Thomson-CSF (well-known to Siam Trade readers) is now called THALES, but
the company’s operations in Thailand are still run by the flamboyant Christian
Jallabert, the former head of the Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce. Mr Jallabert
heads a company called High-Tech AJ, which acts as the agent for THALES not only
here in Thailand, but in surrounding countries such as Myanmar, Laos and
Cambodia as well.
Thailand, however, THALES is not only using High-Tech AJ as its sole business
support. In view of a number of several important projects it is
involved in, which require expertise in the fields of project management,
software development and system integration it has decided to set-up a specific
joint-venture with two reputable major Thai firms: Loxley and CTI Holdings.
well known locally as a major player in the field of electronics, and globally
in the field of high technology. While CTI is more focused on the automotive and
freight forwarding businesses. Currently conducting a diversification program,
CTI Holdings has chosen to enter into the world of civil and defense
essence what THALES is doing with this joint venture is “Thailandizing” its
operations. And as an agent for THALES, High-Tech AJ’s main task will be to
promote the company’s entire range of products.
For decades, THALES (Thomson-CSF) was mostly seen as a defense electronic supplier. But today its civil activities represent fifty percent of its total turnover (8 billion Euros) as it has installed air traffic systems and navigation aids all over the world.
Thailand, THALES has just been awarded a contract by Aero Thai for the upgrading
and installation of navigational aids for sixteen regional airports in Thailand.
‘We have also provided the complete air traffic management system in Laos. And we are about to do the same in Cambodia. We are also hoping to increase our market share in Myanmar by the end of this year. So then you will be able to fly from Myanmar To Vietnam and then on to Singapore and Indonesia thanks to air traffic management systems installed by THALES. This increases the level of air safety in this region, which is very important for the development of communications and it increases the level of confidence of tourists visiting these countries as well,” says Mr. Jallabert.
What is the trend of government spending in the military these days? “Governments are definitely spending more on welfare than on defense and everyone must be pleased with this. And in Thailand, because of the economic crisis this is especially so. But even though the country has cut procurement; it still needs to maintain efficient and credible armed forces because it always face threats, but the threats are much different than before. There is no major threat of huge conflict in the region. The armed forces now have more of a policing role as you have smugglers and drug traffickers using the most modern weapons because they can afford them.
armies need intelligence, sensors (e.g. radar, night vision goggles) and a rapid
deployment force. The huge army with a lot of infantry is quite costly and
inefficient. These armies were needed in the past when you were either invading
your neighbors or protecting against an invasion from them. But these new armies
are using fewer soldiers though they are very well trained and mobile.”
Mr. Jallabert has been here for over twenty years, and is the
former president of the Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce, so how does he see
Thailand evolving as a country on the whole? “I think there are a lot of good
things that are happening: the implementation of the bankruptcy law, the
foreclosure law, the Alien Business Law, the establishment of the intellectual
property court and the National Corruption Commission, these are all good signs.
And democracy continues to grow.”
1.) Increasing brand confusion: Thomson-CSF and Thomson Multimedia needed to express their identities independently without risk of confusion.
2.) The name Thomson did not belong to Thomson-CSF. It belonged to Thomson S.A. and Thomson-CSF was only at liberty to use the suffix, “CSF.”
3.) The “CSF” was added when Thomson merged with Compagnie de telegraphie Sans Fils (CSF) in 1968, but it longer means anything, especially outside France.
4.) The name Thomson-CSF is to long, hard to pronounce ad difficult to exploit commercially.
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