Sanet PULSE Newsletter: A successful market entry and new visa options in Thailand

Content Overview:

    • TUNAP’s successful set-up in Thailand
    • Thailand 4.0: New 4-year visa
    • Opportunities for European automotive suppliers in ASEAN
    • Thoughts of the Day: Taking another look

TUNAP’s successful set-up in the Thai market

Sanet mediates strategic partners for German aerosol manufacturer

A professional partner search is a worthwhile investment. In 2016, daughter company of the Würth Group TUNAP assigned the Sanet Group to assist in the development and implementation of a market strategy in Thailand. The cooperative endeavor was kicked off via a workshop with the successful export manager, Elisabeth Vag, during which structures, budgets and set-up strategies were developed and presented to the board as well as shareholders. After that, a thorough market analysis was conducted, which informed the development of a business plan and the intensive search for a suitable partner.

In March, TUNAP and the Sanet ASEAN ADVISORS celebrated the successful signing of a contract with the former’s new strategic partners in Thailand. TUNAP is recognized as one of the largest aerosol manufacturers in Europe. Specializing in fats, oils and pastes, the company has played a leading role in supplying products used in automotive workshops for decades, while also being at the forefront when it comes to the chemical technology used to clean both fuel and climate control systems.  These products will be distributed in the Thai market by the newly acquired partners, DUCE and MMS.

Furthermore, TUNAP has decided to continue their long-term and reliable cooperation with the Sanet Group via a Business Unit under the care of Sanet Trade & Services Ltd. Such a Business Unit makes it possible for European MSEs to establish a market presence without the enormous costs in terms of both time and resources which are commonly incurred when establishing one’s own company.

Additional information on Sanet’s Business Units can be found here. Or, for more information on Sanet’s partner recruitment services, click here.

A successful set-up in the Thai market:
TUNAP and the Sanet ASEAN ADVISORS with the strategic partners MMS and DUCE

The legal specialists of Sanet Legal Ltd. inform

Thailand 4.0: New 4-year Visa

The new Smart Visa creates new investment opportunities for highly qualified individuals in the workforce and the investment world alike, as those active in the target branches stipulated by the development model Thailand 4.0 are now able to enjoy special visa privileges. Already in effect since February 2018, the government’s goal in creating such a visa is to secure more foreign investment as well as talent. The specific promotion of ten select clusters aims to improve Thailand’s value and competitiveness long-term on an international scale.

To be eligible for the Smart Visa, candidates must either be highly qualified experts active in scientific fields, or be active in investing, high-level management or start-ups positions.   Scientific experts and executives must prove monthly earnings of at least 200,000 THB. Investors und Start-ups are required to invest in one of the pre-determined target industries, with the minimal investment amount for investors set at 20 million THB.

Those receiving the Smart Visa are permitted to stay in Thailand with their spouse and children for up to four years without having to apply for a work permit. Unlike other visa holders who are required to report to the authorities every 90 days, those with a Smart Visa must only drop by once a year and do not need a re-entry visa should they need to leave the country.

Further information on the Smart Visa and the development model Thailand 4.0, as well as information on related investment promotions for foreign companies can be obtained by contacting the legal experts of the Thai-German legal firm Sanet Legal Ltd. at [email protected].

Opportunities for European automotive suppliers in ASEAN

Overview of Thailand as a production location

The demand for high-quality automobile parts in the markets of Southeast Asia and China is opening the door to new prospects and development opportunities for European OEM suppliers. Typically, SMEs are the ones to set up shop via sales and service offices and/or their own production sites. This is then followed by the question as to whether it is reasonable to continue production in Europe and then export to each individual region, or, alternatively, if it might not be better to set up production directly in the region itself.

With the hope of gaining closer proximity to the Asian automobile industry, more and more European MSEs are opting to set up local production sites. Thailand, the automobile HUB of the ASEAN region, offers particularly attractive conditions and market potential. Not only can production plants of Japanese car manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota and Suzuki be found in Thailand, but also the likes of prominent German companies such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Thailand is ranked with the top ten countries overall for passenger vehicle production worldwide, even having reached the number five spot when it comes to light-duty commercial vehicles, putting it just ahead of strongholds in the automobile industry such as India, Mexico and Turkey. Every other automobile produced in Thailand is sent abroad as an export product, which is due to the fact that OEMs and vendors in Thailand are able to profit from numerous free trade agreements enabling duty-free export to countries such as Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea.

In addition to having an infrastructure that has grown significantly over the years as well as a corresponding supply chain and solid talent pool in the automobile industry, Thailand also offers extensive state-sponsored investment promotion opportunities via the Thai Board of Investment (BOI).

A detailed report of Sanet‘s investment guidance to a Bavarian joint disc manufacturing company in Thailand can be accessed by clicking here. For useful information related to production set-up in Thailand including information on state-sponsored investment promotion available to foreign automobile vendors, contact [email protected].

Aiming to close proximity to the Asian automobile industry, an increasing number of OEM suppliers are opting to set up local production sites in Southeast Asia 

By Gunter Denk

Thoughts of the Day: FAG – Taking another look

According to the feedback we have received, many people really enjoy the “Thoughts of the Day”. Readers whose occupational responsibilities are the target of our grumblings are, however, often less than thrilled. The same is true for associations, authorities, policies, companies and airlines who have a stake in the matters we discuss. Their responses generally range from silent disapproval to insulting emails.

In any case, the response from Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, head of air traffic operations and terminal management at FAG Frankfurt, to our recent critiques came in exemplary fashion. Upon reading the most recent edition of “Thoughts of the Day”, he took the opportunity to invite me to breakfast prior to my recent departure out of Frankfurt.

Of course, I accepted his invitation, and what pursued was truly an interesting and candid conversation.  Without going on the defensive, the FAG manager explained to me the massive efforts taken by his company to correct some of the technical problems in the outdated Terminal 1, such as the numerous elevators and escalators which are out of order. Several upgrades, such as the internal transport between terminals, are scheduled to be implemented during the construction of a new third terminal.

I also learned about a new special aspect of the federal German authorities: technically, state authorities are not allowed to grant any priority to business passengers at the security checkpoints whatsoever. The staff, all of whom are under the purview of the federal police, are prohibited from providing any special treatment to their guests based on ticket class.  Over the course of two hours, I also learned a great deal about the challenges faced by airport operators, security officials and airlines in general.

At the same time, I also got the feeling that the exectuive manager sitting in front of me was most capable of listening and taking passenger’s criticism to heart in order to make improvements. It appears the inadequacies addressed in those “Thoughts of the Day” are considerable issues to be dealt with by all airport partners.

And so I will continue to comment on such technical, organizational and even human-resource related issues in an ironic and humorous manner. Whenever I am at the Frankfurt airport, however, I will maintain a hopeful smile, since now I know they have someone like Dr. Prümm there who might just be working to solve the problems as they unfold before me.