Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand Issue 1 2014
Healthcare, hospitals and medical insurance
BCCT Board 2014
Now with upgraded health packages Including worldwide emergency transportation Preventive health care for all and a no-claims bonus
Our Star Health Plan provides perfect care for you and your family with premium levels designed to be reasonable and stable. We believe in long-term relationships which is why we focus on prevention. Our Plan offers more care to keep you healthy and happy – and your premiums low. Call our agent on 08 4524 4772 or by e-mail to email@example.com Thaivivat – Your Health Manager.
Board of Directors 2014 Chairman Simon Matthews ManpowerGroup Thailand T: 02 634 7273 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chairman & Treasurer John Sim PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. T: 02 679-5100 email@example.com Vice Chairmen Viriya (Boyd) Chongphaisal GlaxoSmithKline T: 02 659 3000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Landy Colliers International Thailand T: 02 656 7000 email@example.com Chris Thatcher Anglo-Thai Legal Company Ltd. T: 081 803 7377 firstname.lastname@example.org Directors: Graham Balchin Salamander Energy (E&P) Ltd. T: 02 620 0800 email@example.com
David Cumming Onyx Hospitality Group (Amari Orchid Pattaya) T: 02 255 3767 firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Farley Harrow International School Bangkok T: 02 503 7222 email@example.com Stephen Frost Bangkok International Associates T: 02 231 6201/6455 firstname.lastname@example.org Charly Madan The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. T: 02 679 5900 email@example.com Andrew McBean Grant Thornton T: 02 205 8222 firstname.lastname@example.org Siew Meng Tan HSBC T: 02 614 4040 email@example.com
Managing costs in Thai medical sector Points to consider when buying medical insurance
Rituraj Mohan Boots Retail (Thailand) T: 02 694 5900 Ritu.Mohan@bootsri.com
Thana Thiramanus Property Care Services (Thailand) T: 02 741-8800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg’s silver lining Thailand’s latest solar lessons for the world
Risk management is key for expat assignments Thai cities get top 100 Euromonitor ranking
Thailand team sets pace in exports drive
Chairman’s Report to BCCT Annual General Meeting The Link
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The Link is published by the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand. Advertising enquiries: Greg Watkins Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Dale Lawrence Email: email@example.com Front cover design: GSBI 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.
Chairmanâ€™s Message 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Watkins, Executive Director
UKTI/BCCT Overseas Business Network Project Business as usual for UKTI team in Thailand Member News
By the Numbers Chamber events Comings and Goings Final Word
ing t a r b Cebleusineesns ce l excel
Entrepreneur Awards 2014 Recognising the foreign community’s contribution to the Thai economy FOR the first time, companies established in Thailand by the country’s expatriate community will be recognized for their creativity, ingenuity, excellence and proven success in The Expat Entrepreneur Awards of the Year 2014. Supported by The BigChilli magazine in conjunction with communications experts BNOW, the Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014 will highlight the contribution foreign-owned companies make to Thailand’s economy. Awards will be presented in a variety of categories to recognize the amazing diversity of these enterprises. If you are an expatriate entrepreneur with a business story worth telling, or you know someone whose company deserves recognition, please let us know.
The categories include:
• Arts & culture • Agriculture • Charities & Foundations • Construction & design • Corporate training • Education • Entertainment (music, performance) • F&B (catering, restaurants) • Finance • Health, wellness, & spa • Hospitality
• Manufacturing • Retail (fashion, accessories) • Sports and fitness • Tech & IT • Others (TBA) Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014 Recognizing your contribution to Thailand’s economy.
Send your submissions to: email@example.com 8
his is my first message as your new Chairman. Members who know me would agree I prefer to be talking than writing this message but this as they say goes with the title. Whatever is required of me I will give 100 percent commitment. This is a huge honour and responsibility. I’d like to thank all who have given me support and encouragement during my last four years as a board director.
I have been involved with the BCCT for the last 15 years, either attending events or socialising at the networking evenings in Bangkok and on the Eastern Seaboard. However, it was over the last four years on the Board that I began to appreciate what a great job the Chamber staff does to maintain a strong presence and voice for the British business community in Thailand. With Greg at the helm it makes Board life so much easier as the day to day operations are so well managed and we can look at a more strategic role. Even with a full schedule Greg managed to work on the UKTI project and expand our office which now has the British Business Centre. Greg is well supported by such a dedicated team. We had several staff changes last year but I am confident we have the right people in the right job. Rungjit does a great job as Events Manager, particularly in controlling me as Chairman of the Events Group. Last year’s Board was led by Simon Landy and I wish to take this opportunity to thank Simon for his hard work and dedication to the Chamber. I am even more pleased that he will continue to support the Chamber and, in his role as one of the Vice Chairmen, Simon will continue to represent BCCT on the Board of Trade Executive. They say that stability is so important during a leadership change so I am please to say that the other three Vice Chairmen will also continue and support me as they did so admirably for Simon last year. John Sim of PKF will continue as Vice Chairman/Treasurer. At the AGM, John said that his presentations are getting boring. This is because under his stewardship we continue to be financially sound so please keep boring us. Chris Thatcher of Anglo-Thai Legal (‘Mr Events’) is such an asset to the Chamber with his insight to members’ needs. Last, but not least, Viriya ‘Boyd’ Chongphaisal of GlaxoSmithKline (Thailand) Limited will continue to give us his Thai perspective. I will ensure that the rest of the board will have an active portfolio to administer that will be aligned to their strengths and experience. This year I would like to see progress in four key areas: 1. Advocacy: We made some progress last year and worked closely with other chambers and advocacy groups such as the EABC. I would like to work on this and re-visit where we are and what are the key issues that face our members today. 2. Events: Events are the touch-point with our members. We held the second members feedback session in Bangkok last year and are planning a similar event in the ESB. With the feedback received we will work on how we can approve on the current events and achieve a good balance between informational/educational and fun events, between income‐generating and free/subsidised events, between Bangkok and upcountry and, ultimately, between quantity and quality. 3. UK Investment in Thailand: To work closely with the UKTI project and the British Embassy to grow the number of UK companies investing in Thailand and introduce these companies to the wide range of services our members can offer. 4. Investment: With financial stability and a healthy balance sheet it is time to look at what is our minimum operational expense required to run the chamber and how we invest back to our members any surplus we have. This must add value as we do not want to waste this opportunity. With the ongoing political unrest in Thailand this will be a challenging year for all of us so please remember that your Chamber is here to support you. In closing, I would thank you in advance for your continued support in 2014. BCCT exists because of its members and I would encourage you to feed back on any issues you wish to be raised, how we can improve or what would you like us to be working on. This can be done by emailing me or another director or by other means if you prefer – including talking in person at BCCT events. I look forward to listening to your views. The Link
UKTI/BCCT Overseas Business Network Project
t is a great pleasure to be asked to write a piece for this edition of The Link for two major reasons: it gives me the opportunity to update members on the UKTI/BCCT Overseas Business Network Project (‘the Project’) and, perhaps more importantly, it shows that the Project team is now fully integrated into the wider BCCT team.
Annual Airline Partners
Although there has been rapid progress on the Project in the six months since I began working for BCCT there is still plenty of work to be done. To this end a small Steering Group led by Andrew McBean has been formed to provide strategic input and support, in part to make the Project more relevant and beneficial to the wider membership. But what of progress to date? The first visible signs of progress are the new area in the BCCT main office which now houses four members of the Project Team and the much larger British Business Centre which was officially opened on 11 February by the British Ambassador Mark Kent. This is a purpose-built facility that can be used by members and non-members alike, seating 60-plus in theatre style. There are many configurations, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Behind the scenes the Project Team have been working closely with UKTI, providing advice and assistance to UK companies, providing input into webinars and trade missions and promoting Thailand within the UK. As much of the work for the Project team will originate in the UK we will be holding a series of meetings with Regional Chambers in the UK and their UKTI counterparts to explain and promote the business opportunities that exist in Thailand. I will also join a UKTI ‘Road Show visiting cities in the UK that will result in many meetings with individual UK companies. This all takes place during the first two weeks of April, coinciding with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Annual Conference. Reference to BCC reminds me that BCCT will soon be starting the formal process to receive accreditation from the BCC. All participating overseas British Chambers and Business Groups will be required to achieve accreditation before they can be formally recognised as one of UKTI’s global partners. The BCC will also be linking their export services available in the UK to those provided in-market through BCCT to create, for example, a seamless service. We have also stepped up contact with our partner organisations within Britain in South East Asia (BISEA) to exchange views, to share best practice (since many of them are also participating in the UKTI Project) and to promote jointly ASEAN markets to UK companies. All the activities above are integral parts of the evolving platform of assistance that will be available to UK companies. BCCT is very well placed to play a substantial and successful role. We have met or exceeded all the targets to date set by UKTI; we are regarded within UKTI as being one of the five most advanced out of the 40 participating markets and we are regularly asked to provide advice to other overseas Chambers that are embarking upon this road.
The benefits to BCCT members should begin to become more apparent. In addition to the excellent facilities available at the British Business Centre we can expect increased local and international membership and greater opportunities to meet the requirements of UK companies interested in exporting to, investing in or sourcing from Thailand. We have come a long way in a relatively short time. This has been achieved by having continued and fulsome support from Greg Watkins and the BCCT Board, from the UKTI team in Bangkok and of course our BCCT colleagues.
Managing costs in Thai medical sector The cost of medical treatment in Thailand is causing concern for employers, staff and insurance companies. We ask experts at two major hospital groups about efforts to control medical costs.
Q1: Time is money for local and international businesses. How are you applying advances in noninvasive surgical procedures to enable employees to return more quickly to their places of work? “Most surgical procedures still require invasive techniques but the size of incisions has drastically reduced - hence the term minimally invasive surgery (MIS),” explains Nicolas Leloup, Samitivej’s Head of International Marketing. “MIS requires a few small incisions (few mm) to introduce the endoscope (a small flexible tube comprised of a video camera and surgical tools) as opposed to large incisions for open surgery (several cm). The benefits are obvious: less trauma to the tissues, nerves and muscles, less bleeding, less scarring, less pain, reduced use of narcotics and an overall lesser impact on the immune system,” he adds. “The key players in this medical innovation are medical device manufacturers and surgeons who continuously train and develop new surgical techniques. At Samitivej Hospitals, MIS has superseded traditional open surgery. Our surgeons at the Women Health Centre, Orthopaedic Centre, Liver & Gastro-Intestinal Institute and the Oncology Department all use endoscopic surgery technologies,” says Nicolas Leloup.
At BNH Hospital Centre (formerly known as Bangkok Nursing Home) Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Niti Prasathaporn said, There are two major types of minimal invasive surgery. Firstly, open surgery with a small incision which is dependent on the expertise of the individual. Second, endoscopic surgery which is currently available with multiple surgery sites such as abdominal, shoulder joint and knee joint. The benefits of endoscopic surgery are greater accuracy, less pain and less tissue trauma, faster recover and a neat wound.
has a cost in itself (endoscopes are more expensive than scalpels), the overall economic outcome is positive. Patient hospital stays are shorter due to less trauma and faster recovery. Infection risks and complications are also much lower due to the smaller incision size. Drug use is also greatly reduced. Moreover, patients’ productivity is also less impacted due to a faster return to professional activities. So, yes, MIS helps to reduce costs for patients and insurance companies,” says Nicolas Leloup.
Q2: Are these advances in noninvasive medical procedures helping to reduce costs for patients and insurance companies?
Q3: Sports injuries are an almost inevitable by-product of the desire to live active and healthy lifestyles. Have you noticed any specific trends in the types of injuries being sustained?
Experts at Samitivej are adamant that they are. “Although MIS technology
“We could say that sport-related injuries are inevitable but they are
preventable,” says Assoc. Prof. Dr. Visal Kantaratanakul, Rehabilitation Physician at BNH. “Most common injuries are minor injuries, especially around the knee and ankle, and this is because people walk or run as a preferred mode of exercise. We have to walk everyday and so after certain injuries, when we cannot get away from our daily lifestyle, we continue using the injured part of our body. Shoulder injuries can be sustained as a result of weight training exercises. The main reason for this type of injury is incorrect loading of weights.” Dr Visal encourages regular exercise with gradual increases in intensity and he stresses the importance of regular health checks.
At Samitivej, Assoc. Prof. Chathchai Pookarnjanamorakot is a leading specialist in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic surgery. He says, “People are exercising more than ever before as exercise is also increasingly recommended by doctors. However the definition and idea of fitness is often misunderstood. Most people want to exercise for fitness even though they have health problems and injuries happen easily as a result. “The most common cause of injuries is doing ‘too much, too soon’. Our Sports and Orthopaedic Centre always recommends that patients should ‘get fit before playing sport, rather than play sport to get fit’. Prevent injuries by avoiding the tempta-
tion to do too much sport too soon, before your body is ready,” adds Professor Chathchai. Q4: What advice can you provide about keeping fit without causing unnecessary injuries that may result in extended periods of convalescence and time away from the workplace? “Fitness is the state where the body is prepared and be ready to participate in age-appropriate activities, sports or exercise,” explains Prof. Chathchai. “Being fit means you must be physically, mentally and emotionally fit. To maximise the benefits of exercise or playing sports is to be consistent and regular with it. For effective exercise you must take into consideration
Top tips on keeping fit without sustaining injuries Kindly submitted by Assoc. Prof Chathchai Pookarnjanamorakot, specialist in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic Surgery at Samitivej Hospitals. • Running: The benefits of running are increasing bone mass and preventing osteoporosis. Although running may easily cause injuries to the legs and feet, selecting a proper shoes and shoe laces technique can prevent some types of injury. Those with flat feet tend to sprain their ankles more and must select shoes that are specially designed as motion control running shoes, which reduces motion of ankle. It is recommended to replace shoes every 500 miles of 800 kilometres as shoes’ shock absorbers weaken approximately 30 percent and this put higher loads on the ankles and knees • Tennis: You must take into consideration the equipment that you will use, such as the type of shoes that will suit the surface of tennis courts and a proper tennis racquet that has appropriate length, weight and right amount of tension in the strings for you to hold. Most of the injuries occur in the leg and the feet as from both acute and overuse injuries. Most of the injuries on the upper extremity are found on the shoulder and elbow. The injury
that can be prevented is tennis elbow which occurs from playing tennis with faulty technique, commonly found in single backhand stroke. If you have an elbow injury, a doublehanded backhand may be considered as it reduces injuries especially among beginners and is an easier technique to learn. • Golf: Playing golf means playing on a golf course - not hitting balls at a driving range. At a typical 18-hole golf course you can walk for a distance of 8-9 km and take about four hours to hit approximately 100 balls (some of us don’t need to hit that many, Ed!) At a driving range, you would take about one hour to hit 100 balls. Golf can cause injuries and the most common one is back pain. The best way to prevent this is to do warm up and stretching exercises at least 5-10 minutes prior to playing golf. In one round of golf, you may burn 700-900 kilocalories and if you play two rounds of golf a week (avoid playing golf on consecutive days) you can help to prevent several types of chronic diseases and increase your longevity.
shape, fitness, previous injuries and underlying diseases. You must select the strength of exercise and schedule the amount of time you will spend a day and the number of days per week so that it is right for you.” At BNH, Dr. Visal Kantaratanakul stresses the importance warming up and cooling down when taking exercise. “For minor injuries take proper rest and apply cold compression immediately, followed warm compression after two to three days when the pain starts to subside. Adequate nutrition is also important, drink plenty of water and never exercise beyond pain.” Q5: There is constant focus in Thailand upon the high cost of medicines and a growing demand in certain communities for more generic drugs to be prescribed. What is your official policy on this issue? Samitivej Hospitals’ policy is to provide the best possible medical care and that includes branded medicines,” says Nicolas Leloup. “Our physicians usually prefer to prescribe branded medicines over generics for
At BNH Hospital Centre, the Senior Medical Support Division Manager Penchan Kongkerd says that aall drugs used in Thailand must be approved by the FDA. “Due to the social security the government has to control costs in governmental hospitals. To reduce costs on medicine a list of locally produced drugs for the use in governmental hospitals was issued. Doctors are discouraged from prescribing imported drugs. If the doctor chooses to do, then he/she must clarify the medical reason why the certain drug was prescribed. better efficacy and/or fewer side effects. The other aspect to take into consideration is the manufacturing process. Original drug manufacturers have more stringent certifications and still represent increased safety over other manufacturers. “This is not to say that we are not mindful of the costs that represent medicines. Samitivej Hospitals benefit from belonging to the Bangkok Dusit Medical Services group. Medicines are sourced for the entire group, thus ensuring the best possible prices,” he adds.
“Generic drugs have to undergo bioequivalence tests which compare the active ingredient to the original. Because only the active ingredient is tested and not other ingredients it may cause different reactions in some people,” Khun Penchan warned. “At BNH it is entirely at the discretion of the doctor to order suitable drugs for her/his patients. Depending on the experience with certain drugs, agreeability and compatibility the doctor chooses which medicine should be best for each patient.”
Medical tourism in Thailand Medical tourism is a fast-expanding and highly lucrative business sector in Thailand but we asked our medical experts if there is a danger that patients resident in Thailand may have to take second place behind international visitors arriving in Thailand for immediate medical treatment? Here’s the view, firstly, of Nicolas Leloup, Head of International Marketing at Samitivej. “This is a legitimate concern, especially if you consider the lack of healthcare professionals coming through the ranks of medical and nursing schools in Thailand. However, this should be kept in perspective and there are many mitigating factors that should ensure Thai citizens and expats alike receive good medical care in Thailand. “First of all, medical tourism as a business is limited to a few select procedures. These elective procedures range from cosmetic surgery (price incentive) to infertility issues (price and expertise), to orthopaedic (price and no waiting list) and dental (insurance coverage).
At BNH Medical Centre, Khun Thanasit Siripokhakul is the acting Overseas Marketing Division Manager. Khun Thanasit told us,” Statistics have shown that patients who are visiting Thailand explicitly for medical treatment, classified as medical tourists, are roughly 1.5 million per year.
“These are different procedures from those that local residents usually need. Secondly, private and public initiatives aiming to augment the number of qualified healthcare professionals are already implemented. For example, the Medical Council of Thailand secretary-general Dr Samphan Kongrit said that the council has teamed up with the Public Health Ministry to produce more physicians to resolve the doctor shortage.
“They are contributing to only three percent of 55 million local patients, including expatriates, seeking medical care in private and public hospitals. Domestic patients will not be affected by an increase of medical tourists. BNH is exhibiting international standards and is dedicated to providing the best service and care for medical tourists and local residence.
“The council has drawn up a plan to encourage educational institutes, especially medical schools, to introduce an international medical curriculum for foreign students. He said the plan is aimed at pushing Thailand as a medical education centre in ASEAN. Finally, as an organisation, Samitivej has made the conscious decision to focus upon local residents first, whether Thai or expats. “Our history, location and expertise make us a hospital of choice for Thais and expats. This is why we are less proactive in seeking medical tourists from the Middle East or other regions,” explains Mr Leloup.
“Our Doctor team offers standard medical treatments, especially immediate care which is prioritised by the severity of the patient’s condition. BNH, and staff representing BNH, respect the patient’s rights. Every patient receives equal treatment to the best of one’s knowledge. A key challenge is posed by the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 that will promote free movement of labour. Doctors and nurses are allowed to work in other AEC member countries and without thorough preparation we risk a shortage of medical professionals.”
Points to consider when buying medical insurance By Jerome Kelly
edical insurance can be very confusing so what steps should you take before committing your hard-earned cash?
ance - then you need to ensure that the large risks such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and kidney problems are covered.
1. Understand your own needs and match them to the cover available
2. Never buy on price alone
In Thailand, health insurance can be purchased as a standalone product or in combination with life insurance. However, irrespective of how the policy is designed there are a number of key issues that need to be taken into account: not least of which are your budget and the amount of cover you are seeking. Breadth of cover varies widely and in many cases the cover for certain conditions is capped â€“ meaning there is a limit to how much the insurer will pay or a deductible is applied before the insurer becomes responsible for any payment. You must also bear in mind that medical insurance is primarily designed to provide you with financial cover for treatment of medical conditions that can be cured. It is not normally applicable for long-term chronic illnesses. Most people buy insurance so that they have access to doctors, hospitals and treatments for medical conditions that can prove to be extremely costly. If you are totally reliant upon looking after your own health - i.e. you do not have any company insur-
Resist the urge to buy the cheapest policy. Like most things in life you get what you pay for and a policy that offers the lowest premium usually means it offers the lowest cover. While the types of treatment covered by insurers may be similar, what financial levels of cover are applied can be widely different. You need to check that the insurer offering the policy has a good reputation when it comes to paying claims. Low premiums can mean the insurer is over zealous when checking claims.
3. Read the small print Different insurers put their products together in different ways and you will find differences in premiums and benefit cover. However it is the underlying policy wording, and definitions of the conditions covered, that you need to pay particular attention to. Therefore, when you are buying medical insurance you should firstly compare the benefits and then look at the underlying policy wording. The benefits will indicate the monetary values that are applied to the various forms of treatment but it is the policy wording that shows the actual interpretation of the benefit. While you may assume that all of the medical conditions you signed up for are covered, the underlying policy wording and the benefit cap can have a direct impact on the money available for the actual treatment. 4. Be careful of benefit limits Unfortunately some policies are put together in such a way that the more serious medical conditions are capped, That is to say, only a limited amount of money is available to cover a particular treatment with you having to find the remainder. Cancer is an example. Most people probably believe that once they buy a highend insurance product then it would cover them should they get cancer after the policy begins. However, if the cancer becomes chronic many poli-
Indexed price Comparative price by age The indexed price is how much the price increases when compared to the price at age 35. So, the indexed price at age 35 is 100. When you are aged 70 it is around three time the price for someone aged 35.
Age (Chart courtesy of the Association of British Insurers)
cies cap the cover at a certain benefit level. You could find yourself having only US$10,000 available each year for treatment that costs a great deal more.
treatment that utilises new drugs and technology, provided that it is not experimental.
5. Use deductibles and co-payment options to lower your premium
You can consult a broker, an agent or go directly to an insurer to get advice on what product would best suit your needs although only an independent broker can give you advice across the full range of products available. Contrary to popular belief it costs you no more to buy through a broker than it does to buy direct from an insurer.
Most insurance companies are happy to offer co-payment terms and deductibles to help you manage the cost of your premium down to what you may consider a reasonable level. By taking on more personal financial risk yourself you get to enjoy greater breadth of cover. 6. Be aware that premiums increase dramatically with age The other big issue with insurance policies is the long term sustainability of your premium and what happens to your premium as you get older. As you will see from the chart, when you reach the age of 55 premiums increase dramatically.
7. Get guidance from a professional
Tell the broker or advisor what you want covered and what your budget is and let them do all the legwork. They should be able to explain the ‘insurance speak’ in policy wording and the different nuances contained within policies and you can ask them to explain in detail how the cover works. Take time to fully understand your choices and then you can make an informed decision. 8. Beware of unlicensed policies
As risks increase, so do premiums. New drugs and treatments are becoming available that are lifesaving but they are also extremely expensive and the cost of these tends to be reflected in increasing insurance premiums. Most insurers will cover
In order for a medical insurance policy to be enforceable in Thailand, it must be issued by an insurance company established and licensed by the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) of Thailand. This is particu-
larly important if a dispute about a large claim arises. Furthermore, offshore and non-admitted insurance policies are not eligible for certain tax concessions. 9. Checklist • Decide on your personal healthcare priorities • Compare benefits and policy wording from each insurer • Compare the financial limits each insurer puts on each benefit • Compare options such as deductibles and co-payments to reduce premium • Check the quality and financial security of the insurer
Jerome Kelly is Managing Director of LawtonAsia Insurance Broker. Tel: +66 2654 1150 Fax: +66 2654 1151 Mob: +66 89 779 6592 Email: email@example.com Web: www.lawtonasia.com
Choosing the right insurance cover By Andy Crawford
t is quite common these days for companies to provide some fringe benefits as part of the overall employee remuneration package. This is normally provided by companies such as AIA, AZAY, BUPA or LMG Pacific and comprises life insurance or personal accident cover together with health insurance. Each year many employees and their dependents are provided with medical insurance cards as part of their employment package. But how many read the card to make sure they understand the coverage? How many actually understand the implications of the benefits provided? Probably not very many. Worse still, a proportion of people believe that the company medical insurance will fully cover most, if not all, medical eventualities. Regrettably not many of these plans are structured to provide proper protection against a serious accident or illness. A large proportion of corporate health insurance plans focus on providing benefits that are designed to be consumed rather than provide real protection for the employee. What do we mean by this? It is quite common to see membership cards that have low in-patient benefits combined with quite generous out-patient (OPD) and dental. It is perfectly reasonable to expect that a good proportion of the members will take advantage of the dental benefit throughout the policy year. However, it is the out-patient benefit that in most cases sees the most usage and can soon become a costly part of any medical plan. To put this into per-
spective, nearly all the premium will be used to pay for the dental and outpatient benefit at the expense of coverage for serious accident or illness which results in a hospital stay. So what is on your medical card and what does it mean? The first and most obvious thing is the card itself. If valid this will normally allow you to have cashless settlement of your eligible medical expenses at the insurance company’s network of hospitals throughout Thailand. Eligible of course means medical expenses covered by the policy, not incidental charges for your newspaper or coffee at Starbucks in the hospital lobby. Each insurance company has its own layout and standard. Most local medical insurance membership cards follow a similar pattern. The information on the card will normally include the policy or contract number, the period of insurance and a summary of the benefits which will include some or all of the following depending on the benefits your employer has selected: 1. Room and Board/In-Patient Department (IPD) 2. Surgical fees 3. Hospital general expenses 4. Major Medical (MME) 5. Doctor’s visit 6. Emergency Room (ER) 7. Out-Patient Department (OPD) 8. Dental (Den) The items 1 to 4 on the list above tend to be the high cost items which could result in an unexpected bill if not understood.
Room and Board (IPD) This covers conditions which are serious enough for you to be admitted to hospital, normally overnight. The Room and Board covers your stay at the hospital and it includes the accommodation cost, nursing care, and meals, plus any other hospital service charges. It is quite common for a standard ‘off the shelf ’ corporate plan to limit the number of nights in hospital to 31 days, which is normally more than adequate. We conducted a study of nearly 500 in-patient admissions of a day or more. It showed that only two hospital stays were longer than 31 days and in over 70 percent of cases the hospital stay was two days or less. Room and Board – the real costs Most local health insurance plans will not fully cover the costs of an overnight stay at one of the wellknown Bangkok hospitals; a four bedded room at Bumrungrad will cost around Baht 4,660 per night whilst a standard single room will cost around Baht 9,510 including nursing, meals and service charges. At Samitivej a private standard rooms starts at around Baht 4,000 per night but once nursing and service have been added this comes to around Baht 6,500 per day plus food. A little lower down the price scale the published rate for an economy room at Sukhumvit Hospital or Phayathai 2 Hospital is around Baht 2,700 including nursing, meals and service charges.
Rates tend to be less expensive outside Bangkok; the cost of a single room at Bangkok Phuket hospital or the Wattana hospital up in Nong Khai is between Baht 2,600 and Baht 3,900 per night. Surgical Fees There are two variations of the Surgical Fees, referred to as “Schedule” and “Non-Schedule”, and there is definite potential for some misunderstanding. If the benefit is “Non-Schedule” then the procedure or operation is reimbursed as charged up to the policy limits. If the benefit is “Surgical – NonSchedule” on the other hand, reimbursement is based on a percentage of the maximum benefit stated in the policy. The schedule of operations is a list of surgical procedures, each of which has a percentage assigned depending on the gravity and severity of the procedure. The percentage on the schedule varies from around five percent for something minor like the use of a Laryngoscope for diagnosing a throat condition to 100 percent for
open heart surgery. If you don’t understand the distinction you could end up with a surprisingly large bill. Hospital General Expenses Hospital General Expenses is a catchall for a multitude of miscellaneous costs. This is often the most costly part of any hospital stay and can eat into the limits of the coverage very quickly indeed. General Expenses includes things such as the cost for diagnostic tests, special consultant fees, medications, bandages and dressings, emergency outpatient care and ambulance. It can even include items such as post-hospitalisation followup outpatient care. So even though there may be a separate sub-limit for follow-up outpatient it is in fact part of Hospital General Expenses and so don’t be surprised if this benefit has been exhausted before you’re even left the hospital.
plan once the other benefits like surgical fees and hospital general expenses have been used up. However, it doesn’t cover all of the excess but it normally pays 80 - 90 percent of any additional expenses which means that the patient is responsible for paying the remaining portion of the bill. The real costs when things go wrong The following information was provided by a local insurer these are actual claims paid by the company. The numbers have been rounded up to make them easier to read.
Major Medical benefit
If you believe you are under-insured what should you do? The chances are that unless you company has invested in an international style medical plan with annual coverage of Baht 10 million then you are possibly underinsured. Most local company plans are not designed to cope with a serious accident or illness.
A Major Medical benefit supplements the Basic Hospital Inpatient
Proper protection need not cost a fortune and there has never been a
better and wider choice of insurers to select from in this regard. A good in-patient only plan combined with a reasonable deductible will provide you with peace of mind at a reasonable premium.
medical costs in Thailand have been rising fast, medical costs in other parts of the world, and indeed in Asia, can be much higher; China and Singapore to name but two popular destinations.
It is even possible to make use of the policy the company provides â€“ use this as the deductible component of your international plan so that your company policy cover you for anything up to Baht 100,000, say, then anything beyond this is covered by your international plan. However, donâ€™t just assume you can do this with any policy; you will have to secure the agreement of the international policy provider.
The insurance company will normally only reimburse medical expenses in accordance with the normal and customary charges in Thailand. Although most local medical insurance will cover your expenses when you are overseas most will not cover emergency evacuation and repatriation, or put simply in the event of a life threatening situation, it unlikely your insurance will pay for you to be transferred to the nearest medical facility in anything other than an ambulance. Furthermore, it will not cover you if is necessary for you to have a medical escort back to Thailand.
Final question Will my local company insurance cover me when I am travelling overseas? It pays to check first with the insurer but you will find in most cases that the answer will be yes. Although
For this reason and because medical costs can be so much more expensive overseas and if you donâ€™t feel that it is necessary to have your own personal medical insurance policy, you would
probably be wise to supplement your company medical plan with some travel insurance cover. Check with your employer if you have any questions with regard to the group employee benefits. If you are an employer, please check with your insurance broker to ensure the scheme you have meets your requirements and is cost-effective.
Andrew Crawford is Employee Benefits Director at Trafalgar International Limited Tel: + (66) 2645 1170 ext. 200 Fax: (66) 2645 1180 Mob: + (66) 81 493 7171 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
No vindication yet for fiscal policies By Paul Gambles
o we’re already two months into 2014 and the film awards season is upon us; gone and, according to the Chinese calendar, we have just started the ‘Year of the Horse’. I’d venture to suggest that that it’s really the ‘Year of the Goat’. Jon Ronson’s 2004 book ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ was subsequently turned into a film very loosely based on the book. It starred George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges and opened with a slide that read ‘more of this is true than you would believe’. The book, which details the adoption of unorthodox ‘new earth’ strategies by the US military, derives its title from an experiment at Fort Bragg where agents tried over several years to develop the power to cause debleated, crippled, shackled goats to die just by looking at them. The book claims that maybe one goat might have been killed during all that time and that maybe the heart rates of hamsters increased that were subject to similar experiments. Ultimately the book traces the descent of good intentions into the scandal of the treatment of prisoners of war at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, with light relief provided by the use of the theme tune from children’s show Barney as an instrument of torture. So what’s that got to do with global markets in 2014 (especially when the pre-occupation in the Chinese New Year of the Horse is likely to be with bulls and bears)? Just that economic policy since the Global Financial Crisis seems to have been driven by the central banking equivalent of men
(and women!) who stare at goats. The entire QE programme is every bit as ridiculous a leap of misplaced faith as anything that happened at Fort Bragg. Just because people believe that they can use bizarre powers to make things happen doesn’t necessarily make it so. Since 2009-10, we’ve seen the very limited global recovery from the crisis stall. This has been glossed over by the performance of equity markets but real economic indicators have been painting a picture that is both very weak and deteriorating while economic fundamentals, primarily the debt problem, continue to worsen. The performance of the stock markets has been driven by the liquidity machines mainly in America and China until Japan spectacularly gatecrashed the party last year. More than 100 percent of the gains on the S&P 500 index since 2008 have been racked up during periods when there were QE programmes running. In the non-QE periods, markets fell. Forcing equity markets higher by force-feeding them liquidity is a central banker’s equivalent of staring at goats. They believe that, by forcing asset prices higher, they can encourage debt-strung economies to rebound despite all the evidence to the contrary. It may well be that they prove to be more effective than the military were at hiricide. After five years of keeping the plates spinning we should at least get closer to answers to this in 2014. If the experiment of pushing equity markets higher does create a sustainable recovery and a solution to the worsening debt problems then we’ll all have
to recalibrate our thinking to accommodate a totally new economic and investment paradigm, one in which staring at economic goats does work. My gut feeling is that 2014 won’t be the year when the experimental monetary and fiscal policies of the last five years are vindicated any more than it’s shown that we can kill goats just by staring at them in the right way. However the men who stare at goats may not be ready to throw in the towel, no matter how badly they fail. The book makes it clear that, when their counterparts failed, those responsible decided that it was something to do with the wrong stare or even the wrong goats and not that the premise was ridiculous. The fact that we now have a woman heading the Fed’s goat-staring operations may well not make any difference in this regard. The likeliest outcome we’d expect in 2014 is continued and increasingly obvious economic malaise accompanied with ever more creative reasons as to why the economic goat hasn’t died yet but, with a few tweaks, will do so.
Paul Gambles is a Director of MBMG Investment Advisory, a Thai SEC regulated investment advisory firm in Thailand. email@example.com Tel: 02 665 2534-9.
Business as usual for UKTI team in Thailand By Bradley Jones
t has, without doubt, been a challenging few months for British companies operating in Thailand. In such an environment, risk and contingency planning, and staying well-informed, becomes increasingly important, and the British Embassy has conducted a series of briefings for UK companies, both here and in the UK to keep them abreast of developments. We will continue to undertake these briefings as and when required, but in the meantime, I would encourage all BCCT members to subscribe our Travel Advice (https://www.gov.uk/ foreign-travel-advice/thailand). In many ways, it is business as usual for the UKTI team in Bangkok. We are still dealing with a steady stream of new business enquiries from the UK, despite the current political uncertainty, and we hope to be welcoming a couple of visiting trade missions in March. We are also working closely with our EU partners to ensure the EU-Thailand FTA negotiations stay on track. Some momentum has, inevitably, been lost. Thailand, in facing the loss of its GSP privileges next year and the EU, seeking to maximise the opportunities to be gained from the long-term high growth potential that Thailand offers, have too much to gain to abandon the process. We will continue to represent the interests of UK businesses as talks resume - hopefully in March. Elsewhere in this issue you can read about the launch of the British Business Centre, located at the BCCT’s office. The Centre is a superb new resource for British companies trying to break into the Thai market,
adding value to the existing business support services provided by UKTI and the BCCT. The Centre’s team, led by Barry Nicholson with fantastic support from Ching Li, Khun Laddawan and Khun Pattra - have got off to a flying start and I wish them every success as the Centre becomes fully operational in the coming weeks. The Centre is part of a wider strategy by the British Government to work more closely with talented British Chambers around the world in order to offer a more comprehensive package of support for UK companies seeking to do business overseas. There are many facets to this strategy, but one of our new priorities is to target our support towards the 9000 medium-sized businesses in the UK. They contribute over 20 per cent to the UK’s private sector turnover but many are overly conservative and risk-averse when it comes to venturing into new overseas markets. UKTI’s assistance is intended to give
them the confidence to explore key emerging economies such as Thailand. The strategy also aims to secure more export-focused foreign direct investment into the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking in Davos last month, coined the phrase ‘reshoring’ to describe our efforts to bring high quality, job creating investment back into the UK. The last two decades have been marked by the practice of off-shoring where companies move production facilities to low cost countries. But a recent survey of SME British businesses found that, over the last year, more than one in ten has brought back to Britain some of the production they had previously off-shored. This is more than double the proportion sending production in the opposite direction. For example, the food manufacturer Symingtons is mov-
ing its factory from China to Leeds; Hornby, the model train manufacturer, is bringing back some of its manufacturing from India to Britain; Raspberry Pi computers have shipped production to Wales and Vent-Axia has relocated jobs from China to Crawley. While this is undoubtedly good news for the UK it is helpful to understand what is driving these processes. Part of the story is about rising costs in the emerging markets, a natural consequence of these economies developing and their people becoming wealthier. Executive pay in China now matches or exceeds pay in America and Europe while rising oil prices and complex supply chains are increasing transport costs too. At the same time there are a number of factors pulling companies back to the UK. Some companies are choosing to locate production nearer to their consumer markets in the west.
By shortening their supply chains they can develop new products and react more quickly to changing consumer demand. This enables them to deliver more customisation, more personalisation and better, faster customer service.
by attracting high vale manufacturing back to its shores. In the next edition of The Link I will report on how UK companies are capturing business from the growth of ‘smart’ cities around the world, including those in Thailand.
In order to capture the benefits that could arise from the shift of such economic activity back to the UK, UKTI and the Manufacturing Advisory Service are joining forces to launch Reshore UK. Reshore UK will aim to ensure the regulatory environment in the UK is configured in such a way that the most is made of these opportunities. This is the beginning of a trend that might well take another two decades to play itself out but which is likely to be of mutual benefit both to emerging economies such as Thailand, already facing labour shortages and rising input costs, and the UK - seeking to rebalance and diversify its economy
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: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk
Bradley Jones and Miss Lyn Kok, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Thai)
Greg’s silver lining I
t’s now 25 years since Greg Watkins began working full time on the promotion of bilateral trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Thailand. It’s an achievement that was noted with interest and praise by Ambassador Mark Kent during his speech to open officially the British Business Centre at the Chamber’s office in Wireless Road. Greg ‘cut his teeth’ on Anglo-Thai affairs at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in London. He joined the DTI in 1985 as an Administrative Officer in the Statistics Division before his appointment in 1987 as Desk Officer for Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. “I recall, on my first day as a Desk Officer, having to address some of the sensitive and challenging issues regarding the import to Great Britain of the Malaysian-made Proton.” Greg made his first move to Thailand in 1989 as our Commercial Attaché based at the British Embassy in Bangkok. “This experience proved invaluable as I was able to witness at first hand both the challenges and opportunities facing those British businesses that were already based here and those companies seeking to penetrate the Thai market,” he explains. By January 1990 he was back in London with twin duties at the DTI’s Desk Officer for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma and also part of the Secretariat for the South East Asia Trade Advisory Group (SEATAG) – an organisation that provided so much essential marketing and business intelligence for would-be investors to this region. “These were very different times for companies seeking to exploit market opportunities in South East Asia. We were the first contact point for UK business leaders and, as Desk Officers, we provided a wealth of advice and information on a broad range of subjects,” Greg added. “My experience at the DTI and SEATAG gave me an important grounding for the responsibilities and opportunities that lay ahead. I was able to learn much about the differing cultures and business practices in Thailand and surrounding countries and I have shared this knowledge and experience on many occasions in my role as Executive Director of the BCCT.” Interestingly, Greg’s duties at SEATAG included writing and editing the organisation’s 36-page quarterly magazine mailed free of charge to UK subscribers.
Greg Watkins (right) welcomes UK Prime Minister John Major (left) to Thailand.
Greg returned to Thailand in 1991, initially to work in the private sector for Tara Siam Business Information Ltd (TSBI). At its height TSBI employed over 50 people, providing economic and custom business research tailored to individual requirements. In addition to his duties as Marketing Director, Greg worked on several research
Those were the days. Greg Watkins (centre) with David Quine (left) and Alan Craig.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra supports a major BCCT event in the company of Simon Matthews (centre) and Greg Watkins.
projects – all useful experience for the UKTI Overseas Business Network Project (see later).
One of Greg Watkins’ many initiatives as BCCT Executive Director is the Mentoring Scheme whereby UK firms operating in Thailand provide essential hands-on advice to would-be British investors and exporters.
Greg joined the BCCT as Executive Director in December 1996. Reflecting upon the past 17 years he says,“We now have a more active, dynamic and purposeful Chamber”, he said. “When I joined the BCCT we were holding around 35 events a year. That total is now close to 100. Our membership numbers have grown steadily over the years, despite the many challenges facing chambers of commerce in Thailand. Our current figure, well in excess of 500, is very encouraging. “Our aim is to continue to provide a broad range of relevant business advisory and lobbying services, together with a programme of informative events and debates, for all our members. It is very important to stress that we have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the Chamber that can be shared at any time with our members. “We have developed, over the past 20 years, a raft of business, commercial and political contacts that are always ready to assist Chamber members. The BCCT team is here to serve the best interests of every Chamber member,” adds Greg.
Greg is also closely involved in the Chamber’s many charity projects, including the annual Phloenchit Fair, and was also an influential figure in forging close links with the UK’s Child Exploitation and Protection Centre (CEOP) and the signing of the first ever Memorandum of Understanding between CEOP and an overseas British Chamber of Commerce. “We continue to support the outstanding work undertaken by CEOP to prevent child exploitation and I commend their efforts to all our members,” says Greg. Looking ahead, Greg Watkins is quietly optimistic that the years ahead will be highly beneficial for British business in Thailand. “There are, of course, some obstacles to overcome in the short term but the love of British brands in Thailand remains strong and the demand for our skills, services and products is unprecedented. I am confident that the new British Business Centre will galvanise the BCCT and UKTI into a unit that delivers benefits and results.” Speaking at the Centre’s official opening he said, “I am delighted that the BCCT is at the forefront of this important initiative to further enhance the support available to UK SMEs seeking to explore this high growth market. The British Business Centre will give UK companies a costeffective in-country physical resource and will facilitate faster access to the information and expertise necessary to achieve business success in Thailand.”
Thailand’s former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva with BCCT Executive Director Greg Watkins.
His words were echoed by Ambassador Mark Kent. “Last month in Davos the Prime Minister set out his vision on how we can encourage more British SMEs to do business overseas. He restated his commitment to working in partnership with Chambers of Commerce so that these SMEs get the full range of support needed to succeed in markets such as Thailand.”
New threats from credit card hackers By Alex Taverner
ince the beginning of 2014, more than a breathtaking 125 million credit card details and a further 70 million customer personal information records have been reported stolen in just three security breaches; from America’s Target and Neiman Marcus retail chains and South Korea’s Korea Credit Bureau.
certain return and you can choose to either play it long and slow virtually indefinitely at the low stakes table and no-one will really notice, or you can go straight to the high-rollers table where people are really paying attention and risk getting ‘invited to leave’ (or worse) when the pit boss works out what’s going on.
And that’s not the end of it with security company RSA reporting that Ukraine-based hackers targeted highly sophisticated attacks against at least 41 other organisations across seven countries over the Christmas and New Year period. The final figures for those attacks are not yet collated, but are unlikely to be small.
The reality is that hackers will only attack hard targets when the projected payback substantially outweighs the risks involved. Although absolute data is difficult to accurately compile, it is widely believed across the information security industry that, at best, only one attack in ten is actually detected.
In these particular cases, the attacks were (eventually) detected, but these particular losses of sensitive information are not the entire story, with most breaches simply going undetected, largely due to ineffective security architecture and a lack of effective breach prevention controls and detection mechanisms.
This means that the majority of attacks occur against organisations without mature information security capabilities. The expectation that “it won’t happen to us” simply doesn’t stack up with the available evidence when it comes to information security incidents and the risks that any organisation connected to the internet are exposed to; the truth is that organisations without mature information security capabilities are actively targeted by hackers and credit card fraudsters for exactly that reason.
Hackers do risk management too For the people in the business of stealing credit card and personal information records, their own risk management strategy depends upon balancing effort vs. return and profit vs. risk of detection. The ‘low hanging fruit’ in terms of smaller e-commerce websites, charities and retailers is very plentiful and the risk of immediate detection almost non-existent, but the returns for their labours is sometimes modest. You can almost equate it to playing blackjack in a casino; there are well known strategies that guarantee a
So what does this mean to you and me? Well, if your organisation accepts credit card payments, then the vendor services agreement with your credit card processor (often your bank) mandates a requirement for your organisation to be fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, known as PCI-DSS. The standard lays out a number of requirements for organisations to
implement and maintain, such as effective security controls for systems that handle credit cards, protection of computer networks, disclosing security breaches and educating staff in basic information security practices amongst others. In other words, irrespective of your organisations’ size, location or area of business, if you accept credit card payments, you are contractually obliged to implement the security controls described in PCI-DSS and report certain breaches of security. Non-compliance with the PCI-DSS will result in fines, ranging from US$ 10,000 per month for small organisations to the massive US$ 13.3 million fine handed to shoe maker Genesco in November 2013, or even the withdrawal of credit card processing services. To many organisations the latter would represent a far harsher and potentially business-ending sanction. On top of the contractual obligations and potential sanctions, it is also worth noting that in many countries intentionally hiding or failing to disclose breaches of personal information is also a criminal offence. The credit card vendors have spent the last several years ramping up awareness initiatives, education and training on PCI-DSS and from last year have been actively and aggressively enforcing compliance across the globe. Global and local trends The use of credit cards is increasing worldwide and across almost all sectors of industry. In Thailand, the online retail and services sector, who
The reporting and audit cycle for PCI-DSS
are heavy users of credit card payments, is experiencing huge growth. The Thai E-commerce Association reports an expected 30 percent (THB 120 billion) growth in e-commerce in Thailand over 2013, which places the expected 2013 market to have been around THB 520 billion – and that’s with Thailand experiencing a technical recession. Payment industry analysts The Nilson Report calculate that average fraud losses across the globe are around six cents per US$ 100 spent by credit card, which shows that the size of the fraud problem is not small and that credit card fraud is a cost to everyone. It is also one that is largely dependent upon the theft of credit card details in the first place. Despite all the press coverage of card skimming teams from Eastern Europe, this is in reality a very small issue in context of the huge number of credit card details lost online and through computer based attacks. Not
surprisingly, preventing computer based theft of credit card information is a major focus for the card issuers. Whilst compliance with PCI-DSS may not totally prevent attacks against an organisations computer networks and systems, it will certainly materially reduce the likelihood and consequence of any successful compromise. Again, to use a real world example of the direct impact to revenues resulting from a security compromise, following their recent security breach Target in the US offered a 10 percent discount across nearly all product lines to tempt back customers but still experienced a sales drop of nearly five percent at the busiest time of the year (equating to at least 2.5 percent across the entire quarter) and a 12 percent drop in share price; a substantial hit by any measure and all as a consequence of a data security breach. The unfortunate truth is that many organisations simply don’t implement any effective security controls because
they don’t understand the benefit to their business or aren’t simply aware of the risks. Even those organisations who do implement security controls often don’t deploy them effectively or deploy the right controls for their organisation. The ramification is that a significant percentage of all organisations, whether they accept credit card payments or not are becoming part of the ‘low hanging fruit’ for hackers and credit card thieves alike. Effective information security controls not only serve as a strong deterrent to a range of potential attackers, who will rapidly move onto softer, easier targets but can also be used as a differentiator in the market place. A fair amount of research has been undertaken that shows that customers are more willing to share information and purchase products and services from organisations that have demonstrable security capabilities; in an enThe Link
vironment where customers increasingly expect demonstrable evidence of protection for their personal information, deploying effective security controls is a marketable investment and can be used to actually increase sales and attract new customers. The Payment Card Industry released the third iteration of the PCI-DSS in November last year, which comes into full effect worldwide in July next year, when it replaces the current version. The new release brings increased maturity to the standard and changes from a ‘point in time’ requirement to prove compliance to being able to prove on-going operational compliance with the standard at all times. This effectively means that the old strategy of simply running a project to prepare for an audit and ‘box ticking’ is no longer sufficient to pass and all organisations who handle credit card information must now develop, maintain and implement effective operational risk management practices and actively monitor and manage their information security systems. Gone too is the ability to easily ‘de-scope’ compliance requirements by outsourcing certain critical components, processes or systems. The ramification is that most effected organisations will probably want to reassess and hone their IT security spend to deliver better ‘bang per buck’ and ensure that all investments are targeted, deliver measurable outcomes and are demonstrably effective in reducing an organisation’s risk exposures. This requires a solid understanding of an organisation’s information assets, where all sensitive information (like credit cards details) flows through networks, where potential unauthorised disclosures might occur and not only what controls might be deployed, but also how their effectiveness can be tested and proven, on-going. As business owners and leaders, we all have the responsibility of understanding our risk position and exposure and ensuring that risks are tracked, reported and managed as appropriate. In information security the require28
ments across industries may be largely consistent, such as with the PCI-DSS, but the specific risks for each individual organisation will vary wildly, which is why deployment of uniform, cookie-cutter type controls simply won’t work; each organisation needs to review their own specific risks and implement their own specific controls to mitigate their specific assets according to each organisations’ specific risk appetite.
payments or data? • Do we have a defined and appropriately funded program to assure on-going compliance to PCI-DSS?
Information security is an important and valuable toolset in a business environment where every system and information asset is connected and available around the clock. The days of IT security teams answering a blanket “no” to any set question is long gone; now the answer should be “how can we work to make it happen securely and prove it?”.
• If you accept credit card payments, irrespective of your organisations’ size, location or area of business, you are contractually obliged to comply to the PCI-DSS • Demonstrably effective security controls and compliance to wellknown standards are highly marketable and have been proven to increase customer confidence and attract new customers • Effective security controls reduce your exposure to a broad range of Internet based attacks and can reduce the impact, severity and cost of security incidents • Non-compliance will result in at least substantial fines and risks bad publicity which can adversely affect sales and customer loyalty • If your business depends upon accepting credit card payments, noncompliance risks your entire business, not just fines
If you or your Board are reviewing your risk management strategy or corporate governance and your organisation accepts credit card payments, then compliance with PCI-DSS and the new requirements is an important entry on the agenda. Points for consideration are: • Do we have sufficient and appropriate policy coverage for our obligations under PCI-DSS? • Does our risk management strategy specifically address the requirements of PCI-DSS? • Do our current operational IT security and risk management practices demonstrably meet the requirements of PCI-DSS and can we provide the evidence to prove compliance and exception handling on an on-going basis? • Can we demonstrably prove the effectiveness and coverage of our current security controls? • Are credit card details and transaction data listed on our asset register and do we have appropriate processes developed and in place to handle any unauthorised disclosures? • In the event of a breach, does our organisation have and maintain a detailed transaction-level description of all devices and network flows involved in transacting, managing or storing credit card
If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, then you are a long way to being compliant to PCI-DSS, but if like many organisations there were one or more ‘no’ answers then you may want to consider bringing in expert assistance or advisors.
Alex Taverner is the Managing Director of Pandectum, a specialist IT security and architecture consultancy. Alex is an experienced trainer and mentor in the security industry and has helped many attain their CISSP, GSEC, CEH and CCSP security industry certifications. Tel: +61-2-9045-5810 M: +61-416-313524 E: email@example.com W: www.pandectum.com.au
The Jardine Scholarship: an applicant’s account By Jasmine Chia
s the 15th October deadline approaches for Oxbridge applicants every year, students will be rushing (even if the counsellors have forewarned us for weeks) to polish the perfect personal statement. At the time it seems like any added burden is simply unnecessary, especially if it comes in the form of the two-page essay required to apply for the Jardine Scholarship, whose deadline comes right after that of Oxbridge. But the Jardine is definitely worth applying for.
The second interview for Thai applicants (as there are far fewer Oxbridge candidates, it is the third interview for Hong Kong, Mainland Chinese and Singaporean candidates) takes place in Hong Kong, when the applicant pool has been narrowed to 20 final interviewees. There were a lot (relatively) of Singaporeans from intimidating schools like Raffles Junior College and ACSI (the school with the highest number of 45s in the IB every year, and an IB average of 41+), and I was the only Thai final interviewee.
The Jardine Scholarship is a full scholarship to select colleges in Oxford and Cambridge, awarded to typically six students from South East Asia. The scholarship itself includes all university tuition fees, board and lodging, travel expenses and an annual stipend of 9,500 GBP (coming from Bangkok Patana School, the idea of being paid a salary of sorts to study is foreign to me), but as Jardine Matheson is a relatively influential company – the first trading company in China founded in 1832, which owns Mandarin Oriental and Hongkong Land among other things – there are other benefits such as internship placement and a community of Jardine scholars that can support each other in Oxbridge.
We faced a panel of six interviewers. They were far more specific with their questions (basing them on personal statements and the submitted essay) and our future plans. Then, we had to write a 45 minute essay – in my case it was on digital technology and whether it made us shallower. However, if anything, Jardine covers all expenses to and in Hong Kong so it could be considered a sort of holiday.
I’ve been asked to write about the trials and tribulations of applying for the Jardine, but honestly the most difficult part of getting the Jardine scholarship is getting the conditional offer to Oxford or Cambridge first, which is an entirely different (and incredibly challenging) process. As for the Jardine, the two-page essay is what gets applicants to the first interview. The Jardine Foundation looks for well-rounded applicants with ex-
tracurriculars including community service initiatives, sports and leadership. I was able to get advice from past Bangkok Patana Jardine scholars in my essay writing and they were unified in saying it was important to show in the essay that you not only knew what you were going to do in the future and were passionate about your subject but were also going to somehow make a lasting impact on south east Asia. The first interview was a Skype interview held in the Mandarin Oriental that went through a series of questions about exactly what I wanted to do in the future and about my extracurriculars. As I chose to apply for a PPE course, my future plans were quite controversial (Marxist ideals in a market-driven world, the horror!) and the most challenging part of the interview was the interviewer’s scrutiny of my plans to revolutionize democracy. However after having a disastrous interview experience with Oxford, I felt that the Jardine interview was far less demanding.
Ultimately, scholarship aside, the application process in itself was a rewarding experience. I remember the year I began my applications, Gerard Vistal (a Jardine scholar now studying natural sciences in Cambridge) came to talk to us about the benefits of the scholarship, as many past Oxbridge applicants have eschewed application on the basis of the amount of work it appears to involve. My counsellor, the wonderful Mr.Haughton, also had more work forced upon him in having to write a scholarship-specific reference, but that was instrumental in my success. It’s true that it is quite a bit of extra work at a time when Year 13 students’ hands are absolutely full, but my sentiments echo his exactly in saying that it is worth it in the end.
Thailand’s latest solar lessons for the world By Raymond Schonfeld
In 2010, as Thailand started its first large-scale drive in solar farms, we offered comments on the lessons that this free-market, mid-size economy could offer to the world’s solar markets. By mid-2013 three years later, Thailand had surged forward and was starting to expand its solar base beyond farms. The country remains a microcosm of the successes and challenges facing the PV world. Its latest lessons come from its efforts to kick-start growth of PV on rooftops and in community-scale energy generation.
A 44 MW solar farm near Ayudhaya.
ith around 360 MWP (Megawatt Peak) total capacity of PV solar energy built by the end of 2012 – almost all in solar farms – Thailand ranked 21st in the world in PV (data from EPIA), the same ranking as the country has in global tables of total electricity generating capacity from all fuels. By the end of 2013 the figure was over 600 MWP and cumulative capital investment in PV in Thailand had probably exceeded US$2 billion. Not bad from an almost standing start in 2009.
climate is judged particularly favourable to solar energy.
Thailand now has the highest installed PV capacity in ASEAN, with its population of over 600 million in 10 countries and lying entirely in the sun-belt - the part of the world whose
Factor in, on top of all that, a good grid infrastructure, a strong and diversified private sector and investment-friendly government policies and the potential for PV is enormous.
And as Thailand emerges from developing country status with rapid economic growth, the future is brighter still. In mid-2013 industry insiders were predicting that, by the end of 2014, at least 1.5 GW (1500 MW) of PV capacity will have been installed. Beyond that, Thailand’s needs for more electricity generation are high. A national plan forecasts 55GW of total new capacity by 2030.
Nobody knows how much of the 55GW new construction will be solar but there is little doubt that solar will continue to increase its share. If the most recent global IEA forecasts are converted into proportionate one-country potential for Thailand, cumulative capital investment potential here in PV to 2030 could exceed US$15 billion. Reflecting the optimism, the country’s first PV trade association was formed in 2012. With the start-up of solar farms now well in hand Thailand’s latest lessons for the world come mainly from its efforts to expand the use of PV into two new segments: 1) rooftops and 2) community-scale energy programmes.
Start with the rooftop segment. No surprise that there was plenty of interest in that in Thailand: the climate, construction practice and state of grid development make it almost ideal. So why was there no significant development until 2013? In a chain of events (see the box-out for more details on how the story unfolded) the most striking feature was a three year game of bluff during which the private sector, including financiers, tried to negotiate high subsidies from government but encountered a sceptical response. The game of â€˜hunt the subsidyâ€™ was not limited to Thailand. As recent-
ly as 2012 a major European bank listed the most attractive countries in the world to invest in solar using as its sole criterion the size of government subsidies. Many felt that international firms were playing governments off against each other. Ultimately, a temporary accommodation in Thailand was reached in 2013 in which the government offered reduced subsidies for a small initial phase (200 MW requiring capital expenditure of perhaps US$500 million) of solar rooftop development, leaving the longer-term policy unclear. Lesson for the world: bluff leads to delay.
There was no such game of bluff in discussion about community-scale energy, for which a programme was announced in mid-2013 aimed at 800 MWP of solar. Two trends seem to have favoured community-scale energy programmes in Thailand. Firstly, the growth of biomass had already created new opportunities for community-level energy generation and logic suggested that the concept could be extended to solar. Secondly, Thailand was already seeking opportunities for community empowerment, quite independently of energy issues. An example is an earlier programme to stimulate local manufacturing (the so-called
How Thailand developed its first small PV rooftop programme In Thailand between 2009 and 2012, the government FiT (Feed-in Tariff) programme was limited to solar farms. There was a maximum limit, the limit was reached, and the issue of FiT authorisations was then stopped. There was no provision for rooftops in this first programme.
dustry all over the world offers the argument that solar is approaching grid parity and therefore that any subsidies will be temporary, until solar becomes viable in its own right. And yet whenever government asks are you there yet? , industry cries off and claims that indefinite subsidy is necessary.
While pushing ahead with solar farms, industry urged an extension of the FiT to rooftops, with a generous long-term FiT. Equally importantly, the financial sector stated that solar was not financially viable without large government subsidy, and refused to finance rooftop programmes without it. This was happening all over the world at this time. Although the financial sector claimed that they were motivated by normal criteria of prudence, others thought that the sector was playing governments off against each other, threatening to abandon all except those that offered the highest subsidies.
Not only does the argument not stand up in logic, but in Thailandâ€™s case, the government saw the existing subsidy for solar farms being siphoned off (see main article). And it had a separate programme to use biomass fuel for energy generation which was doing well. The government refused to play ball. And not for the first time in solar: it had refused to join the subsidy-led rush to attract investment in solar panel manufacturing plants a few years before: a decision which proved remarkably prescient. Rooftop development was blocked.
The Thai government, meanwhile, was sceptical. In pitching for FiTs, in-
In mid-2013, Thailand did resolve this problem, at least temporarily. Part of the answer came in 2012 when, independently of negotiations about FiTs, the Thai government nearly quadru-
pled its earlier 2011/2022 target for solar energy, from 550MW to 2000 MW. Plans at that time for solar farms would not enable the target to be reached, and the argument about subsidies meant that no new concrete projects were emerging. Worse, questions had started to be asked about how far biomass sources could be developed as an alternative. Something had to give. The remainder of the answer came in 2013, when the Thai government at last decided to offer a Feed-in Tariff for rooftops, lower than industry had been demanding, and for a limited volume only (200MW, to be divided equally between commercial and residential). The FiT offer was accompanied by government calculations which claimed that it would offer investors in rooftops to obtain an IRR of 12 percent. Despite the earlier demands for even higher subsidies, market reaction was strongly positive, and the programme is under way. No commitment has been made to FiTs or other subsidies for rooftops beyond the initial 200 MW.
OTOP programme). Both factors offer lessons to other countries. If those factors have worked positively in Thailand, they can probably work elsewhere. Thailand’s areas of opportunity in solar are classic: rooftops, community-scale energy generation and solar farms. All three segments offer opportunities for regional leadership in ASEAN if Thailand can maintain the lead it has built up in the past three years. But the first two segments are almost totally undeveloped in Thailand and, even in solar farms, there is room for much expansion. The country offers pointers to priorities and action, especially now that it is possible to refer back to some years of experience. Performance data and skills training emerge as key and feasible for short-term action. Standards and administrative procedures come close behind. And corruption lurks in the background as a crucial danger to avoid. Note: lobbying government for subsidies is not on this initial list. Let’s take the first of those – performance data – as an example. This is a condition for market acceptance and a sustainable government policy. Most non-specialist stakeholders in Thailand consider solar to be nice but expensive. Industry murmurs that solar is approaching grid parity. Indeed, in 2013, claims have been made in Thailand that grid parity has been reached against peak retail electricity prices but there is no convincing proof. Bluffing hasn’t worked. No data is being collected on the wider contribution that solar can make to the national economy. Job opportunities in rural areas are a prime example, or describing and quantifying the skills needed to make that happen. Nobody is identifying and costing the administrative obstacles that offer room for improvement, standards barriers and approval processes. If that data can be collected, it will open the way to stable government policy and market growth. It can also quickly be fed in to supporting action 32
programmes: skills training is an area where international cooperation agencies are already active. The fact that Thailand is not yet addressing the full range of issues which arise in large-scale expansion of solar does not diminish the relevance of these early lessons. For some of the longer-term issues such as how to integrate solar into the grid when it becomes a major contributor to national electricity generation, the main lessons to the world still come from more developed economies, and even they are not finding it easy. Thailand has started to look at smart grids, but not much more. The need for factual performance data on solar is an excellent place to start discussion of the roles of the various stakeholders. In theory, data could be collected by aid agencies, government or major private-sector players. But which? That question will arise frequently. The most important need for the private-sector is to stop thinking that action has to start with government. Most solar firms and financial services organisations are still following orders or government handouts. “Give us some money for a project and we’re the best to do it or supply the products and/or finance for it”, say many suppliers to the solar sector. The widely reported queues at the headquarters of MEA and PEA in the fourth quarter of 2013, to obtain authorisations for subsidy, are evidence of the priority given to short-term handouts. Understandable perhaps (who doesn’t like free money?) but it’s no way to develop a long-term market. The private sector has to develop and prove the long-term case. The stronger the benefits they can present, the greater the chances of market acceptance and government support. So how can the private-sector lead? Keys are emerging in Thailand which are likely to have global relevance: • Demonstration programmes to prove the real benefits of solar, in
every sense. Carefully constructed and monitored demonstrations can contribute to proving the case under every single one of the challenges above. The current, first round of development of rooftops offers an ideal opportunity. Some of the proceeds of government subsidy could be used to invest in proof of performance • Build partnerships between local firms with established channels, technical competence and relevant local market knowledge, even if not yet in solar, and experienced firms in countries with deep competence in solar technology, construction operations, or other services. Too many players on both sides – inside the country and outside – think that they can go it alone. They cannot. Germany is an example of a country which has cottoned on to the opportunity here, and has launched a joint programme with the Thai government to promote privatesector partnerships. While the programme leaves the finance and operation entirely to the privatesector, it offers a range of valuable facilitation services. Germany will not be alone • Use solar as one plank in broader energy management services which offer combined benefits of economic performance and green performance, with energy efficiency and zero-carbon renewable fuels as central elements
For more details, contact Raymond Schonfeld in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +322 537 2603. www.smv-online.com Single Market Ventures offers business development services in solar energy in the ASEAN region, including joint venture and acquisition searches.
Managing Thailand’s talent By Jérôme Bouin
rom a job market perspective, Thailand is interesting as it is a country with almost full employment. For employers whose number one priority is to acquire talent in Thailand, this environment presents several challenges. Here are five things that employers should know when looking to acquire talented professionals in Thailand. 1. It’s a candidate-driven market. Thailand’s strong economic conditions and growing market means many companies are expanding across the country. This is creating job opportunities for skilled professionals, which in turn is creating a shortage of talented candidates. It is a candidate-driven job market and locals are able to change jobs often, sometimes up to a couple of times a year. Having a number of previous roles and an unstable work history can cause employers to lack trust and question the reliability of some candidates. However, remember the likeability your company brand is important and, even more so, the hiring manager as many candidates will follow their boss when they move companies. 2. Why top talent are looking for another job To find this out, determine the jobseeker’s career objectives, ambition and the type of company they will be comfortable working in. Conduct competency based interviews to understand the candidate’s background, technical skills, values they share with the company and added value they can provide to the business. It’s also essential to assess the complementary factors between the candidate, the job and the recruiting company to succeed in a mid-term investment for both parties. This will also avoid wasting time and re-
sources in the recruitment process, or worse, hiring the wrong person. 3. Why staff will stay with your company To reduce staff turnover, it’s important to educate candidates on the benefits of thinking about a job in the long-term and developing their skills. Give them advice on how to build a career and match their long-term expectations. Also, encourage the candidate to think about the industry they work in, what it brings to their skills and the development of their job in the next two to three years so as to add a pragmatic aspect to their decision-making process. Most of the time, the decision to change company is based on an emotional aspect; the individual may know someone working there or been introduced to a potential employer through family or friends. The decision is rarely based on a well thought-out SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat). 4. The talent management strategies you can offer When offering a candidate a role and discussing and negotiating the contract it doesn’t have to be all about numbers. While the candidate may ask for a salary increase of between 15 percent and 25 percent, it’s also important to discuss clear steps around career development, the market the hiring employer operates in, the expected growth of the business and any possible international opportunities that are part of talent development programs. A clear talent management strategy will help to create commitment from your employee. 5. How to plan to retain top talent When a contract is signed, usually within four to eight weeks after starting the recruitment process, hiring
employers need to begin planning to retain the employee. Our clients reveal it is difficult to manage their turnover, with 20 to 30 percent turnover being common in most companies in Bangkok. We believe staff turnover is high due to a lack of transparency of the specific job and the opportunity for future career development. This is the main feedback we receive from candidates when they explain their reasons for leaving. The employee needs to trust the company and, if they feel what was promised to them won’t happen, it’s enough for them to decide to leave. In order to be pragmatic employers in Thailand, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, need to fulfil their promises to their employees to retain them, set clear targets and objectives and link outcomes or incentives to these aims. This, along with consideration and care, is highly valuable to employees and many candidates consider the personal relationship they have in the company to be of first importance. The goal of recruiters is to coach people on the importance of building a career, educate jobseekers on how to improve employability and be considered as a high potential employee. This will minimise candidate recruitment risk and help match expectations of talent acquisition between employees and employers in Thailand.
Jérôme Bouin is Managing Director at PageGroup. You can reach him at One Raffles Place, Office Tower 2 #09-61, Singapore Tel: +65 6533 2777 Email:enquiries@michaelpage. com.sg
Risk management is key for expat assignments T
here are many reasons for organisations to manage the risks associated with sending workers and their dependents on international long-term or short-term travel or assignments. That’s according to Laurent Fourier, Director, International SOS Foundation, who said that less than one-third of organisations conduct person/location risk assessments prior to expatriate assignments. He added that business responsibility must be extended to include all overseas workers and go beyond insurance
for the establishment and continuous improvement of a travel safety, health and security management system. The successful implementation of these arrangements can only work if everyone involved understands and carries out their responsibilities.
“Risks range from their duty of care, moral, legal, ethical, financial and reputational obligations. It is indeed important to look after workers, keep them healthy, safe and productive because it is good for business competitive and organisational resilience,” said Laurent Fourier.
The document provides strategic guidance for organisations to identify hazards and threats and manage risks to ensure the safety, health and security of its workers.
There is a growing awareness as well as a body of case law in many countries holding the organisation legally responsible for not taking reasonable measures to ensure the health, safety and security of persons travelling away from home for work. In some countries, there are standards and legislation extending the provisions of occupational safety and health laws to workers working outside of their home country. The effective management of travel safety, health and security risks requires strong leadership and com-
The International SOS Foundation, together with over 13 leading international health, safety and security experts, has launched the world’s first global framework to protect workers travelling or on overseas assignments.
Laurent Fourier, Director, International SOS Foundation
mitment by workers and senior management. They need to arrange
Laurent Fourier added, “This is the
first ever international framework and the timing is crucial as international business travel is growing faster than ever before. A recent PWC report found that a 50 percent growth in mobile workers is expected by 2020. As businesses are shifting towards emerging and riskier markets and sending more workers, and their dependents, abroad - they need to make sure they are responsible and ensure the health and safety of those employees”. Bridging the gap in occupational health Most instruments available to help protect workers’ safety and health are focused upon domestic issues. Furthermore countries such as Australia and Canada have standards and legislation which extend the provisions of occupational safety and health laws to workers outside their home country. The report was compiled by Dr David Gold, Senior Consultant to
the International SOS Foundation. “While many organisations have occupational health practices in place for domestic employees, only 32 percent of the 628 organisations we surveyed conduct person/location risk assessments prior to expatriate assignments. This is very low when you consider that conducting a preassignment risk assessment is probably the most important step in any overseas occupational health policy. “Clearly many businesses have a gap which needs to be bridged if they want to meet their responsibilities to their workers. This framework provides practical measures that they can implement to protect those working or travelling abroad”, said Dr Gold. Extending beyond just employees and insurance Janet Asherson from the International Organisation of Employers said, “Often when we talk about business responsibility, we are
thinking about directly-employed workers. However, in the modern globalised world, organisations must look beyond this. Instead companies need to look at the whole umbrella of business travellers including volunteers, students, trainees, dependents and sub-contractors. “Organisations need to remember that insurance is no longer enough when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of these travellers. Prevention is better than cure and organisations need comprehensive policies focusing on international travel to ensure they are living up to their responsibilities.” For more information, please contact: Nichakan Chotsirikulmontri Marketing Communications Manager, International SOS Services (Thailand) Ltd. Tel. +662-614-3604 Email: nichakan.c@ internationalsos.com
New system keeps track of corporate benefits programmes By Pete Whittington and James Morrow
eeping track of a range of diverse benefits programmes, managing internationally mobile employees and communicating benefits consistently to all staff across linguistic and cultural barriers are huge challenges. Developing, maintaining and communicating the features of a cost-effective, attractive and consistent employee benefits programme is challenging for any employer – but especially so for international companies. Legislation differs from country to country. There are different traditional approaches to benefit provision and many local providers of insurance and services to manage. There are also cultural and language differences to manage. Building a following Whilst a globalised approach to benefits is desirable for consistency and cost-efficiency it is not always supported by international solutions that are workable in each country. Having said this, there are steps that can be taken to improve consistency and take full advantage of a company’s overall size and presence. These include specialist regional plans, multinational pooling and flexible benefits programmes. In addition, through the development of a consistent look and feel for the employer’s benefits delivery platforms along with common renewal dates and standard service levels across territories codified in formal agreements
with suppliers, greater value can be obtained from the company’s benefits proposition to employees. Keeping track of a range of diverse benefits programmes, managing internationally mobile employees, and communicating benefits consistently to all staff, across linguistic and cultural barriers, are huge challenges. Many international companies miss out on the efficiencies delivered by a global or regional strategy, and risk under or over insuring benefits in certain countries. Even worse, the absence of benchmarking information to ensure that benefits stack up to competitors’ offerings, could have an adverse effect on talent recruitment and retention. Even if the programme is well designed and appropriate, a failure to communicate its features clearly to all staff can reduce its success. Communication material must be up-to-date, complete and be abreast of changing fiscal and legislative requirements. Not communicating the correct level of cover to the employee could result in misunderstandings and uninsured liabilities.
Benpal IP brings together a client’s regional or global benefits programmes into a single portal with online access to benefits details and data for all stakeholders and configured to meet their specific needs. It encompasses a range of system capabilities, accessed through a single benefits IP, and is protected by passwords that give each user access to information appropriate to his/her role. During growth years, when the war for talent was fierce, healthcare was viewed as a means to attract and retain staff as well as a socially responsible employer. However, as the financial crisis hit home and medical inflation soared, this obligation to employees was put to the test. Unlike many complicated technology deployments Benpal IP does not take months to implement and does not require vast amounts of resources and support. Benpal IP is easily configured to client’s needs and requires only basic employee data, with no confidential or sensitive details required. It is possible to launch Benpal IP within four to six weeks of the client agreement, thus providing:
International proposition To help our clients address these numerous challenges JLT Asia has developed Benpal Information Portal (Benpal IP), a multinational service proposition that is delivered via an internet-based platform to employers and employees.
• Details of benefits plans offered to all staff, profiled by country or location, staff level, and/or department – all accessible to the client’s regional decision makers from a single platform (local decision makers can be given access to regional details, or just their own country, as required)
• A portal through which to communicate, and access information from JLT, insurers and other providers, and make that available to the client and employees • Claims reports from insurers, and utilisation analyses conducted by JLT experts • A corporate health and wellness portal, including important information to aid in developing a bespoke programme for the client • Available benchmarking information • JLT service level agreements at regional and/or local levels Employees get password controlled online access to their benefit details that include: • Full benefits booklet including details of cover and provider contacts • All information delivered in the local language (and/or English). Benpal IP can handle any character sets including Chinese, Japanese and Arabic
• Full content management, whereby JLT takes responsibility for updating the benefits information • Access to online offerings of insurers (if available from the insurer), e.g. claims submission and tracking • Access to the health and wellness portal, including a fitness calculator, along with advice from JLT Asia’s medical doctors JLT Asia works with the local broking teams and clients to tailor Benpal IP to meet the specific requirements of each client, including: • Mode of access via client intranet or internet which has the advantage of providing staff with 24/7 access • Security, including password profiling to ensure appropriate user access to information • Client preferences regarding ‘branding’ of the site • Employee site content • HR site content • Links to insurer systems, and access (if any) to be provided to insurers
Pete Whittington is Regional Director - Benefit Solutions Asia at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Ltd, 5th Floor, Cityplaza Four, 12 Taikoo Wan Road, Hong Kong Tel: + 852 2864 5445 Mob: + 852 9175 2566 Fax: +852 2529 5333 Email: Pete_Whittington@jltasia.com James Morrow is a Director at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Ltd, Floor 29 Vanit Building II, 1126/2 New Petchburi Road, Makkasan, Bangkok 10400 Tel: +66 (0) 2 626 2587 Mob: +66 830 015 653 Fax: +66 (0)2 6262559 Email: James_Morrow@jltasia.com
On track for new rail investment
he Asian Development Bank (ADB) reports that the member countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) have agreed to draw up a US$ 50 billion pipeline of potential projects under a new Regional Investment Framework. These projects would include investments in railways over the next decade. “The next generation projects can help boost cross border trade and investments, and stimulate jobs and growth,” said Stephen Groff, Vice President at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which acts as Secretariat for the GMS Economic Cooperation Programme. “Completing missing transport links remains at the core of the GMS programme but strengthening knowledge and soft infrastructure such as skills development and trade facilitation and collectively managing regional public goods is also a priority.”
GMS members include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan province and the Guangxi autonomous region in the PRC. A new bridge linking Laos and Thailand has already been completed, strengthening the GMS North-South Economic Corridor. The bridge connects Chiang Kong in Thailand with Huay Xai in Laos and is part of the economic development aimed at connecting Thailand and Laos with Kunming in southern China. The 1.2 kilometre bridge was constructed by the Thai, Lao and Chinese governments at a cost of US$ 48.96 million. It serves as a cross-border transportation and trade network between Thailand, Laos and other countries in the region, especially in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
Efforts will continue to extend and expand the exchange of traffic rights among countries and to promote region-wide tourism opportunities. The pipeline of investments is projected to be more than US$ 50 billion over the next nine years to 2022. To meet the sizeable financing requirements, member countries and their development partners will look to mobilise funds from the private sector. Significant progress has already been made to enhance connectivity within the region in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community 2015, particularly through the build-out of economic corridors to facilitate shipment of goods and services among GMS members. Information sourced from the BOI update.
New survey reveals customer satisfaction T
he latest survey on project on Foreign Investors’ Confidence in Thailand has now been published. The BOI will refer to the results when formulating policies and measures and when seeking to provide a better investment environment for foreign investors. The survey was sent to 3,000 foreign companies located in Thailand. Selected companies were restricted to
having foreign shareholding of at least 20 percent and included both BOIpromoted and non-BOI-promoted companies. Of 3,000 companies, 500 replied. The survey results indicated that ‘in general foreign investors are satisfied with BOI services. The service with the highest satisfaction score was BOI Incentives, followed by the One-Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits and the One Start One Stop Investment Centre (OSOS) Services.
The service with the lowest satisfaction score was Services Related to Investment from Thailand to Abroad, which was initiated in 2013. So far as satisfaction with the BOI staff is concerned, it was found that most foreign investors were highly satisfied with the quality of services provided by BOI staff. Foreign investors were satisfied with the integrity of BOI staff and their attention to customer service. More details at: http://www.boi.go.th
Upbeat forecasts from BOI T hailand’s economy continues to grow in the face of domestic and international challenges, according to the Board Of Investment. The National Economic and Social Development Board has indicated that the country could grow by four to five percent this year. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific estimates growth for the year at 4.5 percent. While exports were sluggish in 2013 the Thai National Shippers’ Council has forecast that they will grow by five percent in 2014, aided by a recovery in the global economy. The BOI adds that ‘there is a general confidence in Thailand’s long-term economic growth and investment environment. A look at past transitory political events, reveals that they have had little effect on longer term economic development and growth. Thailand’s per capita gross national product has seen a steady rise for over twenty years and the country is still poised to transition itself into becoming a creative knowledge-based economy, following the development path of other east Asia economies’. 38
‘Thailand’s economic growth in 2014 is forecast higher than the previous year and with infrastructure spending still in the works, albeit delayed, the economic benefits will nevertheless be realised. Inflation in the country remains low and the government sees it within the range of 2.1-3.1 percent in 2014’. Thailand has maintained its 18th place ranking by the World Bank’s 2014 ‘Ease of Doing Business’. Ratings agencies such as Standard
& Poor’s continue to maintain their position on Thailand. The BOI also notes that Thailand has ‘improved its World Economic Forum Competitiveness ranking (37th) for the second year in a row. There are many areas where the Thailand continues to show an improving trend and this has been recognised by investors who look to the next five years and to the future of Thailand in the ASEAN Economic Community’.
AEC aviation boost Thailand’s aviation industry is preparing to meet growing demand at home and abroad when the AEC comes into existence next year. Thailand is striving to become an aviation hub in this region, offering regional aircraft service and maintenance. It is expected that the number of flights passing through both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports will grow by about 10 percent in 2014 and 11 percent in 2015. The BOI reports that Thailand’s aircraft maintenance business has grown steadily. It was valued at 19.1 billion baht in 2012, accounting for an increase of 20 percent over 2011. This business is expected to grow further as the launch of the AEC approaches. In particular the ‘CLMV’ countries, comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, will become an important market for Thailand’s aircraft maintenance business.
Tourists visit Thailand in record numbers T
hailand has welcomed a total of 26,735,583 visitor arrivals in 2013, exceeding the year’s original target of 26.1 million and representing a 19.6 per cent increase over the 22,353,903 international tourists arriving in 2012. Thawatchai Arunyik, newly-appointed Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said, “This achievement brings much joy to Thailand and the country’s travel and tourism industry as a whole. These statistics are invaluable as evidence that despite the challenging factors, including the ongoing political demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand remains a popular and welcoming tourist destination.” The Governor attributed the growth to the concerted efforts by the entire Thai travel and tourism industry. “We are working hand in hand in cre-
Koh Samui remains a dream destination for millions
ating a memorable travel experience to tourists.” International tourist arrivals to Thailand in January showed modest yearon-year growth of 0.06%. Data from
the Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports 2.3 million visits – much lower than expected as ongoing political protests created negative images and sentiments in short and long haul source markets.
Brits hold firm on overseas travel
he tourism industry is in good shape with some 68 percent of people in Britain intending to take a break this year with an average spend of £2,000. That’s the result of research undertaken by e-commerce specialists Webloyalty. The research shows that overseas destinations remain the priority with fewer travellers wishing to take a holiday in the UK.
The poll of 2,000 consumers indicated that 85 percent plan to spend the same as last year or more on their holiday plans in 2014. There is also a rise in the number hoping to take an overseas beach holiday. City breaks are set to become more popular this year but day trips within the UK appear to be in decline.
Blackpool Tower could experience a downturn in daytrippers.
Thai cities get top 100 Euromonitor ranking B
angkok gets third spot in the latest Euromonitor International’s 100 ‘Top City Destinations Ranking’ covering 100 of the world’s leading cities in terms of international tourist arrivals. Three other Thai cities, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, are ranked respectively at 15, 17 and 70. The two cities ahead of Bangkok are Hong Kong and Singapore. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said, “The vast majority of travel movements within the Asia-Pacific region are taking place between cities. There is no doubt that Thai and regional cities are all changing remarkably to cater to the demand. We are happy to see Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai rated so prominently in the rankings.” According to Euromonitor, continued economic growth helped the Top 100 cities collectively experience a gain of 6.6 percent in 2012, outpacing the 4.2 percent growth of overall international arrivals.
While China was the fastest growing source market and helped Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok to retain their leading positions, Singapore
relies heavily upon arrivals from Malaysia and Indonesia which together account for slightly more than half of all arrivals, the report noted.
EABC publishes market reports
ew market studies have been published by the European ASEAN Business Centre (EABC). ‘Thailand: The Detroit of Asia Automotive Industry Report’ provides detailed information on Thai automotive industry with its market conditions, key economic data, regulatory environment, market participants, sector organisations and a critical review on SWOT analysis.
The ‘Thailand’s Textile and Clothing Industry’ report offers an insight on textile and clothing industry in Thailand and Europe, as well as strategies for Thai textile and garment industry, agreement frameworks and guidelines for investment opportunities in Thai textile and garment industry. To order your copies, please contact: email@example.com or call (66) 2 670 0624.
sia troit of A : The De eport R Thailand y tr s u tive Ind Automo (EABC) s Centre Busines ASEAN d. s Asia Lt European by Tractu Prepared January
Unicef call for action on education A
study published by UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) finds that a staggering 27 million children between the ages five and 13 are out of school in four countries of South Asia. The ‘Global Initiative on Out-ofSchool Children – South Asia Regional Study’, covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, shows there are 17 million primary school-age children who are not in school in these four countries. Another 9.9 million children of lower secondary school age are also not attending school. The study is part of the global initiative launched in 2010 by UNICEF and UIS. The goal of the initiative is to make a significant and sustain-
ALL CHILDREN IN SCHOOL BY 2015
Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children
SOUTH ASIA REGIONAL STUDY
Covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
able reduction in the number of children out of school around the world. Out of the 26 participating countries globally, the four South Asia coun-
tries took part in the first phase of the initiative. The South Asia study aims to understand the scale of the problem in the four countries and in the region. “Children who are not in school lose the opportunity to learn and this takes a huge toll on the rest of their lives. No school, no school records and therefore invisible children for decision makers,” said Karin Hulshof, Regional Director of UNICEF in South Asia. “We hope this study will equip countries with the knowledge and methodology to better understand who the children excluded from education are, eventually resulting in better solutions to the problem,” she added. The study shows that deeply entrenched inequalities are the main roadblocks keeping children out of school in South Asia. Reasons for children being out of school include poverty, social and cultural norms, conflict, emergencies and disasters. Children from rural areas, particularly girls, and from urban slums, ethnic minorities, children with disabilities and child labourers face the greatest risk of being denied their right to education. This information is crucial for making informed policies and decisions to reach these excluded children. The release of the study coincides this year with the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Former BCCT Chairman Simon Landy, who stepped down in January, has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Chamber in recognition of his outstanding service on behalf of members. Simon was presented with the award by Britain’s Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent.
Full report available here: http://www.uis.unesco.org/ Education/Documents/OOSCI%20 Reports/oosc-south-asia-regionalreport.pdf
IATA reports better news for carriers A
ir travel expanded at the 30 year average growth rate in 2013 of 5.2 percent, despite high fuel costs and slow global growth, according to IATA. Economic growth in emerging market regions was the driver where less mature air travel markets expanded strongly. International results show slow growth for airlines in mature markets of Europe and North America (3.8% and 3.0%) but economic growth in both regions did pick up last year supporting the recovery in air travel. Middle Eastern carriers gained most (12.1%), reflecting strength of regional economies and growth in business travel. Domestic air travel in China and Russia increased strongly (11.7% and 9.6%), buoyed
by solid domestic demand, but air travel in the other BRIC nations of Brazil and India grew only 0.8 percent and four percent respectively, reflecting economic weakness. Load factors were high at close to 80 percent in 2013, helped by a solid rebound in Q4 2013.
IATA says that the ‘outlook for air travel is largely positive. Business confidence is rising and global growth is picking up. Accelerating world trade growth should boost business travel, which helps support airline profitability’.
Record highs for global real estate transactions R eal estate transaction volumes last year hit their highest level since 2005, totalling US$ 90.4 billion (THB 2.98 trillion), a rise of 24.2 percent against 2012 rates. That’s according to CBRE Thailand. The increase in volume was led by strong investment activity in Australia, China and Japan with these three markets each likewise recording their highest annual total since 2005. Japan was the standout performer with transaction volume surging by 110.5 percent year-on-year to US$ 42
23.7 billion (THB 781.39 billion), thanks to the implementation of stimulus policies that boosted market sentiment. Australia and China grew by 35.5 percent and 17.9 percent year-on-year respectively.
Greg Penn, Managing Director for Capital Markets, Asia at CBRE, said that last year’s highs in investment volume and cross-border activity were driven by high levels of liquidity in the market, combined with factors like the low interest rates and investors’ desire to deploy capital in a way that secures recurring returns – all of
which contributed to the increased activity in real estate.
“We expect the Asia Pacific investment market to remain active in 2014 but investment volume is unlikely to increase significantly as investors will become more apprehensive over high pricing while the availability of assets for sale could act to constrain trades. Singapore and Japan offer more upside potential. However, particularly in the office sector, as both markets are expected to see strong occupier demand which will drive rental growth,” said Mr. Penn.
Thailand team sets pace in exports drive T
he newly-opened British Business Centre in Bangkok will make an important contribution to the drive for increased trade between Thailand and the United Kingdom. That’s the view of Ambassador Mark Kent, who performed the official opening ceremony on 11 February. He reminded guests that talks between Prime Ministers Yingluck Shinawatra and David Cameron in 2012 produced a pledge to double bilateral trade between the two nations by 2018 to some £11 billion. The BCCT’s Overseas Business Network (OBN) Project team is led by Barry Nicholson. He said, “The BCCT is at the front line, helping to deliver UK government support for new and experienced exporters. We are now able to expand the range of services on offer to UK-based companies whilst also providing additional benefits to all BCCT members in Thailand.” Thailand is one of 41 pilot markets where Overseas British Chambers and Business Groups are working in partnership with UKTI. The initiative follows recommendations submitted by Trade Minister Lord Green in a report commissioned by David Cameron that outlined the means of achieving UK exports valued at one trillion pounds by 2020. The coalition government stated that a shift in the type of service provided to exporters was urgently required. “The BCCT remains at the vanguard in the formulation and delivery and we are closely involved in the evolving strategic framework,” added Barry Nicholson. “By 2017 the support available to UK SMEs will have significantly increased in range and impact in markets that
Ambassador Mark Kent opens the new British Business Centre at BCCT head office.
From left to right: Barry Nicholson, Mark Kent, Greg Watkins and Bradley Jones.
are hardest to access and where SMEs most need help. The private sector, through stronger business to business networks, will be Government’s lead partner in the provision of SME support – enabling Government to focus upon where it adds most value: high value opportunities, inward investment and government to government influencing.”
The objective is to establish, by 2017, a cohesive, accredited global network of government supported organisations supporting UK SMEs. The BCCT’s OBN project team, supported by the facilities available at the British Business Centre in Bangkok, is set to make a major contribution to boosting UK exports. Current assignments include support to inbound ‘smart cities’ and automotive sector trade missions.
New role for Panchalee
rofessional services company Heidrick & Struggles has appointed Panchalee Weeratammawat as a Partner in the Bangkok based Consumer Markets Practice. Khun Panchalee (pictured right) has many years of experience in HR leadership positions at multinational companies in Thailand and across Asia. “The consumer markets sector in the region is thriving and there are tre-
mendous opportunities for growth. We are delighted to welcome Panchalee. Her depth and breadth of knowledge as an HR professional specialising in consumer markets is a perfect fit for our team,” said Karen Fifer, the company’s global Head of Consumer Markets. Khun Panchalee joins Heidrick & Struggles from DKSH (Thailand) where she was Vice President of Human Resources.
PKF moves to Sathorn Square
KF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. and PKF Audit (Thailand) Ltd. have relocated their Bangkok office to the Sathorn Square Office Tower. Managing Partner John Casella said,” We are excited to be able to better support our broad range of clients in tax, outsourced accounting and payroll, corporate legal, risk management services and audit services from our more convenient and modern office space which is connected directly to the Chong Nonsi BTS station.” PKF is a BCCT Supporting Corporate Partnership sponsor for 2014.
Three student-led programmes have benefited from the recent car boot sale at the Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning in northern Thailand. Hand to Paw Temple Dog Outreach, Beans for Dreams and Village School Support Fund (VSSF) are the beneficiaries. Chiang Mai resident artist Christopher Robinson created a canvas depicting Thai temples and temple dogs with car boot participants adding their own touches. The completed mural will hang at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School.
Science skills on show at St Andrews G
ifted scientific minds from six international schools met at St. Andrews International School, Green Valley in January to compete for prizes and the glory of winning the region’s largest academic competition.
Around 120 students from SAIS Green Valley, SAIS 107, Concordian International School, Satit Udomseuksa School, Garden International School and ISE brought their exhibits and their scientific skills and investigations to be tested and judged. “The variety of projects produced by the students was staggering and the judges, from a range of scientific backgrounds, were hard pressed to pick winners in each category,” said Edward Thorp, Head of KS3 Science at St. Andrews School, Green Valley. “The investigations ranged in depth, size and scope and covered all disciplines of science. The traditional areas of Chemistry, Biology and Physics were investigated with some students choosing to investigate reactions between metals and different solutions; the growth of mould, and the generation of electricity. This year’s event also showcased a large number of
projects that were investigating other areas of science such as animal behaviour and psychology. The judges spent over three hours talking to students about their projects and how they had used the ‘scientific method’,” he added. All students competed in a ‘Science Olympiad’ that embraced a range of tasks designed by the SAIS Green
Valley IB Science students to test teamwork skills of the competitors. “The real winner was ‘Science’, the ability to take any idea and investigate it in a logical and scientific manner, to extrapolate thoughts and ideas from collected data and to identify and ameliorate any limitations thus allowing students to showcase their talents,” added Edward Thorp.
CBRE Thailand received widespread recognition at the recent International Property Awards 2013. The company picked up the ‘World’s Best Property Consultancy Marketing’ award for its work on the iconic Park Ventures Ecoplex building in Bangkok. CBRE Thailand received 10 awards in total and Chairman David Simister paid tribute to his hard working staff.
AF expands Asia services A
ir France is adding extra flights to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and offering a new service to Jakarta. The carrier currently operates 18 weekly flights from Paris to four destinations in the region, namely Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Effective 30 March 2014, Air France’s daily flight to Singapore will continue to the Indonesian capital Jakarta.
The flight departs Singapore at 16.30 hrs daily, arriving Jakarta at 17.20 hrs. The return service departs 20.10 hrs, arriving Singapore at 23.00 hrs. This new service complements the Amsterdam-Jakarta and SingaporeBali flights operated by Air France’s partner KLM. Air France is also expanding the Paris-Singapore service
this summer. From 17 June to 30 August the carrier is set to operate 10 weekly flights on this route. Flights
from Paris to Kuala Lumpur also increase in frequency this summer from three to four each week.
Bromsgrove fun run raises 100,000 Baht A fun run organised by Bromsgrove School has raised Baht 100,000 for the Ban Dek Ramintra School. Students, parents and teachers ran over varying distances to raise the cash and the school’s PTA provided refreshments for runners and supporters. Fund raising activities at Bangkok Prep have raised more than Baht 157,000 for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that caused so much devastation and loss of life in the Philippines. Mrs Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia, the Philippines’ Ambassador to Thailand, is pictured receiving the cheque. The funds have been donated to Habitat for Humanity to provide basic necessities and help with building new homes for the typhoon victims. “It was heart warming to see the efforts and generosity of each member of the Bangkok Prep community as well as the extraordinary display of teamwork in putting together this remarkable fundraising event,” said Headmaster Keith Wecker.
Top hotel award for Centara Grand Hua Hin C
entara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin has been voted as a Top Hotel 2014 by travel website HolidayCheck. The hotel has also landed the HolidayCheck Award for 2014. The property, which originally opened in 1923 as the Railway Hotel, won the awards for the number of reviews and the high ratings given by guests. Worldwide, the reviews of more than 980,000 holidaymakers were analysed for the awards. The opening of Thailand’s first resort hotel in Thailand coincided with the construction of the railway that linked Bangkok with the Malay peninsular. The hotel, acquired by the Central Group in 1986, is the base and title sponsor for the Centara World Masters Golf Championships in June. The event hopes to attract more than 600 golfers from 20 countries for
Centara’s flagship hotel in Hua Hin
Asia’s biggest and richest week of amateur golf with prizes worth US $30,000. Participants will play at
Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Imperial Lake View golf courses.
Promotion for Kasamesunt R egional legal practice Tilleke & Gibbins has promoted Khun Kasamesunt Teerasitsathaporn to the firm’s partnership. Khun Kasamesunt, a senior litigator in the firm’s dispute resolution and litigation group in Bangkok, specialises in complex civil and criminal litigation with a strong background in resolving customs disputes.
He also serves as a director of the Draft Law Screening Committee of
the Lawyers Council of Thailand, a committee responsible for reviewing all draft laws before they are passed by the legislature. He joined the practice in 2001.
“In his twelve years of dedicated service to Tilleke & Gibbins, Kasamesunt has distinguished himself through his commitment to ensuring consistently excellent results for the firm’s clients,” said Tiziana Sucharitkul, the firm’s joint Managing Partner.
Polo tournament plans trunk move to Bangkok T
his year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, organised by Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas, take places from 28 to 31 August at a new venue outside Bangkok. The tournament is relocating from Hua Hin to the Siam Polo Park at VR Sports Club, close to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport. Last year’s event attracted 16 teams and over 50 players including members of the famous New Zealand All Blacks rugby team and members of the Miss Tiffany transgender cabaret cast. More than $US 750,000 has been raised over the past 12 years for projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population. Funds raised from last year’s
Elephant Polo heads to Bangkok.
event have been donated to a number of projects in Thailand including supporting research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children living with autism; building the
All Air France KLM passengers now have access to the airlines’ VIP Lounge at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. Skyteam economy passengers may purchase a one-day lounge pass for Baht 1,000 Baht at the Service Desk located near Counter ‘P’. Travellers under 17 years of age are charged Baht 750. Infants under two years enter free with an accompanying adult. The lounge is open around the clock.
first elephant hospital in Krabi in the southern part of Thailand and donating a gantry to help lame elephants stand at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC).
Douglas Glen has been appointed General Manager of The Landmark hotel, Bangkok. He was previously Hotel Manager at the popular property on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit road. His experience includes spells at three top hotels in London - Hilton Park Lane, Hyatt Carlton Tower and The Grosvenor House.
Etihad flying high at World Travel Awards E
tihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, enjoyed more success at the recent World Travel Awards by taking top honours for the fifth successive year. At the ceremony in Doha Etihad Airways took home the prestigious titles of ‘World’s Leading Airline’, ‘World’s Leading First Class’ and ‘World’s Leading Airline Cabin Crew’. James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “It is a huge honour yet again to receive three of the travel industry’s highest accolades. The awards recognise Etihad Airways’ continued success and our focus on delivering consistently to higher standards. “That focus has taken our product and service philosophy in 2013 to new heights, refined our five-star
hospitality proposition, made travel more enjoyable, and connected more
parts of the world through our home and hub, Abu Dhabi.”
Neeraj Swaroop (left), Standard Chartered Bank’s CEO for south east Asia, and Miss Lyn Kok (right), President and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), present a miniature version of a service van, donated to support the BMA’s initiative to improve the quality of life for elderly and disabled residents of Bangkok, to the city’s Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paripatra. The presentation ceremony took place as part of the bank’s 120th anniversary celebrations.
KIS new IB scholarships K IS International School is now accepting applications for their coveted IB Diploma academic scholarships for the academic year 2014-2015. KIS scholarships are well respected in the international school community and are awarded in recognition of academic excellence. The IB Diploma scholarship winner is granted full tuition for the duration of the two-year programme, valued at around Baht 1.5 million. The scholarship is open to applicants of all nationalities who are fluent in English and currently in Grade 10 (Year 11).
Applicants should be academically strong and well-rounded. Candidates may be eligible for a partial scholar-
ship. Applications are welcome until 14 March 14 2014. More details from Linda Belonje at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prem students raise funds for Wat Don Chan orphanage Prem’s Junior School Council (JSC) has raised over Baht 30,000 for the children of the Wat Don Chan orphanage. Events included a fun run that attracted 120 enthusiastic participants – including students from the orphanage.
Samitivej Public Company Limited has been named ‘Best medical healthcare organisation’ at the Thailand Top Company Awards 2014 for the second consecutive year. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chairat Panthuraamphorn (pictured right) receives the award from Privy Councillor Prof. Kasem Wattanachai.
Strong growth for Grant Thornton G
rant Thornton in Thailand has announced annual growth of 11 percent while Grant Thornton International Ltd. announced record combined global revenues of US$4.5 billion. Ian Pascoe, Managing Partner at Grant Thornton in Thailand, said, “This growth has come from a number of areas as we have seen a clear upward trend in interest in doing acquisitions in Thailand. This has led to solid growth in our Valuations business, and our Mergers and Acquisitions revenues. We have also been involved in large-scale infrastructure projects, in particular advising on Concession Agreements, and we have seen a very substantial increase in our tax work this year.
“One other emerging trend is more Thai companies seeking to build a presence in other AEC markets. As we have offices throughout the AEC markets, including Myanmar, we are able to manage the successful completion of these projects throughout the region.” Mr. Pascoe added, “We should expect to see higher GDP growth in 2014. However, as we predicted in late November that would not be at the rates that the BOT had predicted in their October meeting. The trends outlined earlier will not only continue but will likely grow in size and scope and therefore we forecast another year of robust growth in 2014 for Grant Thornton in Thailand.”
Ian Pascoe, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton
Consultancy adds strength Tesco Lotus to Bangkok team expands
rant Thornton has elevated the status of Directors Kanyanat Sriratchatchaval and Teerasak Chuasrisakul to that of Partner in the company’s Audit Services department. Khun Kanyanat joined the firm in 1998 and is well known for her consultative approach and problem solving abilities coupled with her strong work ethic. Khun Teerasak joined the firm in 2001 and is a member of both the Federation of Accounting Professions and the Institute of Internal Auditors of Thailand. “I could not be more proud of the promotions of Khun Kanyanat and
Khun Teerasak. They have consistently demonstrated every value I would expect of a Grant Thornton Partner; total commitment to their clients, honesty and integrity, hard work and tenacity, skilled and dedicated people management and superb team-player instincts,” said Managing Director Ian Pascoe.
Tesco Lotus is set to launch a convenience chain branded as ‘365’ in Thailand. The retailer plans to open five ‘365’ stores by the end of 2014, the first of which has been opened in Bangkok’s Pratunam district. “The 365 store in Pratunam is a pilot project to test the market for six months. We will adapt it to suit customer demand,” said Corporate Affairs Director Salinla Sihapan.
Chairman’s Report to BCCT Annual General Meeting This is a summary of the Annual Report presented to members on 30 January 2014. 2013 was a momentous year for BCCT. Thanks to the work of member company GSBI we have a new logo and the BCCT magazine was rebranded The Link. The new logo represents the link between the British and Thai business communities, and an organisation that is about people and equality. Furthermore, much behind-the scenes activity was devoted to preparing the groundwork for the Overseas Business Networks Project with UKTI. This is described in detail below. However, the main priorities were in support of members. BCCT continued its three-pronged operational mission of delivering: • an advocacy strategy based on members’ needs • events based on members’ needs and the financial needs of the Chamber • services designed to help members develop their businesses Advocacy has followed a mix of direct lobbying and joining forces with like-minded groups: • In 2013 negotiations began in earnest on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Thai government. Industry feedback was taken for EU positions across all sectors. The European ASEAN Business Centre’s (EABC) advocacy groups played a key role in formulating industry positions. BCCT is a key consortium partner in EABC and takes an active role for the benefit of BCCT members. BCCT is represented on all EABC advocacy groups and in 2013 the BCCT board received briefings from the Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, Cross Sectoral, Intellectual Property, ICT, Insurance and Energy & Energy Efficiency groups. BCCT Treasurer, John Sim, is also EABC Treasurer and Executive Director, Greg Watkins, is in regular contact with other chambers and the EABC directorate • Members’ feedback stressed the continuing importance of visa and work permit issues, the Foreign Business Act and
property ownership as key issues where the Chamber may be able to help. These views have been reflected in EABC’s Annual Position Paper and in meetings with key Thai private sector and government contacts • UK members also raised the inconvenience of the UK passport renewal system. This is being addressed in a joint lobbying effort with Britain in South East Asia. BCCT Executive Director Greg Watkins leads on the issue and has established contact with HM Passport Office in the UK. The improved response times are a positive outcome of this effort • In addition, BCCT has permanent representation on the Board of Trade. Chairman Simon Landy is also the only nonThai representative on the Board of Trade’s Executive Board Events continue to be the lifeblood of the Chamber and the principal form of interaction for the membership: • BCCT and the Events Group under Simon Matthews successfully organised the core events that are important to the financial health of the Chamber: the Annual Lecture by Khun Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, the Masters Football Tournament and Dinner and the Christmas Lunch. Several other high profile events were well received, not least the Life & Style Party at the Embassy. Overall, the Chamber organised 81 events in the year, slightly down on 2012 but continue to focus on quality and variety for our members • We organised our 2nd Member Feedback session and now are in the process of working on feedback that is specific to the events the BCCT holds. We are also planning to hold a similar session in the Eastern Seaboard in the first quarter of 2014 • BCCT and many of our groups were active in organising other informational and training events that have been well received – the CSR Group, Eastern Seaboard Group, ICT Group, Management Development Group, Professional
a contract to establish the UKTI/BCCT Overseas Business Network Project. The Chamber will deliver some of UKTI’s services to those UK SMEs that are considering exporting to, or investing in, Thailand. The Project team will eventually have 5 full-time staff to provide basic market research, arrange seminars and webinars, provide advice and support to UK companies, in both the UK and Thailand and to those visiting. To complement these new activities, the BCCT offices have been expanded to accommodate the British Business Centre, providing users with state-of-the-art wireless technology and seating for 60 attendees.
Women’s Group, Property & Infrastructure Group and SME Group have all been active in this • Networking and social events have continued to be popular, especially the Third Thursday events, the regular ESB events hosted with other chambers and our Pub Nights • Prominent speakers from the UK and Thai political scene are regularly invited to give major addresses. Last year, these included Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint (Minister of State for Trade and Investment), Lord David Puttnam (Film Producer) and Khun Suraphon Svetasreni (Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand) • In 2014 we will continue to listen to our members by the use of our feedback survey after each event so we can improve in the quality and variety of our events. We will also continue with our major events Communications key in 2013 • BCCT’s rebranding process was completed with the launch of our new logo in the presence of the Thai Prime Minister at the BCCT Annual Lecture and Dinner on 21st March • In mid-2013 with effect from issue 4, The Brief was renamed The Link. Members continue to feedback positively on the editorial content of The Link and more members are now contributing editorial articles and news items • Already strong Handbook revenues increased again for a publication that remains crucial for many members • The weekly email newsletter continues to keep members up to date on forthcoming BCCT activities and other events, latest reports added to the website, member discount offers and other news • The website and use of social media remain a work in progress. The website is being redesigned to make it more engaging and to accommodate Overseas Business Networks project activity. This should be re-launched early in 2014
These services will gradually be integrated into the wider work of BCCT. BCCT is seen to be at the vanguard of this Project by UKTI following rapid progress in meeting targets and delivery of services. Progress to date BCCT is at the forefront of the Overseas Business Network project. We will meet or exceed the targets set by UKTI for 2013-14. BCCT’s rapid rate of progress and value for money benchmarks very well against similar projects worldwide. Some of these organisations have a much larger facility and much greater numbers of staff (e.g. Poland and China) and other have less services and facilities to offer (Singapore). We believe that we have the right balance at present. Highlights: • Completion of the British Business Centre, to be officially opened by HMA Mark Kent on 11 February 2014 • MoU with Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce to promote BCCT services and the Thailand market . Currently In discussion with a number of other Chambers about a similar arrangement • Participation in UKTI Road shows in the UK – one of the few overseas Chambers to do this. This promotes BCCT and brings in potential business • Recruitment of Project Team of 4, with mix of UKTI and private sector experience • From December 2014, provision of assistance to UKTI to support its services to UK companies
BCCT/UKTI overseas business networks project Summary In June 2013, as part of BCCT’s ongoing mission to expand services, BCCT and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) signed
Benefits to BCCT Apart from taking on services and activities from UKTI, that will be directed at UK companies, there will also be a complementary expansion in the benefits available to all BCCT members. These include, inter alia: • BCCT members in services industries such as law, accounting, advertising, real estate, publishing, can benefit from selling their services to UK entrants into the Thailand market. A significant amount of follow-up work could fall to BCCT member service companies e.g. legal – drawing up or checking agency or joint venture contracts, real estate – locating office, industrial or residential space, publishing – printing new corporate brochures, etc • The development of fit-for-purpose office with an adjacent British Business Centre will mean that BCCT members will benefit directly from better hot-desking, meeting facilities and ICT infrastructure • The British Business Centre will allow BCCT to organise a greater number of boardroom briefing events. The British Business Centre will be available for private hire • Briefings for UK companies can be conducted via webinar or similar • An expansion of membership as BCCT becomes the de facto organisation for UKTI services to UK SMEs, both UK and locally-based. UK companies commissioning work under this Project are required to join BCCT’s ‘Headstart’ initiative. These new overseas members will contribute to BCCT income • Greater collaboration between UKTI and BCCT in future to ensure cross-fertilisation of knowledge and joint events • Greater connectivity with British Chambers of Commerce in the UK and overseas and with UK Trade Associations • Greater use of social networking to publicise and promote BCCT services and members Thanks are due to Directors of the Board for their strong support and inputs; in particular, those who have either stood down during the year or are unable to stand for re-election: Joe Barker-Bennett, Sriram Narayan and Gary Biesty. The Board has also had strong support from the Embassy and UKTI, especially from Ambassador Mark Kent and the Trade and Investment team led by Bradley Jones and Ben Raby. BCCT GROUP REPORTS 1. Communications & PR After meeting informally during 2013 in response to specific issues, the Comms & PR Group met formally in October. Terms of reference were agreed as follows:• To monitor the BCCT website, social media postings, The Link and the Annual Handbook to make sure information is accurate, timely, well-presented, consistent across all channels, and of value to members • To develop and implement an effective social media strategy, based initially on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter • To develop a public relations plan, using BCCT’s new
branding, to promote the chamber’s services and to enhance its reputation • To organise events on media, communications and public relations topics of interest to members • Each group member to produce one article per year for publication in The Link or on the BCCT website David Armstrong was elected Chairman of the group supported by two Vice Chairs – Richard Ellis of Market Edge Asia and Patrick Gauvain of Shrimp Asia. The group agreed that each member should volunteer a proportionate amount of time to group activity in 2014 and not rely on the Chair or Vice Chairs. Accordingly the following activities were earmarked:
Events – liaising with all group members for ideas on topics and/or speakers and then informing the BCCT office which will then issue invitations, schedule and organise the events Articles/Reports – liaising with all group members to each produce one article or report on a relevant topic per year. The article can be written by the group member or sourced externally with the permission of the original author Social Media – working with the BCCT office to develop a social media strategy for the UKTI Overseas Business Networks Project and BCCT Branding – ensure BCCT branding is consistent across all media Public Relations – develop BCCT’s PR exposure using the website and unutilised media channels. Develop a BCCT App. Website – develop and upgrade BCCT website to utilise new technologies and social media BCCT Board/ICT Group liaison – reporting back to the ICT Group and vice versa to ensure Comms & PR Group activity is consistent and to secure technical input on key issues. Reporting to BCCT board on group activities. 2. Corporate Social Responsibility Helping the Needy BCCT’s CSR and charity activity has traditionally focused on children and/or education and is reflected in support for the needy in Thailand in four ways:
BCCT Charity BCCT makes small charity donations each year from the proceeds of the raffle and auction at the Annual Christmas Luncheon. Students’ Education Trust (SET) – SET supports more than 500 students at university and college, sponsors young teachers from the UK, organises drug prevention camps, English language camps, job-training for students and a host of other education related projects in Nakhon Sawan province. BCCT provides funds for two British gap year students, assessed for SET by Project Trust in UK, to teach English language in schools in Nakhon Sawan province. The Beaumont Partnership (TBP) Foundation - TBP Foundation was established by BCCT member company The Beaumont Partnership to construct a school for the underprivileged on 70 rai of land in Chaiyaphum Province. The school formally opened on Saturday 18th May 2013 and was established to offer a high standard of free education to children from needy rural communities with a commitment from their families to contribute at least ten hours per month to the running of the school. British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) Charity activity by members of the British community began in 1941. In 1957 a committee was formed to organise the first charity fair – the Ploenchit Fair. Foundation status was secured from the Ministry of Interior in 1999 under the name British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) which today continues to organise the annual Ploenchit Fair. Members of the BCTFN board are entirely voluntary. Priority is given to self-help projects that benefit and enable a community to become self-sustaining. Assistance has also been given in the provision of basic necessities and equipment to improve healthcare, nutrition, education, agricultural projects and the disabled throughout Thailand. BCCT organises the Grand Raffle at Ploenchit Fair – traditionally the largest income generating activity in the Fair. In 2013 the Grand Raffle generated THB 939,596 an increase of 20% compared to
2012. The BCCT Executive Director serves on the BCTFN board as Vice President. Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS (TBCA) TBCA was formally established in 1993 to promote private sector awareness of the spread of AIDS and organise activities to prevent AIDS in the workplace. It also coordinates with related government bodies and NGOs in support of activities to control and prevent the spread of AIDS. Major funding is provided by the Global Fund through the Thailand Ministry of Public Health for two key project areas – HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB). The BCCT Executive Director serves as Chairman of the TBCA board. BCCT Child Protection BCCT works in partnership with UK police’s National Crime Agency - Child Exploitation and On-line Protection Centre (NCACEOP) with the aim of engaging the business community in Thailand in order to raise awareness and educate communities in which member companies operate. Working together CEOP and BCCT developed a corporate engagement plan and a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed at the first child protection conference in Bangkok in 2010. On 25th October 2011, a new animated film jointly developed by NCA-CEOP and BCCT was officially launched. Entitled ‘The Tales of Mai and Tam: Mai and Tam Take Control’, the film has been created in Thai and English and focuses on issues of child trafficking and sexual abuse by someone outside the family. It was developed with THB 180,981 in sponsorship from the British Council, Shrewsbury International School, Property Care Services and Spirit of Soccer. In March 2014 NCA-CEOP and BCCT will jointly launch The Tales of Mai and Tam in the form of a comic. 3. Eastern Seaboard Mission Statement: To serve the needs and promote the development of BCCT members on the Eastern Seaboard and, as ‘Partners in Progress’, contribute directly to the economic advancement of the Eastern Seaboard, which, in this case, are the provinces of Chonburi and Rayong. Objectives: (a) To promote trade, industry, investment and economic relations between the United Kingdom and Thailand, especially when pertaining to the Eastern Seaboard (b) To assist members of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) in the promotion of trade, industry, investment and economic relations between the United Kingdom and Thailand, especially when pertaining to the Eastern Seaboard (c) To provide advice, ideas, and suggestions for BCCT members’ business interests on the Eastern Seaboard, in the field of trade, industry, insurance, investment and in
• Panel Event focused on the needs of the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Sector • A dinner with the Chonburi Governor • A meeting with the Pattaya Mayor to focus on the development of the Cities infrastructure issues • Event with HE Mark Kent, the British Ambassador to Thailand • Support for the Jester Care for Kids Event in September • A SME focused event • Training courses on the Eastern Seaboard in conjunction with the BCCT management development group • Panel event on Education
Education other related matters and to provide a business forum for members to consult one another (d) To compile news, information and statistics on trade in general, on industrial and commercial affairs, and on legal and financial matters worthy of interest, for distribution to members Committee Activities 2013: 1. The committee for 2103 started with BCCT board member Joe Barker-Bennett chairing the group and heading into 2013 with a number of initiatives to be put in place. However, towards the end of the first quarter, Joe and a number of his committee were re-located by their companies. David Cumming, BCCT Board member and former ESB Group chairperson then stepped in to fill the void going forward. A number of committee members also departed thus a meeting was held to coerce a new committee to represent and drive ESB Group matters. This proved unsuccessful and therefore great energy and drive will be required for 2014 to ensure the ESB group and service to its members are driven forward. 2. The current committee is: David Cumming Amari Orchid Pattaya, Dr. Iain Corness Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, Mr. Pratheep S. Malhotra Pattaya Mail Publishing Co., Ltd., Mr. Simon Philbrook MBMG Group ., and Brendan Daly Amari Orchid Pattaya . There is a need for both manufacturing and SME’s to be represented and for events to be focused to the needs of the members based there. 3. 4 BCCT Eastern Seaboard Group meetings were held in 2013 and the minutes recorded. 4. Currently 56 members of the BBCT are based on the Eastern Seaboard with a further 7 Bangkok companies having provincial offices in the area. 5. 12 Monthly Networking events where held on the Eastern Seaboard all in conjunction with AMCHAM, AUSTCHAM and the SATCC. 6. 12 Eastern Seaboard Group monthly reports highlighting the development of the region have been posted to date on the BCCT website in 2013. 7. Events planned for the ESB in 2014 include:
• A members night to ascertain feedback on how the BCCT on the Eastern Seaboard can better serve them (February 2014)
BCCT’s Education Group has gone through many transitions in the last few years and is still struggling to come to terms with what education means in the context of a Chamber of Commerce. The focus has to be on the needs of our member companies and so the following areas of focus that are important to consider for BCCT are: 1. Education as it relates to business (making the future Thai workforce more “fit for purpose”). This means vocational education, higher education (degree/diploma level) and in schools and other places of education, tackling the problems of preparing students for a modern business environment (creativity, willingness to question, challenge ideas, put forward new ideas etc.). Promoting Enterprise so that Thai students and adults are both capable of independent thought and actions and have the interest and ability to consider starting their own enterprises. To provide support and services to develop Thailand’s basic educational needs (basic skills, skills based curriculum, vocational training, new technologies). 2. Linkage into the UK educational network and promotion of UK Educational services and best practices. 3. Education at school level - promoting the teaching of English as a language. 4. Inclusivity - education as a right and the development of an education system that is not exclusive but inclusive. 5. Long-term commercial success in a global market place cannot come without addressing these issues in a sustainable and effective manner. 6. Encouragement and support for the development of leadership skills within the Thai workforce to increase the country’s ability to provide the necessary leaders in the future. These areas are the key areas for developing the work of the Education Group and they will be discussed during 2014. 5. Health, Safety & Environment BCCT’s Health, Safety and Environment Group was established in August 2013 to enhance the professional awareness relevant to health and safety issues. Equally important is to
Cities”, and meetings with the UKTI in Thailand. This has been further assisted by Khun Sao who works at the UKTI in Thailand on ICT matters. This has greatly enhanced this conduit and one which will be further enhanced as the BCCT ramps-up its “Overseas Network Project” which further hardcodes the relationship and work between the UKTI and BCCT. As part of this initiative we met with John Davies who leads the efforts of the UKTI team on Technology Partnerships which “will deliver £20m worth of new business for UK high-growth, high technology SMEs by April 2014 by working with UKTI’s UK and global network and industry to build relationships to accelerate access to qualified global value chain opportunities in high growth areas relative to the UK’s best technology SMEs.” minimise the environmental impact of our operations on the local communities and on a global scale. The Group’s objective is to promote best practices, create awareness and discuss solutions to related issues facing community at specific time. The Group has arranged a regular discussion to encourage the exchange of knowledge and experience among its members, for example, an up to date source of information on the ever changing health, safety and environmental scene and a survey to BCCT’s members of preferred activities.
The segments that the ICT team at UKTI are focussing on are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Big Data Cloud Computing Internet of Things / M2M Smart Infrastructure Digital Economy / Social Media Design & User Interface Life Sciences - Healthcare and Biopharma Enabling Technologies
According to the survey, the BCCT’s members are particularly interested in seminars with guest speakers, site visit/best practice sharing, newsletters/website content. The Group committee, therefore, plans the first site visit, followed by inviting Guest speakers to give presentations on current health, safety and environmental issues at BCCT events.
The ICT Group had several meetings with John and this will be further developed in March 2014 where a team representing the Smart Cities initiative in the UK will come to Thailand with about 19 companies, which may represent partnership opportunities with BCCT member companies. We intend to have a VDO conference with them before we come so that interested parties can prepare for potential opportunity.
In terms of events we had another very successful seminar in May, where we hosted guest speakers TIM VEROUDEN, Head of online, Marketing Group, Dtac and also ROB DE JONGE, General Manager, Venda Software Development who talked about “CONVERGENT COMMERCE – WORLD-WIDE TRENDS WITH A FOCUS ON “SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT” THAILAND”. The event received praise for its quality of speakers and the interaction in the Q&A and afterwards.
We are blessed to have an active and passionate group for ICT who regularly take part in monthly meetings, activities and initiatives. My very sincere thanks go to the members of the group whom are: Robert Wagner, Bob Marchant, David Quine, Alex Taverner, Khun Nipapat Hamilton (Khun Sao), Jamie Helm and last but definitely not least, Chris Thatcher. During 2013 we have worked very hard on collaboration as the following notes show. The intent of this collaboration is to provide more choice, more value, and more opportunity for BCCT member companies around ICT. Following on from the start of this project in 2012, our ICT Group member Robert Marchant (Bob) continued to spearhead a closer working relationship between the BCCT members and British ICT companies wishing to do business in Thailand. During 2013 a number of meetings took place both in the UK and Thailand to understand how the ICT Group, and BCCT members, can better understand the companies and capabilities that are in the UK and how they could be “matched” and partnered with the significant ICT opportunities that exist in Thailand. These included Bob attending meetings in the UK with the UKTI to follow-up on their work for example on “Smart
During the year the ICT Group discussed the fact that there were several chambers that had an ICT interest and quite possibly it would make more sense to partner more actively with AmCham and AusCham on ICT events. This would give more critical mass to the events themselves, provide further weight requesting high-quality speakers, as well as providing more choice and networking for members with other likeminded companies and individuals. As a result of this Alex Taverner who is on the BCCT ICT Group but also a member of AusCham is a key conduit to AusCham on ICT matters, and Andrew McBean has become a co-chair of the ICT Committee of AmCham, thus providing a very strong link between the chambers. An excellent example of this collaboration was the very successful Gadget Night which was held in November. At that
event were 14 different vendors including Apple, Microsoft and Nokia and over 300 attendees on the night. For 2014 this will most certainly result in much more choice for BCCT members. Working with AmCham there will be events around the following activities: 1. NTBC speech 2. State of internet coverage in rural Thailand 3. Seagate factory visit 4. Big Data 5. Cloud Computing 6. Internet of Things / M2M 7. Communications and Collaboration 8. How to protect your identity online (with Law) 9. Your online brand (with Marketing) 10. Gartner Top 10 predictions 11. Economist Intelligence Unit However, as well as wanting to provide more choice to members in 2014, the ICT Group would also like to ensure that specific points of special interest are covered for BCCT members. And thus the BCCT ICT Group will also be working on the following activities in the first few months of 2014: 1. The Computer Crime Act and what it means to business 2. Web Conference with the UKTI’s Smart Cities team 3. Business Continuity – globally and in Thailand
Union for a bilateral free trade agreement, changes to the Foreign Business Act, the BOI’s plans to revise the categories of business eligible for promotion and also revise the incentives available, and other matters. Other matters that impact on BCCT members, including delays in obtaining UK visas for their Thai staff to attend training courses in the UK, and inconvenience arising from passport renewal application only being available in Hong Kong or the UK, were also discussed. During the year, the Committee organised three BCCT events on the impact of AEC 2015, changes to the Foreign Business Act, and recent developments in intellectual property law. It is intended to organise further events in 2014. 8. Management Development & Human Resources During 2013, after 3 years, the Chairmanship, under Richard Greaves, was taken over by another BCCT Director, Joe BarkerBennett but later replaced by Sukhavichai Dhanasundara, Honorary Adviser to the BCCT Board, as Acting Chairman due to relocation of Joe to Myanmar. The remaining members are Greg Watkins, Executive Director of BCCT, Simon Matthews, BCCT Director, Khun Bubphawadee Owararinth, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) pcl and Khun Anong Anantachina, Human Resources Director, PCS. BCCT MDG/HR activities in 2013 have included:
We continue to be interested in attracting new active members to join our passionate and friendly Group. The most important qualification is passion for ICT! Please email Andrew McBean at email@example.com if you are interested in this.
MDG/HR Events in 2013: February – Panel Event: Overall Impact of AEC with following Keynote Speakers. Overview Perspective: Kirida Bhaopichitr – World Bank Legal Perspective: Cynthia Pornvilai – Tilleke & Gibbins Moderator – Stephen Frost
7. Legal & Taxation During 2013, the BCCT Legal & Taxation Group advised the BCCT Board on matters referred by the Board, and discussed changes or proposed changes to Thai law that impact on BCCT membership. Amongst these were changes in Thai law that may take place when AEC 2015 is implemented inc December 2015, the current negotiations Thailand and the European
English Classes • May: Effective Presentation Skills – SmartWorld Asia • July: Train the Trainers – Smart World Asia • December: Business Writing – Smart World Asia Thai Classes • February: Personal leadership and productivity – Pac Rim Group • April: Problem Solving & Decision Making – PCS • June: Professional Grooming – Standard Chartered Bank • October: How to handle negotiation with confidence – Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) • November: Service Leadership – Tesco Lotus Plans for 2014 activities Panel discussion on HR Issues related to the AEC English Classes (5 are planned) • Train the Trainers • Business Writing • Procurement into the future • Smart Communication skills • TBD
Thai Classes (5 are planned) • Finance for non-financiers • Logical Framework Approach for Investment decision • Winning customer service • TBD • TBD 9. Manufacturing Following on from the good work of Roger Wilson of GKN, David Wilkinson, then of The Wood Group, held a meeting of BCCT member manufacturers in the Eastern Seaboard in May 2013. The main area of interest from this meeting was to support and encourage the vocational training of the Thai labour force leading to skills based qualifications. In this regard through Justin Barnett of Grayling there was an opportunity to engage with the Director General of the Thailand Professional Qualifications Institute (TPQI) in order to test whether its brief for setting qualifications standards could enable it to become another channel through which to make the case for closer industry liaison with educational institutions. There was also talk of locating training facilities within industrial estates or finding a nearby location where the close cooperation with vocational institutions and industry could be advanced. Unfortunately, this initial thinking did not bear fruit. In October 2013, AustCham initiated a new multi-chamber approach to a Manufacturing Group. The initial chambers are Australian, American, British, Canadian and South African. The objective of the group is to: share knowledge, ideas, lessons, best practises and partnership opportunities to its members. It will also provide feedback when requested to its constituent chambers on areas where the group would ideally like to see general manufacturing related policy changes or adjustments in the region. The group held its first meeting in January 2014 on the Thai government’s anti-drugs policy. Topics for future meetings are: • • • • •
Infrastructure: issues impeding growth (roads to from main highways, traffic management, telecoms etc.) Labour: Issues in Thailand ( Best Practises, lessons learned, sharing of knowledge, problems/solutions of migrant workforces) Finance: For SMEs in particular, possible areas providing access to Capital (working cap etc) Logistics: Customs, Import/Export Issues in Thailand (Best Practices, lessons learned, sharing of knowledge on what to do, how to solve problems etc.) Education: Vocational education in Thailand
10. Membership The BCCT held a Membership feedback meeting in October 2013 following on from a similar successful meeting in 2012. With such meetings there are 2 types of feedback.
The first type is individual comments and suggestions coming from a small group (sometimes even just one person). These tend to generate idea for the Chamber and the Board to follow up on. They are not generally negative comments. The second type is areas where there is general agreement of most people about how the Chamber could be improved. In the meeting, these comments were invariably favourable about how the Chamber was progressing. It is not possible in such a short report to go into more detail but the full comments are available on the BCCT website - https://members.bccthai. com/asp/view_doc.asp?DocCID=2516. Next steps? In 2014 we intend to hold a similar meeting for members in Pattaya and a fuller member survey will be carried out later in the year. The Chamber has changed and will continue to change in response to the needs of members so feedback is always welcome. 11. Professional Women The Professional Women’s Group’s objective is to host events to inform, inspire and connect our female (and quite a few male) chamber members. The group works collaboratively with other Chambers such as AustCham and NZTCC to achieve these objectives. Our yearly program typically includes topics covering women in business and social networking events. In 2013 we hosted or co-hosted four events: an evening presentation on ‘How to Achieve a Work/Life Balance’ with AustCham; An Evening with the Lord Mayor of Perth with AustCham; an evening presentation on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey - Staying Young and Healthy’ and a speed networking evening with AustCham and NZTCC. 12. Property & Infrastructure The BCCT Property & Infrastructure (P&I) Group’s mission is to support and advance BCCT work in relation to P&I; to organize quality events of interest to members at a reasonable cost; and to compile reports on market developments. The group normally holds four quarterly meetings at which events are
The mission and main focus areas of the group for 2014 will lie in the following main areas: Mission: The Travel and Tourism Committee will aim to provide a platform for the members of BCCT involved in this field to facilitate communication and business opportunities by linking and driving communication between Thailand and the UK tourist sectors. The goal is to enhance Thailand’s overall tourist and travel experience by helping it to maintain a competitive advantage relative to neighbouring alternative destinations in S.E. Asia while assisting all sector related businesses to capitalise on the ever increasing Thailand tourist market. planned for each quarter. The P&I Group has also supplied various reports on the P&I sector for members which are posted on the BCCT website. In 2013 the P&I Group organised these evening presentations: with the Australian and South African Chambers on the Outlook for the Thai property market and with the American and Australian Chambers on Property and Infrastructure on the Eastern Seaboard. 13. SME During 2013, the group has been relatively inactive. In an attempt to analyse why this is so it is necessary to look at how BCCT provides support in other ways. The notion of a group for SMEs cuts across almost every other group run by the BCCT as it is essentially a horizontal group covering all key interests of other groups. It may well be that there is no need for a specific SME Group and that other groups can cover issues in their own way. Equally there may be generic issues that are not covered by any group. The potential role for an SME group going forward might be in identifying issues for other groups rather than trying to service the needs themselves. 14. Travel & Tourism Under the Chairmanship of David Cumming the Travel and Tourism committee was re-activated with regular meetings in 2013. The committee started with a strong number of representatives being present but regular meetings tended to have between 4 and 6 group members in attendance, due to the sectors very busy schedules. The committee which had been dormant for a number of years has a large core of members to cater to within the BCCT and going forward in 2014 the primary aim must be to serve their needs in every way we can. A very successful event was held in June with the Governor of TAT, Khun Suraphon Svetasreni at which in excess of 60 members were in attendance to hear about developments in Thailand Tourism Sector.
The three main areas of focus for the group in 2014 will be: • Following the current political situation, to work with the members to help drive the rehabilitation of the Thai Travel and Tourism industry • Tourist Security and their confidence in Thailand as a destination • Education – a focus on internships, service expectations, placements and support to our Chamber members in this sector • Coordination, collaboration and dialogue with TAT with an aim of establishing how this can be carried forward to the field In addition the aim of the group for 2014 is to complete an article for members twice yearly while also providing 3 major travel and tourism events; these may take the form of: • Travel and Tourism Panel Event • Dinner with Speaker • Meetings with TAT, TCEB and other Industry associations • Travel and Tourism networking events • Understanding the needs of the members in this area 15. UK Group 2013 has been another relatively quiet year on the BCCT UK Group front largely due to the fact that many companies have traditionally left their teams on the ground to action any Thailand-related matters. Whilst this practice will probably continue for many of the wellestablished companies, newcomers to the market - particularly SMEs, whose interaction with the Chamber should increase significantly following the ongoing UKTI initiative - may find the UK Group a useful sounding board. Time will tell! That aside, my time is likely to continue to be spent briefing any interested British Chambers/Trade Associations (i.e. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)), FCO/UKTI officials and attending a range of Regional/Thailand events (i.e. Anglo-Thai Society, Asia House, Thai Embassy, UK Asia Business Council etc). In tandem, together with Mike Weatherley (Conservative MP for Hove & Portslade and a good friend of Thailand), I have been trying to raise the profile of the Anglo-Thai Parliamentary Group which has yet to stage a single activity! This should not only have broad-ranging benefits but is in stark contrast to the AngloJapanese Parliamentary Group (well attended (50-100) monthly functions) and the recently launched Vietnam/UK Network.
bcct Director Profiles In each issue of The Link we profile three members of the newly-elected BCCT Board, beginning with Chairman Simon Matthews, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer John Sim, and Simon Landy – who stood down as Chairman in January 2014 after serving BCCT members and the British business community with distinction.
Chairman Simon Matthews Simon has worked in Thailand for the past 21 years and is currently the Country Manager of ManpowerGroup. He was responsible for the start-up of Manpower Thailand in 1998. The business has over 13,000 associates supported by over 220 permanent staff in 10 locations across Thailand. Simon’s activities with the BCCT activities last year included: • Chairman of the Events Committee • Active member of the Management/HR Committees • Member of the Advocacy Group on work permits and visa improvements • Represented BCCT with the Board of Trade and BISEA conference in Jakarta • Worked on BCCT HR Policy and KPI’s
Vice Chairman & Treasurer John Sim John retired from KPMG in June 2012 after a distinguished career lasting some 36 years. He now works with PKF International as the Global CEO but he is in Thailand. PKF is a network of independent accounting firms present in around 120 countries and with revenues in excess of US$2.5billion. John became Treasurer in 2010 and it was largely due to his efforts and expertise that the finances of the BCCT are in much better shape. John also serves as Treasurer of the EABC (European ASEAN Business Centre) and as a Trustee of the Adam Smith Global Foundation.
Vice Chairman Simon Landy A resident of Thailand since 1981, Simon co-founded Colliers Thailand in 2007. He serves currently as a member of the UK-based International Valuation Standards Board (the global standards setter for business and property valuation) and of the Thai SEC sub-committee on property fund/REIT regulation. Simon, as Chairman of the BCCT Board, led the focus upon upgrading events and information. He promoted actively the Chamber’s important advocacy role and he worked closely with John Sim to ensure the sustainable financial health of the Chamber. Although Simon has stepped down from the position of Chairman he is pleased to serve on the Board for a further 12 months and he looks forward to representing the BCCT and the interests of its members in the year ahead.
• Worldwide Governance Indicators: Control of Corruption This rating by the World Bank forms part of its Worldwide Governance Indicators, with a maximum score of 100 indicating total control. Thailand gains a half score of 50. • World Economic Forum: Most Problematic Factors for Doing Business Thailand has the highest number of mentions of corruption as being the most problematic factor for doing business, according to the WEF survey of 2014, having risen significantly in this respect over the past 5 years. • Changes in Perception over the past decade regarding corruption In the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Surveys over the past decade, Thailand has improved to some extent in perception, significantly behind Malaysia but well ahead of other countries in the region.
tiation, tend to be taken at face value. The attached tables place Thailand in a regional context along with the UK as a benchmark.
By the Numbers
• World Justice Project: Rule of Law Index: Absence of Corruption This puts Thailand 65th out of 97 countries, behind even Vietnam and the Philippines. • Bribe Payers Index This table tells you who to deal with, and who not to deal with, if you want a pay-off. No wonder China is so popular these days: Russia too, if they actually had anything worth dealing with, apart from oil. • Transparency International: country Positioning / Scores Thailand has been slipping steadily over the past 15 years, now down to 102 out of 177 countries. However, the scores has remained much the same, whereas other countries have improved.
Chris Bruton Director, Dataconsult Ltd.
ransparency, or its less delicate antonym corruption, is a favourite word these days, along with “good governance” and “rule of law”. Measuring corruption remains challenging, since it tends to be effectively concealed by the powers that be, who are the most common recipients. We are thus reliant upon perceptions, which can be wildly inaccurate but, being without substan-
Table 1: World Justice Project, Rule of Law Index: Absence of Corruption Scores in 2013
Rank in 2013
Rank in 2012
Score overall 2012
Rank in 2011
Score in 2011
Source: World Justice Project: Rule of Law, Vienna, Austria Note: 1. Ranking in 2013/2012: 97 countries, 2011: 66 countries 2. Scores: 1.00 = perfect score
Table 2: Bribe Payers Index 2011 Survey
Rank (28 countries)
Score (max 10)
Rank (22 countries)
Netherlands Switzerland Belgium Germany Japan
1 1 3 4 4
8.8 8.8 8.7 8.6 8.6
Score (max 10)
Rank (28 countries)
Score (max 10)
Rank (22 countries)
Score (max 10)
3 3 1 5 5
8.7 8.7 8.8 8.6 8.6
Hong Kong Italy Malaysia South Africa
15 15 15 15
7.6 7.6 7.6 7.6
13 17 14
7.6 7.4 7.5
Turkey Saudi Arabia
France Spain South Korea
11 11 15
8.0 8.0 7.9
9 12 14
8.1 7.9 7.5
Mexico China Russia
26 27 28
7.0 6.5 6.1
20 21 22
6.6 6.5 5.9
Source: Transparency International Note: 1. 2011: 28 countries rated; 2008: 22 countries rated 2. Score of: 10 = perfect rating
Table 3: Transparency International Country Positioning Country Singapore UK Brunei Malaysia Philippines Thailand Indonesia Vietnam Laos Myanmar Cambodia Total countries
1999 7 13 32 54 68 96 75 98
2000 6 10 36 69 60 85 76 90
2001 4 13 36 65 61 88 75 91
2002 5 11 33 77 64 96 85 102
2003 5 11 37 92 70 122 100 129 133
2004 5 11 39 102 64 133 102 142 146
2005 5 11 39 117 59 137 107 77 155 130 159
2006 5 11 44 121 63 130 111 111 160 151 163
2007 4 14 43 131 84 143 123 168 179 162 180
2008 4 16 47 141 80 126 121 151 178 166 180
2006 9.4 8.6 5.0 2.5 3.6 2.4 2.6 2.6 1.9 2.1
2007 9.3 8.4 5.1 2.5 3.3 2.3 2.6 1.9 1.4 2.0
2008 9.2 7.7 5.1 2.3 3.5 2.6 2.7 2.0 1.3 1.8
2009 3 17 39 56 139 84 111 120 158 178 158 180
Rank of 1 = highest rated of 177 countries 2010 2011 2012 2013 1 5 5 5 20 16 17 14 38 44 46 38 56 60 54 53 134 129 105 94 78 80 88 102 110 100 118 114 116 112 123 116 154 154 160 140 176 180 172 157 154 164 157 157 178 183 176 177
Source: Transparency International 1999-2013 Note: Cambodia, Laos rated since 2005, Myanmar since 2003
Table 4: Transparency International Corruption Perception Index Scores Country Singapore UK Brunei Malaysia Philippines Thailand Indonesia Vietnam Laos Myanmar Cambodia
1999 9.1 8.6 5.1 3.6 3.2 1.7 2.6 -
2000 9.1 8.7 4.8 2.8 3.2 1.7 2.5 -
2001 9.2 8.3 5.0 2.9 3.2 1.9 2.6 -
2002 9.3 8.7 4.9 2.6 3.2 1.9 2.4 -
2003 9.4 8.7 5.2 2.5 3.3 1.9 2.4 1.6 -
2004 9.5 8.6 5.0 2.6 3.6 2.0 2.6 1.7 -
2005 9.4 8.6 5.1 2.5 3.8 2.2 2.6 3.3 1.8 2.3
Scores out of 10: 1999-2011; out of 100: 2012-2013 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 9.2 9.3 9.2 87 86 7.7 7.6 7.8 74 76 5.5 5.5 5.2 55 60 4.5 4.4 4.3 49 50 2.4 2.4 2.6 34 36 3.4 3.5 3.4 37 35 2.8 2.8 3.0 32 32 2.7 2.7 2.9 31 31 2.0 2.1 2.2 21 26 1.4 1.4 1.0 15 21 2.0 2.1 2.1 22 20
Source: Transparency International 1999-2013 Note: 1. Score of 10 (1999-2011; or 100 (2012-2013) is pefect; Score of zero is totally corrupt 2. Laos and Cambodia rated from 2005, Myanmar since 2003
Table 5: Worldwide Governance Indicators: Control of Corruption Country Singapore UK Brunei Malaysia Thailand China India Vietnam Philippines Indonesia Lao PDR Cambodia Myanmar
2012 97 92 72 66 47 39 35 35 33 29 15 14 11
2011 97 92 78 60 50 35 33 31 26 27 8 7 0
2010 99 91 80 63 48 32 36 31 22 25 8 7 0
2009 98 91 81 58 50 35 39 36 24 23 6 9 0
2008 98 92 73 59 42 35 44 26 25 34 6 7 2
2007 98 93 63 67 43 33 41 31 26 34 6 10 2
2006 98 93 63 65 44 37 46 25 22 21 5 8 0
2005 98 95 62 63 54 32 43 25 35 20 7 10 1
2004 99 95 70 70 52 35 43 24 30 17 9 14 1
2003 98 95 64 69 53 43 43 37 39 15 9 16 2
2002 99 96 65 62 48 34 38 35 39 8 11 15 4
Scores out of 100 1998 1996 96 97 97 96 66 72 71 71 60 50 46 44 44 40 40 40 55 51 10 31 40 36 9 17 6 3
2000 97 96 69 66 55 51 46 32 40 19 25 21 4
Source: World Bank: Worldwide Governance Indicators Note: 100 = Perfect control; 0 = no control
Table 6: World Economic Forum: Most Problematic Factors for Doing Business: Corruption as problem Country Singapore UK Brunei Vietnam Lao PDR China Myanmar India Malaysia Philippines Cambodia Indonesia Thailand
Rank 15 12 10 7 5 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 1
2014 mention % 0.0 0.9 1.1 8.2 6.9 10.1 13.5 17.3 14.4 17.8 19.0 19.3 20.2
Rank 15 15 11 9 n.a. 5 n.a. 2 2 1 1 2 2
2013 mention % 0.3 0.4 2.1 5.0 n.a. 9.2 n.a. 15.8 12.7 19.3 21.5 14.2 16.7
Rank 15 11 8 8 n.a. 5 n.a. 2 4 1 1 1 2
2012 mention % 0.3 0.9 2.8 5.7 n.a. 8.5 n.a. 16.7 9.6 24.4 16.8 15.4 14.5
Rank 14 14 8 9 n.a. 3 n.a. 2 6 1 1 2 4
2011 mention % 0.1 0.6 2.3 4.8 n.a. 9.5 n.a. 17.3 8.0 22.7 21.5 16.0 11.4
Rank 12 14 11 8 n.a 6 n.a 3 3 1 1 4 4
2010 mention % 0.8 0.3 1.6 5.1 n.a. 7.4 n.a. 11.0 10.4 24.3 23.9 8.7 11.0
Rank 14 14 8 4 n.a. 6 n.a. 3 2 1 1 3 4
2009 mention % 0.1 1.7 2.1 9.0 n.a 7.4 n.a 10.1 14.5 23.9 24.5 10.7 10.3
Source: World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2014 Note: Mention of 1: most problematic factor
Table 7: Changes in Perceptions over the Past Decade Regarding Corruption Country Indonesia India Vietnam Philippines Thailand China Malaysia Singapore Cambodia Myanmar
2004 9.25 8.90 8.71 8.33 7.80 7.48 7.33 0.50 n.a. n.a.
2005 9.10 8.63 8.65 8.80 7.20 7.68 6.80 0.65 n.a. n.a.
2006 8.16 6.76 7.91 7.80 7.64 7.58 6.13 1.30 n.a. n.a.
2007 8.03 6.67 7.54 9.40 8.03 6.29 6.25 1.20 9.10 n.a.
2008 7.98 7.25 7.75 9.00 8.00 7.98 6.37 1.13 8.50 n.a.
2009 7.69 6.50 7.40 7.68 6.76 7.30 7.00 0.92 8.10 n.a.
2010 9.07 8.23 7.13 8.25 7.33 6.70 6.05 0.99 8.30 n.a.
2011 9.25 8.67 8.30 8.90 7.55 7.93 5.70 0.37 9.27 n.a.
2012 8.50 8.75 7.75 9.35 6.57 7.00 5.59 0.67 6.83 n.a.
2013 8.83 8.95 8.13 8.28 6.83 7.79 5.38 0.74 7.84 8.00
Source : Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd Note : Grades range from zero to 10, with zero being the best grade possible and 10 the worst.
Chamber Events BCCT Christmas Luncheon 18 December 2013 On Wednesday 18th December BCCT held its Annual Christmas Luncheon at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel with 590 attendees.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 64
BCCT Half-Day Workshop
Joint ESB Networking Evening
13 November 2013
15 November 2013
The BCCT Management Development Group organised a half-day workshop on Smart Change Management on Wednesday 13th November at BCCTâ€™s new meeting room. The facilitator was Mal Reid, SmartWorld Training and Corporate Development.
BCCT hosted the Joint Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening with AMCHAM, AustCham and SATCC on Friday 15th November at Pullman Pattaya. The event was sponsored by Diageo Moet Hennessy (Thailand), Cornerstone Management, The Regentâ€™s School Pattaya and Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.
- Mal Reid briefs members on Smart Change Management.
From left: - Graham Macdonald, MBMG Group - Greg Watkins, BCCT Executive Director - Chris Thatcher, BCCT Vice Chairman/Anglo-Thai Legal
Joint Chambers Gadget Night
BCCT Half-Day Workshop
20 November 2013
21 November 2013
On Wednesday 20th November AMCHAM in conjunction with AustCham, BCCT and NZTCC hosted social networking and a gadget exposition event at the Conrad Hotel. Far left is Andrew McBean, BCCT ICT Chairman
The BCCT Management Development Group organised a half-day workshop on Service Leadership on Thursday 21st November.
- A night for gadgets at the Conrad Hotel.
- Facilitator (standing) is Khun Tankamon Preechasiripun from Tesco Lotus.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. The Link
T3 - Third Thursday Networking Evening 21 November 2013 On Thursday 21st November Aloft Bangkok â€“ Sukhumvit 11 kindly sponsored the T3 networking evening at Crave Wine Bar & Restaurant.
From left to right: - Simon Matthews, BCCT Chairman/ManpowerGroup Thailand - Mathieu Bellec, Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11 - Ata Safdar, Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (Thailand)
From left to right: - Pattarin Chotchaicharin, Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11 - Kornsiri Sooppakitkul, Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11 - Chris Thatcher, BCCT Vice Chairman/Anglo-Thai Legal - Nathalie Post, Phachara Suites Sukhumvit
BCCT Boardroom Briefing - IP
BCCT Half-Day Workshop
28 November 2013
12 December 2013
On Thursday 28th November members and non-members joined James Evans, Consultant of Tilleke & Gibbins for a presentation on Current Developments in Intellectual and Property Law and Related EU Thai FTA Issues.
On Thursday 12th December BCCT hosted a halfday workshop on Introduction to Successful Business Writing.
- BCCT members get to grips with intellectual and property law.
- The facilitator was Neil Stoneham from Voxtree.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 66
Joint Christmas Evening
BCCT Briefing on Myanmar
13 December 2013
7 January 2014
AustCham hosted the Joint Christmas Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening on Friday 13th December at Amari Pattaya. The event was well attended by members of AMCHAM, AustCham and BCCT.
On Tuesday 7th January BCCT hosted the Boardroom Briefing on ‘Myanmar’s Parliament: an Important Driver of Myanmar’s Transition’ at the new British Business Centre.
From left to right: - Chris Thatcher, BCCT Vice Chairman/ Anglo-Thai Legal - Mark Carroll - Brendan Daly, Amari Orchid Pattaya
- Speaker Mr. Nyantha Maw Lin, Director of Vriens and Partners Myanmar
- Mark Tristram - Simon Matthews, BCCT Chairman/ ManpowerGroup Thailand - Stephen Frost, BCCT Director/Bangkok International Associates
Third Thursday Networking Evening 16 January 2014 On Thursday 16th January The Landmark Bangkok kindly hosted the first T3 of the year at Rendezvous bar.
From left to right: -Douglas Glen, The Landmark Bangkok -Jina Phenix, BCCT Membership and Publications Coordinator -Barry Nicholson, UKTI/BCCT Project Director
From left to right: - Pattra Hortong, UKTI/BCCT Project Coordinator - Lloyd Wilson, Berkeley International School - Supeepun Pooripanyawanich, British Airways - Phimphika Artthakhan, BCCT Membership and Advertising Coordinator
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. The Link
Joint ESB Networking Evening
BCCT Annual General Meeting
18 January 2014
30 January 2014
BCCT hosted the Joint Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening with AMCHAM, AustCham and SATCC on Friday 17th January at Dicey Reilly’s. The event was sponsored by Town & Country Property, Tellus System, LOC Laem Chabang, ManpowerGroup and Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa.
Sixteen members stood for election to the 2014 BCCT Board at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 30th January. Congratulations to the new Board (pictured). Thanks to the 2013 Board members for their contribution and support.
From left to right: - Simon Matthews, BCCT Chairman/ManpowerGroup Thailand - Graham Macdonald, MBMG Group - H.E. Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand
- Chairman Simon Matthews (centre front) with the new BCCT Board
BCCT Panel Discussion Luncheon 30 January 2014 BCCT’s AGM Panel Discussion Lunch on Thai Political Situation took place on Thursday 30th January. The event was kindly sponsored by the Knight Foundation.
From left to right: - Simon Landy, panelists - Dr. Chris Baker - Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak - Khun Voranai Vanijaka
- The AGM panel discussion was well attended.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 68
Comings and Goings The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand welcomes the following new members:
Allied Pickfords 50/808, Moo 3, Soi La Salle 34 Sukhumvit 105, Bangna, Bangkok 10260 T: +66 (0) 2361-3961 F: +66 (0) 2361-3962, +66 (0) 2361-3963 Website: www.alliedpickfords.com
Representatives: Mr. Mike Ellis - Managing Director Mr. Neil Chiu - General Manager Business Activity: • A heritage dating back to 17th century London • Pickfords U.K. holds the global contract for British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) • Worldwide Door-to-Door Removals • Long & short term storage • Handyman, pet & vehicle shipping • Domestic & Office Moves • House, School search & Orientations
EQHO Communications Ltd. 2001 Chartered Square Building 152 North Sathorn Road Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 T: +66 (0) 2637 8060 F: +66 (0) 2637 8422 Website: www.eqho.com
Representatives: Mr. Steven Bussey - VP of Global Marketing Mrs. Phanitanan Sanitprachakorn - President Business Activity: EQHO Communications is a leading
provider of multilingual and multicultural communications solutions. For nearly two decades, EQHO has been successfully helping global corporations transcend cultural and linguistic barriers by providing a comprehensive range of high-quality localization solutions.
Eureka Heatrecovery Systems Ltd. The Reed Suite, Doncaster Trades, 19 South Mall, Frenchgate Centre Doncaster DN11LL United Kingdom T: +44 (0) 775 384 2513 Website: www.eurekaheatrecovery.co.uk Representatives: Mr. John Elliott - Director Business Activity: John is a qualified refrigeration and air conditioning engineer specialising in refrigerant to water heat recovery. He has over 30 years experience in this field with worldwide installations including Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Chile in his portfolio. Using Eureka’s award-winning products, commercial sites can reduce their carbon footprint, whilst turning waste heat into profit. The systems are suitable for all sites which have refrigeration or air-conditioning systems and a demand for hot water, as they utilise the waste heat from the refrigerant to heat water in a patented heat exchanger design to provide hot water at 55-60 degrees C.
Hamptons Property Co., Ltd. Suite 0845B, Level 8 1-7 Zeulig House Building, Silom Rd., Silom, Bangrak Bangkok 10500 T: +66 (0) 2231-8054 Website: www.hamptonsproperty.org
Representatives: Mr. Chris Trottier - Managing Director Mr. Thanachai Charoensilp - Assistant Managing Director Business Activity: Hamptons Property Company, a comprehensive buy-rent-sell property services agent. With over 10 years a decade of experience in this industry. We are specialise and professional who has full quality of property services. Hamptons Property aims to continuously provide real value to sellers and buyers.
Kluber Lubrication (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 88 Dr. Gerhard Link Building, 12th Floor, Krungthepkreetha Road Huamark, Bangkapi Bangkok 10240 T: +66 (0) 2792-2888 F: +66 (0) 2792-2800 Website: www.klueber.com
Representatives: Mr. Stefan Kohl - General Manager Mr. Christoph Koehler - General Manager Business Activity: Kluber Lubrication is the world’s leading manufacturer of high performance specialised lubricants for a wide variety of industries including automotive components, food & pharmaceutical, renewable energy, marine, oil & gas. We offer our customers in Thailand since 2007 with a local entity approximately 2500 different speciality lubricants. This expert tribological solutions are tailormade to our customers needs.
Safer Phuket 20/32, Moo 5, The Lantern Thepkasatri Road, Muang 9 Koh Kaew, Phuket 83000 T: +66 (0) 81 891 4437 Website: www.saferphuket.org
Representatives: Mr. Martin Carpenter MBE - Partner Mr. Duncan Stewart - Managing Director Business Activity: Safer Phuket is a privately funded social enterprise business whose objective is to promote international safety standards within Phuketâ€™s coastal waters. Safer Phuket highlight the issues, create a voice, bring stakeholders together and generate funding solutions. Their Hotel Partner Programme integrates hotels into the Safer Phuket vision of world leading standards of guest safety and internationally renowned Phuket beaches. Safer Phuket are winners Innovation of the Year 2013.
Silk Road Associates Limited 1801 Wheelock House, 20 Pedder Street, Central Hong Kong T: +852 2293 2263, +852 2293 2236 Website: www.silkroadassoc.com
Representatives: Mr. Ben Simpfendorfer - Managing Director Business Activity: Silk Road Associates is a strategy consultancy helping clients grow their commercial footprint across the fast growing Silk Road economies with a specific focus on China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. We provide a
range of services from business strategy, and market studies to operational support. Our clients are present in a variety of industries and include multinationals, mid-sized companies, and financial institutions.
Singapore Management University 81 Victoria Street, SMU Administration Building, Singapore 188065 T: +65 6808 5178 F: +65 6808 5252 Website: www.smu.edu.sg/programmes/ postgraduate
Business Activity: South East Asia Capital is an independent financial planning and wealth management advisory that provides unbiased financial counsel for clients, most of whom are expatriates. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, our three founding partners have more than 80 years combined experience in the international banking and financial services industry. We provide you with a highly personalised service that empowers you to set realistic and achievable investment goals that are suited to your risk appetite and savings timeline. Your individual investment plan charts a clear strategy for meeting these goals while setting milestones to help effectively monitor the performance of your investments
Representatives: Mr. Edwin Lim - Senior Assistant Director Business Activity: A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world-class research and distinguished teaching. SMUâ€™s mission is to generate leading-edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy. It is known for its interactive and technologically enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes.
South East Asia Capital Ltd. 23rd Floor, Two Pacific Place, 142 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2684 6962 F: +66 (0) 2684 6999 Website: www.seac.asia
Representatives: Mr. Ian Ferguson - Managing Director
Staedtler (Thailand) Ltd. 59 Soi Barbos 2, Sukhumvit 42 Road, Phrakanong, Klongtoey Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2712-0701, 2392-2161 F: +66 (0) 2391-5684 Website: www.staedtler.co.th
Representatives: Mr. Rolf-Dieter Daniel - Managing Director Business Activity: Staedtler (Thailand) Ltd. was established in 1989 as a subsidiary of Staedtler, Germany and as representative of Staedtler UK. Staedtler writing materials have been available locally for decades. To serve Thailand in more depth, Staedtler (Thailand) Ltd. was founded to distribute the wide range of products throughout Thailand. Two manufacturing plants were added, utilizing the latest technology, which will enable the company to adapt to the demands of the increasingly
quality conscious Thai market.The product range distributed by Staedtler (Thailand) Ltd. covers black and coloured pencils projector pens, fibretip pens, markers, highlighters, ballpoint pens and refills, ballwriters, erasers, compasses, creative and hobby article under the trade name of FIMO.
Voxtree Ltd. Room 9, 203 Washway Road Sale, Cheshire M33 4AL United Kingdom T: +44 (0) 1524 230539 Website: www.voxtree.com
China. Specialist in public transport, and inter-modal integration in particular. Resignations & Cancellations: 1. ACE INA Overseas Insurance Company Limited 2. Caelan Wright & Associates Limited 3. Equitech (Thailand) Ltd 4. Frasers Hospitality 5. MMD Asia Pacific Limited 6. Praputt Kamlang-ek Football Club Co., Ltd. 7. Reading Room Pte Ltd 8. TNS Research International New Company Representatives:
Representatives: Mr. Neil Stoneham - Director Business Activity: Voxtree provides professional copywriting and training services to make sure your message hits the target and wins business. From websites to brochures, we write quality text that engages your customers and gets you noticed.
Williams Integrated Transport Solutions Unit 1010, 10 Floor, Miramar Tower 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong T: +66 (0) 81 814 9990
Representatives: Mr. Paul Williams - Proprietor Business Activity: Sustainable transport policy, planning and operations advice and consultancy. Experienced in all aspects of urban and inter-urban transport. (highways, traffic management, parking and non-motorized transport) in South East Asia and
1. Amrop Gattie-Tan Soo Jin Recruitment (Thailand) Co Ltd., changed from K. Tana Akson, to Mr. Nisit Krutkaew 2. Ascott International Management (Thailand) Ltd., changed from Mr. Peter Teo, to Mr. Nigel Tovey 3. Asia Web Direct Co Ltd, changed from Mr. Matthew Varley, to Mr. Olivier Dombey 4. DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (Thailand) Co.,Ltd., changed from K. Porameth Chantanakomes, to Mr. David Alun George 5. ECC (Thailand)., changed from Mr. Paul McCleave, to Mr. Garth Marshall 6. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok., changed from Mr. Rami Sayess, to Mr. Vincent Hoogewijs 7. In Deed Strategy Into Action (Thailand) Ltd., changed from Mr. Ian Guttridge, to Mr. Gareth Ellis 8. Ipsos (Thailand) Ltd., changed from Ms. Kimberly Ann Fravil to Mr. Jerome Jean Noel Hervio 9. Magnolia Quality Development Corporation., changed from Mr. Iain Hardie, to Ms. Jureepun Saekwung 10. Millennium Hilton Bangkok, changed from, Mr. Thomas Hoeborn to Mr. Dirk De Cuyper 11. Mott MacDonald Ltd., changed from Khun Pairoj Phothaporn, to Mr. Somporn Oonchittikul 12. Oriental Residence Bangkok., changed from Mr. Alexander R Blair, to Mr. Viranat Silananda 13. St. Stephenâ€™s International School., changed from Mr. Gary Rodbard, to
Mr. Chris Whitfield 14. Sukhothai Bangkok (THE), changed from Mr. Gregory Meadows, to Mr. Ian Ekers 15. Waste Management Siam Ltd., changed from Mr. John Hamilton, to Ms. Suchintana Viraratt Changes of company name: 1. Kerry Logistics (Thailand) Limited., changed to Kerry Siam Seaport Limited 2. Hammerhead Technologies., changed to Reflex Solutions (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Members with new addresses: 1. Asia Web Direct Co Ltd Level 12A, Mercury Tower, 540 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 T: +66 (0) 2694 5770 F: +66 (0) 2694 5750 2. Bed Buzz Co., Ltd. 191/86 C.T.I. Tower, 10th Floor, Ratchadapisek Road, Klongtoey Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2661 8823 F: +66 (0) 2661 8824 3. Mackenzie Smith Co., Ltd 87/10 Modern Town Building, 2nd Floor, Soi Siyaphai (Ekamai 3), Sukhumvit 63, Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2255-6496 4. PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. 98, Unit 2812, 28 Floor, Sathorn Square Office Tower, North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 T: +66 (0) 2108-1591-96 F: +66 (0) 2108-1599 5. YES Technologies (Thailand) Co Ltd 507/280 Nakhon Thai 16 Sathu Pradit Road 31 Chong Nonsi, Yannawa Bangkok 10120
Out of his depth By Dale Lawrence
s the flood waters on the Somerset Levels continued to rise the reputation of the Environment Agency and its Chairman, Baron Smith of Finsbury, sank inexorably without trace. After 22 largely undistinguished years as Member of Parliament for Islington South & Finsbury Chris Smith was ennobled in 2005 and, as is so often the case with newly-appointed peers, began to collect some ‘nice little earners’ – including a three day week at the EA on a pro rata annual salary of more than £100,000. Nice work if you can get it. Chris Smith boasted a track record of sorts on environmental issues. His Private Members Bill became the Environment and Safety Information Act in 1988 and he also served for two years in the Labour Party shadow cabinet as spokesman on environment protection. With this in mind it’s hard to understand why he took so long to leave the comfort of his Chairman’s suite at the Agency’s head office in fashionable SW1, just a short walk from the
Lord Smith (right) gets an earful from an aggrieved Somerset floods victim.
Palace of Westminster, to witness at first hand the severe hardship being suffered by thousands of taxpayers in the West Country. Perhaps he was embarrassed at the fact that, under his chairmanship, the Environment Agency spent some £2.4 million last year on public relations activities but failed to spend £1.7 million on vital dredging work that might have prevented at least some of the flooding on the Somerset Levels. His Lordship, entirely predictably, blamed blamed the government’s austerity measures for limiting expenditure on such vital work in the countryside.
Outspoken Conservative backbencher John Redwood writes that ‘the Agency does not seem to be a good manager of its staff, nor able to raise productivity. Last year it increased staff numbers by 900. It also agreed redundancy packages for 43 people, costing us another £2.6milllion. In other words it makes bad recruitment decisions, changes its mind, gives people a pay off, and yet at the same time is expanding the overall numbers considerably. ‘The Agency has seven Directors on salaries in excess of £130,000, with the best paid on nearly £200,000. It would be good to hear from the Directors what they are going to do to get better value for money and to ensure more of the £1,200 million a year spend goes on flood prevention and water management’. Precisely. Lord Smith reportedly prepared for his Somerset excursion by taking a front row seat at the Noel Coward theatre in London’s West End to witness the critically-acclaimed performance by Jude Law as Henry V. For Baron Smith of Finsbury, it was hardly a case of ‘once more unto the breach dear friends’.
Don’t bank on customer service
djusted pre-tax profits for 2013 at Barclays Plc were £5.2 billion, down 26 percent on 2012. The bank’s reaction? Sack 7,000 UK staff and close up to 400 branches nationwide, according to Bloomberg.
CEO Antony Jenkins told journalists that he wants to take out some £1.7 billion of cost by next year – but that’s not prevented the bank from allocating a staggering £2.4 billion for bonus payments. Mr. Jenkins has, magnanimously, waived his cash bo-
nus entitlement for a second consecutive year. He’s getting by on a basic salary in excess of £1 million plus a nice bundle of share options worth around £4million. One wonders what the Bard might have made of all that.
The views and opinions expressed on this page by Editor Dale Lawrence are entirely personal and do not reflect official BCCT policy. 72
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: 855-12-219-802 Fax: 855-23-997-493 Email: firstname.lastname@example.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: Adrian Short 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: Roger Lamb General Manager: Chris Boughton
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bccthai.com Chairman: Simon Matthews Executive Director: Greg Watkins
Vietnam British Business Group Vietnam
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: email@example.com Website: www.britcham.org.sg President: Mr. Hugo Walkinshaw Executive Director: Brigitte Holtschneider
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 193B Ba Trien Hai Ba Trung District Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: 84 4 6674 0945 Chairman: Nick Holder