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Asean Affairs   21  July  2011

Asian location for top firms

By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     21 July 2011

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A recent real estate report by real-estate consultancy CB Richard Ellis underlines the growing role of Asia in the global business world. The report looked at office locations for 280 international firms.

Four of the top five spots in the study were in Asia. The list is Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, London and Shanghai. Moscow, Beijing, Madrid, Dubai and Paris rounded out the top 10, with New York in 11th place.

About 68 percent of the respondents, or 191 firms, had an office in Hong Kong while about 67.5 percent, or 189 companies, had an office in Singapore, it said.

London and New York remained dominant in banking and finance with 92 percent of firms in those sectors having an office in the cities, followed by Hong Kong, CB Richard Ellis said.

Although Hong Kong and Singapore lead the pack, Hong Kong’s critical lack of space and the associated rising costs may prompt international firms to take a look at other Asian cities. The average price of office property per workstation increased by almost a third from a year earlier in Hong Kong to $22,330, surpassing the 2009 leader, London's West End, which cost $20,160, the report said.

An earlier study this year found that Hong Kong was the world's most expensive place to rent office space in 2010, despite government efforts to cool the property market.

With improved infrastructure and IT other Asian cities may also see an increase in international business location and the field will become increasingly more competitive throughout this decade.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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