Advance ~ February 2012

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February 2012

business brief Melbourne Students Take on Global Consulting Project in Bangkok


embassy news 27 Thais Receive Prestigious Australia Awards


Chamber events embassy news The Sixth Annual Tri-Nations Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Receives Thai Order Barbeque at Sukhothai



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Contents PATRON His Excellency James Wise Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand

Business Brief 6 Melbourne Students Take on Global Consulting Project in Bangkok Embassy news 10 27 Thais Receive Prestigious Australia Awards 11 Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Receives a Thai Order 12 Australian Government to Provide Additional Baht 15 Million for Flood Relief in Thailand 14 Young talent from Khon Kaen wins 60th Anniversary Logo Competition 14 Australia in the Asian Century 16 Australia Recognises Thai Agronomy Professor for Her Outstanding Contribution to International Research 16 A Christmas gift to Thailand from Australia’s Christmas Island

PRESIDENT John Anderson Meinhardt Portfolio: Regional Links VICE PRESIDENTS M.L. Laksasubha Kridakon Baan Laksasubha Resort Portfolio: Alumni

16 meet the board 18 AustCham Directors at Work photojournalism contest 2011 20 Snapshots in Time from FCCT/ OnAsia Photojournalism Contest - 2012 winners announced -

Belinda Skinner Top Talent Asia Portfolio: Communications and English Teaching TREASURER Leigh Scott-Kemmis DBM Portfolio: Advancing Trade and Commerce DIRECTORS David Bell Crestcom – Ra-Kahng Associates Portfolio: Speakers and Talks Khun Jurairat Jammanee HASSELL Portfolio: AustCham Ball Warwick Kneale Baker Tilly Portfolio: Community Services Sam Mizzi McConnell Dowell Portfolio: AFL and Eastern Seaboard Industry

24 BOI Event 22 Board of Investment (BOI) Fair 2011 chamber Events 24 The Sixth Annual Tri-Nations Barbeque at Sukhothai NEW MEMBERS 27 AustCham’s New Members

Members’ offers 28 AustCham Members’ Offers From the Chamber Office 30 Message from the Executive Director

Khun Suganya Ransigutta TMF Portfolio: Business Awards Charles Wrightman Natural Ville & Lenotre Portfolio: Sponsorship Ben Yong Baker McKenzie Portfolio: Legal Saeed Zaki , Ph.D. dwp Portfolio: Breakfast Briefings EX OFFICIO Maurine Lam Regional Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, ASEAN

From the Board

President’s Message COORDINATORS Paul Whyte New Asia Pacific ESB Coordinator Email: Paul Wilkinson CEA Projects ESB Coordinator Email: Harry Usher Lady Pie Phuket Coordinator Email: Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce 20th Floor, Thai CC Tower 889 South Sathorn Road Bangkok 10120 Tel.: +66 2 210 0216 Fax: +66 2 675 6696

Editorial Committee Belinda Skinner, Robert Taylor, Josh Hyland, Gregers Moller, Gary Woollacott Marketing & Production Scand-Media Corp. Ltd 4/41-42 Moo 3, Thanyakarn Village Ramintra Soi 14, Bangkok Tel.: +66 2 943-7166/8 Fax: +66 2 943-7169 Advertising Finn Balslev Email: Contributions to Advance magazine are welcome. Please submit content to by the first day of the month for publication in the following month’s magazine. Opinions expressed in Advance do not necessarily reflect the views of the Chamber. AustChamThailand Advance


ecently my family and I enjoyed a quiet afternoon with John Hancock and his family at their magnificent vineyard in McLaren Vale, South Australia. John Hancock is a fellow University of Adelaide Alumnus and past President of AustCham – well known to many of our members. Interestingly, my association with John essentially came about a as result of our common alumni linkage. John has been a great supporter of AustCham and is great believer in Alumni networks. In recognition of this, the AustralianAlumni Board and I have invited John to join Khun Mechai Viravaidya and our Ambassador H.E. James Wise, as Honorary Patrons of the AustralianAlumni programme. The AustralianAlumni website was officially launched in January. It has got off to a great start with over 100 alumni now having registered online and 500 other entries already made in the database. The website provides an online directory of Australian University alumni living in Thailand and also provides information on all forthcoming alumni events such as the upcoming Alumni Entrepreneurs evening with Khun Mechai Viravaidya to be held on 8 February. The AustralianAlumni programme unites and supports graduates of all 39 Australian Universities by providing activities and opportunities for Australian alumni to leverage their Australian education for personal and professional success. It is interesting how the simple common factor of attending the same University can bring people together to create real opportunities and build enduring friendships outside of other traditional networks. Recently I was exposed to the wider benefits that AustralianAlumni can bring to AustCham members. My firm (Meinhardt) volunteered to play host in January to four University of Melbourne commerce students undertaking their “Global Consulting Project”. The University had approached AustCham for members willing to host student teams. The students spent two weeks studying a real life business project and then presented their findings to Directors of our firm, including myself. The students impressed us with the deep understanding that they gained of the underlying issues (of BIM Implementation) and provided a logical approach to implementing

a solution to the particular problem that they were presented. This not only benefitted the students by exposing them to the engineering and construction industry, but greatly benefitted our firm in helping us in our strategic planning. Another example of the link to Universities in Australia, again taken from my work place, has been the offering of work experience placements to Thai Engineering Student Interns. We have been most pleased with the quality of the interns (third year students from RMIT University) and are hoping that they may consider taking up future full time employment with us after graduation. An article about the Global Consulting can be found on page 6. It has been a busy start to the year with a very successful Tri-Nations BBQ held on 16 January at the Sukhothai with a strong turnout of over 300 persons. The event calendar is fast filling up and I would encourage you to regularly check our website for updates. One important event coming up on Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Erawan, is our Annual General Meeting. At the AGM the 2012 Board will be elected. I would encourage all members to support the election process by voting, either in person or by proxy and if interested, standing for the Board. For more details, including nomination forms, can be obtained by contacting the AustCham office or speak to one of our Directors.

John Anderson President, AustCham Thailand

February 2012


business brief

Melbourne Students Take on Global Consulting Project in Bangkok By Dr André Sammartino, Senior Lecturer in International Business & Strategic Management and Director of the Master of International Business at the University of Melbourne


anuary 2012 saw 20 fresh-faced students descend on Bangkok for two weeks of intensive immersion in the world of business consulting. Their visit to Thailand was part of an exciting subject in the University of Melbourne’s Bachelor of Commerce – the Global Consulting Project. Teams of four students are placed with ‘host’ firms where they work on ‘live’ projects with clear deliverables and very tight deadlines. This subject kicked off in Bangkok back in 2008, and with the cooperation of fantastic host companies the University has returned with a new batch of students


February 2012

every January. Over the past five years the program has expanded into Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai and Shanghai. There are several key drivers for the expansion. As part of the substantial reinvention of the University of Melbourne’s program offerings – known as the Melbourne Model – the University has committed to enhancing the global citizenship of its students, and to engaging more directly with the wider community. For the Faculty of Business and Economics, that translates to graduating more work-ready, globally aware students, and developing closer ties to multinational firms in the region, especially Australian firms working in exciting Asian hubs such as Bangkok. Business education needs to be more than a development of high-level func-

tional expertise. It should prepare students for the globalized business world of dynamic and complex institutional settings, culturally diverse workplaces, and high uncertainties! The Global Consulting Project offers students a taste of all these elements. University staff work closely with the host firms to identify challenging projects that focus on real problems and opportunities. In previous years, teams have: • undertaken financial assessments of possible in-sourcing arrangements; • process-mapped a host’s key accounting procedure and identified appropriate software solutions; and • surveyed local university students about their attitudes to prospective employers and made recommendations to the host regarding more effective graduate recruitment strategies.

AustChamThailand Advance

business brief

Business education needs to be more than a development of high-level functional expertise. It should prepare students for the globalized business world of dynamic and complex institutional settings, culturally diverse workplaces, and high uncertainties! This year teams were placed in five host organisations – Aziam Burson Marsteller, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Kraft Foods and Meinhardt Thailand. Each team negotiated clear deliverables and timelines. The students’ final day in their respective workplaces sees a flurry of presentations, typically to very senior management. The teams then work remotely on completing

and delivering their final report and recommendations to the client. The projects involve extensive engagement with industry-, firm-, and country- specific issues, and students are in a mad dash to get ‘up to speed’. None of this year’s group, for example, had any prior experience of the public rela-

tions or the engineering world. Projects typically go well beyond data collection and ‘desk-top’ number-crunching. The teams are required to conduct interviews with employees and key stakeholders, thus navigating the challenges of unfamiliar language, culture and jargon. The students are pushed well beyond their typical comfort zone! The student teams are intentionally culturally and functionally diverse. This year, there were nine different countries of birth, as many languages, and students from a mix of ‘majors’ (from accounting and finance, to marketing and actuarial studies). Encountering such unfamiliarity forces considerable introspection upon these students, who are very high-performers in their subjects back in Melbourne.

The University has always believed that these experiences serve as a real ‘eyeopener’ for students, as they translate their classroom understandings to a new and exciting context. After completing their projects, students consistently report much higher confidence in their abilities to explain various aspects of the host country (e.g. ‘its role in the global economy’, ‘the role of local culture in business practices’) and their capacity to operate internationally (e.g. ‘ability to identify/evaluate business opportunities’ and ‘to solve business problems in global context ‘). The students are appreciative of the opportunity to interact with experienced locals and expats. As Rasa Seng put it, “the GCP allowed me to actively interact with many international industry professionals working in Bangkok, absorbing


February 2012

AustChamThailand Advance

business brief

their worldly experience and different perspectives.”

that the student’s presence in our office would force us (Meinhardt) to tackle the issues that we had to date been maybe afraid to face or were at least too busy to consolidate our thoughts on.

Fellow student Amanda Wong declared “From being so warmly welcomed by my Thai colleagues to putting my university studies to practice in a global context, the GCP has been an incredibly grounding experience. Kap khun ka, Thailand!” The program is not just a one-way learning experience. Host firms gain valuable additional human resources for the period. Often the projects are those on an organisation’s ‘wish list’, but which have been set aside due to the inability to dedicate a team of redeployed in-house employees for an adequate time period. A team of

This decision was vindicated, as at the end of the project, we were all very pleased with what the students had achieved and the recommendations that they made. We feel that we are now well on the way to formulating a real implementation strategy that we can roll out in our office in the near future.” high achieving students offers focus and commitment, as well as a fresh, energetic and analytical approach to the project. The hosts also have an ideal opportunity to identify talented potential employees, while also sharing their own experiences of working life in Bangkok. Meinhardt Thailand took on their first Global Consulting Project team this year. Company director, John Anderson reported “I was a bit apprehensive at first letting a bunch of young business students into the office - particularly having to explain to my fellow colleagues what I was thinking. However, as we had a real life project on our hands (BIM Implementation), I felt that there was an opportunity

AustChamThailand Advance

The Global Consulting Project provides Melbourne students a step up in the lifelong journey of building the skills to operate in complex, intercultural, international business roles. The intention is to continue and to expand the University’s capacity to offer such experiences, in conjunction with the host firms, the University’s extensive alumni network and organisations such as AustCham. The University of Melbourne aims to back in Bangkok again in January 2013 with a new group of students. If you are interested in finding out more about the program and have a project in mind for a student team, please contact Dr André Sammartino via

February 2012


embassy news

Mr James Wise, Australian Ambassador to Thailand (middle); Mr Scott Evans, Counsellor, Australian Education International ; Michelle Sullivan, First Secretary, AusAID, and recipients of Australia Awards in 2012.

27 Thais Receive Prestigious Australia Awards


ach year, the Australian Government offers Australia Awards scholarships to high-achieving students, researchers and professionals from around the world to study in Australia’s world class education institutions or undertake professional development prograKhun. The scholarships are internationally-competitive and merit-based.

Endeavour postgraduate awardees worldwide.

This year, 27 Thais were awarded with a prestigious Australia Award. Twenty Thais received Endeavour Awards for high achievement in their specific field. Two of them were granted the Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Award, an elite scholarship presented to only twenty

“The Australia Awards facilitate the sharing of knowledge, strengthen mutual understanding between Thai and Australian scholars and build international networks, which continue long after the scholars have returned to Thailand. They reinforce our strong


February 2012


An additional seven awardees received Australian Leadership Awards (ALAs), which are part of Australia’s development program administered by AusAID. ALAs are aimed at addressing priority development areas in the recipient’s country and region.

and enduring ties in our 60th anniversary of bilateral relations this year,” said Ambassador James Wise. The awardees will undertake their study, research, or personal development at vocational, postgraduate, and postdoctoral level across a large number of fields including Science, Environment, Agriculture, Health, Engineering, Hospitality, Business, Education, Law, Regional Stability and Governance, and Creative Arts. For further information, visit the Australia Awards website at www.

AustChamThailand Advance

embassy news

Comments from some of the Australia Award Recipients Prime Minister’s Australia – Asia Awards

Endeavour Executive Awards

Australian Leadership Award (AusAID Awards)

Khun Udsanee Pakdeetrakulwong, a Software Engineering lecturer from Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University, is among the top twenty Endeavour Postgraduate Award recipients to receive the prestigious Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Award this year. She will undertake a doctorate program in Software Engineering at Curtin University in Perth, Australia.

Khun Patanon Kwansanit, MD., is a psychiatrist from Somdetchaopraya Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Mental Health, who will undertake professional training in Suicide Prevention at St Vincent Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Khun Praon Udomprasert is a Foreign Relations Officer at the Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, who will undertake a Master’s degree in Environment at the University of Melbourne.

“I am specifically interested in Software Engineering Ontology. An academic in Australia, who will be my PhD adviser, is a prominent pioneer in this area. This fascinating field provides a common language and better communication across people and organisations in different places of the world. My future aim is to bring back the knowledge I obtain in Australia to teach students in Thailand,” she said.

“Australia is widely recognised for its advanced development in the prevention of mental health problems. As the suicide rate in certain parts of Thailand is still high, I wish to apply Australian knowledge to not only treating patients but also driving relevant policies and generating public awareness,” he said.

“My study focus is on governance and policy for water resource management and climate change. These issues have increasingly become significant to our country. Australia has a similar environment to Thailand due to geographical proximity, which provides a perfect setting for my study and professional goals”, she said.

Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Receives a Thai Order


is Excellency Dr Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Thailand’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Commonwealth of Australia recently presented Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty with the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand during National Thailand Day celebrations at the Thai Embassy in Canberra, Australia, on 5 December 2011.

of transnational crimes and terrorism.” “Through his distinguished dedication and service to Thailand, the ties between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Kingdom of Thailand have further been strengthened.” The Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand is a Thai order, established in 1869 for Thai’s, Royal Family, Government Employees, and Foreign Dignitaries for their outstanding services to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Mr Keelty received the order for his outstanding services to the Kingdom of Thailand during his time as Australian Federal Police Commissioner. “During his term as former Commissioner AFP, Mr Keelty’s professional skills and expertise immensely contributed to enhancing cooperation between the AFP and Royal Thai Police,” Dr Kittichaisaree said.

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“Mr Keelty’s initiatives and assistance enabled the Royal Thai Police to build up effective mechanisms to combat all types

Approximately 200 dignitaries from agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Defence Force, other Embassies and diplomatic community members gathered at the ceremony.

February 2012


embassy news

Australian Government to Provide Additional Baht 15 Million for Flood Relief in Thailand


he Australian Government will provide $500,000 (approximately Baht 15 million) to “Save the Children” for immediate flood relief operations in some of the worst flood–affected provinces in Thailand, including Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nakornsawan, and Chainat. This additional funding brings the total assistance Australia has provided to support Thailand’s response to the flood crisis to more than $1 million (Baht 32 million). The Save the Children activities will focus on child protection; water, sanitation and hygiene; and education. Activities will benefit 32,000 people, including at least 8,000 children, and will include: • Establishing child friendly spaces and child safeguarding measures in evacuation centres. • Working with the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to improve water and sanitation conditions in evacuation and household areas through the provision of toilets, bathing and wash-


February 2012

ing areas, and water treatment kits. This will reduce the chances of waterborne and vector–borne diseases. • Providing temporary learning spaces and social support to children affected by the floods.

safe from harm as they return to school.”

This includes working with the Ministry of Education to ensure students and teachers have the necessary supplies and learning kits to return to school.

Ambassador Wise recently visited an evacuation centre in Bang Phlat District, where he met flood victims.

“Australia is a firm friend of Thailand. We are pleased to assist the Royal Thai Government’s efforts to support its people in this time of need. While the immediate crisis is easing, many areas still need relief and recovery work,” says Australian Ambassador James Wise. “Many children are having their lives turned upside down by the floods. They have missed schooling, and some have been living in temporary shelters for months. The Save the Children activities aim to bring back a sense of normality to their lives, as well as ensuring they remain

“Although flood waters are receding, in some areas there is still a need to supply safe drinking water and working sanitation facilities.”

“The resilience and good humour of the Thai people during this difficult time is inspiring. These attributes will serve Thailand well as it recovers from the floods.”

The $500,000 (Baht 15 million) funding for Save the Children is on top of $500,000 (Baht 15 million) already provided to the Australian Red Cross for flood relief operations, $50,000 (Baht 1.5 million) given to the World Food Programme for sand bags used by the Royal Thai Army, and over $30,000 (Baht 930,000) reallocated from an existing AusAID support to the International Labour Organisation to address specific needs of migrant workers in five provinces.

AustChamThailand Advance

embassy news

Young talent from Khon Kaen wins 60th Anniversary Logo Competition


hun Wannapha Lekbuntham, an architecture student at Khon Kaen University has won the logo competition to mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between Australia and Thailand. Khun Wannapha impressed the judges with her creativity. Her design showcased national animals of Thailand and Australia – a kangaroo and an elephant – to represent the enduring friendship between Australia and Thailand. Khun Wannapha won the grand prize of a return airfare to Australia sponsored by Thai Airways.

“I am glad to see that the competition has attracted 84 entries. Our committee had a tough job. Many thanks to all participants for their remarkable efforts. I would like to congratulate Khun Wannapha for her win-

ning design that reflects the last 60 years and our flourishing bilateral friendship in a simple yet meaningful way”, His Excellency Mr James Wise, Australian Ambassador to Thailand said. “The winning design presents familiar national symbols in an unconventional way, reflecting the bilateral relationship which flourishes with creativity,” Mr Chirachai Punkrasin, Director-General of the Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.

2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Thailand. To celebrate this important occasion, the Australian Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a nation-wide competition to find a logo which would represent the essence of the Thailand - Australia bilateral relationship. On 15 December 2011, the Australian Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand jointly announced the winner.

Ms Wannapha was excited to win the first competition, “I feel very glad. I decided to use animals as the symbol of the two countries and turned them into the number 60, to make it easy for everyone – Thai and Australian – to understand,” she said. The Australia – Thailand 60th Anniversary of Bilateral Relations Logo Design Competition was supported by Thai Airways, art4D, and the Australia-Thailand Institute.

Australia in the Asian Century


he Australian Government has commissioned a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century to consider the likely economic and strategic changes in the region and what more can be done to position Australia for the Asian Century. The scale and pace of Asia’s transformation is unprecedented and the implications for Australia are profound. Submissions


Issues paper December 2011

The Government has invited interested people and organisations to make a written submission to the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. Each submission, except for those that are in-confidence or inconsistent with the task force’s guidelines, will be published on its website shortly after receipt, and


February 2012

will remain there indefinitely as a public document. Copyright in submissions resides with the author(s), not with the

Submissions are now open, closing 26 February 2012. Further details, how to prepare a submission, and the Australia in the Asian Century Issues Paper can all be found at AustCham would be interested to hear the views of members on issues the White Paper should consider. We would also be interested in member’s opinions on the merits of AustCham writing its own submission to the White Paper process. Please email Executive Director, Mark Carroll at execdirector@austchamthailand. com

AustChamThailand Advance

since 1951.

embassy news

Australia Recognises Thai Agronomy Professor for Her Outstanding Contribution to International Research


ustralia-Thailand agricultural research cooperation has been further strengthened with Dr Benjavan Rerkasem, an outstanding agronomy professor from Chiang Mai University, recently receiving a recognition medal from Australia’s Crawford Fund for her continued contribution to international agricultural research. Professor Rerkasem was selected for the award for her leadership role in agricultural research and sustainable agriculture. Her advocacy and works cover a range of areas including: intellectual property rights and agricultural plant genetic resources; biotechnology and agriculture; and sustainability of agriculture in Asia. Professor Rerkasem is among the most cited scientists in Thailand in agricultural science. She is an alumnus of the University of Western Australia, where she studied with an Australian Government Columbo Plan scholarship. In 2008 she was also pre-

Throughout her career, Professor Rerkasem has been called upon by agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and the Thailand Research Fund to assess research needs in south-east Asia. She has developed research programmes to address these issues with support from diverse donors including the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). A major legacy of Professor Rerkasem’s contribution to agriculture in the region has been her training of post-graduate students.

sented with a distinguished international alumnus award from the university.

The Crawford Fund is a non-profit organisation in Australia dedicated to raising awareness of the international agricultural research benefits to developing countries and to Australia. The Fund supports the work of ACIAR, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and other international research centres.

A Christmas gift to Thailand from Australia’s Christmas Island


ustralia’s Christmas Island has raised over Baht 323,000 ($AU 10,427) baht for Thais affected of the recent flood crisis.

entation of the flood situation in Thailand followed by a Thai traditional dancing a singing performance by the island’s Thai residents. The dinner was sponsored by the Shire of Christmas Island along with several local businesses.

Christmas Island is a small island community located in the Indian Ocean under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Australia. The island’s population is only around 1500 people, predominantly of South East Asian descent with a small number of Thai nationals. The Christmas Island Women’s Association (CIWA) and the Christmas Island Thai Community recently organised a Thai


February 2012

The event demonstrated the strength in spirit of Australia’s Christmas Island community and resulted in a Christmas gift to those people affected by Thailand’s flood when it was most needed. Flood Appeal Fundraising Dinner to raise money for Thais affected by the recent floods. The event included a visual pres-

The total money raised will be donated to Thailand via ‘Save the Children Australia’.

AustChamThailand Advance

meet the board

AustCham Directors at Work This is the third in a series of articles that take a closer look at the ‘pilots’ of AustCham Thailand and their experience and motivation for sitting on the Board. In a Q & A session with Morning Talk’s Dr Valerie McKenzie, Directors discuss their vision for AustCham as well as what they do in their day to day business life.

Sam Mizzi Director Portfolio: AFL & Eastern Seaboard Industries Managing Director McConnell Dowell Constructors Thai Ltd With a strong belief that AustCham needed to “get back to business”, Sam Mizzi, Managing Director of McConnell Dowell was encouraged by both John Anderson and Belinda Skinner to join the Committee last year. A mechanical engineer by profession, and having worked in New Zealand and India before coming to Thailand in 2009, Sam heads the subsidiary of the multi-disciplined Australian construction company of McConnell Dowell which has been operating in Thailand since 1993. He says the past 18 months have been tough for his industry in Thailand, but a “full blown” optimist he is predicting more contract wins over the 2013-2014 period. “When times are good we employ around 1,000-1,500 staff so that is a testament to the quality of work we do and the belief in our company about the high level of expertise and services we offer.” “Keeping our head above water is the name of the game and here we cannot always play on a level playing field – it’s highly competitive,” he adds; “but we are in with a good chance.” So why join the Board of AustCham when at one time you said the Chamber did nothing for your business? “Well that’s the reason, if the Chamber cannot help me and my company and is of no benefit, then I need to think about that the chamber is also not helping others and work out what needs to be done...and if I can help.”


February 2012

“When John and Belinda approached me about changing the direction of AustCham, I was skeptical, but on hearing what was being developed I was pleased that we could get the Chamber Back to Business. And in the year that I have been on the committee, I have to say that the Chamber is well on the way to achieving the objective.” “In addition to my portfolio, I felt that something needed to be done for the industry with which we are involved in the construction industry. In the past there was no sharing of information – we all worked in the dark. So we developed a working group of like-minds and meet bi-monthly as the “Manufacturers and Infrastructure Group (MIG)”. We, as principals, share knowledge, discuss issues of mutual interest, areas of misunderstanding, employees remuneration issues, business operations in Thailand, as well as general aspects of the industry. We are a core group who meet for a non-alcohol lunch and get down to business. It is proving invaluable. We need to do more of this for other industries too. Industries can gain value, which is making AustCham more meaningful and beneficial to members.” “We need to create an awareness about Australian construction companies, our expertise and the advantages of using our services. And we also need to make sure that Australian companies operating overseas at least consider other Australian companies with whom to do business.” “One of my biggest frustrations that I still do not understand is why Australian companies operating overseas do not use Australian suppliers. What’s wrong with us? Japanese companies deal with the Japanese, Chinese with Chinese, Korean with Korean and so on. But not us. Well that is another challenge we face I suppose!” “For the future, there is still a lot to be done but I feel we, at AustCham, are certainly on the right track. We need to increase awareness of business opportunities both for Australian companies to invest in Thailand and Thai companies to invest in Australia. This is an ongoing task that has to be done for the benefit of all.”

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meet the board

Khun Suganya Ransigutta Director Portfolio: Business Awards Managing Director TMF (Thailand) Limited Khun Suganya, a lawyer who has worked with several international firms in the fields of legal, business and risk management before joining TMF in 2007. Given her understanding of legal issues, she feels she is well positioned to assist both Australian and Thai corporations. Why did you decide to join the Board of AustCham almost a year ago? “With my previous employment, I had been involved with the Chamber for many years and continued to do so after being appointed by TMF. I felt that I had something to offer as a committee member, given my interest in Corporate Social Responsibility and the requirements and goals of AustCham in the business area. I feel that I am well positioned to advise on how to do business in Thailand - being a ‘local’ and particularly heading an international firm.” “There are many Australians living in Thailand and AustCham is an ideal ‘forum’ for all to meet and share ideas. Chambers need to support all its members and there are many ways that this can be done. My portfolio this year was to be responsible for Business Awards but unfortunately they were cancelled so fortunately this gave me the opportunity to be involved, in part, in other areas even though this has been a very busy year for me and I did not have a great deal of time.” “For this coming year I feel the Chamber will continue on its business focus but still combine with social activities and networking opportunities too.” Saeed Zaki, Ph.D Director Portfolio: Business Breakfasts Managing Director, dwp Saeed is a long-time resident, living in Thailand for over 20 years. Managing Director of dwp Thailand Limited since 2007, Saeed is an architect with experience across many countries. For most of the time he

AustChamThailand Advance

has worked in Thailand he has been employed by Australian companies, or as with dwp, Australian major shareholders and active partners. He also enjoys his time as an academic lecturing at various institutions in the area of design and planning. You seem to enjoy getting involved in Australian Thai business. Why so? “For the past 10 years I have worked with two Australian companies, Lend Lease Group and since 2007, with dwp. During this period I have got to know much about how Australians work and what their needs are. Given my time in Thailand and working with Thai people I also understand what motivates them and what their needs are.” You have been on AustCham Comittee for four years, what attracted you in the first instance and do you still have a passion? “Yes I still have a passion for AustCham. I have been involved with the Chamber since my appointment to the Board and over the years have been involved with The Property Infrastructure Committee; A moderator in Bangkok and Phuket for Property seminars and meetings and was also active at AustCham Business Forum, run a few years ago where we attracted businesses not only from within Thailand but also from around Indochina.” “Despite having to travel more out of Thailand this year, I have been involved from a strategic perspective in working with the President and Committee in developing a more focused business-look for AustCham. We promote Australian-Thai business and vice versa – this is a must. We need to focus both ways.” “dwp has a long relationship with AustCham and we are proud to be a gold sponsor over many years. We are not involved as such to gain business opportunities, rather to support Australian and Thai relations and the business opportunities between the two countries. The Chamber does a great job in supporting Australian business and we want to be part of the success.” “I believe this year we have successfully combined a more business focus without losing the social interaction that only Australians can offer. We are actively involved with other foreign Chambers and play our part in issues affecting foreign businesses in Thailand. I strongly believe we are the best Chamber in Thailand today.“ “One area that I would still like to develop with the Chamber is an environmental sustainability programme and hope that this can be achieved in the coming year. Yes I will stand for committee again and look forward to being a part of Australian Thai successes.”

February 2012


photojournalism contest 2011

Snapshots in Time from FCCT/OnAsia Photojournalism Contest - 2012 winners announced Photos from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT)/OnAsia Photojournalism Contest tell remarkable stories from across the region in 2011. Last year’s competition saw judges receive thousands of images from more than a dozen countries, including Thailand, India, Indonesia, Mongolia and Afghanistan. Special congratulations from AustCham to Australian photographer, Graham Couch for “Best non-news feature taken in Asia” and Thai photographer, Athit Perawongmetha for winning “Best Photographer”. The following page shows winners from the four categories. The complete collection of winning photos can be found in the latest edition of the FCCT’s Dateline Magazine. Contact the FCCT for a copy on 02-652-0580-1, or email Feature Photography, Winner: Graham Crouch The International Committee of the Red Cross Orthopaedic Centre in Kabul is where victims of war and the disabled are fitted with artificial limbs made on the compound. Many have lost one or both legs to landmines. Others have been attacked by coalition helicopters. It is a place both disturbing and uplifting for its lost dreams and hope for the future. In this image, two women who are missing legs are fitted with artificial limbs.

Photographer of the Year: Athit Perawongmetha Buddhist monks from the Golden Horse Monastery ride horses during afternoon duty in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The monastery, founded by a former Thai boxing champion who became a monk, takes in destitute children, teaching them skills on horses – many of which have been saved from slaughterhouses – and Thai boxing.


February 2012

AustChamThailand Advance

photojournalism contest 2011

Spot News, Winner: Salil Bera Guards try to subdue a leopard on the loose near Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in India’s West Bengal. According to the forest department, more than 15,000 hectares of forest land have been encroached upon in West Bengal, forcing wild animals out of their natural habitat and into areas where humans aren’t properly trained to handle them.In this case, a leopard stepped out of the jungle and into conflict with local guards, who began hurling stones in the direction of the scared animal. Later, burning tires were thrown in the animal’s direction. When nothing happened, the guards concluded that the leopard, a member of an endangered species, had died. But then it let out a roar and jumped upon the guards, who tried to subjugate the animal with brutal kukri stabs. Eventually, the leopard was captured in a net; but by then,it had almost died because of mistreatment from the guards, who were not properly trained to perform a rescue and did not tranquilize the animal properly when they had the chance.

Environmental Issues, Winner: Aaron Favila

A man hangs on to a house that was built on stilts as he tries to recover belongings after Typhoon Nesat wiped out homes north of Manila in September 2011. Asia has seen a growing number of fierce storms and other disasters in recent years – a problem many scientists attribute to climate change, which they fear is increasing the frequency of storms and putting more people at risk. Nesat killed at least 20 people.

Photo Essay, Winner: Diego Verges

“Ludruk” is an art form that tells stories about daily Javanese life in Indonesia, often focusing on tales of love and friendship. The characters include transvestite men who make up their faces and wear pretty traditional dresses to portray women. Letting real women near the stage was taboo when the Ludruk art form originated a few centuries ago. Nowadays, performers continue Ludruk’s traditions, transporting their stages from one village to another in search of new viewers, keeping the art form alive.

Some 22 transvestites live in tiny cubicles under the stage in this old Indonesian theater, where they perform twice a week.

Ludruk presentations are more flexible than other shows because the characters can address anything they want, though common themes are love and friendship, with a comedic style.

Photographer of the Year: Athit Perawongmetha (Photo Essay: Thailand’s 2011 Election)

After years of tumult following the 2006 coup that toppled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Thais returned to the polls in July to choose between incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Mr. Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra. Although many experts feared violence, the vote came off without many glitches. Ms. Yingluck – backed by huge numbers of “Red Shirt” backers who had called for a return of Mr. Thaksin during bloody street protests in 2010 – easily carried the day, marking the latest twist in Thailand’s complicated political dramas.

Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female Prime Minister, reacts inside the chambers of Parliament on August 5, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand after 296 of the legislature’s 500 members voted for Ms. Yingluck in the Thai lower house.

AustChamThailand Advance

Incumbent Thai Prime Minister and leader of the Democrat party Abhisit Vejjajiva spoke during a final campaign rally under heavy rain at Royal Plaza on July 1, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.

February 2012


BOI Event

Board of Investment (BOI) Fair 2011

The BOI Fair 2011 was the third time the Board of Investment has organised an industrial fair. BOI Fair 2011, surpassed the scale of the two previous fairs with a total area of 237,000 square meters and comprising of 42 outdoor pavillions, with the Royal Pavilion as the centre point. In addition, there were also indoor exhibitions held in Challenger 1-2-3 and Hall 9 as well as other special activities, including a CEO Forum, more than 200 seminars, the sale of economically priced consumer goods, and plenty of entertainment. “BIO matching” alone saw 1,466 businesses partner for a total of Baht 4.05 billion. BOI Fair 2011 was the first international Low Carbon Fair in Asia with the aim to reduce carbon emissions with a focus on “Going Green for the Future”. It was very pleasing to see AustCham members and other Chambers of Commerce set up booths and showcase their products and services.


February 2012

AustChamThailand Advance

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Chamber Events

The Sixth Annual Tri-Nations Barbeque at Sukhothai On Monday, 16 February AustCham Thailand together with the South African and New Zealand-Thai Chambers of Commerce held their sixth annual Tri-Nations Barbeque. Set outdoors in the serene Sukhothai ‘Garden’, the evening included quality new world wines as well as a range of special barbequed fare. Thanks must go to AustCham’s sponsor for the evening; dwp.


February 2012

AustCham Event Sponsor

AustCham Event Supporters - Bangkok Bank - MBMG - San Miguel Marketing Thailand - Sri Ayudhya General Insurance plc.

AustChamThailand Advance

Chamber Events

Bangkok Community Theatre presents Dan Goggins’ hilarious musical comedy “Nunsense” at The British Club late February 2012 “Nunsense” is a delightful romp of a musical about five nuns who are putting on a fund-raising concert. It seems that the convent cook, Sister Julia-Child of God, accidentally poisoned fifty-two fellow sisters with a bad batch of vichyssoise, and these five are trying to raise money to bury the remaining sisters who are temporarily stowed in the freezer! “Nunsense” is a fast-paced hilarious musical comedy that won four outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Musical during its 10-year run in New York. “Nunsense” will be performed in English at The British Club, Silom Soi 18, Bangkok with three evening performances at 8pm on Thursday, 23 February; Friday, 24 February and Saturday, 25 February; plus two matinee performances at 3pm on Saturday, 25 February and Sunday 26 February. Tickets at Baht 800 each will be available to the general public from 20 January through BCT by phone or email (087-936-3798 and and also at The Neilson Hays Library Café on Suriwonge

Road. Tickets may be purchased at the café from 9am to 6pm, every day except Monday. British Club Members may also sign for tickets at the club. Tickets are for the performance alone; however audience members are encouraged to make a night of it and pre-book the sumptuous pre-dinner buffet (B400 per person) that the British Club will also offer downstairs before the show. For dinner reservations, please e-mail or 02-234-0247. An a la carte menu and cash bar will also be available nightly. Note: limited parking will be available for this event at the British Club and nearby venues. Please visit BCT’s website for more details. This madcap musical full of hysterical nun puns will be enjoyed by people of all ages and faiths; we recommend it for adults and students aged 10+. But don’t delay! Seating is limited, so book early to ensure a heavenly good time! For more information, please visit the BCT website at

Bangkok Community Theatre (BCT) is a voluntary, non-profit organisation of many nationalities who work together to produce English language plays for the local community. On average, BCT stages approximately four productions a year with each show requiring volunteers from the community to perform on-stage and to help behind the scenes. Ticket prices are at a minimum to ensure a break even result. Any profits raised during the year are donated to various charities.

Important Messages for AustCham Members in March Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Membership Renewal

The AustCham Thailand AGM is to be held on Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. All members are encouraged to attend for a review of the year gone by and for the important Board election.

April marks the beginning of a new AustCham membership year. AustCham looks forward to the exciting year ahead and your continued support. Membership renewal details will be forwarded to all members via email this month. Please note the opportunity to buy discount Sundowners tickets when you renew your membership – this includes ten discounted tickets to Sundowners for an additional Baht 4,500 only.

The Board guide the Chamber over the ensuing 12 months and the elected Board subsequently elects a President. The Board reflects the Chamber, which is itself a reflection of its Members - that is, you. All Members are encouraged to seriously consider what contribution they can make to the Chamber, both in general terms and by possibly standing for the Board of Directors. Application forms are available from the AustCham website. If you cannot attend it is important that you assign a Proxy, as we need to ensure that a quorum is achieved. For more information, please visit our website or contact the AustCham office.

AustChamThailand Advance

Membership and Sundowners ticket package: Corporate Ordinary, Baht 22,206 Individual Ordinary, Baht 17,206 Regular Membership (Sundowner tickets not included): Corporate Ordinary, Baht 18,000 Individual Ordinary, Baht 13,000 Corporate Affiliate, Baht 13,000 Individual Affiliate, Baht 8,000 *Prices do not include VAT. *New members will be subject to a Baht 4,000 processing fee.

February 2012


is proud to introduce its Corporate Sponsors for 2012 Gold Sponsors Akara Kingsgate now operates (through Akara Mining) the world class low cost Chatree gold mine in central Thailand, the Challenger underground gold mine in South Australia and 70% of Laguna Resources NL that is undertaking a feasibility study on the advanced Arqueros silver/gold project in the highly prospective Maricunga Gold Belt in Central Chile. BlueScope BlueScope Steel is Australia’s largest steel producer. The company also is known worldwide for its coated and painted steel products with facilities in Australia, Asia and North America.

dwp Design worldwide partnership (dwp) is an integrated design company providing architectural and interior design solutions to clients across Asia, Australia, India, North Africa and the Middle East.

Natural Ville & Lenotre The combination of the well established brands of Accor, Natural Ville & Lenotre have set new standards in the world of hospitality and catering. Natural Ville is known for its simple yet elegant apartments and Lenotre for its exclusive catering and confectionary.

Silver Sponsors Allied Pickfords is Australia’s and the world’s largest moving company with over 40 locations in Australia and 600 locations worldwide - offering international and interstate relocation services, vehicle transportation and more. Boral Thailand Concrete & Quarries is a major supplier of ready-mixed concrete to the construction industry in Thailand. Boral Thailand is backed by the technical which is Australia’s largest integrated building and construction materials supplier. Capital Television was established in 1995 by Australian expats, Capital TV is an award-winning Bangkok based TV

production company that focuses on English language programming and multilingual corporate productions. Central Food Retail is the fastest-growing food retail group in Thailand currently operating 115 stores nationwide and one of the fastest growing in the world. CEVA Thailand is part of CEVA Logistics a leading global supply chain management company providing end-toend design, implementation and operational solutions in contract logistics and freight forwarding to large and medium-sized national and multinational companies. Singapore Air is the largest South East Asian airline. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at

Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and “Kangaroo Route” markets. Thai Sekisui Foam is the leading manufacturer It has around 200 companies operating in 20 countries, providing high performance products solutions and factory produced housing.

Thana Burin AP

is a specialist

and government leaders to media, with over 19 years of experience domestically and within SE Asia/Oceania.

Research Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors


February 2012

AustChamThailand Advance


Pullman Bangkok King Power 8/2 Rangnam Road, Thanon-Phayathai Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Phone: 66 2 680 9999 Fax: 66 2 680 9998 Email: Websit: Chamber Representatives

Mr Marc Begassat Mr Bertrand Dugest Pullman Bangkok King Power is a 5-star hotel property managed by Paris-based Accor Hospitality and is part of the Pullman Hotels & Resorts network. Every one of 386 rooms and suites offers service that epitomises the best of Thai hospitality. Pullman Bangkok King Power serves as premier venues for meetings and conferences. Fully equipped with new technology and high-end services and state-of-the-art ballroom supported by its excellent business facilities. The hotel offers seven meeting rooms of varying sizes to handle every type of function and provide an ideal venue for business meetings. To round off your incentive events, you might want to invite participants to the unique 600 seat Aksra Theatre. The prime location offers easy access to the BTS skytrain and expressway and just minutes away from Siam Square - Bangkok’s popular shopping district. • Cuisine Unplugged - All day dining with live cooking stations and international buffet. Ground Floor, 192 seats. • @Chaan - Traditional Thai Cuisine with late night supper. Ground Floor, 44 seats. • Glen Bar - Lobby lounge with live music performances, featuring a wide selection of whiskey and imported tea. Ground Floor. 56 seats. • Deja Vu - Upscale brasserie, featuring French Cuisine. Second Floor. 147 seats. • Wine Pub - Trendy pub with a large selection of fine wines and assorted antipasti and tapas dishes. Second Floor. 198 seats. • Swimming Pool - Infinity edge swimming pool with a spacious sun deck. • Fitness Centre - Equipped with the finest and latest equipment

AustChamThailand Advance

• Le Spa - Nine spacious private suites set in a traquil environment. • Botanical Garden - A relaxing atmosphere in a beautifully designed garden with water features.

IMPACT Exhibition Management 99 popular Road, Banmai Sub-district Pakkred District, Nonthaburi 11120 Phone: 66 2 833 4455 Fax: 66 2 833 4456 Website: Email:,

Narai Hotel Co., Ltd. 222 Silom Road, Suriyawong, Bangrak Bangkok 10500 Phone: 66 2 237 0100 Fax: 66 2 237 0141 Website: Email: Chamber Representatives

Chamber Representatives Mr Pete Cheah Ms Waleeporn Chai-In

Mr Loy Joon How - General Manager Ms Kunyanat Chaithanawasith - Assistant Director of Sales-Corporate & Media Conveniently located in Bangkok’s suburb, IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Centre comprises of five main multi-purposed buildings, namely IMPACT Arena, IMPACT Exhibition Centre, IMPACT Convention Centre, IMPACT Challenger Hall and Novotel Bangkok IMPACT. It offers 12 exhibition and convention halls, one arena hall, one 380 rooms hotel, two large ballrooms and 40 functions rooms. The venue also has a variety of top restaurants including 40 food outlets, food courts and our own seven restaurants and pub. We also provide convenient outdoor and indoor car park areas that can accommodate up to 15000 cars at any one time. Products/ Services: IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Center is one of Asia’s largest and most modern exhibition and convention center with an usable indoor space of over 140,000 sq meters comprising a variety of venue sizes to meet all types of event requirements - big or small. We offer you with a modern and technological advanced facility that provides a diversity of solutions and choices for the success of your event. For thousands or selected few, IMPACT is your prime venue that provides you and your guests with an amazing experience whether it is exhibition halls, meeting rooms, function rooms, ballrooms, outdoor space, etc, we have it all!

Being conveniently located in the city’s main business, shopping, and entertainment area of Silom Road, the hotel is located close to Chongnonsee Sky Train Station, a river pier, and the express way with access to the airport in only 40 minutes. The hotel is named for King Narai the Great of Thailand. The name Narai in Thai is also used to refer to Hindu deity Vishnu. An elegant bas-relief of Vishnu can be seen on the wall in front of the main staircase. The “Narai Bantomsin” by renowned artist Kaimook Xuto show Vishnu reclining on a seven-headed naga (celestial serpent) while being attended by Laksmi, his Queen. To ensure our guests utmost pleasure, the Narai provides a host of top facilities beginning with a very modern, fully equipped fitness corner. All guest can enjoy a free-form swimming pool. A professional business center provides a full spectrum of services and office automation to sucessfully complete vital tasks. This includes all internet facilities. Products/ Services: Narai Hotel has 475 accommodation rooms, which includes Superior Room measuring 28 Sq.m., Deluxe Room measuring 28 Sq.m., Family Room measuring 45 Sq.m., Deluxe Suite Room measuring 60 Sq.m., Honeymoon Suite Room measuring 60 Sq.m. and Narai Suite Room measuring 60 Sq.m. The Narai provides a host of top facilities beginning with a very modern, fully equipped fitness corner. All guests can enjoy a free-form swimming pool. The business center provides a full spectrum of services and office automation to successfully complete vital tasks. This includes all internet facilities in all the public areas.

February 2012


Chamber Events Chamber Events & AUSTCHAM Members’ offers

Swissotel Le Concorde Bangkok 204 Ratchadapisek Road Huay Kwang, Bangkok 10320 Phone: 66 2 694 2222 Fax: 66 2 694 2214 Website: bangkok-leconcorde Email: Chamber Representatives

Mr Marcel Sawyere Mr Voravit Panichakrai The 5-star 22-storey Swissotel Le Concorde Bangkok houses 407 spacious and elegantly-appointed rooms as well as suites with non-smoking floors and wheelchair accessible rooms with friendly features for the guests with disability. Swissotel Le Concorde Bangkok is located on Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok’s thriving

business and entertainment district, the hotel is just a mere 25 minutes’ drive away from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport via the expressway with conveniently linked to major parts of the exciting and vibrant city of Bangkok with the Huay Kwang MRT Station only a two-minute walk away. Easily accessible roads, expressways and subways bring guests to Bangkok’s central business district, convention center and prime tourist attractions within minutes. Many world class golf courses are also located within a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Other facilities includes swimming pool, gym and five food & beverage outlets including Takumi, Loong Foong Chinese Restaurant, Fountain Cafe, Crossroads Bar, Le Concorde Deli Ownership: Mr Dilok Mahadumrongkul Senior Management: Mr Marcel Sawyere – General Manager Mr Voravit Panichakrai – Director of Sales Mr Suttinun Haluthai – Chief Engineering Mrs Areerat Suriyamanee – Financial Controller Mrs Manassiri Arj-Harn - Director of Human Resources

Mr Roy Lee DFDL Mekong-Legal & Tax Advisors 9th Floor, The Dusit Thani Building 946 Rama IV Road, Bangrak Bangkok Phone: 66 2 636 3282 Website: Email: Representatives: Mr Roy Lee (Australian)

Change of Representative Mr Sriram Narayan, Manager Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam is a new representative of Qantas/British Airways.

AUSTCHAM Members’ offers

Park Plaza Open Kitchen Cooking Class AustCham members can now enjoy a ten percent discount on our Thai Cooking Class! Choose a two or three course dish package and enjoy cooking in our interactive open kitchen. Offer Until: 31 March 2012 Call: 02 263 5000 Email:

Novotel Bangkok Fenix Ploenchit 15 percent discount on dining and accommodation. Exclusively for AustCham members, Novotel Bangkok Fenix Ploenchit is offering a 15 percent off your food bill when you dine at The Square. We’ll also discount 15 percent when you book accommodation (Best unrestricted rate). Terms & conditions apply. Valid: 1 January – 30 April 2012 Call: 02 305 6000 Email:

Strategic Migration Special Rates on Australian Visa Assistance Strategic Migration specialise in business and partner visa’s and can also assist other family members. In 20 years we have never lost an application. We offer a 10 percent discount to all AustCham members. Valid Until: 31 March 2012 Call: +66 2 231 8138 Email:

Siam@Siam Design Hotel and Spa Mezzawine Membership Benefits Sign up Sign up for Mezzawine Membership at Siam @ Siam and receive great benefits including a 20 percent discount at all hotel food and beverage outlets, spa treatments and wine purchases. You will also receive free wine tasting for two guests, complementary cake and sparkling wine for when you hold


February 2012

a birthday or anniversary celebration at Siam @ Siam AND one night’s free accommodation. Offer Until: May 2012 Call: Khun Pongsak 081 8873978 Email:

Swissôtel Nai Lert Park Bangkok The complete meeting package at THB 999++ For a successful and efficient meeting that is easy to budget, Swissôtel Nai Lert Park Bangkok offers a full day meeting package for local companies with a minimum 20 of delegates at Baht 999++ per person inclusive of two coffee breaks, international lunch buffet, free use of meeting room and swimming pool, 20 percent discount on additional breakout room and food at ISO and Noble House restaurant as well as at Amrita Fitness and Spa. Offer Until: 30 June 2012 Call: 02 253 0123 or 02 8677000 Email: Catering@nailertpark.swissotel. com

AustChamThailand Advance

Uniting Australian alumni for personal and professional success Register with AustralianAlumni before 18 March at for a chance to win return tickets to Australia with Singapore Airlines.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS Alumni Entrepreneurs: an evening with Khun Mechai Viravaidya Date: Wednesday, 8 February 2012 Time: 17.30-20.00 Price: Baht 200 for those who have booked. Pre-registering on the AustralianAlumni website is essential. Venue: Glowfish, 6th floor, Asoke Towers, Sukhumvit 21 MRT: Petchaburi (five minute walk from the station) Parking: Avaliable on the third floor (bay 3AN), sixth floor (bay 6B) and seventh floor (bay 7B)

AustralianAlumni Launch Event Date: Wednesday 21 March | Venue: The Sukhothai Hotel Further details to be announced later this month

From the Chamber Office

Message from the Executive Director

Calendar of Events


Wednesday, 1 February Embassy Update with new Counsellor (Immigration)

n reviewing 2011 I wrote that it was primarily a year of introspection, but with a strong program of outputs and activities. Well, as expected, 2012 is shaping up to be primarily a year of outputs and activities, with a background dose of introspection. It has started off in frantic fashion that looks set to continue. I have to admit to being fatigued already. We’ve introduced 2012 with a fantastic sponsorship field that includes long-term supporters as well as some fantastic new faces. At the Gold level, we particularly welcome BlueScope Steel to the line-up along with Akara Mining, DWP and Natural Ville and Lenotre. New to Silver are Allied Pickfords, Boral, and Singapore Airlines – they join CEVA logistics, Central Food, Capital TV, Sekisui Foam, and Thana Burin. Our Bronze sponsors are an equally stellar line-up of fantastic companies. We can’t thank our sponsors enough for their support, particularly the financial breathing-space it provides. With the fantastic backing of Singapore Airlines, we’ve launched our new AustralianAlumni website at A great feature of the website is the very strong database and communication engine that sits behind the registration process. Consistent with AustralianAlumni’s objective of supporting all segments of the alumni group, the new system will enable us to target very specific groups of graduates for specific activities, or target the whole group for common activities. We’re very pleased with the number of alumni registering with the site, and are confident that it’s not just because they automatically go into the draw for a flight to Australia! At the time of writing we were putting the finishing touches on our survey of Australian businesses and business people in Thailand. We are looking for maximum participation in the survey so if you haven’t completed it please consider doing so. Please also encourage your friends, associates and colleagues to do the same. The more survey respondents we have the better we will be able to develop a picture of the nature and extent of the Australian business presence, and its contribution to Thailand. The survey data will help AustCham, and the Thai and Australian governments, focus their efforts to promote the Australian-Thai commercial relationship. On events we’ve also come out of the 2012 gates strongly. We’ve had the tri-nations BBQ in the serene gardens of the Sukhothai hotel, the first of monthly joint Aus-UK-US Eastern Seaboard (ESB) networking, and a combined Professional Women Group networking event.


February 2012

17.00-18.00 Please note this briefing is for AustCham Members only. Pre-booking is required. Venue: Natural Ville & Lenotre Wednesday, 1 February Bangkok Sundowners

18:00 - 21:00 Venue: Natural Ville & Lenotre A Boardroom Brief by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime was thought-provoking, while the economic update by Paul Gambles of MGMB fame and Carey Ramm from AECgroup was a fantastic introduction to the economic and financial potential of 2012. Already in the pipeline for early February is our first Sundowners of the year – sure to be a fantastic start with the support of Natural Ville and Lenotre; an AustralianAlumni presentation by Khun Mechai Viravaidya; ESB Sundowners; and a briefing on the business potential of Burma. Within the AustCham office, January saw the roll-out of our new human capital strategy. As well as more precisely defining performance targets and deliverables, we held a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) teambuilding workshop. Needless to say we learnt a lot about one-another and how to be a better team! Potentia Thailand will be holding an MBTI® certification workshop in March. For anyone interested in how different personality types relate to leadership, conflict management, problem solving and communication, this is a workshop well worth considering. For more information, please contact Anne Hutton on 02 653 5040 or email anne@potentia. I’d also like to remind members that the Australian Government has called for public submissions for its Asian Century White Paper, and released an associated ‘issues paper’. We’d be interested to hear the views of members on issues the White Paper should consider and on the merits of AustCham writing its own submission.

Mark Carroll Executive Director, AustCham Thailand

Wednesday, 8 February Alumni Entrepreneurs: An evening with Khun Mechai

17.30-20.00 Venue: Glowfish, 6th floor, Asoke Towers Friday, 17 February Eastern Seaboard Sundowners

18:00-21.00 Venue: Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, Pattaya Saturday, 18 February Voluntary English Teaching

8.00-17.00 Venue: Wat Phra Patharnporn, Sri Ra Cha For more information, please contact Friday, 24 - Saturday, 25 February Site Visit: Chatree Gold Mine

Thank you to January sponsor:

AustCham is very pleased to welcome two new staff members to our team. We trust that members will take any given opportunity to make them feel welcome.

Khun Sasipa Khamklai (Fai) Membership Liaison and Research Officer

Khun Nisarrat Chuchertkijwattana (Sar) Membership and Events Support Officer

AustChamThailand Advance

The best Future for your Children 1 curriculum with 2 profiles: German-English and English-German native teachers additional languages: Thai, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin small class sizes: individualized and customized teaching green, healthy and save environment our Bilingual Swiss Maturity diploma guarantees access to universities worldwide Our new English-German profile opened in August 2011 It is available this year from kindergarten to grade 3, ongoing enrolment YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME! Please visit our Webpage: or call us at +66 (0) 2 518 0340

International school with Swiss and German quality standards 48 years of experience in Bangkok