Asia Pacific Starting Strong In 2018

2018 hasn’t been around long, but the Asia Pacific real estate market is already showing strength, with the region inspiring confidence from international investors from across the globe. The rising popularity of co-working, data centres and self-storage, among other alternatives have lead to people looking for co-working in Bangkok, cheap storage in Campbell town, and other new alternative services, and real estate investors are looking to take advantage.

One such confident investor is the Germany-based financial services conglomerate Allianz SE, who recently announced that its property subsidiary; Allianz Real Estate, has plans to increase investments in the Asia Pacific. The revelation was a noteworthy display, as Allianz revealed that is has plans to double investments in the region over a three year timespan.

Whilst the entire region looks to have  a strong 2018, investors are paying attention to India, which looks to bounce back as an investor-friendly location. The country has a strong long-term financial foundations, and good economic growth has allowed it to grow back in spite of the disruptions caused by legislative changes such as the implementation of the new Goods & Services Tax, and demonetisation.

The rise of co-working, self-storage and data centres, collectively known as the alternatives sector, are expected to perform outstandingly in 2018, just like the preceding year.

For those looking for cheap storage in Campbelltown or anywhere in Australia or the Asia Pacific region, the self-storage industry is worth watching. The real estate class of self-storage facilities, give higher yields on average compared to the more traditional real estate options, with an average yield in the APAC region sitting at about 5%.

However, China’s increased regulation of the financial markets in the region and across the world might put a dampen on real estate developments.

In terms of real estate, technology is expected to become more important, with developments such as digitization of services, and automation are expected to heavily impact strategy, and team organization.

Another in the alternatives sector looking to make waves is co-working, which has been proven as of late when it comes to improving productivity within the corporate environment. The idea, once seen as a mere fad, is altering how offices operate in the region.

Quiet Celebrations For Loy Krathong, And The Upcoming Christmas And New Years

Thailand quietly celebrated last November 14 the Loy Krathong festival without the normal entertainment and fireworks, and the government leaders also want celebrations for Christmas and New Years to be similar.

Loy Krathong on a muted tone

The government already mentioned that the Christmas and New Year celebrations could be arranged, but the entertainment activities must be toned down.

This suggestion was said following the nation’s quiet celebrations for the Loy Krathong festival, since the nation is at its mourning period for a month after the passing of His Majesty the King Bhumibol.

Many of the Loy Krathong sites proceeded with their yearly festival but also devoted the traditional floating of a krathong on the waterways in remembrance of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol.

The National Culture Committee’s suggested traditional and cultural activities observed during the Loy Krathong were the Buddhist-style merit-making, listening to prayers and dhamma practice, according to Tanasak Patimapragorn, the Deputy Prime Minister.

The committee suggested to not hold the Nang Nopphamat beauty contest and some other events like concerts and fireworks.

As a response to the suggestions from the committee, Wanthani Watthana, who is a deputy clerk, mentioned that there were no Loy Krathong celebrations in areas close to the Grand Palace.

People floated the krathongs at neighbouring piers like Tha Chang, Tha Phrachan, Tha Tian or Tha Maharat, according to Ms Wanthani.

The sites nearest to the palace were located in Santi Chai Prakan Park, Phra Athit Road and under the Rama VIII bridge.

About 28 public parks in Bangkok opened until November 14 midnight in order for people to float the krathongs.

Celebrations for the coming Christmas and New Years

For the upcoming Christmas and New Years, Gen Tanasak mentioned that these could be arranged. However, the committee’s organisers want to keep these entertainment activities respectful. He believes that every Thai practices discretion and acts appropriately in this time of mourning.

In sum, there are other ways to celebrate Christmas and New Years solemnly with a family, such as a Christmas or a New Year dinner in Bangkok. The toned down celebrations will mean respect for the late King.


Supreme Court Failed To Serve Notice Of Lawsuit On Karki

In Kathmandu, the staffs at the Supreme Court are troubled with a problem of process serving because they are able to serve the notice made by the court against the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority’s chief commissioner, Lokman Singh Karki. The process servers at the court, also known as tameldars, was not able to serve the court notice due for Karki despite the fact that they have reached the location of the house of Karki located at ward number 10 of Baneshwar Height, Kathmandu Metropolitan City.

The Supreme Court has reached a decision wherein it is going to take a second look at its previous verdict and will conduct a reexamination regarding the writ petition that was made to challenge the appointment of Karki as the chief of the constitutional body. The process servers, however, are having a hard time when it comes to serving the court’s notice.

The court attempted to just paste the notice outside the house of Karki but the secretary of the ward number 10 located ay Kathmandu Metropolitan City, , SitaRai, was not able to come at the location. According to the legal provision, the staff at the court is only allowed to paste the notice at the house of the defendant if there is a secretary of village development committee or ward office in municipalities that is present at the time. Despite the heads up that was sent by the staff at the court to Rai, she still failed to be at the location.

Process server of the court, Shambu Khatri, said that she was not at the permanent address of Karki at the time of the serving. The staff spent three hours waiting for her to no avail. He added that they are not able to paste the notice at the address because it is only being rented out.

According to Rudra Singh, the chief executive of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, the secretary failed to show up during the process serving because she is out of town for training. He added that if not for the training, the metropolitan staffers are happy to help with the procedures of the court.


Train Project Connecting Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang And U-Tapao Thailand Airports

The government of Thailand plans to connect together the airports of Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao by working on a new rail system.

It has already been 6 years since the Airport Rail Link has introduced a faster way to Suvarnabhumi airport terminal.

The convenience to Book a train in Thailand and getting to a destination not only the airports but in other areas is helpful for travelers either way.

Previously, there were the same ideas to upgrade the Airport Rail Link but the plan was unsuccessful at making progress until the present administration.

There will be two sections of the Phaya Thai-Don Mueang rail route – Bang Sue-Don Mueang airport and Phaya Thai-Bang Sue.

The Phaya Thai-Bang Sue section needs to be built first since the Light Red rail line project connecting Bang Sue to Hua Mak and Bang Sue to Hua Lamphong will also push through.

Phaya Thai station is a good starting point for travelers because of the BTS skytrain that connects Thon Buri and inner Bangkok. When the latest Airport Rail Link is constructed, access will be given to Don Mueang airport too.

The Suvarnabhumi-U-Tapao section of the airport’s Rail link is not a priority for now.

One of the construction challenges that need to be addressed first is the 14km limited construction area of the Bang Sue-Don Mueang section of the Airport Rail Link project.

There are 3 railway projects with that of the Bang Sue station included in the maps. They are as follows:
– Airport Rail Link
– Section of the Red Line which connects Bang Sue and Rangsit
– Thai-Japanese and Thai-Chinese railway development projects

It is difficult and nearly impossible to combine all the latest railways into similar area since there is a limited space for rail route construction.

There are two initial solutions here. First, cancel the Bang Sue-Don Mueang section and have people take the Red Line at the Bang Sue station going to Don Mueang airport. The alternative is sharing rail tracks with Thai-Chinese dual track project which links Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok. The SRT is taking into account both but will more likely consider the share track option.

Thailand To Purchase Additional Power From Laos

According to a senior official working at the Energy Ministry, Thailand is planning to buy an additional 9,000 megawatts of electric power coming from Laos within this year to make sure that there will be enough supply to power the increasing demand.

That number is higher by 30 per cent compared to the previous electric power purchased by Thailand from Laos every year which is set at 7,000 megawatts. This is based to the latest memorandum of understanding or MoU that was signed by the two countries way back in 2007. The memorandum has already expired last 2015.
According to the same source, the senior officials are also taking steps in making the new MoU and the details within. The new memorandum of understanding is set to be signed by the two countries in the second half of 2016.

The source also added that if the two countries are able to finalize the details of the memorandum within the deadline then it could be signed at the same time as the Asean Summit meeting. The meeting venue is set in Laos this coming September.

The majority of the 9,000 MW power will be coming mostly from hydropower since it is cost-effective compared to fossil fuels. Thailand is now making ways in order to not depend on natural gas-generated power and rather use other sources of energy available.

As of writing, the main sources of gas used by Thailand are coming from the Gulf of Thailand as well as the Gulf of Martaban which is located in Myanmar. The two sources are unfortunately expected to be out of gas within the next 10 years because of the high independence of Thailand when it comes to natural gas.
The source revealed that Thailand is now trying to address the issue and has taken steps such as the importation of liquefied natural gas which is unfortunately more expensive.

As of the moment, the proposed coal-fired power plants that will be used in generating power remain a proposition. Though there are already plans to create two plants and will be located at the southern part of Thailand, the plan cannot go on because of the strong opposition that that government is facing coming from the local villagers of the region as well as the environmental activists. Meanwhile, Thailand has to make do with the additional power in order to support tourist destinations such as luxury villas in Hua Hin.

The Humanitarian Efforts of Germany in the Refugee Crisis

It is very rare for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to be offered congratulations on her leadership particularly during the Greek crisis but with the stance on the refugee crisis, she is described as heartwarming, humanitarian, kind and warm. Angela Merkel is now being applauded all over the world for her willingness to take in 800,000 refugees and for being one of the world leaders who has stood up for humanitarian values in the largest refugee crisis ever since the Second World War.

The dramatic scenes and pictures the last few days from Hungary and the shores of Greece have strengthened the German leadership’s resolve but the 800,000 refugees is just a projection on how many refugees they can accept until the end of the year. The number is not definitely a quota or a wish by Merkel.

It is a fact that many people will try to go to Germany and everyone who successfully gets there has the right to an asylum hearing. On the other hand, Merkel hands are equally tied to laws and normative stances. Germany however has taken new pragmatism in a commendable way and Merkel is now leading this new pragmatism and making a virtue from sheer necessity.

Merkel has stated that Germany is capable of handling the increase but they need to be more flexible and less bureaucratic and that they have a moral and legal obligation to provide protection to anyone who is trying to escape conflict.

About 45% of the refugees in Germany come from the Western Balkans and it is safe to say that they will comprise the majority of the predicted 800,000. The government is trying to speed up hearing time because lengthy processing times is seen by many as the pull factor for those trying to escape the harsh Balkan winters. With a recognition rate of less than 1% in asylum cases, it is expected that many will be returned to the country of origin to bring down numbers in the future.

The government is also discussing the distribution of non-cash items instead of pocket money to reduce the incentives of coming to Germany. Non-recognized asylum seekers will be deported immediately and more efficiently so that there will be a proper management of migration.