Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand Issue 2/2013
Best of British The Brief
Board of Directors 2013 Chairman Simon Landy Colliers International Thailand T: 02 656 7000 email@example.com Vice Chairman & Treasurer John Sim PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. T: 02 679-5100 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chairmen Viriya (Boyd) Chongphaisal GlaxoSmithKline T: 02 659 3000 email@example.com Simon Matthews ManpowerGroup Thailand T: 02 634 7273 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Thatcher Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd. T: 081 803 7377 email@example.com Directors Joe Barker-Bennett Jmbb Consulting Co., Ltd T: 085 099 2625 Gary Biesty South Asia Law Co., Ltd T: 02 636 0585 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Cumming Onyx Hospitality Group T: 02 255 3767 email@example.com Stephen Frost Bangkok International Associates T: 02 231 6201/6455 firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew McBean Grant Thornton T: 02 205 8222 Email: email@example.com Rituraj Mohan Boots Retail (Thailand) Ltd T: 02 694 5900 Ritu.Mohan@bootsri.com Sriram Narayan British Airways PLC T: 02 627 1723 firstname.lastname@example.org Siew Meng Tan HSBC T: 02 614 4040 email@example.com Thana Thiramanus Property Care Services (Thailand) Ltd. T: 2741-8800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hague backs British business to lead economic recovery
BOI machinery industry overview
BiSEA delegates meet in Bangkok
Proposed Europe-Thailand free trade agreement: IP and Pharmaceuticals
Inspiring work by British Council UK Budget Statement
Lawful ownership of land by foreigners Myanmar milestone for investors The Brief
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The Brief is published by British Chamber of Commerce Thailand. For advertising and editorial enquiries, please contact Greg Watkins, Executive Director - BCCT Editor: Dale Lawrence Email: email@example.com Advertisement: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Production: Scand-Media Corp., Ltd
The views expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand or of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand is strictly prohibited. 44
Every Edition British Chamber of Commerce Thailand 7th Floor, 208 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330, Thailand Tel: 02-651 5350/3 Fax: 02-651 5354 Website: www.bccthai.com Email: email@example.com Greg Watkins, Executive Director
Chairmanâ€™s Message Executive Directorâ€™s Message Early adopters in social media
Front cover: British Ambassador Mark Ken pictured with visitors to the recent Life & Style Garden Party in front of an iconic Jaguar E-Type. More photos on page 60.
Inspiring work by British Council
Member News By the Numbers Chamber events Final Word The Brief
D Simon Landy Corporate Partners
r Sumet Jumsai, the renowned architect and man of letters, gave a fascinating talk recently at the Thai Embassy in London on the history of the British-Thai relationship. Celebrating 400 years of Anglo-Thai relations (from the 1612 letter from King James 1 to the King of Siam), Dr Sumet recounted the turbulent story of the first Siamese embassy to England in 1684. While the English showed their valiant side when the Royal Navy rescued the embassy from an attack by Barbary pirates in the English Channel, the ambassadors experienced another aspect of English hospitality on reaching Margate when customs officials seized the royal gifts from King Narai to King Charles II and King Louis XIV of France. Customs refused to release the cargo even after a direct appeal from King Charles, insisting on a ruling from Parliament. Once that was arranged and the gifts released, the Siamese ambassadors were swiftly escorted to the nearest pub for a pint! These days, UK-Thai relations usually take on the more positive characteristics shown by this incident: steadfast support and friendly bonhomie, although certainly an occasional dose of bureaucratic perversity can sometimes muddy this picture. Nevertheless, the relationship is unquestionably moving from strength to strength, as demonstrated during Prime Minister Yingluck’s visit to the UK last November when the two countries agreed to set up a strategic dialogue that will require regular meetings at the highest levels of government. These moves are in line with growing trade and investment relations between our countries. In particular, Thai interest in investing in the UK is on an upward trajectory. The sharp decline in the value of the pound may have accelerated this trend, but there are many long-term investments in many areas of the UK economy, from steel manufacturing to breweries and from food processing to football clubs. However, it’s fair to say that UK businesses have been on the whole less aware of opportunities in Thailand than their counterparts in Thailand have been of those in the UK. Of course, there are major exceptions to this, as can be seen in our diverse and successful chamber membership, from retailing to oil & gas, from business services to fast-moving consumer goods, from education to manufacturing. Nevertheless, there is a tendency for the UK to see Thailand primarily as an exotic holiday destination rather than the competitive production and consumption market that it has become.
Annual Airline Partners
As Europe’s problems continue to defy an easy solution, the traditional reliance of British business on the EU has become a major concern for the British government. One consequence of this is that chambers like ours have moved from the periphery to the centre of attention for the business end of the government. Hence the UK government’s development of the new chambers of commerce which will see major Britchams, including BCCT, taking on some of the services to British businesses traditionally offered by the UKTI and expanding them, as detailed more fully by Greg Watkins in his message in this edition of The Brief. The main reason why this programme is of interest to BCCT is that it offers us a chance to both strengthen our membership base with a string of new businesses operating in Thailand, but more importantly to deepen our service provision to existing members. As Greg explains, the business plan calls for a gradual increase in the range of services made available by the chamber and a commensurate increase in the level of staffing to support this. The costs will initially be subsidised by the UK government, but the plan envisages that the new services will eventually pay for themselves without dipping into the chamber’s financial resources. A key tenet for BCCT is that the costs of the new services are ring-fenced from the existing operations. Our intention is that the new services will neither place an extra burden on current staff nor a financial burden on current members. Our business plan is based on the goal of providing more benefits to membership and more services for members. If this is not the case, we will not move forward. We look forward to gradually rolling out a programme that will in due course see BCCT as a more highly developed centre for businesses both new to Thailand and that have long been operating here. With these new services, we hope to see BCCT play a more prominent role in Anglo-Thai relations, continuing the positive traits of a relationship that stretches back some 400 years. The Brief
British Chamber of Commerce Thailand The Brief is the British Chamber of Commerce members magazine. It contains feature articles on major issues of interest to all businesses in Thailand, reports on BCCT speaker presentations, interviews with dignitaries in Britain and Thailand and BCCT member news. It is available in print and online version. The print version
is distributed to BCCT members, business executives in Thailand and overseas, other foreign chambers in Thailand and overseas, and a number of key government organisations in Thailand. It is also available at all BCCT events throughout the year. Online copies can be found at www.bccthai.com
To book or request rates for multiple issues please contact: Sarinthorn (Jyoti) Sachavirawong, Deputy Director Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +66 (0) 651 5350-3
Executive Director’s Message Enhancing overseas business networks
ince December last year BCCT has been working with the Trade and Investment team at the British Embassy Bangkok and UKTI in London on a project which, if accepted, would see BCCT taking on some of the services to British businesses traditionally offered by UKTI. The project extends beyond the ‘Headstart’, or BCCT overseas membership initiative, launched by Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Green in London in October 2012.
On 5th December the UK government set out a priority for export growth as an integral part of the wider growth agenda - to get the numbers of UK companies exporting up to the EU average. On a practical level, this means increasing the number of exporters by 100,000 and doubling exports to £1 trillion by 2020. To achieve these goals the UK needs a radical step change in the way companies are engaged. The status quo is not an option. Last summer Lord Heseltine undertook a comprehensive study of UK business support capability both in the UK and overseas. One of the key differences between UK and our major competitors, especially Germany, is the range of business to business services on offer in overseas markets from organisations such as chambers of commerce. There also tends to be a much stronger connection between overseas and domestic business networks. British Chambers and other British business groups overseas offer a potential means to extend this offer to UK companies. In his Mansion House speech of 12th November 2012 Prime Minister David Cameron announced a transformational change to the support that business offers business and to British SME’s in particular. A new ‘International Chambers of Commerce Unit’ was established within UKTI in order to oversee this process. It began with an £8 million pilot campaign in 20 high growth and emerging markets that through the British Chambers and business groups will radically enhance the support to UK SMEs in these markets over the next 3-5 years. These markets are Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and Vietnam. In fact, BCCT has been identified as one of the first five priority Britchams to launch this project. Last month BCCT Chairman Simon Landy and I attended a conference in freezing cold London. It was jointly organised by UKTI and British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) – a business network supporting 53 accredited chambers of commerce in UK. BCC has been appointed to oversee the quality of services to be undertaken by the 20 pilot Britchams. It was good to learn that BCCT is widely-respected in UK. However, for BCCT to undertake this project the board is clear that the work undertaken must not adversely affect our day-to-day operations in support of members’ businesses either financially or in terms of human resources. Fundamentally, BCCT involvement in this project is consistent with our mission statement - “To serve the needs and promote the development of British business in Thailand and as ‘Partners in Progress’ contribute directly to Thailand’s economic advancement”. More importantly, it offers BCCT an opportunity to enhance and expand the range of benefits provided to members. One of the key investments will be to move to a new ‘fit-for-purpose’ office. This will offer members expanded ‘hot-desking’ and business support services and a meeting room capable of seating 40-50 people. We can then expand our offer of free office use and free entry boardroom briefings for members focusing on sector specific events and presentations by members to members. These briefings can be transmitted by webinar to members unable to attend and to interested companies in the UK. As I write details are currently being finalised with the board due to consider a revised service agreement letter on 23rd April. If any members would like to know more about this project please feel free to contact me. The Brief
Hague backs British business to lead economic recovery F oreign Secretary William Hague recent addressed members of the British Chambers of Commerce. The speech, at Central Hall in Westminster, explained how the government is equipping and strengthening Britain to succeed in the 21st century. We reprint his speech in full with kind permission of the FCO.
reforms by connecting them and the British people with the fastestgrowing parts of the world: opening new Embassies, striking new relationships beyond our traditional alliances, seeking ambitious Free Trade Agreements that unlock billions of pounds of new commerce.
Sustainable growth will only come from our country expanding its trade with the world, and being a magnet for inward investment from across the globe. Because as the Prime Minister says, we are in a global race for jobs and for wealth.
We have to fight protectionism, we have to press for international regulation that is fair and evenly applied, and we have to tackle immense threats to our competitiveness such as those stemming from cyberspace. In all these areas our diplomats and staff are working as hard to support the British economy, they work as hard to do that as they do to defend Britain’s security in a turbulent world.
It is a great pleasure to be here this morning. I am very grateful to the British Chambers of Commerce for all you do to promote UK business overseas and for your excellent relationship with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Your campaign theme this year is ‘business is good for Britain’. And our Government could not agree more strongly. Business is not only good for Britain, it is part of what makes our country great. And when British companies succeed, Britain prospers. And it will be the enterprise, the ingenuity and the innovation of companies like yours here today that help to power our country out of difficult economic times. Now as a Government we are exerting every sinew at home and abroad to create the conditions for that success. And first and foremost this means, as you know, having the political courage to tackle our country’s problems head-on. That’s the only way to lay the foundations for real growth, not a mirage of growth. That mirage was the idea that growth can be built on consumption fuelled by debt and on government spending built on debt, and together with problems in our financial sector it dragged our country to the brink.
We have to make extra efforts to maintain our prosperity, our standards of living, and sources of jobs for the next generation, and that is the Coalition Government’s defining purpose. The Foreign and Commonwealth is central to this effort. Foreign policy is not something separate to our domestic economic strategy; it is the other side of the same coin. At home, we have to strengthen the ability of UK business to compete by dealing with debts to safeguard low interest rates, rebalance our economy, cut business taxes and burdensome regulation, reform education so we turn out the brightest graduates and school leavers, reform welfare so it pays to work, and implement a modern industrial strategy to get behind the high growth industries of the future. We have to do all of that at home. But overseas, we have to equip business to take full advantage of these
Getting both things right – our strategy at home and our promotion of Britain overseas – is our national challenge. It is hard, there are no shortcuts. But it’s absolutely necessary. Today I want to emphasise five areas where this government is equipping and strengthening Britain to succeed in the 21st century: building stability, increasing UK competitiveness, boosting trade and investment, fighting for a global market that is fair and open, and investing in international security, including for business.” First, ensuring stability is a necessary precondition to growth and competing in the global race. That stability comes from international confidence in our country’s ability to pay its way in the world. We can’t shy away from
Foreign Secretary William Hague delivers his keynote address to members of the British Chambers of Commerce.
the scale of the debt problem facing Britain. The unsustainable build up of debt over the last decade meant that total household, corporate and public sector debt had reached five times the size of the entire economy – the biggest increase in recent times of any major economy in the world.
Second, we need to make Britain fit to thrive in a far more competitive international marketplace. To take just one example, Brazil, Russia, India and China now account for 20 per cent of world economic output. That figure has doubled in ten years, and is still rising.
When this Government came into office, Britain was forecast to have the largest budget deficit of any major economy and the highest outside the circumstances of war. That is why dealing with the deficit is an absolute priority, and in just two years, why we have brought down our deficit by a quarter.”
That is why we have cut small business taxes to encourage future entrepreneurs and support existing companies by reducing the burden of taxation. And so instead of sticking with the plan we inherited to put the small profits rate up to 22 percent, we have cut it to 20 per cent. We’ve cut the main rate of corporation tax from 28 percent to 24 percent, and it is set to fall further to 21 percent in 2014 – the lowest rate of any major western economy.
Of course, the scale of the global economic challenges that we face means that the task is more difficult than we thought. But the Moody’s downgrade was a stark reminder that we have to stay the course. By dealing decisively with our debt problem, we will increase overseas confidence in the UK economy and attract greater foreign investment to our shores.
We’ve reformed the planning system to favour growth and jobs, not delay and objection. We’ve increased annual investment in infrastructure, through year on year increases since
the June 10 budget to £33 billion pounds, so it is now higher than the Labour plans we inherited. We have put a billion pounds into a Business Bank for small and midsized businesses. And, as Foreign Secretary, I see repeatedly in meetings with business communities abroad just how important they are to perceptions of this country as a place to start a business and to invest. That increased competitiveness is shown in the result of the recent KPMG survey, where in just two years the UK has gone from near the bottom to one of the most competitive corporate tax systems in the world; as well as the World Economic Forum competitiveness rankings, where we are up from 12th to 8th since 2010. Third, we need to convert this increased competitiveness into actual results by increasing our exports and overseas trade and taking advantage The Brief
Foreign Secretary William Hague pictured with Prime Minister David Cameron.
of immense opportunities in new markets. Of the US$20 trillion of growth that the IMF forecasts in the world economy over the next five years, almost US$13 trillion will be in emerging markets. And while long term forecasts are often wrong, as we all know, in a generation, China’s middle class is on course to be over three times the size of Western Europe’s and, by 2030, on current trends Central and Latin America’s middle class will be as big as North America’s. There are huge opportunities for British companies to produce the high-tech and luxury goods that these new consumers want to buy. And it’s the job of this Government to help companies do just that. One of my first acts as Foreign Secretary was to simplify dramatically the Foreign Office’s list of objectives. Before it had more than the people who worked at the Foreign Office could remember. We now have just three:
protecting our security, supporting British nationals overseas and promoting our economy. By 2015 we will have opened up to 20 new Embassies, consulates and trade offices, and deployed 300 extra staff in more than 20 countries, particularly in Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa, so that Britain is linked up to the world’s fastest growing economies. And here in London and in all our 250 posts overseas we are focussed relentlessly on supporting jobs and growth alongside all our other responsibilities. I inherited a situation where commercial work was not part of some Embassies’ objectives. Now all Embassies support this work, except in those countries where there are sanctions that prevents such activity. We have increased training in economics and commercial diplomacy for Foreign Office staff, and are using programme fund investments to
build stronger ties with government and societies in emerging markets, so that we strengthen our influence where it really counts. And we are taking a much more coherent and determined strategic approach to Ministerial visits to help expand Britain’s market share. And 22 visits to China and 21 to India in the last twelve months. The Prime Minister led an enormous trade delegation during his recent visit to India.” This changing culture in the Foreign Office is helping to achieve results for British companies. Our engagement with Brazil on the back-to-back London and Rio Olympics, and their hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has already helped UK companies to win Olympics and World Cup contracts worth over £100 million; and successful lobbying from Foreign Office Ministers and officials led to Russia lifting – and I was celebrating this yesterday with the Russian Foreign Minister - a 17-year ban on imports of British beef, lamb and mutton.
Our goods exports to the major emerging economies have also doubled since 2009 and, for the first time since the UK joined the Common Market in the 1970s, we now export more goods to countries outside the European Union than to countries inside it. Our bilateral trade with China is set to double to US$100bn by 2015, and is growing faster than our EU competitors, at 40 per cent a year over the past 2 years. So, we are moving in the right direction on these things, but we have a great deal more to do. We still lag behind European competitors in the market share of exports to emerging markets. In 2010, for example, Germany had five per cent of the Chinese market share compared to our one percent, while for Brazil Germany had seven per cent and the UK two percent. And to close this gap, in the last Budget speech the Chancellor announced the launch of a new £1.5 billion export finance facility to support the purchase of British exports, as well as a 25 per cent increase in funding for UK Trade and Investment. British SMEs are currently less likely to export than their European competitors. Our ambition is to see as many as 100,000 more exporters by the year 2020. But we know that this will not happen unless SMEs have greater support from government, as well as from business organisations. That is why Lord Green is leading a new Chambers Initiative to increase that support significantly in 20 high growth and emerging markets. A stronger domestic network of business support organisations, matched by an effective overseas network working closely with our Embassies, will offer UK business a genuinely attractive mechanism for increasing export led growth in our economy. Fourth, we need to work constantly to ensure an open international environment that supports increased and more transparent trade. This starts in Europe, where we are working hard in the EU to complete the single market, address the crisis in com-
petiveness, and conclude ambitious Free Trade Agreements with the US, Japan, Canada and India that will bring billions of pounds and millions of jobs potentially into the European economy. The Single Market is the core of the EU, but when it remains incomplete in services, energy and digital – the very sectors that are the engines of a modern economy – it is only half the success it could be. So we are pressing for completion of that, as well as urging the EU as a whole to address excessive and unnecessary regulation that holds back innovation. A comprehensive trade agreement between the EU and the US could boost the European economy by more than £75bn, which is more than any of the other trade deals currently underway. The EU and US account for about half of world GDP, and one third of global trade flows already. We are determined to use our Presidency of the G8 this year and our voice in the EU to secure an ambitious deal that will help break down the remaining trade barriers and bring benefits for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as boosting growth around the world. And our diplomatic network will continue to fight other barriers to trade such as corruption, disregard for intellectual property rights, and creeping protectionism, all of which threaten investment. We have to promote a rules-based system so that our companies can compete in foreign markets on an equal basis, and not with one arm tied behind their backs. That is why we are also using our G8 presidency to fight for freer trade, fairer taxes and greater transparency. We want the G8 to accelerate progress on fighting the evasion and aggressive avoidance of taxes that deprives governments of the revenue they need to provide public services, to ensure the rule of law, and stimulate investment and private sector growth. We also want the G8 to agree to ambitious new transparency standards for business, so that all companies play by the same rules.
Fifth and finally, we are investing in international security to help combat threats to security which undermine trade and commerce, including terrorism, piracy and conflict. To take just one important example, only two years ago Somalia appeared locked in a downward spiral of violence and lawlessness, but last year we brought fifty countries together to secure new action on piracy and persuade that country’s political leaders to make progress on the ground. As a result, the number of ship hijackings off the coast of Somalia has halved in the last year, and a second Somalia Conference will be held later this year so that we can ensure that progress continues. Our diplomatic efforts to support a politically open and economically prospering Middle East and North Africa, to head off threats to security – particularly business security - in cyberspace, and to combat terrorism from Asia to the Sahel, all underpin a more secure environment for business and trade. So we are tackling our problems at home and using foreign policy to seek out new economic opportunity for our country. We have all the attributes for success as a nation. The openness, the inventiveness and the daring that is hardwired into us in Britain helps to explain why we are still the sixth largest economy in the world when we only make up one per cent of its population. And as Lord Green often reminds the Government, we export cheese to France, sushi to Japan, caviar to Russia, sand to Saudi Arabia and potato chips to America. Now this requires enormous ingenuity on behalf of British businesses involved. It will be talented and hardworking British people and companies who propel our country towards a prosperous future, and our government – as you can gather from what I have briefly described - will give them every support and assistance. We welcome your ideas: challenge us, criticise us and tell us how we can do more. The Brief
Starting the learning journey at Bangkok Patana School
he first day at school is the start of a journey. For children in Key Stage 1 at Bangkok Patana School, their learning journey starts with discovering who they are, in a learning environment tailored to each child. “Our connected curriculum ensures a progression of skills, but this is driven by their personal interests,” explains Jane Monks, Senior Teacher for the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. “Our educational philosophy in Key Stage 1 means that we strive to know where each child needs to go with their learning, and we take them there through individual goals and targets. We want them to develop an interest and curiosity about learning, an ability to share this enthusiasm with others, and an enjoyment of school. Our founder wanted the school to nurture a lifelong love of learning in our students, and we aim to do that right from the start.” Every parent wants their child to be prepared for the wider world when they leave school. Bangkok Patana School students achieve some of the best exam results in the region, thanks to a British curriculum that incorporates the best practices from around the world – but education is about more than good grades. From the very start of their school experience, even the youngest students at Bangkok Patana are supported to achieve their full potential, whether academically, in the arts, sports, and/or by performing community service. The cultural diversity of the students and staff helps build a caring, supportive environment where everyone’s contribution is valued, and where every child is encouraged to do their best. “My daughters have friends from many nationalities, with different home lives, festivals and religions, and this has really enriched their lives,” said Susanna Dunachie, who has daughters in Years 1 and 4. “I think when they eventually leave the school they will do so with self-confidence, with a rounded, international outlook, and with a feeling that the world is their oyster.” Bangkok Patana School is home to over 2,200 children, catering for students from their first day right through to graduation. Dr Dunachie said that while the size of the school can be daunting at first, this is managed well, with new students paired up with a buddy to help them find their way. The large number of staff means class sizes are small across all Year groups, and that each child benefits from individual attention from teachers and specialists. “Coming from a UK state school, I was surprised at the amount of individual attention given to each child and their parents – the teachers take a real interest and responsibility, and the student to teacher ratio is amazing,” she said. “There is a feeling of space across the whole campus – the school doesn’t feel crowded at all. The facilities are outstanding, with three swimming pools, the drama theatre and the libraries, and they are not just there for show – they are successfully integrated in to the curriculum. The Primary Library, for example, is a happy place to visit; the school’s use of the library and the specialist team has reinforced my daughters’ enthusiasm for and love of reading.” Jane Monks said teachers at the school, the majority of whom are native English speakers, trained in and from the UK, build partnerships with the parents and encourage them to play an active role. “Parents are welcome to help in the classroom, and we run open mornings and learning expos. We also use three-way conferences where the children share their learning with their parents,” she said. “Bangkok Patana School teachers care about children as individual learners, and respect them and their views. We recognise the importance of supporting the child’s selfesteem and well-being to allow them to learn effectively.” 14
www.patana.ac.th |+66 (0) 2398 0200 | email@example.com | 643 LaSalle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangkok
Nurturing young learners to fulfil their individual potential Developing Knowledge and Understanding
t Bangkok Patana we provide the essential rigour of a British curriculum incorporating best practice from other programmes to reflect our international setting. Our aim is to nurture and develop a lifelong love of learning in our young students.
t key points within the Primary School we benchmark ourselves against UK schools using National Curriculum Tests. In 2012 over 96% of our Year 2 students achieved their age-related expectation, or above, compared to 87% in the UK.
e also understand the importance of learning outside the classroom. Extensive opportunities for children to flourish and develop their personal interests are provided through our varied extra-curricular activities programme.
To find out how our child-centred approach to learning and outstanding teaching staff can help your child fulfil their potential from 2 1/2 to 18 years of age, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
www.patana.ac.th |+66 (0) 2398 0200 | 643 LaSalle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangna, Bangkok The Brief
Bangkok Patana is an IB World School accredited by CIS and NEASC
BiSEA delegates meet in Bangkok B
ritish Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent highlighted the importance of the ASEAN region to UK business in a welcome address to delegates attending the 9th BiSEA (Britain in South East Asia) conference in Bangkok.
He said there was a need to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist within the region and he referred to the UKTI project that aims to forge closer collaboration with chambers of commerce and to provide important services to British companies. The meeting was told that the Headstart programme kicked off in October 2012 and more marketing work had been undertaken by Steve Smith, UKTI Southeast Asia and India, since early 2013. The three chambers in the pilot programme consisting of Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, are happy with the initiative but feel that a period of just six months is too short to determine success. UKABC Tom Burden, Executive Director of UKABC gave an overview of the organisation. He explained that the main objective of UKABC is to raise awareness of business opportunities in ASEAN and to provide business networking. In the past year UKABC has engaged with about 550 businesses and has conducted business intelligence briefings for Vietnam, Myanmar/ Burma, Indonesia and Singapore. UKABC has secured support funding from 28 UK businesses but a
Ambassador Mark Kent (centre), flanked by BCCT Chairman Simon Landy (left) and BCCT Executive Director Greg Watkins.
sustainable financial model is yet to be determined. Plans in hand include: - Providing outreach to all regions within the UK - Country specific briefings for all 10 ASEAN countries - Supporting UKTI during high level visits to the UK - Establishing UKABC as a private company UKTI Overseas Network initiative Chris Southworth, Head of the International Chambers of Commerce Unit, gave a presentation on the background of the Overseas Network (ON) initiative. He encouraged chambers to use the â€˜open to exportâ€™ social networking platform and the UKTI webinars. UKTI already has
the licence and the chambers only need to get the appropriate tools such as a web camera. He also encouraged BiSEA members to consider synergies and how the BiSEA network can collaborate in joint delivery of services under the ON project, including joint social networking platform and outreach to UK businesses. Chris Southworth asked BiSEA members for opinions and thoughts about accreditation by the BCC. Most have had no interaction with BCC and hence could not comment on suitability. One concern is that BCC is somewhat inward looking, and may lack international exposure. BCC held its first international conference in London in October 2012. On the positive side it has provided accreditation for chambers in the UK and is an organisation that would most closely understand the workings of chambers.
British Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent highlights the importance of the ASEAN region to UK business.
Membership Brigitte Holtschneider, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, presented the chamber’s membership model with specific focus upon acquiring new members and retention of existing members. The discussion centred upon using groups to engage members beyond events. When a company joins BCCS, it is assigned to a group (maximum three per company).
Delegates heard that in Singapore, for example, a ‘Business Awards’ gala dinner (with support for the first time by the Straits Times), had been very successful. In Cambodia, business breakfasts, topics about ‘women in business’ and Myanmar business opportunities were proving to be popular.
Malaysia had hosted ‘Premier Lunches’ with guest speakers including the Governor of the Negara Bank, David Cameron and Lord Green. The recent visit of the Duke and Duchess of York had created considerable interest.
Jakki Lydall, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam, spoke about events undertaken by the chamber. BiSEA members also discussed what works, and what does not work, in the different countries represented.
Colleagues in Indonesia are staging events for smaller audiences on topics that meet the needs and interests of members, whilst in Thailand the introduction of the Third Thursday networking events have added value to regular membership activities.
Myanmar is sparking major interest across the region. Four of the seven BiSEA chambers present at the meeting had staged events on this subject in the previous 12 months. In Thailand, as BCCT Executive Director Greg Watkins explained, BCCT undertakes work related to Myanmar as a response to demand from its members. BCCT is keen to support the setting up of a British business group in Myanmar but has agreed with British Embassy Rangoon that neither BCCT nor UKTI will establish the group. This must be undertaken by businesses in Myanmar. It was agreed that the BCCT will take a lead on Myanmar on behalf of BiSEA. Sponsorship and Marketing Chris Wren presented on the marketing and sponsorship activities of
BiSEA representatives meet in Bangkok.
BCCI. Major objectives for people that advertise include brand awareness, selling a product/service and philanthropy but he said that few companies now engage in advertising purely for this reason. He added that all companies need some kind of benefits/returns from their advertising investment. In the case of advertising with chambers, some may do it for the purpose of supporting ‘UK Plc’ or the BritCham branding. Communications With social media playing an increasingly influential role in the day-to-day operations of chambers
across the region, Chris Thatcher proposed that these media should be used to communicate with individuals in member companies other than the CEO and other main contacts. Advocacy and Lobbying David Mascenon presented on the work of BCCP. Generally, major firms do not rely upon their local chamber to undertake advocacy work. UKTI is expected to be more focused upon lobbying work with the chambers taking on work to support SMEs. However, it was stressed that UKTI lobbying is only applicable to British businesses.
Child Protection Delegates heard about the work of CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) from Tim Gerrish Head of Training. BCCT’s objective is for BiSEA as an organisation to sign up to the CEOP International Corporate Charter. BCCT signed up to this charter bilaterally in 2011. All BiSEA members were asked to make a proposal to their respective boards. The next BiSEA meeting is scheduled to take place this October in Jakarta, hosted by BCCI.
BiSEA delegates in Bangkok 1. Ambassador Mark Kent, British Embassy, Thailand 2. Chris Southworth, UKTI London 3. Tom Burden, UKTI London / UKABC 4. Bradley Jones, UKTI Bangkok 5. Ben Raby, UKTI Bangkok 6. Chris Wren, Executive Director BCCI 7. Molly Jagpal, Executive Director BMCC
8. Brigitte Holtschneider, Executive Director, BCCS 9. Steve Puckett, Chairman, BCCS 10. Jakki Lydall, Executive Director BBGV 11. Abigail Gilbert, Executive Director, BCCC 12. David Mascenon, Executive Director, BCCP 13. Michael Whiting, Chairman, BCCP 14. Simon Landy, Chairman, BCCT
15. Simon Matthews, Vice Chairman, BCCT 16. Chris Thatcher, Vice Chairman, BCCT 17. Stephen Frost, Director, BCCT 18. Andrew McBean, Director, BCCT 19. Greg Watkins, Executive Director, BCCT 20. Sarinthorn Sachavirawong, Deputy Director, BCCT
Britain in South East Asia (BiSEA) Cambodia British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia c/o Darren Conquest Hong Yang Corporation No. 11 Street 178, Sangkat Psar Thmey 3, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: 855-23-997-492 Fax: 855-23-997-493 Email: executivedirector@ britchamcambodia.org Website: www.britchamcambodia.org Chairman: Darren Conquest Executive Director: Abigail Gilbert
Indonesia British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia Wisma Metropolitan 1, 15th Floor, Jl. Jend, Sudirman Kav 29-31 Jakarta, Indonesia 12920 Tel: 62-21-522-9453 Fax: 62-21-527-9135 Email: email@example.com Website: www.britcham.or.id Chairman: Haslam Preeston Executive Director: Chris Wren
Malaysia British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce E04C1, 4th Floor East Block
Wisma Selangor Dredging 142-B Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 603-2163-1784 /1786 Fax: 603-2163-1781 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bmcc.org.my Chairman: Dato Larry Gan Executive Director: Molly Jagpal
Philippines British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines c/o The British Embassy Manila 120 Upper McKinley Road McKinley hill, Taguig City 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines Tel: 632-858-2255/858-2372/ 858-2373 Fax: 632-858-2390 Email: email@example.com Website: www.bccphil.com Chairman: Michael Whiting Executive Director: David Mascenon
Singapore British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore 138 Cecil Street, #11-01 Cecil Court Singapore 069538 Tel: 65-6222-3552 Fax: 65-6222-3556 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.britcham.org.sg President: Mr. Steve Puckett Executive Director: Brigitte Holtschneider
Thailand British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) 7th Floor, 208 Wireless Road Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel: 66-2651-5350-3 Fax: 66-2651-5354 Email: email@example.com Website: www.bccthai.com Chairman: Simon Landy Executive Director: Greg Watkins
Vietnam British Business Group Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City G/F 25 Le Duan Blvd, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: 84-8-3829-8430 Fax: 84-8-3822-5172 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bbgv.org Hanoi 67 Le Van Huu, Hai Ba Trung Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: 84 4 6674 0945 Chairman: Patrick Regis Executive Director: Jakki Lydall
Early adopters in social media By Bradley Jones
ne of my early jobs in the civil service was as Private Secretary to the Minister for ECommerce and ICT, Stephen Timms. Mr Timms had a background in ICT, having written a paper on the potential for video conferencing way back in 1992, long before the word ‘webinar’ was invented, and a book on the potential for the internet in 1988 long before the word ‘internet’ was invented! He quaintly referred to this strange new beast as an ‘Integrated Services Digital Network’. The issues that Mr Timms had to grapple with as E-Commerce Minister will have a strange resonance to readers of The Brief – addressing fears that online trade will destroy “bricks and mortar shops”, (the evidence suggests otherwise – Tesco Lotus, for example, have just launched their “dotcom” online business in Thailand, while in parallel maintaining an ambitious programme of store openings across the country); rolling out rural broadband to make online access truly socially inclusive; and reassuring consumers that the framework is in place to make online transactions secure and reliable. Despite Mr Timms’ best efforts, it took the British Government some time to shake off the perception that it was lagging behind the private sector in embracing and exploiting new technology.
We are now, however, seen as ‘early adopters’, particularly in the area of social media. The Embassy’s Facebook and Twitter sites have been important channels for communicating messages to UK national travelling in or residing in Thailand. And our Embassy website can easily be found via the recently launched portal through which 20
all UK Government services and information are available: www.gov.uk With regards to trade and investment, we are making more use of peer to peer portals to connect up British and Thai companies. The Open to Export site – www.opentoexport.com – is a new and innovative community service where companies can get the support to take their business overseas. Opentoexport.com aggregates, organises and rates content from service providers and experienced exporters. Companies can ask questions to the export community. This includes government trade officers based in UK embassies and high commissions throughout the world and a range of private sector organisations. By registering on the site companies can access economic and market reports prepared by the British Embassy in Thailand and our colleagues in the UK; get bespoke answers to meet their business needs in new markets; access practical information on all the important export topics from getting started through to cultural essentials; connect and engage with a range of exporters and service providers; and explore the latest international opportunities for their business. I would encourage all BCCT members to register on the site (it’s free!) and respond to relevant enquiries as well as upload content, so that it really can be a community driven site for UK companies seeking to do business overseas. Elsewhere in the Embassy, the busy programme of business support activity continues. In February, Lord Puttnam visited, to support commercial initiatives in the fields of education and the creative industries. In March David Heath, the Minister for Food
and Agriculture, brought a delegation of 32 UK companies to VIV Asia, the largest agribusiness trade fair in Thailand. March also saw the formal launch of the EU-Thailand Free Trade Agreement negotiations, with the detailed talks commencing later this year. We have also been supporting UK companies seeking to bid for some of the work likely to emerge from Thailand’s THB 2.2 trillion infrastructure development programme as well as assisting with the increasing number of enquiries we are getting from UK SMEs seeking to do business here. Next month, Hugo Swire, the Foreign Office Minister who covers South East Asia, will be visiting Bangkok to launch the first ‘Strategic Dialogue’. This idea, first mooted when Prime Ministers Yingluck Shinawatra and David Cameron met in London in November, is intended to look at all of the UK-Thailand bilateral issues in the round – trade, consular, economic, regional, political and cultural – to identify synergies and areas where we can push forward our respective interests and concerns. I will report back on this in the next issue of The Brief.
Bradley Jones is Director – UK Trade & Investment in Thailand, based at the British Embassy, 14 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330. Tel: 02 305 8256 Fax: 02 255 8619 Email: email@example.com www.ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk
Food Minister backs British farm produce B
ritish agri-technology firms are hoping to take advantage of a new trade agreement planned between the EU and Thailand. The agreement, currently being negotiated in Brussels, reflects the growing business relationship between the UK and Thailand and could present UK businesses with better access to food, technology and innovation markets in Asia. Speaking from the Viv Asia agri-technology trade show in Bangkok as the head of a delegation of over 30 UK companies, Food and Farming Minister David Heath said “An EU-Thailand trade agreement presents great opportunities for British businesses to offer the latest technology, innovation and know-how to companies in Thailand and other countries in the region. Thailand and the UK are both food producing and food loving nations. I hope the exchange of ideas here will lead to new, productive collaborations between UK and Thai agri-business companies, as
David Heath, Food and Farming Minister
well as companies from elsewhere in south east Asia.” British companies hoping to increase their trade at the event and open up new export markets included ACMC, who have established pig farms in both Thailand and Cambodia, and veterinary suppliers such as Meriden Animal Health which signed a new distribution contract with Thai company LIC Agrotech Co Ltd at the show.
Chris Jackson from the British Pig Association said, “I’m delighted that the Food and Farming Minister is attending Viv Asia which I feel is the most important event for my industry in the world. I am so pleased that he is supporting the pig industry and advances in genetics which will help to meet the enormous growth in the demand for pork worldwide whilst reducing the environmental impact of increased production. Britain is the world leader in pig genetics and will have a strong presence at the show.” The UK currently exports £80.6m worth of food and drink to Thailand. The British government is keen to help UK businesses wanting to export more abroad and is supporting initiatives such as ‘Open to Export’. This free online forum has been designed for the UK business community to share best practice, knowledge and bespoke advice on exports so they may enter successfully new markets and operate overseas.
Singapore trade mission B
ritCham Singapore has been playing host to members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Trade and Industry. The group’s trade mission to Singapore and Indonesia, accompanied by UK business leaders and education providers, was seeking to strengthen tie with the United Kingdom and to boost British exports. The mission was by Margot James MP and supported by Barclays, Prudential Plc. and the UK ASEAN Business Council (UKABC). It was the occasion in which an All-Party Parliamentary Group has taken a trade mission on a visit to a market in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment
(UKTI). Fifteen British companies from the education and infrastructure sectors took part including Warwickshire College, the University of Reading and Spark Architecture. The Chamber’s sponsors and sterling members met members of the APPG at a lunch held at Raffles Hotel. The group also met key figures from Singapore’s education and business communities. Highlights of the tour included visits to the Institute of Technical Education, Singapore’s largest provider of career and technical education, and the iconic British-designed Gardens by the Bay, one of the largest garden projects in the world.
Margot James MP, head of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Industry The Brief
Inspiring work by British Council T
he increase in opportunities for collaboration in South East Asia as it develops as a strong force for economic and social development has drawn the attention of countries around the world – and the UK is no exception. The ASEAN Economic Community is seen as the main driver behind a wide range of recent Thai government policies. The Thai government has shown strong commitment by supporting human resources development projects in many ways to prepare the country for the integration in 2015. The Thailand English Teaching project is one of the projects aimed at improving Thai students’ English proficiency and continues to receive positive feedback and demand for further expansion. This year, with the assistance of the British government and the British Embassy in Thailand, the British Council and the Ministry of Education Thailand signed an agreement
British Council Regional Director for East Asia, Terry Toney, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Phongthep Thepkanjana, sign the statement of cooperation to continue and expand the Thailand English Teaching project.
on the development of English Language which includes an increased number of young graduates from the UK to Thailand and digital English learning content development such as training for the government’s ‘one tablet per child project.
Teachers from Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar share ideas and learn how to create motivating, inquiry-based scientific lessons.
The statement of cooperation was signed in March 2013 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Phongthep Thepkanjana and British Council Regional Director for East Asia Terry Toney in the presence of the British Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent. The Thailand English Teaching Project 2013 will bring over 300 UK undergraduates and recent graduates to support the teaching and learning of English in Thai schools. The British Council will be recruiting undergraduates and recent graduates from UK Higher Education institutions. Successful applicants will visit Thailand for eight weeks from mid-July to mid-September 2013 to work as English Teaching Assistants in primary and secondary schools, vocational and adult education colleges across Thailand. The project will support the skills development of Thai students who
From left to right: Mark Windale, Principal Lecturer in Science Education and Director of Business Development at the Centre for Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University, Peredur Evans, Director Programmes British Council Thailand, Min Min Aye, Deputy Head of Lower Secondary Division from Myanmar, Dr Nith Bunlay, Cambodia’s Deputy Director General of Directorate General of Higher Education, and Uraiwan Samolee, Head of Business Development (Education) British Council Thailand, at the Inspiring Science – Comprehensive Support for Contemporary Developments in Science Education Workshop.
face the future of an integrated ASEAN and a more internationally competitive world in which English will become a basic skill. For the UK volunteers, the project will help to develop more rounded and employable UK graduates with an international outlook. Besides English teaching the British Council also encourages multilateral skills development among south east Asian nations and acts as a bridge of knowledge exchange between Thailand and the UK. Recently, with support from the British Embassy Bangkok, the British Council hosted a three-day ‘Inspiring Science – Comprehensive Support for Contemporary Developments in Science Education Workshop’ for secondary science teachers and related government officials from ASEAN nations (Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand), to exchange knowledge and ideas on designing innovative science materials. The workshop was run by Mark Windale, Principal Lecturer in Science Education and Director of Business Development at the Centre for Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University. To prepare for ASEAN integration, this workshop was the first of its kind in providing an opportunity for
ASEAN members to share ideas on creating inquiry-based approaches which will help to develop the critical and creative thinking of students and therefore begin the first step of education reform. The same approach of Inspiring Science has already been introduced, successfully, in lower secondary schools in Thailand over the last two years by the British Council and the Thailand Ministry of Education with support from BG Thailand.
The British Council has been entrusted by Thai government bodies to provide support in enhancing Thai skills to meet the economic challenge. Meanwhile, we are a main contributor to showcase UK excellence and persuade Thai students to study in the UK, spreading the reputation of the UK as the role model for education, creativity, entrepreneurship, science and technology, law and partnerships for the sustainable development of society.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Phongthep Thepkanjana (second right), shakes hands with British Council Regional Director for East Asia, Terry Toney, in the presence of the British Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent, after signing the agreement on the development of English language in Thailand to bring over 300 young British volunteers to teach in Thai schools nationwide.
UKTI opens office in Cambodia By Jeffrey Lamb
aving recently taken up my role as Head of UK Trade & Investment Cambodia, a newly established office, I thought it may be useful to introduce myself and our services to British companies operating in the region. I also want to take this opportunity to provide an economic outlook on the Cambodian economy, provide some insight on British companies and brands active in Cambodia, and explain what the UK government is doing to strengthen and diversify bilateral trade relations. Economic Outlook Cambodia has one of the most open economies in the region. Over the last 15 years the government has transformed the country into a marketoriented economy by implementing business and investment friendly policies that have attracted a significant amount of foreign investment. These policies include the allowance of 100 percent foreign ownership of companies and attractive tax incentives for qualified investment projects. These policies have helped Cambodia attain one of the highest growth rates in Asia over the last decade. In fact, in 2012 the Cambodian economy posted a 7.3 percent growth rate and is expected to yield between 7-8 percent in 2013. Cambodiaâ€™s economic growth is driven by four main pillars namely agriculture, industry, tourism and construction. However, many foreign investors have found success in niche areas. So while it is clear that Cambodiaâ€™s long-term prospect for growth is promising what is not as clear is 24
where the opportunities will exist and how to capitalise upon them. Challenges We hear many positive reasons why British investors come here but there are also challenges as, relative to other countries in the region, Cambodia is still in an early stage of development. The private sector most commonly cites the need to improve rule of law and infrastructure, reduce energy costs, tackle corruption and build skills capacity in the local labour market.
UK - Cambodia bilateral trade Trade between the UK and Cambodia has been growing year on year, even during the global economic downturn. Total bilateral trade in goods (not including services) reached USD 750 million, an increase of approximately 20 percent over 2011. However, only USD 16 million of this trade value was from UK exporters, though we would expect a higher figure if services were in measured and included. Cambodiaâ€™s major exports to the UK in 2012 were garments, footwear,
sugar and cereal. The UK’s major exports to Cambodia were vehicles, textile yarn and fabric, machinery, medical and pharmaceutical products.
• improve marketing and communication strategies • open doors that would otherwise be closed
There are approximately 30 British companies operating in Cambodia, working in a range of sectors of which three have major garment manufacturing facilities that employ thousands of people between them. There are also multi-million dollar agricultural projects, world leading financial services companies, security services, consultants and construction services.
Additionally we have just launched our UKTI Cambodia Strategic Partners Programme which is aimed at assisting and supporting UK companies that are locally or regionally established.
In the last three months, Marks and Spencer, Prudential and Costa Coffee have launched services or have begun operations in Cambodia. Most recently, British company Brunty’s Premium Cider has begun production of premium bottled cider in Phnom Penh with the goal of exporting it across Asia. As they have already secured an exclusive partner for Thailand it should not be long before you can buy Brunty’s from your neighbourhood store or restaurant.
As we celebrate 60 years of having an Embassy in Cambodia this year we are more committed than ever to being Cambodia’s partner in mutual prosperity. UK registered companies interested in doing business Cambodia are invited to contact me to discuss your ideas, plans and goals via details below
UK and Cambodia: Partners in Prosperity As Prime Minister David Cameron has put trade at the heart of our country’s economic growth we have taken several significant steps to promote UK trade in Cambodia, including the establishment of the UKTI Cambodia office, the appointment of an Embassy-based Prosperity Officer and the appointment of Lord Puttnam as Trade Envoy to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Jeffrey Lamb is Head of UK Trade & Investment Cambodia British Embassy, Phnom Penh T +855 (0)17 333 469 Jeffrey.Lamb@fco.gov.uk
UKTI Cambodia services for UK companies The opening of new offices and expansion into Cambodia by British companies is a reflection of the rise of importance and attractiveness of the Cambodian market. We believe that these are early days for British companies in Cambodia and that there will be a significantly increased number of companies exploring and entering this market. The UKTI Cambodia office is available to help UK companies with a range of services. However we find that most of our work falls into helping companies to: • understand how to do business in Cambodia • identify opportunities and the competitive landscape • identify potential customers and business partners • raise their profile and credibility • overcome barriers to entry or expansion
BCCT Chairman briefs British business leaders BCCT Chairman Simon Landy and Thailand’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Pasan Teparak held a public policy briefing for British business leaders at Asia House, London on 13 March, hosted by Asia House Deputy Chairman Vahid Alaghband. During the same trip, the Chairman also addressed business leaders on Thailand and Myanmar at British Expertise and attended the British Chambers of Commerce and UKTI Conferences with Executive Director Greg Watkins.
UK Budget Statement W
e reproduce, courtesy of the British Embassy in Bangkok, the official summary of Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget Statement to Parliament on March 20th. It was described as a ‘fiscallyneutral budget which aims to build recovery based on fiscal responsibility, monetary activism and supply side reform’. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revised down its forecasts of near-term GDP growth, to 0.6 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2014, reflecting smaller expected contributions from net trade, domestic consumption and business investment. At the time of Autumn Statement in December, the OBR predicted the UK economy would grow by 1.2 percent this year and 2.0 percent in 2014. However, the OBR now believes the near-term prospects for the UK’s export markets are weaker than previously thought: it has revised down its forecasts of both world and euro area GDP over the next two years, predicting eurozone GDP will contract by 0.5 percent this year. Consumption is expected to be constrained by more sluggish growth in households’ disposable incomes, while upward revisions to estimates of business investment in previous years have reduced the scope for further growth in this component of UK GDP. The OBR’s forecasts of GDP growth beyond 2014 remain unchanged from the time of the Autumn Statement (2.3% in 2015; 2.7% in 2016; and 2.8% in 2017). Deficit reduction
The OBR judges that it is still, more likely than not, that the government will meet its fiscal mandate but its prediction of when UK public sector net debt (PSND) will be falling as a percentage of GDP (the ‘supplementary target’) was extended by a further year.
Chancellor George Osborne pictured outside 11 Downing Street.
The government’s target to balance the cyclically-adjusted current budget by the end of a rolling fiveyear period is in fact expected to be achieved one year early, rising to +0.1 percent of GDP in 2016-17 from a deficit of -4.0 percent in 2012/13.
However, the MPC has now also been tasked with assessing how intermediate thresholds designed to influence expectations of future interest rates – similar to steps announced by the US Federal Reserve over the last year - could operate in the UK.
The OBR now expects PSND will peak at 85.6 percent of GDP in 201617, up from 75.9 percent in 2012/13, before falling back thereafter – missing by two years the government’s initial target for this ratio to be falling by 2015-16. The OBR has revised up its forecasts of the UK’s debt-toGDP ratio in each year of the forecast period, partly reflecting its lower expectations of nominal GDP.
The MPC will report on this issue in its August 2013 Inflation Report. The Chancellor also confirmed that the Asset Purchase Facility will remain in place for the next financial year. Moreover, HMT and the Bank of England will consider possible extensions to the Funding for Lending scheme.
Monetary Policy The Government announced small changes to the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) remit – including possible scope to issue ‘Fed-style’ forward guidance on inflation targeting - and confirmed the continuity of credit easing measures. Following a review of the Monetary Policy Framework, the Government decided to retain flexible inflation targeting and reaffirmed the Bank of England’s 2 percent target.
Policy announcements 1) Taxation. Reduction in the main rate of corporation tax by an additional one percent to 20 percent by April 2015 (currently 24%), the joint lowest in the G20. This will be offset by an increase in the Bank Levy to 0.142 percent • Simplifying the corporation tax system to a single rate • Boosting innovation by increasing R & D tax credits and reducing corporation tax rate on profits from patents to 10 percent
2) Infrastructure. • Plans to increase spending on infrastructure by £3bn p.a. by 2015, paid for by savings in the public sector. Further details will be set out in June’s Spending Review • Implement Lord Heseltine’s recommendations including the creation of a single local growth fund, which will attract and boost international investment • £1.6bn to support investment in 11 key sectors through BIS’s industrial strategies • Investing £5.4bn in new housing schemes to encourage buyers and increase access to mortgages, and fuel the UK’s construction sector 3) Energy. • To take forward two Carbon Capture Storage projects to the detailing planning and design stage. This represents the next step in the £1 billion CCS commercialisation programme • Climate change levy (CCL) will increase in line with inflation from
1 April 2014. After consultation with industry, some sectors will be excluded, particularly metallurgical and mineralogical processes • There will be increased investment in shale gas throughout its early development phase including a new field allowance and extending the Ring Fence Expenditure Supplement from 6 to 10 years. There will also be a greater focus on establishing the industry, including planning, infrastructure, regulation and environmental issues 4) Tax avoidance. • Secondary legislation (in addition to that of 2011) will be introduced to clamp down on avoidance schemes which will raise over £4.6bn in additional revenue. These reforms will simplify the rules and reduce administrative burdens for exempt investors • This will include legislation to implement the UK-US Agreement to Improve International Tax Compliance and to Implement FATCA
(Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). The Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey have agreed to enter into similar automatic exchange agreements with the UK • The Government will consult on strengthening obligations to ensure the correct income tax and NICs are paid by offshore employment intermediaries 5) Government spending. • Government departments have an underspend of £11bn this fy. This will offset a one percent reduction in departmental spending for the next two years. Schools, the NHS and policing budgets will not be affected by this. Public sector pay rises will be limited to one percent • Spending on international development will remain at 0.7 percent of GDP • 2015-2016 Public Spending Round to be announced in June is expected to save £11.5 bn More details: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2013.htm
Top business tips from Patricia T
o celebrate International Women’s Day Patricia Freshwater, Commercial Director of Global Flood Defence Systems (GFDS), shared her insights as a woman doing business with Asian markets. The speed of our market entry into the ASEAN market has taken us all by surprise: but then, we do have an extraordinary product that is in demand these unusual times. Flooding is an increasing global phenomenon and it seems that hardly a week goes by without another catastrophic event occurring somewhere around the world. Our phones do not stop ringing at all times of the day and night as distressed individuals and companies reach out to try to find long term solutions to this harrowing problem. As appalling floods engulfed parts of Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in June and July 2011, our products were suddenly in high demand and potential distributors were knocking at our door. It was clear that we needed a robust international business development strategy to meet this demand. I strongly felt that alongside our core product offering, we would also need to articulate our values as an organisation, since these would be pivotal in helping us to achieve international success: Trust, Integrity, Passion, Innovation. As a woman doing business in overseas markets, I find talking about these values extremely easy
and they work well in the early stages of discussion with all potential new clients. They are effective in building rapport and helping to break through international communication barriers as these beliefs are a universal currency. My top tips for doing business in Asia: • To build a successful Asian business, you need to be able to spend as much time as you can with your partners and get on their wavelength – don’t be surprised if the first hour of your meeting is taken up by personal chat before you start talking business • Always respect any cultural differences and traditions. For example, ensure you dress appropriately (particularly if you are a woman) for your meeting and in accordance with the cultural norms there, this will help you gain respect quickly especially in the sector I operate in • Food is enormously important, so forget your diet and don’t be afraid to eat everything that is placed before you – it is an honour to sit at the table and a privilege to share in the gastronomy of other cultures • Family is important and you will need to develop a really good understanding of the social and
familial hierarchy within the organisation • Make sure you speak slowly and clearly at all times and never assume that just because you have finished speaking, everything has been totally understood • SE Asian cultures are so polite and your behaviours will need to mirror and match those of the people around you. Keep good eye contact and don’t forget to smile on every occasion possible • I try to learn a few words in the language of each market I go into. People really appreciate the effort and might laugh at your mispronunciation – but that is how you make friends and build the business relationship • Most of all - have fun You can access the Global Flood Defence Systems full case study on the UKTI website: http:// www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/ successStory/374300.html
BOI machinery industry overview F
or the past quarter century the economy of Thailand has experienced tremendous growth and diversification. The country has become more “international” and now finds itself being mentioned consistently in world rankings that cover sectors such as tourism, agricultural output, foreign investment, and auto manufacturing. Thailand is a global player that possesses economic weight and has positioned itself to lead ASEAN to the next level of regional integration. Yet it must be pointed out that Thailand’s transformation has been driven and sustained by the utilization of industrial machinery whether in the rice fields, in factories, or in high-rise office buildings. The country’s machinery and metalworking sector currently employs a labour force of around 400,000 people and comprises approximately 50,000 enterprises. Today, Thailand is a global leader in machinery and there are numerous opportunities to invest in this industry. As the country continues to modernize Thai industry has progressed forward in order to keep pace with economic expansion, but it is still dependent upon the importation of foreign industrial machinery for the immediate future. Yet there exists high demand for farm and food processing machinery, alternative energy usage/energy conservation equipment, textile machinery, automotive machinery, and moulds and dies. While Thailand is certainly a large producer of agricultural goods, it also has shifted to being a producer of packaged and processed foods. Due to this change, there are ample opportunities available for both local and foreign investors/ businesses in the manufacturing of a number of different types of agro-machinery. For instance, there is a high demand for drying, cooling and purifying machines; fruit, vegetable and cereal processing machines; and for animal feeding. 30
Presently, there are more than 10,000 food-processing companies that have created a soaring need for packaging machinery, like filling, closing, sealing, wrapping and labeling machines. Furthermore, the Government of Thailand recently has placed more importance on both alternative energy usage and energy conservation, thereby opening additional investment opportunities in this area. Nonetheless, Thailand is still dependent on a number of types of imported machinery, such as textile machinery for bleaching, dyeing, printing, and finishing. Additionally, machinery is needed not only by the burgeoning Thai recycling business and well-established metal industry sectors, but also for the assembly of electrical control systems and large plastic injectors. Similarly, CNC (computer numerical control) machines for metal works are in demand for high precision machining processes, namely cutting, milling, turning, grooving, shaving, grinding, polishing, and threading. As such, further investment opportunities exist in standard production machinery like packaging and test and control equipment. Thailand’s manufacturing base is widening and deepening
thereby necessitating the proper machinery, whether imported or locally produced, to maintain the country’s economy on an upward trajectory. With this in mind, the manufacture of agro-machinery, alternative energy usage/energy conservation machinery, mould and die machinery are regarded as priority activities by the Board of Investment and thus eligible for promotion. Under the privileges, investors and businesses will enjoy exemptions of machinery import duties and an 8-year corporate income tax holiday. The food industry is among Thailand’s most important economic engines. Its commercial earnings of US$32 billion in 2011, positions the Kingdom as the largest exporter of food products in the Asia-Pacific region but ranks 7th in the world. The main strengths of Thai agriculture lie in the country’s climate, abundance of natural resources, land availability and farming traditions. It must be highlighted that agriculture now absorbs less than half of Thailand’s labour pool, compared to 80% in the early 1960s and 70% as recently as the 1980s. Just as in its drive to transition to a knowledge-based economy, the country is ever more turning to innovation and technology to increase yields and production. Now, Thailand increasingly depends on high-quality machinery to meet food safety standards required by major markets like the European Union, Japan and the United States. Every year, food processing and packaging machinery valued at approximately Bt62.17 billion is imported. Of particular importance is how the overall value of Thai agriculture to the
believe the sector has strong potential to grow at close to 10% annually in the near term. Major suppliers have maintained their shares of the imported food processing and packaging market. Nowadays imports from China dominate the low-end segment with a 19% share of the market. For the upper-end of the market, where U.S. imports are competitive, imports from Japan have the largest share at 16%, with imports from Germany, considered to have the best quality, being second with a 9% market share. Interestingly, the most imported food processing and packaging machinery by value was equipment for filling, closing, sealing, encasing or labeling bottles with over Bt4.26 billion worth entering Thailand in 2010. And on a related note, Bt15.22 billion (US$486.63 million) was spent in 2012 on importing machinery into Thailand for the packaging of agricultural products, and Bt1.18 billion (US$37.42 million) was spent on machinery for the preparation of meat and poultry.
national economy has been further enhanced by the emergent investments in the food processing industry. It is estimated that Thailand has more than 10,000 food processing enterprises, both local and foreign firms. Some of these major companies are Nestle, Saha Pathana Inter Holding, Patum Rice Mill & Granary, Royal Friesland Foods NV, Unilever, Thai Union, Dole Thailand, Charoen Pokphand Group, Betagro, Saha Farms, Thai Beverage, Kellogg’s, Kraft, PepsiCo, Del Monte, Procter & Gamble, Ajinomoto, and Effem Foods. With the inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community scheduled for the 31st of December 2015, the food processing sector of Thailand will experience undoubtedly both an infusion of investment capital and a boom in plant construction/ expansion once a more integrated Southeast Asian market emerges. As a result, the industry’s potential to undergo enlargement promises ris-
ing demand for food processing and packaging technologies and equipment. Moreover, the export-oriented nature of the sector requires a constant improvement in the capability and technology utilization of Thailand’s food industry (production/processing/packaging) to meet international quality standards, food safety, and R&D requirements. Definitely, the trend towards globally recognized industry benchmarks offers good potential for US exports of food processing and packaging equipment, specifically ones with technologies that fulfill local requirements at a competitive price. Furthermore, the export value of food products from Thailand grew 20% in 2011, while imports of food processing and packaging machinery grew nearly 8%. Industry experts foresee additional increases in demand for food processing and packaging machinery. They
Previously mentioned, Thailand’s machinery and metalworking sectors currently comprise approximately 50,000 enterprises. A majority of these businesses fit the category of Thai-owned small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that not only produce basic machinery and parts, but also provide simple metalworking services. The domestic high-end machinery and parts market is limited to a small number of large enterprises that are foreignowned – Japan having the biggest presence – and mostly promoted by Thailand’s Board of Investment. Machinery and parts currently rank in Thailand’s top 5 most imported goods with Bt605 billion worth imported in 2011. Meanwhile, electrical machines and accessories, having individual functions, were the leading products with an imported value of Bt45.05 billion in 2010. Accordingly, opportunities exist for suppliers to capitalize on this growing demand for more sophisticated machinery by providing domestic downstream industries with a local source. In fact, Thailand’s world-class downstream manufacturing base has boostThe Brief
billion (US$87.6 million) on a melting shop to support its long products rolling operations with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year.
ed imports of industrial machinery while the Thai industrial machinery sector itself has rapidly developed as an exporter. For instance, imports in 2010 totaled Bt366 billion. The major imported product categories were electrical machinery and accessories and air or vacuum pumps, gas compressors and fans. Thailand’s exports of industrial machinery, on the other hand, totaled Bt346 billion. The main exports of industrial machinery were printing machinery and printing type blocks. And finally, growth in Thailand’s automotive and E&E (electrical and electronics) industries is expected to fuel demand for modern machine tools. Automotive and auto parts firms are the biggest buyers of machine tools, purchasing 35% from the domestic market. The supporting metalworking industry follows with 27% while the E&E industry buys 14%. With a limited number of domestic enterprises specializing in the manufacture of machine tools, most of the demand is currently met by imports that totaled Bt63 billion in 2010. Regarding the steel industry, 14.96 million tonnes of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products were imported into Thailand in 2011. Also, that same year 6.59 million tonnes of high-grade steel products were purchased from overseas like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, European Union and the United States, which equated to 45% of overall steel demand. However, there was intense competition from Chinese steel products as imports rose from 0.65 million tonnes in 2009 to 1.9 million tonnes in 2011. And yet, that same year Thailand exported 0.73 million tonnes of steel products with 53% of total exports destined for ASEAN markets. New major investments have originated from local sources and overseas enterprises. For example, in 2010 Mill Con Steel Industries invested Bt2.9 billion (US$87.6 million) on a melting shop to support its long products rolling operations with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year. Then in 2011 JFE Steel Corporation from Japan established a subsidiary in Thailand, JFE Steel 32
Then in 2011 JFE Steel Corporation from Japan established a subsidiary in Thailand, JFE Steel Galvanizing Ltd., to produce high end hot-dip galvanized steel sheet with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes per year to serve the Thai automotive sector.
Galvanizing Ltd., to produce high end hot-dip galvanized steel sheet with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes per year to serve the Thai automotive sector. Later in 2012 Nippon Steel Corporation invested Bt9.32 billion (US$300 million) to set up a subsidiary in Thailand, Nippon Steel Galvanizing Company, Ltd., and built a steel galvanizing production line. The main purpose of this mill is to supply hot-dip galvanized steel sheets for Thai automakers. Moreover, Tycoons Worldwide Group of Taiwan that same year announced that the company would invest about Bt1.76 billion (US$57 million) to build an electric furnace at its Thailand mill. The expected annual capacity of this new billet production line is 500,000 tonnes per year. Regarding the steel industry, 14.96 million tonnes of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products were imported into Thailand in 2011. Also, that same year 6.59 million tonnes of high-grade steel products were purchased from overseas like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, European Union and the United States, which equated to 45% of overall steel demand. However, there was intense competition from Chinese steel products as imports rose from 0.65 million tonnes in 2009 to 1.9 million tonnes in 2011. And yet, that same year Thailand exported 0.73 million tonnes of steel products with 53% of total exports destined for ASEAN markets. New major investments have originated from local sources and overseas enterprises. For example, in 2010 Mill Con Steel Industries invested Bt2.9
Later in 2012 Nippon Steel Corporation invested Bt9.32 billion (US$300 million) to set up a subsidiary in Thailand, Nippon Steel Galvanizing Company, Ltd., and built a steel galvanizing production line. The main purpose of this mill is to supply hot-dip galvanized steel sheets for Thai automakers. Moreover, Tycoons Worldwide Group of Taiwan that same year announced that the company would invest about Bt1.76 billion (US$57 million) to build an electric furnace at its Thailand mill. The expected annual capacity of this new billet production line is 500,000 tonnes per year. As the Kingdom transitions into a knowledge based economy and its world-class industries, including its automotive, electronics, and food processing sectors, continue to evolve and expand, machinery and metalworking equipment in Thailand is in great demand. Consequently, imports of machinery and parts have risen dramatically. This heavy reliance on imported industrial machinery provides ample opportunity for suppliers in the production of agro-machinery, food processing and packaging machinery, alternative energy usage/energy conservation equipment, textile machinery, automotive machinery, construction equipment, moulds and dies, and standard machine tools. In fact, the BOI today provides a number of investment incentives to companies involved in the creation of products that are essential for the ongoing growth and advancement of the Thai economy. Enterprises classified by the BOI as “priority activities” are granted an 8-year corporate income tax holiday and exemption from import duties, regardless of location. These “priority activities” include the manufacture of:
• Farming and food processing machinery • Moulds and dies • Jigs and fixtures • Industrial machinery • Sintered metal products Equally important, the Government of Thailand is aware of the need to support the continued maturation of the machinery and metalworking industries, as well as the technological capabilities of its workforce. Indeed, in Thailand there are several institutions that offer many resources for research and development (R&D), technical training and industrial organization (see list below). • Thai-German Institute (TGI) • National Metal and Materials Center (MTEC) • Bureau of Supporting Industries Development (BSID) • Metal-Working and Machinery (MIDI) • Thai Tool and Die Industry Association (TDIA) • Thailand’s Institute of Scientific and Technology Research • Thailand-Japan Technology Promotion Association (TITPA) • Metals and Materials Research Center – Kasetsart University Thailand is growing moving away from its erstwhile dependency on low cost competitive labour. The growing sophistication and expansion of Thai manufacturing, along with the planned upgrades in the infrastructure of the country, have propelled demand for machinery and metalworking. This hardware need is often exclusively for products manufactured to meet the quantity and quality standards set by multinational corporations. Only a small number of companies in Thailand’s industrial sector currently possess these capabilities and for the moment the majority of equipment orders are met by imports, which totaled more than Bt373.02 billion in 2007. Firms in Thailand would prefer local sources to meet this demand so an excellent investment opportunity is to be found in the Thai machinery and metalworking industries.
BOI changes on hold By Stephen Frost
n our last article we summarised the changes intended to be implemented under the Board of Investment’s draft strategic development plan for the next five years. The changes proposed included a significant reduction in the categories of business eligible for promotion, abolition of zoning in favour of clustering, and outline proposals for outbound investment promotion. These were all discussed in greater detail in our previous article. On 14 March 2013, the BOI announced that the launch of the fiveyear strategic plan had been postponed indefinitely, citing the need for further consultation with relevant government agencies. The previous proposals were wide ranging in nature, and were presented as part of Thailand’s desire
to encourage inbound investment in high-tech and ‘green’ manufacturing, but coupled with abolition of eligibility for promotion of many categories of manufacturing deemed no longer to be environmentally acceptable. In our opinion, the withdrawal of the proposals for further discussions to take place is welcome, and one hopes that the Government will also seek the views of stakeholders, particularly Thai and foreign manufacturers, and the chambers of commerce and embassies that represent them.
Bangkok International Associates is a general corporate and commercial law firm. For further information on our services, please email Stephen Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (66) 2 231 6201/ 6455.
EU to certify GI protection for Thai jasmine rice T hai jasmine rice, also known as Khao Hom Mali Thung Kula Ronghai will become the first product in Southeast Asia to be registered under the European Union’s Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) scheme.
PGI covers agricultural products and foodstuffs closely linked to the geographical area. At least one of the stages of production, processing, or preparation has to take place in the area. Thailand submitted its application for the scheme in 2008. It has spent almost five years campaigning in order
to win the PGI recognition. Two more Thai products are seeking PGI certification from the European Union. They are Doi Chang and Doi Tung coffee varieties grown in the northern province of Chiang Rai. If there are no objections, these two products are likely to be registered on the PGI list within the next six months. The Department of Intellectual Property also plans to apply with the European Union for geographical indication protection for Sang Yot rice from the southern province of Phatthalung. The Brief
Practical tips on noncompetition clauses under Thai law By Suriyong Tungsuwan and Nam-Ake Lekfuangfu
hen an employer hires employees, it may seem that the only thing the employees get in return for their work is remuneration, while, in fact, the employer also makes substantial investment in, and contribution to, the employees by other means. The employer, among other things, may provide training to equip the employees with necessary skills and expertise, valuable business information or even access to its highlyvalued confidential information and trade secrets. Consequently if after the employees’ employment ceases he or she immediately starts working for a competitor, the knowledge acquired during their employment becomes a risk to the former employer and could cause serious and possibly irreversible damage. Thus, the concept of non-competition clauses has been introduced. Such clauses are now commonly used by employers in most jurisdictions to safeguard their corporate interests and minimise risk of damage resulting from employees’ utilising insider knowledge when they leave the company. Thai law is reticent when it comes to non-competition clauses. In this regard it does not prohibit the parties from entering into a non-competition agreement, nor does it prescribe any specific terms and conditions
for such an agreement. Rather, as a matter of freedom of contracts, it remains up to the parties to agree on the terms and conditions as they deem appropriate. Having said that, the employer should first consider whether the non-competition clause, especially one which imposes post-employment restrictions, is necessary for all levels of employees. Post-employment restrictions are unlikely to serve any significant purpose if imposed on employees whose position in the company does not provide access to the employer’s trade secrets or confidential information. On the other hand, restrictions will make a lot of sense when applied to employees further up the management chain. That is, the more senior an employee, the more justification for such restrictions. In terms of human resource management, a non-competition agreement (and other post-employment restrictions) as separate from an employment agreement may be worth consideration for certain employees. Despite the clause being restrictive of an employee’s freedom of employment the Thai Labour Court has consistently held that such a clause is enforceable under Thai law. However, the Court has not always upheld the full effect of the clause.
The Unfair Contract Term Act B.E. 2540 (1997) states that “the terms restricting the right or freedom in professing an occupation or restricting the performance of an action relating to the business, trading or professional operation which are not void but are terms that cause the restricted party to assume more burden than that could have been anticipated under normal circumstances shall be enforceable only to the extent that they are fair and reasonable according to such circumstance.” The court is, therefore, authorised to use its discretion to rule on the reasonableness of such a clause. In determining the reasonableness of a non-competition clause, the court would normally take into account the following key factors: • geographical scope of restriction • period of restriction • ability and opportunity of the restricted party to perform other alternative work or with other persons • other legitimate interests of the parties It must be proven to the Court that the agreement is relevant and necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interests. Its scope should be limited only to the businesses that are in competition with those of the employer. Based on past Supreme Court rulings, a period of two years or less after the cessation of employment is likely to be
considered a reasonable length of time to restrict an employee from working for the employer’s competitors. Another key element to consider is the geographical scope of the agreement. The geographical area of a non-competition clause should be limited to the extent of the employer’s operations. Specifying the names of restricted countries or competitors may increase the chance that the Court will view the clause as sufficiently limited and therefore fair and enforceable. In some cases, consideration should be given to the nationality of the employee when determining the geographical scope of the clause. In case of breach of the non-competition clause, as with all claims of a breach of an agreement, the employer must prove among other things the existence and quantity of damages incurred as a result of the employee’s breach. That is, the employer must establish a causal link between the damage and the breach, and the employer must be able to quantify the amount of damage suffered because of such breach. If the employer fails to establish both, the Court will not award damages to the employer, even if it agrees that
the employee has breached the noncompetition clause. Nonetheless, the Court is prepared to consider an agreed contractual penalty. If the parties have specified in the agreement the amount of penalty the employee will pay to the employer in case of breach of the agreement, then such amount will be considered a contractual penalty. In this regard, if the Court finds that the employee has indeed breached the non-competition provision, the Court will still have to award the agreed-upon penalty to the employer. The court is empowered to adjust the amount of penalty as appropriate based on whether the employer can prove the basis of such penalty. Accordingly, it is advisable that the employer specify the precise amount of penalty that the employee agrees to pay to the employer if in breach of the non-competition clause. Therefore, if the employer is concerned that its interests may be jeopardised by its particular employees’ potentially working for a competitor, it should consider entering into a non-competition agreement with such employees as a preventive measure by taking into account the factors discussed above. Still, there are
still many challenges associated with effectively enforcing the clause in practice. For example, if the employee does breach the clause, the most effective way for the employer to remedy such breach will be to immediately cease the employee’s action. Unfortunately, the Court has so far been reluctant to issue an injunction order to protect the employer in such a case. Accordingly, a company will need to bear in mind this obstacle and other practical difficulties in effectively enforcing the non-competition clause in Thailand.
Suriyong Tungsuwan, Partner, Tel: +66 2636 2000 Email: suriyong.tungsuwan@ bakermckenzie.com Nam-Ake Lekfuangfu, Associate, Tel: +66 2636 2000 Email: nam-ake.lekfuangfu@ bakermckenzie.com
Proposed Europe-Thailand free trade agreement:
IP and Pharmaceuticals By James Evans
he European Union (EU) has begun free trade agreement (FTA) talks with Thailand. Thailand exports more goods to Europe than any other region or country in the world, with over 85 percent being machinery, manufactured goods and food. In terms of imported goods into Thailand, the EU stands in third behind Japan and China, with these imports focusing heavily on machinery, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. This existing large volume of trade has the potential to grow exponentially in the future, particularly with the increasingly free movement of goods, services, capital, and people in ASEAN from 2015 onward. Given the timing, this FTA could set Thailand up to be the major import hub for European goods and investment in the ASEAN region. Intellectual property (IP) will feature prominently in the EU’s agenda. Only with a secure IP system can foreign direct investment reach its full potential. It is no secret that Thailand is one of the nations, along with China, that has not had a perfect track record when it comes to IP protection and enforcement. The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has shown a strong commitment to improve the situation—for example, through the forthcoming Madrid Protocol accession enabling use of the international system of trademark registration, ex officio seizure of goods by Customs, the growing number of raids by the DIP and police, and the increase in IP criminal matters being prosecuted at court. However, there remain several shortcomings in the IP system, and the EU may seek some commitments from Thailand to improve them.
Pharmaceutical patent registration The main problem experienced by European pharmaceutical companies is that the patent registration process simply takes far too long. In some cases it can take 12–14 years for applications to be granted. The DIP is well aware of this problem and has prepared draft patent examination guidelines for pharmaceutical and chemical patents, although it is not currently clear when these guidelines will come into effect. In reviewing the draft guidelines, European industry has expressed concerns that they do not presently provide sufficient clarity or consistency in their wording or implementation. For example, when it comes to inventiveness requirements for different types of pharmaceutical patents, there is an inconsistency of terminology. For formulation patents, increased effectiveness appears to be a requirement, but then for combinations, the effectiveness requirement is dropped in favor of the “surprising effect” requirement. This is seen again when we come to polymorphs, where “obviousness” and “unexpected result” appear to be the key test, but not increased effectiveness. Then, for
salts, ethers, or esters it is not clear whether there is an effectiveness requirement; the guidelines state that if “such monomer does not have an objective to improve therapeutic effect, official(s) may request the claimer to provide related additional pharmaceutical testing results if the consideration cannot be concluded from existing documents.” For isomers, again, it is not clear whether increased effectiveness is a requirement because in some examples “surprising effect” is sufficient, whereas in others “improvement in therapeutic effect” is cited as evidence of inventiveness. NGOs and access to medicine There have been some statements made by various NGOs that are attempting to alert citizens that an FTA could have a negative effect on access to medicine in Thailand. In evaluating this claim, it is crucial to distinguish between the separate issues of patentability and access to medicine. Thai citizens need to be made aware that the patentability test actually ensures that only drugs that are genuinely new and inventive are awarded a monopoly, in compliance with the TRIPS agreement, as part of a raft of IP treaties which Thailand is signed up to.
This process actually improves the standard of healthcare by introducing better medicines. Generic companies, which produce generally cheaper options, are free to compete on products for which the patent has expired. The issue of pricing of such medicines is a matter of policy that may change according to the government’s position. It should be remembered that Thailand ranks 24th in the world in terms of GDP. It is therefore by no means a poor nation or one that cannot afford to offer the best medicines to its citizens. It is also worth noting that, taking AIDS as an example, incidence is at 1.3 percent of the population, compared to up to 25 percent in some African nations. Government policy therefore is the key factor in access to medicines. The NGOs are also fearful of the introduction of a TRIPS+ regime which they claim the EU will be seeking in this FTA. Specifically they are concerned with long data exclusivity periods and patent term extensions. It will therefore be interesting to see whether the EU does include such provisions in the FTA talks. FTA outlook Overall, FTA negotiations will seek to promote trade for the benefit of both the EU and Thailand. If Thailand can strike a balance that ensures strong IP protection for its European investors, which in turn would encourage improvements in medicines, there should be no reason why Thailand cannot maintain good access to medicines for its citizens.
James Evans is a senior consultant in the intellectual property group at Tilleke & Gibbins. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
IATA signals modest improvement in outlook for aviation
he International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a modest improvement in its outlook for the 2013 financial performance of the global airline industry based primarily on stronger revenues. IATA now expects airlines to produce a combined net post-tax profit margin of 1.6 percent (up from the previously forecast 1.3%) with a net post-tax profit of US$10.6 billion (up from the previously projected US$8.4 billion). “Industry profits are taking a small step in the right direction. Against a backdrop of improved optimism for global economic prospects passenger demand has been strong and cargo markets are starting to grow again. The economic optimism is also pushing fuel prices higher. We are seeing a US$12 billion improvement in revenue and a $9-10 billion increase in costs, most of which is related to fuel,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. He said that confidence in the airline industry is rising because of several factors. “GDP growth forecasts for 2013 have been upgraded to 2.4 percent,
a significant improvement from the 2.1 percent in 2012. It appears that the bottom of the global industrial production cycle was reached in the third quarter of 2012 after which there has been six months of increasing output and improvements to business confidence. “There is a structural improvement in the airline industry’s financial performance as recognised by a seven percent increase in share prices since the beginning of the year, despite a five percent increase in fuel costs.” Asian-Pacific airlines are expected to deliver the largest absolute contribution to industry performance with a US$4.2 billion net profit expected for 2013 (up from US$3.2 billion previously projected and from the US$3.9 billion reported for 2012). Asian carriers comprise about 40 percent of the air cargo market and will be the biggest beneficiaries of the expected upturn in cargo demand. Carriers in the region are expected to see average demand growth of 4.9 percent, slightly outpaced by a five percent capacity expansion.
Lawful ownership of land by foreigners By Teerakarn Noichiaum
n general, foreign individuals or corporate entities may not lawfully own land in Thailand. However, there are some exceptions to this rule for foreigners who fulfill all the conditions and requirements to be able to have ownership or possession in or of lands. Substantial investment: The first exception is under Section 96 Bi of the Land Code (1954) whereby a foreigner may purchase land for residential purposes with a total area of not more than one rai (roughly 400 square metres), provided such person fulfills all the following conditions: 1) must invest in Thailand not less than THB 40 million and maintain such investment in Thailand for not less than five years 2) such investment must be made in the Thai government bonds, a real estate mutual fund, shares in a company which has been granted BOI promotion, in any business or industry promoted by BOI 3) the land must be located in Bangkok, Pattaya, or municipal areas or residential areas under the zoning laws 4) the purchase must be approved by the Minister of Interior 5) if he/she breaches any conditions or requirements, the land must be sold within one year 6) if the foreigner does not use that land for residential purposes within two years after acquisition, then the Director-General of the Land Department will have power to dispose of the land
Board of Investment promoted companies: The second exception is for BOI promoted companies and business. A wholly-foreign owned Thai company may own land if that company is engaged in a business that is promoted specifically by BOI (e.g. hotel business) and also fulfills all the requirements and conditions. (e.g. the hotel must have a total of not less than 100 rooms). Long leases: The third exception is a leasehold right under the Lease of Immoveables for Commerce and Industry Act (the â€œLease Actâ€?). A foreigner may normally lease any immovable property under the Civil and Commercial Code, whereby the maximum lease term is 30 years, and can be renewed for a further 30 years. However, a foreigner may lease land having a total area of less
than 100 rai under the Lease of Immovable for Commercial and Industrial Act if all the following conditions and requirements are fulfilled: 1) the lease must be made in writing and registered by the landlord and lessee 2) the land must be located in commercial or industrial zones or an industrial estate 3) the investment for commercial operations on the leased land must be not less than THB 20 Million 4) if there is industrial operations on the leased land, that industry must be eligible for BOI promotion 5) such commercial or industrial operations must be permitted to foreigners under the Foreign Business Act
Coastline land in Pattaya and Jomtien is popular with property developers.
Once all the conditions and requirements are fulfilled, then such lease may be for a maximum term of 50 years and can be renewed for another 50 years. Furthermore, such lease may be mortgaged or inherited to the owner’s heir. The lessee may sublet or transfer the leasehold rights to a third party, unless otherwise specified in the lease contract. A lease under the Lease of Immoveables for Commerce and Industry Act may be executed for land with an area exceeding than 100 rai. For such a lease, then not only all the requirements and conditions mentioned above must be fulfilled, but one of the following conditions must also be fulfilled: 1) the lease is for a business that increases export value or supports domestic employment 2) the lease is for a business that has never been operated in Thailand, or there is a lack of such business 3) the lease is for a business that uses hi-tech production or improves technology or
4) the total investment for the business under the lease is not less than THB 100 million excluding rent Land in industrial estates: The fourth exception is the right to own land by foreigners under the Section 44 of the Industrial Estate Act for land located in Industrial Estates with a total land area deemed appropriate by the Committee for that person’s business operations. If the business is liquidated the land, including all structures thereon, must be sold to the Industrial Estate within three years after the liquidation. Foreign ownership of buildings: Note that the rules above apply to foreign ownership of land. In general, foreigners may own buildings separate from the land. Foreign ownership of condominiums: Under the Condominium Acts, foreigners (whether individuals or companies) have a general right to
own up to 49% of the usable space in a condominium development (whether residential or commercial). Conclusion: There are some laws allowing foreigners to own or possess land in Thailand but, in some cases, the requirements and conditions may be difficult to fulfill.
© Teerakarn Noichiaum, Bangkok International Associates 2013. Bangkok International Associates is a general corporate and commercial law firm. For further information, please contact Teerakarn Noichiaum by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (66) 2 231 6201.
Dacre Raikes O.B.E. It is with great sadness that we report the death of Honorary Member and past BCCT Chairman, Dacre Raikes OBE. Dacre was BCCT Chairman from 1967 to 1969 and played a major role in the chamber’s development from the 1950s to the 1980s, having joined the Borneo Company initially in Chiang Mai in 1951. He was widely respected and was a familiar face to attendees of BCCT’s Annual Christmas Luncheon. Last year’s was the first he missed. Dacre was an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and a Member of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand.
Human computing comes to Thailand By Dr Steve Russ
research group at the University of Warwick (UK) is gaining a significant presence in Thailand. After being awarded Thai government scholarships two Thai students attended the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick in the late 1990’s. They joined several other research students in the Empirical Modelling Research Group.
lowship), British student Antony Harfield, gained his doctorate with a thesis ‘Empirical Modelling as a new paradigm for educational technology’. Antony combines theoretical and practical work most effectively and has made invaluable contributions to the EM range of software tools. He later moved to Thailand and is now Lecturer in Computer Science at Naresuan University.
This Group, under the leadership of Dr Meurig Beynon (now Reader Emeritus in Computer Science at University of Warwick), has pioneered a re-thinking of computing that gives prominence and priority to the experience computing now offers alongside the logic and abstractions so well-known in the study of classical computing.
There are four academics now in Thailand, some with strong practical skills, and all with good experience of Empirical Modelling. This is more than in any other country so if there is to be successful ‘technology transfer’ from basic research at universities in this area to industry and business perhaps we can look to Thailand to take the lead.
Dr Suwanna Rasmequan completed her thesis ‘An Approach to ComputerBased Knowledge-Representation for the Business Environment using Empirical Modelling’ in 2001. She drew attention to the limitations of conventional knowledge representation and the essential role of interaction in the revealing of inarticulate knowledge.
The basic idea behind Empirical Modelling is that we can view, and use, the computer as a modelling medium as well as the programming machine we have always known it to be. An example of modelling in the sense we mean here: a business manager will keep in mind a personal model of his or her business. The financial aspects of the business might be modelled on a spreadsheet. The idea of EM is to offer principles and tools to enable that personal model (not just the finances) of a business to be developed with the computer.
Her thesis explored applications of Empirical Modelling to decision support systems. ‘A Treatise on Modelling with Definitive Scripts’ was the thesis title for Dr Jaratsri Rungrattanaubol, who was awarded her degree in 2002. Her thesis has been an important point of reference for subsequent students and research. Both these students returned to their lecturing positions in Thailand and proved they not only had great academic ability but that this was matched by their management skills. Dr Suwanna is now the Dean of the Faculty of Informatics at Burapha University. Dr Jaratsri is the Head of Computer Science at Naresuan University. In 2008 another scholarship winner (a coveted Warwick Postgraduate Fel40
The tools we use are like a very general form of spreadsheet. Because the principles of our tools are very similar (we believe) to the ways humans make their own ‘models’ of domains of interest, we often call our approach Human Computing. In 1960 JCR Licklider wrote (in a paper Man-Computer Symbiosis) ‘the hope is that in not too many years human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly and the resulting partnership will think as no human brain as ever thought’. Even after fifty years such a vision is
nowhere in sight. We certainly make no claims to be achieving such a symbiosis yet with EM but we have grounds to believe we are taking some early steps in a promising direction. The most promising areas for application of EM are those where there is little theory and a strong emphasis on human involvement and interaction, so areas such as learning, design, business, health, games etc are prime candidates. We believe we have good ideas for the development of new web-based tools but at present few resources – we are looking for bright, enthusiastic developers, and investors. Might we find them in Thailand? We are holding a workshop ‘Empirical Modelling for Education and Business’ on 16 – 17 May 2013 at Burapha University. All are welcome. This will be an introduction to the principles and tools of EM and will enable participants to begin on their own (with online support) and to learn more about possibilities for development work. Details of the workshop (free of charge but registration is essential) can be found at the website given below.
Dr Steve Russ is a Visiting Professor in Informatics, Burapha University, Chon Buri. He was Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Warwick. email@example.com Further information and a large range of resources for EM are available from: www.dcs.warwick. ac.uk/modelling
Myanmar milestone for investors M
yanmar’s parliament (the Union Assembly) has approved plans to sign the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, according to an advisory note issued by Baker & McKenzie.
Their client alert adds: ‘The second step of formal accession to the Convention is a matter for the President’s office but as the sponsor of the proposal was the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development it seems the move has the support of the Myanmar Government. The approval marks another important milestone in the development of a more investor friendly legal regime in Myanmar. The New York Convention facilitates the enforcement of arbitral awards. An award that is made pursuant to an arbitration agreement in a State that is a party to the New York Convention can be recognized and/or enforced in any other State that is a party to the New York Convention. ‘There are more than 140 State parties to the New York Convention. This means that an arbitral award made in Singapore, for example, can be enforced in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Australia, the UK or any other State that is a party to the New York Convention. An arbitral award is final and binding. It is not subject to the usual grounds of appeal, though it may be annulled or set aside on limited procedural grounds or public policy. Enforcement of an award may be challenged on limited grounds set out in the New York Convention. ‘Those grounds relate primarily to procedural matters such as the invalidity of the arbitration agreement, lack of due process during the arbitral proceedings, or the tribunal ex-
ceeding its jurisdiction. Enforcement may also be refused if the subject matter of the award is not arbitrable or the award is contrary to public policy. A court of a State party to the New York Convention must enforce an award unless at least one of these grounds is satisfied’. Arbitration open to foreign investors The Baker & McKenzie client alert continues: ‘Myanmar’s planned accession to the New York Convention will strengthen the confidence of foreign investors in Myanmar’s legal regime. International arbitration offers foreign investors a neutral and efficient form of dispute resolution which results in a final and binding award. Once accession takes place, foreign investors will have greater confidence in the efficacy of the foreign arbitral provisions in their agreements, knowing that a means will exist for the enforcement of awards in Myanmar courts. Investors though, will
still be reliant on the enforcement mechanisms available in Myanmar courts. ‘The possible enforcement of arbitral awards compliments Chapter 19 of the Foreign Investment Law (FIL) issued in November 2012. The FIL allows investors to negotiate both their own dispute settlement mechanism in investment agreements and the application of a foreign law to those agreements. ‘The approval by Myanmar’s parliament is the first step in the accession process. The Union Assembly will now transmit this approval to the President and the President’s office will then lead the formal accession process. The timeframe involved for that process is uncertain. This most recent step in Myanmar’s gradual transition is a positive signal that Myanmar is open for business’. This article is republished courtesy Baker & McKenzie Ltd. The Brief
The y revolution An international survey on Generation Y – their aspirations and relationships with gender equality and business
n recent months, it has been impossible to avoid “Generation Y”. Reports have appeared in newspapers, magazines and Gen Y books have been given a place of prominence in bookstores. The Generation Y consists of young people born between the beginning of the 1980s and the mid-90s. Modern literature does not always depict this generation in a favourable light, labelling them with characteristics such as: individualistic or even selfish, unmanageable, impertinent, glued to their smart phone, addicted to social media, impatient, etc. Faced with these young people who assume their behavior with such an ease (that it can sometimes be disconcerting), the position of managers is not always obvious and the intergenerational gap could widen all too quickly. Some 1011 young people from 64 different nationalities participated in the study conducted by Mazars and WoMen’Up. The findings included: The priorities of Generation y According to men, 31% want to live life to the fullest, 21% want to find a balance between their personal and professional life, 13.3% want to spend time with family and 10.5% want to be financially independent. According to women, 31.9% want to find a balance between their personal and professional life, 25.2% want to live life to the fullest, 11.9% want to be financially independent and 10% want to succeed professionally. Advice for those who want to manage Generation Y This study outlines the picture of companies and the substantial progress that remains to be completed in order to measure up to Generation Y’s 42
Y’up your company – build up corner by Mazars
expectations, regardless of the country or continent. More open, more flexible, more creative, more respectful of gender equality, companies are transforming under the pressure of currently employed generations and will continue its inevitable evolution with the arrival of Generation Y, a generation that questions the existing model. This generation is calling today’s company into question, not in order to destroy it, but rather, to fully participate in its development and find its rightful place within the company. A common vision of happiness amongst Y’ers from around the world Whilst analysing the life objectives put forward by Yers, we were surprised to see that there was hardly any variation in the statistics from continent to continent. The balance between the private and professional life as well as living life to the fullest are the 2 main elements of happiness in Asia, North America and Europe. According to half of Yers in Latin America, the reconciliation of different spheres is the primary objective. In Oceania, 19% of Yers are in search of financial independence as well as
11% in Europe, whereas family dominates in Asia and North America as the life objective just behind finding balance and living life to the fullest. To conclude, in Africa, the objective of professional success has the highest percentage: 21% compared to 6% in Europe and 10% in North America. As Generation Y has mastered the ability to outline personal life goals and assert individual aspirations, it is with this same ease that Yers approach their professional life and set about completely transforming certain well-established conventions. These transformations include the intrusion of the personal life into the professional sphere via social networks, being distracted whilst at work, requesting flexible work patterns, calling traditional authority practises into question... the list of Generation Y’s demands is long and can be daunting. Faced with a very assertive generation that does not seem willing to change for the company, should the company be obliged to change instead? If so, the questions are how, and to what extent? Is a new world of employment on the cusp of emergence?
International occupiers continue to hesitate
oncerns surrounding the world economy continued to influence the office occupier markets in Asia Pacific during Q4 2012. However, some of the constraints holding back international corporates are dissipating, and a more stable climate is likely to encourage more leasing activity throughout the remainder of 2013. That’s according to figures published by Knight Frank.
The company’s Asia-Pacific Prime Office Index rose two percent in Q4 2012, up from a 0.8 percent increase in the previous quarter. Jakarta saw the strongest increase of 14.3 percent in the final quarter of 2012 as very tight supply was met with robust demand, demonstrating that prime office rents have doubled over the last three years in both Jakarta and Beijing. Rents decreased in eight of the 18 markets tracked with the more open markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul feeling a drop in demand from the banking and finance sectors.
due to global uncertainty will continue to have a dampening impact on office rental levels in some of the key gateway cities of Asia Pacific. “However, as the US kicks the can down the road to avoid the fiscal cliff, the threat of a crisis in the Eurozone recedes, and Chinese growth speeds up again, “corporates in the AsiaPacific region are likely to gradually become more bullish in their expansion plans as the economy moves into a new cycle,” says Nicholas Holt, Research Director, Asia-Pacific. Marcus Burtenshaw, Executive Director - Head of Commercial Agency at Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand), commented on the office market in Bangkok. “The positive business sentiment index reflects the improvement in confidence in the Thai economy after the severe floods. Since the beginning of 2012, business
respondents have displayed an optimistic outlook, indicating that the service sector will continue to grow.” As for demand, according to Knight Frank Thailand Research, office occupancy rates in Bangkok have been improving since Q2 2011. The most significant improvement was seen in the Grade A sector; this rise in occupancy rates coincided closely with the general election of 2011, which marked a return to peace and relative political stability with a positive impact on business confidence. The overall occupancy rate improved to 87.74 percent, an increase of 2.03 percent Y-o-Y, confirming that office demand remains healthy and continues to favour buildings located close to mass transit stations. Grade A buildings enjoyed the highest growth as the occupancy rose by 0.45 percent from the previous quarter, or 5.16 percent from the start of last year.
Vacancy rates across the region increased marginally to 11% on the back of negative net absorption in a number of markets and new supply entering the market. Notably, Beijing’s vacancy rates increased for the first time since Q4 2009 as the market approaches its mid-term peak. Across the region, certain sectors have remained very active over the quarter. In particular, the legal sector has seen an increase in foreign law firm activity, most notably in Singapore and Seoul, where increasing liberalisation presents expansion opportunities. Significant new supply, cost-attentive corporates and expansion delays
Some 140 students from seven different schools have taken part in the 2nd Bangkok Tournament of Minds held at NIST International School. Teams of up to seven students, having worked on solving a challenging problem for the previous six weeks, demonstrated their creative, collaborative and dramatic skills. Solutions were presented to a panel of judges and an audience in a 10-minute dramatic performance.
Bangkok condo market is booming - Colliers T
he condominium market is booming in Bangkok, with prices rising and developers launching new projects to keep up with demand. The cityâ€™s expanding transport network is fuelling the boom, with extensions to the BTS SkyTrain and MRTMRT subway lines making parts of Bangkok ever more attractive places for commuters to live. Thatâ€™s according to the latest report issued by Colliers International in Thailand. Residential In Bangkok more than 47,300 condominiums were launched in 2012, around 16,600 more than in the preceding year, bringing the total supply for the whole of the city to around 335,300 units. Several projects were delayed by a shortage of construction workers, and are expected to finish this year, with a total of 82,600 new units likely to come on the market in greater Bangkok in 2013. Prices for condominiums were around 12 percent higher last year than they had been in 2011 and are set to rise by around 10 percent in 2013, driven by cost increases for labour and materials. Take-up for completed projects was high throughout 2012, especially in the last quarter. The high cost and limited availability of land in Bangkok is forcing developers to build new projects further away from main roads, while continued uncertainty over what planning rules will be contained in the Bangkok Town Plan has led to some projects rushing to get started. Other developers are reluctant to invest in land before the plan is unveiled later this year. Cha Am is increasingly a focus for developers, partly because it is per-
ceived as quieter and more convenient for Bangkok residents than Hua Hin and partly due to the rising prices and limited availability of coastal land in Hua Hin. More than 3,560 condominium units had been built in Cha Am by the end of last year and more are scheduled to launch in 2013. Hua Hin is still considered the best location for a more diverse vacation experience given the greater range of facilities such as hotels, entertainment, residential and retail development.
development projects and 55 percent for condominiums. Most people buying houses or condominiums in these areas are Thai, with the number of foreign customers falling considerably in recent years.
Condominiums are by far the most popular type of property being developed, comprising more than 78 percent of the newly-launched units in 2012. However, last year also saw approximately 1,850 landed development units launched in the three towns, the highest figure for the past ten years. Most of these houses are in the mid to low-end of the housing market, with prices below THB four million.
Many condominium projects postponed completion dates until 2013, due to a shortage of construction workers. With the ASEAN region opening up in 2015, Colliers expects that many migrant workers from neighbouring countries will step in to fill existing labour shortages within the construction industry. Office market
The average take-up rate in the Cha Am, Hua Hin and Pranburi areas is approximately 58 percent for landed
In Pattaya the total supply of condominium units amounted to approximately 46,700 by the end of 2012. Last year saw just 590 units completed and transferred, primarily due to the low number of launches in the wake of the global economic crisis.
By the end of 2012 Bangkok had in excess of eight million square metres of office space with more than 26,600 sq m of new office space completed during the year.
However, land on which to build is now both expensive and scarce. Uncertainty over future planning rules, with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administrationâ€™s Department of City Planning yet to finalise the new Bangkok Town Plan, means few new offices will be finished this year. Political stability in Thailand, new investment opportunities in Myanmar and Laos, and preparations for the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 are all helping to drive demand for office space in Bangkok with foreign companies choosing the city as a good base for their operations throughout the region. Retail Retail is booming in Thailand, and operators are modernising their business by going online and developing new shopping locations outside of central Bangkok. Consumer confidence was at a six-year high in
the last quarter of 2012, thanks to a stable political situation and a year free from floods. The growth of residential projects in suburban Bangkok has prompted retail developers to build new shopping malls and community malls to serve them. Around 662,000 sq m of retail space was completed in Bangkok in 2012, the highest figure for the past six years. More than 204,700 sq m of retail space is scheduled to be completed in Bangkok in 2013, with approximately 128,000 sq m in community malls and the rest in shopping malls. Serviced Apartments Other cities in Thailand are also increasingly attractive to retailers, especially in border provinces where consumers from neighbouring countries can easily cross in to Thailand to shop. Online shopping is not yet as popular in Thailand as it is in other Asian countries, but it is the fastest-growing
retail sector and every major retailer is expanding their business online. Expatriates, the main customers for serviced apartments, increasingly prefer to live in condominiums that offer similar services in the same locations for a fraction of the cost. Just 580 serviced apartment units were completed in 2012, the lowest figure for four years, bringing the total number of units in Bangkok to 18,260. Occupancy rates and average rental price both increased compared to the previous year. The serviced apartment industry is also threatened by a long-running complaint from the Thailand Hotel Association, which is trying to persuade the Ministry of Interior to clamp down on serviced apartments offering short-term and per-day rentals, which officially require a hotel licence to be legal. As a result, there is a trend for serviced apartments to apply for hotel licences.
Industrial Estate Market Approximately 2,700 rai were added in 2012 with the total supply of SILPs increasing to nearly 128,500 rai. All industrial estates in the flood area postponed their expansion plans and are waiting for their barriers to be completed, so new additional supply in 2012 was in the Eastern area only. Some developers were looking the new location for their new development, especially in the Eastern area. The total supply in 2012 was around 128,500 rai. The Eastern Seaboard and Central areas account for more than 95 percent of the total supply. More than 82,700 rai was in the Eastern Seaboard area and this continues to increase, especially after the floods in the Central area in the fourth quarter of 2011. In addition, some industrial estates are planned for development in the Southern Seaboard area. Many industrial estate developers were planning to develop many new
industrial estates and expand their current industrial estates, especially in non-flood areas, such as Chonburi, Rayong, Prachinburi, Chachoeng Sao and some neighbouring provinces. A total area of around 66,600 rai, has received approval from the IEAT and/ or Board of Investment to be developed as SILPs as well as which are announced to be developed or expanded. This land will be developed gradually in phases but it is not known when it will be available for sale or rent. The Eastern Seaboard area shows the largest expected increase with a total of more than 36,800 rai followed by the Southern Seaboard with nearly 20,000 rai. The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) also plans to develop new industrial estates in many provinces around Thailand. Some of them have begun studies already and decisions should be made this year for the actual location and total land area. The IEAT is focusing more on the neigh-
bouring provinces around the border of Thailand, such as Kanchanaburi to support the Dawei project and Chiang Rai province to support import and export to China via the R3A road and to Laos via the new friendship bridge. In addition, other some provinces in North eastern part of Thailand such as, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Nakorn Panom province. IEAT also planned to develop the first movie and entertainment industrial estate in Thailand, but still waiting for the finalized the location. The booming of automobile industry last year was the positive factor that attracted many Japanese investors to investment the automobile industrial cluster by joint venture with Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT). Many SMEs factories from Japan were searching the small plot of land in the existing industrial estates, so IEAT were tried to negotiate with some industrial estates to support these SMEs industries.
Profits rise again for Standard Chartered Bank in Thailand S
tandard Chartered Bank (Thai) has announced another year of increased profits. Consolidated profit for 2012 was THB 3,254 million, up nine percent on 2011 with upward trends in both net interest income and non-interest income.
Our Transaction Banking Services remain a strategic solution provider in cross-border cash management solutions. We closed more big deals with more clients.
Lyn Kok, President and CEO at Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), said, “Despite the headwinds from the global financial crisis and local economic arena, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) made 2012 another milestone year.” This was the tenth consecutive year of growth for the bank. Standard Chartered Group reported an eight percent rise in income to US$ 19 billion with profit up one percent to US$ 6.9 billion. Some 25 markets delivered double-digit growth and 26 markets delivered income of over US$ 100 million including Thailand. “The Group’s balance sheet is in excellent shape. We are highly liquid, primarily deposit funded and strongly capitalised. Both business engines continued to remain strong. Consumer Banking introduced new products and services while Wholesale Banking continued to successfully support Thai clients in raising funds and expanding overseas, thereby making the client/customer revenue increase,” she said. Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), has retained its AAA (tha) rating for its National Long-term Credit Rating and is the best rated commercial bank in Thailand with a stable out46
look ranked by Fitch Ratings, added Miss Kok. The Bank has been upgraded in the long-term foreigncurrency issuer default rating from BBB+ to A- and is considered by Fitch to be a strategically important subsidiary to its parent company. “A customer-focus model and the creative banking solutions in Consumer Banking remain our core strategies to help the Bank deepen relationships and build a solid platform for sustainable growth,” added Lyn Kok. “Wholesale Banking continues to support corporate clients in fulfilling their cross-border ambitions. This is increasingly important as the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC integration appears on the horizon, which will enable more seamless trade flows across ASEAN.
“The bank recognises that advanced technology and digitisation have had a profound impact on customer behaviour. The pace of change is also accelerating, with mobile phones widely predicted to become the preferred consumer payment device within just a few years. We see digitisation as a great opportunity to reconnect with the new generation of customers. This year we continue to invest time in understanding the digital agenda of customers and in developing a differentiated digital proposition. We have the opportunity for the Bank has a chance to recast itself in a new role as digital partner to individual customers, SMEs and corporations. “Standard Chartered has a clear strategy. We’re investing in our businesses and employing more people. There’s no doubt that our markets will continue to change dramatically. Technology will change the way banks work and compete. Regulation will force further change in business models. By sticking to our strategy, by staying true to our culture, by innovating and adapting I am confident that we can continue to be successful. We start 2013 in great shape. Our businesses have very good momentum. Our balance sheet has never been stronger and we’re superbly placed to seize the opportunities.” concluded Ms. Kok.
Baht strength shows no impact on property demand
he strengthening of the Thai Baht has seen property prices rise in terms of US dollars but there has been no sign to date of this factor having a major impact on real estate transactions in Thailand, according real estate consultants Jones Lang LaSalle. Suphin Mechuchep, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle, said, “As the baht currency is strengthening a concern over the possible impact on real estate is growing, particularly in sectors that rely on demand from foreign buyers such as Bangkok highend condominiums and resort properties in key holiday destinations. However, we have not seen any effect from the strong baht on Thai real estate so far. In fact, we do not expect the present baht strength to have any significant impact on most property sectors across the country unless the
mand of buyers from Americas and the eurozone has subsided significantly due to financial turbulences in the two regions, the majority of foreign demand for Thai real estate over the past recent years has been from Asian countries, most of which have also seen stronger local currencies against the US dollar or the Euro.”
Thai currency strengthens at a much faster pace, which is unlikely to be the case, according to economists. “Most of the property sectors in Thailand rely mainly on domestic demand at present. In addition, while de-
Jones Lang LaSalle reports that interest in buying property in Thailand from foreign buyers remains stable and the firm has also received enquiries from overseas companies looking to acquire manufacturing/logistics facilities in Thailand. “Despite the stronger currency, Thailand remains one of the cheapest real estate markets in Asia Pacific. This is one of the key factors that has kept the country’s real estate markets competitive,” Mrs Suphin added.
Bangkok Patana School won several sports trophies in the recent Bangkok International School Athletic Conference. Boys and girls at the school enjoyed success in football, rugby, touch, tennis and badminton.
World Bank economist highlights challenges to growth in Thailand A
s Thailand seeks to consolidate on its growth figure of 6.4 percent for 2012 there are some significant challenges ahead, according to Dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr – senior economist at the World Bank. Addressing a media briefing hosted by the MBMG Group, Dr. Bhaopichitr said that the home grown challenges for this year were increased labour costs, appreciation of the Thai Baht and potential asset bubbles because of large capital inflow as well as the ever-present political uncertainties. However, Dr. Bhaopichitr was confident that Thailand would achieve a further five percent growth in 2013. She said that the country’s growth in 2012, which was above expectations, was driven primarily by private investment and domestic consumption. Other factors included an increase in FDI inflows, lower global prices, government policies to reduce corporation tax, maintain subsidies and provide income support, and – importantly – a strong private commercial banking sector. Dr. Bhaopichit said that continued inflows of FDI, lessening imports growth, household consumption – such as the government’s first car purchase programme – a slow down in energy price rises and low interest rates would all help to produce another year of solid growth for the country. Chanitr Charnchainarong, Vice President of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), centred his presen-
From left to right: Panellists Paul Gambles, Dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr and Chanitr Charnchainarong
tation on how Thailand is becoming the economic point of reference in the region. He explained that one of the SET’s main aims is to have more assets arrive into Thailand from abroad. The SET currently has the highest volume of stock trading in Asia as investors see the country as the most stable place to do business in south east Asia. The number of large-cap* SET-listed companies is higher than on the stock exchanges of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. This, according to Mr Charnchainarong, reflects resilience and trust confided in the Thai business environment. He also predicted that there will be several significant IPOs taking place in the coming months. Paul Gambles, Managing Partner of MBMG, referred to the ‘turf war’ taking place between the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand. He said that while the government
seeks to make exports more competitive through a depreciation of Baht the Bank of Thailand has moved to strengthen the value of the currency. “The fight is not yet over and it remains to be seen who will emerge victorious but the war is likely to get very dirty with attempts to discredit the Governor and arguably the entire board of the bank,” he said. Paul Gambles said that Thailand is at the early stage of producing ‘bubbles’, adding that any worries that the situation was already approaching that of the mid 1990s were overblown. He believed that Thailand’s ‘baby bubbles’ would be pricked by events from abroad with the main threats coming from the UK, Japan, USA, the eurozone and China. * Companies worth more than US$ 1 billion with a daily average trading value of over $10 million.
Robust demand for warehousing D
emand for logistics properties is increasing, according to Marcus Burtenshaw, Executive Director, Head of Commercial Agency, Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
increase on the previous quarter of almost six percent. In Q4 2012 the total amount of space occupied increased by 141,462 sq.m., indicating positive net absorption amidst robust demand for warehousing space, particularly in Samut Prakarn and along the Eastern Seaboard.
Mr Burtenshaw (pictured right) said that robust demand, in the wake of the recovery of the export sector, has piqued the interest of local investors in logistic properties with Knight Frank monitoring new projects enter the planning stage. He added that an influx of new supply had caused average occupancy rates to fall but the market had been quick to absorb new supply in recent quarters. “We expect this new supply to continue to be taken up quickly as demand for warehousing space grows,” he added.
According to Knight Frank Thailand Research the total supply of warehouses for rent in Q4 2012 was just over 2.9 million sq.m., an
Mr. Burtenshaw said, “Samut Prakarn currently houses the majority of Thailand’s warehousing supply. Its location, just outside of Bangkok, allows convenient access to several industrial estates. It is situated between two major seaports and is home to the international airport. Despite the concentration of supply in this province, I suspect that the Eastern Seaboard will see the most new supply over the coming few years as new logistics parks in Rayong and Chonburi complete.”
St Andrews International School, Green Valley hosted the 2nd Eastern Seaboard Science Fair with students from ISE, Garden International and Satit Udomseuksam schools also competing. The event was backed by a number of local and international companies including PFS International, Caterpillar, Crown World Relocations, Hanky Panky Toys and PTT Chemical. Next year’s Science Fair could feature students from China.
Adecco springs into action with recruitment launch
pring Professional, the whollyowned professional recruitment arm of the Adecco Group in Asia, has launched a network of information technology and engineering specialty recruitment offices across the Asia region, thereby establishing a presence in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand whilst expanding its existing Singapore operations. Under the brand names of Spring Information Technology and Spring Engineering, the company will focus exclusively on the recruitment of middle to senior level management
and specialists in the areas of IT and engineering. “The launch of Spring Professional across Asia is timely with an increasing demand from organisations seeking to identify experienced talent in the areas of information technology and engineering. With talent shortages existing in IT and engineering in many countries in Asia, leveraging on our vast experience and network will be critical to how we support organisations with their recruitment needs”, said Christophe Duchatellier, CEO Adecco Asia.
New role for Marc at Okura Prestige Bangkok
arc Bittner has been appointed Head Sommelier at The Okura Prestige Bangkok. Marc brings extensive knowledge and experience to this role. He has travelled to wine producing regions throughout the world and has conducted extensive research at major chateaux and estates to improve his knowledge and expertise.
Marc Bittner’s previous roles, on land and at sea, have embraced the management and refinement of substantial wine cellars. His experience in organising specialist wine dinners also adds considerable value to the popular monthly ‘Food is Art’ programme at the hotel’s Elements restaurant and his expertise will also be appreciated by diners at the hotel’s signature Japanese restaurant Yamazato and the all-day dining venue Up & Above.
Apple boss tribute at Madame Tussauds
One of the most influential and celebrated personalities of modern times has been honoured at Madame Tussauds Bangkok. Steve Jobs, the creative genius behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad, is portrayed wearing black turtle neck sweater and jeans. A team of sculptors, hair stylists and colour artists spen three months creating the lifesize waxwork. The figure is on a tour of three Madame Tussauds venues in Asia and previously visited Hong Kong and Shanghai. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, died in October 2011.
Shifts in world trade create business opportunities
higher-value products. The businesses also need to manage the costs efficiently to maximise competitiveness in particularly ASEAN and global markets.”
he latest HSBC Commercial Banking Trade Forecast details a shift towards the production of higher-value goods around the world, presenting opportunities for forward thinking companies looking to expand. Thai made-to-order companies are driven to move towards the higher-value sectors to capitalise on the new global pattern. Rapid industrialisation and increasing wages, coupled with maturing consumer demand in many of the countries along the South-South corridor are driving different types of global trade growth. This report highlights how these trends are changing the types of goods imported, manufactured and subsequently exported. As countries shift towards higher value sectors there are significant opportunities for companies to evolve and grow. The reports for countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh show a shift from basic commodities trading in sectors such as cereals or sugar, to become a refiner or producer of branded goods based on those raw materials. In many of the developed markets there is a shift towards increasingly specialised sectors such as chemicals and pharmaceutical products as companies seek opportunities for higher returns. This shift towards the production of higher value goods is particularly evident in Asia, with a clear pattern emerging as Chinese export growth in information and communications technology and industrial machinery gathers pace. This balances a declining rate of growth in sectors such as textiles, giving rise to opportunities for companies in the smaller, faster growing countries around the region to win contracts to produce these more basic goods.
James Emmett, HSBC’s Global Head of Trade and Receivables Finance, said, “Emerging markets are developing at a phenomenal pace and are set to reshape world trade patterns over the next 20 years. By expanding their operations in to new, higher value sectors, they are driving more developed nations to specialise and diversify to compete. Understanding which sectors are growing in which markets, delivers huge opportunities for businesses as they plan for the future and aim to capitalise on these trends.” Juthamas Ruangvanish, Senior Vice President, Global Trade and Receivables Finance, HSBC Thailand, said, “Thai businesses in many sectors based on mass production of goods are now in urgent need to adapt for the changing trends of global trade in the future. At present, several Thai companies are not capable to enhance their negotiating power with buyers in the global trade world. This is resulted from the lack of resources supporting R&D and risks of the soaring wages. To grasp opportunities, the make-to-order manufacturers need to differentiate themselves from others by offering new goods designs, developing a brand of their own and delivering
Countries making the move up the supply chain most notably are Malaysia and Argentina. Malaysia’s top exportable goods will shift from lower-value sectors such as animals and vegetable oils to higher-end industrial machinery, which will make the largest contribution to Malaysia’s export growth by 2030. Argentina’s top export sectors will change from animal products to transport equipment and industrial machinery. The Forecast identifies that developed nations, including the USA and UK, will also evolve the goods they export. Both nations will continue to trade in industrial machinery, but increasingly at the higher-end of the sector. Export growth in the UK is increasingly being driven by high-technology manufactured goods, as low-cost producers in the emerging markets satisfy an increasing share of demand for less sophisticated products Industrial machinery, ranging from large power generating machinery to small parts for domestic electrical items, will extend its dominance as the world’s top export sector. It will encompass around 25 percent of goods exported among the top 25 trading nations by 2030 and contribute over one third of the growth in total merchandise exports from 2013, according to the Forecast. Intra-regional trade and reliance upon hub cities continues to play a strong role in facilitating global trade flows, as companies look to capitalise on new opportunities while managing their exposure in rapidly developing markets.
Routes to the top for women in business N
ew research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) reveals that more women are making it into senior management roles than at any time since 2010 with 24 percent of senior management roles now filled by women. This is up from 21 percent in 2012 and 20 percent in 2011.
Progress is slower in the G7 group of developed economies, where economic performances have been stuttering, than in the high growth economies of Asia and the Far East. Grant Thornton urges businesses in developed economies to emulate emerging market counterparts and reap the benefits of having more women in senior positions. The G7 economies sit bottom of the league table with just 21% of senior roles occupied by women. This compares to 28% in the BRIC economies, 32% in South East Asia and 40% in the Baltic states. Thai Senior Audit Partner at Grant Thornton Thailand Sumalee Chokdeeanant, said, “The pioneer economies where economic growth is high have greater diversity in their senior management teams. ASEAN and APAC are ahead of the global average at 32 percent and 29 percent respectively but Thailand is even higher at 36 percent. Women are playing a major role in driving the world’s growth economies, bringing balance to the decision making process and the smooth running of their companies. In comparison, the mature economies of the G7 are now playing catch up. They need to wake up to gender disparity and add this crucial ingredient to long-term growth and profitability.” 52
Japan (7% of senior roles occupied by women, the worst performer), the UK (19%) and the USA (20%) are in the bottom eight countries for women in senior management. These economies are also experiencing low levels of growth, with GDP in Japan (1.9%), the UK (-0.1) and the USA (2.2%) in 2012 all modest. In contrast, top of the table for women in senior management is China (51%). The top 10 also contains the growth economies of Latvia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. The situation is even starker when looking at boardroom positions. In the G7, just 16 percent of board members are women. This compares to 26 percent in the BRIC economies and 38 percent in the Baltic states. The IBR also reveals the routes most and least likely to see women make it into the boardroom and to the top of the professional ladder. According to the IBR, the most likely route to the top for women is the Chief Finance Officer of a healthcare company in China. Of businesses with women in senior management positions, the boardroom position most filled by women is Chief Finance Officer (31%). The sector with the highest proportion of senior management roles occupied by women is healthcare (45%). In contrast, the research reveals that the route to the top least likely to be taken by women is the Chief Information Officer of a mining or construction company in Japan. Julaporn Namchaisiri, Managing Director of Corporate Finance at Grant Thornton Thailand, observed, “China is the only country in the world where more than half of senior man-
agement roles are occupied by women, all the more impressive given that in 2011 it was only 34 percent. The research also highlights a serious issue in many countries where progress for women is painfully slow. Japan remains bottom of the global league table, a position it has held since we started since this research began in 2004. The odds are overwhelmingly stacked against women there breaking through the glass ceiling and enjoying top jobs. This will have profound implications for Japanese businesses, whose senior teams are lacking a balance and diversity needed to drive sustained growth.” The IBR also reveals that the proportion of women in senior positions is markedly different across different sectors. Over double the number of positions in the global healthcare sector are occupied by women (45%) than in construction or mining (19%). Thailand’s Tax Partner from Grant Thornton, Melea Cruz, noted, “It may not be surprising to see more women succeeding in healthcare than in sectors like construction or mining, where traditionally fewer women work. But being a woman in a top job should be about more than just strength in numbers. Women should be awarded on merit, and even if the route to the top is tougher in certain sectors and regions than others, all businesses can benefit from greater diversity in top positions. Here in Thailand we are worldwide leaders in this; looking across all the senior roles in the company, the position most filled by women is CEO (49%) which is the highest proportion in the world”.
Global brand award for Grant Thornton G
2012 saw Grant Thornton grow faster (10.4%) than the other largest global accounting networks and provide thought leadership on critical global accounting issues such as lease accounting, revenue recognition, EU auditor reform, corporate governance and improving the auditor’s report.
rant Thornton has won the prestigious global award “Network of the Year” at a ceremony held in London. The award is given to a company recognised by the industry as a reputable brand that consistently delivers high quality professional services. The winner will have excelled globally in a number of key strategic and operational areas over the past 12 months including evidence of employer of choice, industry leadership, consistent top-level standards of quality, and client satisfaction. The award, which was judged by an independent panel, is given by the International Accounting Bulletin, the only global magazine covering the professional services world and is highly regarded among senior accounting professionals and CEOs.
Ed Nusbaum, global CEO of Grant Thornton, said of the award win, “I am proud of this award, but all credit goes to over 35,000 Grant Thornton people in more than 120 countries for their commitment and hard work in providing high quality services to our clients and in helping them unlock their potential for growth.”
Ian Pascoe, managing partner of Grant Thornton Thailand, said “Grant Thornton has a strong reputation globally for helping dynamic businesses and this award demonstrates our consistent and high level of expertise across key areas such as evidence of client satisfaction and strategic positioning.” “In Thailand, our personal services are tailored to each client’s needs as we strive to help them unlock their potential. We offer a wide range of services and provide clients with handson support and actionable advice.”
Ian figures out new ‘app’ G rant Thornton and The Economist have teamed up to offer an ‘app’ for iPhones and iPads. ‘The World in Figures’ includes scores and rankings for more than 190 countries on a broad range of topics such as foreign debt, life expectancy, natural resources, business competitiveness, innovation and even Facebook usage.
It also carries detailed statistical profiles of the world’s major economies and allows users to compare how different countries rank by topic.
Ian Pascoe, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton, said, “The World in Figures looks at the key indicators driving tomorrow’s business growth agenda. If you want to identify which countries are showing the most potential for growth, The World in Figures app is an excellent place to start. It is a fantastic tool to study and compare our ASEAN and Asian neighbours as the AEC draws closer.” The app is free to all users is available for download from the iTunes store.
Centara set to open sixth property in Pattaya C
entara Hotels & Resorts has signed a management contract to operate the Centara Grand Modus Resort & Spa Pattaya. The hotel is due to open in the third quarter of 2013. “We have always been very confident in Pattaya as one of Thailand’s prime destinations and this new property is a strategic signing for us that places our third Pattaya Grand branded hotel in yet another key part of the city,” says Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO, Centara Hotels & Resorts. The hotel is located on Wong Amat Beach at Naklua, next to the famous Sanctuary of Truth, and has its own private beachfront. Centara Grand Modus Resort & Spa Pattaya will have offer 215 rooms and suites and is designed as a family-friendly resort property. The development also includes 300 condominium units for private sale and which will also be managed by Centara.
New Chef at Rembrandt
angkok’s Rembrandt Hotel has appointed Jaume Esperalba as Executive Chef. Chef Jaume has a wealth of experience working at luxury resorts and restaurants around the world. Hotel General Manager Eric Hallin says that Jaume Esperalba is a ‘dedicated and talented chef who possesses true flair and creativity with considerable experience in all cuisines. “He has taken the skills and knowledge of different cuisines and adapted these to the produce of Thailand by offering a healthy and mouthwatering cuisine prepared with fresh and organic ingredients. Jaume adds considerable strength to our culinary team at the Rembrandt hotel,” adds Eric.
Harrow International School students have achieved remarkable success, as seen in the latest Cambridge International Examinations Board results.
NIST International School has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a 1920s themed evening of dinner and dancing attended by over 250 parents, staff, founding members and former pupils.
Proms date set at Shrewsbury
Dr. Virachai Techavijit, Consul General of Estonia in Bangkok, organised ‘Estonia’s 95th Independence Day’ gala event at the Regent’s School, Bangkok in March attended by nearly 200 guests that included MPs, diplomats, industry leaders, a Privy Councillor and Estonian nationals living in Thailand. Front row from left to right: Mrs. Nualpan Mahakun, (former Thai Ambassador), Khunying Dr. Samruay Mokamakkul, Khun Thiphavan and Dr. Virachai Techavijit, Privy Councillor M.R. Thepkamol and Khunying Kwanta Dhevakul, M.R. Khunying Wannaporn Sukhanet, Ambassador
Kesang Wangdi (Bhutan), Consul Piyanut Hongsyok (Estonia-Phuket). Back row from left to right: Kavi Ansvananda, Consul General Sanan Angubolkul (Maldives), Dr Warawit Kanithasen (former Thai Ambassador), Dr Ioan Voicu (former Romanian Ambassador), Dr Kantathi Suphamonkol (former Foreign Minister), Senator Dr Jetn Sirathranont, Ambassador Sirpa Meanpaa (Finland), Senator General Kasemsak Plooksawat, Consul General Dr Sribhumi Sukhanet (Monaco), Ambassador Jorge Eduardo Chen Charpentier (Mexico), Khun Vicha Mahakun and Denes Tomaj (Hungary).
This year’s ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert takes place at Shrewsbury International School on Thursday 31st October. Conductor John Moore is again visiting from the UK for what is promised to be a very special event to mark the school’s 10th anniversary. Ticket enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Etihad Airways has launched a service to Washington D.C. from Bangkok via its Abu Dhabi hub. The airline promises seamless connections in Abu Dhabi for passengers travelling between Bangkok and the US capital city. In June the airline is set to add Sao Paulo to its list of international destinations and flights to Ho Chi Minh city begin in October. Etihad serves 86 cities in 56 countries.
Nobel Laureates visit S
tudents and staff at Shrewsbury International School were delighted to welcome two Nobel Prize winners. British-born Professor Sir Harold Kroto, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996, and Professor Roger Myerson – the Economics winner in 2007 – were in Thailand as part of the 4th ASEAN Bridges speaker series organised by the International Peace Foundation.
Professor Kroto, knighted by The Queen in 1996, started his day at Shrewsbury by joining students from Year 7 in their science lessons. He told them what had inspired him to become a chemist. He also
Professor Sir Harold Kroto (second from left) with Year 7 students
met students from Years 12 and 13 before taking part in a Q&A session with topics ranging from the application of creative thinking across a range of subjects to what students should do if their teachers are not providing inspiration.
From left to right: Professor Roger Myerson, Stuart Howard (Shrewsbury Teacher) and Koen van der Hoeven (Head Boy)
Prof Myerson, an American who won the Nobel Prize for his work on mechanism design theory (Game Theory), made a brief presentation
entitled ‘Leadership, Democracy and Local Government’ before engaging with Shrewsbury students from Years 11, 12 and 13 in a lively debate. The International Peace Foundation, based in Austria, aims to build bridges towards peace and international understanding by stimulating intellectual, scientific and cultural exchanges throughout the region.
Janice Van Ekeren, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Ayudhya Plc., presents a cheque for THB 4,060,000 to Sahawat Naenna, DirectorGeneral of the Fine Arts Department, as part of its programme known as ‘Krungsri Preserves Arts and Ancient Sites in its Home Province’. The funds will be used to support the restoration of artworks and ancient sites that were damaged by the 2011 flood. Krungsri collaborates with the Fine Arts Department to preserve and maintain ancient sites including temples in Ayutthaya, to conserve the Thai identity. 56
CBRE cleans up in Mae Hong Song A
s part of CBRE Thailand’s 25th anniversary programme the company has sponsored and constructed a clean water system for Baan Huay Mai Sang, a remote village in Mae Hong Sorn province. Led by Chairman David Simister a group of 10 CBRE Thailand volunteers were selected from across all business lines to construct a supply and distribution system with a filter tank, two water storage silos and 12 latrines. Clean water systems provide significant ongoing health benefits for rural communities and statistically reduce infant mortality by 50 percent. Working with the Karen Hilltribes Trust which designs, supervises and monitors these projects, CBRE Thailand volunteers also brought stationery and clothing to children in the village. “I believe our volunteers who lived with the villagers for the duration of the project have gained through
experience as much as the villagers and we hope to maintain a longterm relationship with Baan Huay Mai Sang,” said David Simister. *The Karen Hilltribes Trust is a charity dedicated to working with
the Karen people of Northern Thailand to help them build a better future for themselves. The Karen Hilltribes Trust is keen to work with other organisations interesting in providing water systems to other rural villages
Property awards C
long-established International Property Awards and its winners’ logo is recognised as a symbol of excellence throughout the global industry.
The rankings embrace all real estate categories in most major markets across the region. The Asia Pacific Property Awards are part of the
The highest scoring winners from the Asia Pacific Property Awards will compete later this year against other winning companies from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Arabia to find
BRE has achieved ‘top three’ rankings in 25 categories across 13 countries in the Asia Pacific Property Awards (part of the International Property Awards).
the ultimate ‘World’s Best’ in each category. Rob Blain, Chairman and CEO - Asia Pacific for CBRE commented, “We are proud to build on our success in last year’s awards with Malaysia and Korea joining the ranks of CBRE winners. CBRE Thailand has now secured 36 International Property Awards. The Brief
By the Numbers Chris Bruton Director, Dataconsult Ltd.
Table 1: Comparison of the population aged 15 years and over by labour force status Unit: million
Labour force status
Persons over 15 years
1. Total labour force
2. Not in labour force
Source : Ministry of Labour: Labour Force Survey 2012
Table 2: Comparison of the number of employed persons by industry
here are increasing concerns, in the context of the approaching ASEAN Economic Community, about the competitiveness of Thailand in relation to other ASEAN member countries. Part of these concerns relate to higher levels of technology in the more advanced countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia, and part relate to the lower costs, especially of labour, arising in the less developed countries, such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. There are also fears that the “middle income” countries, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, might eventually have the happier medium, of adequately high technology and adequately low labour costs, as well as the advantage of very high and growing domestic consumer populations. According to latest official figures, Thailand has a population over the age of 15 years, of almost 55 million, with a labour force of 40 million, almost fully employed, with minimal unemployment. Of this working population, over 16 million, equivalent to 41 percent of the total, is employed in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector, a very high proportion relative to the very small contribution made to GDP of this sector. Clearly without significantly improving the productivity and revenue stream of the agricultural sector, and reduction in proportion of employed persons, Thailand will be unable to progress to fully middle income status, greater equality of incomes, and higher availability of labour for manufacturing and service industries. Presently only 5.6 million persons,
- Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
- Transportation and storage
- Accommodation and food service activities
- Financial and insurance activities
- Real estate activities
- Public administration defence and compulsory social security
- Human health and social work activities
- Other service activities
Source : Ministry of Labour: Labour Force Survey 2012
equivalent to 14.1 percent of employed persons are engaged in manufacturing, 2.25 million equal to 5.7 percent in construction, 5.8 million, equivalent to 14.7 percent in trade, and the remainder in a variety of service and administrative occupations. The potential to raise productivity is closely related to educational attainment. Without a strong educational base, it is difficult for any labour force to keep abreast of rapid technological advance. It has been estimated that in technologically-related industries, the level of technology can double every two years, in an exponential rather than straight linear progression. Although information technology and machinery are increasingly taking over from people, the people that ultimately, control the equipment will need to advance their skills in a commensurate fashion.
In the case of Thailand, it is estimated that one third of the workforce has either no education at all (4.6 percent) or less than elementary education (27.7 percent). A further 20 percent has only an elementary education. Those with a lower secondary education represent only 18.8 percent. Taken together, this means that over 70 percent of Thailand’s population lacks what, in advanced countries, would be considered any significant educational attainment. Those completing secondary education represent only 14.8 percent, with higher education at 14.4 percent. Although the best of Thailand’s higher education can attain impressive results, and some students may attain an excellent education in spite of the generally poor quality of
Table 3: Employed persons 15 years and over by level of educational attainment and area: 2012 Level of educational attainment: Quarter 2 / 2012 Total
Number of employed persons
Percentage of employed persons
Less than Elementary
Upper Secondary Level
General / Academic
Higher Technical Education
Teacher Training Others
Source : Ministry of Labour: Labour Force Survey 2012
Table 4: ASEAN + 2: Ranking in educational quality factors
(Ranking among 142 countries)
Secondary Education Enrolment
Tertiary Education Enrolment
Quality of Education System
Quality of Maths and Science Education
Quality of Management Schools
Internet Access in Schools
Availability of Research and Training Services
Extent of Staff Training
Source: World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report: 2011/2012 (142 countries)
the educational system, rather than through benefitting from it, the overall productivity is unimpressive. The educational system simply does not prepare students with the necessary basic general, technical and linguistic skills to enter the labour force or proceed to further training. The end result, unfortunately, is that Thailandâ€™s educational system does not appear to rate well, even by regional standards. According to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, ranking 142 countries, Thailand did manage
to reach the top half, and was fourth best ASEAN country, ahead of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. Laos and Myanmar were not rated. However in terms of quality of education, Thailand rated 77 worldwide, comfortably lowest of all rated ASEAN countries, even Cambodia. Singapore rated 4th overall in the world, and 2nd in quality of education. Singapore is, of course, always exceptional. But even Malaysia, rated overall at 38, and 14 for quality of education, achieved a high world ranking. Thai-
land also appears to be well behind Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia in quality of management school quality, as well as in availability of research and training services. Thus it seems that Thailand is not only behind major ASEAN countries, but likely to remain so. These are issues of critical importance, often discussed, never effectively tackled. It can take a few years to build physical infrastructure, but it takes a generation to educate a child into an effective worker. So we had better start the improvement process soon. The Brief
Chamber Events Life & Style Garden Party 21 March 2013 On 21st March the British Embassy opened its gate for members & guests to attend the annual Life & Style Garden Party.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 60
Third Thursday Networking Evening & Meet 2013 Board Candidates 17 January 2013 The first Third Thursday networking & meet the 2013 board candidates was on 17th January. A grateful thanks to Pullman Hotel G Bangkok for hosting & sponsoring this event
01 01 (from left to right) - Guy Poujoulat, Pullman Hotel G Bangkok - Simon Matthews, Manpower Group/BCCT Vice Chairman - Joe Barker-Bennett, JMBB Consulting Co. Ltd./BCCT Board Director
02 02 - Members and guests enjoying the evening
Annual General Meeting & Luncheon 23 January 2013 On 23rd January BCCT members joined together at the BCCT Annual General Meeting sponsored by Technical and General Guaranteed Company S.A to cast their votes for the BCCT Board 2013. British H.E Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, conveyed his thoughts on “UK and Thailand: Building A Strategic Trade Relationship”.
01 01 New 2013 BCCT Board Directors
02 02 - H. E. Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, conveyed his thoughts on “UK and Thailand: Building A Strategic Trade Relationship”.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. The Brief
BCCT/AustCham/NZTCC Professional Women’s Group Speed Networking 24 January 2013 The joint BCCT/AustCham/ NZTCC Professional Women’s Group Networking Evening on 24th January at Eastin Grand Sathorn was an enjoyable event with a theme of speed networking. A warm thanks to our sponsors Amrop and Bangkok Patana School.
01 01 (from left to right) - Emma Goligher, Bangkok Patana School - Rachel Jones, Bangkok Patana School - Tracy Stanley, PWG Chairperson - Tana Akson, Amrop
02 02 - Guests network at the Eastin Grand Sathorn.
BCCT/AMCHAM/AustCham/SATCC Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening 25 January 2013 On 25th January the BCCT joined hands with AustCham, AMCHAM and SATCC for an Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening at Amari Orchid Pattaya. Special thanks to our sponsors Town & Country Property, MBMG Group, Asian Tigers Mobility Thailand and Amari Orchid Pattaya.
01 01 (from left to right) - Brendan Daly, Amari Orchid Pattaya - Simon Landy, Colliers/BCCT Chairman - Joe Barker-Bennett, JMBB Consulting Co., Ltd./BCCT Board Director
02 02 - All smiles at the Amari Orchid Pattaya.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 62
Meeting with new UKTI head in Cambodia
Meeting with new UKTI head in Burma (Myanmar)
30 January 2013
30 January 2013
On 30th January BCCT hosted a meeting for members with Jeffrey Lamb, the new Head of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Phnom Penh.
Lisa Weedon, the new Head of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Rangoon (Yangon) paid a call on the BCCT office on 30th January, the day before taking up her position.
01 (from left to right) - Dickson Chin, Wallem Shipping (Thailand) Ltd. - Michael Wolf, Property Care Services (Thailand) Ltd. - Jeffrey Lamb, UKTI Cambodia - Sriram Narayan, British Airways - Greg Watkins, BCCT
01 (from left to right) - Greg Watkins, BCCT - Lisa Weedon, UKTI Burma (Myanmar) - Simon Landy, Colliers/BCCT Chairman
Meeting with UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
From 1984 – 6 A Chance to Reminisce
1 February 2013
4 February 2013
On 1st February representatives of several BCCT member companies met Michelle Frew, Deputy Director IPO, Edmund Marler, Senior Policy Adviser IPO and Tan Shin Yuan, SE Asia IP attaché, British High Commission, Singapore to directly explain some of the IP challenges BCCT members face.
BCCT Chairman from 1984-6 Bernard Coe paid a call on the BCCT office on Monday 4th February. He met up with several BCCT members from his time as Chairman and some current board directors.
01 - The IPO team with BCCT members
01 - Bernard Coe (standing 4th from left) with BCCT members, past and current board directors.
BCCT Evening Panel Discussion (Thailand and the AEC 2015)
British Business Association in Phuket’s Annual General Meeting
5 February 2013
12 February 2013
On 5th February Dr. Kirada Bhaopichitr and Dr. Cynthia Pornavalai formed a panel to discuss the topic of ‘Thailand and AEC 2015’. Moderator was Stephen Frost.
On 12 February the British Business Association Phuket (BBAP) held its Annual General Meeting at Palm Garden Resort, Chalong, Phuket.
01 (from left to right) - Stephen Frost, Bangkok International Associates/BCCT Board Director - Dr. Kirada Bhaopichitr, World Bank - Dr. Cynthia Pornavalai, Tilleke & Gibbins
01 (from left to right) - Brendan Foy, BBAP committee member - Maurice Deveney - David Roberts, BBAP Chairman
- Richard Valentine - Greg Watkins, BCCT
BCCT/AustCham/SATCC P&I Evening Presentation 12 February 2013 James Pitchon, CB Richard Ellis, was a speaker at a Joint BCCT/AustCham/SATCC P&I Evening Presentation on 12th February at the Rembrandt Hotel.
01 01 (from left to right) - Graham Macdonald MBE, MBMG Group - James Pitchon, CB Richard Ellis - John Anderson, Meinhardt - Chris Thatcher, Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd./BCCT Vice Chairman
02 02 - James Pitchon’s presentation attracted a large gathering of members from the three chambers.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 64
BCCT Boardroom Briefing 20 February 2013 On 20th February Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) pcl kindly hosted and sponsored a BCCT Boardroom Briefing on Myanmar Foreign Investment Law.
01 01 (from left to right) - Gary Biesty, South Asia Law/BCCT’s Myanmar Group Chairman - Simon Landy, Colliers/ BCCT Chairman - Lyn Kok , Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) Pcl
02 02 (from left to right) - Nigel Oakins, Blue Mango Publishing Co., Ltd. - Ewen McDonald, Rolls-Royce (Thailand) Ltd. - Les Walsh, The Arrivals Company Limited
BCCT Half-Day Workshop (Personal Leadership & Productivity) 21 February 2013 On 21st February the BCCT Management Development Group in collaboration with PacRim, offered a half-day workshop on the topic of ‘Personal Leadership & Productivity’ at Triple Two Silom.
01 01 - Chatrudee Boriparat, Facilitator of PacRim
02 02 - Taking a break from the workshop
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. The Brief
Third Thursday Networking Evening 21 February 2013 T3- Third Thursday Social Networking on Thursday 21st February at Panorama Bar was an enjoyable event. A warm thanks to our sponsor Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park.
01 01 (from left to right) - Simon Matthews, Manpower Group/BCCT Vice Chairman - Bernado De La Garza, Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park - David Cumming, Onyx Hospitality Group/BCCT Board Director
02 02 (from left to right) - Boyd Chongphaisal, GSK/ BCCT Vice Chairman - Yoko Fujisaki, TICON Industrial Connection plc. - Pathara Thampatpong, Watson, Farley & Williams
Special BCCT Lunch (Lord David Puttnam) 22 February 2013 Lord David Puttnam Kt, CBE, FRSA, film producer and Chancellor of the Open University was guest speaker at the Special BCCT Luncheon at the Mandarin Oriental on 22nd February. The event was sponsored by MBMG Group.
01 - Lord David Puttnam
02 (from left to right) - Andrew McBean, Grant Thornton/BCCT Board Director - Simon Landy, Colliers/BCCT Chairman - Lord David Puttnam - Graham Macdonald MBE, MBMG Group - Professor Emeritus Dr. Montri Chulavatnatol, IPST - Chris Thatcher, Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd./BCCT Vice Chairman
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 66
AustCham/BCCT/AMCHAM Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening
BCCT-Samaggi Samagom Career Fair
22 February 2013
23 February 2013
On 22nd February the BCCT joined hand with AMCHAM and AustCham for an Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening at Holiday Inn Pattaya.
BCCT in partnership with Samaggi Samagom (the Thai Students Association in UK) organised a career fair at the Manchester City Sporting Complex on 23 February 2013.
01 (from left to right) - Josh Hyland, AEC South East Asia Co., Ltd. - Paul Wilkinson, JVK International Movers Ltd. - Richard Jackson, RLC Asia Ltd. - Ron Grigaras, Faurecia
01 - Representatives from Weston EU/Weston SEA, Tesco Lotus and Standard Chartered Bank
FTCC/BCCT Networking Evening
Britain in South East Asia (BiSEA) Conference
28 February 2013
4-5 March 2013
In a rare display of entente cordiale BCCT joined hand with the Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce (FTCC) for a networking evening on 28 February at Flann O’Brien’s.
Representatives of the British Chambers and business groups in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam gathered for the ninth bi-annual BiSEA conference on 4th and 5th March.
01 (from left to right) - Liam Herrity, Flann O’ Brien’s - Pauline Valli, FTCC - Chris Thatcher, Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd./BCCT Vice Chairman
01 - BiSEA representatives met in Bangkok.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. The Brief
Special BCCT Luncheon (Regional Economic Review)
BCCT Evening Panel Discussion (Setting up in Myanmar)
4 March 2013
4 March 2013
Annette Dixon, Country Director Southeast Asia of the World Bank in Thailand, was guest speaker at a Special BCCT Luncheon on 4th March at the Holiday Inn Silom.
On 4th March BCCT hosted an Evening Panel Discussion sponsored by Grayling on ‘Setting up in Myanmar - Why & How’.
01 (from left to right) - Simon Matthews, Manpower Group/BCCT Vice Chairman - Siew Meng Tan, HSBC/BCCT Board Director - Annette Dixon, World Bank - Simon Landy, Colliers/BCCT Chairman - Chris Thatcher, Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd./BCCT Vice Chairman
01 - John Hamilton, Cranes and Equipment Asia - Ola Nicolai Borge, KPMG Advisory (Myanmar) - Simon Landy, Colliers/ BCCT Chairman
Special BCCT Luncheon (Child Protection) 5 March 2013 On 5th March BCCT organised a Special BCCT Luncheon with guest speaker Peter Davies, CEO of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in UK. The event was sponsored by Shrewsbury International School.
01 - Peter Davies gave an update on Child Protection in South East Asia and how companies can engage in prevention awareness.
02 (from left to right) - Simon Landy, Colliers/BCCT Chairman - Chris Thatcher, Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd./BCCT Vice Chairman - Peter Davies, CEOP, UK - Tim Gerrish, CEOP, UK - Greg Watkins, BCCT
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 68
Comings and Goings The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand welcomes the following new members:
AngloINFO Bangkok 77/315,The Waterford Park Soi Pumijit, Rama 4 Road, Prakanong Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0) 81-286-8483 Website: http://bangkok.angloinfo.com/
Representative: Mr. Paul Jackson, Director Business Activity: AngloINFO is an online media company, providing local business directory and information services targeted at expatriates, offering clarity, reliability and relevance. It provides a number of advertising products for companies wishing to reach these communities. AngloINFO currently operates in around 100 cities and over 40 countries and is expanding worldwide rapidly. With over 85 million pageviews per month. AngloINFO Bangkok currently enjoys around 65,000 Unique visitors a mmonth.
Aurecon Consulting (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 11th Floor, Unit 1101, Pakin Building, 9 Ratchadapisek, Dindaeng Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0) 2333-3222 Fax: +66 (0) 2333-3233 Website: www.aurecongroup.com
Representative: Mr. David Gregan, Technical Director Business Activity: Aurecon provides engineering,
management and specialist technical services for government and private sector clients globally. The group, with an office network across 25 countries, has been involved in projects in over 80 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas. Aurecon employs over 7,500 professionals who offer in-depth local market knowledge combined with international expertise across 11 markets: Construction; Data and Telecommunication; Defence; Energy; Government; International development assistance; Property; Manufacturing; Resources; Transport and Water. With experienced staff in Thailand, we have been recognized for engineering and technical excellence in the civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical, façade, environmental and power generation disciplines for building, industrial, energy, transport and telecommunication projects.
Heritage Estates Co., Ltd. 219/18, 6th Floor, Asoke Towers, Sukhumvit 21 Road North Khlongtoey, Wattana Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (0) 2664-0895 Fax: +66 (0) 2664-1515 Website: www.glowfishoffices.com
Representative: Mr. Gavin Vongkusolkit, Managing Director Business Activity: Heritage Estates Co., Ltd. is an real estate investment company privately owned by Isara Vongkusolkit and family. The company owns and, manages The Pride – Asoke Towers Office Building on Sukhumvit 21 and is in the process of developing
a boutique hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 1. Glowfish is a new serviced office and coworking concept at Asoke Towers, Bangkok created to bring the serviced office industry up to date and into line with the requirements of today’s savvy entrepreneurs. Glowfish differs from other serviced offices not just for its contemporary décor and atmosphere, but also by offering the latest business technology, a host of business support services, a creative and inspiring work environment with a genuine sense of community, and a full programme of inspiring speakers and events to keep Glowfish members ahead of the curve. Most importantly, Glowfish does all of this at great value to its customers.
Maikhao Dream Hotels & Resorts 151/34, Moo 4, Mai Khao Thalang, Phuket 83110 Tel: +66 (0) 76-616-072 Fax: +66 (0) 76 616 071 Website: www.maikhaodream.com
Representative: Ms. Zhanel Tyurina, Managing Director Ms. Aaishah Bohari, Director of Sales & Marketing Business Activity: Maikhao Dream Hotels & Resorts are offering two luxury beachfront boutique resorts in Maikhao, Phuket offers 22 exquisite pool villas in a romantic tropical beachfront location on Phuket Island and Natai, PhangNga offers an intimate 56-room Resort, elegantly designed to reflect traditional Thai architecture and décor the resort boasts of five-star luxury facilities The Brief
Michael Page One Raffles Place Tower 2, #09-61 Singapore 48616 Tel: +65 6533-2777 Fax: +65 6533-7227 Website: www.michaelpage.com.sg
Representative: Mr. Andrew Norton, Regional Managing Director Business Activity: Part of PageGroup, Michael Page is a worldwide leader in specialist recruitment. We’ve been bringing job seekers and employers together for more than 30 years.
The Peninsula Bangkok 333 Charoennakorn Road Klongsan, Bangkok 10600 Tel: +66 (0) 2861-2888 Fax: +66 (0) 2861-1112 Website: www.peninsula.com/bangkok
Representative: Ms. Katja Henke, General Manager Business Activity: One of the finest hotels in Asia, The Peninsula Bangkok perfectly mixes timeless elegance and sophistication with contemporary comfort and technology. Its distinctive wavedshape design affords each of the 370 rooms and suites stunning panoramic views over the historic Chao Phraya River. With unrivalled hotel facilities, The Peninsula Bangkok features the magnificent Peninsula Spa offering treatments that layer Thai, European and Ayurvedic philosophies for an entirely new experience. Guests can relax in a Thai pavilion by the 88-metre three-tiered swimming pool, or indulge at the Fitness Centre with plunge pool, steam room and sauna. The Peninsula Bangkok offers a remarkable selection 70
of world-class cuisines that includes Thai home-style dishes at Thiptara, authentic Cantonese cuisine at Mei Jiang, an extensive menu of local and international dishes at River Cafe and Terrace, and a wide selection of light meals and the traditional Peninsula Afternoon Tea, accompanied by live music, in The Lobby.
PFM-International 1 Moo 4, Sanpranet, A. Sansai Chiang Mai 50210 Tel: +66 (0) 81-764-3048 Website: www.pfm-international.net
Representative: Mr. Alan Hall Fpc, Cmap, Director Business Activity: Financial Management. We offer truly Independent Advice. PFM International are truly independent and consider solutions from a wide range of Insurers and Fund Managers to meet your needs. Our company is based in Thailand making us the ideal solution for expatriates. Although we are based in Chiang Mai, we can cater to expats across SouthEast Asia. Alan Hall has over 25 years’ experience in advising expat clients regarding pensions i.e. QROPS, SIPPS and QNUPS as well as wills, trusts, mortgages, health insurance and other aspects such as Tax and Legal advice “When giving advice I always ask myself if the product or course of action is something I would recommend for myself or my own family were I in the client’s same situation.” PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. Level 21/1, Sathorn City Tower 175 South Sathorn Road, Thungmahamek, Sathorn Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (0) 2679-5100-4 Fax: +66 (0) 2679-5105 Website: www.pkfthailand.asia
Representative: Mr. John Sim, Chairman Mr. John Casella, Partner Business Activity: PKF is building one of the leading international accountancy and business advisory firms in Thailand, specialized in providing you with comprehensive integrated services. Through our broad range of professional services and expertise, we meet your business’s individual needs, regardless of size. Our primary concern is providing you with excellent value and quality service.
SDL 138 Cecil Street, Cecil Court #15-00 Singapore 69538 Tel: +65 6339-7282 Fax: +65 6334-5292 Website: www.sdl.com Email: email@example.com
Representative: Mr. Chris Tew, EVP Asia Pacific Ms. Hana Mujadzic, Business Development Executive Business Activity: SDL enables global businesses to enrich their customers’ experience through the entire customer journey. SDL’s technology and services help brands to predict what their customers want and engage with them across multiple languages, cultures, channels and devices. SDL work with a variety of organisations in the retail, financial and travel space such as Specialty Fashion Group, Rebel Sport, Grays Online, Westpac, Best Western and many more, enabling these organisations to create relevant and effective engaging experiences with their customers
through social, digital and traditional marketing channels. We provide a fully integrated marketing software solution built for marketers across social, web, email and campaign management and analytics. SDL’s Social Intelligence solutions connect proven research methods with vast amounts of social media data, in order to understand and address audience behavior. SDL has over 1,500 enterprise customers, 400 partners and a global infrastructure of 70 offices in 38 countries. 42 out of the top 50 brands work with SDL.
TCC (The Continuity Company Limited) 44 Floor, One Island East, 18 Westlands Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong Tel: +(852) 21-702-561 Website: http://www.tccglobal.com Email: marie.bouakhasith@tccglobal. com
Representative: Ms. Marie Bouakhasith, Business Development Manager Business Activity: The global leader in changing shopping behaviour Operating in more than 50 countries worldwide, TCC designs in store events that increase total store sales by improving frequency and average transaction levels. We work with over 250 world-leading retailers, predominantly in the grocery, cash & carry, petroleum, convenience and health & beauty sectors, successfully delivering concrete and measurable increases in sales and market share. The experience gained from successfully running more than 5,000 programs across the world allows us to design in store events that successfully change shopper behaviour. Following close consultation with our clients, we design and implement tailor-
made events with one thing in mind – delivering a positive measurable difference to our clients’ business. Our services include event design, reward sourcing, logistics, creative services, program management, performance measurement and analysis. We offer a range of proven and innovative solutions designed to deliver our clients’ objectives.
WB&CO (Singapore Office) 40B Ridout Road Singapore 248440
Representative: Mr. Mark Walker, CEO Tel: +65 6226 5422 Website: www.wbcouk.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Business Activity: WB&CO develops and markets health food products that combine innovative use of flavours with stylish design. The company is recognised globally for its own range of vegetable juice which has been sold at Waitrose, Selfridges and Harvey Nicols and featured on CNBC and Channel 4. In addition to our own range of products WB&CO creates turn-key products and brands for F&B Companies, Supermarkets, Hotels and Restaurant Groups. Resignations & Cancellation: 1. CIGNA Insurance Public Company Limited 2. Coyote Sukhumvit Ltd. 3. DANEBURY (Thailand) Co., Ltd 4. Geodis Wilson Thai Ltd. 5. Jameson’s Company Limited 6. Jet Airways (India) Ltd. 7. McMillan Woods (Thailand) Limited 8. Mitsui Oil Exploration Co.,Ltd 9. Natural Ville and Lenôtre 10. SDV Logistics (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 11. Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok 12. TMF (Thailand) Limited
New Company Representatives: 1. Baker Tilly Thailand Ltd., changed from Mr. Robert Brown, to Mr. Warwick Kneale 2. Boots Retail (Thailand) Ltd. , changed from Mr. Dean Thompson, to Mr. Rituraj Mohan 3. Brenntag Ingredients (Thailand) Public Company Limited, changed from Mr. Jan Dam Pedersen, to Mr. Knud Mohr 4. Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, changed from Mr. Michel Horn, to Mr. Robert F. Maurer-Loeffler 5. Ducati Motor (Thailand) Co., Ltd., changed from Mr. Alain Deurwaerder, to Mr. Francesco Milicia 6. Dusit Thani Bangkok, changed from Mr. Alex Willats, to Mr. James Robert Wilson 7. HSBC, changed from Mr. Matthew Lobner, to Ms. Siew Meng Tan 8. Primus International Bangkok Limited, changed from Mr. Jimmie Charles Hoover, to Mr. Douglas Fletcher 9. Tilleke & Gibbins International Ltd, changed from Khun Sriwan Puapondh, to Mr. James Evans Changes of company name: 1. G4S Security Services (Thailand) Ltd., changed to G4S Secure Solutions (Thailand) Limited 2. New International School of Thailand, changed to NIST International School Members with new addresses: 1.
Veritas Enterprises Ltd. 3rd Floor, 213/2, Asoke Towers Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke) Klongtoey Nua, Wattana Bangkok 10110
No cause for panic in Essex By Dale Lawrence
ssex Police have announced plans to launch their own ‘Dad’s Army’ style team of investigators. Operation Homeguard will roll out in Colchester later this year with residents impersonating their favorite detectives to gather information about burglaries. These fearless back-up bobbies have no doubt been rehearsing their lines. ‘Excuse me Sir. I am your friendly neighbourhood sleuth from 52, Acacia Avenue and I have reason to believe that you are in possession of stolen goods’.
It’s all about cutting costs. Essex Police needs to slash £42 million from its budget by 2015 as Chancellor George Osborne continues his battle to control public spending in the wake of the huge deficit inherited from the previous Labour government. The scheme was dreamed up by Chief Inspector Richard Phillibrown who
said, “Operation Homeguard aims to raise public awareness of crime by providing an opportunity for people in the community to work with the police to help spread crime prevention messages and get a greater understanding of police work. There is no question of any member of the public being asked to carry out any police enquiries or act in any front-line policing capacity.”
Justice in suspense
ritain’s criminal fraternity must be queuing at the doors of Teesside Crown Court in the hope of having their case heard by Judge Peter Bowers. This is the learned Judge, you will undoubtedly recall, who praised burglar Richard Rochford for his courage and spared him a spell in chokey as a guest of Her Majesty. ‘It takes a huge amount of courage, as far as I can see, for somebody to burgle somebody’s house. I wouldn’t have the nerve’, he told Rochford before handing down a suspended sentence.
That leniency earned Judge Bowers an official reprimand. But he seems determined to prove that he’s a soft touch as paedophile Mark Martin discovered at the same Crown Court in March. Martin, a repeat offender, was caught in possession of indecent images of children on his mobile phone and admitted that he expected to receive a prison sentence. But Judge Bowers told him that he would face ‘a hard time in prison’ and gave him a suspended sentence as well. You couldn’t make it up.
But Colchester’s Neighbourhood Watch ‘Coordinator of the Year’ Martin Goss was not convinced. “It all sounds great in principle but isn’t it just policing on the cheap to make up for all the cuts,” he asked. ‘I don’t see who they will get because the people who come forward will be those already involved in the community.”
School head in a flap
riangular flapjacks have been banned from Castle View secondary school on Canvey Island in Essex over ‘elf and safety’ fears after boy was hit in the eye during a canteen food fight. Dinner ladies at the comprehensive school were ordered to cut flapjacks only into squares or rectangles. The ruling on flapjacks was imposed by Headmistress Gill Thomas with School Manager Keith Evans then convening a meeting of catering staff to pass on the flapjack edict. It’s not clear whether the school’s Science staff were consulted or, indeed, on what basis it was decided that four cornered flapjacks were safer than the potentially lethal triangular versions.
British Chamber of Commerce Thailand
Thailand & UK
– Partners in Progress
Who we are Working to represent members’ business interests in Thailand
Our focus Promoting constructive links for members’ business
What we do Seminars, workshops, training, networking and much more
Exceptional people Outstanding opportunities Academic excellence Shrewsbury International School offers outstanding IGCSE and A Level exam courses, the unique Reading The World humanities programme for Y12 and Y13 students, as well as unparalleled and personalised careers advice for entry into the worldâ€™s leading universities. For an Admissions pack, call Ilka Hodapp on 02 675 1888 ext 1110 or email email@example.com Scholarships are available. Be part of the Shrewsbury success story.