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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   10 July 2013  

General Motors on track to set up shop in Myanmar

General Motors has made tracks for the Myanmar market, with the American car manufacturer announcing plans to open a Chevrolet showroom in the fourth quarter of 2013.

General Motors Southeast Asia Operations recently signed a letter of intent with Pacific Alpine Pte.Ltd., for the distribution, sale and service of Chevrolet vehicles in Myanmar. Chevrolet models will be sourced from GM manufacturing facilities around the world to meet the specific requirements of Myanmar consumers, the company said in a statement released today.

Martin Apfel, President of GM Southeast Asia Operations, said: "This is a significant milestone for Chevrolet’s expansion across Southeast Asia, and signals our commitment to grow in the region. Myanmar has a population of more than 60 million people. With the market and economy opening up, and with the increasing affluence of Myanmar’s people, the potential for growth is very high.

He added, "The timing is perfect. We have a fresh and complete portfolio of award-winning products, ranging from pickup trucks and SUVs to cars and fashionable people carriers. At Chevrolet, we believe in building a strong brand backed by quality products that connect with customers everywhere."

Chevrolet's partners, Pacific Alpine Pte. Ltd., and Pacific-AA Motor Ltd., are a strategic alliance that was established by Alpine Group Singapore and AA Medical (Pacific-AA Group) Myanmar.

Alpine Motors (part of Alpine Group) is Chevrolet and Opel’s current exclusive dealer in Singapore, while AA Medical (Pacific-AA Group) is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceutical products and petrochemical lubricants in Myanmar.

"One of the most-watched sectors in Myanmar is the automotive industry. About 90 percent of the vehicle population in Myanmar is more than five years old. The change in policy to allow the import of new cars will see a swift response from global and regional players. We want to put our foot in the door before the floodgates open," said Albert Pang, Managing Director of Pacific Alpine Pte. Ltd.

It was also announced today that Chevrolet and Pacific Alpine plan to launch a three-tier corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in Myanmar starting next month.

In cooperation with One World Futbol Project, they will distribute ultra-durable footballs throughout Myanmar. They will make available Find New Roads – Chevy Cares vehicles to eight charitable organizations. They will also donate engines and technical parts to mechanical training colleges in Myanmar.

In 2012, Chevrolet sold 88,400 vehicles in Southeast Asia and had a regional market share of 2.7 per cent.

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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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