A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘southeast asia

[DM] On Jollibee, the Philippines, and diaspora economics

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I have a brief post up at Demography Matters ruminating on the expansion of Jollibee internationally as a marker of the growth of Filipino diaspora populations.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 26, 2015 at 3:56 am

[URBAN NOTE] On the imminent arrival of Jollibee in Toronto

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blogTO noted yesterday that, as promised back in 2013, Filipino fast food chain Jollibee will be establishing an outpost in Toronto.

For anyone familiar with the cuisine of the Philippines, this is big news: Jollibee, a Manila-based fast food chain that’s widely seen as the country’s answer to McDonalds, is planning to open a restaurant in Toronto. The company, which already has about 30 stores in the U.S., has chosen Toronto for their first Canadian store, with their CFO saying they hope to be open here within the year.

For those previously unacquainted with the chain: The menu spans North American fast-food classics with a few local favourites. (Their mascot, naturally, is a jolly bee.)

Part of a large overseas expansion plan to set up restautants in the Middle East, Europe, and Japan, this seems to be the chain’s second attempt to expand overseas. Robin Levinson’s February 2014 Canadian Business article notes how the first push into the North American market was flawed, trying to compete head-on with established giants, and suggests that targeting urban centres with large Filipino populations is part of Jollibee’s North American strategy.

When its first location opens here next year, Canadians will finally be able to enjoy the distinctive pineapple-topped Aloha burger that has helped make Jollibee the Philippines’ largest fast-food chain. But the restaurant took its time expanding globally, having opened in the U.S. 15 years before considering coming north of the border.

Founded in 1975 as a single ice cream parlour just outside downtown Manila, Jollibee is today the flagship brand of a family-run empire, spanning 2,700 stores and nine brands around the world.

Jose Miñana, who heads U.S. operations for the company, says Jollibee initially limited its expansion to just those areas with large Filipino populations. But the company later decided to aggressively pursue “mainstream” clientele, opening branches in further-flung locations and tweaking recipes to cater to North American tastes.

[. . .]

After opening its doors in Toronto, Jollibee hopes to expand to other cities in Canada—like Vancouver and Winnipeg—with high Filipino populations.

Unlike in the Philippines, where Jollibee is a franchise, all of its North American stores are company-owned. Although franchises would allow Jollibee to expand faster, Miñana says that’s not the point: “We want to enter there with the Jollibee brand the way we want it done—really right.”

Written by Randy McDonald

March 26, 2015 at 1:03 am

[LINK] “Coffee Harvest in Indonesia Expanding to Record on Rainfall”

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I like coffee. From Bloomberg’s Rusmana and Eko Listiyorini:

Coffee farmers in Indonesia, the world’s third-biggest producer of the robusta variety used by Nestle SA, will probably harvest a record crop in the season starting April after rains boosted yields.

Production may increase 18 percent to 650,000 metric tons from 550,000 tons a year earlier, the median of five trader estimates compiled by Bloomberg shows. That would exceed the all-time high of 630,000 tons in 2009-2010 and matched in 2012-2013, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

The unprecedented harvest in Indonesia will add to global supply, potentially pressuring prices. A survey this month showed production could increase to a record in Vietnam, the largest robusta grower. Crop prospects have also improved in Brazil, the second-biggest robusta producer and the top supplier of arabica beans favored by Starbucks Corp.

“There’s fresh optimism that output will rise,” Theng Hong Sioe, a deputy chairman at the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters and Industries, said by phone on March 19. “The weather is quite favorable, it’s not too wet or too dry. Hopefully there’s no adverse weather that could hurt the crop.”

[. . .]

The global harvest will expand 7 percent to 152.8 million bags in 2015-2016 and cut the shortage to 1.4 million bags from 8.9 million bags this year, Volcafe Ltd. said last month. Output in Indonesia may climb to 10.9 million bags, it said. A bag weighs 60 kilograms, or 132 pounds.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 24, 2015 at 10:53 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • Alpha Sources’ Claus Vistesen argues that as a result of various factors including shrinking populations, economic bubbles are going to be quite likely.
  • blogTO argues that Toronto’s strip clubs are in trouble.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders who is going to pay for journalism in the future.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at ringed Centaur objects.
  • Crooked Timber’s Daniel Davies describes his family’s recent experience in New Zealand. Want to find out how the Maori are like the Welsh?
  • D-Brief notes the return of wood bison to the United States.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting Alpha Centauri Bb is a superdense world.
  • The Dragon’s Tales note Indonesia’s upset with Chinese claims to the South China Sea.
  • Far Outliers reports on how NGOs feed corruption in Cambodia.
  • Language Hat links to a gazetteer of placenames in Jamaica.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair looks at some Sino-English constructions.
  • Marginal Revolution points to its collection of Singapore-related posts.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers Cassini‘s footage of Saturn’s F ring.
  • The Power and the Money hosts Will Baird’s argument that the Ukrainian east will soon see an explosion of violence.
  • Spacing Toronto and Torontoist look at the architectural competition for the Toronto Islands ferry terminal.
  • Torontoist reports on Martin Luther King’s 1962 visit to Toronto.
  • Towleroad notes a raging syphillis epidemic among gay men in New York City’s Chelsea neighbourhood.
  • Window on Eurasia notes changes in the Islam of Tatarstan, notes Russia’s transition towards totalitarianism, observes Russian claims of Finnish meddling in Karelia, and looks at polls suggesting Ukrainians fear Russia but do not trust the European Union.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell describes what seems to have been a shambolic attempt to co-opt the English Defense League somehow. (I don’t understand it. All I can figure out is that.

[LINK] “Singapore, the country run like a corporation”

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Today, the day after the death of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, I thought I’d link to a June 1974 article in Fortune written by one Louis Kraar praising Singapore at the beginning of its economic boom. The article is worth reading, for all of its biases.

Pime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, a fifty-year-old lawyer educated at Cambridge, calls himself a “democratic socialist.” But he shows more concern with rates of return (for both investors and the state) than with political dogma. In fact, Lee rules as though he were the autocratic chief executive of Singapore Inc.

Under his tight managerial control, nothing is long tolerated if it interferes with economic performance. Young men are prohibited from wearing modishly long hair, which the chairman regards as a symbol of the Western counterculture and a menace to the work ethic that he prizes. Lee keeps the country’s labor force cheap and disciplined by setting strict guidelines for both wage increases and working conditions. Since he has the political power to enforce his rules, factory wages, which are about one-fifth of those in the U.S., help to keep Singapore products internationally competitive.

Lee’s economic philosophy is stern and simple. “We do not expect something for nothing,” he says. In a characteristic jab at his less energetic Asian neighbors, he explains: “We haven’t got oil and minerals on which other people have to pay royalties. So we develop a different approach to life.” He calls it “the rugged society,” but it is really his own special blend of pragmatic socialism, freewheeling capitalism, and plain opportunism.

The Prime Minister has hitched the island to the global economy through multinational corporations, which supply needed capital, expertise, and export markets. Singapore ardently woos foreign business, a rare policy among countries that have only recently emerged from colonialism. Besides providing such familiar tax incentives as a five-year income-tax exemption for coveted corporations, the government often shares the cost of training workers and even puts up part of the capital for plants and equipment.

[. . .]

An avowedly nonaligned foreign policy makes Singapore useful—for a price—to nearly every trading nation. Soviet merchant ships as well as vessels of the U.S. Seventh Fleet patronize its efficient port and repair yards. Peking maintains a busy Bank of China branch, while within walking distance Taiwan runs an active trade office. Arab oil producers, which provide most of the crude for the refineries, are now being urged to invest in Singapore industries. And Lee’s government has entered into a joint venture with an Israeli concern that produces communication equipment, and has hired Israeli military advisers to shape Singapore’s fledgling armed forces. His country’s real protection against undue influence by any foreign power, says Lee, is to maintain a balance of investment by the U.S., Japan, and Western Europe.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 23, 2015 at 9:15 pm

[ISL] “Philippine Billionaire Razon to Buy Korean Island in Casino Push”

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Norman P. Aquino at Bloomberg describes a very interesting casino project in South Korea funded by a Filipino billionaire.

Philippine billionaire Enrique Razon will buy an island in South Korea to develop a leisure and tourism complex, as he taps the country’s growth in gambling on rising tourist arrivals from China.

Bloomberry Resorts Corp., controlled by Razon and operator of a casino in Manila, will buy the 21-hectare (52-acre) Silmi Island through unit Solaire Korea Co., according to a Philippine Stock Exchange filing on Tuesday. It’s Bloomberry’s second announcement of a property purchase in the country this year after the company signed in January four deals with landowners on Korea’s Muui Island, which is adjacent to Silmi Island.

Asian casino operators including Bloomberry are capitalizing on a downturn in the gambling industry of Macau as China’s corruption crackdown scares many away from the world’s biggest gambling hub. Macau casino revenue fell last year for the first time and may decline another 8 percent this year, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

In contrast, gambling revenue in South Korea and the Philippines will grow 16 percent and 33 percent respectively this year, gaining from the spillover of Chinese gamblers, Deutsche Bank analyst Karen Tang wrote in a note in January.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 18, 2015 at 10:23 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes that the cash-strapped CBC may be forced to sell its iconic downtown Toronto headquarters.
  • James Bow reflects on winter in Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper studying the relationship between exoplanets and circumstellar dust discs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a simulation of the polar atmosphere of Venus and notes concerns that India’s Hindustan Aeronautics might not be able to manufacture French Rafale fighters under contract.
  • Far Outliers notes Madeleine Albright’s incomprehension of Cambodia’s late 1990s struggles and looks at the way the country lags its neighbours.
  • The Frailest Thing notes how human traffic errors reveal we’re not quite up to some of the tasks we’d like.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Finland’s president has signed a marriage bill into existence.
  • Languages of the World notes the problem of where the homeland of the Indo-Europeans was located.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the often-ignored pattern of lynching Mexicans in the United States.
  • Marginal Revolution notes (1, 2) the problems of human beings with algorithmic, computer-driven planning.
  • Otto Pohl notes how Germans in Kyrgyzstan were forced into labour battalions.
  • pollotenchegg looks at demographic indicators in Ukraine over the past year, noting a collapse in the east.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at deep history, looking at the involvement of war in state-building in Africa and noting the historically recent rise of inequality in Latin America.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at one Russian’s proposal to give a Ukrainian church self-government, notes Russia’s inability to serve as a mentor to China, and looks at rural depopulation in the North Caucasus and South Russia.
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