German diplomat exhibits his works at Liam’s Gallery
Ulrich Zagorsky poses with some of his works at the
opening of his exhibition at Liam’s Gallery.
A former German diplomat is the featured artist at Liam’s
Gallery until April 12, with a display of works mainly in acrylic and a
style that shows influences from many of the famous artists he has met
during his long career.
The works of Ulrich Zagorsky, alias Zago, were opened to
the public on March 24. Thamnu Tangkanasing, a former Thai ambassador to
Germany, performed the opening speech.
Guests at the opening view the works on display.
“It is my privilege to open the art exhibition of my old
friend Ulrich Zagorski here in Pattaya. During our diplomatic employment we
got to know and understand each other. I’ve been admiring his art works for
a long time,” said Thamnu.
Ulrich served as cultural attach้ at the German Embassy
in Bangkok in 1980. He retired from diplomatic service two years ago, and
now lives in Pattaya. Before and during his diplomatic career, he studied
fine arts in Frankfurt, Osaka and New York. In Japan he studied with Takashi
Hagi, while in New York he fostered contacts with artists like Jasper Johns,
Andy Warhol and Roy Liechtenstein, and absorbed influences from many of
His signature feature is the creation of abstract
paintings, often in geometric patterns and in large poster sizes. Others
display Japanese calligraphy.
Zago said he prefers painting with acrylic colors. “The
hot climate here in Thailand provides the best conditions for acrylic
painting. Acrylic colors are easier to work with compared to oil colors.
Also, they are more resistant and don’t fade easily. That gives me the
chance to create optical illusions using perfect shapes and flat shadows,”
he explained to guests at the opening.
AustCham really did get the prawns on the Barbie
Dr Iain Corness
Following their successful seminar covering the latest
developments in the real estate industry, the Australian Chamber of Commerce
(AustCham) really went for an Australian style Seaboard Sundowners last weekend,
holding their popular networking evening at the Sheraton Pattaya Resort. That
AustCham should use the Sheraton was well overdue, with the GM of the Sheraton
being Aussie David Cuddon, backed up by fellow Aussies Gavin Maloney (director
of sales and marketing) and executive chef Matthew Woolford.
(L to R) Peter L. Crowe from Beach Properties Co., Ltd., Gary Baguley from
Blue Wave Water Sports and Paul Whyte, general manager of Tinfish (Thailand)
Now what the non-Aussies will not be aware of is an
institution in Sydney Australia called Harry’s Caf้ de Wheels. Google it and you
will come up with restaurant reviews like this one, “How could anyone not like
the hot dogs here. This is a cultural institute for all Aussies. This is a ‘must
bring a relo/tourist here’ kind of place. And it’s so much better after a few
drinks at approx 2.30 a.m. on Sat night.” Jump to Wikipedia and you get “Harry
‘Tiger’ Edwards opened the original caravan cafe, named simply Harry’s, near the
gates of the Woolloomooloo Naval Yard in 1938. The name Cafe de Wheels came
about because of the requirement from the city council that mobile food caravans
had to move a minimum of 30 cm each day. Local legend tells that the name was
temporarily changed to Cafe de Axle at one point when the wheels were stolen. As
the years passed, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels gained new fame as a tourist
attraction. A visit to the caravan became a ‘must’ for visiting celebrities such
as Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum and Marlene Dietrich. In 1974, Colonel Sanders
stopped at Harry’s and enjoyed the food so much that he ate three ‘pies and
peas’ while leaning on his walking stick in front of the caravan. A picture of
Sanders taken during the visit still hangs in the caravan today.”
(L to R) (Front) Sue K. from Pattaya Mail, Kesorn Aun-Kham,
moving consultant with JVK International Movers Ltd. and Sarah Wong, technical
support specialist for RSM Nelson Wheeler (Thailand) Limited. (Back) Martin
Kyle, executive director of AustCham Thailand and Les Nyerges, managing director
of Capital Television Group Co., Ltd.
With that in mind (even though he denied having stolen the
actual recipes) Matthew Woolford served up pies, hamburgers and sausages, steak
sandwiches and even prawns straight off the BBQ. Not content with just that, he
totally eclipsed Harry’s Caf้ de Wheels by presenting lamingtons! Now for all
those people who don’t know what a lamington is, it is a Queensland specialty,
named after Lord Lamington, the governor of Queensland in 1898 and further
popularized by Flo Bjelke-Petersen, the pumpkin scone-making wife of an
(in)famous Queensland Premier. What a tour de force! Well done AustCham and
(L to R) John L. Pollard, managing director of Meinhardt (Thailand) Ltd.,
Mark Thomson, managing director of Merino Co., Ltd. and Peter Skinner from
However, back to reality, for any networking evening to be
successful, or even just to “be”, it needs sponsorship, and Meinhardt’s GM, John
Pollard stepped in to fill that role. Interestingly, during an interview for
Pattaya Mail TV, John Pollard mentioned that rather than a downturn, his
group of consulting engineers was seeing an increase in interest and business in
Thailand. Projects were being proposed running well into the next two years.
In fact, the mood was decidedly bullish, with local
representative Tony Emmett feeling particularly pleased at the interest shown at
the seminar, and President Gary Woolacott smiling affable as always. Gary
Baguley (Blue Wave Watersports) and Paul (Tinfish) Whyte were also enjoying the
evening and the scenery.
At any Aussie do, it is important that you get some “good
looking sheilas” and the members were not disappointed with the lovelies Sarah
Wong (who was right of course) from RSM Nelson Wheeler and Kesorn Aun-Kham from
JVK enjoying the Aussie wines as well.
Making sure that everyone knew how to keep a full mouthful of
beautiful teeth was Stuart Saunders (EsDesign) who knows how to live five years
longer, suspended by dental floss. True! Just ask him how.
Towards the end of the evening, the networking event was
joined by stragglers from the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand meeting,
after finding that the libations had finished there! Peter Smith (AA Insurance
Brokers) and Paul Wilkinson (AGS Four Winds International Movers) being just two
of the many.
Despite the fact that the Aussies and the Brits ended up at
cross purposes with both on the same evening, from all reports the wine at the
Aussie Chamber was the better of the two. Throw another prawn on the Barbie,
Matthew, and let’s do it again soon!
(L to R) John S. Anderson, associate director of Meinhardt
(Thailand) Ltd., Gary Woollacott, president of AustCham, Bryan N. Dodd, director
of Meinhardt (Thailand) Ltd., Gavin Maloney, director of sales and marketing at
Sheraton Pattaya Resort, Nonie Adams from International School Pattaya and
ASEAN urges India to widen market
In ongoing trade negotiations, members of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have urged India to open its import market to
additional key commodities, a senior Thai Commerce Ministry official reported.
Chana Kanaratanadilok, Deputy Director-General of the Trade
Negotiations Department, said that ASEAN made the request during March 20-22
negotiations in Jakarta.
Negotiations focused on a free trade agreement (FTA) in which
tariffs would be eliminated on more than 4,300 classes of exports to India.
Indian officials, however, held out for keeping 490
commodities on its ‘negative list’, that is, to exempt them from tariff
elimination, according to Mr. Chana. The exemption would be granted by ASEAN on
the condition that the value of exempted imports from any given ASEAN member
must not exceed five percent of imports from that country.
India was also asked to import more rice, processed food,
rubber, textiles, and automotive parts from ASEAN countries, he said. However,
New Delhi officials stood firm in their refusal to lower tariffs on any
additional goods, including palm oil. Both Malaysia and Indonesia had urged that
the palm oil tariff be lowered below the current 50-60 percent. New Delhi also
insisted that the five percent rule for its negative list of 490 commodities be
calculated on ASEAN as a whole rather than from each individual country.
Both sides agreed in January to conclude FTA talks by July of
this year after three years of negotiations.
India’s trade with ASEAN countries rose from US$9.7 billion
in 2002-2003 to more than US$21 billion in 2005-2006. The sharp increase in
trade value reflects India’s drive to match China’s economic presence in the
ASEAN region. (TNA)
Signing of JTEPA to benefit industrial operators, says IEO
The Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership
Agreement (JTEPA) will benefit entrepreneurs in the industrial sector and help
reduce the impact of the stronger baht, according to the Industrial Economics
Office Director-General Atchaka Sriboonruang Brimble.
Ms. Atchaka said that the cabinet’s resolution to endorse
JTEPA would benefit industrial operators, particularly in the food, textile, and
leather industries. Benefits include import and export tariff exemptions, a
shift in production and investment base into Thailand, lower costs of raw
material imports and market expansion in Japan.
Ms. Atchaka expects that JTEPA will help stimulate production
and export to Japan and would have a positive impact on Thai industry in the
third and fourth quarters of this year.
Acknowledging concerns over the import of industrial waste
under the agreement, Ms. Atchaka said she believed that the negative impacts of
the agreement would be outweighed by the benefits to industry.
Ms. Atchaka expressed hopes that the agreement would lessen
the negative impact of the continuing appreciation of the baht.
She said that the IEO was optimistic that the industrial
sector index would continue to increase this year.
The industrial production index in February grew 6.2 percent
over the same month last year, boosted by expansion in the sugar, computer parts
and steel production industries. (TNA)
Canadian bank acquires Thanachart stake
Canada-based Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
has acquired a 24.99 per cent stake in Thanachart Bank Plc, one of Thailand’s
smallest banks, and is ready to increase its shareholding to 49 per cent by the
year-end if allowed by law.
Thanachart Bank chairman Buntherng Tantivit revealed that
Scotiabank had agreed to purchase 24.99 per cent of the bank’s shares at Bt
16.37 each, totalling Bt 7.1 billion or C$240 million
Of the total shares, 157,130,216 will be bought from the
bank’s parent firm Thanachart Capital and 276,263,200 will be new shares issued
by the bank. The share subscription is set to be completed by June 30.
With the deal, Scotiabank is able to appoint its
representatives as members of the bank’s board in proportion to the shares it
held in the bank. It will also have a significant role in the management of the
In addition, the Canadian bank is allowed under the agreement
to acquire up to 49 per cent of the total shares by December 31, 2007 at the
same offering price if the Financial Institution Bill wins the National
Legislative Assembly’s approval.
With the partnership, Mr. Buntherng said the bank would be in
a position to compete with leading commercial banks in Thailand, as the
increased assets would accommodate its business expansion plan.
Rob Pitfield, Scotiabank’s executive vice-president, said the
bank had expanded its business worldwide through the opening of more branches
and also through mergers and acquisitions.
With Bt 257.47 billion in assets, Thanachart Bank is now
running 142 branches and 260 Automatic Banking Machines (ABMs). The bank is also
the major auto lender in the kingdom with a 24-per-cent market share. (TNA)
in housing loans foreseen
The value of new housing loans is expected to grow at a slower pace this
year, according to the Kasikorn Research Centre.
The leading think tank reports that competition among
financial institutions, particularly in retail lending, including credit
card, cash, and housing loans, has intensified in the midst of the national
With lowered confidence in the economy consumers have
begun to spend more carefully. They are particularly wary of taking out very
long-term loans, and hence are exercising greater prudence in new home
In response, financial institutions seeking to increase
the number of accounts have developed new financial products and begun to
compete for customers with service and price offerings. This situation could
lead to an increase in non-performing loans however, if financial
institutions fail to enforce strict loan approval procedures.
KRC reported that, as of last year, housing loans in the
entire system totalled 1.34 trillion baht, up 10.73 percent on 2005. This
year, housing loans are expected to increase by only 8-10 percent to around
1.45-1.48 trillion baht.
Positive factors that may encourage new home purchases
include a possible rate cut of 0.25-0.50 percent. KRC forecasts that
commercial banks will begin to reduce lending rates in the second quarter of
this year if the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee decides to cut
the policy interest rate at its next meeting in April.
Other positive factors include a decline in inflation, an
oil price slowdown and investment in mega-infrastructure projects. (TNA)