therefore, confident that investing in quality people development especially in AIA Financial Advisor (AIA FA) program will support AIA business and life insurance industry in Thailand to grow continuously and sustainably.”

Tan Hak Leh, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Thailand, said: “2018 is a special year for AIA Thailand as we will celebrate our 80th anniversary. We plan to organize many customer-engagement activities to allow policyholders to celebrate this auspicious year. Meanwhile, we continue to focus on agency channel, which is our core distribution, and AIA FA program is one of our key strategies to recruit and develop our agents, especially the young-bloods agents to become professional AIA Financial Advisor and to have sustainable growth in career with AIA. In addition, we will support our FA agents to accomplish their career advancement and drive them to the same goal, the MDRT qualifiers, which is the international standard of productivity, professionalism and excellence in life insurance business.”

Jobs offered to graduates of Mercedes-Benz programme 

Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) Ltd recently organised a graduation ceremony for the 27th batch of students in the Automotive Mechatronics Technician (AMT) Dual Training Program. 

The company has been recognised as the first Thailand-based company to successfully implement a vocational education program at that level in the country.

All 29 graduates achieved a Level B vocational certificate in automotive mechatronics under the German-Thai Dual Excellence Education Program (GTDEE).

In addition, the students are the first group of Thai vocational students to receive a higher vocational certificate issued by Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) in Germany.

Presiding over the ceremony were Michael Grewe, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) Ltd, Dr Roland Wein, executive director of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Karl Adam, third secretary of economic and commercial at the German Embassy in Bangkok. The Automotive Mechatronics Technician Dual Training Program is a two-year higher vocational education course offered by Mercedes-Benz under a partnership of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Samutprakan Technical College, Eastern College of Technology, and Don Bosco Technological College. 

In addition to the first-hand opportunity for immersive practice on actual Mercedes-Benz vehicles, students also gained insights on latest breakthroughs in automotive innovations such as safety systems, hybrid engine technology, and groundbreaking electronic systems for vehicles.

All students accepted into the program me will be awarded scholarship from Mercedes-Benz authorised dealers and will automatically be hired to work at the after-sales workshops at Mercedes-Benz dealers upon graduation.

Carrier converts order for 42 A320neo to A321neo models

Vietjet will convert its existing order for 42 Airbus A320neo aircraft to the larger A321neo, the world’s most efficient single aisle jetliner. The agreement was signed recently by Vietjet President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and Fabrice Brgier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President of Commercial Aircraft. Accordingly, the airline now has a total of 73 A321neo and 11 A321ceo on order for future delivery.

The first A321neo “new engine option”, registered as VN-646, has also arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport from Hamburg recently, marking the airline’s milestone of becoming the first airline in Southeast Asia to operate the Airbus aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation GTF engines.

Fitted out with 230 comfy leather-covered seats and high-quality carpeting, the first five rows of Vietjet’s spacious new A321neo have been especially designed to accommodate passengers flying SkyBoss, the airline’s premium service. The aircraft’s interior also features a unique color-changing LED light system and striking d?cor to create a comfortable and refreshing ambience throughout the whole cabin.

The brand new A321neo incorporates the latest in engine design, advanced aerodynamics and cabin innovations. According to the aircraft manufacturer, its GTF engines offer a significant reduction in fuel consumption — at least 16 percent from day one and 20 percent by 2020 — as well a 75 per cent reduction in noise and a 50 per cent reduction in emissions.

The A321neo is also the 17th aircraft Vietjet has received in 2017, increasing its total fleet to 55. The new aircraft has begun operating on domestic and international routes to and from Vietnam as of the first week of January 2018. 

“We are proud when a dynamic airline like Vietjet endorses our products,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft. “The A321neo combines higher capacity with the lowest operating costs in its class, offering unbeatable efficiency. This aircraft will be a real asset in Vietjet’s expansion plans in such a fast-growing market. We look forward to seeing the A321neo flying in Vietjet colors.”

“The A320 family of aircraft has greatly contributed to Vietjet’s impressive operations performances with the airline’s technical reliability rate standing at 99.6 per cent in 2017. The aircraft have also helped us maintain some of the lowest operating costs in the airline world,” said Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietjet President and CEO. “The upgraded A321neo deal once again emphasizes Vietjet's ceaseless efforts to modernize our fleet. We believe that the technical reliability rate and other operation and safety indexes will continue to go up in order to bring maximum comfort, joy and safety to our valued passengers.”

Chinese money, new transit stops boost investment

The Thai residential market is benefiting from investments made by a stream of foreign buyers, according to Knight Frank Thailand.

Frank Khan, executive director and head of residential projects for the real-estate consultancy, said that 2017 “stands as an outstanding year for foreign investors, with a new supply [of projects] with innovative designs, modern facilities and investment growth. An appealing investment climate like Thailand gives foreign investors the chance to capitalise on their investment without being affected by high taxes and stamp duties.”

He said 2017 also witnessed several listed developers being able to significantly capitalise on their market share due to the influx of foreign buyers. 

“The Thai residential market has obviously received an additional investor stream from the Chinese, despite [China’s] imposition of stricter outbound investment.”

Investment from China tends to cluster in Bangkok metropolitan areas.

Several mid-priced condos in the capital had as much as 40 per cent Chinese uptake, said Khan. But the first half of the year was quite slow due to strict controls from the Bank of China on transferring money, he said. Further expansion of marketing based on road shows throughout the Asia Pacific in 2017 could be expected in 2018, he said.

“And we foresee a healthy uptake from foreign investors across Asia Pacific.”

BTS lines remain the key influence on urban development choices as Thailand expands its mass transit system, said Marciano Birjmohun, associate director of international project marketing, Knight Frank Thailand. 

“Mass Transportation is, in many ways, the most important factor of a community's infrastructure. In particular, interchange stations such as Bang Sue’s Grand Central Station that is currently under construction, have become a focal point for overseas investors,” said Birjmohun.

“More overseas investors are also aiming on the peripheral area of Bangkok, providing low entry levels of investment but benefiting from direct connection to the tourist and business districts. With the Tao Poon interchange completed and Samrong interchange station nearly complete, these areas have classified themselves as future hotspots.

“If we only look at the existing traffic at interchange stations like Asoke and Siam, we can be certain that Tao Poon and Samrong will become major transit stations by 2020,” he said.


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