In Thailand, doors are open for investors in construction

Reading Time: 3 minutes

EEC Engineering Network is one of the largest consultants for the mechanical, electrical and engineering business in Thailand and has also a footprint in the GCC.  The group is open for long-term business relations with partners for projects in the construction sector.

Interviewee: Kecha Thirakomen, CEO EEC Engineering Network.

With its 37-year long history, Bangkok-based EEC Engineering Network is a well-established mechanical and engineering consultant for the construction industry, involved in many domestic projects and ventures abroad. Apart from participating in the building and infrastructure boom in Thailand, the group has expanded into the GCC, with current projects mostly in Qatar, and an office in Abu Dhabi.
According to the group’s CEO Kecha Thirakomen, EEC’s expertise is much sought-after to improve and secure the quality of mechanical, electrical and engineering segments of construction projects.
In Doha, Qatar, EEC worked on the Hamad Medical City, “and we got a lot of credit out of this”, says Thirakomen. They also participated in the design of a huge airline hangar and have several other projects in Qatar, the UAE as well as in Bahrain. Under the auspices of Qatar’s Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the group recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a sponsor in Doha to take part in an architectural and design project for stadiums and hotels for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar in 2022. They also plan to open an office in Doha at a later stage to tighten the network within the GCC countries.
Thirakomen says they have good experience with their projects in the GCC, but “we remain careful with the selection of our partners.” He says that he does not want to have just a “silent sponsor” for a local project company, but a partner that also helps developing business and does networking in the sector.
“We also would like to invite GCC contractors to come to Thailand,” says Thirakomen. “However, currently things are not really happening, because some potential partners talk big about the opportunities but nothing follows afterwards.”
In case of infrastructure projects envisaged by the Thai government such as the high-speed rail or the land bridge project between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, “joint ventures would be good,” says Thirakomen. “And I also think that GCC investors are the right choice for such projects.”
For example, Dubai World expressed interest to participate in the big land bridge project.
“In case of this project, Malaysia could be pulled in as well, a country where GCC investors have a strong foothold,” he says.
Another field where GCC investments could fall on fertile ground is the aim of the government to improve the water management in Thailand, in order to avoid devastating floods such as in 2011 in the future. As a significant budget has already been allocated for this, investors can expect interesting conditions if they are willing to engage in such projects. Water management would comprise building new dams, lifting roads, securing industrial estates and digging canals and tunnels to drain off water masses.
“If GCC investors are coming to Thailand, we are ready to help them,” says Thirakomen. “What our group can provide is good engineering and a good partnership, either bottom-up or top-down. We want to have a sustainable partnership with investors, and we don’t mind if the company is big or small. However, we would like to meet the right groups, people that make things really happen.”
He adds that his company is “very much open for long-term business relations, but the key principles should be trust and the ability to establish a win-win situation. We are willing to work with other people as a team and to share with others. As we are not experts in everything, we also share the risks.”
He sees no big differences in the business cultures between Thailand or South East Asia and the GCC. “In today’s world, everything is about globalization. Partners should be able to listen and to accommodate their principles. I don’t think business cultures are that much apart.”
EEC Engineering is currently working on more than 100 projects in Thailand and has a long list of reference projects and customers, among them the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, also known as the King’s hospital, the Seacon Square shopping mall near the international airport, the Future Park in Rangsit, the expansion of the Emporium Mall in Bangkok, and several hotel chains such as Sheraton, Hilton, or Novotel.
For projects of this scale, foreigners are invited to invest. “If they come with the funding, then there are plenty of opportunities for partnerships,” Thirakomen says, who cooperates with big Thai construction companies such as Italian-Thai Development, Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction, Ritta Corporation, Ch. Karnchang, and others.
Another chances for returns lie in property investments in Thailand, mainly in Bangkok, he adds. Prices are starting to rise, and what was an investment of 80,000 baht [$2667] per square meter in the last years for new condominiums, would be easily worth 100,000 baht this year, “and I expect the prices to rise to 150,000 baht very soon.”

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

EEC Engineering Network is one of the largest consultants for the mechanical, electrical and engineering business in Thailand and has also a footprint in the GCC.  The group is open for long-term business relations with partners for projects in the construction sector.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

EEC Engineering Network is one of the largest consultants for the mechanical, electrical and engineering business in Thailand and has also a footprint in the GCC.  The group is open for long-term business relations with partners for projects in the construction sector.

Interviewee: Kecha Thirakomen, CEO EEC Engineering Network.

With its 37-year long history, Bangkok-based EEC Engineering Network is a well-established mechanical and engineering consultant for the construction industry, involved in many domestic projects and ventures abroad. Apart from participating in the building and infrastructure boom in Thailand, the group has expanded into the GCC, with current projects mostly in Qatar, and an office in Abu Dhabi.
According to the group’s CEO Kecha Thirakomen, EEC’s expertise is much sought-after to improve and secure the quality of mechanical, electrical and engineering segments of construction projects.
In Doha, Qatar, EEC worked on the Hamad Medical City, “and we got a lot of credit out of this”, says Thirakomen. They also participated in the design of a huge airline hangar and have several other projects in Qatar, the UAE as well as in Bahrain. Under the auspices of Qatar’s Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the group recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a sponsor in Doha to take part in an architectural and design project for stadiums and hotels for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar in 2022. They also plan to open an office in Doha at a later stage to tighten the network within the GCC countries.
Thirakomen says they have good experience with their projects in the GCC, but “we remain careful with the selection of our partners.” He says that he does not want to have just a “silent sponsor” for a local project company, but a partner that also helps developing business and does networking in the sector.
“We also would like to invite GCC contractors to come to Thailand,” says Thirakomen. “However, currently things are not really happening, because some potential partners talk big about the opportunities but nothing follows afterwards.”
In case of infrastructure projects envisaged by the Thai government such as the high-speed rail or the land bridge project between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, “joint ventures would be good,” says Thirakomen. “And I also think that GCC investors are the right choice for such projects.”
For example, Dubai World expressed interest to participate in the big land bridge project.
“In case of this project, Malaysia could be pulled in as well, a country where GCC investors have a strong foothold,” he says.
Another field where GCC investments could fall on fertile ground is the aim of the government to improve the water management in Thailand, in order to avoid devastating floods such as in 2011 in the future. As a significant budget has already been allocated for this, investors can expect interesting conditions if they are willing to engage in such projects. Water management would comprise building new dams, lifting roads, securing industrial estates and digging canals and tunnels to drain off water masses.
“If GCC investors are coming to Thailand, we are ready to help them,” says Thirakomen. “What our group can provide is good engineering and a good partnership, either bottom-up or top-down. We want to have a sustainable partnership with investors, and we don’t mind if the company is big or small. However, we would like to meet the right groups, people that make things really happen.”
He adds that his company is “very much open for long-term business relations, but the key principles should be trust and the ability to establish a win-win situation. We are willing to work with other people as a team and to share with others. As we are not experts in everything, we also share the risks.”
He sees no big differences in the business cultures between Thailand or South East Asia and the GCC. “In today’s world, everything is about globalization. Partners should be able to listen and to accommodate their principles. I don’t think business cultures are that much apart.”
EEC Engineering is currently working on more than 100 projects in Thailand and has a long list of reference projects and customers, among them the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, also known as the King’s hospital, the Seacon Square shopping mall near the international airport, the Future Park in Rangsit, the expansion of the Emporium Mall in Bangkok, and several hotel chains such as Sheraton, Hilton, or Novotel.
For projects of this scale, foreigners are invited to invest. “If they come with the funding, then there are plenty of opportunities for partnerships,” Thirakomen says, who cooperates with big Thai construction companies such as Italian-Thai Development, Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction, Ritta Corporation, Ch. Karnchang, and others.
Another chances for returns lie in property investments in Thailand, mainly in Bangkok, he adds. Prices are starting to rise, and what was an investment of 80,000 baht [$2667] per square meter in the last years for new condominiums, would be easily worth 100,000 baht this year, “and I expect the prices to rise to 150,000 baht very soon.”

 

 

 

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